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Magnus "Houdini" Carlsen wins GRENKE Chess Classic

With a triumph for Magnus Carlsen, the GRENKE Chess Classic came to an end on Easter Monday. The Norwegian once again showed his class and defeated Richard Rapport in the match for first place with 1.5:0.5. In the duel for third place, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won in the tiebreak against Vincent Keymer. Ding Liren secured fifth place with a 1.5:0.5 against Daniel Fridman.


GRENKE Chess Classic

round 1

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

For Keymer, the position looked uncomfortable in the middlegame, but he managed to achieve an even endgame by exchanging a few pieces. As a result, the game ended in a draw. 

Magnus Carlsen vs. Richard Rapport 1:0

"Magnus Carlsen doing Magnus Carlsen things," said chess.com commentator Lawrence Trent about the Norwegian's first game. Carlsen took the initiative early on and was in control at all times. After f7! (the only winning move) Rg8 and Rxh7 are threatened, and Black runs out of moves. 

Ding Liren vs. Daniel Fridman 1:0

Ding showed his usual face again in this game. After yesterday's win over Fridman, he seems to be stabilizing. Qc5! threatens Qxh5, and after ... g6 White wins a rook due to the lack of coordination of Black's rooks (e.g. Qd4+ Kg8 Qc4+). Fridman therefore resigned immediately. 


round 2

Daniel Fridman vs. Ding Liren

In an even position, Daniel Fridman decided to repeat the moves. With this, Ding Liren secured the 5th place in the tournament. 

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Vincent Keymer

99.1 percent accuracy for both players is the highest in this tournament - proving that world-class players can achieve the highest level even in shorter time controls.

Richard Rapport vs. Magnus Carlsen

Rapport had to win the game at all costs to keep his chance of 1st place alive. He was given several opportunities to do so, but Carlsen - who said he was already thinking about giving up - escaped again and again. "Another Houdini job from Carlsen," commentator Lawrence Trent said, referring to the famous magician. 

In the following position, Rapport with White apparently had mate in mind and moved his king out of the pin with Kh3?. In time trouble, he overlooked the fact that in the end it was not the rooks but the g-pawn (via g4-g5) that could bring him the decision. Instead, Kh3? Ke1 Rf5 and a repetition of moves followed. A dramatic finish with a well deserved winner: Magnus Carlsen!  



Due to the two draws, Vincent Keymer and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had to go into a tiebreak to play out third place. The first game ended in a draw. In the second game, Vachier-Lagrave was able to take advantage of some of Keymer's inaccuracies. 

The GRENKE Chess Classic 2024 thus ends with the following result:

  1. Magnus Carlsen
  2. Richard Rapport
  3. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
  4. Vincent Keymer
  5. Ding Liren
  6. Daniel Fridman


GRENKE Chess Open

The winner of the A-Open was the American Hans Niemann. He was the only player to score eight points out of a possible nine. He only drew against Christopher Yoo and the young Turk Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus, who earned his last GM norm in the tournament. In the last round, Niemann defeated the Serbian Velimir Ivic, while the other players (Saric-Erigaisi, Kollars-Fedoseev) drew. 

winner of the A-Open Hans Niemann

In the B-Open, Hicham Boulahfa from the Netherlands triumphed. A draw in the last game against Matis Frappini secured his success.  

The C-Open was won by the Swiss Felix Phung, who scored 8.5 out of a possible 9 points.

Organizer Sven Noppes looks back on the past few days with pride: "I am glad that we were able to make so many people happy with the tournament." Only seven weeks of preparation time were available between the final clarification of the financing by the main sponsor GRENKE and the Easter weekend. But a lot of commitment and an incredible number of volunteers made the event possible. 

A big "thank you" also goes to all the players, to chess.com for the live broadcast and to the sponsors of the tournament:

  • Schachzentrum Baden-Baden,
  • Messe Karlsruhe,
  • RSM Ebner Stolz,
  • Dev Specialists
  • ahg Autohandelsgesellschaft

The GRENKE Chess Media Team would like to thank all readers and viewers and hopes to see you again in 2025. 


New GRENKE Chess YouTube-Videos: 

Also visit the GRENKE Chess YouTube channel to watch more videos and interviews from the final day.


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

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Gallery: Fotos - GRENKE Chess Open

Screenshots: chess24 / chess.com