Topalov Wins Norway Chess 2015

norway chess 2015

From June 15 to 27, Norway was stage to one of this year’s chess highlights, the Norway Chess Tournament. They couldn’t have chosen a better pool of participants:

  • Magnus Carlsen. World Champion from Norway and number 1 in world rankings, currently holding an ELO of 2876 points.
  • Visvanathan Anand. Indian former World Champion and current runner-up. Number 2 in worldwide standings at an ELO-rating of 2804 points.
  • Fabiano Caruana. Recent Grand Prix victor and 3rd in world rankings with 2803 ELO points.
  • Hikaru Nakamura. 27 year-old American who ranks 4th in worldwide standings and is current Chess960 World Champion at an ELO of 2799 points.
  • Veselin Topalov. Current number 5 in world rankings. The Bulgarian holds an ELO of 2798 points.
  • Alexander Grischuk. Ranks 6th in international comparison. Holds an ELO of 2780.
  • Anish Giri. Ranked 8th at Gashimov Memorial in April. The 21 year-old ranks 9th in worldwide rankings ar an ELO of 2776 points.
  • Levon Aronian. Armenian with an ELO of 2776 points who currently ranks 10th in international comparison.
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Triple French Champion who was recently defeated by Yi Wei at the City of Leon Masters Tournament. Now 12th in world rankings, 2754 ELO points.
  • Jon Ludvig Hammer. Grandmaster and Norwegian born in 1990 – like Magnus Carlsen. Won the Norwegian National Championship in 2013 and ranks 75th internationally with an ELO of 2665.

*ELO-ratings from May 2015

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The competitors started with a blitz chess tournament on June 15 (3 minutes + 2 seconds, begging at 1st move), the results of which determined the starting positions of the actual tournament.

The prize money fund contained 300,000 US-Dollars, 75,000 of which were reserved for the victor. Ranks two and three were rewarded with 50,000 and 40,000.

Veselin Topalov prevailed with 6.5 out of 9 points after 9 suspenseful rounds over Vishy Anand (6 points) and won the overall tournament. Until the very last round, the two of them fought for the title. Hikaru Nakamura came off 3rd, while Magnus Carlsen, who usually isn’t satisfied with anything other than the gold medal, only ranked 5th at disastrous 3.5 points.

The livestream archive has videos of the individual rounds as well as helpful comments.

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Final Results
Name Rat Fed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score
1 GM Topalov, Veselin 2798 BUL *  ½  0  ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1  1st
2 GM Anand, Viswanathan 2804 IND  ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1  2nd 6
3 GM Giri, Anish 2773 NED  1 ½ * ½ ½  ½  ½ ½ 1 ½
4 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2802 USA  ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½  1 ½ 1  3rd 6
5 GM Carlsen, Magnus 2876 NOR 0 0 ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 1  0
6 GM Caruana, Fabiano 2805 ITA  ½ ½  ½ 0 1 * ½ 0 ½ ½ 4
7 GM VachierLagrave, Maxime 2723 FRA  0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1  ½ ½ 4
8 GM Aronian, Levon 2780 ARM  0 ½ ½  0 0 1 0 * ½ ½ 3
9 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2781 RUS  0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½  ½ ½ * 1
10 GM Hammer, Jon Ludvig 2677 NOR 0 0 ½ 0  1 ½ ½ ½  0 * 3

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Pairings and Individual Results Rounds 1 to 9
Results Round 1
Anand Viswanathan  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
Carlsen Magnus  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Giri Anish  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Aronian Levon  1 – 0

 

Results Round 2
Grischuk Alexander  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
Hammer Jon Ludvig  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
Giri Anish  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 3
Anand Viswanathan  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
Aronian Levon Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Carlsen Magnus  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1

 

Results Round 4
 Alexander Grischuk Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Caruana Fabiano  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0

 

Results Round 5
 Aronian Levon  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Nakamura Hikaru  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 6
 Grischuk Alexander  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Caruana Fabiano  Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½

 

Results Round 7
Aronian Levon  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Carlsen Magnus  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 8
 Grischuk Alexander  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Topalov Veselin  1 – 0
 Anand Viswanathan  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 9
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  Grischuk, Alexander  ½ – ½
 Aronian Levon  Nakamura Hikaru  0 – 1
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin  Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

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Find official reports and summaries on the official tournament website.

Carlsen Beats Anand at Gashimov Memorial

Gashimov Memorial 2015

Shamkir, Azerbaijan, was stage to the Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2015 from April 16 to 26. The declared top-players of the world of chess gathered to compete:

Magnus Carlsen (ELO 2863)
Fabiano Caruana (ELO 2803)
Visvanathan Anand (ELO 2791)
Anish Giri (ELO 2790)
Wesley So (ELO 2788)
Vladimir Kramnik (ELO 2783)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (ELO 2762)
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (ELO 2754)
Michael Adams (ELO 2746)
Rauf Mamedov (ELO 2651)

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The tournament was played in 45 duels in 9 rounds.

