GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Wesley So are leading their Clutch Chess semifinal matches 6-2 against GM Levon Aronian and GM Fabiano Caruana, respectively. The matches were identical with Carlsen and So winning the first two games as well as game five, the first clutch game.
How to watch?
The games of the Clutch Chess Champions Showdown can be found here, and the Saint Louis Chess Club live coverage can be found here. GM Robert Hess is providing daily commentary on his Twitch channel. The games start at 1 p.m. Pacific time/20:00 Central European time each day.
“I think the whole day I’ve been playing terribly. It all started with the first game, where I just self-mated,” Aronian started his interview after day one of the semifinals. His loss in the first game against Carlsen might have influenced his subsequent play, although the Armenian GM mostly blame his clock handling:
“I can’t say anything to my defense. I knew this was a thing to avoid against Magnus and I allowed myself to get into it. You shouldn’t go down on time against him. It’s a big mistake.”
It probably helped that Carlsen simply didn’t panic when that first game was going downhill for him: “I didn’t approach it as a difficult situation. Clearly he was winning on the queenside but I felt I had serious counter-chances on the kingside, so I didn’t think that was too remarkable actually.”