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Carlsen Returns To Crush Titled Tuesday

Carlsen Returns To Crush Titled Tuesday

NathanielGreen
| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen rejoined the Titled Tuesday winners column on May 9, his first time since November of last year. He scored 10 points to clear the rest of the early tournament field by a full point. GM Alexey Sarana won the late tournament, scraping by GM Hikaru Nakamura on tiebreaks.


Early Tournament

The early field of 497 was somewhat limited by Grand Chess Tour activities, but Carlsen and Nakamura were both here battling it out in Titled Tuesday. Carlsen started on a perfect 7/7 before he was finally held to a draw by GM Oleksandr Bortnyk in round eight.

In round nine, the matchup everyone was waiting for arrived: Nakamura took White against Carlsen as Black. After a cheeky opening from both players, the former-by-choice world champion won in 53 moves.

With that, Carlsen reached a score of 8.5/9, giving him the lead after Bortnyk had lost to eventual second-place finisher GM Matthias Bluebaum in the same round.

In the 10th round, Carlsen and Bluebaum made a draw, Carlsen retaining his half-point lead on the field. That margin only grew when Carlsen won his game in the last round, while no one directly behind him did.

Draw with White and win with Black: an unusual way Carlsen took the tournament home in the last four rounds. And when it had concluded, the Chess.com Global Blitz Leaderboard displayed Nakamura in first, by the razor-thinnest possible margin.

May 9 Titled Tuesday | Early | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak
1 2 GM @MagnusCarlsen Magnus Carlsen 3267 10 77.5
2 4 GM @Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 3053 9 75
3 9 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3039 9 74.5
4 36 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2920 9 68
5 43 GM @DrVelja Velimir Ivic 2903 9 67
6 26 GM @AlexanderL Aleksandr Lenderman 2929 9 62
7 3 IM @Sokoloco Yahli Sokolovsky 2856 9 57
8 16 IM @MITerryble Renato Terry 2990 8.5 72.5
9 27 GM @VladimirKramnik Vladimir Kramnik 2924 8.5 71
10 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3267 8.5 70
11 29 IM @demon64fields Oleg Vastrukhin 2927 8.5 64
12 34 GM @TigrVShlyape Gata Kamsky 2893 8.5 59.5
13 17 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 2967 8 73
14 64 GM @Peng_Li-Min Li Min Peng 2811 8 72
15 46 GM @Alexander_Donchenko Alexander Donchenko 2864 8 71.5
16 59 GM @ColErranMorad Maxim Rodshtein 2843 8 70.5
17 21 GM @shimastream Aleksandr Shimanov 2936 8 70
18 35 GM @TenisMaster Yuniesky Quesada 2892 8 68.5
19 50 GM @GMKrikor Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian 2840 8 68
20 33 GM @mitrabhaa Mitrabha Guha 2899 8 67.5
47 125 GM @Olga_Girya Olga Girya 2652 7 66

(Full final standings here.)

Carlsen's victory earned him $1,000. Bluebaum barely took second on tiebreaks, gaining him $750 while Bortnyk took home $350. GMs Sergei Zhigalko and Velimir Ivic rounded out the top five for $200 and $100, respectively. GM Olga Girya won the women's prize on 7/11 points, earning $100.

Late Tournament

399 players contested the late field, Nakamura and Carlsen both returning. Carlsen's bid at the sweep fell short in 13th place, in part because Nakamura won their rematch—by flag in an equal endgame in the 10th round. Once again, the opening moves were a little... strange.

An encounter a full five rounds earlier, however, ended up being the key game of the tournament. Sarana defeated Nakamura after establishing a mighty center in just seven moves, one which produced the decisive passed pawn.

Despite that, by the time the final round began, Nakamura's win over Carlsen had given him the outright lead, with Sarana and GM Jose Martinez a half-point behind. Nakamura and Martinez decided to make a draw in five moves, but that gave Sarana the window he needed. After 63 moves with Black against GM Shant Sargsyan, Sarana was one move from promoting a pawn and won, just like against Nakamura earlier.

With that, Sarana had done just enough to break up the possibility of Carlsen and Nakamura sharing Titled Tuesday for the second time.

May 9 Titled Tuesday | Late | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Tiebreak
1 17 GM @mishanick Alexey Sarana 3023 9.5 77.5
2 1 GM @Hikaru Hikaru Nakamura 3269 9.5 76
3 10 GM @Jospem Jose Martinez 3051 9 75.5
4 7 GM @GM_dmitrij Dmitrij Kollars 3043 9 70.5
5 20 IM @Rud_Makarian Rudik Makarian 2964 9 69
6 9 GM @FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3035 9 67
7 8 GM @Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3043 8.5 67.5
8 15 IM @MITerryble Renato Terry 2991 8.5 65.5
9 27 GM @ChristopherYoo Christopher Woojin Yoo 2931 8.5 64
10 33 GM @platy3 Alan Pichot 2867 8.5 61.5
11 14 GM @Sargsyan_Shant Shant Sargsyan 2997 8 73
12 30 GM @jcibarra José Carlos Ibarra Jerez 2919 8 71
13 2 GM @MagnusCarlsen Magnus Carlsen 3244 8 69
14 24 GM @Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2932 8 67.5
15 96 GM @gahryman Meilis Annaberdiev 2702 8 66
16 28 GM @AryanTari Aryan Tari 2892 8 65.5
17 85 IM @Coachpoker Alexey Averjanov 2727 8 63.5
18 310 NM @PushingpawnsNYC Shawn Martinez 2368 8 58.5
19 111 FM @benny_aizenberg Benny Aizenberg 2679 8 57.5
20 93 FM @mr_gustavo Jakub Seemann 2704 8 56.5
41 98 WGM @Meri-Arabidze Meri Arabidze 2676 7 61.5

(Full final standings here.)

Sarana won $1,000 for his efforts while Nakamura settled for $750. Martinez had the best third-place tiebreaks, winning $350, while GM Dmitrij Kollars won $200 and IM Rudik Makarian $100 behind him. WGM Meri Arabize was the $100 women's prize winner with seven points.

Titled Tuesday

Titled Tuesday is an 11-round Swiss tournament Chess.com hosts every week for titled players. There are two tournaments every Tuesday, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/17:00 Central European and 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time/23:00 Central European. 

NathanielGreen
Nathaniel Green

Nathaniel Green is a staff writer for Chess.com who writes articles, player biographies, Titled Tuesday reports, video scripts, and more. He has been playing chess for about 30 years and resides near Washington, DC, USA.

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