Chessable Masters: Magnanimous Magnus Carlsen wins hearts

Carlsen resigned in the second game in just four moves against Ding Liren after the Chinese was declared ‘lost’ in the first due to disconnection of internet.

Magnus Carlsen resigned in the second game in just four moves against Ding Liren after the Chinese was declared ‘lost’ in the first due to disconnection of internet.   -  FILE PHOTO/ RAJEEV BHATT

 

World champion Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri won their first-set encounters against Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi but not before the World No. 1 proved there is more to him than just being world’s strongest chess player.

For the record, Carlsen won the second blitz game to take the first set of the best-of-three set quarterfinals 3.5-2.5, after the rapid games ended at 2-2. After facing some anxious moments in the first blitz game, Carlsen dominated the second to clinch the set.

Giri comprehensively outplayed Nepomniachtchi 3-1. Victories with white pieces in the second and third games underlined Giri’s superior preparation on the day.

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But more than the results, one magnanimous act of sportsman spirit from Carlsen will be remembered and recalled for long. Carlsen resigned in the second game in just four moves against Liren after the Chinese was declared ‘lost’ in the first due to disconnection of the internet.

Liren battled hard with black pieces from an inferior opening phase in the first game to force an equal rook-and-pawn ending game. That was when misfortune struck him.

With seconds remaining on his clock, Liren lost his internet connection. Since he could not reconnect in the time available on his clock, he was declared ‘lost on time’.

Minutes later, in the second game, Carlsen took Liren and those following watching the action by surprise by giving up his queen on the fourth move and resigned to restore parity.

“I have immense respect for Ding as a chess player and as a human being. I thought against him this was the only correct way and clearly I wanted to win on the board,” said the World champion and added, “I might have kicked myself if I’d lost one of the last two games but I think, in general, it was the right thing to do.” In the third game, Liren managed to draw after Carlsen found a way to dominate the positional warfare. In the final rapid game, Liren held a slight edge but not enough to convert it into a win.

Semifinals results (Set One):

Blitz (Game One): Ding Liren (Chn) drew with Magnus Carlsen (Nor); (Game Two): Carlsen bt Liren.

Rapid (Game One): Carlsen bt Liren; (Game Two): Liren bt Carlsen; (Game Three): Carlsen drew with Liren; (Game Four) Liren drew with Carlsen;

Rapid (Game One): Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) drew with Anish Giri (Ned); (Game Two) Giri bt Nepomniachtchi; (Game Three) Nepomniachtchi drew with Giri; (Game Four) Giri bt Nepomniachtchi.

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