Carlsen and Anand were the only players to remain undefeated throughout the entire event and may proudly report an enhancement of 13 points in their ELO-Live-ratings.

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Final Results After 9 Rounds
Rank Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pts Vict
1 Carlsen Magnus 2863 NOR 1 ½ 1 ½ 1  1 *  1 ½ ½  7 5
2 Anand Viswanathan 2791 IND  ½ 1 ½ * 1 ½ ½  ½ ½ 1  6 3
3 So Wesley 2788 USA  ½ * 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1  5 3
4 Caruana Fabiano 2802 ITA 1 1 ½ ½ ½ * 0  ½ ½ ½  5 2
5 Kramnik Vladimir 2783 RUS *  ½ ½  ½  0 0 0 1 ½ 1  4 2
6 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 AZE 1 ½ ½ 0 *  ½ 0  ½ ½ ½  4 1
7 Adams Michael 2746 ENG 0  0  ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 *  3.5  1
8 Giri Anish 2790 NED ½  0  ½ ½ ½  ½ ½ ½ * 0  3.5  0
9 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 FRA 0 ½  ½ ½ ½  ½ 0 * ½ ½  3.5  0
10 Mamedov Rauf 2651 AZE  ½ 0 * ½ ½ ½ 0  ½ ½ ½  3.5 0

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Pairings & Individual Results

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1st Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1-0 GM Adams Michael 2746 10
2 GM So Wesley 2788 1-0 GM Giri Anish 2790 9
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6

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2nd Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 ½-½ GM So Wesley 2788 2

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3rd Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
2 GM So Wesley 2788 1-0 GM Adams Michael 2746 10
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 ½-½ GM Giri Anish 2790 9
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 0-1 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7

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4th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4
2 GM So Wesley 2788 1-0 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3

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5th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Adams Michael 2746 10
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 1-0 GM So Wesley 2788 2
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 1-0 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 ½-½ GM Giri Anish 2790 9
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8

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6th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 ½-½ GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 0-1 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
2 GM So Wesley 2788 ½-½ GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4

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7th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 1-0 GM Adams Michael 2746 10
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 1-0 GM So Wesley 2788 2
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM Giri Anish 2790 9

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8th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
10 GM Adams Michael 2746 1-0 GM Giri Anish 2790 9
1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1-0 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 8
2 GM So Wesley 2788 ½-½ GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 7
3 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 ½-½ GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 6
4 GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 1-0 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 5

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9th Round

SNo. Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg SNo.
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 ½-½ GM Adams Michael 2746 10
6 GM Caruana Fabiano 2802 ½-½ GM Anand Viswanathan 2791 4
7 GM Carlsen Magnus 2863 1-0 GM Mamedov Rauf 2651 3
8 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 ½-½ GM So Wesley 2788 2
9 GM Giri Anish 2790 ½-½ GM Kramnik Vladimir 2783 1

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Pictures, videos, and detailed game sheets are available on the official tournament website:

https://www.shamkirchess.az

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Nakamura Wins Zurich Chess Challenge 2015

Zurich Chess Challenge 2015

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The legendary Zurich Chess Challenge took place from February 13 to 19, 2015 at the “Savoy Baur en Ville” in the Swiss city Zurich. Title defender Magnus Carlsen did not show up this year, but the world-class competitors certainly made up for it. The six participants were:

Winner of the overall rating Hikaru Nakamura who persistently fought for the title and stood strong through the Armageddon tiebreak against Anand.

Runner-up and former World Champion Visvanathan Anand who won the Classical with seven points.

Russian talent Vladimir Kramnik, who won the Rapid competition, but only made it to 3rd rank in total standings.

Levon Aronian, who had to comply with 4th rank and the victory of the Blitz competition.

25 year-old Sergey Karjakin, who currently ranks 12th in worldwide standings, but only ranked 5th in Zurich.

Italian player Fabiano Caruana, runner-up in world rankings, who surprisingly and disappointingly ended up in bottom rank.

