Carlsen, Lagno Winners At Steinitz Memorial
Kateryna Lagno and Magnus Carlsen. Photos: Peter Doggers/Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen, Lagno Winners At Steinitz Memorial

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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15 | Chess Event Coverage

The FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial, an online blitz tournament held over the weekend, was clinched by the two reigning world blitz champions. Magnus Carlsen won the men's event with a round to spare while the women's section was won by Kateryna Lagno.

Sunday afternoon started with the six final rounds of the women's tournament. GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's domination was short-lived as her second and third days were not as convincing. Especially on day two, she scored badly: three losses, two draws, and one win.

By the end of the second day, she was still only half a point behind the new leader: her compatriot Lagno. The latter played a critical game with IM Elisabeth Paehtz, who was close to winning when she was tricked:

Elisabeth Paehtz
Elisabeth Paehtz. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Lagno started her Sunday badly as she lost to GM Lei Tingjie, but recovered with three wins in a row. After the 18th round, these two players tied for first place, ahead of the Kazakh IM Zhansaya Abdumalik who did really well. 

FIDE Women's Online Steinitz Memorial | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts SB
1 Lagno 2608 2583 ½0 ½½ 11 ½0 11 ½1 1 11 12.0/18 99.5
2 Lei Tingjie 2530 2590 ½1 ½1 1 ½0 11 ½1 11 12.0/18 97.25
3 Abdumalik 2409 2582 1 10 1 ½1 1 11 11 11.5/18
4 Kosteniuk 2521 2529 ½½ ½0 10 01 00 11 11 10.5/18
5 Tan Zhongyi 2510 2511 00 10 01 10 11 10 11 10.0/18
6 Khademalsharieh 2431 2481 ½1 ½1 10 00 01 ½1 10 01 9.0/18 82
7 Stefanova 2485 2476 00 ½0 11 01 10 11 9.0/18 68.75
8 Sebag 2482 2457 ½0 00 10 ½0 11 10 8.5/18
9 Paehtz 2396 2295 10 ½0 00 00 01 00 10 4.5/18
10 Cori 2391 2207 00 00 00 00 00 10 00 01 01 3.0/18

Per regulations, Lagno and Lei had to play an armageddon game with five minutes on the clock for White and four for Black, who needed only a draw. 

This might well be the longest armageddon game in history as it lasted 152 moves! The reason for that is that Lagno, as Black, was the only player with serious winning chances, but at the same time she had less time. Lei tried to flag her but eventually lost herself:

Kateryna Lagno
Reigning women's blitz world champion and top seed Kateryna Lagno did not surprise as the winner. Photo: Peter Doggers/Chess.com.

All games of day 2-3

"'I'm more happy than I would have been if I hadn’t won the tournament, but that was terrible, from start to finish," said Carlsen after adding another tournament victory to his resume.

We've seen the world champion winning tournaments where one or two days didn't go well, but seeing him win without finding his top shape on all three days, that is rare.

After two days of play, GM Daniil Dubov was leading with 8/12, half a point ahead of Carlsen. Dubov had managed to beat the world champ in a very clean game:

GM Peter Svidler became the second Russian grandmaster to beat Carlsen, where he finished with a beautiful move that reminded of Carlsen's very last move in his world championship match with GM Sergey Karjakin:

Peter Svidler
A lovely final move by Peter Svidler. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Day three was Carlsen's best day, as he avoided a loss and scored three wins and three draws. Because his chief rivals were losing games at critical moments, the Norwegian star secured victory with a round to spare and won the tournament with a two-point margin.

Carlsen's best win is his game with GM Alexander Grischuk, who ended in last place. Perhaps playing two tournaments in one weekend is a bit too much after all.

Magnus Carlsen
One of Carlsen's best games of the tournament. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

FIDE Online Steinitz Memorial | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts SB
1 Carlsen 2887 2830 ½0 11 01 11 ½1 12.0/18
2 Dubov 2720 2766 10 ½½ ½½ 00 ½1 10 10.0/18
3 Svidler 2754 2744 ½1 01 ½1 00 10 ½1 10 9.5/18
4 Mamedyarov 2716 2728 10 11 ½0 ½1 0 9.0/18 80.25
5 Xiong 2724 2727 01 ½0 10 11 ½1 9.0/18 78.25
6 Le 2690 2731 00 ½½ 11 00 01 10 ½½ 9.0/18 77.25
7 Korobov 2667 2714 10 ½½ 01 ½1 00 10 11 8.5/18 75.25
8 Bu Xiangzhi 2760 2705 00 11 ½0 ½0 ½0 01 ½1 01 8.5/18 73.75
9 Anton 2590 2684 ½0 01 ½½ 01 ½0 01 7.5/18
10 Grischuk 2765 2645 ½0 01 11 00 10 10 7.0/18

All games of day 2-3

The Steinitz Memorial took place on May 15-17 and was played on Chess24. Both a male and a female group of players with 10 players each played 18 rounds of blitz, with six rounds on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The time control was three minutes plus a two-second increment.

The total prize fund is 30,000 euros ($32,465) with 18,000 for the open section (4,500 for the winner) and 12,000 for the women's section (3,000 for the winner).


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