Estonia Horses Secure Playoffs Spot, Drawing Despondent Norway Gnomes After Last Round Comeback

Estonia Horses Secure Playoffs Spot, Drawing Despondent Norway Gnomes After Last Round Comeback

PROChessLeague
PROChessLeague
Mar 7, 2018, 12:04 PM |
1

The Estonia Horses secured a spot in the playoffs today after drawing GM Magnus Carlsen and the Norway Gnomes after a dramatic last round comeback. Today the fate of both teams hung in the balance. Only a match win for Norway would secure playoff qualification while Estonia had only to avoid losing. Surely Carlsen would go 4/4 and lead his team to victory? Well, 3.5/4 isn't shabby. In hindsight, Carlsen's round three draw (1...c6, 2...Na6) must be bugging him.

The match started off with a bang when Carlsen's opponent, CM Sander Kukk, cheekily played 1. b3 and Carlsen replied 1...a5!

Probably Carlsen's best game came in round two against GM Jaan Ehlvest. Taking advantage of a marauding dark-square bishop, he proved his chess understanding is both lightning fast and accurate.

This game is full of brilliant ideas by the World Champion, among them 19.e5! and 22.Ndxb5! cannot be missed.

The final round was a nightmare for Norway, scoring only 1.5/4. In the final moments, Norway's best chance to win the match came down to GM Nils Grandelius who missed a fairly straightforward winning combination in time pressure. In the end, a forced win downgraded to an opposite-colored-bishop draw.

As the seconds ticked down, one more game remained, and with it, Norway's last hope.

2018 PRO Chess League | Week 9 | Norway Gnomes vs Estonia Horses

Horses Gnomes Magnus Carlsen Nils Grandelius Borki Predojevic Elham Abdrlauf 8
Avital Boruchovsky 1
Ottomar Ladva 3
Jaan Ehlvest 2
Sander Kukk 2
8 3.5 2.5 2 0

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