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Carlsen is the Sole Leader Before The Final Day of The 2021 Open World Rapid Championship

The second day of the 2021 World Rapid and Blitz Championships, one of the most elite events to determine the world’s best players in fast time-controls, ended with Magnus Carlsen taking the sole lead, half a point ahead of everyone else (7.5/9).

Photos: Anna Shtourman and Mark Livshitz (FIDE)

Day 2 of the 2021 Open World Rapid and Blitz Championship had everything. One of the most anticipated matches with the World Champion facing World No.2 Alireza Firouzja, the 17-year-old GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who won against Levon Aronian, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and Boris Gelfand, and a lot of chess drama with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave tweeting his complaints about FIDE.

Carlsen started the day with a troubling game with Baadur Jobava, which he managed to hold on to the very endgame. Next up was his match against the 18-year-old Alireza Firouzja initiating the Advance Variation of the Caro Kann. Firouzja had an uncomfortable position, which he tried to spice up and reach to a balanced position, but Carlsen didn’t give him any chance to “breathe”. The next game found the World Champion blundering an exchange against the three-time World Blitz Champion Alexander Grischuk, who failed to redeem the point. In his last game, Carlsen decided to give another exchange against the 2021 World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda, but this time to move towards a slightly better endgame, which turned in his favor.

The highlight of the tournament is definitely the Uzbeki GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov who showed great skills and an initiative spirit, having three consecutive wins against Levon Aronian, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and Boris Gelfand. With 7/9 points Abdusattorov shares 2-4th place and will face Carlsen at the start of the final day of the Rapid Championship.

Alexander Grischuk and Ian Nepomniachtchi also have 7/9, followed by only half a point away by Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Jorden Van Foreest, and Amin Bassem.

Watch Day 3 of the 2021 World Rapid and Blitz Championship with us here.

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