Carlsen makes it 10 consecutive games to win Superbet Rapid and Blitz Poland

World number one Magnus Carlsen recorded an incredible 10-game winning streak to win the 2024 SuperBet Rapid & Blitz Poland, overcoming GM Wei Yi despite starting the day 2.5 points behind. In the fourth round of the day, Carlsen defeated Wei and took the lead. His rival did not break away, but could not maintain the momentum as he had to settle for second place, a full six points ahead of third-placed GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

In the end, the margin of victory was half a point.

SuperBet Rapid and Blitz Poland Final Standings


Making up a 2.5-point gap over nine rounds is a big challenge, but Carlsen revealed he was feeling good as the day started – and he's been there before:

“I knew if I had a good day I had a chance and by the second game I could feel that I was a lot calmer than yesterday. So I thought I had a shot. I also knew that I've done this before, in the World Blitz in 2017. I was 2.5 points behind Karjakin and I wiped him out in game four, beat him in the fourth game, so the funny thing is, exactly the same this time. Was. “

Today I felt very peaceful.

-Magnus Carlsen

GM Natalia Zhukova created Karlsruhesque 1.a4 for Kirill Shevchenko. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

Carlsen got off to a good start by defeating the GM, as he did the day before Kirill Shevchenko looked convincing, but Wei also easily defeated GM Gukesh Dommaraju. It was the second round that indicated that this could be Carlsen's day and also that Wei would not go down without a fight.

GM Praggnanand Rameshbabu had defeated Carlsen in a match with opposite colors on the first day of the blitz, but this time the world number one put in a sharp performance. 25.A4!,

This is a difficult move to ignore, as the b5-pawn has been attacked twice, but it was better than 25…Bxa4? who ran away 26.Bc4! And suddenly Black was busted.

After Wei was completely defeated, it seemed that the gap at the top would be reduced to 1.5 points, but then Keimer played a devastating game. 70.c4?? And a wonderful Desperado allowed Queen Sack to break the deadlock and save half a point.

Carlson had stopped watching by that time. He commented on his opponent's heroics: “I was watching in the game hall, then I thought the game was over, then I went to the lounge and he saved it too, so that was pretty bad!”

The results in the third round of the day were in favor of Carlsen. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

The gap was still reduced, to just two points, and the Norwegian Grandmaster did not let himself get discouraged, as there was still more revenge to be taken. This time it was against GM Nodirbek Abdussaturov, who had cheated a lot to get the win the day before. Carlsen would not make the same mistake twice and he dominated the game by playing fast and pragmatically, so that even when he missed a few wins or better options it did not change the course of the game.

This was a great success, as Wei ultimately lost in a wild game against Duda. 36.Rxe6? It was the last mistake.

It is noteworthy that Duda followed that win with five wins in his next six matches, taking him to a worthy third place.

That result meant that Carlsen-Wei had spiced up the match we had all been waiting for, as the gap was now down to one point and the former world champion finally had it all in hand. It is not surprising that he did not let go even after the queens landed on the seventh move. Carlsen grabbed the open A-file, then began playing on both sides of the board, and finally sealed the deal when his opponent missed a fork in an already critical position.

This is our Game of the Day, with analysis by GM Rafael Leitao below:


After this the players discussed the game. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

Carlsen was flying and even won the next two games (with some help from Duda, unable to eliminate a key piece on the 58th move), so that he equaled the incredible feat of defeating all players in Zagreb a year earlier . Constantly on the Grand Chess Tour programme.

However, what was notable was that Wei also won those two rounds, leaving the players still tied for first place. Losing the lead may also have taken some of the psychological burden off Wei's shoulders, with Carlsen commenting:

“I think what kind of relieved me was that we stopped after nine rounds yesterday. If we had continued the tournament yesterday, [Wei] Would probably win by a significant margin, but it's hard, really hard to get that big of a lead overnight. You easily get into a defensive mindset, and it's not that he played poorly today, he still scored a plus one, but he didn't look as good as yesterday, so that gives me some hope.”

It is really difficult to achieve such huge growth overnight.

-Magnus Carlsen

The crucial round to decide the outcome of the tournament was the seventh part of the day, when both the leaders were engaged in a big battle. Shevchenko held Wei to a brilliant 155-move draw, with Wei falling behind shortly afterwards – Wei was actually winning by one move after 116 moves.

Gukesh had a chance to beat Carlsen, but it disappeared after one move. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

Even that draw might have been enough to take the sole lead again, as Carlsen's game against Gukesh was one of the few times all day when he got into any real trouble. Supervising GM Garry Kasparov was interrupted mid-sentence by the brilliant man 15.Rxg6! From Gukesh.

Was the winning streak about to end on a high note? No, just one move later, Gukesh made a mistake and Carlsen won his 10th consecutive game and took the sole lead for the first time in Warsaw in 2024.

If you need someone to stop the winning streak, that person is GM Anish Giri, and he has woven his magic to stop this win.

However, by this stage, fortune had finally turned its back on Wei. In perhaps the strangest game of the tournament, Praggnanandhaa, along with White, emerged victorious from a game that anyone could have won and where the phrase “every move is a mistake” was literally close to the truth. This would have to be repeated again with computer analysis.


The handshake after the game told the same story. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

This meant that Carlsen had a full point lead in the final round, where he had the white pieces against GM Arjun Erigaysi. They needed only a draw to clinch the overall win and made no mistake by securing their seventh consecutive tournament win.

His score of 26 was the same as he scored in Zagreb a year ago and just one point less than the record score of 27/36 scored in Kolkata in 2019.

Life is good! Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

However, what is perhaps more notable is that Wei's 25.5 would also be the sixth-highest winning score of all time… but it only gave him second place. Carlson expressed sympathy:

“It was still an incredible performance from Wei Yi. I had a lot of moments both yesterday and today where I won my game and then I looked, 'Oh, he won, I'm not close to him,' so he Performed you win every time!”

His performance was such that you win every time!

– Magnus Carlsen on Wei Yi

Wei Yi came very close. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

The remaining players, or more accurately Duda, Praggnananda, Arjun and Abdusattorov, were in a distant battle for third place, with Duda eventually winning with a streak of 6/7, defeating Shevchenko in a tense final game. Including included. The Polish number-one player also had the third-best score in the blitz section.

Jan Krzysztof-Duda gave the home crowd something to cheer about. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

This left the final standings for prize money and points as follows – Note “WC” = wildcard, only four regular Grand Chess Tour players scored points.


As you can see, the World Championship Challenger tour didn't get off to a good start. This result is not a huge surprise, as Gukesh is less known as a pace and blitz player than most players of his generation, but the practice he is going to get on the tour will be useful in a World Championship match situation. Might be useful. play off.

Two goats at the closing ceremony. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

Meanwhile, Superbet Rapid and Blitz may be over, but the Classic continues for Carlsen, Keymer and Duda.

The 2024 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland is the first event of the 2024 Grand Chess Tour and will take place from 8-12 May at the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Poland. The 10 players first compete in a single rapid round-robin with a 25-minute time control and 10-second increments per move, followed by a blitz double round-robin with a 5+2 time control.

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