Opera Euro Rapid: Fighting for survival

by Klaus Besenthal
2/8/2021 – The Opera Euro Rapid tournament saw rounds 6 to 10 of the preliminaries being played on Sunday. At the top of the standings table, Magnus Carlsen defended his half-point lead over Wesley So and Anish Giri. The remaining five rounds will be played today (Monday) at 17.00 CET. Do not miss Karsten Müller’s analyses of five highly instructive endgames! | Photo: Play Magnus Group

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Day 2 of the preliminaries

In Round 6 Wesley So was able to catch up with Magnus Carlsen atop the standings table. His opponent, Sam Shankland, blundered a knight. Matthias Bluebaum obtained his first victory, as he played a marvellous game against none other than Levon Aronian:


Round 6 results


In Round 7, So lost the lead as he was defeated by Leinier Dominguez, who has been having trouble making the most of his chances in the tournament. The sole lead was once again in the hands of Carlsen, who got his second draw of the day against Alexander Grischuk.

Matthias Bluebaum also drew, despite reaching a rook endgame two pawns up against Daniil Dubov. Vidit also suffered in the seventh round — he entered a theoretically drawn endgame against Hikaru Nakamura with bishop against rook, and was tortured until move 156, when the draw was finally agreed.

Round 7 results


Round 8 produced a couple of draws at the top of the table, which So took advantage of to re-establish himself as co-leader alongside Carlsen as he defeated Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Matthias Bluebaum was convincingly defeated by Sam Shankland:


Round 8 results


In Round 9, the top duo became a trio: Anish Giri beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to catch up with Carlsen and So, who only scored half points against Ian Nepomniachtchi and Grischuk respectively.

Round 9 results


In Round 10, So and Giri drew their direct confrontation. Carlsen made the most of this opportunity by winning his game against Hikaru Nakamura. Thus, the World Champion ended the day exactly as he had started it, with a half-point lead over two players.


Round 10 results


Endgame analyses by GM Karsten Müller

Grandmaster Karsten Müller looked into five endgames from rounds 6 to 10. Analysing positions that were seen in practical games is a very helpful exercise for those wanting to improve their play! 


Select an entry from the list to switch between (end)games

Standings after Round 10


All games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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