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Opera Euro Rapid Tournament

Magnus Carlsen9.5/15(+6 -2 =7)[games]
Anish Giri9.5/15(+5 -1 =9)[games]
Wesley So9/15(+5 -2 =8)[games]
Levon Aronian8.5/15(+5 -3 =7)[games]
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave8.5/15(+4 -2 =9)[games]
Jan-Krzysztof Duda8/15(+4 -3 =8)[games]
Teimour Radjabov8/15(+1 -0 =14)[games]
Daniil Dubov7.5/15(+4 -4 =7)[games]
Hikaru Nakamura7.5/15(+3 -3 =9)[games]
Sam Shankland7/15(+4 -5 =6)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi7/15(+3 -4 =8)[games]
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi6.5/15(+2 -4 =9)[games]
Leinier Dominguez Perez6.5/15(+4 -6 =5)[games]
Alexander Grischuk6.5/15(+1 -3 =11)[games]
Matthias Bluebaum5.5/15(+2 -6 =7)[games]
Ding Liren5/15(+3 -8 =4)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Opera Euro Rapid (2021)

The Opera Euro Rapid was the third event of the $1.5 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2020-2021. The games were played online from 6-14 February 2021 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 (9-14 February). The action each day began at 16:00 GMT (17:00 CET, 11:00 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, Giri, So, Aronian, Vachier-Lagrave, Duda, Radjabov and Dubov qualified for the knockout stage:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 Carlsen * ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 0 9½ 2 Giri ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 9½ 3 So 1 ½ * ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 9 4 Aronian 0 ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 8½ 5 Vachier-Lagrave ½ 0 1 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 8½ 6 Duda ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 1 1 8 7 Radjabov ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 8 8 Dubov ½ ½ 0 1 0 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 7½ 9 Nakamura 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 7½ 10 Shankland 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 7 11 Nepomniachtchi ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ * ½ 0 1 0 ½ 7 12 Vidit 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ * 1 ½ ½ 0 6½ 13 Dominguez 0 ½ 1 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 * 1 ½ 0 6½ 14 Grischuk ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 * ½ 1 6½ 15 Bluebaum 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 5½ 16 Ding Liren 1 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 0 ½ * 5

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 5 + 3) plus if necessary an Armageddon game (5 vs 4). Wesley So beat Magnus Carlsen 1½-½ in the final.

Quarterfinals (9-10 February) Semifinals (11-12 February) Final (13-14 February)

So ½011 11-- -- - 2 Duda ½100 00-- -- - 0 So 101½ ½½1- -- - 2 Radjabov 010½ ½v0- -- - 0 Radjabov ½½10 ½½½½ ½1 - 2 Giri ½½01 ½½½½ ½0 - 1 So ½0½1 1½½½ -- - 1½ Carlsen ½1½0 0½½½ -- - ½ Carlsen 1½1- ½00- 10 1 2½ Dubov 0½0- ½11- 01 0 1½ Carlsen 1½1- ½½00 10 1 2½ Vachier-Lagrave 0½0- ½½11 01 0 1½ Vachier-Lagrave ½1½½ 1½0½ -- - 1½ Aronian ½0½½ 0½1½ -- - ½

Match for 3rd place (13-14 February): Radjabov ½101 11-- -- - 2 Vachier-Lagrave ½010 00-- -- - 0

So netted 46 tour points. Carlsen got 35 points, Radjabov 17 and Vachier-Lagrave 14. Standings after three events: So and Radjabov 108 points each, Carlsen 85, Aronian 65, MVL 50.

Official site:
chess24 1:
chess24 2:

Previous Champions Chess Tour event: Airthings Masters (2020/21). Next: Magnus Carlsen Invitational (2021)

