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Magnus moves closer to his third GRENKE Classic title, Rapport reduces the gap

by Shahid Ahmed - 31/03/2024

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) scored 1.5/2 on the fourth day of GRENKE Chess Classic 2024 to maintain his sole lead. First he defeated Daniel Fridman (GER) in Round 7. Then he drew against the reigning world champion, Ding Liren (CHN) in the eighth round. Richard Rapport (ROU) won both of his games to make a strong comeback after losing two in-a-row. The world no.1, Magnus is still at the top 5.5/8, closely followed by Rapport at 5/8. Magnus will face Vincent Keymer (GER) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) in the last two rounds. Will Magnus win GRENKE Chess Classic for the third time in his career? Round 9 and 10 starts today from 3 p.m. local time, 7:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Angelika Valkova/GRENKE Chess Classic

Rapport wins two in-a-row

After having a tough third day, Richard Rapport (ROU) bounced back by defeating the world champion - Ding Liren (CHN) and then the Germany no.1 - Vincent Keymer. Rapport handed Liren his first loss of the event. The world champion is struggling with his form at this event as he drew all of his games except Round 7.

Magnus Carlsen on the verge of winning his third Grenke Chess Classic title

Carlsen - Fridman, Round 7

Position after 33.Kb3

Daniel Fridman (GER, 2575) decided to exchange the minor pieces 33...Nxb6? 34.axb6 Rb8 35.c4 Rbxb6 36.c5 Rxb4+ 37.Kxb4 the resultant rook endgame is winning for White as his king is very close to the passed c-pawn. 33...Ne5 probably would not have changed the overall outcome of the game, still it could have prolonged the game.

Magnus Carlsen (NOR) defeated Daniel Fridman (GER) with both colors at this event

Rapport - Liren

Position after 29...Nd3

Richard Rapport (ROU, 2708) gained a couple of pawns after 30.Nxg6 hxg6 31.Rxf7+ Kh6 32.Rxf6 White eventually went on to win the game. Although the world champion, Ding Liren (CHN, 2818) kept fighting back, practically it was quite difficult to save the game.

Richard Rapport (ROU) handed Ding Liren (CHN) his first and only loss of the event so far

Keymer - Vachier-Lagrave

Position after 43.Qb6

43...Qd3 would have been winning for Vincent Keymer (GER, 2627) as he cannot defend both knight and his c4-pawn. The game continued 43...Re8 44.Nc3 Qxg3 45.Nxa4 Qd3 here Rb8 was better. 46.Qb5 Re2 47.Nc5 Qc2 48.Nd7 Kh7 49.Nf8+ Kg8 50.Nd7 Kh7 51.Nf8+ Kg8 52.Nd7 Kh7 and it ended in a draw.

Vincent Keymer (GER) is struggling to convert his winning positions into a full point at this event

Round 7 in progress

Round 8: Daniel Fridman (GER) had an interesting draw against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) who sacrificed his queen

Keymer - Rapport

Position after 33.Qd1

Vincent Keymer (GER) blundered 33.Qd1?? which allowed his opponent Richard Rapport (ROU) to win the game. Find out the winning continuation and what White could have done instead.

Richard Rapport beats the World Champion and Vincent Keymer - Game Analysis with Lawrence Trent | Video: GRENKE Chess

Richard Rapport (ROU) scored his second win of the day against Vincent Keymer (GER)

Ding Liren (CHN) - Magnus Carlsen (NOR): 0.5-0.5
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Replay Round 7-8 games

Round 7-8 results

Round 7 on 2024/03/30 at 15:00
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMCarlsen, Magnus1 - 0GMFridman, Daniel
GMRapport, Richard1 - 0GMDing, Liren
GMVachier-Lagrave, Maxime½ - ½GMKeymer, Vincent
Round 8 on 2024/03/30 at 17:00
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMFridman, Daniel½ - ½GMVachier-Lagrave, Maxime
GMKeymer, Vincent0 - 1GMRapport, Richard
GMDing, Liren½ - ½GMCarlsen, Magnus


Standings after Round 8

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgClub/CityPts.
GMCarlsen, MagnusNOR28235,5
GMRapport, RichardROU27085
GMVachier-Lagrave, MaximeFRA27554
GMDing, LirenCHN28183,5
GMKeymer, VincentGER26273
GMFridman, DanielGER25753


Round 9-10 pairings

Round 9 on 2024/03/31 at 15:00
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMDing, LirenGMFridman, Daniel
GMCarlsen, MagnusGMKeymer, Vincent
GMRapport, RichardGMVachier-Lagrave, Maxime
Round 10 on 2024/03/31 at 17:00
Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMFridman, DanielGMRapport, Richard
GMVachier-Lagrave, MaximeGMCarlsen, Magnus
GMKeymer, VincentGMDing, Liren



6 players, double round robin (two games with reversed colors against each player)

Time control: 45 minutes per game, with a 10 sec increment from move 1

No draw offers before move 40

Places 1, 3 and 5 will be decided in 2 games with reversed colors. In the case of a score of 1-1, a tiebreaker decides: 2 games 10+2 (10 minutes + 2 sec increment per move), if necessary 2 more games 5+2, if then necessary: Armageddon (6 minutes for White, 5 minutes for Black, in case of a draw the Black player wins).


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