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🏆 Legends of Chess (2020)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Ding Liren, Anish Giri, Vassily Ivanchuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Boris Gelfand, Peter Svidler, Peter Leko Chess Event Description
Legends of Chess (2020)

The Legends of Chess saw ten of the world's best players, including World Champion Carlsen and his predecessors Anand and Kramnik, compete online on the chess24 Playzone from 21 July to 4 August, with a rest day on 30 July. The 4th event in the $1 million Magnus Carlsen Tour, it had a $150,000 prize fund with $45,000 for 1st place. The winner would qualify for the $300,000 Grand Final in August. The event began with a single round robin of matches from 21-29 July, with the four best players qualifying for the final 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.

Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi, Giri and Svidler qualified for the semifinals:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Carlsen * 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 25 2 Nepomniachtchi 1 * 3 3 3 2 1 3 2 2 20 3 Giri 0 0 * 3 1 3 3 3 2 3 18 4 Svidler 0 0 0 * 2 3 3 0 3 3 14 5 Ivanchuk 1 0 2 1 * 3 0 3 2 1 13 6 Kramnik 0 1 0 0 0 * 2 3 3 3 12 7 Gelfand 0 2 0 0 3 1 * 3 0 2 11 8 Ding Liren 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 * 3 3 9 9 Anand 0 1 1 0 1 0 3 0 * 1 7 10 Leko 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 2 * 6

In the knockout phase each match consisted of up to three mini-matches, and the winner of two such would prevail. The mini-matches consisted of four 15 + 10 Rapid games, and if necessary two 5 + 3 Blitz tiebreak games, and if still necessary an Armageddon game where White had 5 minutes to Black's 4 while a draw counted as a win for Black. Magnus Carlsen won the event by beating Ian Nepomniachtchi 2-0 the final:

Semifinals, 31 July - 2 August Carlsen 1˝1- -- - / 11˝- -- - / ---- -- - 2 Svidler 0˝0- -- - / 00˝- -- - / ---- -- - 0 Final, 3-4 August Carlsen 1˝0˝ 11 - / 11˝- -- - 2 Nepo 0˝1˝ 00 - / 00˝- -- - 0 Nepo ˝11- -- - / ˝10˝ 10 0 / ˝˝˝˝ ˝1 - 2 Giri ˝00- -- - / ˝01˝ 01 1 / ˝˝˝˝ ˝0 - 1

With this result, Carlsen took his third 1st place out of four possible in the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. The other player who won a tournament was Daniil Dubov. Carlsen and Dubov went to the Grand Final together with Ding Liren and Hikaru Nakamura, who were the best performing players not to win a tournament.

Official site:
chess24 1:
chess24 2:
Wikipedia article: Legends of Chess

Previous Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour event: Chessable Masters (2020). Next: Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals (2020)

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 218  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Leko vs Ivanchuk  ½-½462020Legends of ChessB07 Pirc
2. Anand vs Svidler  ½-½342020Legends of ChessC50 Giuoco Piano
3. Gelfand vs Ding Liren ½-½482020Legends of ChessD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
4. I Nepomniachtchi vs Kramnik  ½-½592020Legends of ChessD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. Carlsen vs A Giri 1-0442020Legends of ChessE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
6. Svidler vs Anand 1-0362020Legends of ChessA08 King's Indian Attack
7. Ivanchuk vs Leko 1-0562020Legends of ChessC34 King's Gambit Accepted
8. Ding Liren vs Gelfand 0-1162020Legends of ChessB30 Sicilian
9. Kramnik vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1412020Legends of ChessA04 Reti Opening
10. Ivanchuk vs Leko 0-1792020Legends of ChessA30 English, Symmetrical
11. A Giri vs Carlsen  ½-½522020Legends of ChessD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Kramnik vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1352020Legends of ChessA04 Reti Opening
13. Ding Liren vs Gelfand 0-1622020Legends of ChessE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
14. Kramnik vs I Nepomniachtchi  ½-½982020Legends of ChessA04 Reti Opening
15. A Giri vs Carlsen  ½-½372020Legends of ChessD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
16. Anand vs Svidler  ½-½372020Legends of ChessD80 Grunfeld
17. Leko vs Ivanchuk  ½-½492020Legends of ChessD27 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
18. Gelfand vs Ding Liren  ½-½432020Legends of ChessE10 Queen's Pawn Game
19. I Nepomniachtchi vs Kramnik 0-1362020Legends of ChessD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
20. Carlsen vs A Giri 1-0342020Legends of ChessD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
21. Svidler vs Anand  ½-½632020Legends of ChessA08 King's Indian Attack
22. Ivanchuk vs Leko 0-1432020Legends of ChessC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
23. I Nepomniachtchi vs Ding Liren  ½-½482020Legends of ChessB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
24. Ivanchuk vs Gelfand  ½-½402020Legends of ChessD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Svidler vs Leko 1-0322020Legends of ChessA04 Reti Opening
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 218  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  savage sanctuary: <Anyone following the Leela Stockfish match? Please ask an administrator for a forum, in order to follow -and comment- those games. Maybe we can learn something new too...>

