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Carlsen didn’t retire from chess, won the Super United Croatia 2022

The reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen won the Super United Croatia Rapid & Blitz tournament, the third tournament of the Grand Chess Tour 2022, a couple of days after his official withdrawal from the World Championship cycle.

Photo: Lennart Ootes, Grand Chess Tour

The Super United Croatia Rapid & Blitz was the midway point of the Grand Chess Tour and took place July 20-24 in Zagreb, Croatia. The format was a round-robin of rapid chess followed by a double round-robin of blitz among 10 top GMs; Carlsen, Mamedyarov, Saric, Firouzja, Nepomniachtchi, Vachier-Lagrave, van Foreest, Dominguez, Topalov, and So.

The tournament was the first for the World Champion after his announcement that he won’t defend his title against Ian Nepomniachtchi. Carlsen made it clear that giving up the title doesn’t mean that he retires from chess, which was reinforced by his win at the Super United Croatia.

Carlsen won the tournament with a round to spare after a great 2nd day and a stabilising final day, with Firouzja and MVL finishing just half a point behind, after Magnus lost his last two games. The Norwegian finished on 22.5 points out of a possible 36 to pick up $40,000 for winning.

“The 2nd day was a bit tough for me, and the rapid in general was not so good, but I think I was lucky that nobody really had a superb performance. For instance, Maxime and Alireza had great performances today, but they didn’t do so well on the other days. Overall, the two last games… it’s a pity to bow out in such a way, but to be honest, I was really tired throughout the day today. I was just trying to get through it, and once the tournament victory was there you don’t care so much. Overall, a great experience to be here, I really, really like the city, it’s just a very good atmosphere here and at the tournament as well, and I hope to be back.” Carlsen said to Alejandro Ramirez for the Saint Louis Chess Club

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