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Magnus Carlsen has won his last seven tournaments in a row, but Norway’s world champion faces a stiff test this week and weekend as the Zagreb event, one of the strongest ever held, reaches its climax.
Carlsen shares a three-way tie for the lead on 4/6, with three others immediately behind on 3.5/6. The leading group includes players from the US, China and Russia who are the 28-year-old’s closest rivals in the world rankings.
An elegant opening-round 23-move win against Anish Giri of the Netherlands set a keynote for Carlsen’s technical approach. His early advance of the h pawn to undermine the opponent’s king has become a standard theme.
All the games are free and live to watch online (3.30pm BST start) at grandchesstour.org/2019 with computer and grandmaster commentaries.
If you haven’t tried it before, watching a chess tournament can be as gripping as outdoor sport. You can understand what is happening and who is winning even if you are only novice standard. The computer gives a numerical assessment after every move, together with its suggestions for the next turn which you can follow on a play-through board. The human commentators also make the strategies and tactics clear for non-expert viewers. Try it!
This is a variation from the game Vishy Anand v Shak Mamedyarov, Moscow 2016. White (to move) is two pawns down, with his f5 knight attacked. How can he avoid defeat?
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