Carlsen Sole Leader At Legends Of Chess
Magnus Carlsen has won all his matches so far. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen Sole Leader At Legends Of Chess

21 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen is the only player with a perfect streak at the chess24 Legends of Chess tournament after four rounds. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi is in second place, having won one match in the armageddon. Meanwhile, GM Ding Liren has won his first match, and GM Viswanathan Anand is in last place with four losses.

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 – Gelfand 3-0

The match with GM Boris Gelfand was by far the easiest for Carlsen so far. Although the world champ has a good score against the Israeli GM, it is also a case of Gelfand having a pretty bad day. In game two he could resign right away after a blunder, and in game three his all-or-nothing approach backfired.

The first is the most interesting. Gelfand played the Sveshnikov, which he successfully employed in his world title match with Anand in 2012—sometimes it is said that the Sveshnikov has been a theoretical draw since then!

Carlsen responded with the 7.Nd5 system, most probably because he is so familiar with the positions from the black side; he played it several times against GM Fabiano Caruana in the 2018 title match and beyond.

Gelfand then seemed to be showing some preparation with a pawn sacrifice on the queenside, but Carlsen found all the correct moves and won a good game.

Boris Gelfand
Boris Gelfand. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Kramnik – Leko 2.5-1.5

Speaking of world championship matches, the battle between GMs Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Leko was another trip down memory lane. After two draws, game three was a wild one with both players getting close to a win, and eventually, Kramnik held a rook versus rook-knight endgame. The 14th world champion then won game four as Black:

Ding – Svidler 2.5-1.5

Ding finally got rid of the zero on the scoreboard despite starting with a loss as he defeated GM Peter Svidler. Svidler miscalculated terribly in game two, and more or less the same happened in game four:

Ding Liren
Ding Liren. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Anand – Giri 2-3

It's hard to believe that Anand hasn't been able to win a single match. Perhaps online rapid isn't really his thing, as seems to be the case with GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave? But the tournament is far from over, so let's see how the great Indian will fare.

His match with GM Anish Giri was decided in the armageddon game after all four games had ended in draws. After he wore off Giri's initial attack, Anand was clearly better, but lack of time got him into trouble again. He took a risky decision, couldn't avoid a perpetual, and then lost on time, but that meant the same for the match.

Vishy Anand
Vishy Anand. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Ivanchuk – Nepomniachtchi 1.5-2.5

Nepomniachtchi jumped to second place in the standings, thanks to his win against GM Vasyl Ivanchuk. Only the fourth game was decisive, where Ivanchuk erred in the opening:

Preliminary Phase | Round 4 Standings

# Fed Player Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BP MP
1 Magnus Carlsen 2881 2900 . . . 3 3 . . 11 12
2 Ian Nepomniachtchi 2778 2938 . . 2 . . . 11
3 Peter Svidler 2742 2793 . . . . . 9 9
4 Vladimir Kramnik 2756 2788 . 2 . . . . 7
5 Boris Gelfand 2702 2756 0 . . . 3 . . 7 6
6 Anish Giri 2731 2769 1 ½ . . . . . 2 6 5
7 Vasyl Ivanchuk 2686 2734 . . . . 2 . 4
8 Ding Liren 2836 2629 . ½ . 1 . . . 3
9 Peter Leko 2710 2744 . . . 2 . . 2
10 Viswanathan Anand 2751 2684 . ½ . 2 . . . 1

All games round 4

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.

Earlier posts:

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