Carlsen wins Grand Chess Tour Leuven

by André Schulz
6/20/2016 – In Paris, at the first leg of the Grand Chess Tour 2016, Hikaru Nakamura was able to get the better of World Champion Magnus Carlsen. But at the second Grand Chess Tour tournament 2016 in Leuven Carlsen came back with a vengeance. He showed an impressive performance in the second part of the blitz tournament and won the event convincingly.

ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2019 with 7.6 million games and more than 70,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!


The old city of Leuven

An gorgeous playing venue for a top tournament: the old city hall
in the center of Leuven

Ornate roofs...

...and facades

The entry to the chess tournament

The city of Leuven in Belgium and its fantastic old city hall offered a splendid venue for the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour. Over four days the world's best players showed their skills in rapid and in blitz chess. World Champion Magnus Carlsen won both tournaments even though he expressed some dissatisfaction with his play in an interview with Maurice Ashley at the end of the tournament.

With several teams of commentators the tournament was excellently presented and could be followed live on the internet.

Quiet before the round...

Tournament director Malcolm Pein

At the beginning of each tournament day the players sat down
among the spectators and waited until Malcolm Pein introduced then one by one.

Veselin Topalov

Vishy Anand

Wesley So

Vladimir Kramnik

Magnus Carlsen

Anish Giri

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Fabiano Caruana

Hikaru Nakamura

The tournament venue

Carlsen and Nakamura met in the last round and Carlsen was already clear first
but encounters between these two are always exciting.

Caruana had some trouble against Anand but escaped to a draw

Final standings Blitz


All blitz games



Jennifer Shahade and Yasser Seirawan were commentating the games from St. Louis

Maurice Ashley was present in Leuven - here in an interview with
Garry Kasparov who paid a surprise visit to Leuven.

Sunil Weeramantry and Kris Littlejohn follow the games of Hikaru Nakamura

Winning is fun - and put Magnus Carlsen
in the mood for letting fans take pictures

Maurice Ashley with the winner of the Grand Chess Tour Leuven 2016


Final result of the Grand Chess Tour Leuven 2016

The next GCT tournament is not that far away


All rapid games



Photos: André Schulz, Grand Chess Tour


Tournament page Grand Chess Tour...
Grand Chess Tour on Twitter...
Tournament page Leuven...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register

turok turok 6/22/2016 05:03
Nakamura has shown he is a head case when it comes to carlsen
dwigley dwigley 6/21/2016 06:34
Did Carlsen (as black) have a winning move against Nakamura in their blitz game (round 9)? Does 58....Kf4 win for black? Carlsen played 58....h3, and they drew.
TheUsualSuspect TheUsualSuspect 6/21/2016 04:40
Aronian's performance is noteworthy. In a powerful field he came ahead of everyone but Carlsen. Congratulations Levon.
PaulPena PaulPena 6/21/2016 02:31
No Ding Liren has not surpassed Carlsen even in Blitz. (Carlsen 2915, Naka 2883, Ding 2875)
ChiliBean ChiliBean 6/21/2016 01:41
The Rapid play winner trophy goes too <drum roll> ...Magnus Carlsen!

The Blitz play winner trophy goes too <drum roll> ...Magnus Carlsen!

The tournament winner trophy goes too <drum roll> ...Magnus Carlsen!

That means the rest of the best SUPER GM's around the world that attended get zip trophies. Have a nice flight.

johnmk johnmk 6/21/2016 12:06
IMO blitz games of 5 minutes length are of questionable value. This is not the "chess struggle", this is merely a sporting proposition which of course is welcomed by the players on account of the prize money. Spectators gawk at the spectacle but this is not chess on a deeper level. It is comparable to a home-run derby in baseball. A 25-min time control is marginally better, with enough time for some original strategies.
Alas, speed chess has been "cooked up" by clever promoters and one imagines that if enough people like it, it will continue.
DeepGreen DeepGreen 6/20/2016 11:55
You can be pretty sure that if Ding had played in Paris/Belgium, his rating would have dropped as well. After 36 blitz games (18 in each city), there would be some bloodletting at the top. Underrated players, such as Caruana, gained over 100 points. Magnus will take back the number one spot later on.
TMMM TMMM 6/20/2016 10:45
As I said at the Paris tournament, Nakamura's luck will run out at some point while Carlsen is more consistently dominating the chess world. He's consistently been number one at all time controls for a long time now, and only Ding Liren now overtakes him in the blitz ratings because of some underrated players here (Caruana at 2660, Topalov at 2640) and Ding Liren not playing in the top events.
VVI VVI 6/20/2016 10:32
Although Anand put up a decent show, he would kick himself on some missed opportunities and last minute losses. He could have easily achieved the no:2 rank.
wengardz wengardz 6/20/2016 10:29
congrats GM Wesley So!