Warsaw (Poland), May 26 (IANS): Five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen won the 2023 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland, the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT), here at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
The Norwegian Grandmaster, the World No.1, finished with a score of 24/36, taking home the $40,000 1st place prize on Thursday night.
Placed second was local favourite and defending champion Jan-Krzyzstof Duda, who led until the final day and ended just a point behind with 23/36, after nearly winning a final game against Carlsen that would have forced a playoff.
Tied for third were Wesley So of the United States and France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, each with 21.5 points, with Levon Aronian finishing in clear fifth place with 20.5.
Carlsen's day started with a victory against Vachier-Lagrave, extending his fantastic win streak from the end of the previous day to seven.
He was then held to a draw by Romanian Grandmaster Bogdon-Daniel Deac before going on to defeat Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), Kirill Shevchenko (Romanian), and another Romanian Richard Rapport in consecutive rounds to overtake the lead.
Then draws with Anish Giri (Netherlands) and Levon Aronian (America), putting Carlsen a full point ahead of the previous day's leader, Duda.
Going into the final round, Duda needed to defeat Carlsen with black pieces to catch up and force a playoff. Despite losing an exchange out of the opening, Duda managed to survive into the endgame and completely turn it around.
But in the time scramble, the Pole missed a few chances and Carlsen managed to hold after 124 moves of play, clinching the title.
The 2023 Grand Chess Tour continues with the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz in Zagreb Croatia, taking place from July 3-10 and Saint Louis in USA (November 12 - 19).
It will conclude with the final classical event, the Sinquefield Cup, to be held from November 19 - December 3 in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.