New in Chess Classic: Carlsen wins preliminaries

by André Schulz
4/27/2021 – World Champion Magnus Carlsen dominated the preliminaries of the New in Chess Classic. He did not lose a single game and on each of the three days of the preliminaries he scored 3.5/5 to finish sole first with 10.5/15. Perhaps his good form was due to his preparation: Carlsen played from the Meltwater office in Oslo and took a bicycle to come to work.

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New in Chess Classic: Day 3

On day 3 of the preliminaries Carlsen won against Alireza Firouzja and Jan-Krzysztof Duda and drew with Wesley So, Praggnanandhaa and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Carlsen seems to be in top form, and perhaps it is because he gives his games a formal structure. After all, Carlsen is not playing from home, but from the offices of the tournament's sponsor, the Meltwater company in Oslo. And similar to other office workers, the World Champion took a bike to go to work. But he had either underestimated the time to reach the office or he had calculated it very precisely. At any rate, he arrived only minutes before his game against Alireza Firouzja wasa to start.

But Carlsen was not the only player who remained undefeated. Hikaru Nakamura also achieved this feat but he won only six of his 15 games, two less than Carlsen, and thus ended up in second place, one point behind the winner.

Nakamura's win against Gawain Jones was particularly interesting as Jones is considered to be one of the greatest experts in the Sicilian Dragon and Nakamura was ready to test his knowledge of these positions.

 

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also scored 9.5/15 but had more wins – and more losses – than Nakamura.

The eight best players qualified for the knock-out stage. Apart from Carlsen, Nakamura and Mamedyarov these are Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjabov, Alireza Firouzja, and Le Quang Liem. 

Wesley So played a remarkable and theoretically interesting game against Aryan Tari.

 

The young Indian Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa who had qualified for the New in Chess Classic by winning the Polgar Challenge scored 7.0/15 and finished on shared tenth place.He lost 5 of his 15 games, but also won four, and in round 12 was close to winning against Carlsen.

On the last day of the preliminaries there were a number of short draws which David Howell criticised in the Chess24 live broadcast: "It's disappointing! It really tests our patience now. It's a bit disrespectful to our spectators."

But of course, a lot of games were fought to the bitter end and led to a number of interesting endgames, which Karsten Müller liked to analyse.

 
 

Final standings

 
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6  
1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2847 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 10.5 2868
2. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2736 ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 9.5 2822
3. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2770 ½ 0 * 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 9.5 2819
4. So, Wesley g USA 2770 ½ ½ 1 * ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 9.0 2796
5. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2781 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 9.0 2796
6. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2765 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 8.5 2775
7. Firouzja, Alireza g FID 2759 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ * ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 1 1 8.5 2775
8. Le, Quang Liem g VIE 2709 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 8.5 2778
9. Dominguez Perez, Leinier g USA 2758 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 8.0 2746
10. Praggnanandhaa, R g IND 2608 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 0 0 * 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 7.0 2714
11. Duda, Jan-Krzysztof g POL 2729 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 * 0 0 ½ 1 1 7.0 2706
12. Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi g IND 2726 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 * ½ 0 1 1 7.0 2706
13. Tari, Aryan g NOR 2639 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ * 1 ½ 1 7.0 2712
14. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2757 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 * 1 1 6.5 2675
15. Jones, Gawain C B g ENG 2670 0 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 * ½ 3.0 2491
16. Christiansen, Johan-Sebastian g NOR 2618 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ * 1.5 2368

Games

 

The interesting pairings of the quarterfinals promise another day of exciting chess:

Links


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

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