General Sep 21, 2020 | 4:26 PMby chess24 staff

Carlsen & co. in Banter Series Finals action

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and 7 more of the world’s Top 10 players are in action this week as the chess24 Banter Series Finals begin Monday and end in a final on Sunday. All players must stream their thoughts live as they play in this 16-player knockout, which includes 8 qualifiers who battled their way through mini-knockouts over the last three weeks. The prize fund is $36,000, with $12,000 for 1st place, while the qualifiers are also fighting for two places on the next Chess Tour. Today we have Radjabov vs. Liem Quang Le and Wesley So vs. Sam Shankland.

8 players from the World Top 10 take on 8 qualifiers in the chess24 Banter Series Finals

The chess24 Banter Series Finals start today, Monday 21st September, with 2019 World Cup winner Teimour Rajdabov (Azerbaijan) taking on 2013 World Blitz Champion Liem Quang Le (Vietnam/USA) at 19:00 CEST followed by Wesley So (Philippines/USA), fresh from victory in the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz, taking on 2018 US Champion Sam Shankland

You can watch all the action live with computer analysis and the players’ streams on our chess24 Banter Series tournament page. The homepage is an alternative if you want to watch both streams side-by-side!

Svidler is the biggest name to make it through the qualifiers - next up, Giri, with the winner playing Carlsen or Narayanan!

It’s a 16-player knockout with each match played as best-of-ten 3+2 blitz games, so that a player needs 5.5 points to win. If a match is tied, two more blitz games will be played, and if still tied we go to Armageddon, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4 but a draw counts as a win for the player with Black.

The full pairings tree looks as follows:


Carlsen (world no. 1), Caruana (2), MVL (5), Grischuk (6), Aronian (7), So (8), Radjabov (9) and Giri (10) were all invited (as was Banter Blitz Cup winner Alireza Firouzja, though an agreement couldn’t be reached for him to play), while another 63 players competed in eight separate 8-player knockouts for the chance to qualify. The winners were:

  • A) Sam Shankland beat Lance Henderson (5:0), Alan Pichot (6:4) & Nihal Sarin (4.5:3.5) | Replay the games
  • B) Liem Quang Le beat Lawrence Trent (5:2), Luis Supi (5.5:4.5) & Hans Niemann (5:1) | Replay the games
  • C) Rauf Mamedov beat Loek van Wely (5:1), Ray Robson (4.5:2.5) & Aryan Tari (4.5:1.5) | Replay the games
  • D) Narayanan S.L. beat Aleksandr Lenderman (4.5:3.5), Ivan Cheparinov (5:2) & Vincent Keymer (4.5:2.5) | Replay the games
  • E) Matthias Bluebaum beat Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko (4.5:0.5), Dariusz Swiercz (4.5:3.5) & Andrew Tang (5:2) | Replay the games
  • F) Grigoriy Oparin beat Hans Niemann (4.5:3.5), Nodirbek Abdusattorov (4.5:3.5) & Benjamin Bok (5:2) | Replay the games
  • G) Gawain Jones beat Jesper Thybo (5:3), Nils Grandelius (4.5:2.5) & Sanan Sjugirov (4.5:3.5) | Replay the games
  • H) Peter Svidler beat Pepe Cuenca (4.5:2.5), Mustafa Yilmaz (4.5:0.5) & Maxime Lagarde (4.5:3.5) | Replay the games

The matches will be scheduled at times that suit both players, with the current schedule as follows:

  • Monday 21/09, 19:00 CEST: Teimour Radjabov vs Liem Quang Le
  • Monday 21/09, 21:00 CEST: Wesley So vs Sam Shankland 
  • Tuesday 22/09, 14:00 CEST: Levon Aronian vs Gawain Jones 
  • Tuesday 22/09, 16:00 CEST: Anish Giri vs Peter Svidler
  • Tuesday 22/09, 17:30 CEST: Magnus Carlsen vs S.L. Narayanan
  • Tuesday 22/09, 19:00 CEST: Alexander Grischuk vs Rauf Mamedov
  • Tuesday 22/09, 21:00 CEST: Fabiano Caruana vs Matthias Bluebaum
  • Wednesday 23/09, 19:00 CEST: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Grigoriy Oparin 

As you can see, we have a “Super-Tuesday”, with five matches and Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian, Grischuk, Giri and Svidler all in action.

All players earn at least $750. Losing quarterfinalists get $1,500, semifinalists get $3,000, the runner-up gets $6,000 and the winner earns $12,000. The stakes are high, and even higher for the qualifiers, who are competing for two places in the next edition of our Chess Tour.

Don’t miss all the games live here on chess24!

See also:


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