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Chess: Magnus Carlsen dominates in Shamkir with two-point victory margin

The Norwegian’s result was among the best tournament performances in chess history, rivalling those of former legends

Magnus Carlsen unleashed a true champion’s performance in Shamkir this week. The Norwegian, 28, surged at the finish, crushed three major rivals with impressive attacks, won with a round to spare, and set himself up for a tournament treble after winning at Wijk in January and with Germany’s Grenke Classic to come starting on 20 April.

Carlsen defeated the Netherlands world No 5, Anish Giri, by a classic attack on the king, outplayed his 2016 title challenger, Sergey Karjakin, in a strategic masterpiece which undermined computer assessments, then, with first prize already secure, toiled for hours in the final round to outplay Alexander Grischuk from a level position. Carlsen totalled 7/9, followed at a distance by China’s Ding Liren and Russia’s Karjakin with 5/9.

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