Champions Chess Tour: Setback for Carlsen

by André Schulz
9/29/2021 – In round four of the Meltwater Chess Champions Finals World Champion Magnus Carlsen suffered an outright 1-3 defeat against Vladislav Artemiev. Wesley So drew his rapid match against Hikaru Nakamura but then lost the blitz-playoff 0-2. In the overall standings Carlsen is still four points ahead of So. | Graphics: Meltwater Chess Champions Tour

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In the first round of the Meltwater Champions Chess Finals Carlsen won convincingly against Jan-Krzysztof Duda, but in rounds two and three he had some trouble before beating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the tiebreaks. But in round four Carlsen found no recipe against a strong and confident Artemiev.

The first game ended in a draw but in the second game Carlsen lost after avoiding a slightly worse, but still drawish endgame.

 

After another draw in game three, Carlsen was in a must-win situation in game four. He had to win the game to equalise the match and to reach a tiebreak.

 

 

Carlsen's defeat gave Wesley So the chance to close the gap to Carlsen. But So had to play against Hikaru Nakamura, and after four draws in the rapid match, Nakamura won the blitz-playoff 2-0.

In the second game of the playoffs, So and Nakamura discussed a line of the Scotch that is currently popular. It leads to difficult and messy positions that even top players find hard to handle, especially with a few minutes on the clock.

 

The match between Anish Giri and Levon Aronian ended in a clear 3-1 win for Aronian – Aronian lost the first game, but then won all the remaining three games. Shakrhiyar Mamedyarov defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2.5-0.5, and Teimour Radjabov won by the same score against Duda.

 

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