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Final Ranking
Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Hikaru Nakamura USA 9 2776
2 Viswanathan Anand IND 9 2797
3 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 8.5 2783
4 Levon Aronian ARM 7 2777
5 Sergey Karjakin RUS 6 2760
6 Fabiano Caruana ITA 5.5 2811

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Parings & Final Results Classical
Round 1 – Sat, February 14th
Anand, Viswanathan
1:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Aronian, Levon
1:1
Karjakin, Sergey
Caruana, Fabiano
0:2
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 2 – Sun, February 15th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:1
Nakamura, Hikaru
Karjakin, Sergey
1:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Anand, Viswanathan
2:0
Aronian, Levon
Round 3 – Mon, February 16th
Aronian, Levon
1:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Caruana, Fabiano
1:1
Anand, Viswanathan
Nakamura, Hikaru
2:0
Karjakin, Sergey
Round 4 – Tue, February 17th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:1
Karjakin, Sergey
Anand, Viswanathan
2:0
Nakamura, Hikaru
Aronian, Levon
1:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Round 5 – Wed, February 18th
Caruana, Fabiano
1:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:1
Aronian, Levon
Karjakin, Sergey
1:1
Anand, Viswanathan

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Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Viswanathan Anand IND 7 2797
2 Hikaru Nakamura USA 6 2776
3 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 5 2783
4 Sergey Karjakin RUS 4 2760
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 4 2811
6 Levon Aronian ARM 4 2777

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Pairings & Final Result Rapid
Round 1 – Thu, February 19th
Kramnik, Vladimir
½:½
Anand, Viswanathan
Karjakin, Sergey
0:1
Aronian, Levon
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:0
Caruana, Fabiano
Round 2 – Thu, February 19th
Nakamura, Hikaru
0:1
Kramnik, Vladimir
Caruana, Fabiano
1:0
Karjakin, Sergey
Aronian, Levon
1:0
Anand, Viswanathan
Round 3 – Thu, February 19th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:0
Aronian, Levon
Anand, Viswanathan
1:0
Caruana, Fabiano
Karjakin, Sergey
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 4 – Thu, February 19th
Karjakin, Sergey
1:0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:0
Anand, Viswanathan
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Aronian, Levon
Round 5 – Thu, February 19th
Kramnik, Vladimir
1:0
Caruana, Fabiano
Anand, Viswanathan
½:½
Karjakin, Sergey
Aronian, Levon
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru

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Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 3.5 2783
2 Levon Aronian ARM 3 2777
3 Hikaru Nakamura USA 3 2776
4 Sergey Karjakin RUS 2 2760
5 Viswanathan Anand IND 2 2797
6 Fabiano Caruana ITA 1.5 2811

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Pairings & Final Results Blitz
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Round 1 – Fr, February 13th
Karjakin, Sergey
0:1
Anand, Viswanathan
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Aronian, Levon
½:½
Kramnik, Vladimir
Round 2 – Fr, February 13th
Nakamura, Hikaru
0:1
Aronian, Levon
Anand, Viswanathan
1:0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Karjakin, Sergey
0:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Round 3 – Fr, February 13th
Aronian, Levon
1:0
Karjakin, Sergey
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Anand, Viswanathan
Kramnik, Vladimir
½:½
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 4 – Fr, February 13th
Karjakin, Sergey
1:0
Kramnik, Vladimir
Caruana, Fabiano
½:½
Aronian, Levon
Anand, Viswanathan
1:0
Nakamura, Hikaru
Round 5 – Fr, February 13th
Aronian, Levon
1:0
Anand, Viswanathan
Kramnik, Vladimir
0:1
Caruana, Fabiano
Nakamura, Hikaru
1:0
Karjakin, Sergey

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Rank Name NAT Points ELO
1 Levon Aronian ARM 4 2777
2 Fabiano Caruana ITA 3.5 2811
3 Viswanathan Anand IND 3.5 2797
4 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2 2776
5 Vladimir Kramnik RUS 1 2783
6 Sergey Karjakin RUS 1 2760

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Find pictures, videos, and game sheets on the official tournament website:

http://www.zurich-cc.com/

written by Sarah, translated Birthe

World Championship 2014: Carlsen Remains Undefeated

World Championship 2014

After Carlsen was only one point ahead at half time on November 16, the head-to-head race between the current World Champion and challenger, the Indian predecessor Visvanathan Anand, remained suspenseful for another four rounds.

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Carlsen was not able to achieve another victory until the 11th round, which was his third victory in the entire tournament (while Anand prevailed once). He was therefore in favor at 6.5:4.5 and was announced victor ahead of schedule.

See summary of duels 1 to 6 here.
Summary of duels 7 to 11:

With almost six and a half hours, Duel No. 7 makes history as the longest match of the World Championship 2014. Vishy player, yet again, the Berlin Defense of the Spanish duel. Up to the 24th move it was an exact replica of Giri and Radjabov’s duel at the Grand Prix Series. Carlsen persistently aimed for victory but Anand was concentrated and his defense enduring. In the end game with Rook and Knight against Rook, Carlsen was still not ready to give up on his intention. Only in the 122nd move he agreed to a draw. If the two would have played three more moves, they would have achieved a new World Championship record.

