World news – Chess: Magnus Carlsen about to be eliminated from his own tournament


The world champion lost the first set of his semi-finals to Ian Nepomniachtchi in the $ 200,000 Carlsen Invitational

Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, had a tough time in the $ 1.5 million online Meltwater Champions Tour was supported by his own company, Play Magnus Group. There are 10 qualifying tournaments leading to a final in the fall of 2021, and 30-year-old Carlsen, who won the 2020 tour, has been eliminated three times so far this year. The three events were won by US champion Wesley So (twice) and Azerbaijani grandmaster Teimour Radjabov.

Tour event # 4 this week is the $ 200,000 Magnus Carlsen Invitational, and Carlsen made it clear early on that he intended to regain its status. He won the group stage, in which eight quarter-finalists were decided with a record result, and defeated Levon Aronian in the former Armenian’s first event since he announced his move to the US.

Carlsen’s semi-finals on Thursday and Friday are against the World Champion No. 4 and the current Russian Champion Ian Nepomniachtchi. « Nepo », as he is commonly called, has not yet aroused the interest of western chess fans to the same extent as the urbane eight-time Russian champion Peter Svidler, the challenger to the 2016 world championship title, Sergey Karjakin, or the creative and imaginative Daniil Dubov.

This could change soon. Nepomniachtchi is not only close to beating Carlsen on Friday, but also has a lifelong plus against the Norwegian in his classic one-on-one games. He is the co-leader of the Candidates Tournament, which was stopped by the Covid -19 pandemic a year ago, and will resume on April 19th in the same location, Ekaterinburg in the Urals.

Carlsen was not the only one on Was in trouble Thursday night. The first set 2.5-1.5 fell to the clever Dutchman Anish Giri and will be in a must-win situation when the two semi-finals resume on Friday at 4 p.m. Games are live and free to watch, with commentary from grandmasters and computers.

Previously, So won two brilliant games. The climax of his sacrificial attack against Aronian, who played under the US flag for the first time, included the rare opportunity at the end of a queen sacrifice followed by a pawn promotion to knight, and would have made this week’s riddle differently, but that was another, more banal final was possible.

Then, in his quarter-final against the child prodigy Alireza Firouzja, So probably brought about the previous move of the tournament with his 17 Bd3! which resulted in a winning position and an actual checkmate.

As part of his preparation, Carlsen played two one-minute bullet matches against Firouzja, who had beaten him in similar matches a year ago but now lost decisively.

The most interesting Game was Carlsen’s use of the Grand Prix Attack, a formidable weapon on the English weekend circuit in the 1970s. It was a good choice as the heyday of the Grand Prix attack was decades before the birth of 17-year-old Firouzja and he probably knew little about it.

Dave Rumens, one of the GPA’s leading practitioners, let the f1- Bishop of White back on c4 or b3 while attacking the king’s side with f4-f5 and Qe1-h4. Mark Hebden, another weekend specialist, played Bb5xc6 before switching to the other flank.

Carlsen did it very differently, playing a3 and Bc4-a2 to avoid replacing his key bishop, and only then went on the other flank in front. There are very few examples of this approach. Will we now see a revival of the Grand Prix Attack based on the strategy of the World Champion?

1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 d6 3 f4 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 Bc4 Nc6 6 a3 !? e6 7 0-0 Nge7 8 ​​d3 0-0 9 Ba2 Rb8 10 Qe1 b5?! 11 f5! exf5 12 Qh4 Ne5 ?? 13 Bg5! Rb7 14 Nd5 Re8 15 exf5 Bxf5 16 Rae1 h6 17 Nf6 Kf8? 18 Bxh6 Ng8 19 Nh7 buddy.

3715: 1 Rxf8! Step back. If Kxf8 2 Bxe7 Kxe7 3 Rxg7 Kf8 4 Rf7 Kg8 5 Nf6 Kh8 6 Nxh5 and White will soon pair with Nf6 and Rh7.

Related title :
Chess: Magnus Carlsen on shortly before he was eliminated from his own tournament
2021 Magnus Carlsen Invitational: Giri, Nepomniachtchi leadership in the semifinals
MCI 6: Nepo and Giri shock Carlsen and So
Magnus Invitational: Nepomniachtchi stuns Carlsen
Wesley So, Magnus Carlsen Trail semi-final opponent
So drops semi opener on Giri in Magnus Carlsen Invitational


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