Carlsen vs. The Challengers: 19.5:2.5

by André Schulz
4/21/2021 – Magnus Carlsen loves chess and he loves a challenge. On Monday, after commentating round 8 of the Candidates for several hours live, the World Champion played a 22 game 3+0 Banter Blitz match against the "Challengers", 20 of the world's most promising juniors. Carlsen convincingly won the match with a score of 19.5-2.5. He only lost against Nihal Sarin and Awonder Liang and drew against Vincent Keymer.

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Magnus Carlsen vs Julius Baer Challengers

In the Julius Baer Challenge Tour, 20 juniors, ten male and ten female, compete against each other in a series of tournaments. The idea is to give young talents an opportunity to gain experience against strong opponents, but also to promote female talents by giving them a chance to test their skills against male juniors.

To further fuel the ambition of the young players, on Monday evening World Champion Magnus Carlsen played all 20 Challengers one after the other in a Banter Blitz (3+0) match on Chess24. Anna Muzychuk and Artur Kogan, two of the coaches, who support the talents in the Julius Baer Challenge, also took the opportunity to play blitz against the World's number one.

Carlsen clearly dominated the match and won 19.5-2.5, but he did not win all his games. He lost against Nihal Sarin (India) and Awonder Liang (USA) and drew against Vincent Keymer (Germany).

Carlsen vs Nihal Sarin

Sagar Shah commentated Nihal Sarin's convincing win against the World Champion for ChessBase India.

Awonder Liang was the other player who managed to beat Carlsen – but this game could easily have ended differently.

Carlsen vs Awonder Liang


Only one of the 22 games ended in a draw, and here both players missed chances to win.

Carlsen vs Vincent Keymer


All in all a fantastic performance by Magnus Carlsen – after all, despite their young age, a lot of his opponents are experienced Grandmasters and exceptionally strong blitz players.






Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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