chessbase india logo

Carlsen finally beats So in the Finals to win FTX Crypto Cup

by Shahid Ahmed - 01/06/2021

Magnus Carlsen broke his jinx and beat Wesley So in his third attempt to win the finals in a Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event. It was a huge relief for him to win the FTX Crypto Cup as he mentioned in the post-match interview. So stretched Carlsen to his limit as for the first time in this season these two played not only Blitz tie-breaks but also Armageddon to decide the winner of the event. It was a battle that everyone enjoyed including Carlsen whose celebration after each victory and especially the final one will be one for the ages. This is Carlsen's second consecutive tournament victory and one can only anticipate that he would like to do a hat-trick by winning the next event he plays. Photo: Champions Chess Tour

So stretched Carlsen to Armageddon

Carlsen started the second set of the Finals with a win over So who immediately delivered the equalizer in the next game. After making two draws, So won the first blitz game which again put Carlsen in a must-win situation. Like the rest of the tournament, Carlsen won on demand to enforce Armageddon which he won to beat So for the first time in this season of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals to win FTX Crypto Cup.

Carlsen finally breaks his So jinx | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Carlsen in a post-match interview shared, "I came back five times when I sort of needed to win and I also lost twice. It was just absolutely insane. I am just so happy to have pulled through." On being third time lucky to beat So in the finals, "It's a massive relief. I do feel at the end we were both pretty broken. Sometimes things goes your way but it was what it was." He added further on his chances in Armageddon, "I wouldn't say I was confident per say but I did feel there were still decent chances. I wasn't even that unhappy that he chose black. If we needed to play our best then having an extra minute is nice. In the end that turned out to be pretty important." 

So put up a valiant fight | Photo: chess24 live stream

So as always is very classy with his response, "First I would like to thank Lord Jesus for letting me play extremely well in this tournament. I think I did much better than anyone expected, including myself. I am actually pretty pleased with the way that I played today, probably except Armageddon. It was so bad. Of course it's heartbreaking. I would like to congratulate Magnus on a great performance. I think he is a well-deserved winner for this one. I think he played the best out of all, maybe in the Prelims Fabiano did but overall Magnus played the best..."

Post-match interview with Wesley So | Video: chess24

So - Carlsen: 3-4*

Carlsen scored a very nice victory in the first game by showcasing his endgame prowess.

Carlsen - So, Game 1

Position after 24...Ba4

Find out the correct plan for white in the above diagram. With this win, Carlsen took a 1-0 lead.

The second and fourth game were the exactly the same Berlin draws in 29 moves.

So - Carlsen, Game 3

Position after 16...f6

16...f6 is the first mistake which shifted the balance in So's favor. As after 17.f3 c6 18.Bd3 Ng5 19.Bxg6 hxg6 20.Bxg5 fxg5 black got the not-so-ideal triple pawn.

Position after 20...fxg5

It was certainly not going to be easy for Carlsen to make a recovery from this position especially against So, someone who has beaten the Norwegian twice in the finals in this season and definitely holds a psychological advantage.

Position after 30...Kh8

Find out the finish for white in the above diagram.

So immediately struck back to level the score 1-1. He got a better position out of the opening and had no trouble converting it.

So - Carlsen, Game 2

Position after 12.f4

There is no easy way for black to handle the position after 12.f4

Position after 22...Qc6

Find out the best continuation for white in the above diagram.

Third game was a well-fought draw.

Fourth game was a short 14-move Berlin draw. The second set was also drawn and for the first time in Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event, a Carlsen-So final went into blitz tie-break. Carlsen blundered in the endgame of the first blitz tie-break.

Carlsen - So, Blitz 1

Position after 26...Nxc5

White needed to play 27.Rc3 and things would have stayed fine but he blundered with 27.Qxc5 and So immediately pounced on the opportunity with 27...Rc6 to get the first win in the tie-breaks. So took 1-0 lead.

Carlsen was absolutely livid about his blunder.

In the second game, Carlsen immediately struck back after So miscalculated in the middlegame.

So - Carlsen, Blitz 2

Position after 25.Qc3

25.Qc3 allows black to gain the upper hand. Find out how. Carlsen converted his advantage into a win and tied the blitz tie-break 1-1. Thus Armageddon was enforced.

Carlsen expressed his joy after winning the second blitz tie-break

So opted for black pieces in Armageddon, as per tournament regulations, the player who finished higher in the Prelims stage gets to decide the color for Armageddon.

Carlsen - So, Armageddon

Position after 19...f6

So played a bit out of his element and landed himself in trouble with some questionable decisions in the middlegame. Carlsen as always grabbed every single opportunity and converted it into a victory. Thus Carlsen for the first time beat Wesley So in the Finals of a Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event.

