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Weissenhaus Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge QF: Carlsen beats Firouzja three times to advance to the Semifinals

by Shahid Ahmed - 13/02/2024

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) won the must-win second game of the Quarterfinals at WEISSENHAUS Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge. The win forced Rapid tie-breaks. The first tie-break game was heading towards a draw. However, Firouzja blundered in the final moments and lost. In the second tie-break game, Firouzja made a strange start 1...h6, 2...Bh7. It was clear that the loss of previous game affected him badly. The world no.1 won the game with ease to advance to the Semifinal and set a clash against Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB). Levon Aronian (USA) made a quick work of Vincent Keymer (GER) in 20 moves to secure his place in the Semifinals. He will face Fabiano Caruana (USA). Semifinals game 1 starts today at 1 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

Semifinals: Carlsen vs Abdusattorov and Aronian vs Caruana

Ding Liren (CHN) will face Alireza Firouzja (FRA) and D Gukesh will be up against Vincent Keymer (GER) in a battle for fifth to eighth place.

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) once again showcased why he is the endgame expert

Carlsen - Firouzja: 1-0 (TB: 2-0)

Magnus Carlsen won the must-win second game against Alireza Firouzja.

Game 2

Position after 14.d5!

14.d5! is a nice temporary pawn sacrifice to fragment Black's queenside pawn structure further. 14...cxd5 15.0-0-0 Rc8 16.Nxd5 White slowly built on his positional advantage and won the game, forcing tie-breaks.

Magnus Carlsen is a positional monster in Freestyle Chess also - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Magnus Carlsen won his must-win second Classical game to force tie-breaks against Alireza Firouzja

The first Rapid tie-break game seemed to be heading towards a draw in a knight and pawn vs bishop and two pawns endgame.

Firouzja - Carlsen, Tie-break Rapid 1

Position after 43...Bxe1

Ideally this should end in a draw. However, in a practical game with less time on the clock and the opponent being endgame expert, White blundered eventually.

Magnus Carlsen once again showed why he is the endgame expert

A peculiar start by Firouzja in the second rapid tie-break 1.e4 h6 2.d4 Bh7 and Black could not get out of the gate. Carlsen won the game comfortably and advanced to the Semifinals.

Ding Liren joins in the pre-game analysis for the first time | Video: ChessBase India

Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) drew with Ding Liren (CHN) to advance to the Semifinals

Aronian - Keymer: 1-0

Levon Aronian made a short work of Vincent Keymer in just 20 moves.

Position after 10.0-0-0 !

9...g5? prompted White to castle on the queenside 10.0-0-0 gxf4 11.Nc5 White capitalized on Black's stranded king in the center. He launched a brutal attack and own the game in another nine moves.

Vintage Aronian crushes Vincent Keymer in 20 moves | Video: ChessBase India
"All the elite players love Chess960" - Levon Aronian | Video: ChessBase India

Levon Aronian crushed Vincent Keymer in just 20 moves

Photo Gallery

Players waiting for the starting position number

Levon Aronian and Ding Liren analyzing before the game

Levon Aronian in the confession booth

Magnus Carlsen spectates Gukesh - Caruana battle

Our very own cofounder and CEO of ChessBase India - IM Sagar Shah interviews the greatest and most successful chess coach of all time - GM Peter Heine Nielsen

IM Sagar Shah and IM Tania Sachdev teams up in a fun foosball game with GM Vincent Keymer and his significant other

For more Quarterfinals Game 2 and tie-break photos, please click here.

Video Gallery

Arrival of players before Quarterfinals Game 2 | Video: ChessBase India
The tension and drama in Magnus Carlsen vs Alireza Firouzja - Vlog | Video: ChessBase India
Magnus Carlsen's trainer on Magnus, Chess960, Candidates 2024 and Ding Liren | Video: ChessBase India


Time: Rapid and Standard

• Round robin: rapid 25 min for the game + 10 sec per move according to A5 of the FIDE laws of chess

• Tiebreak: first direct encounter, second: number of wins, third: Sonneborn-Berger

• Quarter-, semi- and finals: Two games standard 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes rest of the game additional 30 seconds per move


In Case of Tiebreak

1:1 in quarter-, semi-final or final. Tiebreak in the evening:

• two rapid games 15 min for the game + 10 sec per move

• two blitz games 5 min for the game + 2 sec per move

• then one more blitz game until a winner is found

Replay live stream

Replay Freestyle Chess G.O.A.T. Challenge Quarterfinals Game 2 and Tie-breaks live commentary by GM Peter Leko, IM Tania Sachdev and GM Niclas Huschenbeth | Video: Freestyle Chess


9th and 10th February: playoffs for starting order - Rapid

11th and 12th February: Quarterfinals - Classical

13th and 14th February: Semifinals - Classical

15th and 16th February: Finals - Classical

Replay Quarterfinals Game 2 and Tie-break games

QF Game 2 results

Ding Liren - Nodirbek Abdusattorov: 0.5-0.5

Magnus Carlsen - Alireza Firouzja: 1-0 (2-0) 

D Gukesh - Fabiano Caruana: 0.5-0.5

Levon Aronian - Vincent Keymer: 1-0



Semifinal matches

Nodirbek Abdusattorov - Magnus Carlsen

Fabiano Caruana - Levon Aronian

5th - 8th place

Ding Liren - Alireza Firouzja

D Gukesh - Vincent Keymer


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