In July we reported on the Norwegian Championship, a 22-player 9-round Swiss
tournament that was held from July 8th to 15th, 2006, in the city of Moss,
just south of the capical of Oslo. The reigning champion GM Simen Agdestein
faced a stiff challenge from his student and coaching partner GM Magnus Carlsen.
At the end of the event the two top seeds ended equal first, a full point ahead
of the field. Here are the final standings:
|| 2668 ( -6)
|| 2641 (+12)
|| 2575 (+21)
|| 2490 (+27)
||Leif E Johannessen
|| 2487 (-12)
||Kjetil A. Lie
|| 2480 (-18)
|| 2473 ( +1)
|| 2468 (+37)
||Geir S. Tallaksen
|| 2483 (+26)
The rules required that in case of a tie at the top a playoff would be staged
two months later, and this was done on September 19–21, with two regular
games being played on Sept. 19 and 20, and then two rapid chess tiebreak games
on September 21.
The venue of the Norwegian Championship playoff
The first game ended in a draw. In the second Agdestein had white and won
a piece, but his opponent was able to launch a vicious counter-attack which,
in the time trouble phase, could have well brought victory. The game ended
after 47 moves in a just draw. The time control for these games was 40 moves
in 120 min, 20 in 60 and then 30 minutes to finish the game.
Former pupil vs former mentor: Magnus Carlsen playing Simen Agdestein
The situation was reminiscent of last year's playoff, where the more experienced
Agdestein had defeated Carlsen to take the title. But now, at the ripe age
of 15, the boy wonder was in no mood to trifle. He won the first rapid chess
tiebreak game with the black pieces, after a slightly dubious English Four
Knights Opening by Agdestein. In the second, a Ruy Lopez Deferred Seinitz,
Carlsen essentially tied it up on move eight.
Carlsen,M (2675) - Agdestein,S (2575) [C76]
ch-NOR Playoff Oslo NOR (4), 21.09.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.c3 a6 5.Ba4 d6 6.d4 Bd7 7.dxe5 b5?
8.Bb3 threatening 9.Qd5 Be6 10.Qxc6 to win a piece. 8...dxe5
9.Qd5 Qf6 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Qxa8+ Ke7 and the game is hopeless for Black.
The rest is painful, as Agdestein plays with a rook and pawn less: 12.Be3
Bc6 13.Bc5+ Kd7 14.Qxf8 Nh6 15.Qxh6 Nd3+ 16.Ke2 Nxc5 17.f3 Re8 18.Nd2 Kc8 19.Qe3
Qe7 20.Rhd1 f5 21.Kf1 g5 22.Kg1 f4 23.Qe2 h5 24.Bc2 Nd7 25.a4 Ne5 26.axb5 axb5
27.Nb3 g4 28.Nd4 Qc5 29.Kh1 1-0.
Magnus Carlsen, the 2006 Norwegian Champion
Simen Agdestein, who has had the privilege seven times in the past
What you get when you win the championship
All photos by Paul Weaver (TV 2 Nettavisen)
Déjà vue: Sven Mühlenhaus of Düsseldorf,
Germany, sent us this excerpt from the Players Chess Annual #4, Los
Angeles 1984, page 26:
Norwegian Champion at fifteen – Norway now has the youngest
champion in the history of the country. The new champion is 15-year-old Simen
Agdestein. Agdestein and IM Bjorn Tiller shared first place in the Norwegian
championship last Summer. At the end of December they played a title match
of four games. Agdestein won by 3-1 (+2=2).
"So even the score of the playoff match was the same," Sven writes.
"History repeats itself..."