Magnus Carlsen Dominates May Titled Tuesday
He's not the world champion for nothing. Magnus Carlsen won the May Titled Tuesday with a huge score of 9.5/10. The second-place finishers, GM Hikaru Nakamura and IM Bilel Bellahcene, were a full 1.5 points back on 8/10.
It's hard for grind-it-out positional players to win these Titled Tuesdays, as they tend to give up too many draws. Evidently that's not a problem if you are arguably the greatest positional player of all time. Carlsen had only a few difficult positions and made no major blunders en route to victory.
One of Carlsen's most fun games was his round-eight tilt vs Bellahcene in which his opponent had the audacity and sheer impudence to attempt scholar's mate against the world champion.
Bellahcene also attempted some reckless but entertaining play earlier in the event, but found more success.
In round seven, prior to playing Bellahcene, Carlsen allowed his only draw to GM Benjamin Bok, but with final-round victories over two young American grandmasters, Akshat Chandra and Sam Sevian, Carlsen cemented an assured victory.
Bok scored a spectacular victory against Nakamura in the Isle of Man, and was the only player to draw the champ today.
Carlsen's most obvious opposition entering the event was Nakamura. Unfortunately for those wishing to see a Carlsen-vs-Nakamura showdown (AKA everyone), Nakamura lost in the first round to IM Lawrence Trent!
Nakamura wasn't the only major player to get toppled in the first round. GM Sergey Grigoriants who will play Nakamura Wednesday in the Speed Chess Championship, also faltered with an amusing but very understandable blunder.
Finally, here's Sevian's excellent illustration of the classic chess quote, "connected pawns on the sixth rank are more powerful than a rook."
Titled Tuesday | Final Standings (7 Points And Up)
Full tournament crosstable available here.
The full tournament with classic ChessBrah commentary from the original Brah himself, GM Eric Hansen, is available on Twitch.tv/chess.
For his sole first place, Magnus Carlsen won $500. Nakamura and Bellahcene each received $325 for shared second. In a five-way tie for fourth, GMs Sevian, Viktor Bologan, Bok, Alexander Meiseenko, and IM Alexander Moskalenko each received $50.