World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen achieved a monumental performance in today’s action, winning all nine of his games to take a significant lead in the SuperUnited Rapid and Blitz. The historic run started with wins over Caruana and Duda, as Carlsen then proceeded to mow down the rest of the field, ending with 20.0/27 points going into the second half of the blitz tomorrow. Finishing the day tied for second place were the previous day’s leaders Nepomniachtchi and Caruana, who each scored a modest +1.
An elated Carlsen after completing his 9-0 run. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the rapid portion is 25+10, with 2 points awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 for a loss. The blitz portion will have a time control of 5+2, using the typical 1, 1/2, 0 scoring system.
BLITZ | ROUNDS 1-9
The day started off on the fortunate side for Carlsen, as he first ground down Caruana in a drawn queen and pawn ending. Magnus then started to gain steam with wins over Duda and Gukesh before simply taking apart the rest of the competition, winning many endgames along the way. Final wins over Firouzja, Rapport, and Lupulescu sealed the perfect day for Magnus:
Gukesh-Carlsen: 56…Rc2+! forced a winning king and pawn ending. | 0-1, 54 moves
Anand-Carlsen: 28…Bd4! was a nice spot by Carlsen, since 29.Bxd4 29...Rb1+ leads to mate.
Lupulescu-Carlsen: 43…f3! allowed Magnus to complete the 'triple hat-trick', winning after 44.Rxf3+ Rxf3 45.gxf3 Rb2-+
An unprecedented run by Carlsen, who seemed to have every game go his way. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
The previous leaders, Nepomniachtchi and Caruana both had up-and-down days. Nepo lost to Firouzja and Carlsen but managed to defeat Lupulescu, Duda, and Gukesh. Meanwhile Caruana lost three out of his first four to Carlsen, Anand, and Firouzja, but was able to come back with wins over Gukesh, Lupulescu, Saric, and Rapport to earn a plus score for the day.
Nepomniachtchi-Gukesh: After essaying the King's Gambit and reaching a dominating middlegame, Nepo capitalized on his edge with the winning 24.Nxf7!+-
Not a disastrous day for Nepo, who remains tied for second. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Caruana lost his first three out of four but completely turned things around by the end. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Bryan Adams
Blitz Pairings for Round 10
The 2023 SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz continues Sunday, July 9, with tournament action live starting at 8:05 AM CT with Grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Evgenij Miroshnichenko, Cristian Chirila and International Master Nazi Paikidze on grandchesstour.org and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.