Norway Chess Rd. 6: Harikrishna and Eljanov win

by André Schulz
4/25/2016 – In round six of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament Magnus Carlsen played with Black against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and had to fight for a draw. He was a piece down in the endgame but finally managed to draw. But Anish Giri lost against Pentala Harikrishna - his second loss in the tournament. Pavel Eljanov won against Nils Grandelius. Kramnik and Aronian drew, as did Li and Topalov. Mehr...

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Before the sixth round Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was only half a point behind tournament leader Magnus Carlsen. With a win in round six the French grandmaster could have taken the lead himself. However, winning against Carlsen is not that easy, even if you play with White.

Vachier-Lagrave and Carlsen once again discussed the intricacies of the Berlin Defense and with 12. f3 Vachier-Lagrave chose a less popular move which more or less forced White to sacrifice a pawn. This material investment gave "MVL" a certain initiative but then Carlsen gave a piece to liquidate into a drawn endgame. However, the World Champion still had to work a bit before Vachier-Lagrave finally agreed to split the point.

 

Qualifier Nils Grandelius had Black against Pavel Eljanov and for a long time managed to keep the balance in the Fianchetto-Variation of the Grünfeld but close to the time control the Swedish grandmaster lost control and Eljanov could win.

 

Pentala Harikrishna played the second decisive game of the round. Against Giri's 1.e4 he opted for the French Defense and 8...b6 in the Classical Variation. Giri tried his luck on the kingside and in the centre but Black's counterplay on the queenside turned out to be stronger.

 

The game between Li Chao and Veselin Topalov was drawn thought the Chinese grandmaster showed enterprising chess. In the Moscow Variation of the Semi-Slav Li Chao sacrificed a pawn with 16.d5 and in return got active play for his pieces. However, he found no way to increase his pressure and White's initiative gradually dwindled until the game finally wound up in a rook endgame that led to a draw. A draw was also the result of the encounter between Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian.

Results of round six

Br. Tit Name Coun ELO Ergebnis Titel Name Coun ELO
1 GM Anish Giri
 
2793 0 - 1 GM Penteala Harikrishna
 
2753
2 GM Pavel Eljanov
 
2760 1 - 0 GM Nils Grandelius
 
2637
3 GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave
 
2785 ½ - ½ GM Magnus Carlsen
 
2844
4 GM Chao B Li
 
2751 ½ - ½ GM Veselin Topalov
 
2780
5 GM Vladimir Kramnik
 
2801 ½ - ½ GM Levon Aronian
 
2786

Games of rounds 1 to 6

 

Standings after six rounds

Schedule and results of Norway Chess 2016

Round 1 Tuesday 19 April/td>
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Nils Grandelius
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Pentala Harikrishna
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Li Chao
Anish Giri
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Levon Aronian
½-½
Veselin Topalov
 
Round 2 Wednesday. 20 April
Nils Grandelius
½-½
Levon Aronian
Li Chao
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Anish Giri
0-1
M Vachier-Lagrave
Veselin Topalov
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Pavel Eljanov
½-½
Pentala Harikrishna
Round 3 Thursday 21 April
Pentala Harikrishna
½-½
Veselin Topalov
Levon Aronian
½-½
Li Chao
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Nils Grandelius
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Anish Giri
M Vachier-Lagrave 
½-½
Pavel Eljanov
 
Round 4 Friday 22 April
Nils Grandelius
½-½ Pentala Harikrishna
Anish Giri
½-½ Levon Aronian
Pavel Eljanov
½-½ Veselin Topalov
Li Chao
½-½ Magnus Carlsen
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½ Vladimir Kramnik

 
Saturday 23 April – Rest day

School tournament
Science Factory, Sandnes

 
Round 5 Sunday 24 April
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½ Pavel Eljanov
Veselin Topalov
1-0
Nils Grandelius
Magnus Carlsen
½-½ Anish Giri
Levon Aronian
½-½ M Vachier-Lagrave
Pentala Harikrishna
1-0
Li Chao
Round 6 Monday 25 April
Anish Giri
0-1 Pentala Harikrishna
Pavel Eljanov
1-0 Nils Grandelius
M Vachier-Lagrave
½-½ Magnus Carlsen
Li Chao
½-½ Veselin Topalov
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½ Levon Aronian
 

