Giri grounds Carlsen, Firouzja floors Vachier on day of underdogs

Anish Giri punished in-form Magnus Carlsen for an uncharacteristic blunder and went on to win 2.5-1.5 for his first victory.

Anish Giri, still in the seventh place having lost all his previous four rounds, won the second and only decisive game after Carlsen committed a blunder, lost a rook and resigned soon thereafter.   -  AFP

A struggling Anish Giri punished in-form Magnus Carlsen for an uncharacteristic blunder and went on to win 2.5-1.5 for his first victory in the $250,000 Magnus Carlsen Invitational online chess tournament on Sunday.

It turned out to be a perfect day for the underdogs as last-man Alireza Firourzja stunned Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, ranked second in world in rapid format, 2.5-1.5 to open his account in the eight-player field. Like Giri, Firouzja’s lone win also came with black pieces. Barring the third game, all others were drawn.



Giri, still in the seventh place having lost all his previous four rounds, won the second and only decisive game after Carlsen committed a blunder, lost a rook and resigned soon thereafter.

Read: Anand: I am proud of the last few years that I’m able to fight

Carlsen’s loss also opened up the title-race in his signature event. He leads with 11 points, just ahead of Hikaru Nakamura (10) who plays his fifth round against joint-third Caruana (8).

Fifth-round results:

Anish Giri (Ned) bt Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 2.5-1.5; Alireza Firouzja (FIDE) bt Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 2.5-1.5.

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