Grand Chess Tour: Tactics from Paris to Leuven


Try out tactical puzzles from the debut tournaments for the 2016 Grand Chess Tour!

Paris: Nakamura vs. Carlsen

The first stage of the Grand Chess Tour in Paris was mostly a race to score points between Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen. Although Carlsen defeated Nakamura twice in head-to-head games in the blitz segment of the event, Nakamura ultimately outscored Carlsen and clinched the tournament with two rounds to spare. What tactical combination did Nakamura use in his victory against Anish Giri?

Tactic #1

Anish Giri vs. Hikaru Nakamura

[fen]7k/2p2pr1/1b1p1n2/1p1P1P2/5q1P/1B6/1P2QBP1/4R1K1 b - - 0 38[/fen]

Black to move.

Level: Intermediate

Show Solution

[pgn][Event "Grand Chess Tour Paris Blitz"] [White "Anish Giri"] [Black "Hikaru Nakamura"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2787"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "7k/2p2pr1/1b1p1n2/1p1P1P2/5q1P/1B6/1P2QBP1/4R1K1 b - - 0 38"] [PlyCount "17"] [EventDate "2016.06.11"]38... Ng4 $1 {The knight attacks the bishop on f2 and prepares to support Black's queen on h2.} 39. Bxb6 Qh2+ 40. Kf1 Qh1+ 41. Bg1 Nh2+ 42. Kf2 Rxg2+ 43. Ke3 Rxe2+ 44. Kxe2 Qf3+ {Now even another piece drops.} 45. Kd2 Qxb3 46. Bd4+ ( 46. Bxh2 Qxb2+) 46... Kh7 0-1[/pgn]



Leuven: Carlsen's Comeback

The second stage of the Grand Chess Tour in Leuven, Belgium, began with a string of blunders by Kramnik, Anand, and even Carlsen. On day two, however, Carlsen achieved a perfect score, winning all four rapid games. From there, he cruised to victory, winning the overall event with 3 rounds to spare. One of his most impressive games with his victory with black against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. How did Carlsen herd his connected passed pawns to victory in the following position?

Tactic #2

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Magnus Carlsen

[fen]5rk1/3R3p/r2p2p1/3P4/P7/2qppPP1/7P/1R3Q1K b - - 1 33[/fen]

Black to move.

Level: Intermediate

Show Solution

[pgn][Event "YourNextMove Blitz"] [White "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"] [Black "Magnus Carlsen"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2789"] [BlackElo "2855"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5rk1/3R3p/r2p2p1/3P4/P7/2qppPP1/7P/1R3Q1K b - - 0 33"] [PlyCount "5"] [EventDate "2016.06.19"]33... Rb6 $1 {Simple, yet surprising.} 34. Rxb6 ({If} 34. Rc1 e2 $1 {anyway} 35. Qg1 d2 36. Rxc3 e1=Q 37. Rd3 Rb1) 34... e2 {and White resigned. If} 35. Qg1 d2 0-1[/pgn]

The next Grand Chess Tour event is the Sinquefield Cup from August 1-16 in St. Louis. For more information, visit the Official Grand Chess Tour website.

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