Legendary Games At Legends Of Chess
Vassily Ivanchuk has been stealing the show so far. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Legendary Games At Legends Of Chess

| 12 | Chess Event Coverage

GMs Magnus Carlsen and Peter Svidler maintained their winning streaks and continue to lead the chess24 Legends of Chess tournament after three rounds. GM Ding Liren and Viswanathan Anand have started with three losses while GM Vasyl Ivanchuk keeps stealing the show.

How to watch?
The games of the chess24 Legends of Chess can be found here as part of our live events platform. GM Hikaru Nakamura and IM Levy Rozman are providing daily commentary on Nakamura's Twitch channel starting from 7:00 a.m. Pacific / 16:00 Central Europe.

Carlsen – Leko 2.5-1.5

Carlsen won a similar match the other day against Anand, drawing the first three games and then striking in the fourth. The difference is that GM Peter Leko was actually better in those three draws, which suggests that the world champion might have difficulties with the style of the great Hungarian, who was a draw away from the world title in 2004.

Game four saw a completely different image though, where Leko missed the one moment to fully equalize when then Carlsen skillfully converted a better endgame.

Magnus Carlsen Legends of Chess
Carlsen was under pressure but won again. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Gelfand – Svidler 1.5-2.5

Svidler had noted before that he had been somewhat fortunate in his matches. That feeling probably didn't change in the third round, where the Russian GM won the only decisive game from a position where White seemed to be having a strong attack.

It is also quite possible that engines overestimate White's chances here based on the space advantage on the kingside that is hard to use effectively as Black's knights are tremendous defenders.

Peter Svidler
Svidler started with three match wins as well. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Anand – Kramnik 0.5-2.5

Anand's misfortune continued as he lost yet another match where he started with nice play. His second loss to GM Vladimir Kramnik was perhaps his first really bad game, but it was understandable after what happened in the first: a truly legendary game by both sides, where Anand found some study-like moves but eventually spoiled the win.

Anand Kramnik
Anand and Kramnik at the 2017 Norway Chess tournament. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Ding – Ivanchuk 1.5-2.5

Speaking of legends, there is another player who has been stealing the show. After his wonderful King's Gambit game against Leko, Ivanchuk defeated Ding in not one but two brilliant white games. It is a joy to watch this old master, whose bigger interest in draughts in recent years hasn't much affected his chess, it seems.

Poor Ding is having one of his worst tournaments in recent times and against a Chuky playing like this, he looked like one of Adolf Anderssen's opponents in the fourth game. Rarely is a world number-three getting crushed in just 25 moves like this.

Vassily Ivanchuk
Lovely chess by Ivanchuk. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Giri – Nepomniachtchi 0.5-2.5

GM Anish Giri must be looking back bewildered and in disbelief about his match with GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. The Dutchman was winning in the first two games but managed to lose both and the match. A bizarre turn of events, on which "Nepo" commented:

"I can hardly be proud of my chess, but I played in my favorite style: any piece to any square, completely random!"

Look at the second game. Nepomniachtchi had taken too much risk in the opening and needed to castle "by hand," but he never should have survived that:

Ian Nepomniachtchi
Well played, Ian, well played. ;-) Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Preliminary Phase | Round 3 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BP MP
1 Magnus Carlsen 2881 2852 . . . . . 3 . 9 9
2 Peter Svidler 2742 2809 . . . . . . 9
3 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2778 3013 . . . . 2 . . 7 8
4 Boris Gelfand 2702 2813 . . . . . . 3 7 6
5 Vasyl Ivanchuk 2686 2749 . . . . . 2 . 6 4
6 Vladimir Kramnik 2756 2785 . . 2 . . . . 6 4
7 Anish Giri 2731 2711 1 . ½ . . . . . 4 3
8 Peter Leko 2710 2769 . . 2 . . . . 5 2
9 Viswanathan Anand 2751 2664 . . . ½ . . . 0
10 Ding Liren 2836 2547 . . ½ 1 . . . . 3 0

All games round 3

The chess24 Legends of Chess runs July 21-August 5. The preliminary phase is a 10-player round-robin with rounds consisting of four-game rapid matches each day. The knockout phase will have three such matches per round. The prize fund is $150,000 with $45,000 for first place, while the winner also qualifies for the Grand Final of the Magnus Carlsen Tour. The time control is 15 minutes and a 10-second increment.

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