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 184  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Vachier-Lagrave vs Dubov 1-0652021Opera Euro RapidC55 Two Knights Defense
2. So vs Carlsen 1-0532021Opera Euro RapidB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
3. Aronian vs Ding Liren 1-0332021Opera Euro RapidB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
4. Bluebaum vs Radjabov  ½-½792021Opera Euro RapidD05 Queen's Pawn Game
5. Shankland vs V S Gujrathi  1-0382021Opera Euro RapidD40 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
6. Dominguez Perez vs Nakamura  ½-½482021Opera Euro RapidC70 Ruy Lopez
7. Duda vs Nepomniachtchi 0-1592021Opera Euro RapidD87 Grunfeld, Exchange
8. Grischuk vs Giri ½-½522021Opera Euro RapidC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
9. Dubov vs Giri  ½-½532021Opera Euro RapidC56 Two Knights
10. Nepomniachtchi vs Grischuk 1-0852021Opera Euro RapidB94 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. Nakamura vs Duda  ½-½382021Opera Euro RapidD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
12. V S Gujrathi vs Dominguez Perez  1-0472021Opera Euro RapidE46 Nimzo-Indian
13. Radjabov vs Shankland  1-0452021Opera Euro RapidD02 Queen's Pawn Game
14. Ding Liren vs Bluebaum  ½-½772021Opera Euro RapidD35 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. Carlsen vs Aronian 1-0472021Opera Euro RapidD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
16. Vachier-Lagrave vs So 1-0542021Opera Euro RapidC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
17. So vs Dubov  1-0712021Opera Euro RapidB30 Sicilian
18. Aronian vs Vachier-Lagrave  1-0442021Opera Euro RapidB68 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7
19. Bluebaum vs Carlsen 0-1572021Opera Euro RapidD05 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Shankland vs Ding Liren 1-0542021Opera Euro RapidE12 Queen's Indian
21. Dominguez Perez vs Radjabov  ½-½842021Opera Euro RapidB33 Sicilian
22. Duda vs V S Gujrathi  ½-½1102021Opera Euro RapidD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
23. Grischuk vs Nakamura  ½-½522021Opera Euro RapidC70 Ruy Lopez
24. Giri vs Nepomniachtchi 1-0372021Opera Euro RapidB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
25. Dubov vs Nepomniachtchi ½-½812021Opera Euro RapidB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
 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
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-05-21  thelegendisback: when are the Candidates resuming? i need to study the games.
Mar-05-21  Sokrates: <Clemens Scheitz> <As Lusine Shahbazyan points out, "the news provoked a big wave of discontent as soon as it was posted and Aronian's intentions sparked sharp criticisms among Armenian Facebook users".>

Everyone knows that <Facebook users> and discussions on FB are very often nothing but extreme, vitriolic garbage placed by angry, chauvinistic people who contribute with nothing but hate and division.

No doubt, some of his many fans in Armenia are disappointed, but I am also sure he shall find an equally number of positive Armenian immigrants in the U.S.

No people or nation owns Mr. Aronian. He is free to do what he finds right. As so precisely expressed by <perfidious>: <Aronian has undergone extraordinary changes and a grievous tragedy in his personal and professional life; he should do what is best for him.>

Thanks, <moro>, dear friend.

Mar-05-21  Clemens Scheitz: dear <Sokrates>, of course he is free to do what he finds right, we all do what we find right, but every action could be evaluated by outsiders and that's all we are doing here, and I'm sure you agree that many times a neutral view from the outside reveals more truth than what you feel and see when you are immerse in a situation. In many cases <extraordinary changes and a grievous tragedy in a personal and professional life> could cloud someone's best resolutions and judgement, as your phychology trained wife would say. And I'm not impliying that Levon is not thinking straigth, I love the guy but I still consider that it would be indiscreet and ill-advised to start playing for the US. I imagine the next chess Olympiads and it is USA against Armenia and we find Levon sitting across a promising young talent from Yerevan trying to beat him ( or maybe trying not to beat him ? ), wierd, isn't it ?
Mar-05-21  LameJokes:

I just checked. Candidates resumes in April. I had seen chessbomb start event page. So I mistakenly thought it starts now.

Mar-05-21  metatron2: <Clemens Scheitz: Thanks for trying to show me about world soccer, but it wasn't necessary since I know as much about soccer as the next guy>

It wasn't an introduction to soccer, I was making a point about the comparison between elite soccer players and elite chess players regarding them switching nationalities.

<Clemens Scheitz: My analogy was only to show how perverse and mishandled would be to see Messi playing for the British national team. FCBarcelona ( by being now so untidy and careless ) represents the Armenian Federation or the evildoers that our world-renowned sportsman wants to leave behind, the Premier league represents a good option for Leo to continue his playing days ( I hope he goes to Manchester city as opposed to PSG, if he moves)>

And that just shows why such comparison is so problematic. Because Messi doesn't need to play in the premier league in order to play in England national fb team. Many of the international fb players don't play in the country they represent, and there is no problem with that (unlike chess..), And FC Barca is not a good representation for the Armenian chess federation since it is a FC club, not a nation, and that's a big difference (because you don't have all that national obligation that you just talked about..).

