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Alone on Top of the World


Photo: Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™

Eight wins in a row for the Martian who was born in Norway.


Image by Tarjei Svensen

Another great show by the World Champion, who appears to be playing in a different league. A league in which he's alone, there, at the top of the Chess World, unattackable, a mirage to all the rest of the super-GMs.
After five years, during which commentators - including yours truly - have been writing that Carlsen was slowly declining, that he had already reached his peak and now was sliding down to meet the "mortals" on the slopes of Mount Olympus, that the lack of motivation was a real problem, Magnus is back at his peak rating: a monstrous 2882 (2881.7).
Today Magnus posted a funny photo on his socials, which shows the happiness and the satisfaction of the Evil Norwegian grin

In amassing a rather impressive 8/11, Carlsen did a little bit of everything. He won three games with Black. He won a long grinding endgame against Ding, but he also defeated Nepom and Giri with lightning attacks.

In the Grand Chess Tour, the World Champion leads over Wesley So by 11 points:

Carlsen has made a habit of winning the last round of elite round-robin tournaments, not because he needed to, but to put the boot in a little deeper.  In this case, his last round victim was Maxime Vachier Lagrave.  Magnus already did this to MVL earlier this year at GRENKE, but Maxime did beat Magnus in the last round of the Norway blitz, denying him first place, so Magnus may have wanted a little more blood.  And this time there was no shying away from theory as Carlsen dismantled MVL’s Grunfeld with shocking ease.

The moment MVL resigned, in a splendid Photo by Lennart Ootes / Grand Chess Tour™.



Here is the game, annotated by GM Joel Benjamin.

Check the video, with two of the best games played by Magnus in Zagreb, commentated by GM Joel Benjamin.

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