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Skilling Open Tournament

Wesley So23/43(+9 -6 =28)[games]
Magnus Carlsen22.5/41(+11 -7 =23)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi18.5/33(+10 -6 =17)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura18/33(+7 -4 =22)[games]
Teimour Radjabov13.5/25(+7 -5 =13)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave12.5/25(+5 -5 =15)[games]
Levon Aronian12/25(+7 -8 =10)[games]
Anish Giri11.5/23(+3 -3 =17)[games]
Le Quang Liem8/15(+5 -4 =6)[games]
Alireza Firouzja8/15(+6 -5 =4)[games]
Ding Liren7.5/15(+2 -2 =11)[games]
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi6.5/15(+2 -4 =9)[games]
David Anton Guijarro6.5/15(+5 -7 =3)[games]
Peter Svidler6/15(+1 -4 =10)[games]
Sergey Karjakin5.5/15(+3 -7 =5)[games]
Jan-Krzysztof Duda4.5/15(+2 -8 =5)[games] Chess Event Description
Skilling Open (2020)

The Skilling Open was the first event of the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour 2020-2021. The games were played online from 22-30 November 2020 on the chess24 Playzone. It started with a 16-player round robin on the first three days (time control 15 minutes for all moves with 10 seconds added per move from move one), from which the eight best players qualified for an elimination (knockout) phase on the last six days (25-30 November) and an invitation for the next Tour event. The action each day began at 17:00 GMT (18:00 CET, 12:00 ET). Prize fund: $100,000, with $30,000 to the winner. Tournament directors: Arne Horvei and Sotiris Logothetis. Chief arbiter: Panagiotis Nikolopoulos. N games played: 120 + 64 = 184.

Carlsen, Nakamura, So, Nepomniachtchi, Aronian, Radjabov, Vachier-Lagrave, and Giri qualified for the knockout stage:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 Carlsen * ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 0 1 9 2 Nakamura ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 9 3 So ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 8½ 4 Nepomniachtchi 1 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 8½ 5 Aronian ½ ½ 0 ½ * 0 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 8½ 6 Radjabov 0 ½ ½ 0 1 * 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 8 7 Vachier-Lagrave ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 8 8 Giri ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 8 9 Firouzja 0 0 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 * 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 8 10 Le Quang Liem ½ 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 * ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 8 11 Ding Liren ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 7½ 12 Vidit 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * 1 1 0 ½ 6½ 13 Anton 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 6½ 14 Svidler ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 * ½ ½ 6 15 Karjakin 1 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 ½ * 1 5½ 16 Duda 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 * 4½

In the knockout each match consisted of two mini-matches of up to four games each (Rapid 15 + 10), and if 1-1 a tiebreak match of two games (Blitz 3 + 2) plus if needed an Armageddon game (5 vs 4). Wesley So won the event by beating Magnus Carlsen 2-1 in the final:

Quarterfinals (25-26 November) Semifinals (27-28 November) Final (29-30 November)

So 0½0- ½1½½ ½½ 1 2½ Radjabov 1½1- ½0½½ ½½ 0 1½ So ½1½½ ½½½½ -- - 1½ Nakamura ½0½½ ½½½½ -- - ½ Nakamura 0½½½ 1½1- 01 1 2½ Vachier-Lagrave 1½½½ 0½0- 10 0 1½ So 0101 01½½ 1½ - 2 Carlsen 1010 10½½ 0½ - 1 Carlsen ½½½1 ½½½½ -- - 1½ Giri ½½½0 ½½½½ -- - ½ Carlsen 1½½½ 01½½ -- - 1½ Nepomniachtchi 0½½½ 10½½ -- - ½ Nepomniachtchi ½100 1½½1 11 - 2 Aronian ½011 0½½0 00 - 1

So netted 46 tour points, and qualified for playing in the first Major (12-player) event of the tour. Carlsen got 30 points, Nakamura 18 and Nepomniachtchi 15.

Official site:
ChessBase 1:
ChessBase 2:
ChessBase 3:
chess24 1:
chess24 2:
Wikipedia article: Skilling Open

Next Champions Chess Tour event: Airthings Masters (2020/21)

