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🏆 Magnus Carlsen Invitational (2020)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren, Hikaru Nakamura, Alireza Firouzja, Anish Giri, Ian Nepomniachtchi Chess Event Description
Magnus Carlsen Invitational (2020)

The Magnus Carlsen Invitational saw eight of the world's best players compete online on the chess24 Playzone for a $250,000 prize fund, with $70,000 for 1st place. It began with a single round robin of matches from 18-30 April, with the top scoring players qualifying for the Final Four knockout. Each match consisted of four 15+10 Rapid games, with the winner earning 3 points, the loser 0. If the players tied 2:2 a single Armageddon game was played, where White had 5 minutes to Black's 4, with a draw counting as a win for Black. The Armageddon winner earned 2 points, the loser 1. No draws offers were allowed before move 40. All rounds and matches began at 16:00 CEST (server time 10:00 am). Tournament director: Sotiris Logothetis. Chief arbiter: Panagiotis Nikolopoulos.

Nakamura, Ding Liren, Carlsen and Caruana qualified for the final stage:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Nakamura * 2 1 1 3 3 3 2 15 2 Ding Liren 1 * 3 1 3 3 2 2 15 3 Carlsen 2 0 * 3 2 3 0 3 13 4 Caruana 2 2 0 * 3 3 0 3 13 5 Nepomniachtchi 0 0 1 0 * 2 3 2 8 6 Firouzja 0 0 0 0 1 * 3 3 7 7 Giri 0 1 3 3 0 0 * 0 7 8 Vachier-Lagrave 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 * 6

In the Final Four (on 1-3 May) the top four players competed in a knockout with two semifinals and a final. Each match consisted of four 15+10 Rapid games. If it ended 2:2 then up to two pairs of 5+3 Blitz tiebreak games, and if still tied the match would be decided by an Armageddon game. Magnus Carlsen won his own event by beating Nakamura in the final:

Played 1 May Carlsen ½011 -- -- - 2½ Ding Liren ½100 -- -- - 1½ Played 3 May Carlsen 101½ -- -- - 2½ Played 2 May Nakamura 010½ -- -- - 1½ Nakamura ½½10 11 -- - 4 Caruana ½½01 00 -- - 2

Official site:
chess24 Lineup:
chess24 Preliminary:
chess24 Final Four:
Wikipedia article: Magnus Carlsen Invitational

The event eventually became the first of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. Next was Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (2020)

 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Carlsen vs Nakamura 1-0672020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. Ding Liren vs Firouzja ½-½422020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalE51 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
3. Nakamura vs Carlsen 1-0402020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC78 Ruy Lopez
4. Firouzja vs Ding Liren 0-1452020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
5. Carlsen vs Nakamura 1-0562020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
6. Ding Liren vs Firouzja ½-½422020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalA06 Reti Opening
7. Nakamura vs Carlsen 1-0312020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalB82 Sicilian, Scheveningen
8. Firouzja vs Ding Liren ½-½472020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
9. Nakamura vs Carlsen 0-1322020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
10. Caruana vs Nepomniachtchi ½-½692020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC18 French, Winawer
11. Vachier-Lagrave vs Giri 1-0592020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
12. Nepomniachtchi vs Caruana  ½-½682020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC78 Ruy Lopez
13. Giri vs Vachier-Lagrave 0-1262020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
14. Caruana vs Nepomniachtchi  ½-½302020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC01 French, Exchange
15. Vachier-Lagrave vs Giri  ½-½922020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalB30 Sicilian
16. Nepomniachtchi vs Caruana 0-1732020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC78 Ruy Lopez
17. Giri vs Vachier-Lagrave  ½-½472020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
18. Carlsen vs Firouzja 1-0342020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
19. Nakamura vs Giri 1-0422020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalE60 King's Indian Defense
20. Firouzja vs Carlsen 1-0432020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalB30 Sicilian
21. Giri vs Nakamura  ½-½672020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
22. Carlsen vs Firouzja 1-0582020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
23. Nakamura vs Giri  ½-½412020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalD10 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
24. Firouzja vs Carlsen ½-½642020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
25. Giri vs Nakamura  ½-½522020Magnus Carlsen InvitationalC53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 6; games 1-25 of 136  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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May-02-20  Pedro Fernandez: Still my 200 bookies I bet to Carlsen are in play. Just I lost 10 bookies I bet to Caruana. BTW, Fabi Was excellent in this Invitational as he does not know play at those times.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <I would prefer Trent and Gustafsson were gone. Svidler is a good commentator, but many of these other guys are simply clowns.> The problem with that idea is that somebody like Swidler needs those other guys around so that he has a pretty competent in-place response. Its like a stage actor that needs the crowd in the theater, even if a TV is doing a live broadcast.
May-03-20  SirChrislov: Finals: Exciting stuff! Carlsen won the first game as white, Naka tied up winning the second as white in an interesting knight endgame. MC's choice of opening heavily being criticised by the announcers in that 2nd game.

3rd game starts shortly on the live stream.

May-03-20  metatron2: <Knightcarver: <dehanne> I would prefer Trent and Gustafsson were gone. Svidler is a good commentator, but many of these other guys are simply clowns>

Trent is cool and always add spice to the commentary and he is also good enough to discuss relevant lines. When he is around the discussions never get boring or monotonic.

