Chess: Firouzja checkmates Carlsen in mid-board but loses semi to Artemiev

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Leonard Barden

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The 18-year-old showed his best online form yet, but lost to the 23-year-old from Omsk in an Armageddon tie-break while Carlsen reached the Aimchess US Rapid final with smooth victories

Alireza Firouzja, at 18 the world’s best teenage chess player and in the eyes of many the heir apparent to Magnus Carlsen’s global crown, surged again this week as he reached the semi-final of the Aimchess US Rapid, checkmated Carlsen, and knocked out the other online Tour leader, US champion Wesley So.

The Iran-born talent, who now represents France, honed his skills via the internet, yet his performances on the Meltwater Champions Tour had been too inconsistent to qualify directly for the final in San Francisco later this month. All that changed in the last few days at the Aimchess US Rapid, when Firouzja checkmated Carlsen’s king in mid-board.

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