World champion Magnus Carlsen’s victory in the first elite online tournament last weekend attracted a peak internet audience of more than 114,000 fans for the final, where Carlsen narrowly defeated the US champion Hikaru Nakamura 2.5-1.5,
It followed a gripping and combative semi-final where Carlsen was on the verge of defeat against China’s world No3 Ding Liren due to what he described as a “complete blindspot” which allowed Ding to score in this week’s puzzle diagram. Ding had more than one chance to clinch the match before Carlsen scraped through, again by 2.5-1.5.
The six-figure audience viewed the final on the website chess24.com with move by move grandmaster and computer commentaries in nine languages, while Norwegian television covered the event live. Carlsen has steadily improved his media skills during his seven years as champion, and has become an expert in delivering one-liners on his games.
Next up is the Nations Cup, a team event organised by the global body Fide and staged on chess.com from 5-10 May. Games start at 2pm, and there are two rounds daily. China are the top seeds ahead of the United States.
Ding Liren v Magnus Carlsen, Invitational 2020. One move earlier, Carlsen (Black) could have played Rc4-c3 with an edge. Instead,after five minutes’ thought, he chose Kg8-h7, reaching the puzzle diagram, which a commentator called “an unbelievable howler”. Can you refute the world champion’s error and win the game for White (to move)?
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