Abidjan Concludes: Carlsen Wins, Nakamura and MVL Share Second and Third
Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 11:05PM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2019 Abidjan, 2019 Grand Chess Tour, Hikaru Nakamura, Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was the coming man on Saturday, riding an eight-game win streak at one point to put some pressure on Magnus Carlsen and the significant lead he build up in the rapid portion of the Grand Chess Tour event in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Could he come even closer on Sunday?

In a word: no. In a few more words: he did manage to defeat Magnus Carlsen once again in their head-to-head matchup, but Carlsen played well the rest of the day. He scored 6.5 points from his other 8 games, outscoring Vachier-Lagrave by a point today and finishing three and a half points ahead of MVL and Hikaru Nakamura. His form was more impressive today, and with four dominant days out of the five he was a very deserved winner with 26.5 points out of 36.

MVL played extremely well on days 3 and 4 and deserved his high placement, as did Nakamura. Vachier-Lagrave wound up the overall winner of the blitz, finishing half a point ahead of Carlsen and a point ahead of Nakamura. (He did end up a hair behind Carsen in the blitz ratings though - 1.4 points behind Carlsen, which will be two points when their ratings are rounded off at the end of the month.) Aside from his entirely unnecessary loss to Bassem Amin on day 2 he performed extremely well in the rapid, and while the first day of the blitz was a disaster by his standards he played very well in the second day of the blitz. He started today with 6.5/8, including a victory over Vachier-Lagrave in the day's third round, and was only stopped by Magnus Carlsen in the last round.

The next finisher, Wesley So, was another three and a half points behind Nakamura and MVL. 19.5/36 is a very good score in such a field, even if it left him a full seven points behind Carlsen. Ding Liren finished another point behind, and everyone else finished with a minus score. Here are the final, combined standings:

1. Carlsen 26.5 (out of 36)
2-3. Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave 23
4. So 19.5
5. Ding Liren 18.5
6. Wei Yi 16.5
7-8. Nepomniachtchi, Karjakin 15.5
9. Topalov 11.5
10. Amin 10.5

Article originally appeared on The Chess Mind (http://www.thechessmind.net/).
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