Chess: Carlsen wins in Norway with 91 moves before $ 2 million game | Magnus carlsen


As November’s 14-game 2021 World Championship clash in Dubai draws near, Norwegian defending champion Magnus Carlsen continues his busy tournament and media schedule, while Russian challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi retires. events or plays them in second position. or third gear.

Nepomniachtchi, the current world number 4, is said to have assembled a strong team of assistants, including the 2004 title challenger and famous online commentator Peter Leko, as well as the cream of Russian analytical talent. La Fide is ostensibly neutral, but there is no doubt that its energetic president, Arkady Dvorkovich, would privately view the individual crown as a welcome addition to the team gold of the Online Olympics where Russia defeated the United States in final.

Last week, Carlsen made his way from behind with four grueling and contested successive wins in the end to take first prize in the traditional tournament in Stavanger, where 18-year-old Alireza Firouzja finished second and entered the tournament. the world’s top 10.

Carlsen called it a “really satisfying victory” and said: “I worked really hard. Every victory I had to win. It wasn’t sparkling at all, but I left with everything I could have hoped for.

That should have been more than enough reason for the No.1 to take a well-deserved rest, but instead the 30-year-old flew straight to Ohrid, North Macedonia, to lead his squad. ‘Oslo, Offerspillen, at the European Club Cup.

Carlsen’s first opponent at Ohrid was unknown Belgian amateur Jelle Sarrau, 33, of club Zuid-Limburg, who scored 481 points below the champion’s stratospheric 2,855 but confused expectations by digging into white pieces for a totally locked position. Carlsen is the ultimate endgame crusher, while Time Limit was an increasingly popular version where after move 40 players only have a 30 second increment per move. So the champion rose, then flip-flopped with his queen, bishop, and king for nearly 50 moves until a confused smock finally blundered and resigned on move 91.

In the next round, Carlsen had White and his victory was faster and smoother, a classic demonstration of the hidden pawn weaknesses that Black facilitated by picking up with his bishop on move 23.

The Euroclub Cup ends on Friday, then returns directly to Oslo for the week-long $ 1.5million Meltwater Champions Tour final, where Carlsen is set to play nine mini-matches against top-tier opposition led by the US champion , Wesley So. Even that’s not the end of it, as on October 22 the champion is set to participate in a live virtual Q&A session by Mastercard, which has just been announced as a partner of the 2022 Champions Tour and which has named Carlsen as the one of his global brand ambassadors along with Lionel Messi and Naomi Osaka.

Meanwhile, far from the pomp, Nepomniachtchi quietly continues his discreet preparations. The Muscovite’s last pre-match appearance was in Stavanger, where he drew in both classic matches with Carlsen, lost twice in Armageddon tie-breaks and was fourth of six. I spoiled “but I added enigmatically” at the same time it was, I think, quite useful “.

Challenger’s compatriot Sergey Karjakin, who drew 6-6 for the crown at New York 2016 before losing in the speed tie-breaks, said of Carlsen: “He’s strong, but he’s got it. made mistakes. If he makes similar mistakes in the game, I think Ian will be ready and take his chance. To underline his priorities, Nepomniachtchi, who had qualified for the precious final at Meltwater, withdrew at a moment’s notice.

Carlsen easily won his first world championship game, with Indian Vishy Anand in 2013, against soft resistance, but none of his three title defenses since have been fully convincing.

In his rematch with Anand in 2014 with the score of 2-2, Carlsen blundered badly in Game 5, but the Indian failed to notice the winning shot and lost the match and later the streak. .

Karjakin also missed a good opportunity at New York 2016 when, 4.5-3.5 ahead of Carlsen with four games to go, he missed a likely winning queen’s move in his 39th round and instead made a sacrifice. crazy who only made a draw. Then in Carlsen against Fabiano Caruana in London 2018, the American challenger had a winning position in the eighth game (out of 12) but spoiled it.

Carlsen appreciates his place in chess history and will be well aware that his record in title matches lacks wins to compare with Garry Kasparov’s convincing wins over Nigel Short in 1993 and Anand in 1995, without talk about Bobby Fischer’s legendary crushes in 1970. -72, even if they were only candidate matches because Fischer never defended his world Fide crown.

A big win over Nepomniachtchi would strengthen Carlsen’s legacy, and he arguably decided that the best chance of achieving this was to shorten his preparation time and steer his approach towards an early start in the actual match, and then to maintain momentum. We will see.

Out-of-the-box tournament appearances by England’s top grandmasters have been very rare since the start of the pandemic, but this week three of them are in action, and all three have started well.

Luke McShane leads the Manx Liberty Masters in Douglas, Isle of Man with 4.5 / 6, while in Malmö, Sweden, in the first round of the traditional Sigeman & Co tournament, Nigel Short beat the French number 3, Étienne Bacrot, and Gauvain Jones won against Dane Jonas Bjerre.

3782: 1 … Nb4 +! 2 Qxd8 Nc4 + 3 Ke1 Nc2 mate.


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