Day 9 of the Champions Chess Tour final: Carlsen wins the Tour, top scorer in Radjabov’s final
GM Teimour Radjabov won the battle for second place and $ 60,000 on the final day of the 2021 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final, having scored the most points on the final stage of the Tour. GM Magnus Carlsen, who had won the overall standings with two innings to go, took home the top prize of $ 100,000.
GM Levon Aronian finished third ($ 40,000), but it was perhaps GM Wesley So who had the most reason to be disappointed: he was the World Champion’s closest contender for the entire event. , but a few tough heats dropped him to fourth place.
The duos for the final round were as follows: GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda faced GM Hikaru Nakamura, GM Vladislav Artemiev faced GM Anish Giri, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave faced Radjabov, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov played Aronian, and finally, Carlsen had a match against So.
It was a very entertaining match, as it only took four quick games to determine the winner, and not a single one ended in a draw!
In the first game, Nakamura played a very solid variation of Queen’s Gambit Declined with Black. The Polish grandmaster brought his pieces to the wing-king and had a promising position, but then apparently miscalculated a misguided tower sacrifice. Nakamura converted his advantage quite easily.
In the next match, Nakamura played a very calm e2-e3 variant against the king’s Indian defense and quickly encountered a powerful king’s wing attack. However, Duda wedged his queen in a corner of the plateau, but managed to build a fortress; eventually, the great American master gradually worsened his position and saw him crumble. 11!
The third round was a disaster for the Polish star, who won a rather suspicious pawn at the start and found himself under a lot of pressure as Black’s pieces were significantly better developed. He never got the chance, and once again the American player took the lead, 2-1.
In the last quick play, Duda chose the French defense, to which Nakamura responded with 2.Dh5? Maybe having fun was more important to the American streaming superstar at the time. Duda got a big advantage, but mismanaged the position and saw him crumble. Nakamura won the game 3-1.
Overall, the first three games of this game were pretty solid and consistent. There were times when either side was pushing, but no one won or nearly won, and the draws seemed like a fair outcome.
But in the fourth round, Artemiev chose a rare – and recently fashionable – line! – against the Catalan. The Russian Grandmaster was under pressure, but then came up with a great trick that allowed him to get a tower and pass pawns against two pieces in a position with a lot of open files. He effortlessly ran the pawns on the board and won the game 2.5-1.5.
The first game saw the final stage in Berlin and was pretty even. At one point, Radjabov was slightly better with Black but Whites were never really in danger, so a draw seemed a reasonable result. However, in the second round, Vachier-Lagrave chose the Ragozin Defense in the Queen’s Gambit Declined, and by move 15 Black was already in trouble:
In the next match, the French star took a bit of pressure in the Berlin finals, but then had to force the draw. However, he refused to give a perpetual check while being a turn down (!) And Radjabov scored another victory, ending the match straight away: 2.5-0.5. A truly fantastic tournament for the Azeri GM, who didn’t start so well, but went on to win six games in a row.
The first game saw a mix of Ragozin / Vienna Queen’s Gambit Declined, where the Azeri star ended up with a pawn, picked it up, but pinned his coins to the roster … this quickly resulted in decisive material losses . , and Aronian took the lead.
The second round saw the birth of a very interesting pawn structure, where for a while two bishops clashed against two knights. Quite quickly the position opened up and Aronian had a bishop versus a knight and a much more active king. However, with precise play, Black kept the opponent at bay for some time. A draw seemed very possible in a tower and pawn final, but Mamedyarov couldn’t find a clear path and saw his position crumble. 2-0 for Aronian!
In the third game, the players repeated the same variation as in the first round. Mamedyarov deviated but was soon lost entirely. The Armenian number one was only looking for simplifications, traded and got a draw which got him the game 2.5-0.5. A nice finish for Levon Aronian!
The world champion had already won the round before this round, while the American grandmaster was fighting for second place in the final standings. In the first round, Carlsen continued his opening experiences (remember 1.e4 Nc6 from the eighth round) and started with 1.b3, followed by a double fianchetto. He pressed throughout the game and converted his advantage.
In the second game, the Norwegian bet again on 1.e4 Nv6, and was under a lot of pressure but managed to save a half point.
In the game there, 1.b3 met 1 … b6 but again Carlsen took the advantage with White and convincingly converted his advantage. The game ended on move 25, and Carlsen won the game 2.5-0.5 and deprived his closest rival of second on the Tour.
Magnus tweeted the following after winning:
All Round 9 games
The $ 300,000 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final will take place September 25 – October 4, 2021 on chess24. The format is a 10-player round robin, with each round playing a quick four-game match. The time control is 15 minutes for the entire game plus a 10 second increment.