Carlsen faces Erigaisi in final and chases 2900 Tour rating

Arjun Erigaisi

The Julius Baer Generation Cup will see a battle between established star and next-gen super talent as Magnus Carlsen and Arjun Erigaisi go head-to-head in the final tomorrow.

The World Champion battled past the determined challenge of German teenager Vincent Keymer to book his place in an event he reportedly said “I absolutely am going to win” last week.

Carlsen’s stunning run of form has also left the Norwegian with the chance of breaking the watershed 2900 Tour rating barrier.

Erigaisi, meanwhile, showed exactly why he’s nicknamed the “Indian iceman” with a cool and calm tiebreak win over former World Blitz Champion Liem Quang Le.

Carlsen was made to work hard for his passage into the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event final by his supremely-talented opponent. Keymer fought to stay in the match as both games 1 and 2 ended in draw.

But Carlsen broke through in the third after his opponent crumbled in the endgame. Keymer had defended tenaciously, but it was not enough.

Carlsen heaped praise on his opponent after, saying: “I’ve got to say, especially the first game I was really impressed with his play. He’s very, very strong.

“As you can see from the end of game 3 and also game 4 he still has some challenges connected to experience and practical play, but basically he’s a very good player.”

Carlsen’s performance rating in the event has been a stellar 2934 taking his overall Tour Rating to 2883. Tomorrow, it’s possible to make 2900 on the Tour.

Carlsen said: “It would be nice, yeah, but most important is, whoever I face, it’s about winning the match.”

In the second semi, the “Indian Iceman” Erigaisi played fantastically to knock out Vietnam star Liem.

The tussle started with a draw before the 19-year-old took the lead in the second.

Erigaisi then missed a big chance in the third to decide the match by playing 35…Be1+ instead of tricky 35Bd2. Liem survived as the game ended in a draw.

The final regulation game of the match saw Liem get back in it. The speed specialist went into full attack mode before finishing Erigaisi off in style to level the score at 2-2 and take it to tiebreaks.

The $150,000 event’s two-day final starts tomorrow with the first match being a best of four games encounter. The second match will take place on Sunday when the winner will be crowned.

Play begins at 18:00 CEST on Saturday with live commentary available on chess24.com.

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