Carlsen wins Kings Tournament

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Kings TournamentMagnus Carlsen finished the Kings Tournament in Bazna, Romania in style. The Norwegian beat Wang Yue with Black in the last round to finish with a 7.5/10 score, two points ahead of the rest of the field. Ponomariov and Radjabov defeated Nisipeanu and Gelfand respectively, also with the black pieces. Games commented by GM Dorian Rogozenco - Final Report.

Marcel Adrian Piteiu, CEO of sponsor Romgaz, and Magnus Carlsen holding the trophy

The fourth Kings Tournament took place in Medias, Romania from June 14 till 25. It was a 6-player, double round-robin, with two rest days. This year Carlsen, Gelfand, Nisipeanu, Ponomariov, Radjabov and Wang Yue played. The rate of play was 2 hours for the first 40 moves, one hour for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes plus an increment of 30 seconds per move. No draw agreement by the players were allowed before move 30, except for cases of a triple-repetition, a perpetual or a theoretically drawn position.

The event was organized by Romgaz and the Chess Club Society "Elisabeta Polihroniadeā€¯. This year the tournament was officially part of the Grand Slam, substituting the cancelled MTel Masters. Venue was the brand new Romgaz Center in Medias (near Bazna), but the organizers decidede to move back to Hotel Complex Balnear Expro in Bazna after five rounds, where everyone was staying.

ChessVibes was at the tournament from start to finish, providing videos for the official website:

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Round 10

As Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Magnus Carlsen quickly calculated during the buffet after the closing ceremony, the final round of the Kings Tournament brought the number of Black victories to eight, against just seven for White! It was three times '0-1' on the last day, and this included the fifth victory for Carlsen, against Wang Yue.

The Chinese GM played one of his worst games and thus finished with a very disappointing result. He had a very tough tournament, in which he never seemed to have recovered from his jetlag, and the 24 hours waiting at Munich airport (due to visa problems) before the start. For Carlsen it meant a relatively easy with to end with a 7.5/10 score, a 2918 performance and a new rating of 2826, the second highest in chess history.

Kings Tournament

The other two games were similar affairs, with the white players simply playing way below their normal level. Ponomariov could end a not very good tournament with a win, thanks to some big, strategical errors by his Romanian opponent. 7...Ne7 caught Nisipeanu by surprise and after that all his moves 'deserved a question mark', as he said afterwards. Ponomariov thought 17.d4 to be the decisive mistake.

Kings Tournament

Als Gelfand started to make mistakes at an early stage. He had his doubts about 14.Qd2, since the queen had to go to c2 soon afterwards. And after 17...c6 he suddenly saw that the planned 17.Ne3 is answered by the strong 17...Ne6 18.Bg3 f5, so there White's position was already difficult. Radjabov thought it to be winning after 24...a5.

Kings Tournament

So the Kings Tournament ended in another great victory for Carlsen, who is getting closer to Kasparov's record Elo. More importantly, the Norwegian showed that even after a break of a few months he can still maintain his high level, barely getting into real danger. Only Ponomariov had him on the ropes, but then missed a big chance when Carlsen created new complications.

Kings Tournament

Next on the world's number one's chess agenda is a rapid event with Anand, Polgar and Hammer in August in Norway and he'll also play for Norway at the Olympiad. Soon we will find out if we will see him in one of the other big, upcoming tournaments: Shanghai, Bilbao and Nanjing. He already signed for London in December. Next top event is Dortmund, which starts July 15th and has Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Leko, Naiditsch and Le Quang Liem.

Round 10 games commented by GM Dorian Rogozenco



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Kings Tournament 2010 | Schedule & results
Kings Tournament 2010 | Schedule
Kings Tournament 2010 | Round 10 (Final) Standings
Kings Tournament 2010 | Round 10 Standings


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