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Opera Euro Rapid Day 3: Vidit misses against Carlsen

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/02/2021

Vidit Gujrathi had a fantastic opportunity against Carlsen as he had a huge advantage and if he spotted the correct intermediate move who knows Vidit might have been in the knockout stage of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Opera Euro Rapid. After that Vidit scored four solid draws to finish his tournament with 6.5/15. Carlsen, Giri, So, Aronian, Vachier-Lagrave, Duda, Radjabov and Dubov advance to the next stage by finishing in the top eight. Quarter-Finals starts tonight from 9:30 p.m. IST. Catch the live stream with IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal on our youtube channel. Photo: chess24 Live stream

Duda-Dubov an epic thriller, Carlsen self-destructs against Ding Liren

Both Carlsen and Giri finished the prelims with 9.5/15 to advance to the Quarter-Finals. However, Carlsen imploded against Ding Liren as he went ultra aggressive which completely backfired. The loss did not cost much to Carlsen. Giri on the other hand made four draws and scored his sole win of the day against Bluebaum. Although he had good chances against Duda in the endgame. Duda-Dubov stole the day as the played an epic game. Vidit had a good chance against Carlsen but he could not capitalize on it.

Vidit had a fantastic chance against Carlsen | Photo: chess24 live stream

Round 11: Vidit almost gets the better of Carlsen

Dubov dominated Leinier in the endgame.

Leinier - Dubov

Position after 31.Nd5 | Photo: chess24 live stream

Black already had a favorable position. 31.Nd5 only helped Dubov as black is comfortable with the exchange at e3 as the resultant Rook and Pawn endgame is winning for black and the Nf4 threat can easily be defended.

Duda had was completely winning against Shankland but he missed a very good opportunity to gain some material.

Duda - Shankland

Position after 27...Rb6

Find out what Duda missed after 27...Rb6

Vidit had a good opportunity against Carlsen. He missed an intermediate move in the endgame where things could have gone in his favor had he played it.

Vidit - Carlsen

Position after 23.Nd3 | Photo: chess24 live stream

White is already better in the above position. 23...cxd4 only made things worse for black. White couldn't find the best move and continued the game with 24.Nxd4 and equalized things. What did white miss?

Position after 28...Ne6

White could have still salvaged a draw after 28...Ne6. How? The game went on with 29.Nb3 which only accelerated white's demise.

Finishing off Magnus Carlsen is not easy! | Video: Sagar Shah

Round 12: Dubov smashes Ding Liren

Dubov played in his usual aggressive style and Ding Liren made an incorrect response.

Dubov - Ding Liren

Position after 14...Bb7

Find out why 14...Bb7 is a big mistake. Dubov found the correct continuation obviously and wrapped up the game in another four moves.

Carlsen once again gave a chance to his opponent, this time it was Radjabov who missed a wonderful opportunity.

Carlsen - Radjabov

Position after 17...Rc6 | Photo: chess24 live stream

It is evident that black has the upper hand here. However 18.cxd5 made things much worse than it was before. Black could not find the correct continuation and instead played 18...Nxd5. What did he miss?

Vidit made a quiet draw with Vachier-Lagrave.

Aronian made a short work of Nepomniachtchi in 27 moves with a brilliant positional play in the endgame.

Giri scored a comfortable victory against Bluebaum after the German gave up an exchange for not enough compensation.

Shankland got an initiative against Grischuk but he could not seize the opportunity.

Shankland - Grischuk

Position after 17...Kf7

The game went on with 18.Kb1 and white did the same after a move but the structure changed as black played 18...b6. Eventually white lost all his advantaged and the game turned out to be a draw.

Leinier beat Duda in just 27 moves after the latter misjudged his opponent's attack on the kingside. It eventually cost the Pole a knight and the game.

Leinier - Duda

Position after 18...Qd7

18...Qd7 at a first glance might look to be an unassuming move but a careful inspection reveals how bad that is for black and it can help white to completely turn things around which is what exactly Leinier did in the game.

Round 13: A mindblowing encounter between Duda and Dubov

When these two face each other, one should always expect nothing less than fireworks. This time they did not disappoint either.

Duda - Dubov

Position after 13...Be7

You have to think in a human way and ask yourself what would Duda or Dubov do after 13...Be7

Position after 25...Nh7 | Photo: chess24 live stream

White has sacrificed three minor pieces for a rook and four pawns. It is evident that white has a huge advantage here but he needs to play carefully too. What should white do after 25...Nh7

Position after 32...Nf6

32...Nf6 is a blunder as white has a beautiful finish. Try to find it. Dubov in the end had an opportunity to do a perpetual but he perhaps missed it due to time scramble.

