After day four—halfway through the event—GM Magnus Carlsen shares the lead with GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa at nine points after defeating him in their match today. GMs Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Le Quang Liem follow them with seven and six points, respectively, while the Dutch GMs Anish Giri and Jorden van Foreest have both won five points so far. At the end of the line, we find GMs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with four points and Eric Hansen with three.
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From what we can deduce from their tweets, the two players were very excited about their encounter over the board today. The world champion arrived on time and felt healthier to face the leader of the event. He was wearing a dark, comfortable hoodie, despite his previous tweet.
Suit up🌤 pic.twitter.com/G5ame5N5c7
— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) April 25, 2022
The world’s number one expressed his excitement about his match with the Indian GM today.
A Sicilian Defense with a Nyezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack emerged quickly on the board. Praggnanandhaa chose an opening in which the world champion is a clear expert—maybe going for a psychological hit. Both players played solid, slow chess at first and after some maneuvering, the Norwegian was slightly better.
In the middlegame, Black managed to win a pawn but at the cost of his strong dark-squared bishop. With the move 20.Rxe7 White regained the pawn, and the drama on the board began with the clock ticking for Praggnanandhaa. Carlsen then regained the pawn and confidently exchanged the remaining minor pieces to enter an endgame.
The Indian GM defended tenaciously with only seconds on the clock, but White’s passed a-pawn and Carlsen’s great endgame technique were simply too strong for the 16-year-old. Thus, the world champion won his first game of the match and ended Praggnanandhaa’s unbeaten streak.
Carlsen went on to win the other games of the match without much trouble, earning three points and joining his opponent in the lead. Praggnanandhaa said the following about his defeat: “I think it’s a great experience for me, and I enjoy playing top players.” He added: “Next time, I would like to put up more resistance against Magnus and I think that’s a great motivation.”
Game one between Hansen and Le was a draw while the Vietnamese grandmaster won the second one with accurate play.
Their second game opened with a Symmetrical English in which White soon found himself with a slight positional advantage. There were some inaccuracies by Le but Hansen blundered seriously when he allowed White’s queen to infiltrate his kingside to deliver a devastating check. The Canadian streamer tried to defend but in the endgame that ensued his opponent was clearly superior after posing checkmate threats and having a minute and a half more time than Hansen on the clock.
Le continued to push his passed h-pawn and Black eventually resigned as there was no way for him to win with three pawns against a bishop and pawn and a very strong centralized king.
Grandmaster Le confidently won the third game of the match earning three valuable tour points and leaving Hansen once again as the last-placed player in the standings. Le still has all chances after today’s victory to secure a good spot in the final standings of the Oslo Esports Cup.
Giri-Van Foreest: 2-4
Games one and two between the Dutchmen of the event concluded in draws in which both players missed some tactics. Game three was a very quick draw after only 22 moves, with game four being just a longer draw. Tied at 2-2, the players had to face each other in the blitz tiebreaks to decide the score of their match.
The first tiebreak game ended abruptly in an equal position due to a queen mouse slip by Giri. Van Foreest scored another win in the second blitz game after Giri blundered, losing a bishop on move 27.
The wildcard of the event mentioned that he was “quite satisfied” with his match against his Dutch friend and “also a bit lucky because of his mouse slip.” Thus, van Foreest recovered from his loss yesterday winning two tour points, with Giri earning just one.
Game one of the match was won by Duda, while the second one ended in a draw. Azerbaijan’s number one took revenge in the third game, forcing players to play for a decisive result if they wanted to avoid play-offs. However, since the fourth game was also a draw, Duda and Mamedyarov also had to take the decision to tiebreaks.
In the first blitz game, Mamedyarov managed to get a crushing position against the Polish player but lost all the advantage by an unfortunate bishop trade. Mamedyarov eventually caved to the pressure Duda put on him despite having remarkably little time left on his clock. The winner of the FIDE World Cup 2021 went on to also win his second game, forcing Mamedyarov to resign in a hopeless position. With this, Duda earned two points today while one point went to Mamedyarov.
Oslo Esports Cup Day 4 Standings
|4||Le, Quang Liem||2765||6|
|5||Van Foreest, Jorden||2744||5|
All Games Day 4
The Champions Chess Tour consists of six regular events with 16 players and three majors with eight players. Regular events adopt a 3-1-0 score, where players who win get three points, players who draw get 1, and losers get 0. Major events, on the other hand, adopt a 3-2-1-0 score system, similar to the 3-2-1 system described above but with one difference: players who win on tiebreaks get 2 points while tiebreak losers get 1.
The Oslo Esports Cup is the first major of the tour: a round-robin among eight players, with each round consisting of four-game matches (15|10) each day which advance to blitz (5|3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black four with no increment) tiebreaks in case of a tie.
The 2022 Champions Chess Tour’s first Major, the Oslo Esports Cup, runs April 22-28 on chess24. The format consists of one four-game match every day for each player. Play advances to blitz (5+3) and armageddon (White has five minutes, Black has four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a match ends in a tie. The total prize fund for the event is $210,000, with each win in the regular games earning the player $7,500. Each win in the tiebreaks earns the winner $5,000, with $2,500 going to the loser.