The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour, running from June 21-25 started with exciting chess from the players, and many dramatic reversals. Both Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So took off with 2.5/3, but it was really Carlsen’s show as he displayed excellent form on the first day. With many games and snippets, here is the illustrated report by GM Alex Yermolinsky.
The Paris tournament of the Grand Chess Tour is running from June 21-25. It is a combination of Rapid and Blitz games. The ten participants are Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Etienne Bacrot. They will play nine rapid games, three a day, from June 21–23. The games start at 14:00h, 15:30h and 17:00h European Standard Summer Time. The Blitz tournament is on June 24 and 25, with nine rounds on each day, starting at 14:00h. The total prize fund is $150,000!
Note that the event is using the Bronstein mode: the players have 25 minutes for all the moves of a rapid game, and a ten second delay per move. This means that the clock does not run for ten seconds – the point is that you cannot accumulate time by playing very quickly in the Bronstein Mode.
This year’s Grand Chess Tour Series kicked off today with a Rapid/Blitz event in Paris. There will be two more similar tournaments, next week in Leuven and in August in St. Louis. It is interesting how this series, the brainchild of Garry Kasparov, has morphed into a combination of three different kinds of chess. Perhaps, it wasn’t Garry’s original intention, but as he himself admitted in his recent interview, it’s getting harder to find sponsors for classical time control tournaments willing to join the Tour. I guess the organizers in Norway and other places prefer to have their own exclusive event with a full control over selection of participants. Garry talks about adding one more Rapid/Blitz event in 2018 – surely a sign of the times.
Before the start of the tournament, the main question was how Magnus Carlsen would respond to his recent string of mediocre (by his standards) results. Magnus gave an emphatic answer by scoring two wins and one draw on the opening day, albeit not without some cooperation from his opponents. First he drew Grischuk with Black in a solid, error-free game. Then came a game against one of his favorite opponents not named Hikaru.
This win brought Carlsen’s advantage in their head-to-head encounters to +17-3=11. Some head scratching for Shak to do.
This is how without doing anything in particular, Carlsen took the lead and pushed his rapid rating over 2900.One wonders if his opponents will continue their blundering ways, and what happens if they stop.
Level with Carlsen is Wesley So, also with 2.5/3. Actually, it’s 5/6, as rapid games in this tournament count twice as much as blitz games to give some balance to scoring in two different disciplines. Wesley’s path to a good start was even rockier. He could have easily lost the following game in the first round. read more on chessbase
So the standings after Day 2 of rapid chess are as follows:
- Official website
- All the games with computer analysis on chess24
- Kasparov on hand for Paris Grand Chess Tour launch
- Paris Grand Chess Tour Day 1: Carlsen and So lead