Carlsen wins with...the King's Gambit!

Was Magnus Carlsen inspired to play the King's Gambit, because the event in Medias, Romania is called the 'Kings tournament', or did he want to avoid the Petroff at all costs? In any case, his win, plus two other White wins by Teimour Radjabov and Ruslan Ponomariov, have completely changed the leader-board.

Wang Yue was no doubt surprised by Carlsen's daring opening choice and reacted with a solid albeit slightly passive system. White managed to keep some advantage due to his extra central pawn that eventually became passed. Despite the reputation of the opening Carlsen won a nice controlled positional game.

WhiteRatingCountryResultBlackRatingCountryNo. MovesOpening
Magnus Carlsen2813NOR1-0Wang Yue2752CHN54King's Gambit (Modern defence)
Ruslan Ponomariov2733UKR1-0Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu2672ROU36Blumenfeld Gambit
Teimour Radjabov2740AZE1-0Boris Gelfand2752ISR38Petroff's defence

The Blumenfeld is another opening that rarely gets played at this level, but Nisipeanu does venture this slightly off-beat opening occasionally.

In the opening Ponomariov declined the gambit and gave up the bishop pair in order to obtain a central space advantage. The complex positions that resulted also led to White obtaining an advanced d-pawn that led, to a significant degree, to Ponomariov's success.

Gelfand played the Petroff as he does so often, but rarely does he come under such a vicious attack as today. Radjabov played a fine combination involving a (temporary) piece sacrifice that left Gelfand's king very exposed. The Israeli survived to an endgame, but a losing one.

Radjabov dealt Gelfand's Petroff a mortal blow @

Wang Yue has now been left behind with the other five players within half-a-point of each other.

PositionNameCountryRatingPre-tournament rating changeWorld Rankingpoints
1st-2ndMagnus CarlsenNOR2813-12.5
1st-2ndTeimour RadjabovAZE2740-132.5
3rd-5thBoris GelfandISR2741-9112
3rd-5thRuslan PonomariovUKR2733-4182
3rd-5thLiviu-Dieter NisipeanuROU2672+11592
6thWang YueCHN2752+381

Two wins in a row by Radjabov have catapulted him up the table into equal first with Magnus Carlsen.

The subsequent rounds can be followed live at 1.30 pm (London), 2.30 pm (Paris) or 3.30 pm local time. The exception being the last round that will start two hours earlier.

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