Carlsen Prevails at the Grand Chess Tour Finale
It’s hard to imagine a player as strong as Magnus Carlsen in a slump. Yet, a portion of 2015 was very turbulent the World Champion:
- At Norway Chess, after starting the event with a loss due to an unfortunate time control misunderstanding, he finished the tournament in nearly last place.
- Although he did successfully defend his World Rapid Championship title, he lost his World Blitz title to Alexander Grischuk.
- At the European Team Chess Championship, he blundered and lost to an opponent rated nearly 300 points lower than him.
- His rating reached the lowest it’s been in 4 years.
This brings us to London Classic, the final event of the Grand Chess Tour and one of the last events of the year. Nearing the end of the tournament, although undefeated, Carlsen seemed to be far from ideal form. He missed several opportunities in previous rounds, and his rating continued to trickle downwards.
Despite this, Carlsen managed to come through and win, not only the London Classic, but the entire Grand Chess Tour.
His nearly seven hour, hard-fought victory against Nakamura shows his incredible fighting spirit.
“When it was needed, Magnus came through.” -Grand Chess Tour commentator, GM Yasser Seirawan.
Throughout the tournament, Alexander Grischuk’s classic time trouble led to numerous time scrambles, which had both disastrous and miraculous results.
"Grischuk has spent over an hour and hasn't moved yet. He's down to 9 minutes for 21 moves." -Grand Chess Tour Official Twitter
“Grischuk has had an outsized effect on this tournament all because of his plague of time pressure.” -GM Maurice Ashley
"Grischuk playing correspondence chess, as usual." -GM Nigel Short
In his game against Levon Aronian, Grischuk had just over a minute left while his opponent had over 30 minutes. What saving resource did the World Blitz Champion find in the nick of time?