Qatar Masters: Suleymenov crushes Carlsen, Carlsen questions organizers (2024)

Qatar Masters: Suleymenov crushes Carlsen, Carlsen questions organizers (5)

Qatar Masters: Suleymenov crushes Carlsen, Carlsen questions organizers (6)

Chess News





by Carlos Alberto Colodro

I like it! | 0 Comments

10/12/2023 – In a shocking development, 23-year-old Kazakh GM Alisher Suleymenov (rated 2512) defeated Magnus Carlsen in round 2 of the Qatar Masters — it was a crushing 31-move victory. Carlsen later shared some concerns on his X account, noting that it is “incredibly frustrating to see organisers still not taking anti-cheating seriously at all”, as he had been distracted by Suleymenov’s playing with an analog watch. Carlsen clarified that he was not accusing his opponent of cheating. | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Qatar Masters: Suleymenov crushes Carlsen, Carlsen questions organizers (13)

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Still no ChessBase Account? learn more > 8 million games online! Updated weekly, our definitive database has all the latest games. With Live Book and Let’s Check!

Understanding Middlegame Strategies Vol.8 - French - Winawer

In this Video course we deal with the French Winawer. The aim of this course is to arm club/tournament players with middlegame ideas which they can use in their own practice.


The analog watch dilemma

Round 2 of the Qatar Masters featured a number of upsets by lower-rated players, but none as shocking as Alisher Suleymenov’s (rated 2512) victory over Magnus Carlsen, the long-time highest-rated player in the world. For context, Tarjei J. Svensen shared on his X account that this is the first time Carlsen loses to a 2500-rated player since his loss to 2566-rated Yannick Pelletier back in 2015.

The upset of the day (of the year?) was a crushing 31-move victory, which saw Suleymenov fearlessly activating his pieces early on and finding a killing knight sacrifice on move 21. Find expert video analysis of the game by IM Robert Ris below.

The Keymer Variation - 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3

This video course features the ins-and-outs of the possible setups Black can choose. You’ll learn the key concepts and strategies needed to add this fantastic opening to your repertoire. An easy-to-learn and yet venomous weapon.

Right after the game, Carlsen shared the following message on X:

I was completely crushed in my game today. This is not to accuse my opponent of anything, who played an amazing game and deserved to win, but honestly, as soon as I saw my opponent was wearing a watch early in the game, I lost my ability to concentrate.

I obviously take responsibility for my inability to deal with those thoughts properly, but it’s also incredibly frustrating to see organisers still not taking anti-cheating seriously at all (no transmission delay, spectators walking around the playing hall with smartphones).

Naturally, this prompted a debate on social media, with many wondering whether it is forbidden to wear an analog watch — like the one Suleymenov was wearing — according to FIDE rules. The international federation’s handbook states in its anti-cheating chapter (emphasis my own):

OTB rule violations include a variety of infractions that occur over the course of the tournament. This includes bringing a phone into the playing hall, bringing other forbidden gadgets into the playing hall (e.g., wallets, smart glasses, pens, watches), being uncooperative with the Arbiter, refusing to be searched or scanned. The list of OTB rule violations is not exhaustive.

Nice watch.

— Olimpiu Di Luppi (@olimpiuurcan) October 12, 2023

Unlike his accusation against Hans Niemann from last year, when Carlsen was suspicious of his opponent’s behaviour during the game (“...throughout our game I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating in critical positions”), he has now repeatedly clarified that he is not accusing Suleymenov of cheating.

Carlsen’s focus is on tournament organizers’ general inability to deal with the threat of cheating — one that is particularly damaging in chess. Long-standing elite grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave supported the Norwegian’s viewpoint while praising the young Kazakh’s great achievement:

Absolutely agree with [Magnus Carlsen’s]take. Players need to unite to get anti-cheating measures in place at every tournament. To hinder cheaters, obviously, and to avoid people doubting every great performance, as I already saw a few bad tweets throwing shade at Alisher’s brilliancy today.

Understanding Middlegame Strategies Vol.1-6

In this Videocourse we deal with different aspects of the middlegame which are important to study and improve your general understanding of chess structures.

While trying to call attention to the underlying problem of cheating, Carlsen was also critical of Hikaru Nakamura’s using his name “for clicks” on his latest YouTube video (since Carlsen’s post, the US grandmaster changed the title of the video).

Just to be clear, I am not accusing my opponent today of cheating. Constantly using my name for clicks is fine, but this is just lame. Do better.

— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) October 12, 2023

A less talked-about fact surrounding the situation is that, after losing to a much lower-rated opponent for a second day in a row, tenth seed Vladimir Fedoseev did not sign the scoresheet and filed a complaint, as per Stefan Löffler’s post.

Carlsen and Fedoseev were not the only grandmasters to suffer upsets on Thursday:

  • Alisher Suleymenov (KAZ, 2512) beat Magnus Carlsen (2839)
  • Mukhiddin Madaminov (UZB, 2484) beat Parham Maghsoodloo (2707)
  • Robert Baskin (GER, 2451) beat Abhijeet Gupta (2609)
  • Vaishali Rameshbabu (IND, 2448) beat S P Sethuraman (2598)
  • Bakhrom Bakhrillaev (UZB, 2302) beat Pranav V (2579)

Note that four out of the five winners listed above hail from Asian countries that, given their recent showings in team competitions, likely count with many under-rated players.

