Norway 02: Carlsen starts 0-2

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/18/2015 – Only one decisive game today in a round that could have had many more games end in victories. Hammer pressed hard against MVL but did not find the win, while Grischuk-Aronian was a crazy affair. Topalov's slight advantage against Nakamura was neutralized by nice play from the American, while Anand had Giri against the ropes. But the news of the day is that Caruana beat Carlsen!.

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The third edition of the Norway Chess tournament runs from June 15th to June 26th, and will mostly be played in Stavanger, Norway. As in previous years, the drawing of lots was determined by the blitz tournament taking place the day before the official start. Not only one of the strongest tournaments in the World, Norway 2015 is also part of the 2015 Grand Chess Tour, which includes the Sinquefield Cup and the London Chess Classic later this year.

Round 2 - 17.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
½-½
Aronian Levon 2780
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Topalov Veselin 2798
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Caruana Fabiano 2805
1-0
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Giri Anish 2773
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2804

The action in Norway is still going strong!

Grischuk, Alexnader ½-½ Aronian, Levon
This game was difficult to understand in one aspect: the time management! By move 20 both players had used most of their time, and the position was very unclear:

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A22"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2780"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. e3 Bb4 4. Nge2 c6 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 Bc7 7. Bb2 O-O 8. Ng3 d5 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Qc2 Nd7 11. Bd3 N7f6 12. O-O Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Be6 14. Rab1 Kh8 15. Rfd1 Ng4 16. Nf5 g6 $1 {This position is already very complicated. White would like to retreat his knight, but he can't!} 17. f3 (17. Ng3 Qh4 18. h3 Nxf2 19. Kxf2 Kg8 $1 {With the incoming e4 and a very strong attack for Black.} ) (17. h3 Nxf2 18. Kxf2 gxf5 $15) 17... Nxh2 $1 18. Kxh2 gxf5 19. Bxf5 Qh4+ 20. Kg1 Rg8 {Material is still even, but there are problems here for White: Black's rook is threatening a sacrifice on g2 and White's king would be too exposed.} 21. Bxe6 fxe6 22. Qe4 $1 {An excellent resource in a position that would have been very difficult to hold in time pressure.} (22. d3 Raf8 $36) 22... Rxg2+ 23. Kxg2 Rg8+ 24. Qg4 (24. Kf1 Qh2 $19) 24... Rxg4+ 25. fxg4 Qxg4+ 26. Kf2 {The computer gives Black an edge, but that doesn't seem right. White has better practical chances than Black, so Aronian forces the draw.} Qh4+ 27. Ke2 Qg4+ 28. Kd3 Qf5+ 29. Ke2 Qg4+ 30. Kd3 Qf5+ 1/2-1/2

Giri, Anish ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan
An excellent exchange sacrifice by Anand left him in a position with all the chances. Despite being down in material, his rolling pawns on the queenside were a serious threat. Before Giri's position fell apart, he decided to return the exchange to get out of trouble. However, Anand's position was still slightly superior in the endgame - he pressed for a long time but Giri defended well and obtained half a point.

Giri suffered after he was a bit greedy and took a poisoned exchange

It's possible that 44...Rf1+ was a better try for Anand, but we will need Karsten Mueller for that one.

Topalov, Veselin ½-½ Nakamura, Hikaru
A fight between two of the leaders. Nakamura seems to have fallen for some kind of long preparation from the Bulgarian player, and he found himself in a slightly worse position. However he played accurately and actively, returning a pawn that Topalov sacrificed in the opening to free his play. He was always slightly worse, but managed to draw at the end after solidifying his position.

Naka relaxed a little once he thought the position was a dead draw

Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 Carlsen, Magnus
Without a doubt the game of the round.