<thelegendisback: a possible motivation could be to win the world cup of course>

That's a very weak motivation. Elite fb player won't go all that trouble just to increase his chances to win the world cup with a foreign nation. "money talks bs walks" is their main consideration, not to mention the fact that there is no guaranty for winning the world cup (not even close..), and all the explanations and apologies he will have to give for that slim chance.. I don't think so..

Mar-06-21  Clemens Scheitz: <metatron2's "...Messi doesn't need to play in the premier league in order to play in England national team> No one is saying that he does !

<FCBarcelona is a club, not a nation..> You probably should have said " FCBarcelona is a club not a chess federation" to make your point "stronger", but in any case, you are expecting an absolute and unambiguous correlation between parts of my analogy and you fail to consider that an analogy is nothing more than a correspondence or partial similarity, a device to make connections to create imagery and encouraging deeper thoughts.

Mar-06-21  metatron2: <Clemens Scheitz>

You said that you had no problem with Aronian moving to the US, enjoying all its benefits, but you expect him to still play for Armenia.

My point was that in chess, that is not a practical option, because of the nature of individual sports in general, and the way chess is managed in specific. If a chess player relocates to another country and wants to be part of its chess scene, then it will be very difficult for him not switch federations as well (and playing temporally under fide like Firouzja does, is no better of course).

You gave an example from the soccer world, and my point was that soccer, being a team sports, is a different story all together, where players have motivation to switch clubs, but have no motivation to switch their national team (and as of 2004 they can't do it even if they wanted to, after turning 21).

So I don't know what you want to show with your analogy, because you mix clubs and nations in that analogy.

If you want to compare Aronian's move to the US, to Messi leaving FC Barca for lets say Man. City, then that is a valid analogy, but as I said, Messi wanted to do that switch real bad by the end of the last season (rejoining Pep, his legendary manager..), so such an analogy gives more legitimacy for Aronian's move.

Mar-06-21  Clemens Scheitz: I think I've had enough of all this <metatron2>, thanks for responding, just one minor clarification though, I never said that I <expect Levon to still play for Armenia>, I don't care if he does or if he doesn't, I just believe firmly and resolutely that he shouldn't represent the United States.
Mar-08-21  Sokrates: Quote from ChessBase:

"3/8/2021 – Wesley So has represented the United States since the end of 2014 and has collected a number of major successes since his transfer. A couple of weeks ago, the Filipino-born star officially became a United States citizen. So declared, “From the moment I landed here I was encouraged and enabled to become better than I was”. "

Dear Clemens. What is your take on that? So is also a sort of Sinquefield supported immigrant, so I reckon <that he shouldn't represent the United States> either?

Mar-08-21  thelegendisback: <My point was that in chess, that is not a practical option, because of the nature of individual sports in general, and the way chess is managed in specific.>

That's debatable, there are in fact numerous examples of strong players who moved to another country but still continued for their country.

Mar-08-21  metatron2: <thelegendisback: there are in fact numerous examples of strong players who moved to another country but still continued for their country>

Well I am not familiar with those numerous examples.

Can you give say 8-10 examples of strong players, who relocated, and did not change federations, and kept playing for their original nation (they need to be strong enough to represent their nation of course)?

But we are talking about modern times here, so it should be from the 90s and afterwards, and we are talking about pro chess players, so I guess they should have an IM title at the very least.

Mar-08-21  Clemens Scheitz:

Exactly my dear <Sokrates >, in my view, Wesley doesn't belong in the group of "the best chess players the United States has produced " due to a combination of several components; he was too old (19) when he moved to the States, his parents were not American ( no bonus points there ) and when he relocated, he was already a monster at the board and a champion in the making, characteristics that were with him even if the United States as a country never existed...

Mar-09-21  thelegendisback: <Well I am not familiar with those numerous examples.>

<metatron2> I don't have time now but for example Anand and Topalov both lived in Spain and continued to play for their respective countries (India and Bulgaria).

Mar-09-21  metatron2: <thelegendisback>

Well, two chess players is not exactly "numerous examples", but Anand and Topa are interesting:

Anand indeed moved to the Spain in the 90s, because all the elite tourneys were in Europe at the time, but it wasn't a full relocation. Each year he spent a few months in India and contributed a lot to chess development there. I guess only few players can afford maintaining two homes, and keep traveling between them.

As for Topalov, I'm not sure when he moved to Spain and whether it was a full relocation. Do you have the dates? was that during Topa most active and successful years (until 2010)?

