Carlsen Wins Champions Chess Tour Finals With Round To Spare

Carlsen Wins Champions Chess Tour Finals With Round To Spare


GM Magnus Carlsen clinched the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals with a round to spare as he won his sixth match on Saturday, against GM Praggnanandhaa R. GM Wesley So is in second place, but five points behind Carlsen, after beating GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals live

After his sixth match win in a row, IM Tania Sachdev asked Carlsen: “Ever since you announced you will not be playing the world championship, does every tournament have that extra meaning for you, where you wanna prove that regardless of which tournament you play you’re still the beat player in the world?” Carlsen’s answer was a firm: “Yeah!”

Once again, Carlsen only needed three game to win his match. In fact, it was the second day of the tournament that saw only three games in all matches.

“I’m relieved, it was a tough match today,” said Carlsen. “The score doesn’t tell the whole story at all.”

Pragg was doing well in all three games actually, but as the games progressed, the world champion took over at some point. “I think in the first two games, in both games I was the one who was pushing and I think with little time I was just playing terrible today,” said the 17-year-old from Chennai.

The second game was fascinating:

The battle for second place hasn’t been decided yet, but So is now having the best chances after an important win against Duda. So lost his first two matches but then won four in a row to go from last to second place.

After he won the first as Black, the second was critical as So managed to win from a lost position. “Objectively he should have won the game but then he got very low on time and he just started blundering one move after another,” he said.

Wesley So Meltwater finals
Wesley So is now in second place. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

In fourth place we find a surprising name. GM Arjun Erigaisi, who had such a bad start as he was likely struggling with playing after midnight, won yet another match. He beat GM Le Quang Liem and leapfrogged his opponent in the standings.

Erigaisi won the first two games, and drew the second. Here’s the first game: 

If there is a fight for last place, it was the match between GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov GM Anish Giri. Mamedyarov emerged victoriously after winning both of his black games in the Open Ruy Lopez, pushing the Dutchman further down the standings. 

Day 6 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Score
1 Magnus Carlsen 2848 17
2 Wesley So 2774 12
3 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2798 10
4 Arjun Erigaisi 2733 9
5 Le Quang Liem 2775 8
6-7 Praggnanandhaa R. 2750 6
6-7 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2756 6
8 Anish Giri 2732 4

All games day 6

The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals take place November 14-20, 2022 on chess24. The format is an eight-player round-robin; each round has four-game rapid matches, and the winner gets three points. The time control is 15 minutes for each game plus a 10-second increment. A tiebreak follows immediately in case of a 2-2 tie and in that case, the winner gets two points and the loser, one.

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