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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

Chess Notes

Weekly chess column

Again and again in the latest installment of grandmaster chess tournaments, Magnus Carlsen, 21, of Norway, demonstrated that he had the stamina and the technique to overbear competitors. Playing with what appears to be unprepared openings, he plays conservatively and gradually increases his position in Steinitzian fashion to bring about victory. In the São Paulo-Bilbao Masters, he proved his superiority.

He had a worthy rival for a time, young Miami-born Fabiano Caruana, a citizen of both the United States and Italy, living in Switzerland. Caruana had won at Dortmund and emerged from being the 34th player in the world to now fifth. He defeated Carlsen in the first round at the São Paulo leg of the Bilbao Masters and appeared to be running away from the field. The tournament used the Sophia system, 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, none for a loss.

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