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Carlsen Close to Winning Zurich Chess Challenge, Caruana Beats Aronian in Final Round

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 2/3/14, 12:29 PM.

Magnus Carlsen won his first tournament as World Champion on Monday. [Update: well, not yet, actually. But as tomorrow's rapid games will only count half as much as the classical games, he is very close.] The Norwegian played a relatively quick draw with Vishy Anand and finished sole first at the Zurich Chess Challenge as Levon Aronian suffered his first defeat at the hands of Fabiano Caruana. Hikaru Nakamura and Boris Gelfand ended their tournament with a draw. Tomorrow a five-round rapid tournament will be played with 15 minutes and 10 seconds increment on the clock.

It can hardly go wrong tomorrow for Carlsen, but strictly speaking he's not there yet. The Norwegian has a two-point lead over Levon Aronian before going into the final day, when five rounds of rapid games will be played. Victories in the classical games counted as 2 points and draws as 1, while tomorrow it's back to normal again with 1 point for a win and half for a draw.

On Monday Carlsen met his opponent from the Chennai World Championship, Vishy Anand. The Indian played the highly topical Berlin Ruy Lopez with 4.d3 and 5.Bxc6, which was seen two times already in this short event. “It's difficult to come up with anything substantial in this opening so you're always playing for very small things,” said Anand.

Although Carlsen had beaten Caruana in this line yesterday, Anand didn't follow that route completely. The move d3-d4 seemed logical, but afterward Anand wasn't happy with it. Black equalized easily beause White lacked the time to get his ideal setup with Nd2 and f4.

When such games happen, sponsor Oleg Skvortsov likes to see the players play a rapid game with colors reversed, like Aronian and Gelfand had done earlier in the tournament. Anand and Carlsen, however, avoided the rapid game by playing out the game very fast until move 40 was reached...

Anand about tomorrow's rapid: “I'm looking forward to playing some good games.”

Not long after, Hikaru Nakamura and Boris Gelfand split the point. The American chose the same opening as Wesley So had done in Wijk aan Zee against the same opponent, and, like in that game, White didn't get much actually. After eighteen moves the players decided that there was no good way to continue the game. “Whoever tries will end up much worse probably,” said Nakamura, who revealed lack of concentration: “Frankly half of this game and also yesterday most of the time I was not thinking about the position on the board, let's leave it at that.”

In a long game Fabiano Caruana managed to beat Levon Aronian from a Marshall Gambit in the Ruy Lopez. During the round, the commentators were wondering when it was the last time Aronian had lost in that opening. Well, according to the database, he had never lost in a classical game! There are only two ‘1-0’s, which were rapid games in 2007. No wonder at the press conference Aronian said: “Now I can relax!”

So how did Caruana do it? Well, in fact it was Aronian himself who was to blame, and he did so by saying: “Very poor defense from my side.” He was referring to the moves 29...Bd8, 39...Ra2 and 40...Ra6, whereas the position after the trade of queens “should be a draw”.


Looking back at the five classical games, Carlsen said: “The third game against Hikaru basically made all the difference. If I had lost the game, which I deserved, then it would have been reasonable; now it's excellent. In such a short tournament it's really going to depend on one or two games and this time I was both fortunate and good.”

Like every day, Carlsen being interviewed by Norway's NRK

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 | Results & pairings

Round 1 30 January 15:00 CET Round 2 31 January 15:00 CET
Carlsen 1-0 Gelfand Gelfand ½-½ Caruana
Aronian 1-0 Anand Anand 0-1 Nakamura
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana Carlsen ½-½ Aronian
Round 3 1 February 15:00 CET Round 4 2 February 15:00 CET
Aronian ½-½ Gelfand Gelfand 0-1 Anand
Nakamura 0-1 Carlsen Carlsen 1-0 Caruana
Caruana ½-½ Anand Aronian 1-0 Nakamura
Round 5 3 February 13:00 CET
Nakamura ½-½ Gelfand
Caruana 1-0 Aronian
Anand ½-½ Carlsen


Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2872 3027 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 8.0/5
2 Aronian,Levon 2812 2869 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 6.0/5
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2782 2804 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 5.0/5
4 Anand,Viswanathan 2773 2736 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 4.0/5 4.75
5 Nakamura,Hikaru 2789 2733 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 4.0/5 4.00
6 Gelfand,Boris 2777 2659 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 3.0/5

Photos © Maria Emelianova. The Zurich Chess Challenge consists of five rounds of classical chess, played from Thursday to Monday (30 January to 3 February), followed by a rapid tournament with reversed colors on the last day (4 February). You can follow the live games here on the official website. 

