Home CHESS Magnus Carlsen wins the first Casablanca Chess Variant Tournament

Magnus Carlsen wins the first Casablanca Chess Variant Tournament

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The Casablanca Chess featured grandmasters Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand, and Amin Bassem competing in the new “Chess variant,” a format designed to honor the history of chess.

Magnus Carlsen won the inaugural Casablance Chess that took place over the weekend of May 18-19, 2024. World No. 1, Carlsen, finished the four-player event with 4.5 points from six rounds.

Hikaru Nakamura of the United States finished runner-up with 3.5 points at the Casablanca Chess. Five-time world champion, Vishanathan Anand scored three points to finish third. Bassem Amin of Egypt finished last with one point.

The Casablance Chess Tournament is the first-of-its-kind in which the players were required to make moves from certain positions onwards from well-known games from the past. The historical games were chosen by Grandmasters Hicham Hamdouchi and Laurent Fressinet.

The final day featured games from the World Championship matches between Alexander Alekhine and Max Euwe (1935), Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov (1987) and Anna Ushenina and Hou Yifan (2013).

On the second day, Magnus Carlsen, leading with 2.5 points out of 3, won another game and drew two for a final score of 4.5 out of 6.

Carlsen said, “It was a fun format for sure, I would definitely like to try it again. With one exception in game two, all the positions were very rich with lots of play. It doesn’t really matter if you are playing White or Black, because you know that the position is equal and there are chances for both sides. It is also a lot of fun to end up in positions that I don’t play too often. I enjoyed it a lot.”

Carlsen, the winner, was bestowed with a sophisticated trophy shaped like a knight. Nakamura, Anand, and Amin each received traditional cups.

Tarik Senhaji, the CEO of the Casablanca Stock Exchange presented the trophy to Magnus Carlsen in the presence of Dana Reizniece-Ozola (Deputy Chair of FIDE Management Board), Bouchra Kadiri (President of the Provisional Committee in charge of the Moroccan Royal Chess Federation), and the “board masters” Hicham Hamdouchi and Laurent Fressinet.

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PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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