Magnus Carlsen won the Croatia Grand Chess Tour with a score 8/11 after a final round victory over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. This marks the World Champion’s seventh consecutive tournament win this year, bringing his rating to 2882 - the peak rating he achieved in 2014.
The penultimate round was the round of opposite colored bishops endgames as three of the games were drawn in this manner. The winner of the Croatia Grand Chess Tour will be decided tomorrow as the clash between Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So was a peaceful affair. The World Champion remains half a point ahead of the field and will have the white pieces against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, while Wesley So will have the black pieces against Levon Aronian.
The only decisive result of the day was not indicative of the fighting spirit across the board. Magnus Carlsen remained in the lead after splitting the point with his long time rival, former world number two, Levon Aronian. Wesley So remains half a point behind in clear second place after surviving the storm against former leader of the tournament, Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Today’s contentious round produced three decisive results. Magnus Carlsen continues his phenomenal display, winning once again with the black pieces against Ding Liren. Wesley So kept pace with a victory over his countryman Hikaru Nakamura, remaining in second place only half a point behind the leader
Round 7 after the rest day was much calmer than the previous one, resulting in only one decisive game which was enough to change the course of the tournament. Magnus Carlsen is now the sole leader after defeating Ian Nepomniachtchi with the black pieces. He is half a point ahead Wesley So, who escaped from the claws of defeat.
Today’s combative round created a shake up in tournament standings. The players gave their all before heading into the day off, resulting in five decisive games. At the halfway point, there are now three co-leaders. Ian Nepomniachtchi suffered his first loss against Ding Liren, who wins his second game in a row. With wins over Hikaru Nakamura and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov respectively, Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So joined Nepomniachtchi in the lead.
Day five of Croatia Grand Chess Tour only delivered one decisive result. Ding Liren defeated Anish Giri after a 5-hour struggle, putting him 1.5 points behind the leader. Draws on the rest of the boards meant that there were no other changes in the standings; Ian Nepomniachtchi remains in the lead by a full point. Once again, Garry Kasparov joined the commentary team and expressed that he still considers Magnus Carlsen the favorite, as he still hasn’t faced the leader. The two will meet in round 7, the day after the rest day.
Ian Nepomniachtchi maintained his full point lead over the field as a result of six draws across the board. After about thirty minutes of play, it seemed as though there would be a big shake up in the standings; Magnus Carlsen was completely winning, while Nepomniachtchi was in big trouble against Sergey Karjakin. Alas, neither player was able to convert and the status quo was maintained.
Ian Nepomniachtchi extended his lead to a full point after defeating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with the black pieces. With this result, Nepomniachtchi now has a perfect score of 3/3 and is at his personal peak rating of 2790. Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So are tied for second place after drawing Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri respectively. Tomorrow, all three will have the white pieces and will thus try to score a full point.
Today was the calm after the storm; only one game had a decisive result but it was not for a lack of fighting spirit among the players. Ian Nepomniachtchi emerged as an early leader after defeating Fabiano Caruana from a losing position. The Russian Grandmaster was satisfied with his result but felt that the quality of his games needs improvement. For a long time it seemed as though Magnus Carlsen would be joining the leader but was eventually unable to seal the deal.