Carlsen Takes Pole Position In Miami Despite Loss To Duda

Carlsen Takes Pole Position In Miami Despite Loss To Duda


The FTX Crypto Cup is no longer a two-horse race as both GMs Magnus Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa R. lost their matches in round five. Whereas Pragg went down in three games vs. GM Le Quang Liem, Carlsen took the sole lead as he got one point for losing to GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the tiebreak.

FTX Crypto Cup

Duda-Carlsen 4-2

Alongside three matches that only lasted three games, Carlsen and Duda played a most spectacular mini-match that saw six decisive games and not a single draw. The Polish GM, who famously stopped Carlsen’s 125-game unbeaten streak in 2020 and then beat the Norwegian in the 2021 World Cup, once again proved to be a tough opponent for the world champion.

In fact, Duda could have sealed this match in three games as well, after winning the first two and getting a close to winning position in the third. Carlsen, who had suffered several tactical oversights by that point, managed to swindle his way back into the game and the match.

“It was an awful game but it was the result I needed,” said Carlsen.

During that third game, after Black’s 36th move, the internet collapsed in the playing hall as a result of a power outage in the area. This led to a surreal situation, which lasted about 10 minutes, where the players couldn’t continue their games if only someone brought them some wooden chess sets. Although it happened in his thinking time, Duda blundered shorty after the internet was back, and then also lost the fourth game.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda FTX Crypto Cup
Jan-Krzysztof Duda getting ready for the tiebreak. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

It seemed Carlsen had the momentum here, but as it turned out, Duda used the five-minute break well. He arrived early in the playing hall, got himself together, played good chess and defeated the world champion in both blitz games.

Carlsen was highly critical of his play, but gave his answers with a smile on his face: “This was so pathetically poor that it’s hard to find words for. I just couldn’t think. Just a horribly day of chess.”

Here’s the first blitz game, where Duda won from a lost position:

Le-Praggnanandhaa 2.5-0.5

On what was “a very tense day” according to the Vietnamese grandmaster, Le beat Praggnanandhaa twice after drawing the first game. He felt the second game was the critical one: “I was worse in the opening and he was playing very fast, putting a lot of pressure. Then at some point I think he over-pushed with this 35.g4+. Probably he should take a draw there.”

As it turned out, the real mistake came later:

Le Quang Liem FTX Crypto
Le Quang Liem stopped Praggnanandhaa’s winning streak. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Firouzja-Niemann 2.5-0.5

GM Hans Niemann‘s suffering continued as he lost to GM Alireza Firouzja in dramatic fashion. As a result, Firouzja is now only a point behind Praggnanandhaa and only two points behind Carlsen in the standings.

After a draw and a win for Firouzja, Niemann got a completely winning position in game three but then blundered his queen. “It’s very strange because normally he doesn’t do this. I guess it’s my luck today,” said Firouzja.

Alireza Firouzja FTX Crypto Cup
Alireza Firouzja: “This last game was very low level from me; he played very good.” Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Giri-Aronian 2.5-0.5

“I just got lucky today, he was not at his best,” said GM Anish Giri after beating GM Levon Aronian twice, with one draw in the first game. He was mostly referring to game two, where Aronian’s loss was self-inflicted:

Luck seemed to be the theme of the day. Giri elaborated with an interesting point of view on top chess these days, where the Dutch GM presumably was referring to games with faster time controls:

“In general, how I consider top chess, is basically like you have to be really talented and work really, really hard and do everything you can, but the moment you actually play, of course you have to give your best and stuff, but the outcome is basically decided by luck. Magnus of course is better than the rest so he is on average scoring better but when I play other peers, I feel we’ve already done everything and now it’s just a coin toss. Of course it’s not JUST a coin toss, like if I do a coin toss with a random guy and I’m gonna beat him, but if you do everything right, and you are a professional chess player, the result will be basically a coin toss, that’s the way I see it.”

Anish Giri coin toss
Anish Giri on top-level chess: “Basically a coin toss.”

All games round 5

FTX Crypto Cup | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Pts
1 Magnus Carlsen 2822 13
2 Praggnanandhaa R. 2751 12
3 Alireza Firouzja 2793 11
4 Anish Giri 2783 7
5-6 Le Quang Liem 2775 6
5-6 Jan-Krzyztof Duda 2792 6
7 Levon Aronian 2793 5
8 Hans Niemann 2615 0

The FTX Crypto Cup, the sixth event in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, takes place August 15-21, 2022 on chess24. The format is a round-robin among eight players, who play a match of four rapid games (15+10) in each round. The winner earns $7,500 and three points. In the case of a tie, a two-game blitz tiebreak is played (5+3), followed by an armageddon game (5 vs. 4). In that case, the winner earns $5,000 and two points; the loser, $2,500 and one point. The prize fund is $210,000 plus an additional $100,000 tied to the price of Bitcoin.

Previous coverage:


Source link

Tinggalkan Balasan