 
Tuesday 26 April – Rest day

Round 7 Wednesday 27 April
Nils Grandelius
  Li Chao
Magnus Carlsen
  Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian
  Pavel Eljanov
Pentala Harikrishna
  M Vachier-Lagrave
Veselin Topalov
  Anish Giri
 
Round 8 Thursday 28 April
Levon Aronian
  Magnus Carlsen
Pavel Eljanov
  Li Chao
M Vachier-Lagrave
  Veselin Topalov
Vladimir Kramnik
  Pentala Harikrishna
Anish Giri
  Nils Grandelius
Round 9 Friday 29 April
Nils Grandelius
-
M Vachier-Lagrave
Magnus Carlsen
-
Pavel Eljanov
Veselin Topalov
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Li Chao
-
Anish Giri
Pentala Harikrishna
-
Levon Aronian
 

 
Friday 29 April – Blitz

There will be a blitz match and rapid chess Friday April 29 after Round 9 if two players share first place. If there are more than 2 players sharing first place a new match will take place Saturday 30.

Live commentary on Playchess

Day and round English German
Round 5 Sunday 24 April Simon Williams Thomas Luther
Round 6 Monday 25 April Yannick Pelletier Thomas Luther
Round 7 Wednesday 27 April Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
Round 8 Thursday 28 April Yannick Pelletier Klaus Bischoff
Round 9 Friday 29 April Daniel King Klaus Bischoff

Links

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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flonks flonks 4/26/2016 09:58
@Angelo, thanks. Yes, didn't consider that losing the night also loses the rook.
philosopher55 philosopher55 4/26/2016 03:46
It seems it's not quite true it was "Karjakin's choice". The Russian Chess Federation
apparently took over power and now the whole Russian system will prepare their
new baby to beat Carlsen from the evil West. I'm not sure about the message Kariakin
sends with his photos with Putin's face on his T-shirt but it seems that the Russian
authorities support him strongly. It's like the old days: then Fischer v USSR, now Carlsen
v Russia's chess machine.
KevinC KevinC 4/26/2016 02:02
@flonks, 53.Rg7 simply forces a draw, which Carlsen would be happy with.

53.Rg7 Rb6; 54. Kd7 (Kd5 changes nothing) Re6 55. Ke6 (only move that does not lose) Kg7 56. Kf5 =

53. Ng7 Rg5 forces 54. Rg5 and a draw
Angelo Pardi Angelo Pardi 4/26/2016 01:44
@flonks : Besides, even if the pawn fall, the R+N vs R endgame is a draw.
Angelo Pardi Angelo Pardi 4/26/2016 01:42
@flonks : The g7 rook is en prise at the end of your line.
flonks flonks 4/26/2016 01:04
@asoni, 53. Rg7 Rb6+ will run into Kd7, so if the knight is captured, the rook is lost. The endgame with R+P up should be an easy win.
asoni asoni 4/26/2016 10:06
@flonks

bcs it would be draw immediately he wanted to torture carlsen little bit. if 53. Sg7 then Rg5 draw, if Rg7 than
Rb6+ with Re6 capture.
flonks flonks 4/26/2016 09:28
Why didn't MVL play 53. Rg7? He gets a free pawn and I don't see any tactical or positional downside. Even Ng7 might make sense.
chessdrummer chessdrummer 4/26/2016 04:25
Karjakin did a Fischer? I'll bet he wishes that were true.
sicilian_D sicilian_D 4/26/2016 02:03
he plays in a bored, rather unprepared way, is a piece down and yet either draws or wins. must say, Carlsen is very very good.
Rinzou Wilkerson Rinzou Wilkerson 4/26/2016 01:06
It's Karjakin's choice - no one else's. If he wants to prepare for the most important match of his life, or just wants to take a break, he alone knows what's best for him.
firestorm firestorm 4/25/2016 11:04
Can't help saying it, Karjakin really should have been at this tournament- doing a Fischer and not playing a tournament in case you tarnish your reputation ain't the way to go. Its a great tournament- 4 players on 3.5 behind Carlsen? Excellent :) And next round, Carlsen plays Kramnik, and Vachier-Lagrave plays Pentala. What a round :)
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