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Casablanca Chess R1-3: Carlsen makes a great start

by Shahid Ahmed - 19/05/2024

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) made a great start at Casablanca Chess 2024. He scored 2.5/3 in the first three rounds. The world no.1 defeated Vishy Anand, drew with Bassem Amin (EGY) and then won against Hikaru Nakamura (USA). The positions were from Chigorin - Steinitiz, World Championship 1889 in Round 1, Xie Jun - Alisa Galliamova, Women's World Championship 1999 and Karpov - Kasparov, World Championship 1985. Nakamura is at 1.5/3, followed by Bassem and Anand at 1/3 each. Will Carlsen dominate the second half of the tournament too or someone will fight back? Round 4 starts today at 7:15 p.m. local time, 11:45 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes

Anand and Bassem score two draws

Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand faced each other in the very first round | Photo: Lennart Ootes
Magnus Carlsen gives his initial take on the Casablanca variant of chess | Video: ChessBase India

The first position of the first round was a game between Mikhail Chigorin and Wilhelm Steinitz from World Championship 1889, Game 5. The game had to be played after 10...Bb6. Let's take a look at the starting position:

Round 1

Position after 10...Bb6

All four players were given a sheet where the first ten moves were written in a scoresheet form | Photo: Lennart Ootes

On the right-hand side, there is a quote: "As time goes by / A fight for love and glory / A case of do or die". The photo above is of Humphrey Bogart. Movie aficionado's will recognize the quote and photo easily. Can you guess which movie is it from? Apart from the hints mentioned above, the other obvious hint is: too easy. The answer is everywhere.

Carlsen - Anand

Position after 13.dxe5

Here Anand made the mistake of playing 13...Qc5? 14.Rd5+- Qxf2+ 15.Kh1 Qb2 16.Rb1 and the queen is trapped Qxa3 17.Qxa3 Nxc4 18.Qa4 Ne3 19.Rxb6 Nxd5 20.Rxc6 and White won.

Carlsen beats Anand in just ten moves - Analysis by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) and Vishy Anand before the start of Round 1 | Photo: Sagar Shah
No one can mess with Nakamura's calculation - Hikaru Nakamura (USA) vs Bassem Amin (EGY) - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

Hikaru Nakamura (USA) won the first round against Bassem Amin (EGY)

The second round position was from a game between Xie Jun and Alisa Galliamova from Women's World Championship 1999, Game 10. The game had to be played after 11...Bb7. Let's take a look at the starting position:

Round 2

Position after 11...Bb7

Both Bassem-Carlsen and Anand-Nakamura games ended in draws.

When World no.1 Magnus Carlsen took on Africa no.1 Bassem Amin | Video: ChessBase India

FIDE President - Arkady Dvorkovich made the first move on both Bassem Amin - Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand - Hikaru Nakamura's boards | Photo: Lennart Ootes

In the third round, the position was from a game between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov from World Championship 1985, Game 14. The game had to be played after 11...Be6. Let's take a look at the starting position:

Round 3

Position after 11...Be6

Round 3: Nakamura - Carlsen: 0-1

It was Nakamura who made the first inaccuracy when he went 17.Bf3?

Position after 17.Bf3?

White needed to play 17.f3 to drive the knight back. Instead, 17.Bf3? Qd7 18.Rg1 Nh2 19.Bxg5+ f6 20.Be3 Rcg8 21.h5 Nxf3+ 22.Qxf3 Qb5 gave Black an edge.

Hikaru Nakamura vs Magnus Carlsen, Round 3 - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

World no.2 Fabiano Caruana (USA) tweeted on this game

Tarik Senhaji, CEO of Casablanca Stock Exchange, made the ceremonial first move on both Nakamura-Carlsen and Amin-Anand's boards | Photo: Lennart Ootes
Bassem Amin - Vishy Anand | Video: ChessBase India

The beautiful playing arena | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Hikaru Nakamura (USA) speaks at the park meet flanked by Bassem Amin (EGY), Vishy Anand, FDE President - Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE Deputy Chair - WGM Dana Reizniece-Ozola (LAT) and others | Photo: Sagar Shah

Video Gallery

"I was 16 when this game happened!" - Vishy Anand after day 1 of Casablanca variant | Video: ChessBase India
Draws against Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand | Bassem Amin on the first day of Casablanca Chess 2024 | Video: ChessBase India
The love for Vishy Anand in Casablanca, Morocco from the fans | Video: ChessBase India
Fans go crazy seeing Hikaru Nakamura in Casablanca, Morocco | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 1-3 games


Sunday, May 19

Round 4 at 7:15 pm / Anand vs Carlsen & Amin vs Nakamura

Round 5 at 8:30 pm / Carlsen vs Amin & Nakamura vs Anand

Round 6 at 9:45 pm / Carlsen vs Nakamura & Anand vs Amin

Time control

The time control is 15 minutes with a 10-second increment. No draw offers will be permitted.

Related news:
Magnus Carlsen conquers Casablanca Chess 2024

@ 20/05/2024 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Back to the Future with Casablanca Chess!

@ 18/05/2024 by ChessBase India (en)
Chess Titans Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand and Amin set for Epic Showdown in Casablanca, Morocco

@ 03/05/2024 by ChessBase India (en)

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