Carlsen back in action!

World number one Magnus Carlsen tops the list of six stars in the 'Kings' tournament that takes place from the 14th until the 25th of June in Medias, Romania. He drew his first game whereas Boris Gelfand and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu both won.

Magnus Carlsen played the Catalan whereupon Ponomariov replied with a very solid system. White's space advantage was nullified with the timely moves ...f5 and ...h5.

Nisipeanu played fairly positionally against Radjabov's Sveshnikov and was ready to pounce once the position opened up.

Gelfand Boris27521-0Wang Yue275282Slav Chebanenko
Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter26721-0Radjabov Teimour274039Sicilian Sveshnikov
Carlsen Magnus28130.5-0.5Ponomariov Ruslan273331Catalan opening

The longest game was Gelfand's win over Wang Yue. The position was very blocked but the Israeli was able to gradually organize a breakthrough on the kingside. After various deft tactical points he emerged a pawn up in an endgame, an advantage which he duly converted.

Here is a table which emphasizes the high level of the event:

NameCountryRatingExpected rating changeWorld Rankingpoints
Boris Gelfand ISR 2741-9111
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu ROU 2672+11591
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2813-10.5
Ruslan Ponomariov UKR 2733-4180.5
Wang Yue CHN 2752+380
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2740-130

It's early days but in such an event it's always important for the lowest ranking player to get off to a good start.

The best possible result for the Romanian Nisipeanu.

The tournament is in fact a double round robin over ten rounds with a classical time limit of 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 20 moves in an hour, and then 15 minutes with an incremental 30 seconds from move 60.

The so-called Sofia rule (i.e. no draws by mutual consent before 30 moves) is in force. Ponomariov getting his draw offer in on move 31!

The games can be followed live at 1.30 pm (London), 2.30 pm (Paris) or 3.30 pm local time.

For this possibility and other information see the Official site

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