2021 Magnus Carlsen Invitational: Giri Still Leads After Day 2
Anish Giri, still at the top. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

2021 Magnus Carlsen Invitational: Giri Still Leads After Day 2

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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45 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Anish Giri continues to lead the Magnus Carlsen Invitational. Again scoring an excellent 4/5, the Dutchman is still half a point ahead of GM Magnus Carlsen with one more day to go in the preliminaries.

How to watch?
The games of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational preliminaries can be found here as part of our live events platform. IM Levy Rozman and IM Anna Rudolf are providing daily commentary on GM Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific / 17:00 Central Europe.


"You love to see that people are fighting like crazy," said Carlsen when it was pointed out to him how low the draw rate of the tournament is so far (37.5 percent). "It's been fun to watch the other games as well. You can really feel the tension."

The third day will be all about the players in the middle of the leaderboard. The top eight players will qualify for the knockout phase, and the other half of the field will be finished playing.

Magnus Carlsen Invitational | Round 10 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Giri 2731 2965 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 8.0/10
2 Carlsen 2881 2905 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 7.5/10
3 So 2741 2837 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 0 1 1 6.5/10 28.5
4 Nakamura 2829 2823 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6.5/10 27
5 Firouzja 2703 2803 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 6.0/10 27.5
6 Vachier-Lagrave 2860 2789 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 6.0/10 23.75
7 Dubov 2770 2727 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 5.0/10 23.75
8 Karjakin 2709 2732 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 1 ½ 5.0/10 21.25
9 Aronian 2778 2717 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 1 1 5.0/10 19.25
10 Radjabov 2758 2704 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 4.5/10 24.25
11 Nepomniachtchi 2778 2707 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ 0 1 4.5/10 23.25
12 Grandelius 2632 2682 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 1 4.0/10 18.5
13 Mamedyarov 2761 2670 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 0 4.0/10 17.75
14 Van Foreest 2543 2578 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 0 1 ½ 3.0/10
15 Anton Guijarro 2674 2552 0 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.5/10
16 Pichot 2548 2502 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 2.0/10

With a half-point lead, Giri started his second day strongly with wins against GM David Anton and GM Levon Aronian. His game with Anton saw a nice series of blows, including an instructive trade of minor pieces, with which he increased his advantage:

Giri slowed down a bit with two draws and seemed to be heading to a third when GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov blundered in the endgame to finish a horrible day for him. The Azerbaijani grandmaster lost four games.

"Today was incredible, how many points I managed to collect," said Giri. "It was nice. Also, I think my play is pretty good, both yesterday and today. That's very reassuring."

GM Wesley So, who leads the overall standings of the Champions Chess Tour, had an excellent second day. He jumped from 10th to third place with two draws and three wins.

"It seems like I'm just waiting for my opponents to make mistakes and try to pounce on them," said So, adding: "I'm really just trying to score plus one, trying to qualify in the top eight. That's my main goal."

Although So himself called 13...f5 a blunder, it cannot be denied that his win vs. Aronian was very pleasant to the eye. We'll have a full analysis by GM Dejan Bojkov soon:

Wesley So
A lovely game by Wesley So. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen's second day was better as well. The world champion avoided a loss this time and like So, he drew twice and won three games.

"Actually, I sort of felt like I played better yesterday," said Carlsen, pointing out that two of his opponents on Sunday more or less gifted half a point. "Obviously, the score is great and puts me in a great position. I just feel as though I have to play a bit better in the knockout stage."

His game with GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi was a thriller. The tactical phase was wild and ended with a great rook move by Carlsen, which he found only on the second attempt:

Magnus Carlsen interview
Carlsen: "I'm gonna be aiming pretty hard for the number-one seed tomorrow." Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

GM Teimour Radjabov, the winner of the Airthings Masters, wasn't having his day with three draws and two losses. The worst example is his one-move blunder against GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave where he just dropped a piece:

Teimour Radjabov
Teimour Radjabov was struggling on day two. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Another player who might have a hard time sleeping is GM Jorden van Foreest, the Wijk aan Zee winner, who is making his debut on the tour. He was about to beat Aronian when he self-mated his king:

Jorden van Foreest
A tough loss for Jorden van Foreest. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

All Games Day 2

The Champions Chess Tour's Magnus Carlsen Invitational runs March 13-21 on chess24. The preliminary phase is a 16-player rapid (15|10) round-robin. The top eight players advance to a six-day knockout that consists of two days of four-game rapid matches, which advance to blitz (5|3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a knockout match is tied after the second day. The prize fund is $220,000 with $60,000 for first place.


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