Superbet Rapid and Blitz Poland Day 4: Wei Yi takes 2.5 point lead over Carlsen

“To be honest, I felt really bad,” GM Magnus Carlsen said about his game after losing his first game at the 2024 SuperBet Rapid & Blitz Poland to GM Praggnanand Rameshbabu. He made a mistake and lost the next game as well, but his 6/9 blitz score was more than respectable. Problem? GM Wei Yi caught fire after losing the first game, scoring 7.5/8 and entering the final nine rounds of the blitz with a huge lead.

the last day begins Sunday, May 12, 7am ET / 13:00 CEST / 4:30pm IST,

Superbet Rapid and Blitz Poland standings after Blitz Day 1


Carlsen recovers from tailspin to keep hopes alive

Everything was going according to Carlsen's plan in round one of the blitz. He pounces on a single mistake to defeat GM Kirill Shevchenko was good enough to catch the leader in first place after Wei misplayed the drawing endgame and lost to GM Gukesh Dommaraju. It seemed inevitable that the world number one would continue to dominate the Blitz, especially as Wei started the day ranked 34th. However, that's when everything changed, when Karlsson spoke to GM Christian Chirila four hours later he was still stunned:

“Today I didn't have it. I was feeling good from the beginning, but then I think my nerves went haywire during or after the game against Prague, and honestly after that I was just useless. Done. The score was still half-decent, but obviously it doesn't matter if Wei Yi continues to win.”

My nervous system collapsed during or after the game against Prague and honestly I was just useless after that.

-Magnus Carlsen

Carlsen had a relatively good start against Praggnanandhaa, but then he came under pressure, running out of time and making mistakes. His Indian opponent performed brilliantly in the decisive phase of the game.

Praggnanandhaa ended Carlsen's unbeaten streak. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

Both players struggled to recover from that game. Praggnanandhan, who was just one point behind Carlsen in third, lost the next two games, while the former world champion faced GM Nodyrbek Abdussaturov in the next round as a nightmare.

“I don't know anything about a few seconds,” Carlsen said of his play in the Time Problem, “and when he was about to win a wild rollercoaster of a game, he made a mistake with his queen and was forced to serve.” First he jumped back to his chair. His frustration is visible to everyone.

Live commentary reflected the emotions and devastation of those final moments.

If you can pay attention, the final stages of the game here start on the 38th move, when Abdusatorov missed the win and blundered instead.

After a game like this you probably need a stiff drink or at least a relatively low-stakes match in the next round, but Carlsen faced Wei, who had won his last two games to take a double-digit lead at the top. Was. It is to Carlsen's credit that he refocused, took a big lead and, as Wei commented, “played very fast and strong.” However, it was not enough in the end, as the Chinese star made a brilliant save and managed to hold on.

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


Collapse at that point would have been understandable, but Carlsen scored 4.5/5, pulling off some big wins from questionable positions and ignoring a missing mate-in-three as well as a mating attack against GM Anish Giri. Gave. Against GM Arjun Erigaysi.

Kasparov, the 13th world champion, offered some suggestions while playing the 16th and a potential 18th. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

Perhaps the biggest threat came against Gukesh, but the rival GOAT's fighting words provided the extra boost needed to fend off the threat and turn things around.

So it was a great recovery, but Carlsen summed up the task ahead on the final day: “It is necessary to win almost every game, that's for sure!”

Wei Yi proves that he is also a great blitz player

While Ding Liren struggles, his friend Wei Yi gets the look of his life. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

We noted a day earlier that Wei had justified his position as world number-three in the rapid rankings, but a day later he made it clear that 34th place in the blitz list was not a reflection of his strength. He gained 31 points and moved up 16 places to get a score of 7.5/9. After losing the first game, he won all the remaining games except a draw against Carlsen.

No. Name fed rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
1 wei yi 2684 half and half 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 7.5
2 magnus carlsen 2886 half and half 1 1 0 half and half 0 1 1 1 6.0
3 Arjun Erigaceae 2744 0 0 half and half 1 1 1 half and half 1 1 6.0
4 Vincent Keymer 2610 0 0 half and half 1 0 1 half and half 1 1 5.0
5 Praggnanand Rameshbabu 2675 0 1 0 0 1 half and half 0 1 1 4.5
6 Jan-Krzysztof Duda 2766 0 half and half 0 1 0 1 half and half 0 1 4.0
7 Nodirbek Abdusatorov 2661 0 1 0 0 half and half 0 half and half 1 1 4.0
8 Anish Giri 2715 0 0 half and half half and half 1 half and half half and half half and half 0 3.5
9 Gukesh Dommaraju 2651 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 half and half 0 2.5
10 Kirill Shevchenko 2546 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2.0

Wei confessed to having “some luck” to avoid a bad situation, specifically mentioning a missed win over Shevchenko, while Giri's Bishop Sack ultimately deserved more than the loss it brought.

There was nothing wrong with this blow, but Wei won the game.

However, no one plays perfectly in blitz, and overall Wei was extremely effective, putting all his opponents under pressure and converting most of his chances ruthlessly. For example, here is how he killed Prajnananda with the sword.

When Wei was asked what strategy he would adopt on the final day with such a lead over Carlsen, he commented: “I think I'll just play my chess without any strategy!”

I guess I'll just play my chess without any strategy!

-Wei Yi

fight for third

There is a six-point gap between Wei and third-place Praggnananda, so something surprising would have to happen for Wei or Carlsen not to win the tournament, but four or five players are still in the running for third place. It was an up-and-down day for Praggnanandhaa, who eventually scored 50 per cent and managed to hold on to third place, where he had started the day, but his Indian colleague Arjun was threatening to take over the spot. He equaled Carlsen's 6/9 and at one point had won four games in a row.

Praggnanandha and Arjun are facing each other for the third place. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

If Duda and Abdussaturov can also reach top form, they are very close. Keymer is something of an outside bet, but it was heartening to see that he scored 5/9, the fourth best score of the day, despite missing the mate-in-one and only one against Abdusatorov in the first game. Played a draw. Of the day. His redemption was complete when he mated in the final game of the day vs Praggnanandha!


Crowds gathered at the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw on Saturday. Photo: Lennart Oates/Grand Chess Tour.

Excitement is guaranteed on the final day in Warsaw as we see Carlsen attempt to chase down Wei.

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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