"A chess engine is a great antidote to human optimism."


Premium Chessgames Member
  savage sanctuary: Mad bizarreness:

Maria Pradi Ramos Donaire vs Ashley Todd, 2020

Did anyone explain to little Ashley that it's an Olympiad not giveaway chess??

Aug-06-20  boz: I think chess is most interesting when there is a dominant player and all the rest are trying to take him down. The danger is when they all give up.
Aug-06-20  Everett: <boz> agreed
Aug-08-20  Ulhumbrus: < Pedro Fernandez: Again history repeats itself. A few days ago I wrote about the game where GM Anish Giri makes such a bad move that it is hard to believe that a player of his stature could make such a huge mistake. And it is that the immense pressure exerted by the lack of time, I doubted, incredulously, that such terms could be reached. I know that this matter has been discussed ad nauseam, but nevertheless it is not about the topic of "raining on wet", no!, and that irrefutable evidence of so absurd and ridiculous moves, due to the time factor, are being presented to think irrevocably, that such a factor is so decisive and preponderant, without respecting hierarchies. And it is that this time the victim was the proper world champion, again vs the same executioner.

So I dare to write these lines where I simply want briefly to emphasize this unique subject, where the time factor exerts such great pressure, which generates or induces resolutions so degenerative and cognitive anomalies which, unfortunately, it really happen. So please, let´s see, briefly, an extract of this game.

<''Legends'', Ian Nepomniachtchi 1-Magnus Carlsen 0, Round 2, 8/3/20, Sicilian Najdorf, 6.Rg1>

I start from the position after white did play 15.Nf5:

click for larger view

Carlsen responding 15...0-0?! (<strange carlsen didn´t play 15...Rxa1, putting away the white queen from the imminent danger that it represents on the kingside.>)

16.Rxa8! Bxa8 17.Rh4 g6

click for larger view

18.Qg4! Nc5 19.Qh3

click for larger view

And now the aim of our thread. Everyone knows the sporadic thematic rook-sac that usually occurs in columns 'h' and 'f', but if time is running out, such discordant situations occur, where even the proper world champion himself cannot avoid.

19...h5?? (<by obvious reasons, 19...Bxg5! was so natural>) 20.Rxh5! gxh5 21.Qxh5 Ne6 1-0.

click for larger view

(<the obvious 22.g6 is too strong>.) Just 21 moves!>

One example of a possible explanation is that in a quick play game the players are not given time to think.

Another example of a possible explanation is that that Giri had calculated earlier the position up to 21...Ne6 but had overlooked or saw too late some detail or correction which turns the evaluation upside down in favour of White.

Aug-08-20  metatron2: <Sokrates: Can this be substantiated? Has there been no interest in these online tournaments? And if not (which I doubt), who can tell whether it is caused by the online genre, the rapid format, or Carlsen's upper hand?>

I wrote that <otherwise people <will> lose interest..> if that kind of format goes on.

When I wrote that there is not real interest in such events, I meant that people have no real interest in competitions which winner is known in advance, but not that it was that clear prior to the latest tournaments.

Since the covid-19 started, we only have rapid-online events, so Carlsen's supremacy in that field is much more obvious. I assume that by this point, after finishing the series of events organized by Carlsen and chess24, most people feel that there is no competition.

I mean when he Carlsen is motivated and in the zone, he crashes his opponents 2.5-0.5 or 3-0, and when he is not, he just beats them with a lower margin.

I personally did not have any interest in Carlsen-Nepo final. I didn't think that Nepo had any real chance. Can they play some interesting games there? sure, but I can watch those later if like. Maybe watch some Daniel King analysis of the more interesting games there sometime.

