The chess24 Legends of Chess tournament is over and Magnus Carlsen is the champion.
He defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi 2-0 in the two mini-matches of the final.
The closeness of the first leg of the final led us to suspect that we may see another fluctuating battle in the second.
Carlsen’s Early Domination
However, Carlsen was clearly in the mood to finish the match as soon as possible.
Playing the London System in the first game may not have been the most obvious signal for aggressive intentions, but nevertheless the World Champion still won in just 27 moves.
Nepomniachtchi knew he had to get back into the match as quickly as possible. He took the Sicilian Najdorf bull by the horns once more in the second game.
This was an extremely wild encounter. Carlsen showed yet again he has no interest in playing solidly as Black, despite holding a lead in the match.
Tactics dominated proceedings – some spotted, some missed – until Carlsen eventually wrapped up a very important victory.
Carlsen the Champion
Needing to somehow change the trend, Nepomniachtchi used the Modern Defence in game three but it didn’t succeed in putting Carlsen off his winning stride. The World Champion had an early edge, won a pawn and then agreed to a draw from a position of strength.
Carlsen’s domination of the these online events is remarkable. Naturally, as the world’s top player, he will always be the favourite to emerge victorious. But to win every time…? That takes some doing, and the extra expectations must bring more pressure.
Nepomniachtchi had a very good tournament too. Ultimately he could not make enough of an impression on the Carlsen brick wall.
A Legendary Event
It has been a fascinating event, with the legends – including former World Champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik – adding plenty of extra interest for chess fans around the world.
The games can be enjoyed in full over at chess24.