Juni 23, 2024

Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz: Day 4 Recap

Day 4 of the 2024 Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz saw the first day of blitz action, as the incoming leader Wei Yi continued his dominance in the event, scoring 7.5/9 to extend his lead over Magnus Carlsen and the rest of the field. Wei Yi sits at the top with 20.5 points, which includes five straight wins at the end. 

Magnus Carlsen had an up-and-down day but managed to finish it in the second position on 18 points, scoring 6/9. 

The rest of the field is fighting for third place, with Praggnanandhaa and Erigaisi sitting on 14.5 and 14 points, respectively. 

Wei Yi started the day with a loss but bounced back in Round 11, defeating Vincent Keymer. 

Wei Yi – Vincent Keymer

In this position the Chinese GM found very a strong sequence 17. Bxf6!  Qxf6 18. Ng4! and after 18…Qf4 19. Qxe8+ Rxe8 20. Rxe8+ Kh7 21. Nh2 Ne5 22. Ne2 Qf6 23. f4 his two rooks prevailed over Black’s queen | 1-0, 30 moves. 

Facing Magnus Carlsen in Round 4 of blitz Wei found himself in a precarious situation as the world #1 outplayed him in a sharp endgame with a pawn race. Unluckily for Magnus, playing on the increment he let the victory slip away. 

Wei Yi – Magnus Carlsen

Black has an extra rook but White’s passers are quite dangerous. The best way to stop them was 54…Rh8 (54…Re6 was also very strong) with the idea of 55. c7 f4 56. b5 Re3 57. c8Q Rxc8 58. Rxc8 f3, winning.

Instead Magnus played 54…Rb1? but after 55. c7 Rh8 56. b5 Rc8 57. Ka6 Ke5 58. b6 f4 59. b7 Rxc760. Rxc7 Rxb7 61. Rxb7 f3 62. Rxf7 Ke4 the opponents split the point | ½-½, 65 moves. 

After this lucky escape, Wei strung together five wins, although not without some luck (he lost against Giri but turned the tables and won). Praggnanandhaa tried to stop the leader in Round 11, essaying the double-edged King’s Indian, but Wei was up to the challenge.

Wei Yi – Praggnanandhaa R

20. g4! e4 21. Nxe4! White sacrificed a piece but quickly returned material with interest after  21… fxe4 22. Bxe4 Qf7 23. Ng5 Qf8 24. Nxh7 Qg8 25. gxh5 | 1-0, 30 moves

Magnus started the day with a victory over Kirill Shevchenko but then suffered two losses in Rounds 2 and 3. The second one, at the hands of Nodirbek Abdusattorov, was particularly disappointing as Magnus simply blundered a deadly pin in an overwhelming position. Carlsen roared back to finish the day with three straight wins. 

The final one was against Arjun Erigaisi, who made a crucial mistake in a long queen endgame. 

Arjun Erigaisi – Magnus Carlsen

White could have maintained the balance with a precise 88. Qg2! or 88. Qe4+ with the same idea. Instead, Arjun played 88. Qb1+, but after 88…Ka4! White ran out of checks. 89. Qc4 g2 90. Qd7+ Kh6 and Arjun resigned as the only check 91. Qd3+ is met with 91…Qb3. 

Check out the Day 4 Recap Video by IM Kostya Kavutskiy

Day 5 of the Superbet Poland Rapid & Blitz continues Sunday, May 12th, with live commentary from GM Yasser Seirawan, IM Jovanka Houska, and IM Nazi Paikidze starting at 6:00 AM CDT. 

Photos: courtesy of Grand Chess Tour

Official website: grandchesstour.org/tours/2024/