SuperUnited Croatia: Carlsen climbs to first place

by Klaus Besenthal
7/24/2022 – On the fourth day of the Grand Chess Tour event in Zagreb, the ten players completed the first half of the blitz section. Magnus Carlsen was the top scorer. The world champion won seven games and lost twice to grab the sole lead. Wesley So and Jorden van Foreest stand in second and third places respectively. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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These are the ten players competing for points and prize money in Zagreb (from left to right): Mamedyarov, Saric, Firouzja, Nepomniachtchi, Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave, van Foreest, Dominguez, Topalov, So.

Magnus Carlsen, the man on a blue shirt in the centre of the picture, decided not to defend his World Championship title, but would have perhaps accepted to do it if his opponent’s name had been Alireza Firouzja. A test run of what might have been was seen in Zagreb.

The world champion prevailed!


It’s no different among the world's elite than in any chess club: people know each other, and a chess tournament is always a bit of a social event | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Standings after round 9 - Blitz


Overall standings

All games - Blitz



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.