Giri silenced his critics by taking down Carlsen at Magnus Carlsen Invitational


Game 4
Carlsen, Magnus v Giri, Anish ½-½
Firouzja, Alireza v Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½

Game 3
Giri, Anish v Carlsen, Magnus ½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime v Firouzja, Alireza 0-1

Game 2
Carlsen, Magnus v Giri, Anish 0-1
Firouzja, Alireza v Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½

Game 1
Giri, Anish v Carlsen, Magnus ½-½
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime v Firouzja, Alireza ½-½

Carlsen’s shocking error punished by Giri in smash-and-grab win

Magnus Carlsen lost a dramatic smash-and-grab match against Anish Giri today as his signature super-tournament burst into life.

Fresh from ending a dreadful 14-game run without a game win, Dutch number 1 Giri knocked the king of chess off his perch by 2.5 points to 1.5.

It was the biggest upset so far of the World Champion’s elite $250,000 Magnus Carlsen Invitational online event.

Giri, who had said his chances of winning were just one in 200, said afterward: “I am really, really happy, you cannot imagine. Beyond belief.”

On being a heavy underdog, he added: “I thought no-one believes in me at this point except, I think, one person - Magnus, because he invited me to this tournament.”

The match turned on a second-game disaster for Carlsen who made a rare outlandish blunder which Giri cooly took full advantage of. 

Both of today's Round 5 matches, the other being Alireza Firouzja vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, started with dour draws in the first game.

Firouzja-MVL continued that way in the second, while Carlsen-Giri erupted.

The Norwegian sparked the fireworks with a new move that signalled he wanted to attack. Mayhem on the board then followed with daring play on both sides.

Giri made a clever sacrifice and, with the game on a knife-edge, Carlsen overlooked a key move and was ruthlessly punished.

Carlsen shook his head in disbelief before Giri converted. When it was over, Carlsen then appeared to storm off.

Grandmaster Jan Gustafsson said: “If you have never heard about Magnus Carlsen the first thing you need to know is that he hates losing - at anything, not just chess.”

A point up, the question was then whether Giri could close out the match over the next two games.

But Giri, back on form, steered the match home with two more draws to pick up the win and three tournament points. Suddenly, Giri has a chance to reach the knockout stage.

However, it was a shocking way for the World Champion - who had four straight wins in the tournament - to lose his first match.

In the other tie, struggling 16-year-old Firouzja finally got off the mark with a much-needed 2.5-1.5 win over Frenchman Vachier-Lagrave.

Tomorrow sees Round 5 conclude with Fabiano Caruana vs Hikaru Nakamura and Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Ding Liren.

Coverage begins with pre-match analysis each day at 15.00 with the action kicking off at 16.00 CEST. 

You can watch it live here:

Leon Watson