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New in Chess Classic Finals Day 1: Carlsen wins the first set

by Shahid Ahmed - 02/05/2021

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 won the first set | Photo: Amruta Mokal

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

Position after 22...Nf4

22...Nf4 directly is not good for black here. Find out what black needed to play before playing Nf4.

Position after 27.Bxb7

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.

Position after 46.Kf2

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

Position after 37.Qd5

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.

Nakamura's expression tells the story of the blunder he made | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

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

Position after 14...Qxa4

Instead of 14...Qxa4, black could have played 14...Qb4 or Nd7.

Position after 16...Nc6

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

Position after 15.g3

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

Position after 31.b4

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

Position after 30.Rae1

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.

Aronian-Mamedyarov had a well contested battle in the first set | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Altibox Norway Chess

Replay all Final Day 1 games

Replay the live stream

New in Chess Classic Finals Day 1 | Carlsen vs Nakamura | Live commentary by Sagar and Amruta | Video: ChessBase India

Final Day 1 Results

Carlsen wins the first set against Nakamura | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

Everyday game starts at 10:30 p.m. IST

Links

Official site

Tournament Regulations


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