Magnus Carlsen: Chess: Magnus Carlsen pockets Norway title with a round to spare | Chess News – Times of India


Iran’s 17-year-old prodigy Alireza Firouzja paid the price of wilting under pressure in the penultimate round of Altibox Norway Super GM chess meet in Stavanger on Thursday night.
World champion Magnus Carlsen out-manoeuvered him in 69 moves from the black side of Reti opening to ensure that he pocked the title and a prize money of $63,000 with a round to spare.
Carlsen leaped to 19.5 points after nine rounds in this six-player double round-robin meet that carries three points for a win in classical format. Firouzja, who is playing under the Fide flag, is on 15.5 points followed by Levon Aronian on 14.5 and Fabiano Caruana on 14.
In a highly entertaining game, Firouzja appeared slightly better after the opening. But Carlsen kept his cool and emerged a better player after intense complications in the middle game that resulted in rooks, knight and opposite-coloured bishop ending with six pawns each.
It transposed to Carlsen having a knight and two pawns against White’s bishop and two pawns after the Norwegian got his knight back in play from the h1 square. The Iranian’s imperfect handling of his king and ‘h’ pawn allowed Carlsen to have the last laugh.
Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and best woman player ever on the planet Judit Polgar, who were on the official broadcast, could only gasp for breath after the crazy turn of events.
After losing his 125-game unbeaten streak to Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland in the fifth round, Carlsen won three classical games in the next four rounds, needing the sudden death Armageddon game (1.5 points for win, one for defeat) against Fabiano Caruana in this phase.

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