World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen takes on US Champion Wesley So when the Opera Euro Rapid kicks off at 17:00 CET on Saturday. The 3rd event on the $1.5 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour features 16 players, who will be reduced to just 8 after a cut-throat 3-day preliminary stage. Tour leader Teimour Radjabov will be joined by the likes of Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren and Daniil Dubov, with Tata Steel Masters runner-up Anish Giri already eyeing a Valentine’s Day date with Magnus.

The event begins less than a week after the end of the Tata Steel Chess Masters, so for some of the players it’s a chance for redemption!

World Champion Magnus Carlsen called his Wijk aan Zee performance “shameful”, while Candidates Tournament leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave dropped 10 places on the world rankings from 5th to 15th after a disastrous event. Polish no. 1 Jan-Krzysztof Duda failed to win a game, while a great event for Dutch no. 1 Anish Giri ended bitterly in a playoff loss to another Dutch star. Still – a new week, a new goal!

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Feb 17, 2023

Magnus Carlsen called his missed win against Praggnanandhaa a “backbreaker”

Nodirbek Abdusattorov is a draw against Jorden van Foreest away from at least a playoff for the Tata Steel Masters title after he drew against Wesley So in Round 12. Anish Giri, who could have caught him, survived by the skin of his teeth against Jorden, while Magnus Carlsen called his missed win against Praggnanandhaa a “backbreaker”. Alexander Donchenko will play next year’s Masters after winning the Challengers with a round to spare.

There were ultimately only two wins in Round 12 of the Tata Steel Masters, but our commentators felt it was the most exciting round yet.

  • If Abdusattorov wins with White against Van Foreest he wins the title whatever happens elsewhere
  • If he draws, then Giri can force a blitz playoff by beating Rapport with the white pieces
  • If Nodirbek loses, then Carlsen (Black vs. Arjun) and So (Black vs. Praggnanandhaa) could reach a playoff with wins, while Anish could win the title outright with a win

Meanwhile there won’t be any last-minute drama in the Challengers, since Alexander Donchenko has already booked his place in next year’s Tata Steel Masters.

Yilmaz could still catch Donchenko, but there’s no playoff in the Challengers, and the first tiebreak is head-to-head encounter, which was won by Donchenko.

The final round of Tata Steel Chess 2023 starts two hours earlier than usual with the games kicking off at 12:00 CET (6am ET, 16:30 IST), but they’ll be visible from 12:15 due to the 15-minute delay: Tata Steel Masters | Tata Steel Challengers

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Oct 20, 2016

Magnus Carlsen went undercover to challenge hustlers in New York

He’s been called the Mozart of chess. But during a recent stroll in New York, grandmaster Magnus Carlsen was just like any other player in Washington Square Park.

The 25-year-old Norwegian, who’s the world’s best chess player, was joined by actress Liv Tyler as he challenged a number of players — and most of them had no idea who he was.

Magnus Carlsen, 25,  the top-ranking chess grandmaster in the world, went undercover to challenge hustlers in New York’s Washington Square Park

Most who faced off against Carlsen at Washington Square Park didn’t know who he was — but quickly discovered once he started beating them in 10 moves

He stopped by the Manhattan park alongside close friend Liv Tyler to challenge a number of local hustlers.
‘At the moment, I didn’t know who it was,’ said one of the players who faced off Carlsen in October 6.
‘I was just playing. I tried to win, but when I saw him make a move, already I knew it was like, you know, he’s a very strong player.

Meanwhile, 39-year-old Tyler smiled and snapped photos on her cellphone while watching Carlsen play in the park.


  • Magnus Carlsen, 25, is the top-ranking chess grandmaster in the world
  • Carlsen became a grandmaster at age 13 and, by 19, he was already considered the world’s best player
  • Carlsen and Tyler have appeared together on a number of occasions since they starred together in a fashion campaign in 2010


May 26, 2021

FTX Crypto Cup day 3

Fabiano Caruana cruised to 1st place in his debut Meltwater Champions Chess Tour preliminary stage, scoring 10/15 to finish a full point ahead of the field. He plays Ian Nepomniachtchi in the quarterfinals, after the new World Championship Challenger scraped an unlikely win against Alexander Grischuk in the final round. That almost knocked out Magnus Carlsen, with the World Champion calling it a “massive relief” that he ultimately beat Teimour Radjabov on demand. Levon Aronian and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov were the players to suffer last-round heartbreak.

See also:

  • Meltwater Champions Chess Tour website
  • FTX Crypto Cup games with computer analysis and commentary: Prelims, Knockout
  • Carlsen-Nepo as full Top 10 play $320,000 FTX Crypto Cup
  • FTX Crypto Cup Day 1: Giri leads as Carlsen struggles
  • FTX Crypto Cup Day 2: Carlsen plays 1.b4 as race blown wide open