This win means a lot to Carlsen. One can tell that easily by looking at the celebration he had after he beat his nemesis So

Radjabov - Nepomniachtchi: 1.5-2.5

Nepomniachtchi won the first game against Radjabov after the latter opted for hippopotamus structure against Nepomniachtchi's choice of Larsen opening.

Radjabov returned the favor by striking back in the second game and score was level 1-1.

Radjabov - Nepomniachtchi, Game 2

Position after 26.Nxb5

White utilized his passed b-pawn to its advantage and eventually it played a key role in white getting the victory.

Nepomniachtchi once again employed his trustworthy Larsen opening and scored a victory, taking 1-2 lead.

Fourth game was a well contested draw which meant Nepomniachtchi won the match 1.5-2.5 and he secured third place.

3rd place - Ian Nepomniachtchi US$ 25000 + 0.25 BTC | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

After the event, Nepomniachtchi took to twitter and made a cryptic tweet. Just like Jonathan Tisdall, the chess universe is unable to make out what exactly he meant.

Former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov tweeted his thoughts on the previous days four short draws.

Radjabov congratulated Carlsen

Replay all Final games from Day 2

Replay the live stream

FTX Crypto Cup Final Day 2 | Champions Chess Tour Live Commentary | Video: ChessBase India

Final Day 1 results

Carlsen-So Finals went all the way to Armageddon | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Tour Standings

Carlsen, So and Radjabov maintain their top three places in the Tour Standings | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

Everyday game starts at 8:30 p.m. IST

Links

Official site

Tournament Regulations


Related news:
Chessable Masters QF Day 2: Liem storms into Semifinals

@ 05/08/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Chessable Masters QF Day 1: Jorden ends So's unbeaten streak

@ 04/08/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Chessable Masters Day 3: So tops the Prelims

@ 03/08/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Chessable Masters Day 2: So remains unbeaten in the first ten

@ 02/08/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Chessable Masters Day 1: So takes an early sole lead 4.0/5

@ 01/08/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Harikrishna, Humpy and Adhiban will feature in Chessable Masters

@ 31/07/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Levon Aronian wins Goldmoney Asian Rapid

@ 05/07/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Aronian is one step closer to win the Goldmoney Asian Rapid

@ 04/07/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Goldmoney Asian Rapid SF Day 2: Aronian knocks out Carlsen

@ 03/07/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Goldmoney Asian Rapid SF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and Ding Liren

@ 02/07/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Goldmoney Asian Rapid QF Day 2: Arjun's dream debut comes to an end

@ 01/07/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Goldmoney Asian Rapid QF Day 1: Arjun Erigaisi ends Aronian's unbeaten streak

@ 30/06/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 3: Magnificent Arjun Erigaisi qualifies to the Quarter-Finals

@ 29/06/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 2: Arjun Erigaisi continues to impress

@ 28/06/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Goldmoney Asian Rapid Day 1: Arjun Erigaisi surprises Dubov

@ 27/06/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit, Adhiban, Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi will feature in Goldmoney Asian Rapid

@ 25/06/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FTX Crypto Cup Finals Day 1: Carlsen-So put up a good fight while Radjabov draws the ire

@ 31/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FTX Crypto Cup SF Day 2: Carlsen vs So III in the Finals

@ 30/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FTX Crypto Cup SF Day 1: So wins the first set against Nepomniachtchi

@ 29/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FTX Crypto Cup QF Day 2: Carlsen eliminates Nakamura in an exciting thriller

@ 28/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FTX Crypto Cup QF Day 1: Carlsen and Nakamura engage in a brutal slugfest

@ 27/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FTX Crypto Cup Day 2 and 3: Caruana wins the Prelims 10.0/15

@ 26/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
FTX Crypto Cup Day 1: Giri in the sole lead 4.0/5

@ 24/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Carlsen will face Nepomniachtchi in World's first Bitcoin chess tournament - FTX Crypto Cup

@ 23/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Arjun Erigaisi beats Adhiban to win the Indian Qualifier

@ 11/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
अर्जुन नें साधा इंडियन क्वालिफायर खिताब पर निशाना

@ 10/05/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Adhiban and Arjun Erigaisi qualify to the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

@ 10/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
अधिबन - अर्जुन मे होगा इंडियन क्वालिफायर फाइनल

@ 09/05/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
CCT Indian Qualifier QF: Adhiban eliminates Praggnanandhaa

@ 09/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
इंडियन क्वालिफायर - अधिबन नें प्रग्गा को किया बाहर

@ 08/05/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
CCT Indian Qualifier Pre QF: Mitrabha stuns Sasikiran

@ 08/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
इंडियन क्वालिफायर - निहाल और शशिकिरण हुए बाहर

@ 07/05/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Adhiban starts as the top seed in Indian Champions Chess Tour Qualifier

@ 07/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
इंडियन चैस टूर क्वालिफायर - अधिबन होंगे टॉपसीड

@ 06/05/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Carlsen ends his championship drought by winning New in Chess Classic

