Carlsen bounces back to tie up the match vs Nakamura

Susan Polgar

PRESS RELEASE:

Carlsen simply refuses to lose in his own $140k Tour Final

  • World Champ roars to back to level score
  • Nakamura overwhelmed on fourth day
  • $140k Tour Final is best-of-seven shootout
  • Winner will be crowned $1m Tour champion

It is the final of the world's richest, most prestigious online chess tournament played between two of the game's fiercest rivals - and it really could not be closer.

Magnus Carlsen hauled himself back level with fierce rival Hikaru Nakamura today as the $140,000 Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Final reached fever pitch.

After the frustration of going behind yesterday, the World Champion used every ounce of his legendary will to win to record a thumping 2.5-1.5 victory.

It leaves the first to four match finely-poised on 2-2 overall as it nears the endgame.

Nakamura, the world's number 1 rated blitz player, tried everything - but his incredible defensive resilience just wasn't enough.

Game 1 saw Carlsen pose immense threats that left Nakamura hanging on move-by-move. But despite time pressure, Nakamura found the only moves that steered him to a safe draw.

It was a stunning defensive display by the five-time US champ who showed all his tenacity to pull off a big save.

Carlsen admitted afterward that Nakamura "fought extremely well".

But after a breather in game 2 which ended in a draw, Carlsen started knocking on the door. And Game 3 saw Nakamura make a huge mistake that finally let his Norwegian opponent through.

Ahead at last, there would be no stopping Carlsen this time and there was simply no way back for Nakamura in game 4 as it ended in a draw and a match win for Carlsen.

Speaking afterward Carlsen said he has struggled in this event, the final tournament in the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, but is finally beginning to put some form together.

He said: "First of all, I haven't found any semblance of rhythm whatsoever so in general, I am very unhappy with the way I have played.

"Today was a lot better in the sense that he didn't get any counter-chances, so today was an improvement. But there is still there is a lot to work on."

Yet again viewing figures hit new highs as a peak of nearly 50,000 tuned in across chess24 channels along to watch the drama unfold.

Play is due to start again tomorrow at 16:00 CEST.

Carlsen and Nakamura's rivalry

Carlsen and Nakamura have a long-standing rivalry. In 2010 they duked it out all night over 40 games in a private grudge match in Moscow.

Three years later Nakamura appeared to put noses out of joint when he likened Carlsen to Sauron from Lord of the Rings.

For many years Nakamura failed to beat Carlsen in an over the board classical match before eventually breaking the spell at the 30th attempt in 2016.

The event carries a total $300,000 prize pot and is the climax of Carlsen's $1 million signature tour, the richest and most prestigious online chess event ever.

Supporting Kiva

Broadcaster chess24 has pledged 50 per cent of new Premium memberships bought during its Tour Final to Kiva’s Global COVID-19 Response fund that aims to raise at least $50 million for entrepreneurs and small businesses impacted by COVID‑19.

During the event, chess24 and Kiva will highlight stories where chess has changed people’s lives under the official tournament social media hashtag #ImpactChess.

Viewers are encouraged to engage with the Tour Final and support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 by signing up for a premium subscription here.

More details on the Finals

The Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour was devised by Norway’s World Champion and chess24 after traditional over the board chess was halted suddenly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tour Final kicked off on August 9 and runs until August 20. It is the culmination of four elite-level super-tournaments that began in March as a way of getting chess started again while other sports worldwide were prohibited.

The first four stages of the first Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour were:

Four players qualified for the final crescendo of chess after being the best performers during the preceding tour events.

They were:

The winner of the Tour Final, which has a total prize pot of $300,000, will scoop a top prize of $140,000 and the title of Champion of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour.

A stellar roster of commentators and special guests is lined up for the coverage which will be broadcast in 10 languages by chess24.com

Tournament rules and schedule

The Tour Final is a 12-day event running from August 9 to August 20. Time control will be a rapid 15m + 10s from move 1 played in the chess24 Playzone.

The semi-finals of the Tour Final tournament were a best of 5 four-game mini-matches. The final is a best of 7 mini-matches. As usual, play will start at 16:00 CEST.

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