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2876"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 {The Berlin seemed to many as the logical choice. Carlsen had just lost a game in the strangest of fashions, and going for Caruana's throat after that might not have been so smart. That being said - I think that Caruana is one of the best players, if not the best player in the World, in the Berlin.} 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 h6 10. Rd1+ Ke8 11. Nc3 Ne7 12. b3 {Caruana had tried Bf4 a couple of times before. This move is a little older and hasn't been seen since 2013, a rarity for the Berlin.} Bf5 {The computer's top choice, though not the most common idea.} (12... Ng6 13. Ne2 a5 14. a4 Be6 {was Kamsky-Akobian, 2012.} ) 13. Nd4 Bh7 14. Bb2 Rd8 15. Nce2 {Part of Caruana's preparation.} (15. e6 Nc8 $5 {with a complicated position in Polgar-Howell, 2013.}) 15... Nd5 16. c4 Nb4 17. Nf4 {Fabiano played up to this point almost instantly, but stopped doing so after Carlsen's response.} Rg8 $5 {What an interesting move! It is designed against e6.} 18. g4 {Expanding on the kingside is one of the most common motifs in the Berlin. Here Caruana secures f5 for his knight.} (18. e6 Bd6 19. Nh5 {doesn't attack the g7 pawn with tempo anymore.}) 18... Na6 $6 {This move regroups a knight that has already moved too much. Even though this is a Berlin, Black has to develop at some point.} (18... Be7) 19. Nf5 Nc5 20. Rxd8+ Kxd8 21. Rd1+ Kc8 22. Ba3 $1 {A very nice prophylactic move - aimed against Ne6.} Ne6 $2 {Based on a complete miscalculation!} (22... b6 $14) 23. Nxe6 Bxa3 (23... fxe6 24. Be7 {was the trick Carlsen forgot about when he played Ne6. A big miscalculation for a World Champion!} b6 25. Rd8+ Kb7 26. Bxf8 exf5 27. e6 $18) 24. Nexg7 Bf8 {The tactics don't work out for Carlsen. Caruana can't retreat his knight immediately. but he has a trick up his sleeve.} 25. e6 Bxf5 (25... fxe6 26. Nxe6 {gives Black no chance to take the hanging knight on f5, since there is a checkmate threat on d8.}) 26. Nxf5 fxe6 27. Ng3 {The resulting position is equal in pawns, but Caruana is dominating. His knight has several excellent anchor spots, including h5 and e4. His pawn majority on the kingside will be impossible to stop and Black's king is cut off from the kingside. He makes the rest look very easy, which it was.} Be7 28. Kg2 Rf8 29. Rd3 Rf7 30. Nh5 Bd6 31. Rf3 {Black cannot afford to trade rooks, but giving up the f-file is not a pretty sight either.} Rh7 32. Re3 $1 Re7 33. f4 $1 Ba3 34. Kf3 Bb2 35. Re2 Bc3 36. g5 Kd7 37. Kg4 Re8 38. Ng3 Rh8 39. h4 b6 40. h5 c5 41. g6 {The passed pawn on g6 is too much. Carlsen by this point had a defeated look on his face - and it's hard to blame him.} Re8 42. f5 exf5+ 43. Kf4 Rh8 44. Nxf5 Bf6 45. Rg2 1-0

The World Champion starts with an ugly 0-2

Daniel King shows the game Caruana vs Carlsen

Hammer, Jon Ludvig ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
A nice game from the Norwegian player, as it was MVL that found himself against the ropes almost all game. Black had to put up a stiff and passive defense, but it was enough. MVL drew by one miraculous resource late in the game:

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.5"] [White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2723"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "4R1r1/3P1pk1/2K2b1p/8/3p1PPp/8/8/5B2 b - - 0 43"] [PlyCount "36"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 43... Bd8 {The computer claims, of course, that White is better, but it doesnt' see a good way of making progress.} 44. Rxd8 {The human reaction is to take the material, unfortunately it is insufficient.} Rxd8 45. Kc7 Rf8 46. d8=Q Rxd8 47. Kxd8 h5 $1 {This is the move that saved Black. It allows the king to come into the game and draw... by a single move!} 48. gxh5 Kh6 49. Ke7 Kxh5 50. Be2+ (50. Kxf7 Kg4 {wins White's last pawn.}) (50. Kf6 Kg4 51. Ke5 Kf3 {and White has the choice between letting one of the pawns queen, or allowing Black to take on f4.}) 50... Kh6 51. Bf1 {Already necessary, other moves even lose:} (51. Kxf7 h3 52. Ke7 h2 53. Bf3 d3 $19) 51... Kh5 52. f5 Kg4 53. f6 h3 54. Bxh3+ (54. Kxf7 h2 55. Bg2 d3 56. Kg7 d2 57. f7 d1=Q 58. f8=Q $11) 54... Kxh3 55. Kxf7 d3 56. Kg7 d2 57. f7 d1=Q 58. f8=Q Qg4+ 59. Kf7 Qf5+ 60. Ke7 Qxf8+ 61. Kxf8 {Hammer looked absolutely devastated after the game finished, but I have been unable to find a clear win for him in any variation!} 1/2-1/2

As a side note the organizers have posted the official rules on their website... just in case someone forgot what they are!

Standings

Round Two Games

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Playchess commentator schedule

Date
Round
Commentator
18.06.2015
Round 3
Erwin l'Ami
19.06.2015
Round 4
Daniel King
20.06.2015
 
 
21.06.2015
Round 5
Chris Ward
22.06.2015
Round 6
Chris Ward
23.06.2015
Round 7
Daniel King
24.06.2015
Round 8
Simon Williams
25.06.2015
Round 9
Daniel King

Tournament schedule

Round 1 - 16.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Giri Anish 2773
1-0
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Anand Viswanathan 2804
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Carlsen Magnus 2876
0-1
Topalov Veselin 2798
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
1-0
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
1-0
Aronian Levon 2780
Round 2 - 17.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
½-½
Aronian Levon 2780
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Topalov Veselin 2798
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Caruana Fabiano 2805
1-0
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Giri Anish 2773
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Round 3 - 18.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Giri Anish 2773
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Topalov Veselin 2798
Aronian Levon 2780
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Round 4 - 19.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Topalov Veselin 2798
Aronian Levon 2780
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Giri Anish 2773
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Round 5 - 21.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Giri Anish 2773
Aronian Levon 2780
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Topalov Veselin 2798
Round 6 - 22.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Topalov Veselin 2798
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Giri Anish 2773
Aronian Levon 2780
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Round 7 - 23.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Aronian Levon 2780
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Giri Anish 2773
Topalov Veselin 2798
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Round 8 - 24.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Giri Anish 2773
Topalov Veselin 2798
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Aronian Levon 2780
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Round 9 - 25.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Aronian Levon 2780
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Topalov Veselin 2798
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Giri Anish 2773

Links

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 a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Mystical Mystical 6/18/2015 09:39
Fabiola for president
alekhina alekhina 6/18/2015 05:24
Maybe Carlsen's opponents are now laughing in their hearts but not in the expression of their faces. His rating performance (2002) is like my local rating. But I believe at the end of the day..he can still be the champion.
daftarche daftarche 6/18/2015 12:34
i cant wait for carlsen - giri tonight. i have a feeling carlsen outplays giri cleanly.
algorithmy algorithmy 6/18/2015 09:17
What is the score between Caruana and Carlsen? I think Carlsen still has a plus, Does any one know?
AncientRo AncientRo 6/18/2015 08:38
Carlsen always recovers. I am convinced he will finish with a plus score by the end of the tournament and I am excited to see who he takes down along the way.
psamant psamant 6/18/2015 08:15
Organisers put up rules on their website?!!! Closing the barn door!!!
bronkenstein bronkenstein 6/18/2015 06:27
Nice one, Fabiano! He made it look quite effortless, almost as a simul.
Rambus Rambus 6/18/2015 01:05
Rating points up for grabs!
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