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 184  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nepomniachtchi vs Aronian  ½-½142020Skilling OpenC67 Ruy Lopez
2. J K Duda vs W So  0-1582020Skilling OpenD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Aronian vs Svidler  ½-½372020Skilling OpenB53 Sicilian
4. A Firouzja vs Nepomniachtchi ½-½612020Skilling OpenE60 King's Indian Defense
5. D Anton Guijarro vs Carlsen 0-1262020Skilling OpenD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
6. Vachier-Lagrave vs Radjabov  0-1572020Skilling OpenB30 Sicilian
7. Carlsen vs Radjabov  1-0282020Skilling OpenD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
8. Svidler vs A Firouzja  ½-½472020Skilling OpenB10 Caro-Kann
9. W So vs Aronian 1-0462020Skilling OpenE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
10. Ding Liren vs V S Gujrathi  ½-½872020Skilling OpenC77 Ruy Lopez
11. A Giri vs Le Quang Liem  1-0612020Skilling OpenD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
12. Radjabov vs D Anton Guijarro 0-1572020Skilling OpenD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
13. Carlsen vs A Firouzja 1-0642020Skilling OpenD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Svidler vs J K Duda  ½-½512020Skilling OpenD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
15. W So vs Ding Liren  ½-½362020Skilling OpenE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. V S Gujrathi vs A Giri 0-1932020Skilling OpenD85 Grunfeld
17. Le Quang Liem vs Karjakin  1-0502020Skilling OpenB67 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7
18. Nakamura vs Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½462020Skilling OpenB68 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7
19. Karjakin vs Nakamura 0-1322020Skilling OpenC28 Vienna Game
20. V S Gujrathi vs J K Duda  ½-½792020Skilling OpenD85 Grunfeld
21. Le Quang Liem vs Ding Liren  ½-½322020Skilling OpenE15 Queen's Indian
22. Nepomniachtchi vs Carlsen 1-0382020Skilling OpenC60 Ruy Lopez
23. Svidler vs Radjabov  ½-½882020Skilling OpenC53 Giuoco Piano
24. W So vs D Anton Guijarro  ½-½512020Skilling OpenE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
25. V S Gujrathi vs A Firouzja  ½-½492020Skilling OpenE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 184  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: <Miss> About 405 games. Mostly from 1999-2004, and some after 2004 (mostly rapid & blitz). Of his classical games, only 9 are missing:

Magnus Carlsen (kibitz #81997)

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: When money talks, few are deaf.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<tuttifrutty> Mt Wesovious just buried the weak Viking. The explosion was heard all over the world. >

Welcome back yet again after 2 months of inactivity <tuttifrutty>. We all missed your words of "wisdom" and the chuckles that they elicit.

Yes, congratulations to So, he deserves it To win an event with so many top players participating is a great accomplishment. But to say that he "buried the weak Viking" when he was able to achieve the win by only ½ point after 41+ games, and in an irrelevant Blitz time control tiebreaker in a tournament conducted at Rapid time control hardly qualifies as a result indicating a burial.

Dec-07-20  Pedro Fernandez: Why congratulate So? Are we blind? C'mon!
Dec-07-20  Pedro Fernandez: Cheap Chess!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: CG at says

<Classical games: Teimour Radjabov beat Wesley So 3 to 1, with 10 draws>.

But eight of those 14 games are Rapid, two are Blitz, and one is Armageddon. The correct would be (based on CG games):

<Classical games: Teimour Radjabov beat Wesley So 1 to 0, with 2 draws>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <AylerKupp:

Welcome back yet again after 2 months of inactivity <tuttifrutty>. We all missed your words of "wisdom" and the chuckles that they elicit.>

Unless you are using a sarcastic <We>, I kindly request to be excluded from that plural.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Pedro Fernandez> Why congratulate So?>

Well, he did win a tournament against top opposition, including Carlsen and that's quite an achievement. Why shouldn't he be congratulated? Any player that does that should be congratulated.

I would do that by posting on GM So's page but I am unable to do that because I have been banned from posting on his page because of my apparent anti-So bias.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Sokrates> Unless you are using a sarcastic <We>, I kindly request to be excluded from that plural.>

Yes, I was being sarcastic. And I was using the royal "we", although that is in itself sarcastic.

But you're right, I shouldn't give even the impression that I am speaking for all the visitors and posters of this site. Perhaps I should add a line to my posts along the lines of "This post represents the views of the author and does not represent the views of this site or the posters on this site." I will either do that in the future or refrain from posts of this nature.

And, no, I'm not being sarcastic this time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <AylerKupp> I abstain from further comments on this.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: All the games should now have correct game type. 174 Rapid games, 8 Blitz, and 2 Armageddon.
Dec-08-20  Pedro Fernandez: I understand your point my great <AK>. It was that Carlsen's move ...Kf8?? He is tired, very tired, probably much more than when he finished to play the World Championship. The champion is committing horrible errors not proper of him. Honestly, I wouldn't want under estimate So, but with Carlsen playing on this way...
Dec-08-20  Pedro Fernandez: Did you know <Tata Steel > is going to be played physically?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Pedro Fernandez> No, I did not know. I hope that they can pull it off. The only player that has been announced in participating is Giri, and he would announce the participants later. The tournament is scheduled to start on Jan-21-2021.

The tournament's official site ( indicates that the tournament will adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines in effect at the time the tournament starts. Unfortunately this is over a month away and the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Holland has exploded in the previous 3 months, from about 40,000 on Sep-01-2020 to about 560,000, more than a 14X increase in the last 3 months after the count being relatively constant since May-01-20.

Equally ominous, perhaps more so, is the increase in the total number of deaths in the last 2 months, from about 6,500 on Oct-01-2020 to about 9,700; about a 47% increase. The good news is that both the number of new cases/day and the number of new deaths/day seems to have begun to stabilize, although at much higher levels than they were 3 months earlier.

