Norway’s Magnus Carlsen loses first classic chess game in two years

Magnus CarlsenPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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Magnus Carlsen’s record series of 125 games in long/classical chess without a loss ended unexpectedly in his match against Polish Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the Norway Chess tournament on Saturday.

Carlsen gave up a pawn early, which allowed Duda to put the world champion under pressure. 

After two long thinking pauses of almost half an hour, Carlsen made a mistake on his 22nd move and gave his Polish opponent significant initiative.

The Norwegian chess star started to work his way back into the game, but with another mistake on move number 32, it became too challenging for Carlsen to avoid a loss.

Duda, who was at the very bottom of the Norway Chess table before Saturday’s match, had the honor of being the first to beat Carlsen since July 31, 2018.

Rematch opportunity

Carlsen will get a rematch on Sunday. 

The world champion from Lommedalen has now played against all five of his opponents in Stavanger’s tournament.

This week, Carlsen will meet Fabiano Caruana, Aryan Tary, Alireza Firouzja, and Levon Aronian once again. 

He needs to make a comeback after a messy performance on Saturday.

Carlsen briefly commented on his Saturday loss.

“It was a terribly complicated game. I gave a pawn for an attack on his king. I thought about my last move for a very long time. I don’t know why, I didn’t have many options,” Carlsen said.

Before his 22nd move, Carlsen also thought for a long time, but this time the consequences were far greater. 

The time pressure and the bad position may have led to the mistake in Carlsen’s 32nd move. 

With the loss, Carlsen lost the lead in the Norway Chess tournament. Levon Aronian and Alireza Firouzja won their games on Saturday. 

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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