Never thought that I would follow the price fluctuations of the bitcoin again. It’s because of theFTX Crypto Cup, the latest installment of Magnus Carlsen’s never-ending tour of online tournaments.FTX facilitates cryptocurrency trading and thanks to this company, in addition to the $220,000 prize pool (not bad in itself for just over a week’s work), there’s a bonus of 2.18 bitcoins.
When the tournament was announced, that bonus was worth $100,000, but after the first day of play, it was at $80,000, where at the time of writing I’m writing this, it’s about again.
Chess lovers who follow tournaments online could already see like digital zombies with a look at a computer-generated graph where the players had made mistakes, and now they can also follow the price movements of part of the prize money in this way.
The crypto tournament was called the strongest online tournament ever held and that’s right, because the entire top ten of the world participated. There was first a preliminary round of 16 players, half of whom could qualify for the quarter-finals.
Levon Aronian played in Yerevan, where the electricity was temporarily cut off due to a severe thunderstorm. He had to continue playing in the dark and hope that the battery of his laptop would last until the end of his game, which fortunately happened. Ding Liren lives in the Chinese metropolis of Wenzhou, which meant that for him the tournament was played between twelve o’clock at night and five o’clock in the morning. Those two unlucky birds did not make it to the quarter-finals.
Carlsen and his challenger Jan Nepomniatsji succeeded, with the heels over the ditch, and then they also qualified for the semi-finals. Anish Giri had comfortably qualified for the quarterfinals, but was eliminated by Teimour Radjabov on Thursday. He did have a joyful message about his private life: “In June, my wife will have a third child after myself and my son Danny.”
Magnus Carlsen – Alexander Grishchuk, preliminary round FTX Crypto Cup 2021
1. b3 e5 2. Lb2 Pc6 3. c4 Pf6 4. Pf3 e4 5. Pd4 Lc5 6. Pf5
Already on the sixth move they walk into a minefield. After 6…d6, white can not 7. Do Pxg7+, because then comes after 7…Kf8 8. Ph5 the beautiful move 8…e3 and both after 9. fxe3 pxh5 10. Lxh8 Dh4+ as after 9. dxe3 Lb4+ 10. Pd2 (or 10. Pc3 Pxh5) Pe4 11. Lc1 Lf5 wins black. 6…d5 Quickly played by Grishchuk, but it’s a responsible decision. 7. Pxg7+ Kf8 8. cxd5 Ld4 9. Pc3 Pe7 A serious error. He should have done 9…Pb4. 10. e3 Lxc3 After 10…Le5 has white 11. Ph5 Lg4 12. Le2, which would not go with black horse on b4 because of 12…Pd3+. 11. dxc3 Kxg7 12. c4 White has two pawns for one piece and his Lb2 is a giant. Zwart’s thesis is virtually indefensible. 12…Pg6 13. g4 h6 14. h4 c5 15. Le2 Kg8 16. Dc2 Th7 It looks like black is working on a sliding puzzle. 17. 0-0-0 Pxg4 18. h5 Pf8 19. Dxe4 f5 20. DC2 Pxf2 21. Thg1+ Kf7 22. Tdf1 Dh4 23. Le5 With 23. Lf3 was able to catch white black horse. 23…De4 This loses immediately. With 23…De7, black could still offer resistance. 24. Dc3 Ph3 25. Tg4 A nice final move that the lady wins. Black gave up.</svg>”>
A version of this article also appeared inNRC Handelsblad of 29 May 2021