Oslo Esports Cup: Praggnanandhaa regains lead after blunder by Carlsen

by André Schulz
4/27/2022 – A consolation for all chess fans: even the best sometimes blunder. In Round 5 of the Oslo Esport Cup, World Champion Magnus Carlsen blundered a whole rook against Jorden van Foreest, which cost him the game, the match, and the lead in the tournament. With two rounds to go, Praggnanandhaa, who won his match against Eric Hansen 2.5-0.5, is now again sole first with 12/15 and three points ahead of Carlsen who follows with 9.0/15. | Photos and pictures: Play Magnus Group

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After a somewhat shaky start into the tournamen, including a defeat against Le Quang Liem, Carlsen had convincingly won against tournament leader Praggnanandhaa 3-0 in round four, but Carlsen's joy lasted only one day.

In round five the World Champion played against Jorden van Foreest. The Dutchman is no longer quite as young as Praggnanandhaa – in three days he will celebrate his 23rd birthday – but he is also a player of the "younger generation", and almost ten years younger than Carlsen. Moreover, Jorden van Foreest also worked as a second on team Carlsen when Carlsen defended his title against Ian Nepomniachtchi.

But the match against his second did not go well for Carlsen. After a draw in the first game, the Norwegian won a pawn in the second game, in which an interesting line of the English Defence was discussed and had winning prospects. But van Foreest managed to keep things complicated and then it happened:

 

In game three Carlsen was worse but managed to draw. In game four the World Champion was in a must-win situation but got only a very slightly better endgame out of the opening. Carlsen tried to put pressure on van Foreest but the young Dutch player managed to hold the game and won the match.

Jorden van Foreest himself was surprised by the win against his "boss": "It's a complete shock right now. I didn't expect to beat Magnus in a game, let alone in a match. So it's just a shock. I was definitely very lucky. I think I was lost in three of the four games but he has been feeling ill here... Of course you need a lot of luck to beat Magnus, but it's still a big achievement in my career and I would rate it very highly."

Praggnanandhaa, meanwhile, did not show any weakness against Eric Hansen. With a 2.5:0.5 win, the Indian was the first to end his match with success.

 

Despite the clear loss against Carlsen in the previous round, Praggnanandhaa was confident and has the tournament title in his sights. "The win is fine," the youngster from Chennai commented on his success, "because I played well. I will play my best chess in the remaining rounds." The prize is also right. With four wins in five matches, Praggnanandhaa is already certain to win 30,000 dollars in this tournament.

The other two matches in round five were decided in a play-off. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who hasn't had a particularly good tournament so far, won his match against Anish Giri by winning the second play-off game.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda celebrated his 24th birthday on 26 April, but he received no gifts from his opponent Le Quang Liem. On the contrary: The Vietnamese Grandmaster won the play-off 2:0.

 

Karsten Müller's endgame analysis:

 

Games

 

Tournament page


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