Duda even thanked Dubov for such a crazy game.

Grischuk went wrong early in the opening against Leinier and could not make a comeback for the rest of the game.

Grischuk - Leinier

Position after 10.Qd2

Find out why 10.Qd2 is a mistake. White eventually lost two pawns which cost him the game.

Nepomniachtchi slowed down a bit in launching his attack which allowed his opponent Bluebaum to launch a faster and deadlier attack which was decisive.

Nepomniachtchi - Bluebaum

Position after 27.g3

Find out why 27.g3 is a mistake and what white should have done instead.

Vidit made a solid draw with So.

Radjabov had plenty of chances against Vachier-Lagrave but he missed them all.

Radjabov - Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 39...Qe5

How should white make the most out of black's exposed king after 39...Qe5 ?

Carlsen's ultra aggressive play against Ding Liren completely backfired as the world champion brought himself to a corner before blundering further to lose the game.

Ding Liren - Carlsen

Position after 15...h3 | Photo: chess24 live stream

Carlsen went 14...g4 15.hxg4 h3 and we got the above diagram. However white can defend his position which Ding Liren showed and eventually won the game comfortably without being in any real danger throughout the game.

Round 14: Duda beats Grischuk

Carlsen did not get a time to catch a break as his next round opponent was Dubov who is known to be a fierce opponent and he also eliminated the world champion in the Quarter-Finals of the Airthings Masters.

Dubov - Carlsen

Position after 24...Qa6 | Photo: chess24 live stream

Carlsen had only two pawns for his minor piece deficit. White is completely winning here. The game continued with 25.Nd3, however 25.Qc4 would have been better according to the computer.

Position after 83...Rg1

Carlsen's first mistake in the extremely difficult endgame was 83...Rg1. Find out why it is a mistake. Dubov got a couple of more opportunities where he could have grabbed the g6-pawn but being low on time did not allow him to calculate accurately and the game ended up in a draw.

Vachier-Lagrave beat Ding Liren in just 24 moves with a brilliant showcase of preparation.

Vachier-Lagrave - Ding Liren

Position after 19...e5

Black's first big mistake was 19...e5 which weakened his light squares.

Position after 22...exf4

The final mistake was 22...exf4 as after 23.Rxf4 white has both bishops and g1-rook ready to pounce on black's kingside. Black resigned after 23...Qf5 24.Qd2.

Vidit made a solid draw with Aronian.

Nakamura scored an 86-move long grueling victory over Bluebaum.

Grischuk went quite passive against Duda.

Duda - Grischuk

Position after 20...Nd7

Black needed to play 20...Nxe4 to have any semblance of counterplay. 20...Nd7 completely eliminated that.

Position after 23...dxc5

Black drove the final nail to its coffin with 23...dxc5. Find out white's best continuation.

Round 15: Leinier and Shankland eliminated Nepomniachtchi and Nakamura

Giri had some winning chances in the endgame against Duda.

Giri - Duda

Position after 27...a5

Find out the best plan for white after 27...a5. Duda eventually managed to salvage a draw and secure his spot in the knockout stage.

Leinier beat Nepomniachtchi to shatter his chances of advancing to the next stage. It was Nepomniacthchi who launched an incorrect attack which weakened his own position.

Nepomniachtchi - Leinier

Position after 40.f5

Find out why 40.f5 is a big mistake, apart from the fact that it exposes white's own king and increases its vulnerability.

Nakamura was completely winning against Shankland but he completely misplayed and lost the game.

Nakamura - Shankland

Position after 33...Qe7 | Photo: chess24 live stream

Find out the simplest winning plan for white after 33...Qe7

Position after 40.Bh4

Soon afterwards Nakamura blundered with 40.Bh4 and Shankland turned things in his favor with the obvious 40...dxe4 and white lost the a7-knight for no compensation.

Vidit had quite an advantage against Bluebaum but he could not capitalize it and the game eventually ended up in a draw.

Replay all Round 11-15 games from Day 3

Replay the live stream

Opera Euro Rapid | Champions Chess Tour Day 3 Live Commentary | Video: ChessBase India

Standings after Round 15

Both Carlsen and Giri finish the prelims with 9.5/15 | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Knockout Brackets

Carlsen-Dubov is definitely going to be the clash to watch out for | Photo: Champions Chess Tour


Everyday game starts at 9:30 p.m. IST


Total Prize fund is US$ 100000 | Photo: Champions Chess Tour


Official site

Tournament Regulations

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