Magnus Carlsen with his prize check and trophy at the closing ceremony. Photo: John Sanders
Magnus Carlsen captured clear 1st at the Chess.com Isle of Man Masters with 7.5 points out of 9 games. Surprisingly, this is Carlsen’s first classical tournament victory in over a year.
In the penultimate round, Carlsen nearly sealed the tournament win after defeating Fabiano Caruana with the black pieces. Facing a novelty (15. g4!?) in the Ruy Lopez, Carlsen built up a strong counterattack.
Can you find the tactic he used to defeat one of his biggest rivals of the tournament?
In the final round, Hikaru Nakamura was still in contention, trailing Carlsen by only half a point. However, Nakamura faced Carlsen with the black pieces, and Carlsen forced a repetition at the first opportunity, clinching the tournament.
Hikaru Nakamura and Viswanathan Anand at the closing ceremony. Photo: John Sanders
Nakamura ultimately scored 7 points, tying for 2nd place with the 15th World Champion, Viswanathan Anand.
The 9-way tie for 4th place (left to right): Vidit Gujrathi, Swapnil Dhopade, Richard Rapport, Alexei Shirov , Michael Adams, Emil Sutovsky, Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana, and Pavel Eljanov. Photo: John Sanders
Fabiano Caruana recovered from his loss with a victory over fellow American grandmaster, Varuzhan Akobian. This gave Caruana 6.5 points and a tie for 4th place with the 14th World Champion, Vladimir Kramnik, and seven more GMs.