Recap Article

2022 SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz – Day 4 Recap

The same thing happened today. After winning his first two games against Van Foreest and Topalov, he lost back-to-back games to Wesley and Dominguez. Nobody would have thought he would end the day one and a half points ahead of everybody else.



Carlsen resigns against Dominguez | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes


Dominguez, Former World Blitz Champion, had some brilliant moments | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes

Dominguez – Mamedyarov

25.Bxd6! Rb7 26.gxf3 Bxd4 27.Bd5+- and soon the bishops swept up the board. 1-0

Dominguez – Carlsen

45.Rc4! Qf5? [45…Qxg3+ 46.fxg3 Rxd5 Despite being down a pawn, Black should  hold thanks to his active rooks] 46.Qe4 Black’s attack was repelled and  eventually the h-pawn was lost, along with the game. 1–0


Jorden suffered some tough losses, but he bounced back every time. After losing to Magnus in Round 1, he beat Saric in Round 2. And after losing to Topalov in Round 3, he beat So in Round 4. After a couple of draws in Rounds 5 and 6, he beat MVL in Round 7 and it seemed everything was back on track. But you can save only so many “match points” before energy reserves become depleted.


MVL and Van Foreest chatting before the round starts | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes


Van Foreest – Topalov

32…Rd6!! White loses the queen, or the rook! 0–1

  So – Van Foreest

47.axb4?? [47.a4 a5 48.Kg4!! (48.Ke4? Ke6-+ Black wins the opposition and the king breaks through) 48…Ke6 49.Kg5=] 47…cxb4-+ Black proceeded to push the a-pawn and soon won 0–1


Wesley on the other hand, seemed to be cruising. Starting the day off with back-to-back wins with Black against Mamedyarov and Magnus. However, Wesley has only won one game with White in both Rapid and Blitz combined! So when his loss with White against Van Foreest came in Round 4 and everything came to a halt.

Having fun or just happy to be playing with Black again? | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes


Honorable Mention


Nepo seemed to thrive amidst the confusion. He was relaxed and had his best day, so far. He was having fun and even played three King’s Gambits with White, scoring 2 wins and one draw!


A happy Nepo | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes


Firouzja – Nepo

38.Qd8+? [38.Qc5! Rxh3+ what else? 39.gxh3 Qf3+ 40.Kh2+– since the f2–square  is covered, Black will soon run out of checks] 38…Kh7 39.c7 Rxh3+! 40.gxh3 Qf3+ 41.Kg1 Qg3+ And White cannot escape the checks ½–½

Nepo – Carlsen

Despite having his best day so far, Nepo still can’t get under Magnus’ thick skin. In the game he blundered a simple tactic after 35.Nc3? Bxe2! and Black eventually converted his extra pawn. 0-1


Don’t Blink

After Carlsen’s back-to-back losses in Rounds 3 and 4, and especially after Jorden’s key win with Black against Wesley in Round 4, it seemed the Dutchman might be on his way to one of the greatest upsets ever. However, two key losses in Rounds 7 and 9 against Nepo and Firouzja opened the gates for a hungry Magnus that seemed beaming with energy after every win.

A testament to his fighting spirit, Carlsen did not concede a single draw in the first day of Blitz. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes



As Wesley said in his post-game interview “Once Magnus gets going, he’s hard to stop”. I have a feeling that’s going to go down as the understatement of the tournament. In any case, Magnus is in his element and is a pleasure to watch.


Carlsen – MVL

63…Ra4?? [63…Bc2!! 64.h8Q (64.a8Q Rd1+ 65.Kf2 Rd2+= is the same) 64…Rd1+ 65.Kf2 Rd2+= would have given Black an amazing perpetual] 64.h8Q 1–0

Firouzja – Carlsen

27…bxa3!! 28.Rxa4 Rxb2 29.Qc3 Bxa4 30.Qxc8+ Kh7-+ Black is down a pieces, but the knights are tangled up and Black is ready to start advancing his queenside pawns. Black won in style. 0-1

Cruising altitude. Carlsen won his last five games of the day and stands one and a half points ahead of second | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes



The standings after the first nine rounds of Blitz


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GM Gukesh D & GM Viswanathan Anand
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