Both the world champion from Norway and the world number four from the United Stated scored convincing victories in round four of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament but they still did not manage to out-perform Ukranian Pavel Eljanov, this year’s surprise of the tournament.

Eljanov said after his matchup with Adhiban Baskaran from India that the outcome of that game remained unclear for a long time. And: ‘We both kept the pressure on so everything was possible.’ It was only in the resulting bishop ending that it became clear that Eljanov – although a pawn down – would score his third victory in four days and would stay in the lead with 3,5 points. True, he did not encounter the toughest possible opposition in the Masters yet but on the other hand his opponents so far were no clutzes either.

Carlsen and So share second place with 3 points.

Carlsen beat Chinese prodigy Wei Yi who missed – according to some spectators – a not so obvious tactical threat in a drawish endgame position. The world champion from Norway did not hesitate and his first serious blow in the game caused an immediate knock out.

So was too strong for Loek van Wely, who has not showed his best form in the first part of the tournament. With the white pieces the Dutch grandmaster only managed a slightly worse position out of the opening. According to the engines somewhere in the remainder of the game there was an escape route for Van Wely but when he did not take that So did not show any remorse anymore.

Tomorrow Van Wely can take some revenge in IJmuiden where the grandmasters will face the challenge of a soccer match against Telstar a Dutch second division team.

Jul 06, 2023

Fabiano Caruana taking the $100,000 top prize

Fabiano Caruana drew a sharp game against Richard Rapport to finish in clear first place in the Superbet Chess Classic, taking the $100,000 top prize and the maximum 13 Grand Chess Tour points. His pursuers could all only draw, though that was a good result for Anish Giri after he stumbled into a lost position against Ian Nepomniachtchi. Ding Liren regained the world no. 3 spot after ending with a fine win over Bogdan-Daniel Deac.

Five players went into the final round of the Superbet Chess Classic with a chance of catching or overtaking leader Fabiano Caruana with a win, but in the end none of them managed.

The live rating list:


That left the final standings as follows, with Fabiano Caruana picking up $100,000 while the four players in second place took home $42,750 each. He was never in danger in a single game and could have scored more. He missed a chance against Bogdan-Daniel Deac in the first round, and his one real regret was a failure to turn a huge advantage against Alireza Firouzja into a full point.

The next event on the Grand Chess Tour, the Superbet Warsaw Rapid & Blitz, starts in just six days, with six of the same players competing. We won’t get to see Ding Liren vs. Magnus Carlsen just yet, however, since Ding has been granted a much needed break!

See also:

Aug 21, 2017

STL Rapid & Blitz final standings

Levon Aronian overcame a stuttering start on the final day to cruise to victory in the St. Louis Rapid and Blitz. He was home and dry with two rounds to spare, but won both those games anyway to finish three points clear of Sergey Karjakin and Hikaru Nakamura in second place. The best news on the final day, though, was that Garry Kasparov finally got to have some fun, winning with a whirlwind attack against Fabiano Caruana, outplaying Hikaru Nakamura and then getting what it crossed his mind might be a last win in the Najdorf against Leinier Dominguez.

Levon went into the final day of the tournament two points ahead of Hikaru Nakamura, and as fate would have it his first opponent was Hikaru. He had the white pieces, so would he go for a knockout punch? Not exactly! The players managed the impressive task of repeating the position three times for a draw by move 15.

If that was a disappointment, though, the post-game interview with Christian Chirila was wonderful. Levon, for once, wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to say. Or perhaps he was sure, but he wasn’t sure if he should say it. Or perhaps he really just hadn’t slept so well, even though he had.

Perhaps the unease (if not fear!) Levon felt explaining what he’d done followed into his next game, where he suffered only his second loss of the blitz, in a rook ending against David Navara. Sergey Karjakin was on fire and closed the gap to one point, and then in Round 3 Levon found himself a pawn down against Le Quang Liem. That was when it all changed for him, though, as the Vietnamese player lost on time while Navara took down Karjakin. Levon later commented: “That gave me the boost that even though I played terribly I’m still coming back”.

He’s always played best when the pressure’s off, though, and Aronian ended with wins over Caruana and Dominguez to finish with 9 wins, 2 losses and 7 draws in the blitz for an overall score of 24.5/36, half a point more than Carlsen and MVL in Paris and one point less than Magnus in Leuven:

You can watch that interview, and the whole of the day’s show, below:

Apr 06, 2020

Magnus Carlsen launches online chess super-tournament

The Magnus Carlsen Invitational sees the World Chess Champion challenge seven of his biggest rivals to a 2-week, $250,000 battle. The 8-player online event starting April 18th will fill the current void in top-level chess, and indeed sport in general, allowing chess fans to get back to watching the best players each day. Every move will be streamed live on chess24, complete with commentary in 9 languages.

The end of the Candidates Tournament signaled the end of traditional over-the-board chess for what may be many months to come, but we’re fortunate that chess is an activity perfectly suited to online play. Magnus commented:

The Magnus Carlsen Invitational
The $250,000 event starts on April 18th and ends on May 3rd, with the following format:

  • 8 players first compete in a single round-robin over 7 rounds
  • Each match features four 15+10 rapid games, where the winner gets 3 match points & the loser 0
  • If the match ends 2:2 an Armageddon game (5 vs. 4 minutes) is played, with the winner getting 2 points and the loser 1
  • The top four players after Round 7 enter the Final Four knockout – if match points are equal, game points are the first tiebreaker
  • The semi-finals, 3rd place match and final use the same 4-game match system and decide the overall winner
  • Every move will be broadcast live on chess24 with computer analysis and commentary in 9 languages. For Rounds 1-6 two matches will be played simultaneously, with each round played over two days, while for Round 7 all four matches will take place together. Players not involved on a particular day will at times join the commentary or play Banter Blitz against chess24 users, while we’ll also have player interviews after each day’s action.

The tournament will be a great chance for new fans to get interested in chess, and to make their chess journey much easier the full premium version of the Magnus Trainer app (Android, iOS) will be available for free from now and during the tournament. Enter the “school licence” INVITATION for the perfect stay-at-home activity! Full details on how to enter the code here.
The format with four rapid games in a day isn’t accidental, since Magnus is on record as wanting it to be used for the classical World Championship itself. He explained in an interview after his victory over Fabiano Caruana in 2018:

Some very big names have already confirmed their participation, and we’ll keep you up-to-date as the line-up is finalized. Meanwhile, Magnus Carlsen is in action in the Banter Blitz Cup. Today he takes on Swedish no. 1 Nils Grandelius in the quarterfinals at 19:00 CEST.

read more at chess24