Grand Chess Tour - Paris Express: Magnus Carlsen beats Vachier-Lagrave in playoff

6/25/2017 – It was a thrilling finish on day five, with everyone expecting it to come down to a race between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, but the chess gods had other plans. In an amazing last day surge, showing nothing was decided, French player Maxime Vachier-Lagrave surged, while both Carlsen and Nakamura faded, and ended tied with the World Champion in the overall standings. Once again Magnus Carlsen showed his pressure play chops and won the playoff and title. Express report.

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The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25. It is a combination of Rapid and Blitz games. The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot. They will play nine rapid games, three a day, from June 21–23. The games start at 14:00h, 15:30h and 17:00h European Standard Summer Time. The Blitz tournament is on June 24 and 25, with nine rounds on each day, starting at 14:00h. The total prize fund is $150,000!

Note that the event is using the Bronstein mode: the players have 25 minutes for all the moves of a rapid game, and a ten second delay per move. This means that the clock does not run for ten seconds – the point is that you cannot accumulate time by playing very quickly in the Bronstein Mode.

Day five

Full report with grandmaster analysis to follow...

Replay blitz games

 

Replay playoff games

 

Of particular interest in our Live Broadcast screen above (maximize for full enjoyment) is that the games of the round have been analysed and annotated by a very powerful computer – in real time. The machine analysis included didactic opening notes, tactical analysis, threats, better lines – all given in natural language. This is what our Live Broadcast page looked like at 5:20 p.m., with the second tiebreak game under way (click to enlarge):

At the bottom of the notation window on the right there is an evaluation bar which indicates how the game went for the two players. You can simply click on the bar to jump to the position where things came to a head. There are also buttons for editing (delete, promote, cut lines, unannotate, undo, redo) save, play out the position against Fritz or tweet it to others. Hovering the mouse over any button will show you its function. The Live Book section shows you the moves that have been played in the current position, by what level of players and with what results. The Live Book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date openings key in the world.

You can maximize the replayer, auto-play, flip the board and even change the piece style in the bar below the board. You can access the live games at any time during the round. To the right of our news page you have the live tournament navigation.

Final Rapid standings*

(click for full-size)

*Note: All rapid games count double in combined standings

Final Blitz standings

(click for full-size)

Combined standings

Playoff

Links

You can use ChessBase 14 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs to replay the games in PGN. You can also download our free Playchess client, which will in addition give you immediate access to the chess server Playchess.com.



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