The recent big news is that World Champion Magnus Carlsen has won the 2019 GRENKE Chess Classic, which was held from 20-29 April. It’s a 10-player round-robin tournament that featured top players like Caruana, Anand, Aronian, MVL, and others. Magnus crushed his opponents, finished with 7.5/9 points, and with a massive ELO 2990 performance!
He was paired up against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (MVL) in the final round, and when his game was in progress, the game between Caruana and Aronian ended in a draw, and therefore Caruana has finished with 6.0 points. Carlsen was playing with 6.5 points, and even if he had lost the game, the tournament win was confirmed for him. Nevertheless, the champ went on to win against MVL and finished with 7.5/9 points – that’s a champion’s attitude!
Today we’re going to see one of the most interesting games from this tournament – it’s the game between Carlsen and Aronian in the 7th round. Carlsen was playing White, and the Vienna variation from the Queen’s Gambit Declined was on the board. Carlsen surprised Aronian, and almost everyone, with his novelty 10.Bd2, inviting the Armenian to a complicated position. But, Aronian was intimidated about that and played safely. That’s the first win for Carlsen in the game – a psychological win.
RecommendedChampion Psychology – A book for future chess champions Learn the most common psychological weapons that top Grandmasters use.
Eventually, Aronian was under time pressure and played a couple of bad moves, which actually in a way was forced by Carlsen, and the position was really passive for the former. The World Champion got an extra pawn, got a passed-pawn on the d-file, and won the game after Aronian resigned. As Manuel Ocantos in the below instructive video analysis, the secrets of Magnus Carlsen being able to defeat his opponents are:
- Flexibility – he has a very good opening preparation and therefore, he is very flexible for any kind of position and easily adapts himself.
- Consistent pressure – he always puts pressure on his opponents, attacking them not just over the board, but also psychologically, that forces them to commit mistakes.
- Accuracy – this is one of the key qualities of a very good player; one has to be very accurate with his calculations and moves.