And as of Dec-05-2020, Holland ranks 23rd in the world in the total number of cases and 32nd in the world in the total number of deaths, both as a percentage of the country's population. The best that could be said about that is that it could be worse.

So, given the unstable situation in Holland in the number of cases, new cases, deaths, and new deaths in the last few months, I'm not sure what their COVID-19 guidelines will be a month from now. And it may very well be that they could be so strict as to make it inadvisable to hold an in-person tournament. FIDE just needs to come up with appropriate guidelines for holding virtual tournaments at Classic time controls, perhaps with at least one arbiter for each participant which could be tested quarantined along with the participants for the appropriate amount of time before the tournament starts and for the duration of the tournament.

Dec-08-20  Pedro Fernandez: <Aylerkupp> my last question it was not directed just to you, but to all our Community. but nice you take it as I learnt from you a lot of information and opinions. Indeed I don't remember, at this moment, whether I read about Tata in an
Dec-08-20  Pedro Fernandez: English or Spanish site. But I think, my friend, that, after Tata, if celebrated, Candidates continuation it will be around the corner. Who will win this? I close my mouth since afterwards everyonene it will say: "well, even the dog of the corner knew that."

Greetings, and don't forget to send my respects to your wife.


Dec-10-20  Pedro Fernandez: My great <Sokrates>, I want to talk with you, but I suspect this page is done. However, if you hear about me, just reply me, and we talk.

Lot of loves!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Dear <Pedro>,

Thanks for your kind note to me. You are right that the vivid diskussions on this page have expired, but I am always there for you.

I think we all wait for a kind of normalty, not inly in chess, but in the world as a whole. Unfortunately, the Covid19 has returned more malicious than ever. During summer and early autumn the number of infected was very low, now it has increased shortly by the factor of 6. The government now locks down more and more, acting quite rapidly and with consequence in order to stop the exponential growth.

Meanwhile, for an old oak like me, the proscription is isolation and mingle with other people as little as possible.

As for chess, my wife was inspired by the series "Queen's Gambit" and wanted me to teach her some chess. It has been fun so far, since it is decades since I taught chess to anyone. What about your wife and family, Pedro? Are you the only chessplayer in the lot?

Dec-11-20  Pedro Fernandez: That's great you replied me, my dear bro.

There are some persons here I consider as my major brothers, like you, <AylerKupp>, <perfidious> (unfairly attacked in a no-reason way y yo), <Tabanus>, <WinKing>, <Marmot PFL>, <cro777>, and some other more guys, don't recall at this moment.

That was to begin with. And now, let me tell you something: I don't mind that stupid thing so-called Off-He-Topic (OTP), whenever my contribution be in a good thing for our Community.

Dec-11-20  Pedro Fernandez: And this is our today's case.

Díd you know Niels Bohr Institute from University of Copenhague is developing, with success, a quantum nano-CPU chip?

I hope the Denmark Parliament altogether the Goverment approve the money to finish this hard but transcendent Project.

Indeed 5G Technology it would be a baby compared with this . Applications are so essential for our evolution, yes, evolution!

Hope you hear about me soon. Love you!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <Pedro> I knew that.

Incidentally, I have had some connection to the Niels Bohr Institute. In the mid 90s I worked with some of their researchers on a book called (in translation from Danish) "Science and God". Well, it was primarily science articles by scientists from the Institute. God was only "represented" by a wise old Chief Rabbi in one article. The book was great - I still have a first edition on my shelf with the personal signature of all, circa ten contributors.

A press meeting about the book was held in Niels Bohr's original auditorium, which looks pretty much the same as in the prewar times, when he had his main lectures there.

While we made the book, his brother Aage, who also won the Nobel price, still worked there. As said the young scientist, who was my co-editor (on the scientific contents): "One half of the scientists here don't understand Aage - the other half disagree with him!" Hilarious, right?

Later, in my retirement I went there as a part of our public university arrangement. During five lessons from five different international top scientists - all attached to the Institute - we were updated on the latest science in astro physics, nuclear research etc. Some of it I understood to 80%, other to 60%, but it was an amazing, truly inspirering experience, never to forget. I am sure you would have been thrilled, Pedro.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Pedro Fernandez>, <Socrates> Since we can all use a laugh at this time, I posted what I think is a cute story about learning chess in my forum, AylerKupp chessforum (kibitz #1684).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Sweet story, <AK>, thanks.

I just wonder, why you only have one chess set. Besides the set designed by Man Ray, which is only a decorative piece, I can muster three sets. I have to admit, though, that many years have passed since I had five chess-friends visiting. Now the three sets are stored in the basement while the beautiful Man Ray shines on a cupboard. I also have to admit that I very rarely use a physical chess set for playing through games and analyzing. I have become lazy (third and last admittance!).

Dec-19-20  Pedro Fernandez: What a great experience and achievement you had <Sokrates>. I congratulate you!

Still I have not read <AylerKupp's> article. Also I need discuss with him another transcendental theme.

Dec-19-20  Pedro Fernandez: Again I must clarify when we are in any chess activity, I absolutely respect the OFF-THE-TOPIC clause.
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