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Carlsen Goes Undefeated Vs. Caruana in Historic Victory

Carlsen Goes Undefeated Vs. Caruana in Historic Victory

NM_Vanessa
| 44 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen bested GM Fabiano Caruana with an undefeated 18-point lead in the 2022 Speed Chess Championship on Tuesday. Carlsen achieved this unprecedented feat by excelling at every facet of the game, including his trademark skill of capitalizing in slightly better positions, vast tactical awareness, resourcefulness under pressure, and excellent time management.

GMs Wesley So and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will face off in the next quarterfinals match on December 14 at 10 a.m. PT / 19:00 CET.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 Speed Chess Championship on Chess.com/TV. You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/ChesscomLive. The games can also be followed from our Events Page. Live broadcast of the match, hosted by GM Daniel Naroditsky and IM Danny Rensch.


Blitz 5|1: Carlsen-Caruana 6-2

Carlsen seized an early 2-0 lead, kicking off the match with creative attacking play in game one. 

Carlsen won a second game in a row with his unparallel ability to capitalize on the tiniest of advantages. As commentator Naroditsky summarized: "Anytime he has these long-term advantages, he’s up a pawn in the middlegame, you can defend perfectly for 30 moves, which Fabi did. He’s going to get you down on the clock, and then he’s going to find some arrangement of pieces to trick you every single time. He does it in classical chess, and he’s adapted himself perfectly to blitz."

Rensch also noted: "Magnus at converting small advantages is probably 99.9 out of 100. He does it better than anybody in history.” 

Though Caruana also gained advantages in several games, Carlsen continuously slipped away, even winning in many cases. 

Game seven was an example of Carlsen's stellar form, combining clear-minded positional play with ideal time management, taking time to think yet moving at a pace that keeps his opponent under pressure. This is our Game of the Day with annotations by GM Rafael Leitao―as well as Carlsen's favorite game himself.

GM Rafael Leitao GotD

After the match, Carlsen shared: "There was one game that I was actually very happy with, which was the Petroff where I got knights against bishop as well as queen and rook, very symmetrical position. I think I played that game very well. Normally, I'm not happy with games, but that's one that I was really satisfied with."

Blitz 3|1: Carlsen-Caruana 7-1

The 3-1 segment kicked off with a recurring theme in the match. Caruana gained the advantage and pressed in what could be considered a "two-result" game. Carlsen responded with active defense, and Caruana became overly ambitious (likely due to his huge score deficit), losing control of the game in the time scramble. With a rook and knight vs. a queen, Carlsen fought back for the win. 

Game four was an endgame brilliancy by Carlsen, a masterclass in how to win a same-color bishop ending with the advantage of your opponent's pawns all on the same color squares as the bishops.

In game seven, Carlsen found a surprise mating net to the shock of Caruana and the commentators.

Carlsen finished the 3-1 segment with a 10-point lead.

Bullet 1|1: Carlsen-Caruana 9-1

In the 1-1, Carlsen continued to win game after game. In game three, Caruana gained a knight for two pawns, yet Carlsen still fought back by creating a dangerous passer.

This turned into a seven-game winning streak. With his massive lead in score, Carlsen sealed the match victory early in the bullet portion, leaving one question remaining: Would Caruana manage to win a single game in the match? Or would Carlsen go undefeated in 26 games against the third-highest-ranked player in history?

Carlsen seemed to gain strength and focus as the match clock raced down to zero, capping off his undefeated match and extending his lead to a shocking 18 points by the finish. 

In the post-match interview, Carlsen shared that the prospect of winning an undefeated match was a major goal, fueling his play as the match neared its end: "It definitely became a goal... I didn't know that it hadn't been done before, but it certainly hadn't been done against somebody as strong as Fabi. At some point, it basically became all that I was playing for."

Carlsen won $5,538.46 while Caruana earned $461.54 for his efforts. Carlsen will face the winner of So vs. Vachier-Lagrave in the semifinals.

Final Score

Player Flag 5+1 3+1 1+1 Total
Magnus Carlsen 6 7 9 22
Fabiano Caruana 2 1 1 4

All Games - Quarterfinal

Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket


The 2022 Speed Chess Championships Main Event started on November 23 and will conclude on December 16. Top speed-chess players are competing at three different time controls in a 16-player knockout as they vie for a share of the $100,000 prize fund along with the most prestigious title in online chess.

The likes of GMs Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Ding Liren, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, and many more battle it out to determine the 2022 speed chess champion.


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NM_Vanessa
NM Vanessa West

Vanessa West is a National Master, a chess teacher, and a writer for Chess.com. In 2017, they won the Chess Journalist of the Year award.

You can follow them on X: Vanessa__West

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