Teimour Radjabov refused to celebrate after leapfrogging Wesley So into second place in the Champions Chess Tour Finals yesterday.
The Azerbaijani star showed all his super solid skills as he secured a 2.5-1.5 win over fellow countryman Shakrhiyar Mamedyarov in a final game thriller.
But in an interview after, Radjabov said: “Thank you, but this is the only day I didn’t enjoy my win.”
Radjabov explained that as Shakrhiyar hails from the same country and the two are long-time friends, “we do not celebrate any victories against each other”.
Radjabov picked up three points to go half a point in front of Wesley So, the winner of three Tour events, on the overall Tour leaderboard.
So, the reigning US Champ, had only just shook off the disappointment of seeing his challenge for the Tour title evaporate yesterday when he surrendered second place.
So beat Poland’s 23-year-old World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda in tiebreaks, which meant the American only picked up two points.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen, meanwhile, has had a lot to celebrate after being named Tour Champion the day earlier.
Yesterday, however, he lost a second match in a row – this time 3-1 to Armenia’s Levon Aronian.
The Norwegian said after: “Obviously, I should play better than I have the last few days, but that’s the way it is.”
Aronian said later he could tell that Carlsen was “very relaxed” after winning the Tour and as a result he “didn’t have much trouble winning today”.
Carlsen faces So tomorrow in the final round of the tournament and the final day of the year-long Tour. So will be desperate to take advantage of Carlsen being relaxed. Radjabov faces French number 1 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
In the other matches, Anish Giri won without needing tiebreaks for the first time in the event, beating MVL 2.5-1.5.
Hikaru Nakamura took full advantage of his Russian opponent Vladislav Artemiev losing on time in the first of the blitz tiebreakers that decided their match. In the second, Nakamura got the draw he needed to take the two points.