Three-way tie for the FTX lead as Carlsen’s woes continue

World Champions is disgusted with himself after losing in the day’s final round as Nakamura, Caruana and Radjabov share the lead
Magnus Carlsen

The FTX Crypto Cup is wide open as three stars share the lead overnight and Magnus Carlsen risks crashing out.

A wild day of chess saw the race to qualify for the knockout stage of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event tighten up.

Speed demon Hikaru Nakamura, world number 2 Fabiano Caruana and the Azeri No. 1 Teimour Radjabov are out in front on 6.5/10.

But the overnight leader Anish Giri fell back with losses in the last two rounds and Carlsen’s struggles continued.

Carlsen disgusted with himself

The Norwegian had a disappointing Day 1 and his attempts to claw back some ground today didn’t bear fruit.

After back-to-back wins that suggested he’d turned a corner, Carlsen finished ninth overall again after a Round 10 loss to Levon Aronian.

The Tour leader was disgusted with himself and described his play afterward as a “self-inflicted wound”.

However, with the leaders only on 6.5/10, it means no-one is safe and everyone except last-placed Alan Pichot has a chance to progress to the knockouts tomorrow.

Nakamura scored a win in his first game and then drew the final four to stay unbeaten. He will be confident in making the cut.

Radjabov, the Airthings Masters champ, also remains unbeaten and scored two wins today to add to his win yesterday.

The standings

Caruana started the day outside the top eight but finished it joint-top after scoring three wins and two draws.

Giri ruthlessly dispatched the youngster Alireza Firouzja in Round 8 after the youngster blundered.

Giri on the slide

The Dutchman, who was eight unbeaten, then had a surprise setback losing his first game of the tournament to former Russian champ Peter Svidler.

Giri, who had played so well, lost again to Caruana in Round 10 to surrender the lead.

Eight will be eliminated tomorrow as the prelim stage comes to an end. Then the survivors will move to quarter-final knockouts with all matches played on the chess24 playzone.

The FTX Crypto Cup is the world’s richest chess tournament with a $220,000 cash prize and a 2.18 bitcoin up for grabs.

The bitcoin element has been fluctuating wildly in value since it was bought for $100,000 – but a guest on the broadcast had good news for the players.

Crypto expert Raoul Pal, the co-founder/CEO of Real Vision, predicted the bitcoin section of the tournament prize would rise to $110,000 by the end of the week.

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Speaking about the similiarities between chess and crypto, he said: “It’s an obvious thing. Chess is all about living in the future and looking at the probabilities of outcomes.

“There’s no certainties with chess until you get to the endgame, and there’s no certainties with crypto.

“But what you’re trying to do is play the game five or 10 steps ahead, which is what the very best chess players do.

“Anybody who tries to play in the present move is missing the bigger picture of where this is going, and cryptocurrencies are exactly the same.”