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Rapport closes the gap to Carlsen

Easter Saturday was another big chess day in Karlsruhe. The top stars from the GRENKE Chess Classic as well as the players from the A, B and C Open played two games. The whole thing happened under the eyes of a prominent newcomer, namely Anish Giri. He replaced Jan Gustafsson as commentator at short notice, who travelled to Toronto for the Candidates Tournament (Giri on the right in the photo, next to Lawrence Trent - source: chess24). 

On site, numerous spectators followed the games on the huge screens:


GRENKE Chess Classic

round 7

Richard Rapport vs. Ding Liren 1:0

It was against his World Cup second that Ding Liren suffered his first defeat in the tournament after six draws. Rapport managed to create disorder on the chessboard and to find the more precise moves within this chaos. 

Magnus Carlsen vs. Daniel Fridman 1:0

If the world's best player plays with 98.5 percent accuracy, then one imprecise move is enough for the entire position to collapse. Why... Nc4 is an inaccuracy, becomes apparent when you look at the following moves.  Carlsen used Rb4 and Kd3 to put pressure on the knight and forced him to exchange for Bb6. White used the time Black needed to capture the b-pawn and exchange a rook to further advance the c-pawn and the king. Thanks to the more active position, the endgame was then won. 

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Vincent Keymer 0,5:0,5

Keymer had an exchange for a pawn with the black pieces. Stockfish valued the position at -6.88 in favor of Keymer. But Vachier-Lagrave had the combination of queen and knight on board and used it skilfully to force Keymer's king into a repetition of the position.  

Runde 8

Daniel Fridman vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 0,5:0,5

With Rc4!! Fridman made a move in this game which Stockfish rates with two exclamation marks. Taking on c4 is out of the question, as is ... Rxd1. Vachier-Lagrave recognized this and played Rb8. A few moves later, there was a repetition of the position in this game as well. 

Ding Liren vs. Magnus Carlsen 0,5:0,5

The second "Battle of the Kings" also ended with a points split. Both played a faultless game, which ended with a perpetual check by Ding's queen. 

No need to despair: Magnus Carlsen

Vincent Keymer vs. Richard Rapport 0:1

Despite the advance of Black's pawns, the world looked reasonably fine for Keymer until move 32, but after 33.Qd1?? it's suddenly mate in 12 for Black, starting with Bc5+. Annoying for Keymer, who once again in this tournament cannot convert a good position into a success.   

Table and Schedule

With this victory, Rapport moves closer to Magnus Carlsen and reduces the gap to half a point. The two Germans Keymer and Fridman will have the opportunity to score tomorrow in rounds 9 and 10. 


GRENKE Chess Open: 

In the Open tournament, rounds 4 and 5 were on the program today. In the fourth round, there were no big surprises in the A-Open. Worth mentioning is the draw of the German champion in Chess960, IM Marius Fromm, against the favored Sanan Sjugirov. In round 5, Fromm then met the 12-year-old Romanian Henry Edward Tudor, who had scored half a point in the second round against the big favorite Arjun Erigaisi. Fromm was able to prevail in this duel. The seven pawns on the 4th rank make an unusual and pretty picture, albeit in favor of Black. 

At the top, Alexey Sarana somewhat surprisingly lost his game against the 2023 Junior World Champion, Marc'Andria Maurizzi. There was a quick draw in the US duel between Christopher Yoo and Hans Niemann, and the duel between the young stars Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus from Turkey and Abhimanyu Mishra also ended without a winner. Now six players are still equipped with a perfect score of 5.0 points: 

  • Ivan Saric
  • Marc´Andria Maurizzi
  • Dmitrij Kollars
  • Rasmus Svane
  • Vladimir Fedoseev
  • Dominik Horvath

In the B-Open, nine players have the maximum yield of 5 points, including the only 13-year-old Tamila Trunz from SG Porz. In the C-Open, seven players are still without losing a point. 

Tomorrow, the players of the GRENKE Chess Open will continue at 9 a.m. (attention, time change plus 1 hour!) and 3 p.m. with rounds 6 and 7.


The GRENKE Chess Media Team has released the following videos today:


Link to all games of the GRENKE Chess Classic: GRENKE Chess Classic - Chess.com

Link to all games of the GRENKE Chess Open: LIVE - GRENKE Chess Open

GRENKE Chess Social Media Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Gallery: Fotos - GRENKE Chess Open

Screenshots: chess24 / chess.com