Same goes for Carlsen-Caruana or Carlsen-Giri finals (Maybe with Giri, their past social-media rantings added some interest to their rivalry, but not their chess level).

I admit that Calsen-Nakamura rapid match still has some interest, because Nakamura is probably the only top player (apart from Carlsen) who's rapid level is close to his classical games level. Only problem is that his classical level is not even close to Carlsen's classical level, so over time, there is no real competition here as well, but at least Naka has some chance of beating Carlsen in a mini-match (as we saw..).

So why assume that people will lose interest after realizing that there is no real competition in rapids?

Well that is usually the case in sports competitions in general, and chess is no exception.

Why no one wanted to sponsor the Kasparov-Shirov match at the time? because they didn't think there will be enough competition there. Sure the games could have been great between 2 such great attacking players, but people also need to have the tension about the outcome of the winner.

Why did humans stop competing against engines when the engines became too strong? you could have interesting games there (even from the scientific point of view), but again, there was no competition anymore. Human still match engines but only when the engine is giving them odds (as I suggested for Carlsen..), because that is the only way to keep some competition..

Aug-08-20  metatron2: <boz: I think chess is most interesting when there is a dominant player and all the rest are trying to take him down. The danger is when they all give up.>

I agree, as long as <some> competition is still left there.

The problem with Carlsen's domination in rapids, is that the rest of the top players are not really focusing on taking him down, because their main focus is still classical time controls and not rapids (their main income before covid-19 was coming from classical tourneys).

And even if they all tried, I'm not sure how much that would have helped them. The ability to evaluate positions quickly, and take the best practical decisions quickly is mostly decided by talent. One can improve a lot there, but there is always a clear limit of how fast one can get. I am afraid that the combination of Carlsen's pure chess-level along with his quickness cannot be matched by any of the current top players.

So I don't think that everybody chasing the dominating player is our case here..

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Hi again, <metatron2>,

<I personally did not have any interest in Carlsen-Nepo final. >

I think that may be the crux of the matter. I think the final was interesting, although Carlsen beat Nepo in two games. The games were great, and following them with comments by the legends Judit Polgar, Anatoly Karpov and Grischuk was very exciting.

Apparently, it is quite subjective how you regard this - some would agree with you, some with me - but as long as enough people agree with me, why shouldn't they let the show go on? I for one hope they will.

At least somebody is doing something in these sinister times of the Covid. I am afraid this state of chess life will last much longer than we hope for and even expected when it began.

Right now the overall situation in the world seems to get worse, not better. I doubt very much, for instance, that the Candidates will resume as FIDE has announced. Where should they play?

Aug-08-20  fabelhaft: The Candidates shouldn’t have to be such a problem, the football leagues are on everywhere. In Russia they just played a cup final and start the league in a few days. There at least 22 players are on the field and then lots of substitutes on the benches, managers and referees etc. Eight chess players shouldn’t have to be that impossible, depending on where they would plan to play.
Aug-08-20  not not: In Russia, windows get rid of you!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <fabelhaft> Right from the beginning of the Covid19, this deadly, still enigmatic disease has been subject to heavy denial by the regimes, who simply wouldn't have it. Thus Messrs. Trump, B. Johnson, Putin and Bolsonaro have misinformed, downplayed, and bluntly lied about the disease with disasterous consequences. Underestimating the disease has cost thousands of lives.

Sure, you can equip eight players with protection as if they were to operate in surgery, you can escort them to and fro isolated hotel rooms, and you can put up a plexiglass shield across the chessboard.

We have been through all these precautions up to the first half of the Candidates. One thing is finding a playing ground for the venue, another thing to demand from the players that they should take the risk of passing unscathered through all the obstacles before they get to do, what they should do: play chess in a safe, relaxed, calm, risk-free atmosphere, so that the disease factor would be of no significance whatsoever.

Who could give that guarantee? Could you?

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: '(H)eavy denial'.

'Fifteen, soon to be zero' comes most forcefully to mind.

