Carlsen dominated all legends to easily win the preliminary stage

Susan Polgar

PRESS RELEASE:

Carlsen: I'm getting Lewandowski-level chances but converting them like Firmino

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."

Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk, while watching the action, had joked earlier: "Magnus is smiling... it's disgusting to watch when someone is so happy!"

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 needs Carlsen to chime

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.

Today was the final day of the round-robin battle for four places in the Legends of Chess semi-finals.

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.

Carlsen, Anand and Kramnik are the last three undisputed world champions together in one tournament.

Anand is the man Carlsen wrestled his world title from seven years ago, while Kramnik ushered in a new era in chess in 2000.

Commentary is provided by Jan Gustafsson, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, and Tania Sachdev and special guests - including more legends to be announced later. The event is also be broadcast in 10 languages by chess24.com.

The official tournament social media hashtag is #ChessLegends.

Line-up:

  • The 16th, and current, World Champion Magnus Carlsen;
  • The 15th World Champion Vishy Anand;
  • The 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik;
  • Blitz and Rapid Champion Vasyl Ivanchuk;
  • Eight-time Russian champion Peter Svidler;
  • World title challenger in 2004: Peter Leko;
  • World Cup winner and 2012 world title challenger Boris Gelfand;
  • Netherlands No.1 and 2020 Candidate Anish Giri;
  • Russian No.1 and 2020 Candidate Ian Nepomniachtchi;
  • China’s No.1 and 2020 Candidate Ding Liren.

Tournament rules and schedule

The time control will be 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.