Andrew Tang holds off Magnus, wins March Bullet Titled Arena.


GM Andrew Tang won the Lichess Titled Arena on Saturday, holding off a strong challenge from World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen. It was his third Titled Arena victory including many other finishes among the top spots. Third place was taken by GM Oleksander Bortnyk, fourth by IM Vincent Rothuis and fifth by GM David Paravyan.

We had another late-join chaser scenario as Magnus started the event 20 minutes in. However, this was not as much a “strategy” as a simple necessity. Magnus’ duties in the third place match of the Magnus Invitational ended at roughly the same time as the Titled Arena was beginning.  Presumably it would have been very poor form to cut out early from a tournament named after you.  Anyone ready with the ice-cold take that “Magnus would have won if he’d played the whole tournament” should keep in mind that Tang was hardly a helpless spectator in the effort to hold back Magnus, he scored 3.5/5 in their head-to-head games. Tang also had a slightly better overall performance score in the event.

The standard bevy of streamers attended the event, including Tang himself. IM Eric Rosen got a chance to play against Magnus and even used his signature Stafford Gambit. Various kill-joys, wet blankets, and parade rainers have been scandalized by Rosen’s willingness to play an “incorrect” opening like the Stafford in public where impressionable children might see it. Kudos to him for having the courage to try it against the very highest competition.

The next Titled Arena is April 3rd.