Gustafsson is like the host of the commentary. He doesn't really adds much other than keep things in order, but I guess you need such a guy.

Svidler is indeed a great chess player and analyst, and it is always great to have him around.

But you were all ignoring Grischuk for some reason. He is also a great player, and always gives interesting lines that others fail to see.

He sees a lot very quickly. He did win the blitz world championship twice after all..

May-03-20  SirChrislov: Finals game 3: Hikaru "Nak'd-down" in a lost bishop endgame against white's 3 passed pawns. He needs to go all out in game 4 to stay alive.

Game 4 starts shortly on the live stream.with Peter Svidler.

May-03-20  Pedro Fernandez: Just he needs a draw, but sometimes it does not happen. It will see.
May-03-20  SirChrislov: MC leads 2 - 1.

game 4 has started... Magnus played the Cambridge Springs!?

Premium Chessgames Member
  JointheArmy: Nakamura missed significant chances to win in Game 4 with 43. h4!

Congrats to Magnus for winning his own tournament.

May-03-20  SirChrislov: Magnus neatly stabilized in game 4 against Hikaru's passed a-pawn in a rook endgame.

Final: 2½ - 1½ Magnus wins the MC Invitational.

May-03-20  SirChrislov: -Maguns, how does rate in victories in your career?

"Certainly winning this tournament is one of a kind so I suppose that's a very good thing." --MC

Premium Chessgames Member

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Premium Chessgames Member
  0ZeR0: Congratulations, Magnus! I thought game 3 in particular was quite interesting and impressive.
May-03-20  chuparinov: Carlsen made this tournament more exciting by trolling some of his games.if he keeps on winning or drawing games,it is kind of boring.add some drama and you have a blockbuster tournament.
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <Hikaru Nakamura
· 22m
While the outcome was not what I wanted today, I feel that chess has been a big winner over the last couple of weeks. Congrats to @MagnusCarlsen
on his deserved victory in the #MagnusInvite>
May-03-20  SirChrislov: Magnus Carlsen
· 5h Had a very enjoyable two weeks, as a player, commentator, and spectator. Especially happy to have played some of my best chess in the final against @GMHikaru
, who impressed me greatly with his performance. Can't wait to go again! @chess24com
May-04-20  Sokrates: A great match in this final. Nakamura can be very proud of his performance both in the match and in this tournament. His win in the second game was brilliant. Nakamura has had his ups and downs in recent years - I hope this will boost his self-confidence. I'd rather see him in the elite than, say Giri.

- - -
Congratulations to Carlsen, of course. He impressed me the most when he beat Ding Liren in their second match after having suffered another defeat to the Chinese. That's the stamina and fighting spirit world champions are made of. The third match game vs. Nakamura was a wonderful game rich of contents and ideas.

In these sinister times this tournament came as a light in the dark, and I hope further such tournaments will keep chess afloat while we all wait for a cure and vaccination.

May-04-20  MrMelad: Nice to see Carlsen is maintaining a good relationship with one of his regular clients, that's good business strategy :)

Jokes aside, great spirit by both players and a very enjoyable tournament overall.

May-04-20  PhilFeeley: <Can't wait to go again! @chess24com #MagnusInvite>

So make another one already! I'm sure the others would love to try again.

coronavirus isolation is still in effect, right? Let's have another online tournament.

May-05-20  Sally Simpson: ***

A report of the tournament in The Guardian.

' Fast and furious: Carlsen and Nakamura transform chess into an adrenaline sport'

Nakamura's seven year old throw away joke about Carlsen being Sauron still being quoted and Fischer was 'obviously a gargantuan outlier.' But on the whole a good piece to spark an interest in the game for the sport starved none players.


May-05-20  ajile: Naka had the misfortune to be born in the same time frame as Carlsen. He's just not in the same class and probably never will be.
May-05-20  ajile: <Sokrates: A great match in this final. Nakamura can be very proud of his performance both in the match and in this tournament. His win in the second game was brilliant.>

The "Stonewall" game was truly a masterpiece by Naka. But he lacks consistency which Carlsen in a match situation takes advantage of.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: The introduction here can be replaced by Game Collection: 01 once the line break issues have been solved.
May-05-20  JustAnotherMaster: What a great tournament...thank you Magnus it was magnificent. Exciting, fun, informative....especially for some who is staying safe at home - and of course I bought the premium package...just this tournament was worth it. Great announcers...someone who sounded like Grischuk on the last day. Very thankful to have had it to watch.
May-10-20  MordimerChess: I covered 13 games of the tournament with my youtube analysis:


May-21-20  offramp: I think this will go down as a landmark event in chess history. Firstly, it was entirely online and there were no problems: the audience was the arbiter. It showed that there was no need for Western or US GMs to travel to Murmansk in December to play in a top-level FIDÉ event.

It also showed how outdated the old 40 moves in 2½ hours time limit was. Modern players are too good for that. Recent tweaks to that rate have not quite fixed it. The rate used here, 15m+10s, seemed perfect, although I would reduce the increment to one second after move 60. We like to see time trouble every now and then!

With a format like this one here, a 24-game WC match, with 2 games a day, could be over in a fortnight, with an Armageddon game if necessary. And such a match would cost next-to-nothing, because players would stay at home. What's not to like??

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