Magnus Carlsen wins inaugural Grand Chess Tour in London
The Grand Chess Tour, which comprised 3 legs held in three different venues over the year, concluded yesterday on 13th December in London.
It was won by none other than current world number one and world champion Magnus Carlsen.
In a highly anticipated final showdown, Carlsen won his last round match against Alexander Grishchuk, with three players – Carlsen included, tied at top spot with 5.5 points each out of a possible 9.
The three players then played in a tie-break match which was the highlight of the day. MVL, Carlsen and Giri played in this tie-break round. French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Russian-born Dutch player Anish Giri played three matches against each other, with the winner then playing Carlsen.
In a thrilling Armageddon Game, it was the Frenchman who came out on top with a 2-1 score.
Carlsen then played a superb first game which eventually decided as to who was going to come out on top as he managed a comfortable draw in the next game to win the match and the championship.
The Grand Chess Tour was a one of a kind experience for the top players in the world of chess. In each leg the nine best players would play against each other and there was one addition in each event which was a choice of the host city.
In a tour that marked many ups and downs, it was Carlsen who was the dark horse. He didn’t perform to his expectations in the first two legs of the tour in Norway and Saint Louis. However he didn’t dissapoint either, finishing in the top five in both the events.
In the Classic tournament he performed extremely well and won the tournament convincingly. It was a terrible tournament for the leader of the previous two events, Veselin Topalov, as he managed to score only 2.5 points and Anand too did not have a great outing, as he finished with 3.5 points.
The Grand Chess Tour was one of the best things to happen to the chess world in a year when there was no World Championship. It gave the top players an opportunity to play against their fellow compariots in a highly anticipated manner.
Over the course of the three legs there was huge media attention and many fans had an opportunity to interact with their superheroes. In the Classic tournament there were a number of side events too, which attracted huge crowds.
Norway and Saint Louis also had an immense fan following. It gave the players a huge prize purse which was a first of its kind. The winner of each leg was entitled to US$75000, with a total prize fund of $300,000.
In addition, the winner of the Grand Chess Tour would also get an additional prize fund.
The Grand Chess Tour gave a huge opportunity to the players to prove their worth. Carlsen yet again proved that he is the best that the world of chess has ever seen, taking a stylish, convincing win.
The tour marked a giant leap in chess and made the game even more popular around the globe. All eyes are now set on 2016, when the World Chess Candidates and the World Championship will take place.