CCT Finals R5: Carlsen annihilates Nakamura
It is well-known by now that whenever Carlsen loses a game, he makes a fierce comeback. Nakamura faced the wrath of the world champion who defeated him 2.5-0.5 in fifth round of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals. Vachier-Lagrave also took the minimum number of games to defeat Duda. Artemiev and Radjabov defeated Mamedyarov and Aronian 2.5-1.5 each respectively. Carlsen once again extended his lead to 26.5 points, So seems to be the only one who is remotely close at 21.5 points. Aronian and Radjbov are at 15 points each. Only four rounds left. Today is a rest day. Round 6 will start tomorrow 1st October at 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: FIDE
So beats Giri in tie-breaks
Two matches required minimum number of games to have a decision. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Magnus Carlsen needed only two games to beat Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Hikaru Nakamura in the fifth round.
Duda - Vachier-Lagrave: 0.5-2.5
Duda started the day with a draw, although he had a good position at one point.
A series of mistakes in the endgame cost Duda the second game.
Vachier-Lagrave won the third game also to win the match 0.5-2.5 and score 3 points.
Duda - Vachier-Lagrave, Game 3
37...b3 is an obvious move but how to improve Black's position after that? Vachier-Lagrave converted his advantage beautifully.
Mamedyarov - Artemiev: 1.5-2.5
Artemiev won the first game when Mamedyarov blundered a piece in an already difficult position.
Second game was an 89-move long draw. In a completely winning position, Artemiev blundered into a checkmate.
Mamedyarov - Artemiev, Game 3
24...Ra4 is a blunder as Black loses the rook after 25.Qxf8+. Black could have played 24...Nf4 to maintain the advantage.
Artemiev outplayed Mamedyarov in the fourth game to win the match 1.5-2.5 and score 3 points.
Carlsen - Nakamura: 2.5-0.5
Carlsen scored a very nice positional squeeze against Nakamura in the first game.
Carlsen - Nakamura, Game 1
It is evident that Black's position is falling apart. 30...Nxf4 did not help Black's case 31.Rxf4 exf4 32.Bxf6 gxf6 33.Qxd6 only accelerated Black's demise.
Carlsen seemed to have the upper hand in the second game too.
Nakamura - Carlsen, Game 2
Black let his foot off the gas, 31...b6. Instead, 31...Qf6 followed by h5, g5 could have ended the game differently.
Carlsen made a nice squeeze in the endgame to win the game and the match 2.5-0.5. The world champion scored 3 points for his victory.
Carlsen - Nakamura, Game 3
Although the grip was loosened for a moment, which Black did not make the most out of and eventually lost the game.
Carlsen's games should be enough to convince anyone about his intentions. In case it is still not clear, he made a tweet where he mentions wanting both trophies
So - Giri: 3.5-2.5
So lost the first game after he blundered a rook in an already difficult position.
Second game ended in a draw. Giri had a decisive advantage in the third game until he made a tactical error and allowed So to turn the tables.
So - Giri, Game 3
24...Ne2+ is a big mistake, find out why. Black needed to play 24...Qg5+ to maintain his advantage.
Giri and So decided to make a quick draw in the fourth game and play tie-breaks. The first Blitz tie-break was an uneventful draw as the pieces got gridlocked. So won the second Blitz game as his opponent Giri did not anticipate the intensity of attack correctly.
Giri - So, Blitz 2
31.Rxc7 completely turned things in Black's favor. Find out how and also what White should have played instead.
Aronian - Radjabov: 1.5-2.5
Aronian's sacrifice did not work the way he wanted in the first game. Eventually had to settle for a draw by repetition. Radjabov scored the only win of the match in the second game.
Radjabov - Aronian, Game 2
25.Nxg7 actually does not work because of 25...Kxg7 26.dxe5 and now Black needed to play the intermediate move 26...Nd7. However, Aronian opted for 26...Qxe3 which allowed his opponent to gain the upper hand 27.exf6+ Kxf6 28.Rxe3 and he went on to win the game.
Radjabov was completely winning for the better part of the endgame in the third game. However, a final mistake in the rook endgame allowed Aronian to escape with a draw.
Aronian - Radjabov, Game 3
Black can still win this. How?
Once again Radjabov had the upper hand for the better part of the fourth game. However, Aronian managed to fight till the very end and save the game. Radjabov won the match 1.5-2.5 and scored 3 points.
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The winner of the Final will earn US$ 100000 and the total tour prize fund is US$ 1640000.
All games will start from 8:30 p.m. IST between 25th September and 4th October 2021. Rest day is on 30th September 2021.
Champions Chess Tour official site