13495 reads 30 comments
5 votes

Comments


  • 8 months ago

    thebest472

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  • 8 months ago

    thebest472

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  • 8 months ago

    thebest472

    download the best of all times puzzles chess  link

  • 8 months ago

    m_musumeci

    Nakamura has make it his career to talk shit about Carlsen, Magnus' record in classical against him is 9-0, you can't even call that a rivalry, but still ppl manage to think Nakamura has something on Carlsen.

  • 8 months ago

    mobidi

    Congratulations,Magnus.You are THE CHAMPION, but , i think, FIDE rules ( and prizes) ARE BAD.When i was young ,i saw greatest Champion Bobby and he made greatest job for chess and chess- masters- he made chess prizes bigger x 100 times.He was ,of course- SUPERMAN . You , CAN  TO DO IT TODAY? I think- You can ! Let's try ! P.S. Exuse me - you play not very bad with Queen- GOOD LUCK ,CHAMPION  !!!Embarassed

  • 8 months ago

    Mano982

    @Mulaton  Naka is not arrogant, he's simply differently humble :)

  • 8 months ago

    Mulaton

    Ocapi777 we're talking about what happened already so (probability) does not count. (if = 0) then it does not affect the result

  • 8 months ago

    yougotnothingonme

    Its really funny, the fact is almost nobody saw d6 was a bad move, actually it was even suggested live by MI and GMs, since looks like a natural move, but then Carlsen refuted the move by playing like a damn machine. If you check the post conference after the game you will see Carlsen was able to see beyond that, and actually saw how to defeat himself have he been in Naka shoes.

    And about "If" "3 first tied legends" the huge difference is when Carlsen lose a game, he gets back and play for the win, or crush a champion without moving the damn queen..., when tired Anand, Aronian, Naka lose a game, they came back and aim for a draw, rest and maybe just maybe try to win after 2 games. Carlsen in that aspect is just damn cold, is like he just doesnt care that much.

    At this point is like everybody wants to avoid entering a endgame vs him, and not matter how hard they try as time progress he will become everybody worst nightmare, try to study only endgames every single day and you will see what I mean.

  • 8 months ago

    Ocapi777

    you guys, the tournament isn't over, so stop judging the players

    don't count your chickens before they hatch

  • 8 months ago

    Ocapi777

    @Mulaton that's not even logic.  That's extremely fallacious reasoning.  Why are you assuming that the probability of one happening is equivalent to the other.  Additionally, you proving that 0=0 doesn't have any relevance as to whether hypotheticals (ifs) exist.

  • 8 months ago

    deepak64

    JP510 comments as below are very correct.

  • 8 months ago

    nani8em

    What an amazing player Magnus is.... it's very tough for anybody to beat him in a match with his current performance... not even for Vlady!

  • 8 months ago

    Mulaton

    @ jp510 "if" does not exist and let me explain the formula

    (if naka beat carlsen) = (if carlsen beat anand)

    if naka - if carlsen = 0

      if cancel out, then 0=0

    I can do this all day long

  • 8 months ago

    MustafaDinc

    Carlsen çok büyük oyuncu,uzun yıllar şampiyonluğu kimseye vereceğine inanmıyorum.

    4 saat önce

     

     

  • 8 months ago

    JP510

    If Nakamura had not allowed the 'Houdini Act' to Carlson in round three, we would have a three way tie for first place (Carlson, Aronian, & Naka with 6 points each).


    PS -- I forgot to put in the variation after 3 ...Kxg7. 4. Qxf7+, Kh8 5. Qxe8+, Kg7 6. Qf7+, Kh8  7. Qf8+, Qg8 8. Qxg8#.

  • 8 months ago

    NM Petrosianic

    2881.2 yikes... and a high of 2882.6 wow.  +123 pts over 10th in the world Svidler, that's amazing.

  • 8 months ago

    jocelasi

    Congrats Magnus and the rest of magnificent players. 

  • 8 months ago

    Mulaton

    naka is not arrogant, hes just jelous of his daddy magnus therefore hes on his hating mode and nothing else

  • 8 months ago

    Mulaton

    @ drumdady. it means that his rating performance of 2869 still is inferior to the fide rating of the world champ 2881.Laughing

  • 8 months ago

    albatrosses

    Great job Nakamura!! You are the most promising player of this tourney! It is very hard to beat you.

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