In the beginning of the 8th Duel, Carlsen made very clear that he took Anand’s thorough preparation seriously. He opened with an aggressive Queen’s gambit variation. Carlsen thwarted the challenger’s plans with an unexpected 9th move.. Re8 that Anand knew no reasonable reaction to. After exchange of Queens and Rooks, the duel continued without further surprises and led to a balanced end game with no winning opportunities for either of the two players. They agreed to a draw after the 41st move.

The first ten moves of the 9th Duel were a repetition of the 7th match. Neither of the two chess talents seemed to be enthusiastic for another six and a half hour long duel. Carlsen decided to deviate from the previous match and made an unusual 11th move (Ke2) which left Anand unimpressed. He was obviously well prepared, responded with an attack engineered by Kramnik and disturbed Carlsen’s strategy. The Norwegian pressured Anand into a draw with a set of three positioning repetitions. After only 20 moves and one hour game time, this duel was over quickly.

Duel No. 10 was dominated by Anand’s attempts to make up for lost chances. With the Grunfeld-Indian variation he gave Carlsen a hard time and was in favorable positioning for a while. Carlsen once again proved that he is worth the honors of holding the World Championship title and kept a good track of the moves on the board which helped him find solid solutions to balance the duel again. After three hours, the match ended in a draw and Carlsen kept the lead at 5.5:4.5 points.

After four racking hours, Carlsen finally secured the third victory in the 11th Duel. The “prodigy” of chess enhanced his advantage to 2 points and took home the World Championship title for another year – preliminary to schedule. Anand was in an unusual risk-seeking mood during the entire duel but the optimism was his fatality that caused him yet another World Championship defeat. This year, however, he will certainly not become target of ridicule and mockery. Carlsen was, after all, the dominant player but Anand was in much better shape than last year and contributed to an extremely exciting World Championship on world-class level.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

World Championship 2014: Carlsen in the lead at half time

Since November 8, 2014 Sochi has been the stage of the chess event of the year: World Champion Magnus Carlsen and his predecessor and challenger Visvanathan Anand are once again battling for the title.

Sochi 2014

While Magnus Carlsen won all twelve rounds last year and Vishy was hopelessly inferior, this year’s competition is a whole different story and a head-to-head race.

Vishy already had already proven the end of the temporary struggle when impressively prevailing at the Candidates’ Tournament in March, the victory at which qualified him for the World Championship. Back then, there were few skeptical observers who predicted a repetition of the devastating defeat of last year’s tournament and had probably hoped for another player challenging Carlsen.

But during the last few days, the Indian has seriously proven the strength to challenge the current World Champion. On world class level the two are fighting a suspenseful tournament and Vishy has not allowed Carlsen to take the upper hand which is certainly owed to the thorough preparation.

Thus, the two both scored half a point at their draw in Round 1 on November 8. Anand played the White pieces and chose a clever opening, offering opportunities for both players. Carlsen promptly took his chances and maneuvered into a great positioning with the Grunfeld-Indian defense which left Anand stuck in perpetual check.

After opening the tournament with a tie, Carlsen really wanted to score his first full point in Round 2. With a lot of force he carried through with his desire to win and opened with the Spanish Duel while he was frankly unimpressed by Anand’s Berlin defense. Anand, on the other hand, got increasingly nervous and made a fatal mistake in the 34th move. Shortly after, he resigned.

In Round 3, Anand could finally show how extraordinarily detailed and precise his overall preparation was; he played the White pieces again and immediately moved his passed pawn to C7. He created a particularly complex positioning which was hardly manageable if not explicitly prepared for. At the Bilbao Masters, Aronian and Adams played a similar duel which Anand significantly enhanced to confuse Carlsen – with great success. Carlsen resigned and the two were equal in score again (1.5:1.5).

Carlsen played white in the 4th Round. Anand invited to the Sicilian Paulsen Variation and it would have definitely been interesting to see the tricks he had prepared, but Carlsen declined and chose to play an unusual side variation. Probably out of fear to become victim of Anand’s brilliant preparation again. After five hours and perpetual check, the two agreed to a tie.

After Round 5, the two remained equal in score. Anand opened with the Queen’s Pawn – no surprise. The developed a game that, in this very constellation, only Carlsen experienced before. He played quickly and secure calmness, while Anand needed increasingly more thinking time for his moves. Halfway through the match, Anand was slightly ahead through sacrificing his Knight but stood no chance against Carlsen’s excellent training. They agreed to another tie at the 39th move. The result after Round 6: 2.5:2.5.

Right in time for half time, Carlsen finally managed to take the lead. In Round 6 he decided the duel in his own favor, before taking a rest day on Saturday. Especially unfortunate for Anand: Carlsen made a crucial mistake at the 26th move which would have granted him a winning position. Anand simply overlooked this opportunity, and at the 38th move Carlsen had managed to take over and force Anand into resignation.

