03 December 2021

Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, Banter Blitz

The previous post in the series on Magnus Carlsen's Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record (TMER; m-w.com) was Carlsen's TMER 2019-21, Chess24 Profile (November 2021).

It turns out there's a gold mine of TMER material under [Carlsen's MagzyBogues profile], material which I haven't sorted out yet.

The stats section of the profile ('Rated games') counts 547 games, but there are 570 blitz games and 66 'classical' games listed. Because I was most interested in Banter Blitz, I downloaded the blitz index, loaded it into a database, and examined the content.

GM Carlsen's first Banter Blitz (24-Feb-19) was the six game match with Peter Svidler that I mentioned in Not the 'Under the Weather' Channel (November 2021). His second was announced a few weeks later.

  • 2019-03-07: Magnus Carlsen plays Banter Blitz (chess24.com) • 'Yes, you read that right! This Friday none other than Magnus Carlsen will be streaming his blitz games live here on Chess24 [...] For the first time ever Magnus Carlsen is now going to play Banter Blitz against Chess24 users.'

This became a regular feature for Chess24 fans. For example,

  • 2019-07-16: Magnus Carlsen’s 5th Banter Blitz session (ditto) • 'Magnus Carlsen will be back to play more blitz against Chess24 Premium users [...] We’ve compiled all the Banter Blitz games so far into one "tournament" with four "rounds"'

The four rounds referred to the first four Banter Blitz sessions. That tournament now shows 16 rounds, where the last round was played earlier this year (27-Mar-21). Later in 2019 the site announced a tournament, the Banter Blitz Cup.

  • 2019-09-20: Magnus Carlsen tops Banter Blitz Cup billing (ditto) • 'World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will be the top seed for the 128-player $50,000 Banter Blitz Cup that’s set to start in a week’s time.'
  • 2019-09-25: Banter Blitz Cup Schedule (ditto) • 'World Champion Magnus Carlsen takes on 21-year-old Argentine Grandmaster Alan Pichot in Round 1 of the $50,000 Banter Blitz Cup, with the full pairings tree now published.'

That second page links to videos for the individual matches. Carlsen reached the final (played 15-Apr-20), where he lost to GM Alireza Firouzja 8.5-7.5. A few months later, Chess24 announced another tournament:-

  • 2020-08-31: The chess24 Banter Series, a new Banter Blitz Cup! (ditto) • 'There will be a 16-player final phase, with eight players invited and the remaining participants determined by a series of eight qualifying tournaments that will be played in the first weeks of September.'
  • 2020-09-21: Carlsen & co. in Banter Series Finals action (ditto) • 'World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and 7 more of the world’s Top 10 players are in action this week as the Chess24 Banter Series Finals begin Monday and end in a final on Sunday. All players must stream their thoughts live as they play in this 16-player knockout, which includes 8 qualifiers who battled their way through mini-knockouts over the last three weeks.' [Member comment: 'Where is Alireza?!']

Carlsen again reached the final, this time with a different result.

  • 2020-09-30: Carlsen plays Bongcloud to win Banter Series (ditto) • 'World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen won after starting 1.f3, 2.Kf2 -- the notoriously bad "Bongcloud" opening -- on his way to beating Wesley So 5.5-3.5 to claim the $12,000 top prize in the Chess24 Banter Series.'

Carlsen did not use the MagzyBogues account to play the event. The results of all games are available in Banter Series - Events by chess24.

The gold mine I mentioned at the beginning of the post is as much for the streamed commentary as for the games. The 16 sessions with Premium members plus 11 matches against titled players probably adds up to something like 300 Banter Blitz games to date. How much of that should go into the TMER?

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