(Fabiano Caruana-Magnus Carlsen 0-1) Magnus Carlsen (31) is the winner of the Wijk aan Zee tournament for the eighth time. It is a historic achievement.
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The decision in the prestigious Tata Steel Chess 2022 was impressively made on Saturday. He won with black pieces against his former World Cup opponent Fabiano Caruana.
After the match between Richard Rapport and Andrej Esipenko had ended in a draw, Carlsen could settle for a draw to decide the tournament. But the Norwegian really wanted to show muscle and win.
Carlsen was originally supposed to have met Daniil Dubov on Sunday, but the party has been canceled and Carlsen has been given a walk-over because the Russian has tested positive for corona. Dubov claimed on Saturday that he has had a negative test – but the organizer insists that Daniil Dubov is out of the tournament.
The Wijk aan Zee tournament has been played since 1938 and most of the big stars have won in the windswept Dutch city – but Carlsen has by far the most victories with his eight, only a few divided. Viswanathan Anand is number two with five victories, three of them shared. Four men have four victories: Levon Aronian, Max Euwe, Viktor Korchnoi and Lajos Portisch.
Carlsen’s winning streak in Wijk aan Zee is impressive:
2008: Shared victory with Levon Aronian.
2010: Victory alone.
2013: Victory alone.
2015: Victory alone.
2016: Victory alone.
2018: Victory alone.
2019: Victory alone.
2022: Victory alone.
The Wijk aan Zee tournament is very special for Magnus Carlsen, because it was in many ways where the adventure started in 2004 when he as a 13-year-old got 10.5 out of 13 possible points in the tournament’s C-group. After the victory against the Dutchman Sipke Ernst, who was then almost twice as old, Libomor Kavalek in the Washington Post first used the term “chess Mozart” about Magnus Carlsen.
Magnus Carlsen thus won the C-group in 2004, in 2005 he finished in 11th place in the B-group, and in 2006 he qualified for the A-group by coming in shared 1st place in the B-group. Since then he has not looked back.
He gets good starting money to participate, while there are more modest cash prizes. How much this is, not known.
Although one day remains of the tournament, the Norwegian is already the winner after he should have met Daniil Dubov on Sunday. But the Russian is out of the tournament after testing positive for the corona.
– It’s not fun to get points that way, I would much rather play, Magnus Carlsen told TV 2 on Friday.
On Friday, it became clear that Dubov has tested positive, and his last three opponents will thus win without playing. The allegedly negative test on Saturday, according to the organizer, does not change that.
Fabiano Caruana frantically tried to defend himself to a draw on Saturday, but Carlsen added all the cloths.
– Caruana is being tortured, Maud Rødsmoen stated as an expert on the TV 2 broadcast. Her colleague Jon Ludvig Hammer repeatedly expressed how impressed he was with Carlsen’s game against Caruana.
Tata Steel Chess in Wijk an Zee is very special, because there are as many as 14 participants who meet once, ie a total of 13 rounds.