A stunning attack

by Johannes Fischer
3/23/2021 – Magnus Carlsen still lacks a tournament victory at the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Four tournaments have been played so far, but the World Champion, who is so used to success, has not been able to win one of them. At the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, which ended at the weekend, he lost in the semi-finals against Ian Nepomniachtchi, who then lost to Anish Giri in the final. But then Carlsen scored a surprisingly smooth win against Wesley So in the match for third place. Particularly surprising was the first game, in which Carlsen won with a stunning mating attack. Daniel King took a closer look. | Photo: Lennart Ootes, Archiv

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A stunning attack

Recently, fortune did not really smile on World Champion Magnus Carlsen when he had to play rapid chess against Wesley So. On 30 November 2020, Carlsen's 30th birthday, he lost to So in the final of the Skilling Open, and three months later, on 14 February 2021, Valentine's Day, the World Champion lost again to So, this time in the final of the Opera Euro Rapid.

But in the match for third place of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, Carlsen fared much better. After winning the first set 3-1 (two wins, two draws) on day 1, Carlsen also won the second set 2-1 (one win, two draws) on day 2.

In the very first game of the first day Carlsen already caused a stir. After an unusual opening he continued with a surprising piece sacrifice and won in only 23 moves.

Daniel King took a closer look at this stunning attack:

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".

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