Norway Chess: Carlsen and Aronian win

by André Schulz
4/28/2016 – In round seven Magnus Carlsen played against Vladimir Kramnik, one of his predecessors as World Champion. Carlsen seemed well prepared and won a fine strategic game in which he exploited Black's weak square f5 in textbook fashion. Levon Aronian used his space advantage to harass Black's king and to win with a mating attack. The three other games were drawn.

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Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik discussed a Queens Gambit, an opening that had been on the board during the opening blitz tournament. In the blitz game Carlsen had played 4.cxd5, a move he repeated now. But this time Kramnik did not take with the knight (as he did in the blitz game, which he lost rather clearly) but after a short moment of reflection took back with the pawn.

Kramnik then tried a line with an early 6...Bf5 and allowed White to shatter his pawn structure on the kingside. In return Kramnik had the pair of bishops and the queens vanished from the board. However, Carlsen found a new idea to exploit the weak square f5 - an idea that he followed with brutal consistency and that helped him to win the game.



Levon Aronian played with White against Pavel Eljanov and tried a Reti. After the opening everything seemed to be fine for Black but then White could continually improve his position whereas Black - after missing a good opportunity - lacked counterplay. After a few more inaccuracies by Black White won.



The top-players currently do not seem to like to play against the Grünfeld and more and more players try the Anti-Grünfeld with 3.f3 - as Pentala Harikrishna did against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The French Grandmaster transposed into a Benoni and Harikrishna saw no reason to deviate from the plan he had employed in round five against Li Chao, namely to develop the king's knight via e2 to c3. But Maxime Vachier-Lagrave also had a couple of original ideas and that led to a lively game that finally ended in a perpetual.

Veselin Topalov and Anish Giri played a Dragon with reversed colors and Giri had no problems to equalize with Black. Topalov later managed to get a slight advantage in the middlegame but this advantage soon vanished and after a little tactical skirmish which culminated in a queen sacrifice by Giri  the game ended with a repetion of moves.

The Caro-Kann with 5...Nf6 6.Nxf6 gxf6 is a rare guest in top-level chess but this did not stop Chinese Grandmaster Li Chao, who played with Black against Nils Grandelius, to give it a try. But Grandelius was unimpressed and secured a large space advantage. He tried hard to convert the space advantage in a more tangible advantage but without success. Li Chao defended tenaciously and after 93 moves only the two kings were left on the board and Grandelius had to accept the draw.

Results of round 7

Br. Tit Name Coun ELO Ergebnis Titel Name Coun ELO
1 GM Veselin Topalov
2780 ½ - ½ GM Anish Giri
2 GM Penteala Harikrishna
2753 ½ - ½ GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave
3 GM Levon Aronian
2786 1 - 0 GM Pavel Eljanov
4 GM Nils Grandelius
2637 ½ - ½ GM Chao B Li
5 GM Magnus Carlsen
2844 1 - 0 GM Vladimir Kramnik

Games of rounds 1 to 7


Standings after round 7


Photos: Altibox Norway Chess

Tournament page...


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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sharpnova sharpnova 4/28/2016 10:32
performance rating is easy to calculate. you take your score against the average rating of the opponents then do an inverse elo calculation.
Carpalim Carpalim 4/28/2016 02:30
The rating average of the 7 opponents MC has faced so far in the tournament is 2757. His score is 5 out of 7, i.e. 71,4%. In the FIDE Rating Regulations ( 8.1a you will se that a score of 71% is equal to a rating difference of 158 ELO-points.

The rating performance of MC is 2757 + 158 = 2915. The difference between MCs rating performance and MCs current rating is 2915 - 2844 = 71 and with some rounding you will get +72.

In other words: The score of MC so far is the expected score of a player rated 72 points above MCs current rating of 2844, i.e. a player rated 2916.
KevinC KevinC 4/28/2016 02:25
Magnificent positional game by Carlsen.

Also, don't forget that Garry Kasparov plays blitz today at 1 Central Daylight Time today.
yesenadam yesenadam 4/28/2016 07:35

The simplified 'algorithm of 400' they present there (I don't know which algorithm CB actually uses) is:

(Total of opponents' ratings +Score x 400) / No. of games

where Score is in the "plus/minus" format. (Number of wins minus number of losses)

I tried this out by hand and got +84 for Magnus and -63 for Giri. Which isn't exactly what is printed above, but same ball park. With this algorithm, if you've won every game, your PR is 400 points higher than the average of your opponents' rating. Which does seem approximately what we see with these top tournaments when someone starts with all wins.
Great_Scot Great_Scot 4/28/2016 03:55
Different sites use different exact formulas, but this is it in a nutshell, and will get you roughly the same number as everywhere else: Add the ratings of all opponents played, plus an extra 400 for every win and minus an extra 400 for every loss, and divide by the number of games played. This gives you the performance rating. For Carlsen, for example, this works out to 2929. It seems CB is then subtracting your actual rating to get performance relative to expectation. Working forward from our number, you get 2929 - 2844 = 85, which is more or less the 72 they have.

I think CB uses its own definition of performance rating, that, in words, is basically "What rating do you need to have such that this result does not change your rating at all." Similar but not identical concept, and requires a bit more math to calculate.
Pentium Infinite Pentium Infinite 4/28/2016 03:07
The tournament is over.

Congrats Carlsen
sicilian_D sicilian_D 4/28/2016 02:07
curious to know, how is Perf calculated?