Magnus Carlsen continues to dominate online elite chess, and the world champion won all his three matches in last week’s Chessable Masters in straight 2-0 sets.
The Norwegian’s victories over America's world No2 Fabiano Caruana and China's world No3 Ding Liren were decisive, but his weekend final against Anish Giri was contrastingly mixed.
After edging the first set, Carlsen looked en route for a runaway victory when he caught the Netherlands No1 in a deeply prepared line. The time limit for the game was 15 minutes, plus 10 seconds per move increment. After 23 moves Carlsen was still in his homework, and his clock showed 17 minutes while his opponent was down to three.
The final stage, featured in this week's puzzle, evoked high praise from the seasoned commentators, eight-time Russian champion Peter Svidler (“a showpiece”) and four-time US champion Yasser Seirawan (“a masterpiece”). Carlsen seemed poised to run away with the second set, but reality was different.
Giri stood better in the remaining games, but faltered at decisive moments and drew all three, leaving Carlsen a 2.5-1.5 winner.
His next event, starting July 21, is the Legends of Chess, where eight of the 12 players will be former stars.
Magnus Carlsen v Anish Giri, Chessable Masters final 2020. Can you find the world champion's surprise winning white move? If you miss it, two other moves win as well.
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