Champions Chess Tour Final, Round 2: Carlsen continues to lead

by André Schulz
9/27/2021 – After two days of play Magnus Carlsen leads the final of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour - which he, thanks to the 16.5 bonus point he received because of his successes in the previous tournaments of the tour - did from the very start of the event. But in round 2 the World Champion had to overcome serious problems before beating Shakhryar Mamedyarov in a tense and eventful match that went into Armageddon. | Graphics and photos: Tournament Site

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The final of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour is the tenth and last tournament of the series and it is played in a slightly different mode. The previous tournaments started with a round-robin, which was followed by knockout matches. There are no knockout matches in the final, but each round consists of a four-game mini-match, followed, if necessary, by a tiebreak of two blitz games and a possible armageddon game.

However, the allocation of points is somewhat unusual, because the players started the final with bonus points they had gathered in the nine previous tournaments. Therefore, Magnus Carlsen, who had scored best in the previous tournaments, began the finals with 16.5 points, four points ahead of Wesley So, who started with 12.5 points in second place.

In the first round on Saturday Carlsen convincingly defeated Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2.5-0.5.

On Sunday, in round 2, the World Champion had to play against Shakhryar Mamedyarov and this match turned into slugfest in which the Azeri managed to land plenty of blows.

Master Class Vol.8 - Magnus Carlsen 2nd Edition

Let our authors show you how Carlsen tailored his openings to be able to outplay his opponents strategically in the middlegame or to obtain an enduring advantage into the endgame.

White won in all four games of the rapid match. In the blitz-tiebreak both players also won their games with White. Here's Mamedyarov's win with White:

 

In the armageddon game Carlsen had White and won the match with a quick victory.

Wesley So suffered a setback and lost outright 0.5-2.5 to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Jan Krzysztof Duda bounced back from his opening loss against Magnus Carlsen and beat Anish Giris 2.5-0.5, while Levon Aronian won by the same score against Vladislav Artemiev.

No enthusiam was generated by the match between Teimour Radjabov and Hikaru Nakamura. The two players quickly played four short draws, all under 20 moves, a behaviour Howell called "disrespectful" to spectators and chess fans. After this non-match Nakamura won blitz-tie-break 1.5-0.5.

Results of round 2

Standings after round 2

Games

 

Tournament page...


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

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