GM Magnus Carlsen defeated GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave within the 2022 Velocity Chess Championship second semifinal match on Friday.
The world champion steamrolled by means of one more match in what has develop into a collection of dominant wins over the world’s finest chess gamers. He was dissatisfied along with his high quality of play within the post-game interview regardless of practically doubling his opponent’s rating and even inflicting the French GM to resign the match with eight minutes nonetheless left.
The ultimate between Carlsen and GM Hikaru Nakamura takes place on Sunday, December 18, at 11 a.m. PT / 20:00 CET.
Vachier-Lagrave, the reigning blitz world champion, is the one participant to defeat Carlsen in SCC historical past, which he did within the 2020 semifinals. He additionally boasted a constructive rating in opposition to his formidable opponent within the blitz time management: an 18-17 rating (15 attracts) over the board and on-line collectively.
However, SmarterChess predicted a 68%-32% victory for Carlsen, whereas the group voted 84%-16% for the Norwegian champion as properly. He lived as much as expectations, as the ultimate rating evidently exhibits.
Blitz 5|1: Carlsen-Vachier-Lagrave 6.5-2.5
The primary section of the roughly four-hour present featured dominant play by Carlsen, who transformed endgames with the identical precision that is distinguished him within the chess world since his teenage years. He tended to play the Colle Zukertort sort of setup with White, maybe hoping to catch his opponent in much less outlined territory, and the Ruy Lopez (one experiment with the Trendy Opening) with Black.
Each gamers had probabilities in recreation one, and whereas the place petered out to equality towards the top, it was one other case of “Magnus doing Magnus issues.” Whereas many different gamers would see the sport to its peaceable conclusion, the world champion transformed the symmetrical endgame.
Carlsen performed the Trendy Opening in recreation two, maybe a doubtful opening in classical chess however a preventing try in blitz. It led to a draw, and he switched to 1.e5 for the remainder of the section.
Subsequent, the 2021 world blitz champion struck again resoundingly to tie the rating.
In recreation 4 Carlsen employed the marginally uncommon transfer 11…Bb7 (as a substitute of 11…c6) within the Ruy Lopez Marshall Gambit. The classical world champion demonstrated the compensation of two bishops, down a pawn, and transformed an opposite-color bishop ending with “freakish approach,” in accordance with Hess, ultimately.
This stellar recreation is analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao as our Sport of the Day beneath.
Carlsen unfold his wings and took flight in recreation 5 after his opponent blundered a chunk.
After a draw, Carlsen received two in a row, and it appeared like a well-recognized storyline may be creating: runaway-train Carlsen on a rampage, as we have seen in his matches in opposition to GMs Gukesh D and Fabiano Caruana.
The Frenchman drew the final recreation of the section, however would he muster the power to get well from a four-point deficit within the sooner time controls?
Blitz 3|1: Carlsen-Vachier-Lagrave 5-4
Though Vachier-Lagrave performed higher chess on this section than his opponent, as commentator Hess opined on the published (and this creator agrees), he was unable to transform even technically profitable positions. He discovered many chinks within the Norwegian participant’s armor, however even in a single occasion didn’t convert an additional piece.
The primary 5 video games led to attracts, displaying that the world champion was content material so long as he maintained his lead. Certainly, he misplaced simply three video games this complete match—which is greater than we will say about his others.
Vachier-Lagrave jettisoned efforts within the Ruy Lopez and took up the English Opening with the white items within the first recreation of this section, a gap he wouldn’t return to within the 3+1 after a draw—as a substitute choosing the Italian Opening in later rounds.
Carlsen blundered a chunk within the subsequent recreation, however just like the antihero Deadpool, he might take successful and nonetheless by no means die. He drew this recreation …
Carlsen blunders a chunk and Vachier-Lagrave smiles 😊.
The world champion goes on to attract the sport.#speedchess pic.twitter.com/LZhovpaKsY
— ChesscomLive (@ChesscomLive) December 16, 2022
… and the following recreation.
In a “heartbreaker” of a recreation, Vachier-Lagrave collapsed in an opposite-color bishop endgame with a pair of rooks, dropping his b5-pawn and stepping right into a mating web shortly after.
The subsequent recreation was a surgical dismantling of the Bishop’s Opening in a 22-move miniature with the black items.
“There’s sufficient time for a comeback, however Magnus isn’t just going to offer away seven video games in a row. He is simply not going to do this,” mentioned Naroditsky because the match clock saved ticking. Taking part in properly wasn’t going to be sufficient—Vachier-Lagrave’s process appeared increasingly unimaginable because the world champion was merely impervious to dropping.
The French grandmaster received the final recreation of the section with a pleasant little bit of preparation and cruel approach in a rook endgame.
Nonetheless, with half-hour left on the match clock for the bullet section, Carlsen constructed himself a five-point buffer.
Bullet 1|1: Carlsen-Vachier-Lagrave 5.5-2.5
The primary two video games of this section led to attracts, and though the beast of Lyon struck blood first in recreation three, the world champion took over in the remainder of the section.
Sport three featured an attractive queen entice with 31…Re4! to take the primary victory of the bullet.
Carlsen responded with a win of his personal. After the incisively correct 21.Kf1!, utilizing his personal king to defend the knight on e2, Naroditsky noticed: “Kf1, the perfect engine transfer. Carlsen is a freakin’ machine. It is unbelievable how typically he finds engine strikes in crucial moments.”
After Carlsen discovered his rhythm, the ache practice by no means slowed for his adversary. On air, Naroditsky requested: “How do you beat a Magnus Carlsen that is this alert, that is this sharp, that is this quick, that is this cruel, that is this technical?”
It’s actually a query with which the world’s finest gamers have been wrestling for over a decade—and one Nakamura certain hopes to reply this weekend.
How do you beat a Magnus Carlsen that is this alert, that is this sharp, that is this quick, that is this cruel, that is this technical?
After two extra consecutive wins by the world champion, Vachier-Lagrave resigned the match with eight minutes remaining on the match clock. Understandably, he confronted an insurmountable eight-point deficit and the match was mathematically misplaced.
After the match, Carlsen curiously shared: “I felt that the video games had been fairly even all the way in which. I by no means felt like I used to be kind of pulling away, even when the rating mentioned so.”
On his upcoming ultimate match with Nakamura: “I believe none of us confirmed something near our greatest stage within the semifinals, so whoever can step up for the ultimate will in all probability have good probabilities.”
Carlsen received $9,923.08, whereas Vachier-Lagrave took house $2,076.92 by win proportion.
On the finish of the published, Chess.com introduced its celebration of 100,000,000 members as properly!
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Velocity Chess Championship 2022 Bracket
The 2022 Velocity Chess Championships Principal Occasion began on November 23 and can conclude on December 18. Prime speed-chess gamers are competing at three completely different time controls in a 16-player knockout as they vie for a share of the $100,000 prize fund together with probably the most prestigious title in on-line chess.
The likes of GMs Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Ding Liren, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, and lots of extra battle it out to find out the 2022 pace chess champion.