Wesley So will face Liem Quang Le in tomorrow’s Chessable Masters final after a frantic end to the semi-finals.
Vietnamese star Liem survived an incredible comeback from Levon Aronian to finally edge past the world number 5 in an Armageddon tiebreaker. It was a sensational end to a topsy-turvy match.
Liem had appeared to be cruising to a first Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final having won the first match yesterday and taken himself to the brink of victory today.
But in Game 3, the wobble started. Liem only needed a draw to seal it yet appeared to get an attack of nerves. It proved crucial as Aronian turned the position around to pull a point back.
The Armenian still needed to win the final game to stay in it – but, incredibly, he did it again as Liem tilted.
Aronian roars back
With momentum going into the blitz playoff, Aronian went on the attack again before the two faster games ended in tense draws to send the semi into an “Armageddon” decider.
When it came to the crunch, however, Aronian just could not keep up with the speed and lost on time – the first time-loss on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.
Liem was overjoyed with the result saying, “these players really are another level”.
Liem will play So, the American, after he downed 23-year-old Russian Vladislav Artemiev 3-1.
So said afterwards that Artemiev had put a lot of pressure on him. He said his opponent had proved himself “a very strong and very practical player”.
Artemiev had rocked the Skilling Open winner by starting off with a win in Game 1 after the American made a big blunder. But So immediately stormed back in the second to level the score 1-1. Two draws followed as Artemiev was unable to respond.
Tomorrow’s final kick offs again at 17:00 CEST with Aronian and Artemiev also competing in the third-place play-off match.
All matches in the Chessable Masters are hosted in chess24.com’s playzone and available to watch on the platform’s Twitch and YouTube channels for free.
The Chessable Masters is the penultimate leg of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour before the Finals event in San Francisco, where the ultimate winner will be crowned the world’s best online chess player.