New in Chess Classic Finals Day 1: Carlsen wins the first set
As always Carlsen and Nakamura did not disappoint in the first set of the finals of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour New in Chess Classic. After all these two have put on some classic matches during this online era. This time also they had two exciting draws and then Carlsen scored two consecutive wins to win the first set which means Nakamura must win the second set to force tie-breaks. Mamedyarov and Aronian are fighting for the third and fourth place but their games are nothing short of must-see as they exchanged wins in all four games to draw the first set 2-2. Photo: Champions Chess Tour
Mamedyarov-Aronian play all decisive games
Finals means it's fireworks time especially when Carlsen is fighting against Nakamura. While Carlsen scored in two consecutive games after starting with two exciting draws against Nakamura, it was Mamedyarov and Aronian who stole the show. They might be playing for third and fourth place, but they are the ones who are playing some explosive chess as they traded wins in each game, resulting in four decisive games. Both Mamedyarov and Aronian won two games each but the first set ended up in an unresolved 2-2 draw.
Carlsen - Nakamura: 3-1
First game was an exciting draw.
The second game was a rather calm draw. Carlsen scored the first win of the Finals in the third game.
Carlsen - Nakamura, Game 3
22...Nf4 directly is not good for black here. Find out what black needed to play before playing Nf4.
Carlsen made a fantastic bishop sacrifice for three pawns with 27.Bxb7. Black has no other choice but to take it as a6 will fall if black does not accept the sacrifice.
Black is in a bit of a pickle due to a cross pin on the d6-rook. What should black do about it? Nakamura blundered here with 46...Qf8 which allowed white to liquidate into a winning queen ending using tactics.
Nakamura blundered in the final moments of the fourth game in an otherwise interesting game to lose it as well as the set to by 3-1.
Nakamura - Carlsen, Game 4
37.Qd5 immediately finished the game for white as after 37...Rd8, the a2-bishop drops and Nakamura resigned immediately. Thus Carlsen won the first set by 3-1.
Mamedyarov - Aronian: 2-2
Aronian made a questionable choice of grabbing pawn but Mamedyarov was unable to capitalize on it in the first game.
Mamedyarov - Aronian, Game 1
Instead of 14...Qxa4, black could have played 14...Qb4 or Nd7.
Find out the best plan for white to continue the attack after 16...Nc6. The game went on with 17.Qg5+ which evidently turned out to be not the best one. Mamedyarov lost the initiative and eventually got his queen trapped and had to resign after 24 moves.
Mamedyarov struck back immediately and won the second game in just 21 moves.
Aronian - Mamedyarov, Game 2
White was already reeling as the e3-knight is being a thorn for white king who remained stuck at the center of the board. 15.g3 made things only worse for white. Why? Mamedyarov won the game and levelled the first set 1-1.
Mamedyarov blundered in the seemingly equal rook and bishop endgame. Thus Aronian once again took the lead 1-2.
Mamedyarov - Aronian, Game 3
31.b4 is a blunder. Find out why.
Despite being better for the better part of the game, Aronian misjudged the attack on his king by Mamedyarov.
Aronian - Mamedyarov, Game 4
White needed to do something else before playing 30.Rae1 to neutralize black's attack. How should black launch a devastating attack now? With this win, Mamedyarov levelled the first 2-2.
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