After six out of twelve duels, the score is now 3.5:2.5 in Magnus Carlsen’s favor. But still, everything is possible for both players – it will certainly remain suspenseful.

You can watch Round 7 live right now at: http://www.sochi2014.fide.com/live-games/

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Chess World Championship 2014: What is to be expected of Visvanathan Anand?

Viswanathan Anand‘Vishy’ Anand is the one who prevailed at this year’s Candidates’ Tournament and has now the honor to be the challenger of Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship duel. Anand is exactly that World Champion who was able to defend his title from 2007 until 2013. Last year, Carlsen literally made his predecessor look old. After being dethroned, Visvanathan Anand honestly talked about his drop in performance and admitted to his shortcomings. In interviews he told us that he had been suffering from sleepless nights and difficulties to concentrate during the period of the tournament and referred to his opponent Carlsen as “almost the worst thing that could have happened to him”.

Anand’s self-confidence had been dented before the World Championship duel, as he had to comply with several bitter defeats in previous tournaments. His stable playing style was set off balance. Ironically, Anand’s weaknesses were Carlsen’s strengths. Anand made mistakes in harmless positioning and ruined all his chances with one fatal move. Mistakes that he would have never made in his early years. After Anand began talking about altered priorities and stated that his life wasn’t evolving only around chess anymore, most expected a silent withdrawal after the lost World Championship duel.

At the Candidates’ Tournament followed the great surprise: Anand stood out with a remarkable performance. Shortly before, the public had even doubted his attendance and, out of the blue, in the first duel against Aronian he showed the world what the ‘Tiger of Madras’ was still capable of. Not only did he appear well prepared, but also physically fitter than a few months before. The tournament became one of his best in years, and more than deserved he secured the victory as the only undefeated player at the event. Respect and recognition were expressed to him after his victory. On the other hand, he earned skepticism and amazement, as the merciless defeat in his home town Chennai is still a matter of discussion in the world of chess.

This November, we can look forward to a new edition of this duel. When Anand fought over the World Championship title for the first time in 1995 in the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, Carlsen was only four years old and had never held a chess piece in his hands. Twenty-one years of training and experience separate the two chess legends. However, this also means twenty-one years of physical and mental age.

One thing is clear: This year’s World Championship will be nerve wrecking. Anand is currently in perfect shape and has made a promising appearance since his last performance. Whether the defeat in 2013 will motivate him to peak in performance or leaves him in paralyzing anxiety when facing Carlsen again remains to be seen.

Even though Magnus Carlsen is in worldwide hype at the moment – many fans wish the sympathetic Indian, who is fluent in numerous languages (including German) and engaged in several social projects, the victory from the bottom of their hearts.

Picture: Spiegel.de

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

 

 

Game Sheet & Results of Candidates‘ Tournament 2014

The last game day of the 2014 edition of the Candidates’ Tournament in Chanty Mansijsk ended yesterday and presented a winner who was certainly not amongst the top-favorite candidates: Visvanathan Anand!

Chessimo tells you today how this fell into place and gives detailled overviews on the scores and all the highlights:

Viswanathan Anand

Round 1. 13.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir

Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Svidler Peter

Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Topalov Vesselin

Anand Visvanathan 1 – 0 Aronian Levon

The three tie games were more or less unspectacular and the players all seemed satisfied with the results. Anand, however, prevailed over Aronian, as he returned a lost pawn and kept the pair of bishops – a wise decision.

Round 2. 14.03.2014, 10.00h CET

Kramnik Vladimir 1 – 0 Karjakin Sergey

Svidler Peter 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry

Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan

Aronian Levon 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Kramnik managed to outperform Karjakin with a rather unusual move: Karjakin expected 9.exf6 in the variation of the Queen’s Gambit, but Kramnik surprised with a 9.a3. With this move, Kramnik had prepared for the Candidates’ Tournament 2013 in London and must have thought ‘better late than never’. This variation took Karjakin by such big surprise that Kramnik was able to obtain the victory with this positioning that only he was familiar with. The duel Svidler – Andreikin caused the next surprise: An opening with the Sicilian Kalashnikov-Variation. Svidler decided the tournament game with two pawns ahead and was more than satisfied with his performance. Anand rested on the laurels of the previous game day and thus played a draw with Black against Topalov. Aronian was able to make up for the setback of the previous round by beating Mamedyarov.

Round 3. 15.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey

Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir

Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Aronian Levon

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 0 – 1 Anand Visvanathan

Andreikin – Karjakin played a relatively calm duel which ended in a draw. The match Svidler – Kramnik caused excitement, as Kramnik managed to turn around the game after Svidler had been in clear advantage temporarily (this elicited an impressed “unbelievable” from Caruana). Topalov – Aronian had a tough time playing perpetual check. Mamedyarov obviously played an aggressive tactic and was put in his place by Anand.

