Magnus Carlsen, a machine to win chess tournaments and thousands of dollars during the pandemic

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The Norwegian world champion won 10 championships in the year, nine online, and collected $ 556,450. Only 38 male tennis players won more singles awards than he did in 2020.

That the coronavirus pandemic demolished world sport, which can only reap its head with shows without an audience or with a very limited capacity, is a part of history. It happened. Of course there was and there is a world champion who did not stand still and he filled his pockets in the middle of a sanitary hecatomb. Just as chess showed that its modality online enhanced it like never in its history, Magnus Carlsen, the king of chess for a decade, swept championships and monetary awards.

With his consecration in the Norway Chess, the first closed super championship played face to face between grandmasters, the Norwegian, number one in the world ranking since July 2001, won his tenth title in the year, nine virtually, and bagged $ 556,450. A figure that barely 38 male tennis players could win in the singles tournaments of a season cut short by the pandemic.

Carlsen and the chess world immediately realized that this would go a long way and assumed that the ease of playing online it would translate into more users on the platforms and more possible spectators for tournaments among the elite. Told it Clarion in a special report with unpublished figures. Number one, quick for business, put together the Magnus Carlsen Invitational in partnership with Chess24.com. It was a success. And he won it. And deposited in his bank account some 70 thousand dollars in May.

After staying with him Memorial Steinitz Y $ 4,500, lost the semifinal of Lindores Abbey before the american Hikaru Nakamura but it took 15 thousand greens more. From then on, it was a winning machine and raising dollars in fast-paced tournaments or blitz.

Carlsen conquered the Clutch Chess International (75.000), he Chessable Masters (45.000), the tournament Legends of Chess (45.000) who disputed with Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand Y Vassily Ivanchuk, among others, and the Grand Final of his Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, with $ 140,000 for your savings bank.

Organized by the Saint Louis Chess Club, pure history was written in the Chess 9LX, tournament played with the Fischer Random system, because none other than the Russian Garry Kasparov returned to compete and Carlsen could not beat him. The title was shared with Nakamura and both took 31.250 green. The same happened with the American Wesley So in the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz, with 45.000 each. And the last virtual triumph was in the Chess24 Banter Series (12.000).

Virtuality ended, but King Magnus’s domain did not end. In Stavanger, the fourth most populous city in his native Norway and with live television In a country that idolizes him, Carlsen was crowned in Norway Chess a date before the end, thanks to his triumph against the adolescent prodigy Alireza Firouzja, Iranian exiled in France.

There he bagged his last $ 73,700 of this triumphal run, but there he also suffered two blows. The Polish Jan-Krzysztof Duda he beat him in the fifth round with white and took away an undefeated in games at the pace he thought he had 125 games (42 wins and 83 tables) and 802 days. More than two years had passed since the Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov He defeated him with White in 57 moves of a King’s Indian Defense, at the Biel Festival, on July 31, 2018.

And on Friday, in the last round, the second blow was suffered when he fell to the Armenian Levon Aronian in his first loss with White at this rate since December 2017, after 88 games (40 wins and 48 draws), as reviewed by the specialized journalist Tarjei Svensen.

Boy, did Carlsen take advantage of the non-stop chess activity during the pandemic. His $ 556,450 in prize money alone is enormously worth when compared, with the obvious caveats, to tennis players. According to the latest ATP earnings ranking, published on Monday, October 12, just 38 players made more money than Carlsen during the year in singles tournaments.

Novak Djokovic tops this ranking with $ 5,926,959 in prize money, followed by Dominic Thiem (5,114,678), Rafael Nadal (3,278,577) and Alexander Zverev (2,738,591). Tenth in earnings in singles is Diego Schwartzman, after his semifinals at Roland Garros, with 1,291,934. And in 38th place is the Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka (580,784), who this year won 11 games and lost 10, with the final in Delray Beach as the best result.

No one can unseat Carlsen from number one in the chess ranking in 9 years and three months. He has been world champion at a classical pace since November 2013, when he took the title from Anand in India itself by 6.3 to 3.5. And he defended his scepter three times: before Vishy in 2014, before the Russian Sergey Karjakin in 2016 and before the Italian-American Fabiano Caruana in 2018.

Not counting those four games, the three fast-paced world titles, and the five in mode blitz, according to Svensen, who follows in his footsteps, Carlsen won 36 closed super tournaments, including 7 at Wijk aan Zee, 4 at Shamkir and London, 3 times for Norway Chess and the Sinquefield Cup, and 2 for Grenke Chess.

Magnus Carlsen, a winning machine. And of billing in the middle of a pandemic.

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