Because I remember that during those years he was very close to Danailov, and as far as I know, Danailov lived in Bulgaria (right?). Also the Bulgarian chess federation helped Topa a lot, including providing him access to the famous super computer during his match vs Anand. So I would be very surprised if Topa actually lived in Spain during those years (I mean if he fully relocated to Spain, and not just spent there a few months each year).

So if you have a source that says when and how Topa lived in Spain when he was fully active, then I'll be interested to see that.

Mar-09-21  nok: Kramnik, Kasimdjanov, Short, Kosteniuk...
Mar-09-21  thelegendisback: <metatron2> I don't know when exactly but unless I am mistaken it was before 2010. also yes there are many other players Ljubojevic, Short, Kramnik, Caruana, Harikrishna etc.
Mar-09-21  metatron2: <thelegendisback>

Well the details are important here.
You can't make a claim by throwing names and say that you think this and that. You need to bring reliable sources that give the proper details.

As far as I know, Caruana went back to Italy as a teenager, and switched to Italian chess federation when that happened, and he switched back to us chess federation when he returned to the US.

Kramnik lived in France sometime after he got married, but when did he move exactly? and did he make full relocation to France or just partial? I remember that he was very much involved in everything that happened in Russia around the time he got married. So we need the details here with a reliable source.

N. Short lived in Greece for sometime, also because he married a Greek wife, but when was that and for how long? and was it full relocation? because N. Short too, was always involved in UK chess.

Harikrishna: again, did he make full relocation or something like Anand, just stay closer to competition during the season, and back to India during off-season?

Ljubojevic is not relevant to modern times.

And I don't know about your "etc."
You haven't shown even one chess player who made full relocation and didn't switch federations, and even if we consider all your list (removed Caruana and Ljubojevic), it is still just <5> chess players.

And also note, that if someone moves to a new country <inside Europe> for a few years, because he got married there (and not due to professional considerations, as it seems that Kramnik and Short did), when he can easily travel back to his home country whenever he wants to (because it is inside Europe..), then that's obviously completely different, from someone who leaves his country to a far continent, and does it for professional reasons (like W. So and Aronian did).

Mar-09-21  thelegendisback: <metatron2> according to wikipedia Caruana was living in Spain and Hungary while playing for Italy. Ljubojevic played in the Linares super tournament in the 90s and the Amber super tournament. check this: Amber Rapid (2003)
Mar-09-21  metatron2: <thelegendisback: according to wikipedia Caruana was living in Spain and Hungary while playing for Italy>

I think you meant Switzarland instead of Hungary but OK, I meant that he switched from US chess federation when moving to Europe, and back when he returned to the US.

I guess that inside Europe its no big deal to live in one country and belong to a federation of another country.

You didn't bring the relevant information about the players you mentioned, but I'll accept that I need some modifications to the things I said about switching federations:

If a player is <happy with his original chess federation>, and both sides have no objections that the player will live in another country in most part of the year, and the player has no special interest in the chess scene of the new country that he moves to (i.e. he doesn't care about its national championships, local ratings, etc.), and he can afford visiting the country of his chess federation when needed, <Then> it is possible for him to move to a different country without switching federations.

Probably there is still an annoying overhead in such configuration, but I guess that it is not too much, especially when talking about countries inside Europe.

However, when a chess player leaves his country mainly because he is completely <dissatisfied with its chess federation> (and the way it supported him), then obviously he won't leave his country while staying in that federation that made him leave in the first place.

And doing the relocation without switching to any federation (i.e. staying under fide), doesn't make much sense either, because he won't get the support from the federation of his new country, or from sponsors there (why should they sponsor him, if he doesn't represent their country?), so that's not much of an improvement for him, right?

So it wouldn't make any sense for players like W. So and Aronian, not to switch to the US chess federation, after moving to the US.

Mar-09-21  thelegendisback: <metatron2> no, i meant what i wrote if you don't believe me please read this article:

btw just to be clear i don't disagree with your post, i do think that everybody can play for whatever country they live in and for sure Aronian knows whats best for his chess career.

Mar-13-21  tuttifrutty: The pampered goldfish has been stripped naked again and Wesley will continue to do so that knows no end. His reign is over. Go Wesley, man handle the weak Viking.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Time to stuff something in the sockie, that he may stfu for good and all.
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: Will the knockout stage games ever be added?
Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: Nevermind.
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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