Arctic Securities Chess Stars
This rapid chess tournament is taking place in Kristiansund from Saturday, August 28th to Monday, August 30th 2010. It is a double round robin with four players: Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, Judit Polgar and Jon Ludvig Hammer. On Monday there follows the finals between the two leading players, together with the bronze final for third place. Time controls are 20 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move. Live broadcast of the moves on Playchess.com, live video broadcast by NRK.
Second half of the preliminaries
Magnus Carlsen, the highest rated player on the planet, got a taste of what it is like to face the strongest female player ever – one who is a gladiator, one of the most dangerous player on the circuit today. Judit Polgar played a classic Sicilian and used the first inaccuracy of her super-strong opponent – 55.f5 – to seize the initiative and put him on the defensive. After regaining the pawn she had invested in the opening Judit went on to pick up two more, with excellent chances to win the game. However, a beautiful defensive effort by the young Norwegian (study his technique!) saved him half a point in this 108-move encounter.
Jon Ludvig Hammer vs Vishy Anand was an Open Catalan with some very startling moments:
Hammer,J (2636) - Anand,V (2800) [E06]
Arctic Stars Prelim Kristiansund NOR (4), 29.08.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Ne5 Nc6 8.Bxc6 bxc6 9.Nxc6 Qe8 10.Nxe7+ Qxe7 11.Qa4 e5 12.dxe5 Qxe5 13.Nc3 Ne4 14.Qxc4 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Be6 16.Qd3 Rad8 17.Bf4 Qh5 18.Qa6 Bc8 19.Qxa7 Qxe2 20.Rfe1 Qf3 21.Qe3 Qc6 22.Qe4 Qa6 23.Rab1 c5 24.Bc7 Rd7 25.Rb6 Qa7 26.Bd6 Qxb6 27.Bxf8 h6 28.Qe5 f6 29.Qxc5 Qa6
Here 30.Qh5 would have been a nice little provocation directed at a reigning World Champion – better than 30.h3 Bb7 31.c4?? Qxa2? Both players seemed to have missed 31...Qe6! which would have won instantly, since 32.Rxe6 is not possible (32...Rd1+ 33.Kh2 Rh1#) and 32.Qb4 or 32.Qe3 fail to 32...Qxh3. 32.Qf5? Qa4? Once again 32.Qh5 was the in-your-face move, and 32...Qe2 the master refutation of the text move by White. 33.Qe6+ Kh7 34.Kh2 Qc2 35.Bc5 Rd2 36.Kg1 Qd3 37.g4??
Now Anand can finish him off: 37...Rd1 38.Bb4 Rxe1+ (38...Qxh3 was faster) 39.Bxe1 Qxh3 40.Qf5+ Kh8 41.f3 Qxf3 42.Qxf3 Bxf3 0-1. [Click to replay]
In round five Judit Polgar played a classical Sicilian again, this time against Vishy Anand, who deviated from the Carlsen-Polgar game on move eight. On move 17 she was already in big trouble.
Anand,V (2800) - Polgar,Ju (2682) [B40]
Arctic Stars Prelim Kristiansund NOR (5), 29.08.2010
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.b3 b6 4.Bd3 Bb7 5.0-0 Ne7 6.Re1 Ng6 7.Bb2 Nc6 8.Bf1 Qc7 9.c3 Rc8 10.d4 cxd4 11.cxd4 Bb4 12.Nc3 0-0 13.Rc1 Qf4 14.a3 Be7 15.g3 Qb8 16.h4 f5 17.h5
17...fxe4? (Judit should have tried 17...f4) 18.Nxe4 Nh8 19.d5 exd5 20.Qxd5+ Nf7 21.Qxd7 Kh8 22.Rxc6 Rxc6 23.Qxe7 and White has two minor pieces and a pawn for a rook, with no black compensation in sight. 23...Rc7 24.Qh4. 24.h6 was a devastating alternative, but that is simply guilding the lily. Anand's way is practical and compelling, and Judit is simply mowed down. 24...Rc2 25.Re2 Rxe2 26.Bxe2 Qc7 27.Bc4 Nh6 28.Nfd2 b5 29.Bxb5 Qc2 30.Qe7 Rg8 31.Qxb7 Qxb2 32.Qxa7 Nf5 33.Qc5 Nd4 34.Bc4 Rd8 35.h6 Qa1+ 1-0. [Click to replay]
It is a rare opportunity to be the beneficiary of a gift (i.e. blunder) by the number one rated player in the world, and when you miss it, that is usually it. The rest is laments around friends. However, Jon Hammer got a second chance in this tournament, and this time he didn't miss it. He most likely won't stop grinning for the next 24 hours at least.
