Keymer besiegt Niemann, unterliegt Caruana

Keymer defeats Niemann, loses to Caruana

From September 25th to 29th, the AI ​​Cup will take place online as part of the Champions Chess Tour. The Champions Chess Tour is the most important online tournament or tournament series, for which theoretically any player can qualify. However, you have to go through a few qualifying tournaments. This opportunity is mainly used by the top German players, who, as grandmasters, are directly entitled to the final qualifying tournament. If you finish in the top 8 in the last qualifying tournament, which is held in the Swiss system, you still have to play a knockout match. Victory in the final knockout match qualifies you for Division 1, where you can face seeded players such as Magnus Carlsen, among others. Dmitrij Kollars managed to do this a few months ago. He then met Alireza Firouzja in Division 1 of the "Main Tournament".

In the currently ongoing AI Cup, Vincent Keymer was the only German to make it into Division 2. This is intended for all players who finished in places 9 to 32 in the last qualifying tournament or who lost in the knockout battle of the top eight.

Division 2 of the main tournament is played as a double knockout. If you lose a match you go into the "loser half", if you lose another match you are out. Vincent started the tournament with a win against Aram Akobyan, only to then lose to former Russian Vladimir Fedoseev.

Things got really exciting for Vincent in the so-called "loser bracket". Hans Niemann was waiting for him, whose self-proclaimed goal is to become "the best player" in the world. The starting position was clear. Whoever lost the mini-match, which was played best of 2, was out of the competition. Niemann is currently in Mexico, where he is taking part in the Junior World Championship. But it is not Niemann who is currently in the lead, but Ruben Köllner from Deizisau, who currently shares the top spot with several other players with 5 out of 6.

Vincent had no problems against the scandal-hit Niemann. While the first game ended in a relatively unspectacular draw, Vincent won the second thanks to his much better preparation.
Vincent met his match in the world-class player Fabiano Caruana, who has significantly improved his skills in the fast time controls in recent years. Vincent lost both games with relatively little chance.

Nevertheless, Vincent has shown once again that he has reached the world class. It is clear that the next step could soon come and that he will finally be competing for the top spots.