FTX Crypto Cup finals: Carlsen and So trade blows
Four quick draws in third place match
It was a curious day of action, as the FTX Crypto Cup final and third place match kicked off on Sunday. In the first set of the Championship game, a rather symmetrical streak saw Magnus Carlsen and Wesley play the exact same moves to sign draws in Games 2 and 4 (when Carlsen was white) and trade punches in Games 1 and 3 (when they have played the same opening variation until move 10) to go to day 2 with the score tied.
Meanwhile, besides symmetrical, the match between Teimour Radjabov and Ian Nepomniachtchi was rather disappointing. None of the four matches lasted more than 15 strokes, with the players also repeating the same stroke sequence in matches 1 and 3. Jorden van Foreest tweeted:
– Jorden van Foreest (@jordenvforeest) May 30, 2021
Perhaps an extraordinary event – similar to the mosquito swarm that invaded Nepo’s house on Saturday – caused players to agree to a quick day at the office. And, nevertheless, as Peter Leko noted, even if the players repeat the same formula in the second set, “there will be blood” in either blitz or Armageddon.
So everything is to be decided on Monday. After losing twice in this stage previously, will Carlsen finally manage to defeat So in the Champions Chess Tour final?
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Carlsen 2 – 2 So
The world champion inflicted So’s first loss in the event to get ahead of the scoreboard from the start. The American grandmaster’s 29-game unbeaten streak came to an end after underestimating Carlsen’s attacking chances on shot 27.
27.Qc5 was overly optimistic, as Black quickly created an attack on the king’s side. He followed 27 … Rbf7 and Carlsen continued to win in style. Karsten Müller analyzed the Norwegian’s victory.
In Game 3, it was Carlsen who misjudged the position assessment, allowing his opponent to decisively damage his structure on the king’s side.
Black cannot avoid having “ triplets ” on the g file after 18 … Ng5 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.Bxg5 fxg5
After 21.Qd3, So began to exploit the weaknesses of his rival and only needed ten moves to level the score.
It was a bit surprising to see Carlsen allow a quick draw with White in Game 4, but he later revealed he felt bad from the start.
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