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CCT Finals R3: Carlsen beats Vachier-Lagrave in tie-breaks

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/09/2021

Magnus Carlsen is cruising towards the finish as he beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the third round of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals. The world champion bounced back strong after suffering three losses against Mamedyarov on the previous day. The Frenchman managed to defeat the world champion only once. Duda and Giri got the better of Azerbaijan's Mamedyarov and Radjabov in tie-breaks respectively. So and Nakamura were the only three-pointers of the round as they defeated their opponents in Rapid time control only. Round 4 starts tonight at 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: London Chess Classic

So reduces the gap

So and Nakamura won their matches without the need of tie-breaks against Artemiev and Aronian respectively. They remained undefeated in the third round. Since Carlsen won his match in tie-breaks, thus the gap between Carlsen and So got reduced to five points from six.

Carlsen got stretched to tie-breaks by Vachier-Lagrave | Photo: London Chess Classic

Duda - Mamedyarov: 3.5-2.5

Duda started his third round with a win against Mamedyarov in a sharp game. However, Mamedyarov missed a tactical opportunity.

Duda - Mamedyarov, Game 1

Position after 19.Kg1

Find out the winning combination for Black in the above position. Duda gained a 1-0 lead.

Mamedyarov immediately delivered the equalizer in the second game and levelled the score 1-1.

Duda escaped with a draw in the third game after Mamedyarov missed multiple opportunities.

Mamedyarov lost the first Blitz game after missing a golden opportunity.

Duda - Mamedyarov, Blitz 1

Position after 25.e5

White was already reeling. 25.e5 made things that much worse for White. Unfortunately Mamedyarov did not realize his opportunity and made a bigger mistake 25...Bh8. Find out the winning combination for Black in the above position. Duda gained a 3-2 lead.

Since a draw was enough for Duda to win the match against Mamedyarov, he made a draw in the second Blitz game, where only he had winning chances. Duda scored 2 points and Mamedyarov got only 1 point.

Carlsen - Vachier-Lagrave: 3.5-2.5

Carlsen won the first game in 26 moves after Vachier-Lagrave miscalculated his opponent's plans in the endgame.

After a draw in the second game, Vachier-Lagrave struck back in the third one.

Carlsen - Vachier-Lagrave, Game 3

Position after 32.Kxc1

It is not every day, you see the world champion making a mistake while transposing into an endgame. After exchanging both rooks on the c-file, the game liquidated into a pawn ending which is completely winning for Black. Find out the winning plan in the above position.

Fourth game ended in a draw, which means Blitz tie-breaks were enforced. Carlsen won the first Blitz game as Vachier-Lagrave made a miscalculation at a critical moment.

Carlsen was winning the second Blitz game too, however he decided to make a draw because it is enough for him to win the match 3.5-2.5. The world champion got 2 points, Vachier-Lagrave got 1 point.

So - Artemiev: 2.5-1.5

The first two games ended in well-contested draws. Artemiev got a good opportunity in the third game.

So - Artemiev, Game 3

Position after 20.Bd3

20.Bd3 is a mistake as 20...Qb6+ and now Ne3 is a deadly threat which White cannot thwart. Black missed chance and played 20...g4 directly allowing White to save the position 21.Rf2. Artemiev got one more opportunity before he lost the game.

So drew the fourth game in an advantageous position as it was enough for him to win the match 2.5-1.5. That means So earned 3 points and Artemiev got zero.

Aronian - Nakamura: 1-3

Aronian for the first time in this event, started the day with a loss.

Aronian - Nakamura, Game 1

Position after 14.Nd2

14.Nd2 allowed Black to gain a pawn using simple tactics, 14...Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Rxe5. White could have avoided this 14.d4. Eventually Aronian lost a piece and the game.

After making a draw in the second game, Nakamura miscalculated in the pawn endgame and allowed Aronian to deliver the equalizer. Much to the Armenian's chagrin, he missed it.

Aronian - Nakamura, Game 3

Position after 35...Ke6

36.Kxc5 and it seems like an easy win for White, right? Well it's not that easy, Black has a very neat trick which if you don't figure out, it will end in a draw. That is exactly what happened in the game.

Aronian, being in a must-win situation in the fourth game, played aggressively by sacrificing a pawn on the queenside which made the position seem to be arising out of Benko Gambit. Eventually those pawns played a key role in Aronian's loss. He lost the match 1-3. Nakamura got 3 points and Aronian got none.

Radjabov - Giri: 2.5-3.5

Radjabov scored his first win of the event by defeating Giri in their very first game of the day.

After having two well-fought draws, Giri won the must-win fourth game with a fantastic positional play to force Blitz tie-breaks.

Giri won the first Blitz tie-break game.

Despite being better for the majority of the game, Giri fumbled in the end and almost lost the game but managed to escape with a draw. Thus, he won the match 2.5-3.5, bagged 2 points and Radjabov got 1 point.

Giri's reaction at the end was priceless

Replay Round 4 games

Replay the live stream

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Round 3 - Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Round 3 results

Duda, Carlsen, So, Nakamura and Giri won their third round match | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Standings after Round 3

Carlsen is still in the lead 23.5 points | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Format

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals 2021 format | Photo: chess24

Prizes

The winner of the Final will earn US$ 100000 and the total tour prize fund is US$ 1640000.

The prize fund | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

All games will start from 8:30 p.m. IST between 25th September and 4th October 2021. Rest day is on 30th September 2021.

Schedule for the Finals | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Links

Champions Chess Tour official site

Tournament regulations


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