Everyone who plays chess on lichess.org knows that DrDrunkenstein is Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, whom everyone has seen throwing Berserk in 1+0 Bullet Arena Tournaments and it was very interesting to see that he was unable to defend the championship he has held on to for over three (3) Arena Title Tournaments.
Event: Lichess Titled Arena 5
Time Control: 1+0
Duration: 2 Hours
Winner: GM Andrew Tang (penguingim1)
Date: 4th May, 2018.
Tournament Link: https://lichess.org/tournament/dyhuymXb.
Numbers of Participants: 237 Titled Players, 44 GMs
The 4th Day of May, 2018, will go down as a special day in the anal of Chess history, especially for the Online Chess family.
This is a day GM Magnus Carlsen will want to wish away, but can not. As the Norwegian GM and world Champion was unable to find his feet among the top finisher at the Lichess Titled Arena 5.
In the minutes preceding the highly anticipated event with the highest Prized Funds on lichess.org, GM Magnus Carlsen with the Lichess handle DrDrunkenstein was seen having a dress rehearsal with GM Jules Moussard (@UnvieuxMonsieur) in a 12 game 1+0 bullet match. GM Jules was able to get 2 Wins and 2 Draws, which happened to be a precursor of the impending fall of the champion.
The Battle of Stars
At the blast of the whistle, Magnus started the Tournament with a loss to GM Night King in a Maroczy Variation of Alekhine –defense.
Link to the game: https://lichess.org/hgVFjrFM#0.
Magnus rallied back by winning the next two set of games, only to meet GM Akshat Chandra (@BabaRamdev) of USA, in the fourth round. In a Fianchetto Variation of Nyezhmetdinov–Rossolimo attack of the Sicilian Defense, Magnus opened the g-file for a direct attack on the white king and true to type, he sacrificed his Bishop to fully bring the white king to the onslaught of black, and in the melee that followed, Akshat lost his queen, but not without a howler from Magnus Carlsen. Instead of Capturing the Queen on the d2 square, Magnus delayed it with a Queen check on the g4 square, which thereby allowed the white knight to provide more cover for the King as well as putting blacks King in harm’s way.
After the dust had settled, Magnus humbly resigned on move 54.
Link to the game: https://lichess.org/4fRzQD0g/black#107
From here on, Magnus could not keep up with the pace of wins from the other contenders and had to settle for an unfamiliar position, which he was not used to.
The Eventual winner
For some part of the Tournaments, 14 year old GM Alireza Firouzja (@alireza) from Iran held strongly to the first position, winning game after game.
But the Lichess Celebrity Chess prodigy from the USA, GM Andrew Tang (@Penguingim1) would be the eventual winner, having amassed a total of a hundred and twenty five (125) points, to edge out GM Alireza with three (3) points.
On April 29th, 2018, the 18 year old GM Tang made the headlines worldwide, when he drew the self-Taught Chess Engine, Leela Chess Zero, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chess playing engine.
This important feat bolstered the confidence of GM Tang toplay against Magnus Carlsen in a series of games, where he held his own against the World Champ and now, eventually picking up his first Lichess Titled Arena win.
He joins Magnus Carlsen (who has won the previous 4 Editions of the tournament) as one of those who have claimed the trophy of the titled arena.
For his effort, he takes home a Princely sum of $3,000.
GM Alireza with a hundred and twenty two (122) points was the runner up and he won $250.
The second Runner Up was GM Arka50 who finished with a hundred and thirteen (113) points and became $175 richer.
To complete the top five (5) was GM Wizard98 who ended the tournament with a hundred and twelve (112) Points, and GM Jules Moussard (@UnvieuxMonsieur) with a hundred and eleven (111). Their pockets got richer with $100 and $75 respectively.
GM Magnus Carlsen with tied points of 109 finished at a distant 7th position. This dismal performance is speculated to be attributed to the suspicious internet connection of the World Champ, which forced him to discontinue the live streaming of his games.
Over 20 People were streaming the event live, with IM Christof Sielecki (@Chess Explained) providing the official live streaming and commentary to the event.
The Next Edition of the event is expected to take place approximately a month from Now.
Africa Chess Media will keep you updated on the proceedings as they unfold.
In all, the May 2018 edition of the Lichess Titled Arena has provided extreme entertainment to Chess Enthusiasts around the world, and with the prized money now depleted, we hope the World Champion comes back strongly to win the subsequent editions so as to donate it back as his custom has been.
Featured Image Courtesy: lichess.org
GM Magnus Carlsen Picture Courtesy: Grand Chess Tour, Paris
GM Andrew Tand Picture Courtesy: US Chess Twitter Account – @USChess