The four semi-finalists for the $150,000 chess24 Legends of Chess event were confirmed today as Magnus Carlsen settled all remaining questions himself. The World Champion, who has dominated this online tournament so far, comfortably beat legend Vladimir Kramnik 3-1 to end the prelim stage on top of the leaderboard.
However, despite chalking up nine wins out of nine and taking 25 out of a possible 27 points, Carlsen was typically hard on himself afterward.
Carlsen said: "It seems that in the last few matches, to use a football analogy, I am getting Lewandowski level chances but I am converting them at a Firminio level.
"For those who don't watch football, that's pretty bad. But at least the last two games were kind of ok."
Carlsen's swift win kept Peter Svidler in the final four ahead of Kramnik - despite the eight-time Russian champ losing against Anish Giri. Giri, lying in third, was already safely into the semis and took the match 2.5-1.5.
Carlsen's nearest rival Ian Nepomniachtchi, already assured of a place in the semis, was beaten by 52-year-old Boris Gelfand in an Armageddon but still finished a clear second.
With the semi-final places now decided, Svidler - the only old guard legend to make it through - will face Carlsen on Friday after tomorrow's rest day while Giri faces Nepomniachtchi. It means Kramnik, the former World Champion, is eliminated along with Gelfand.
Vasyl Ivanchuk and Vishy Anand both had no chance of progressing and took their match to an Armageddon, which Ivanchuk won.
Ding Liren beat Peter Leko 2.5-1.5. Ding was already heading out of the Legends of Chess but still has a chance to qualify for the $300,000 tour Grand Final if Carlsen wins the Legends event overall.
On the evidence of the first nine days, the Chinese number 1 should be confident.
The event, the fifth leg of the $1 million Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, runs until August 5 and will carry a $150,000 prize fund.
The winner will scoop a top prize of $45,000 and the last of the coveted spots in the tour’s Grand Final in August.
Tournament rules and schedule
The time control is a rapid 15m + 10s from move 1 played in the chess24 Playzone. There will be two stages starting with a 10-player round-robin (July 21-29) with each round consisting of 4-game matches and Armageddon tiebreaks if needed.
The top four will advance to the knockout semi-finals (July 31-August 2) and two will go through to the final (August 3-5). July 30 is a free day. All sessions will begin at 16:00 CEST.
Highlights in English:
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