Aronian defeats Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi in Global Chess League

Aronian defeats Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi in Global Chess League


GM Levon Aronian and the Triveni Continental Kings stole the show on day nine of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League 2023, winning vs. both the SG Alpine Warriors and Balan Alaskan Knights to join the tie for first.

Aronian defeated fellow icons, GMs Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi, paving the way for team victory along with GM Wei Yi, who also went 2-0, beating formidable GMs Arjun Erigaisi and Teimour Radjabov.

The GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda-led Chingari Gulf Titans scored a compelling victory vs. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave‘s UpGrad Mumba Masters, going undefeated with three wins. 

The Upgrad Mumba Masters bounced back in a must-win match vs. the Ganges Grandmasters with pivotal wins by GMs Humpy Koneru and Javokhir Sindarov.

The action will continue on July 1, starting at 7:00 a.m. ET/13:00 CEST.

How to watch?

You can follow the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League 2023 on our events page here. The event is being streamed on numerous TV channels, as well as on the GCL’s YouTube Channel

Round Eight  

Round Nine

UpGrad Mumba Masters 3-12 Chingari Gulf Titans 

In round three, these two teams played to a complete tie, drawing on every single board. Today was an entirely different story. The Chingari Gulf Titans achieved the most convincing win of the day with three victories and no losses.

GM Daniil Dubov defeated GM Vidit Santosh, who seemed to be off balance from the start, blundering a pawn and later a bishop.

With the kings castled to opposite sides, IM Polina Shuvalova crashed through first, rushing all her pieces at GM Harika Dronavalli‘s kingside.

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk seized her chance for a comeback vs. Humpy, setting up unstoppable checkmate threats.

Final Position

The Titans rose out of their previous defeats to shake up the leaderboard. The UpGrad Mumba Masters now need to win both of their remaining matches to have any chance at making the final. 

The Titans are still happy to play tournament spoilers. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Triveni Continental Kings 10-8 SG Alpine Warriors

In round three, the Warriors defeated the Kings by a mere point due to GM Praggnanandhaa R.‘s win with Black outweighing GM Yu Yangyi‘s with White―while all the other games ended in draws. This was the Kings’ chance to strike back.

Aronian served Carlsen his first loss with the white pieces, sinking pieces into the holes around the Norwegian icon’s king for a decisive mating attack. Can you find the move Carlsen should have played here?

White to move.

It’s nice to see Carlsen take his blunder light-heartedly. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In the final moment of the game, Carlsen and Aronian shared a laugh. Aronian had an explanation for why:

“Quite often it happens. You see the move you were going to play is a blunder, and then suddenly on the last three seconds you decide to play it because you forgot. This has happened to me many times, and that’s why we were laughing because I thought the same happened to Magnus.”

Later Carlsen himself explained what had happened.

Praggnanandhaa won yet again to reach 7.5 points, navigating his way out of a tactical minefield vs. GM Jonas Bjerre and outplaying him in the time scramble queen ending.

Fellow Indian prodigy GM Gukesh D. defeated Yu, leaving the fate of the match hanging on the close game Wei vs. Erigaisi. Wei fought his way to an extra pawn and soon found a winning resource. How would you go about converting this ending?

Black to move.

This was a critical victory for the Kings, keeping them in contention as the rounds tick by. 

Ganges Grandmasters 4-10 UpGrad Mumba Masters

Entering the round in fifth on the scoreboard, the UpGrad Mumba Masters had their backs against the wall, greatly in need of another victory over the Ganges Grandmasters, who they defeated with Black in round four. 

The first blood was shed on the prodigy board. Sindarov escaped his own kingside troubles by setting up a sneaky trap vs. GM Andrey Esipenko.

Checkmate out of the blue, courtesy of White’s bishop pair

The impressive audacity of sneaking a mate in one trick vs. a fellow grandmaster. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

On the icon board, Vachier-Lagrave held a pawn down ending vs. GM Viswanathan Anand.

Humpy added to the Masters’ lead, chasing GM Hou Yifan‘s king down in the center in an all-out attacking brawl.

After Vidit saved a worse position vs. GM Leiner Dominguez, GM Alexander Grischuk and GM Harika Dronavalli‘s games settled into draws, sealing a convincing and undefeated victory for the UpGrad Mumba Masters over one of the leading teams. 

Balan Alaskan Knights 9-10 Triveni Continental Kings

In their previous encounter in round four, the Kings won a close match with both sides winning two games but the Kings winning with Black. Now that the Knights have the chance to play for the more valuable black wins, who would come out on top?

IM Sara Khadem claimed the first win for the Kings, snatching an extra piece when GM Nino Batsiashvili blundered a subtle tactic. 

Newcomer Khadem has scored two key victories for her team. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Wei was able to create the chaotic attacking chances he thrives in vs. Radjabov, crashing through his opponent’s kingside by any means necessary and coming out on top in their double-edged wrestling match. Wei’s explosive sixth victory of the event is our Game of the Day, analyzed by GM Dejan Bojkov

Wins by GM Raunak Sadhwani and GM Tan Zhongyi for the Knights meant that the Kings’ icon Aronian was their last hope―in a must-win position vs. Nepomniachtchi. The legendary American grandmaster was up to the task, converting his material advantage with ease. 

Aronian has been on an incredible comeback over the last two days, embarking on a three-game winning streak in which he’s defeated Duda, Carlsen, and Nepomniachtchi back-to-back. 

With this team victory, the Kings join a three-way tie in match points with the leaders, the Ganges Grandmasters and the SG Alpine Warriors.

The stage is set for a riveting day tomorrow to see which two teams will make it to the final. 

Global Chess League Standings After Day 9

# Team Played Wins   Losses Draws Game Pts Match Pts
1 Ganges Grandmasters 9 5 4 0 79 15
2 SG Alpine Warriors 8 5 3 0 69 15
3 Triveni Continental Kings 9 5 4 0 68 15
4 UpGrad Mumba Masters 9 4 4 1 65 13
5 Chingari Gulf Titans 8 3 4 1 68 10
6 Balan Alaskan Knights  9 3 6 0 72 9

Tech Mahindra Global Chess League 2023 consists of a preliminary group stage and a final contested by the top two teams. In each match, members of the same team play with the same color. All games are in the 15+10 time control.

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