Hammer,J (2636) - Carlsen,M (2826) [A31]
Kristiansund NOR Kristiansund NOR (5), 29.08.2010
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 b6 5.Nc3 Bb7 6.f3 e6 7.e4 d6 8.Be2 a6 9.0-0 Be7 10.Be3 0-0 11.Qc2 Qc7 12.Rfc1.
The position is a classic hedgehog, but Jon's plan is anything but classic. Normally White plays Qd2-Rac1-Rfd1. 12...Rc8 13.Bf2 Nbd7 14.a4 Rab8 15.Qd1 Qd8 16.Kh1 Bf8 17.Bf1 g6 18.Rab1 Ne5 19.b3 Bg7 20.Bg3 h5 21.Qd2 h4 22.Bf4 Rc5 One hesitates to criticize any move by the no.1 that isn't a clear blunder, but the rook looks very oddly placed on c5. 23.Re1 Nh5 24.Be3 Ng3+!?
25.Kg1. White could refuse to take merely on pinciple here, as the risk far outweighs the gain, but analysis shows he was right to decline. 25.hxg3 hxg3 26.Kg1 Qh4 27.Bd3 d5! is better for Black. 25...Nxf1 26.Rxf1 h3 27.Nde2 hxg2 28.Kxg2 Rc6 29.Rbd1 Ba8 30.Bg5 Qf8 31.h4 Re8 32.Ng3 f6 33.Be3 Qf7 34.Bh6 Bh8 35.Be3 f5 36.Bg5 Qh7 37.Rf2 Nf7 38.Rh1 Rcc8 39.Nce2 Be5 40.Bf4 fxe4 41.Nxe4 Bxe4 42.fxe4 g5 43.hxg5 Qxe4+ 44.Kg1 Rf8 45.Ng3 Qd4??
In yesterday's Europe Echecs interview, Jon lamented his missed chance to avenge his previous loss, and it was clear he didn't expect Christmas to come again so early. Carlsen blunders in a fairly dynamic but balanced position, and this time Hammer accepts the generous point. 46.Qc2 Nxg5 47.Qg6+ Bg7 48.Qxg5 Rf7 49.Qg6 Rcc7 50.Kg2 [50.Rh4 was stronger.] 50...Rxf4 51.Qh7+ Kf7 52.Rxf4+ Qxf4 53.Rf1 Qxf1+ 54.Kxf1 Rc5 55.Ne4 1-0. [Click to replay]
In round six Judit Polgar and Jon Ludvig Hammer drew a Four Knights in 55 moves, while Vishy Anand played a Berlin against Magnus Carlsen and held a relatively effortless draw in 40 moves. The two have worked on occasion together and know each other well, which makes it difficult to find chinks in the opponent's armour. But tomorrow, in the final, they will have to do exactly that, and we can look forward to a very high-class battle.
Standings after the double round robin preliminary
Magnus getting mobbed at the Dalabrekka Primary School...
... where more than one hundred pupils participate in chess activities.
A young student, Mathias Heggem, tells Magnus where he should sign [photos by Rune Edøy]
An interview with Børge Robertsen, in charge of the Tromsø bid for the 2014 Chess
Olympiad [video by GM Robert Fontaine and Gérard Demuydt for Europe Echecs ]
Faithful readers of our news page may recognize Børge Robertsen, who showed us around Tromsø two years ago. The most impressive part was a whale hunting (well: watching) trip – something the participants of the 2014 Olympiad should definitely not miss.
Robertson and Frederic Friedel of ChessBase on the way to the continental shelf outside Tromsø
Marine biologists man the highest point on the ship and look out for whales
You spot the whales by the spout of exhaled air condensing when they breathe out
The whale watching ship can get up really close to these magnificent creatures
At some stage the whale takes a huge lunge out of the water and dives almost vertically into the sea
The fluke of the diving whale is a good-bye signal – the whale will stay under for up to an hour
The whales you may encounter during the Chess Olympiad
Try to get this man, Børge Robertsen, as your guide during the Tromsø's Olympiad
The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!
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