Aug-08-20  fabelhaft: <Sure, you can equip eight players with protection as if they were to operate in surgery, you can escort them to and fro isolated hotel rooms, and you can put up a plexiglass shield across the chessboard>

Well, many OTB chess events have been played in Europe the last months, I don’t know if the Candidates would have to be all that different. Biel last month had over a hundred participants (even in only eight in the elite event). have a longer list of recent OTB events here:

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: Robert Fischer would BEAT Carlsen

Give Bobby the net and chessbase lol lol lol lol lol lol

Aug-08-20  fabelhaft: Holding the last seven rounds in for example Finland might be a good idea, in all six persons in hospital with corona in the whole country last time I checked. But then FIDE come up with strange decisions sometimes, can’t imagine they plan to play in Russia though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: There are many many Great chess players who've long gone but who would make it now easy in chess with the Net and engines
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Who says these arrangements you refer to were wise? In Denmark, a soccer club AGF won our premier league and there were celebrations among the fans in Aarhus, the hometown of the team. Now the infected in Aarhus have increased heavily and a mask has become obligatory in public transport in the city - a first in this country.

We know the disease spreads when people are crowding and use no mask protection. We know your breath spreads the virus at least 1.5 meters, aerosol particles much wider, and that a handshake is enough to transfer it to the next person.

Look at the U.K. In the beginning of the pandemic they had no restrictions. People could visit pubs and bars, get together as much as they wanted, and so forth. Now, how well did that work for the United Kingdom? That is the statistic you need to consult, not the reckless decisions made to please voters and pleasure-hungry crowds.

Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: carlsen has NO OPPOSITION


Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: This USER

Take your schiit elsewhere

Keep it chess loike

Premium Chessgames Member

Keres would beat carlsen today

Aug-08-20  not not: your favourite president (me) knew before anyone else how dangerous Covid was. I only called it HOAX so me and my friends can dump shares before stockmarket collapses. and to those with no insider knowledge who lost fortunes and to those who believed it was HOAX and lost lives or beloved ones, Im sending my deepest thoughts and prayers... happy 9/11 LOOSERS!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: The Doors - When The Music's Over (Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970)



Premium Chessgames Member
  Pedro Fernandez: <<Ulhumbrus>: One example of a possible explanation is that in a quick play game the players are not given time to think.> Exactly, my great my friend <Ulhumbrus>. In a nutshell, lack of time brings serious cognitive distortions in the player, no matter how competent he is. IMO, the lack of time in a classic game does not produce the dire consequences that one is seeing in these types of games.
Aug-09-20  metatron2: <Sokrates: it is quite subjective how you regard this - some would agree with you, some with me>

Well OK, I guess part of the chess fans will care more about the quality of the games, and maybe about the fight for the second place, as long as they will feel that the players themselves did not lose interest..

<Sokrates: Who could give that guarantee? Could you?>

I don't think that conducting a tourney with small number of participants is a problem today (and 8 participants is real small..). Here I know people who participate in tourneys lately, while keeping the instructions of masks, distance (more than 2m from everyone other than his opponent), hygiene, and so far there were no problems.

The real problem I see with the candidates tourney is the traveling. I don't think any country will allow people from Russia or China to get into their border without going to isolation. So the participants along with their teams should agree to get into isolation (probably 2 weeks), along with providing latest tests that prove that their covid-19 free.

But it does seem feasible to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: <metatron2> and <fabelhaft>

I am sorry if I come out a bit hard on this matter, especially to you two, who I hold in high regard among the posters on this site. Please understand that I only offer eager arguments to people I respect and - sometimes - respectfully disagree with.

I agree that measures can be taken to make an 8 player tournament relatively safe. And I don't want the world to stop in a paralyzed position because of the disease. When I argued against you, <fabelhaft> it was because of risk of the whole event, everything included.

<metatron2>, you mention the travelling difficulties. Evidently, I fully agree. But you also have to add the hotels, the service people, the taxi-drivers, well each and every person who might get into contact with the players.

A single one of them might, in a careless moment of seconds, infect one of the players, and then hell is loose.

Sure, the players themselves are relatively young, thus not likely to die from the disease, in case they caught it. But we also know now, painfully know, that the disease can cause lasting damages on younger persons who had overcome it. Some have lost their ability to taste, others got emboli at various places, others became endlessly tired and wearied.

I am sure, the players all all aware of that, and I think they would agree to play, in case proper cautions are taken at the playing venue, but what if one of them joins Radjabov in refusing to play because of the danger?

Damned be that terrible disease, but if we have one thing about it, it is that it has struck every time it was underestimated, and it has been and still is quite elusive for the brightest human scientists.

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