17 September 2021

Carlsen's Banter Blitz Events 2019-21

After a three week break, let's return to updating Magnus Carlsen's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (2000-; TMER: 'Last updated 2018-11-26.'), previously seen in Carlsen's Prelim Events 2019-21 (August 2021). In that post I wrote,

Since we arrived at this point by following TWIC data ('The Week in Chess' by Mark Crowther), let's continue with TWIC's stories. Crowther introduces each edition of TWIC with a summary of the top tournaments, explaining how they fit into the overall chess scene at that moment in time. Any event in which Carlsen participates is automatically a top tournament.

Along with the 'Prelim Events', there was another series of online events where I need to catch up, because I wasn't paying sufficient attention when they were played. Here is a list of 'Chess24 Banter Blitz' events played during the last few years, as reported by TWIC.

It looks like a long list, but in fact it includes two events which took place over a period of time. [NB: 'Ct' is the number of Carlsen games on the PGN file associated with the TWIC report. 'MaxOfPGN' is the highest date on those games.]

THE WEEK IN CHESS 1301 14th October 2019
4) Chess24 Banter Blitz Cup 2019

The Chess24 Banter Blitz Cup takes place 25th September until probably some time in December. 3 minute blitz games where the players have to talk while playing. Very strong with World Champion Magnus Carlsen already through to the second round.

The number in front of the parenthesis is the rank accorded by TWIC. That first report was pre-covid, pre-pandemic. The final TWIC report came a month into the global lockdowns provoked by the pandemic.

THE WEEK IN CHESS 1328 20th April 2020
3) Chess24 Banter Blitz Cup 2019

Chess24 Banter Blitz Cup took place 25th September 2019 to April 15th 2020. 128 players started the knockout event which has reached the quarter final stages. Time control 3 minutes a game.

Quarter Final Pairings:
Carlsen 9-1 Grandelius,
Sjugirov 8.5-5.5 Robson,
Firouzja 8.5-2.5 Meier,
Narayanan 8.5-6.5 Iturrizaga.

Semi-Finals:
Carlsen 9-0 Sjugirov, and
Firouzja 9-6 Narayanan.

The final between Carlsen and Firouzja took place Wednesday 15th April 2020 at 6pm BST. Firouzja won the match 8.5-7.5 and was behind only once in the match (after game 12) when he allowed checkmate when he expected to win on time but he immediately followed this setback with two consecutive wins, Carlsen leveled things up once again but then lost the final game 16 and thus lost the match. Carlsen was constantly berating himself throughout the match for his oversights.

For the official report, see Firouzja beats Carlsen to win the Banter Blitz Cup (chess24.com; April 2020; by Colin McGourty). The next 'Banter Blitz' event took place six months later, when the world was starting to emerge from the pandemic. It was covered in two TWIC reports.

THE WEEK IN CHESS 1352 5th October 2020
3) Chess24 Banter Series 2020

The chess24 Banter Series tookplace 1st to 29th September 2020. Magnus Carlsen has reached the final where he will play Wesley So. There were two places available in the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour starting later in the year and a $36,000 prize fund. Magnus Carlsen defeated Wesley So 5.5-3.5 in the final.

A more recent event was announced without Carlsen: Banter Blitz Cup returns! Now with a golden Tour ticket at stake (chess24.com; May 2021; by Leon Watson). That announcement started,

It was the event that sparked a summer of incredible online chess - just as the world went into lockdown. In a sensational showdown, Alireza Firouzja announced himself with an 8.5:7.5 win over World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. One year on and the Banter Blitz Cup 2021 is back. The event will return on June 4 bigger, and better, than ever before - and with a Spanish flavour!

Since Carlsen declined to participate in the 2021 event, the current post stops here.

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