Round 4. 17.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry

Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Topalov Vesselin

Aronian Levon 1 – 0 Svidler Peter

Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir

Andreikin was under pressure of time and had no other chance than to concede the victory to Mamedyarov after the time control in 40th round. The match Karjakin – Topalov was balanced and ended in a foreseeable draw. Svidler began with Grunfeld-Indian against Aronian. The 27th move caused him trouble after almost 40 minutes thinking time and he lost in the admittedly difficult ending stage of the game. Anand – Kramnik played perpetual check with a rather rough draw.

Round 5. 18.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Visvanathan Anand

Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Svidler Peter 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin

Kramnik Vladimir ½ – ½ Aronian Levon

The duels Andreikin – Anand and Karjakin – Mamedyarov ended in draws without noteworthy dramatic incidences. Topalov began well-prepared and was in advantage after a solid opening stage, got stuck then and failed to find his way back into the game, so that Svidler was able decide this battle to his favor. Kramnik put Aronian under severe pressure after a calm opening, but Aronian proved his creativity and defended himself persistently. Kramnik missed the chance that Aronian offered with his mistaken 33rd move and had to comply with a rook-ending and draw after 60 moves.

Round 6. 19.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry

Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey

Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Svidler Peter

Topalov Vesselin 1 – 0 Kramnik Vladimir

Aronian clearly won the end game against Andreikin but didn’t win the duel. Anand against Karjakin ended also in a draw. Svidler gave away his potential victory to Mamedyarov after a successful and surprising opening (Dutch), as he played three bad moves in a row. Kramnik already messed up in the opening and build Topalov a path to winning the game.

Round 7. 21.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Karjakin Sergey 0 – 1 Aronian Levon

Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan

Kramnik Vladimir 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin

Shortly before the end of the duel, Aronian played the only winning move that is hard to find and undoubtedly deserved the victory over Karjakin. After 38 moves the duel of Svidler and Anand ended in a draw. Kramnik was certain of his victory after a successful opening performance, but the match developed into a chaotic mess and Kramnik fell prey to doubts whether to end the game in a victory or draw. In the end, he was able to proudly prevail over Mamedyarov. Topalov was in high spirits after his victory over Kramnik, risked too much and lost against the great opponent Andreikin.

Round 8. 22.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Kramnik Vladimir ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry

Svidler Peter 0 – 1 Karjakin Sergey

Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan

Kramnik – Andreikin preferred to forego the end game and agreed on a draw. Svidler switched to defense after the King’s Indian attack and foolishly offered Karjakin the opportunity to activate his figures through the loss of a pawn. After a further sacrifice, Karjakin won in 82 moves. Mamedyarov sacrificed a knight that Topalov returned immediately. Both played towards a rook ending which resulted in a tie. Aronian – Anand finished the exciting duel after only 19 moves and many surprises.

Round 9. 23.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Karjakin Sergey 1 – 0 Kramnik Vladimir

Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Svidler Peter

Anand Visvanathan 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin

Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Aronian Levon

Karjakin and Kramnik fought a total of 64 moves. Kramnik persistently fought in double rook ending which didn’t help him at all; he had to comply with defeat. Karjakin had finally fought his way up and was now equal in points with Kramnik and Mamedyarov. Andreikin and Svidler unsurprisingly agreed on a draw after an unruffled duel. Anand finished Topalov with a queen’s ending and additional pawn unexpectedly quick. Topalov had to accept the fact that he was now bottom of

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the list. Despite winning the opening, Aronian lost to Mamedyarov who pushed him towards an ending with two additional pawns and bishops unequal in color. Aronian admitted defeat shortly after time control.

Round 10. 25.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry

Kramnik Vladimir 0 – 1 Svidler Peter

Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Topalov Vesselin

Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

For a better endgame, Karjakin played an exchange of queens against Andreikin, which resulted in a draw nevertheless. In the duel against Svidler, Kramnik repeated his mistake of round 9 against Karjakin. Therefore, the match ended in a draw. Aronian – Topalov also ended in a draw. Of particular meaning was the duel of Anand and Mamedyarov who needed a victory to have a realistic chance in the tournament. He still refused Anand’s repetition of move and they agreed on draw after the 30th move.

Round 11. 26.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey

Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Aronian Levon

Kramnik Vladimir ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan

The duel Andreikin – Mamedyarov was unspectacular and resulted in a draw. Topalov once again played by the motto ‘no risk, no fun’. Karjakin was aiming for a draw with this quality sacrifice and was caught by surprise as his positioning was so good that it almost rewarded him with the victory. Svidler played the next draw of this round which is barely worth mentioning. According to himself, Kramnik had given up his hopes on winning the tournament before the game against Anand. Without motivation and obviously tired, he was of no danger to Anand so that this game also ended in a tie.

