Rose debug info

Wesley So and Richard Rapport move to the Armageddon semifinals

Author: Maria Fragaki

Day 5 of the World Chess Armageddon witnessed intense battles, culminating in Wesley So and Richard Rapport advancing to the Armageddon semifinals. Unfortunately, this meant bidding farewell to Humpy Koneru and Gukesh, both of whom exited the competition. Tomorrow at 19:00 CEST, the winners will face off for three coveted spots in the Grand Finale, promising another thrilling showdown.

Photo by Max Avdeev / World Chess

Humpy Koneru vs Wesley So

Game 1 kicked off with the Queens Gambit and both players maintaining a pulse rate exceeding 140, setting the stage for an intense battle. Humpy’s ability to perform exceptionally well with less than 20 seconds on the clock, a situation she frequently found herself in during this game, was remarkable. However, as GM Simon Williams pointed out, the question remained, “How long can she do it?”

India’s top-ranked female player found it challenging to hold her position, ultimately blundering a pawn and defending what appeared to be a completely lost game. Wesley capitalized on this advantage and secured the first point of the match.

Facing a must-win situation, Humpy attempted to introduce complexities into the game, but Wesley adeptly maintained a balanced position, ultimately transitioning to an endgame featuring queens and opposite-colored bishops. Humpy’s decision to retain the queens on the board in pursuit of greater winning prospects, however, did not yield the desired outcome. Instead, this strategy backfired, leading to her defeat as a result of a devastating king’s attack by Wesley.

Richard Rapport vs Gukesh

The highly anticipated match of the day between Rapport and Gukesh certainly lived up to expectations in terms of technical prowess and chess excellence. The battle, characterized by opposite-colored bishops, typically favors the player who can initiate a successful king’s attack. In this case, it was Gukesh who seemed to hold the upper hand. India’s top-ranked player continued to press for a marginal advantage, but as the game progressed into a frantic time scramble, he gradually lost control of the position, resulting in his defeat.

In Game 2, Gukesh found himself in a do-or-die situation. Rapport opted for a more restrained approach, steering the game towards a knights versus bishops endgame—a highly intricate scenario with both players operating under the 30-second mark. Gukesh, with the knights in his arsenal, chose a tactical path, but unfortunately, it didn’t yield the desired results. He ultimately lost the game, resulting in his elimination from the competition.

Day 6 SEMIFINALS pairings, 19:00 CEST

Jan-Krzysztof Duda – Nodirbek Abdusattorov
Wesley So – Richard Rapport


Find all you need to know about the Armageddon Grand Finale, here.

Watch the games on a chessboard, here.

Rewatch Day 5 broadcast

Subscribe to this blog