Vincent Keymer emerged victorious in Division II of the Chessable Masters, securing a spot in Division I against Sarana of the next Champions Chess Tour event. After defeating strong grandmasters, including Levon Aronian, Keymer faced Aronian in the Grand Final. In the first match, Aronian secured a win with the white pieces, but Keymer bounced back, leading to an Armageddon decider. Aronian, playing with the black pieces, showcased a brilliant exchange sacrifice on move 21, securing victory. Despite Keymer’s efforts to salvage a win with the white pieces, he resigned on move 63, giving Aronian the victory.
The result prompted a 2-game Reset, where Keymer secured back-to-back wins. Notably, Keymer mirrored Aronian’s exchange sacrifice strategy in the Grand Final’s sudden-death decider. Aronian, compelled to win after losing the first game, over-pressed and suffered a second consecutive defeat, allowing Keymer to clinch the overall victory.
In Division III, Alexey Sarana faced Alexander Grischuk in the Grand Final, having defeated him in the final of the winners’ bracket. The two players engaged in a series of nine decisive games, with Grischuk initially winning the Grand Final by a 3-1 score. However, Sarana, akin to Keymer, secured two consecutive wins in the Reset.
In the final game of the tournament, Sarana capitalized on a dominating advantage in a materially balanced position. Despite Black equalizing material with 56…Nxa5, Sarana strategically played 57.Re7, controlling the open b-file, positioning his rook on the seventh rank, and leveraging a dangerous passer on the d-file. With patience, Sarana converted his advantage into a 75-move victory.
The Chessable Masters showcased strategic brilliance, exchange sacrifices, and intense competition, leaving Keymer as the champions of their respective divisions.
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