Tough day at the office in Warsaw.
The second day, with the Swiss system, saw some top clashes. Magnus Carlsen had to deal with Jobava, Firouzja, Grischuk and Duda! All these players are to be considered possible winners of the Rapid Championship. Carlsen drew Jobava in a game with no blunders, well played by both. After all the hype around the 18-year-old Frenchman in the past weeks, everyone was excited about the match Magnus-Alireza.
Magnus won the game, taking advantage of a blunder played by the young opponent.
Then Magnus played a so-so game vs. Grischuk, eventually settling for a draw. And in the last round of day 2, Carlsen destroyed the local hero Duda, taking the sole lead with 7.5/9.
Fun fact: Duda was late at the board, but Magnus asked the arbiter to wait without starting the clock. Class act.
After the game with Duda, Magnus said:
"I have played much better than this. I don't feel that my play is floating well, actually, but I take my chances very well. So that's nice."
The champ is never happy with his play, yet he leads the pack. The youngest player of the lot, 17-year-old Nodirbek Abdusatttorov of Uzbekistan, is the tournament's sensation so far. He beat Caruana, Aronian, Wojtaszek, and Gelfand. The kid now sports an impressive 7.0/9!
After a couple of draws, Nakamura won his last game and climbed up again to only one point from the leader. Half a point behind Magnus, there is a trio: Abdusattorov, Nepomniachtchi, and Grischuk. It'll be interesting to see how the young Uzbek will fare against the Champion. Not to talk about the imminent Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi. Day three promises to be exciting!