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Magnus Carlsen Triumphs In Poland After Thrilling Final Round
Magnus Carlsen emerged the winner of the Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland 2023 after a thrilling final round. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Magnus Carlsen Triumphs In Poland After Thrilling Final Round

VSaravanan
| 40 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda fought a memorable and thrilling final round of the Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz 2023, where the former held his nerve to hold a draw and win the event with a score of 24 points and pocket the top prize of $40,000 and 13 Grand Chess Tour points. Duda finished second with 23 points for $30,000 and 10 GCT points, while GM Wesley So and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave tied for third and fourth places with 21.5 points to pocket $22,500 and 7.5 GCT each.

Carlsen began the fifth and final day where he left off from the previous day, extending his winning streak to 7/7. At one point, he even scored a blistering 10.5 points from 11 games between the 14th to 24th rounds. He overtook the overnight leader Duda by the 20th round and extended his lead to two points by the 23rd round. However, Duda caught up to just a point below him at the end of the penultimate round, and Carlsen fended off a spirited challenge from Duda in the final round to draw the game and finish a point ahead of the rest of the field.

How to review?
You can review the games of the Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz 2023 on our Events Page.

As things stood at the end of the fourth day, it was a much anticipated final day at Warsaw, and the former World Champion seemed to have indulged in his usual methods of preparation for the crucial day:

Expecting a spirited fightback from Carlsen, a capacity crowd of spectators could be seen at the auditorium at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, which seemed to be overflowing:

The playing venue seemed to have filled up more than its capacity, with fans seemingly watching the action even from the sidesteps. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.
And there were many special fans for Carlsen. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Carlsen's play on the final day was a case of continuing to employ off-beat openings with the black pieces, effortlessly converting advantageous positions, outplaying his opponents with trademark technique from equal endgames, and keeping his nerve and playing steadily under pressure—be it in difficult positions or under the pressure of the clock. Consider the following games:

With a 1.5 points lead over Duda, Carlsen faced his stiffest challenge of the entire day from GM Levon Aronian in the penultimate round, who seemed to have a huge advantage at one point. This game was one of the highlights of the day, with Aronian applying pressure on Carlsen and a beautiful zugzwang in the rook endgame pointed out by commentator GM loan-Cristian Chirila:

Aronian was involved in a memorable clash against Carlsen in the penultimate round. Photo: Bryan Adams/Grand Chess Tour.

This draw allowed Duda to come within a point difference in the standings with just the final round left when they faced each other. It proved to be a fascinating clash between these two players, who delighted chess lovers with their play throughout the event. It was a highly tense affair with so much drama, producing our Game of the Day, annotated by GM Rafael Leitao below:

The final moments of the tense top board game were a treat to watch:

So and Vachier-Lagrave scored 5/9 and 6/9 on the day to finish in a tie for the 3-4 places. Among their games, Vachier-Lagrave's win against Aronian featured a curious oversight:

Vachier-Lagrave: benefitting from a curious oversight. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

In such an event featuring such creative players, there were many memorable games. GM Richard Rapport's following short and sweet assault was noteworthy:

It is helpful to be Rapport. Photo: Bryan Adams/Grand Chess Tour.
All Games - Day 5

Blitz Results

Rapid & Blitz Final Standings


Prize Distribution


Image: Grand Chess Tour.

(WC = Wildcard participant.)

Grand Chess Tour Standings

Image: Grand Chess Tour.

Previous Coverage

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