Round 12. 27.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry

Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey

Topalov Vesselin 1 – 0 Svidler Peter

Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir

Andreikin relied on Carlsen’s Caro-Kann of the World Championship match and tried to use it to prevail over Anand. Anand, on the other hand, had learned from his mistakes and was well-prepared. After the opportunities had been confusing and hard to overlook, Anand decided for draw after the 41st move and a large amount of thinking time. Mamedyarov – Karjakin was a suspenseful match. Karjakin contributed to the excitement by being under severe pressure of time: He managed to play 6 moves in only 13 seconds, but the end game still resulted in a draw. Svidler was lacking practice on of the variations he played and thus struggled to carry through the entire attack; he had to admit defeat. Aronian – Kramnik also ended in draw; however, without any noteworthy highlights.

Round 13. 29.03.2014, 10:00h CET

Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Aronian Levon

Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan

Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Kramnik Vladimir 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin

Aronian responded to Andreikin’s favorite opening Trompovsky with an unconventional 2.-g6. Nevertheless, he did not gain any chances on victory and, according to expectations, Andreikin won the duel in a double rook ending. Therefore Aronian was out of the race. Karjakin did not give up until the 91st move. Still, the game against Anand ended in a tie. Therefore, Anand held an overall score of 8 points and was the definite victor of the tournament. Svidler and Mamedyarov decided for a quick and predictable rook ending and separated after a draw. Despite mistakes on both sides, Kramnik won against Topalov.

Round 14. 30.03.2014, 11:00h CEST

Aronian Levon 0 – 1 Karjakin Sergey

Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Svidler Peter

Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir

Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry

Aronian was performing well against Karjakin, until Karjakin took over the lead after a quality sacrifice. He took the opportunity of aiming for victory without any risk and Aronian resigned after 94 moves. In the duel Anand – Svidler it became clear after the Marshall Attack that this duel would end in a draw. Mamedyarov and Kramnik played their match until the 30th move and ended in a tie.Topalov, being the bottom of the ranking, performed at his best against Andreikin, as this one full point would have been important to him. After 69 moves, finally, he admitted that he had given up all chances on winning with his confusing pawn positioning and the official result of the game was a draw.

 

FINAL SCORES

Anand 8.5

Karjakin 7.5

Kramnik, Andreikin, Mamedyarov 7

Svidler, Aronian 6.5

Topalov 6

Therefore, ‘Vishy’ Anand reaches the same score as Magnus Carlsen at the Candidates’ Tournament 2013 in London and, furthermore, remaines the only undefeated player of the tournament.

How are the odds that he will beat Magnus Carlsen in the upcoming World Championship duel in November?

A report will follow soon..

 

Picture by: Spiegel.de

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Magus Carlsen is new Chess World Champion

The Norwegian Magnus Carlsen is new World Champion in chess. The world’s number 1 prevailed in Chennai at 6.3:3.5 points over title defender Visvanathan Anand, who had been holding viagra sildenafil citrate the title since 2010 and was now dethroned.

 

Draw in 10th rounds decided to Magnus Carlsen’s cialis tadalafil favor

Magnus Carlsen-3

After the 22 year-old was able to win two duels in previous rounds, he beat Anand in the 9th round on Thursday and therefore made a preliminary decision with 6:3 points. Yesterday’s duel ended in another draw, the 7th draw of the series of duels, which meant the victory of Magnus Carlsen with the final score of 6.5:3.5. The draw on Friday was final after 65 moves. Carlsen played the last duel with the white chessmen and didn’t give Anand the slightest chance of forming threats on the board. On the other hand, Carlsen missed a great chance when not taking advantage of Anand’s mistake after about two hours of playing. After 4 hours and 45 minutes, the two opponents tadalafil switched their pieces so that only the two kings remained on the chess board and a checkmate was can fish oil be taken with plavix impossible.

 

Magnus Carlsen – a risk-seeking player

Magnus Carlsen’s victory in Chennai was more than deserved, as the young Norwegian was definitely the chancier and more stable player. The title defender Visvanathan Anand did make several unexpected mistakes which in the end led to Carlsen’s triumph. Many observers of the World Championship 2013 had the impression that Anand seemed tired and at some points didn’t challenge Carlsen enough. At least, he received a consolation prize of $980,000, while Magnus Carlsen’s prize money amounted to 1.57 million US-Dollars. Inexplicable to many observers of the scenario remain the severe mistakes of Anand in the duels 5, 6, and 9 which contributed to Carlsen’s victory. The Indian did plavix generic not achieve a single win at the Chess World Championship 2013 in his home country. The Norwegian is now the second youngest World Champion in the history of chess. Only the Russian player Garri Kasparov was a few months younger when he won the Chess World Championship 1985.

