This was the question posed by chess.com user franknstein earlier today, and I have to say it’s a good question.
Granted, with a knockout format it’s practically a certainty that big names will fall to not as big names, but usually those things happen a bit here and a bit there.
In round two we saw players such as Wojtaszek, Harikrisha, Anand, and Karjakin fall. Then today in the second day of the third round three more legends were eliminated as Nakamura, Kramnik, and Carlsen were put away.
It was like watching the Red Wedding all over again.
Tomorrow there are more elite players who will have to emerge victorious in their tiebreaks to avoid the same fate. Included in that group are MVL, Grischuk, Aronian, Caruana, Ding, and Giri.
Speaking of Giri, he seemed to have the Three Eyed Raven protecting him today as he was dead lost against Sethuraman. However, the Indian used so much time seeking to land the killing blow that he wound up mired so deeply in time pressure that Giri was able to complicate things long enough and then finally escape with a draw.
So today Giri is most likely wearing his nickname of Draw Master with pride. Here is the game.
Stay tuned for the tiebreak’s tomorrow where there are certain to be more heads rolling.
Also, big shout out to the Chess Brahs for providing their free streaming coverage each day. You can watch Yasser Seirawan and Aman Hambleton provide insightful commentary and analysis for the entire broadcast each day, usually with Eric Hansen lurking around somewhere and providing social media commentary.
Watch them here. In fact, you should watch them any time they are streaming. Not only will you learn something, you’ll be entertained as well.
Til Next Time,