Reports Feb 10, 2015 | 12:31 AMby Colin McGourty

GRENKE Classic: Carlsen wins Armageddon

Magnus Carlsen has won the GRENKE Chess Classic after beating Arkadij Naiditsch in a spectacular play-off that featured not only great chess but also hilarious commentary from Levon Aronian, Fabiano Caruana, Peter Heine Nielsen and, of course, the regular commentary team of Nigel Short and Jan Gustafsson. Replay the complete commentary below.

Magnus Carlsen does it again! | photo: Georgios Souleidis, official website

GRENKE Chess Classic Round 7 results

Rtg NameResultName Rtg
2738Adams Michael1 - 0Anand Viswanathan2797
2706Naiditsch Arkadij½ - ½Aronian Levon2777
2865Carlsen Magnus½ - ½Bacrot Etienne2711
2594Baramidze David½ - ½Caruana Fabiano2811

We’ll be reporting on the full final round in detail later, but for now it’s enough to say that both Arkadij Naiditsch (against Levon Aronian) and Magnus Carlsen (against Etienne Bacrot) had to settle for draws in positions they had good chances of winning. The only decisive game was Michael Adams’ victory over Viswanathan Anand, while Fabiano Caruana found himself in exactly the same position he’d been in at the 2013 GRENKE Chess Classic – needing to win a tricky position in the last game of the day to join the rapid play-off. 

He couldn’t quite make it, so it was Carlsen and Naiditsch who went into the final battle, after tying for first place on 4.5/7.

Rk. NameFEDRatingPoints Winsrtg+/-
1Carlsen MagnusNOR28654.53-2.1
2Naiditsch ArkadijGER27064.5214.7
3Adams MichaelENG27384.026.3
4Caruana FabianoITA28114.01-1.5
5Aronian LevonARM27773.51-2.8
6Bacrot EtienneFRA27113.504.3
7Anand ViswanathanIND27972.51-15.0
8Baramidze DavidGER25941.50-3.9

Let’s take it round by round, with the commentary and some of the Twitter activity:

1st rapid game (10m + 2s): Carlsen 1-0 Naiditsch (replay)

It was past 10 pm after a very long day, but a final play-off was just what chess fans all around the world wanted.

At first it seemed we might be headed for a routine victory for Magnus...

Was it all going to be easy for Magnus?

2nd rapid game (10m + 2s): Naiditsch 1-0 Carlsen (replay)

No! After an opening which seemed to have gone totally wrong for the German no. 1 he suddenly crashed through in a wild middlegame that was played with seconds on the clock for both players. This was when the play-off really became something special.

1st blitz game (5m + 2s): Carlsen 1/2 – 1/2 Naiditsch (replay)

This was an amazingly good game for blitz, with Naiditsch using great trickery to stay afloat in a complex position.

2nd blitz game (5m + 2s): Naiditsch 1/2-1/2 Carlsen (replay)

A wild Berlin, in which first Naiditsch and then Carlsen did everything they could to deprive us of an Armageddon game! In the end a draw was a fitting outcome.

Armageddon: Carlsen 1-0 Naiditsch (replay)

Magnus Carlsen got the white pieces and more time on the clock, but he had to win. Was it advantage Naiditsch? Perhaps not...

For once Arkadij missed some tricks and Magnus managed to crash through in style:

So World Champion Magnus Carlsen has claimed his second supertournament victory of 2015, and it’s only early February. That win arguably puts him level on career supertournament titles with Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand.

Stay tuned for more on the GRENKE Chess Classic here on chess24, and don't worry about a long wait to the next supertournament - Zurich (Caruana, Anand, Kramnik, Aronian, Nakamura, Karjakin) already starts with a blitz tournament this Friday!

See also:

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