@ 03/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Finals Day 1: Carlsen wins the first set

@ 02/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic SF Day 2: Carlsen and Nakamura setup an epic clash in the Finals

@ 01/05/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic SF Day 1: No one is invincible

@ 30/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic QF Day 2: Carlsen, Aronian, Mamedyarov and Nakamura advance

@ 29/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic QF Day 1: Advantage Aronian, Mamedyarov and Nakamura

@ 28/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Day 3: Praggnanandhaa impresses Carlsen

@ 27/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Day 2: Carlsen takes sole lead 7.0/10

@ 26/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
New in Chess Classic Day 1: Praggnanandhaa makes a brilliant start 3.0/5

@ 25/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit and Praggnanandhaa set for Meltwater Champions Chess Tour New in Chess Classic

@ 17/04/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
अनीश गिरि बने मेगनस इनविटेशनल विजेता

@ 22/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Anish Giri deservedly wins Magnus Invitational

@ 22/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - नेपो और अनीश ? कौन बनेगा सरताज ?

@ 21/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Giri or Nepomniachtchi - Who will win the Magnus Invitational?

@ 21/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Invitational SF Day 2: World Champions Carlsen and So get eliminated

@ 20/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Invitational SF Day 1: World Champions in peril

@ 19/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल SF1 - नेपो नें कार्लसन को दिया झटका

@ 19/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational QF Day 2: Carlsen, So, Giri and Nepomniachtchi dominate

@ 18/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल : कार्लसन ,नेपो ,सो और गिरि सेमी फाइनल मे

@ 18/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and So

@ 17/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल QF - कार्लसन -सो की आसान जीत

@ 17/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 3: Carlsen tops the Prelims

@ 16/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D3 : कार्लसन की शीर्ष पर वापसी

@ 16/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 2: Giri maintains his sole lead

@ 15/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D2 : अनीश का जलवा बरकरार

@ 15/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल D1 : अनीश नें दी कार्लसन को मात

@ 14/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Magnus Invitational Day 1: Giri beats Carlsen

@ 14/03/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - राउंड 1 सीधा प्रसारण : LIVE

@ 13/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस इनविटेशनल - क्या अब जीतेंगे कार्लसन ?

@ 11/03/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Does Wesley So have Magnus Carlsen's number? Sagar and Amruta try to find out!

@ 15/02/2021 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Wesley So beats Carlsen in the Finals and wins Opera Euro Rapid

@ 15/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Finals: Carlsen and So poised for a thrilling finish

@ 14/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid SF Day 2: Carlsen and So set up a rematch in the Finals

@ 13/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid SF Day 1: Carlsen beats Vachier-Lagrave, Radjabov struggles against So

@ 12/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid QF Day 2: Dubov pushes Carlsen to his limit

@ 11/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave and So

@ 10/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 3: Vidit misses against Carlsen

@ 09/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 2: Vidit beats Dubov

@ 08/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Opera Euro Rapid Day 1: Carlsen takes sole lead 4.0/5

@ 07/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit Gujrathi returns to Meltwater Champions Chess Tour in Opera Euro Rapid

@ 05/02/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Radjabov reigns supreme in Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters

@ 04/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Can Radjabov win Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters?

@ 03/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters SF Day 2: Radjabov and Aronian rush to the Finals

@ 02/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters SF Day 1: Radjabov and Aronian win the first set

@ 01/01/2021 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters QF Day 2: Dubov eliminates Carlsen

@ 31/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters QF Day 1: Advantage Aronian and Vachier-Lagrave

@ 30/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 3: Harikrishna, Grischuk, Giri and Anton get eliminated

@ 29/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 2: Carlsen joins the six-pack lead

@ 28/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Airthings Masters Day 1: Harikrishna holds Carlsen to a draw

@ 27/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Harikrishna will star in the Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters

@ 25/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Wesley So wins Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open

@ 01/12/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Can Carlsen win Skilling Open on his 30th birthday?

@ 30/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open SF Day 2: So sets up a clash with Carlsen in the Finals

@ 29/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open SF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen and So

@ 28/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open QF Day 2: Nepomniachtchi, So and Nakamura make epic comebacks

@ 27/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Skilling Open QF Day 1: Advantage Carlsen, Aronian, Radjabov and MVL

@ 26/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R11-15: Carlsen tops the preliminary stage

@ 25/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R6-10: Anish Giri maintains his sole lead

@ 24/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open R1-5: Anish Giri takes sole lead

@ 23/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Vidit Gujrathi will star in the Champions Chess Tour Skilling Open

@ 22/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
भारत से विदित गुजराती हुए चैम्पियन चैस टूर मे शामिल

@ 15/11/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
मेगनस कार्लसन नें की चैम्पियन्स चैस टूर की घोषणा

@ 06/11/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)