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Magnus Carlsen clinches Meltwater Champions Chess Tour with two rounds to spare

by Shahid Ahmed - 03/10/2021

Magnus Carlsen won the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals and the entire Tour despite losing the seventh round match against Radjabov. The FIDE World Cup 2019 winner showed the world his true strength when he faced the world champion as he won the match without losing a single game. Radjabov is now aiming for second place finish as So lost his second consecutive match. Duda ended Artemiev's great momentum. Mamedyarov and Aronian won their respective matches against Giri and So in minimum number of games. Speed King Nakamura won his fifth tie-break and second Armageddon of the event. Round 8 will start today at 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Radjabov beats Carlsen

Two questions were answered in the seventh round - Who will stop Artemiev's momentum and Can anyone tie the score with the world champion? Jan-Krzysztof Duda stopped Artemiev's fantastic momentum and Carlsen won the Finals and the entire Tour, despite losing the match to Radjabov.

Magnus Carlsen won the Tour convincingly | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Duda - Artemiev: 2.5-1.5

The first two games ended in draws. Duda made an amazing king walk which would make even Short proud of him.

Duda - Artemiev, Game 3

Position after 44.Kxb7

Black was faced a critical choice of defending the c6-pawn. 44...Be8 turned out to be fatal as 45.Re2 Bd7 46.Kc7 Ra7+ 47.Kd6 Bf5 48.Kxc6 and Black lost the pawn. Turns out 44...Be4 was the right way to continue as it saves time for Black, since the pawn cannot be defended.

The heat signature of the White king after 51.Kc6

White king made 16 out of 51 moves which is 31%. The king's journey proved to be crucial for White's victory.

Duda repeated moves in the fourth game despite having a substantial advantage as it was enough for him to win the match 2.5-1.5 and score 3 points.

Vachier-Lagrave - Nakamura: 3-4*

Vachier-Lagrave won the first game. Although he could have probably finished things much earlier.

Vachier-Lagrave - Nakamura, Game 1

Position after 33...h5

The game continued 34.exf6 Rxe4 35.Rxe4 Rxe4 36.Nxe4 Qxe4 37.Qxc7 Bd7 38.f7 Bc6 39.Qxc6 Qxc6 40.f8=Q and White won after a prolonged battle. However, there was something better in the above position, try to find out.

Vachier-Lagrave missed a win in the second game and eventually had to repeat moves.

Nakamura - Vachier-Lagrave, Game 2

Position after 43.Qd2

Find the winning continuation for Black.

Nakamura won the must-win fourth game to force tie-breaks as he made a nice positional squeeze on the queenside. Although at some point, Vachier-Lagrave generated a very good counterplay on the kingside. It was definitely one of the most exciting game of the day.

MVL won the first Blitz tie-break in an almost one-sided game.

Nakamura delivered the equalizer in the second Blitz tie-break to enforce Armageddon.

Vachier-Lagrave blundered a piece in the final moments of the endgame which cost him the game and the match. Nakamura scored 2 points and MVL got 1 point.

Mamedyarov - Giri: 2.5-0.5

Mamedyarov won the first game by showcasing a very good technique in a rook-knight vs. rook-bishop endgame.

Giri managed to make a draw in the second after averting initial difficulties. Mamedyarov made a tiny mistake which gave an opportunity to Giri to bounce back.

Mamedyarov - Giri, Game 3

Position after 32.e5

32...Qxd4 seems to be very tempting for Black. However, that is not the best way. Instead, 32...Qd8 33.Ned5 Bxd4 and now Black is making all kinds of threats. Giri went on to lose the game and the match 2.5-0.5. Thus, Mamedyarov scored 3 points.

Carlsen - Radjabov: 1-3

Carlsen had decisive advantage on more than one occasion. The endgame seemed to be completely winning for him but Radjabov fought back brilliantly to save the game.

Carlsen - Radjabov, Game 1

Position after 52...Re7

One of the best chances White had was in the above position. 53.Qb4 Ree8 54.b6 and Black is in deep trouble. The game continued 53.b6 Kg7 54.Qd5 Kg6 55.b7 Rb8 and the game headed towards a draw.

The second game was a relatively calm draw. Carlsen's queen sacrifice in the third game did not turn out to be a good idea as Radjabov seized his opportunity and scored a very nice technical win.

Radjabov won the third game comfortably to beat Carlsen 1-3 and win the match. This was Carlsen's second match loss of the event after losing against Artemiev in the fourth round. Radjabov scored 3 points and he is now at the third place, just a half point behind So.

Radjabov's ecstatic reaction after beating Magnus Carlsen 3-1 | Video: ChessBase India

So - Aronian: 0.5-2.5

So's poor form continued for the second consecutive day as he started the day with a loss with some simple tactical oversight.

So lost the second game which had an anti-climactic finish.

So - Aronian, Game 2

Position after 36.Kh4

36...Qe1+ was played and White saved the position 37.Rbf2 and won the game in another ten moves. What should have Black done to save the game?

Aronian was completely winning the third game too but he decided to repeat moves as a draw was enough for him to win the match. So suffered his second consecutive match loss of the event, Aronian scored 3 points.

* - Nakamura won the Armageddon

Replay Round 7 games

Replay the live stream

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Round 7 - Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Round 7 results

Duda, Nakamura, Mamedyarov, Radjabov and Aronian are the winners of the seventh round matches | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Standings after Round 7

Carlsen has won the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour with two rounds to spare | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Format

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals 2021 format | Photo: chess24

Prizes

The winner of the Final will earn US$ 100000 and the total tour prize fund is US$ 1640000.

The prize fund | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

All games will start from 8:30 p.m. IST between 25th September and 4th October 2021. Rest day is on 30th September 2021.

Schedule for the Finals | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Links

Champions Chess Tour official site

Tournament regulations


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