Birthday-boy D. Gukesh stunned World champion Magnus Carlsen in a 97-move thriller in the Norway Chess blitz tournament on Monday to underline his reputation as one among the most exciting talents in the chess world today.
Gukesh, tipped by Carlsen last year as the one to watch out for, outwitted the match-favourite following the lines of the Larsen Opening. In fact, the two had played the same opening in their online clash last year. Later, Gukesh brought back his queen on the board and overpowered Carlsen, who fought valiantly with a knight and two pawns. After resigning, a smiling Carlsen congratulated Gukesh and wished him on his birthday.
In this one-day nine-round event, Uzbekistan’s Nodirbek Abdusattorov (6 points) won the title by beating Gukesh (2.5) in the final round. Carlsen (4.5) finished seventh. Interestingly, the only time Adbusattorov led in the tournament, he was crowned the champion.
Gukesh, who turned 17, started with a loss to Fabiano Caruana, then beat Carlsen - his first over-the-board victory against the world’s strongest player - before suffering a hat-trick of losses to Aryan Tari, Wesley So and Alireza Firouzja. He outsmarted Anish Giri, drew with Hikaru Nakamura but lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and signed-off with a defeat to Abdusattorov.
Action now switches to the classical time format mode. Gukesh opens his campaign with black pieces against Alireza Firouzja. The winner of each game gets three points. In case of a draw, an Armageddon game will be played. The winner will get 1.5 points and the loser, 1 point. For Armageddon, white gets 10 minutes to black’s seven with a one-second increment after Move 41.
Final standings (after nine rounds)
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