Norway Rd9: Topalov wins event, Carlsen loses

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/25/2015 – It comes as no big surprise that Topalov, with white, managed to neutralize Anand to take sole first, but there ended the expected. Nakamura and Giri both fought hard to win with black in their games, and while Giri missed a chance to beat Caruana and take second, the American outplayed Aronian for a great finale. Still, the surprise was Hammer-Carlsen, with Carlsen losing again! Round Nine report.

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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 9 - 25.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Aronian Levon 2780
0-1
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
1-0
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Topalov Veselin 2798
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Caruana Fabiano 2805
½-½
Giri Anish 2773

Daniel King shows the highlights of the last round

Certainly an anti-climatic end of the tournament, but we still have some interesting games:

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Grischuk, Alexander
MVL perhaps entered a very slightly better rook endgame, but Grischuk defended well and the draw was agreed shortly before time control in a dead drawn situation.

Aronian, Levon 0-1 Nakamura, Hikaru
Nakamura won in fine style in what was certainly the best win of the round.

Nakamura worked hard in the last game for a victory, improving his final standing to third

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Aronian, L."] [Black "Nakamura, Hi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A25"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2802"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2015.06.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 Bc5 4. Bg2 d6 5. e3 a6 6. Nge2 Ba7 7. a3 h5 $5 { Clear intentions that Nakamura came in a fighting spirit!} 8. d4 h4 9. b4 { Aronian is not one to shy away from a fight. Black starts attacking on the light-squares on the kingside, but Aronian sets up an aggressive pawn structure on the other side of the board.} Nge7 10. c5 Bf5 11. Bb2 Qd7 12. Qb3 (12. d5 Nd8 13. cxd6 cxd6 14. h3 {is complex, but perhaps the best way to go.}) 12... h3 13. Bf3 exd4 14. Nxd4 Bg4 {Black keeps weakening White's lightsquares. } 15. Bxg4 Qxg4 16. Nxc6 Nxc6 17. Qd1 (17. cxd6 O-O-O $5) 17... Qg6 18. cxd6 O-O-O $1 19. Rc1 $2 {This move has no point. Aronian had to be much more careful of his position.} (19. Qb1 Qh5 20. Qd1 {and perhaps all Black has here is to repeat moves.}) 19... Rxd6 20. Qc2 Qh5 21. Qe2 Ne5 $1 {Now this move is too strong.} 22. Qxh5 Nd3+ 23. Ke2 (23. Kf1 Rxh5 24. Rc2 Bxe3 $1 {leads to a decisive attack.} 25. fxe3 Rf5+ 26. Kg1 Rdf6) 23... Nxc1+ 24. Rxc1 Rxh5 {Naka is just up an exchange here. The rest is easy for him.} 25. g4 Re5 26. Rg1 Re8 27. Rg3 Bd4 28. Na4 Bxb2 29. Nxb2 Red8 30. Nc4 Rc6 31. Ne5 Rc2+ 32. Ke1 f6 33. Nf3 Rh8 34. g5 Ra2 35. Nd4 Rxa3 36. Ne6 Ra1+ 37. Ke2 Rh1 38. gxf6 gxf6 39. Nf4 b6 40. Nxh3 Rb1 0-1

Hammer, Jon Ludvig 1-0 Carlsen, Magnus
It is almost incomprehensible that the World Champion played this way today. Everything was bad about his play: his opening, his strategical comprehension, his tactics. He even got mated in the simplest of ways today:

