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FTX Crypto Cup QF Day 1: Carlsen and Nakamura engage in a brutal slugfest

by Shahid Ahmed - 27/05/2021

When Carlsen and Nakamura are paired in a knockout stage, you can expect some exciting games, be it the Finals or Quarter-Finals. The match of the day of the first set of Quarter-Finals in Meltwater Champions Chess Tour FTX Crypto Cup certainly goes to Carlsen-Nakamura. The only match which had all decisive results and no dull 100+ move draws. Carlsen himself admitted getting crushed by Nakamura in the third game and not enjoying the fact of getting into must-win situations often in this event. Caruana tied the first set 2-2 with Nepomniachtchi. Watch Quarter-Finals action continue tonight on ChessBase India youtube channel from 8:30 p.m. IST. with live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal. Photo: Amruta Mokal

Giri and Vachier-Lagrave in a must-win situation

Carlsen and Nakamura traded blows in the first set of the Quarter-Finals. Both players won two games each to tie the first set 2-2. Caruana barely managed to save the first set after winning a must-win fourth game to level the score 2-2. After making three draws, Radjabov beat Giri to win the first set 2.5-1.5. So made two solid draws with Vachier-Lagrave before winning the next two games to win the first set by 1-3.

Caruana has been consistent in the entire Prelims | Photo: Lennart Ootes/FIDE

Caruana - Nepomniachtchi: 2-2

Nepomniachtchi got an early opportunity to gain a substantial advantage against Caruana.

Nepomniachtchi - Caruana, Game 1

Position after 18...Rfe8

Black's pieces are not well coordinated. How can white exploit that fact to its advantage?

Position after 39...f5

Later in the endgame, Caruana made a rare mistake of putting the pawns in the same color as his bishop, naturally it became that much more difficult to play and Nepomniachtchi had no difficulty converting his advantage into a victory.

Nepomniachtchi played a bit passively in the second game but Caruana did not seize the opportunity.

Caruana - Nepomniachtchi, Game 2

Position after 24...Be8

24...Be8 is uncalled for. Instead 24...Ba3 followed by Bb2, Bb5 active play would have been better. Caruana continued with 25.Rfe1 Rh6 but then he did not follow through. What was the plan white should have gone with? The game eventually ended up in a draw.

Third game was a well-fought draw.

Caruana won a topsy-turvy fourth game to level the set 2-2.

Caruana - Nepomniachtchi, Game 4

Position after 46...h4

One of the final mistake in the game was 46...h4. Black still would have had some fighting chances if he did not push the h-pawn.

So - Vachier-Lagrave: 3-1

First game was a solid draw. Vachier-Lagrave missed a tactical opportunity against So in the second game.

So - Vachier-Lagrave, Game 2

Position after 19.0-0

19.0-0 is a blunder. Find out why. Black missed his opportunity and continued with 19...Bxe2.

Vachier-Lagrave misplayed against So in the third game.

Vachier-Lagrave - So, Game 3

Position after 22.Bc3

22.Bc3 does not add anything to the position for white, in fact it only allows black to launch an onslaught on the kingside. So scored the first win and took 1-2 lead.

So completely outplayed Vachier-Lagrave in the fourth game to win the first set 3-1.

Nakamura - Carlsen: 2-2

Carlsen's passive play was correctly punished by Nakamura in the first game.

Nakamura - Carlsen, Game 1

Position after 16...Ne7

16...Bd5 would have made sure that things are in control for black, however 16...Ne7 shifts the balance of power to white as 17.Bg5 pins the knight. Everything still would have been fine if black had played 17...c6 but it all fell apart after 17...h6. Find out why it is a mistake.

Carlsen immediately struck back and leveled the score 1-1.

Carlsen - Nakamura, Game 2

Position after 15.Bxh6

When Carlsen plays 15.Bxh6, you know that he is playing for win only. After 15...gxh6 16.Qxh6 Bf5 17.Re5 it is clear that white is winning but what was the better defence instead of 16...Bf5 ? It is certainly not easy to find. The world champion won the game and leveled the score 1-1.

Nakamura won the third game after Carlsen played uncharacteristically and arrived at a lost endgame.

Nakamura - Carlsen, Game 3

Position after 25...e3

Things have gone terribly wrong for black so much that even 25...e3 does not help black. Nakamura once again took the lead 2-1.

Sometimes one tiny inaccuracy can have a ripple effect which just snowballs out of control. Something like that happened in Nakamura's fourth game against Carlsen.

Carlsen - Nakamura, Game 4

Position after 15...Bg6

15...Bg6 at a first glance might seem to be an unassuming move but only a careful calculation can reveal how bad it could possibly be. Carlsen slowly exploited it to his advantage and won the game to level the first set 2-2.

Radjabov - Giri: 2.5-1.5

The first game was a 161-move long dull draw when the result was obvious after just 30 moves. Radjabov got a couple of good opportunities in the second game but he missed them all.