 

Carlsen didn’t offer Anand draw in final duel

To Magnus Carlsen the victory of the Chess World Championship 2013 is an early birthday gift; he celebrates his 23rd birthday on November 30th. After his triumph, the young Norwegian said: “I am very happy about winning the championship. It was tough, but it feels good. Visvanathan Anand is one of the greatest players in the history of chess. It was an honor to play against him.” During the last duel on Friday, Carlsen had many chances to offer Anand the draw, which he didn’t, as that would have been the championship’s final decision.

 

Picture: Frans Peeters

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Chess World Championship 2013: Magnus Carlsen close to championship

At the Chess World Championship in Chennai, 8 out of 12 rounds have been played already. Challenger Magnus Carlsen gets closer to dethroning title defender Visvanathan Anand.

 

5:3 lead after victories in rounds 5 and 6

Magnus Carlsen

The preliminary decision in favor of the world’s number 1 from Norway (Elo 2870) was made after duels 5 and 6. Magnus Carlsen was able to prevail over Visvanathan Anand and secured a 4:2 lead after four draws in the previous rounds. In the meanwhile, duels 7 and 8 were played in India in which title defender Anand (Elo 2775) was not able to strike back. Therefore, the current score after 8 out of 12 duels of the World Championship in Chennai is 5:3 to Carlsen’s favor. The 22 year-old is facing another milestone and the greatest success in his career and might just celebrate his 23rd birthday on November 30th as the new Chess World Champion.

 

8th duel ends in draw after only 33 moves

Yesterday’s duel between Anand and Carlsen was the 8th match of the Championship and truly a reflection of several earlier matches. All draws of prior rounds were rather tiresome, and surprisingly the 43 year-old title defender played a tight game, even though his backlog should indicate otherwise. Many observers of the Chess World Championship 2013 assume that Anand has already resigned and given up on the title defence. According to a contrary assumption, the Indian is trying to focus on the two remaining matches, which he will play with the white chessmen. Anyway, the 8th duel ended in a draw after only 75 minutes and 33 moves. Thus, Carlsen is only 1.5 points – or three draws – away from the title.

 

World Championship is scheduled to last until November 26th

Viswanathan Anand

The World Championship is planned to end with the 12th duel on November 26th 2013. At the moment though, many factors indicate an early end. The prize money of the championship amounts to $2.55 million, which is about 1.89 million Euros. Even before the duels started, Magnus Carlsen received a payment of $100,000 , as he has to compete in Anand’s home country India. If the World Championship ends after 12 duels, the victor gets to take home 60 percent of the prize money, while the loser receives the remaining 40 percent. In case of a tie-break, which seems unlikely at the moment, the prize money is shared 55:45 percent.

 

Pictures: wikipedia/Autopilot & Stefan64

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Chess World Championship 2013: Anand and Carlsen at three draws

At the Chess World Championship 2013 in Chennai, neither of the two chess players has been able to secure a victory in the first three matches. After three draws the current score is 1.5:1.5.

 

Two boring first rounds

Viswanathan Anand

Especially in the first two duels the World Champion Visvanathan Anand (Elo 2775) and World’s Number 1 Magnus Carlsen (Elo 2870) took it slow, so that quick draws were pre-programmed. At the press conference later on, Carlsen was even in the mood of joking around. The Norwegian was asked how he would spend the day off which scheduled in between duels 2 and 3. The world’s number 1 answered he had to recover from these first two exhausting duels.

 

 

Anand with winning chance in third duel of Chess World Championship 2013

Magnus Carlsen

Even though the Norwegian made that comment jokingly, it seemed that both candidates, Magnus Carlsen and Visvanathan Anand, had recovered perfectly from the previous matches, as both chess players played a rather interesting third match yesterday at the Chess World Championshp in Chennai. Magnus Carlsen played White, like in the first game, and opened the match with 1.Nf3, while Anand responded with his first move to 2. g6. For quite a while, moves from the popular Reti-Opening followed, until the World Champion finally deviated from this classic strategy by moving 11.Nd4. The course of the game even gave the title defender the chance in securing the first victory, as he was positioned much better on the board. However, the Norwegian was able to find his way back into the duel and achieved a draw. At least, the third duel of the World Championship 2013 had, for the first time, some excitement to offer.

 

Further course of World Championship 2013 in Chennai

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Accordingly, answers at the following press conference were given. Anand presented himself as a satisfied World Championship candidate, even had a couple of jokes ready for the journalists. Magnus Carlsen, on the other hand, seemed disappointed. After the first duel was played in 16 moves and the second in 25, the third duel ended in a positional draw after 51 moves. There is not much time left for the two grandmasters to analyze their own game, as the fourth duel is scheduled for today.

 

Pictures: wikipedia/Autopilot & Stefan64

written by Michael, translated by Birthe