According to Jonathan Tisdall, the growing number of upsets might also have to do with young players having ‘lost respect’ for elite grandmasters, a phenomenon that might have to do with Niemann’s nonchalance. Tisdall wrote:

Maybe the biggest change in modern chess is the total fearlessness so many young players have now. [...] It’s impressive to see the total lack of concern when kids are playing super-duper GMs. The sense of Hans Niemann’s nonchalance was considered suspicious, when I wonder if it’s just not becoming normal...

We expect organizers and arbiters to address this issue before round 3. Notwithstanding the controversy, there are now 21 players sharing first place with 2/2 scores, including Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri and Arjun Erigaisi.

Suleymenov vs. Carlsen analysis by IM Robert Ris

These video courses feature a black repertoire against 1.d4, 1.Nf3 and 1.c4. The recommended variations are easy to learn and not difficult to remember, but also pose White serious challenges.

Standings after round 2

12GMNakamura, HikaruUSA2780220
23GMGiri, AnishNED2760230
36GMErigaisi, ArjunU20IND2712260
412GMSindarov, JavokhirU18UZB26582120
616GMSalem, A.R. SalehUAE26322160
719GMYakubboev, NodirbekUZB26162190
822GMVakhidov, JakhongirUZB26072220
925GMJumabayev, RinatKAZ25852250
1026GMKuybokarov, TemurAUS25842260
1128GMVokhidov, ShamsiddinUZB25782280
1230GMAditya, MittalU18IND25722300
1334GMRasulov, VugarAZE25602340
1435GMKaidanov, GregoryUSA25542350
1541GMYilmazyerli, MertTUR25332410
1643GMKevlishvili, RobbyNED25212430
1747GMSuleymenov, AlisherKAZ25122470
1861IMMadaminov, MukhiddinU18UZB24842610
1972IMBaskin, RobertGER24512720
2075IMVaishali, RameshbabuwIND24482750
21149FMBakhrillaev, BakhromU16UZB230221510

...158 players

All available games



Qatar Masters: Suleymenov crushes Carlsen, Carlsen questions organizers (20)Books, boards, sets: Chess Niggemann

Qatar Masters: Suleymenov crushes Carlsen, Carlsen questions organizers (21)
Books, boards, sets: Chess Niggemann

Carlos Alberto ColodroCarlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.


The best combination for opening training: The big ChessBase opening encyclopaedia with thousands of opening articles plus Fritz19 at a special price!


Master Class Vol.17 - Boris Spassky

In this video course, experts including Dorian Rogozenco, Mihail Marin, Karsten Müller and Oliver Reeh, examine the games of Boris Spassky. Let them show you which openings Spassky chose to play, where his strength in middlegames were and much more.


Middlegame Secrets Vol.4 - The Secrets Lives of Knights

Knights add irrational content to any position. However, in this video tutorial you will learn how to tame them.


The surprising 3.d3 against the Caro-Kann

We boldly confront the Caro-Kann Defense with the upcoming move 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d3!? With this highly strategic choice, we disrupt Black’s typical patterns and comfort zones and enter an early endgame full of chances for you.


How to play the Open Sicilian

On this all-new ChessBase video course, IM Andrew Martin introduces you to this exciting world, so that you can begin playing the Sicilian in your own games. The main themes and ideas of the Open Sicilian are discussed.


ChessBase Magazine Extra 219

Videos by Felix Blohberger: A new sacrifice idea against the French and “Mikhalchishin’s Miniatures” (Part 3). “Lucky bag” with 44 analyses by Emanuel Berg, Romain Edouard, Alexandr Fier, Michal Krasenkow, Yago Santiago, Vaibhav Suri and many others.


Openings #1 The Open Games

In 23 video lessons you will learn everything you need to know about the King's Gambit, the Vienna Game, the Italian, the Evans Gambit, the two-knight game, the Scottish, the Steinitz and Berlin defences, the Open Spanish or the exchange variation, Marsha


Middlegame Secrets Vol.3 - The Career Paths of Bishops

In this video course we will explore in depth some familiar concepts regarding the bishops. For example, everyone knows that a bishop-pair should grant him a positional edge.


Privacy policy| Imprint | Contact | licenses | Home
© 2017 ChessBase GmbH | Osterbekstraße 90a | 22083 Hamburg | Germany
coldest news

Qatar Masters: Suleymenov crushes Carlsen, Carlsen questions organizers (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Reed Wilderman

Last Updated:

Views: 6191

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Reed Wilderman

Birthday: 1992-06-14

Address: 998 Estell Village, Lake Oscarberg, SD 48713-6877

Phone: +21813267449721

Job: Technology Engineer

Hobby: Swimming, Do it yourself, Beekeeping, Lapidary, Cosplaying, Hiking, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Reed Wilderman, I am a faithful, bright, lucky, adventurous, lively, rich, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.