Radjabov - Giri, Game 2

Position after 27...Nd7

What white should not do here is exchange rooks because it is quite obvious that white's rook and bishop are much more active compared to black's rook and knight. White just needs to bring his king in the action starting with 28.Kf2. However 28.Rc8+ reduced white's chances to get a decisive result.

Position after 46...Nxf4

White can still win this. Find out how. The game went on with 47.Kf6 which allowed black to salvage a draw.

Third game was an uneventful draw. Giri made a tactical error which cost him the fourth game.

Radjabov - Giri, Game 4

Position after 16...Nxd4

16...Nxd4 was a bit early. Black needed to play 16...Bf4 then things would be less unpleasant for black.

Position after 18...Nxe4

The game went on with 19.Qxd4. However there was a quicker and much more direct win here for white. What is it? Thus Radjabov won the first set 2.5-1.5

Replay all Quarter-Final games from Day 1

Replay the live stream

FTX Crypto Cup Quarter-Final Day 1 | Champions Chess Tour Live Commentary | Video: ChessBase India

Quarter-Final Day 1 results

Caruana and Carlsen managed to level the first by winning the last game | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Knockout Brackets

Only Radjabov and So has an advantage so far | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

Everyday game starts at 8:30 p.m. IST

Links

Official site

Tournament Regulations


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Vidit and Praggnanandhaa set for Meltwater Champions Chess Tour New in Chess Classic

@ 17/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
अनीश गिरि बने मेगनस इनविटेशनल विजेता

@ 22/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Anish Giri deservedly wins Magnus Invitational

@ 22/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - नेपो और अनीश ? कौन बनेगा सरताज ?

@ 21/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Giri or Nepomniachtchi - Who will win the Magnus Invitational?

@ 21/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Invitational SF Day 2: World Champions Carlsen and So get eliminated

@ 20/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Invitational SF Day 1: World Champions in peril

@ 19/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल SF1 - नेपो नें कार्लसन को दिया झटका

@ 19/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational QF Day 2: Carlsen, So, Giri and Nepomniachtchi dominate

@ 18/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल : कार्लसन ,नेपो ,सो और गिरि सेमी फाइनल मे

@ 18/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and So

@ 17/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल QF - कार्लसन -सो की आसान जीत

@ 17/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 3: Carlsen tops the Prelims

@ 16/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D3 : कार्लसन की शीर्ष पर वापसी

@ 16/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 2: Giri maintains his sole lead

@ 15/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D2 : अनीश का जलवा बरकरार

@ 15/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D1 : अनीश नें दी कार्लसन को मात

@ 14/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 1: Giri beats Carlsen

@ 14/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - राउंड 1 सीधा प्रसारण : LIVE

@ 13/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - क्या अब जीतेंगे कार्लसन ?

@ 11/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Does Wesley So have Magnus Carlsen's number? Sagar and Amruta try to find out!

@ 15/02/2021 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Wesley So beats Carlsen in the Finals and wins Opera Euro Rapid

@ 15/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Finals: Carlsen and So poised for a thrilling finish

@ 14/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid SF Day 2: Carlsen and So set up a rematch in the Finals

@ 13/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid SF Day 1: Carlsen beats Vachier-Lagrave, Radjabov struggles against So

@ 12/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid QF Day 2: Dubov pushes Carlsen to his limit

@ 11/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave and So

@ 10/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 3: Vidit misses against Carlsen

@ 09/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 2: Vidit beats Dubov

@ 08/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 1: Carlsen takes sole lead 4.0/5

@ 07/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit Gujrathi returns to Meltwater Champions Chess Tour in Opera Euro Rapid

@ 05/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Radjabov reigns supreme in Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters

@ 04/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Can Radjabov win Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters?

@ 03/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters SF Day 2: Radjabov and Aronian rush to the Finals

@ 02/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters SF Day 1: Radjabov and Aronian win the first set

@ 01/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters QF Day 2: Dubov eliminates Carlsen

@ 31/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters QF Day 1: Advantage Aronian and Vachier-Lagrave

@ 30/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 3: Harikrishna, Grischuk, Giri and Anton get eliminated

@ 29/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 2: Carlsen joins the six-pack lead

@ 28/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 1: Harikrishna holds Carlsen to a draw

@ 27/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Harikrishna will star in the Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters

@ 25/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Wesley So wins Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open

@ 01/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Can Carlsen win Skilling Open on his 30th birthday?

@ 30/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open SF Day 2: So sets up a clash with Carlsen in the Finals

@ 29/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open SF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and So

@ 28/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open QF Day 2: Nepomniachtchi, So and Nakamura make epic comebacks

@ 27/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen, Aronian, Radjabov and MVL

@ 26/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R11-15: Carlsen tops the preliminary stage

@ 25/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R6-10: Anish Giri maintains his sole lead

@ 24/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R1-5: Anish Giri takes sole lead

@ 23/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit Gujrathi will star in the Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open

@ 22/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
भारत से विदित गुजराती हुए चैम्पियन चैस टूर मे शामिल

@ 15/11/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस कार्लसन नें की चैम्पियन्स चैस टूर की घोषणा

@ 06/11/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)