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Hammer, J."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2876"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2015.06.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 a6 {Nothing more than a surprise weapon, clearly, though it is hard to prepare against someone that usually prepares your openings!} 4. Bg5 f6 5. Bd2 dxc4 {hard to believe that playing like this can be good for black.} 6. e3 Nc6 $6 (6... b5 7. b3 cxb3 8. Qxb3 $44) 7. Bxc4 Bd6 8. e4 Nge7 9. O-O O-O 10. Qb3 {White is clearly better in this position. He has the central control that we teach beginners you must fight for! Black has no compensation for that.} Kh8 {tactically sound, but not good.} 11. Bxe6 Bxh2+ 12. Kxh2 (12. Nxh2 Nxd4 $17) 12... Qd6+ 13. Kh1 Bxe6 14. d5 Bg8 15. Qa3 Qxa3 16. Nxa3 {White is simply better in this position, with some pressure on the c-file and more space.} Na7 17. Bb4 Rfe8 18. Rac1 Rac8 19. Nd4 f5 20. f3 fxe4 21. fxe4 Ng6 22. Nf5 $6 (22. Rfe1 $14) 22... Rxe4 23. Bc3 Bxd5 $2 {It's not clear what Carlsen missed. The World Champion usually would be precise enough to find:} (23... h6 24. Bxg7+ Kh7 25. Bxh6 Bxd5 {with counterplay.}) 24. Bxg7+ Kg8 25. Bd4 {of course. Now the knight on a7 is under attack there is a mate threat on h6.} Rxd4 26. Nxd4 Bxa2 27. b3 Rd8 $2 (27... c5 28. Rf2 cxd4 29. Rxc8+ Nxc8 30. Rxa2 {with a better endgame for White, but Black still has chances to draw.}) 28. Ne6 Rd2 (28... Rd6 $1 $16) 29. Rc3 $1 Re2 $2 30. Nf4 ( 30. Rf6 $1 {would finish the game off. The threat of Rcf3 and mate on f8 is not easy to parry, it would end up costing Black another exchange.}) 30... Rb2 31. Nxg6 (31. Rxc7 {was way more precise.}) 31... hxg6 32. Rxc7 Rxb3 $4 (32... Nc6 33. Rd1 Bxb3 $1 34. Rdd7 Rf2 {is better for White, but far from over.}) 33. Rd1 Nc6 34. Rdd7 {Black is simply getting mated after Rc8.} 1-0

An absolute disaster for the World Champion. Here he is realizing that he is about to get mated by Hammer's rooks. He lost 23 rating points in this tournament, lost four games, and this is easily the worst tournament ever played by Carlsen after obtaining his GM strength.

It's all over

An elated Hammer giving an interview to Yasser Seirawan

Topalov, Veselin ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan
The disappointment of the round. The players repeated the game between Ivanchuk-Carlsen from Wijk aan Zee. It was clear that Topalov just wanted to clinch with the draw while Anand was happy with a solid result with black in the final round. No fighting spirit here as the players split the point in less than half an hour.

A handshake less than half an hour after the start of the game

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Giri, Anish
Giri missed a great opportunity to clinch second (!) on tie break. The prize money is split between the players with the same amount of points, but the Grand Chess Tour points are not!

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "Giri, A."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C80"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5rk1/5ppp/4n1b1/1pq1P3/r5PN/1BPp3P/3Q1P2/R3R1K1 b - - 0 28"] [PlyCount "31"] [EventDate "2015.06.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 28... Rxa1 29. Rxa1 {Caruana used up too much time to get to this position. With only minutes left on the clock (around seven or eight after Rxa1) it was Giri's duty to find the precise moves to put pressure on Caruana. Instead the Italian player escaped easily.} Qxe5 $2 {Simply letting Caruana off the hook.} (29... Be4 $1 30. Re1 Ba8 31. Qxd3 Qc6 32. f3 Nc5 $1 33. Qd1 Nxb3 34. Qxb3 Qh6 {was a winning line. Giri had over an hour to figure this out.} (34... g5 $1)) 30. Nxg6 hxg6 31. Bxe6 fxe6 32. Qxd3 b4 33. Rc1 Qf4 34. Rf1 (34. Qe3 Qxe3 35. fxe3 Rc8 36. c4 $11) 34... b3 35. Qxg6 Qc4 36. Re1 Rf6 37. Qe8+ Kh7 38. Qh5+ ( 38. Re5 $11) 38... Rh6 39. Qe5 Rxh3 40. Qxe6 {The endgame is a draw, and with this move Caruana completed the time control.} Qxe6 41. Rxe6 Rxc3 42. Rb6 Rc4 43. Rxb3 Rxg4+ 1/2-1/2

We will be bringing you a report on the closing ceremony, the prizes including the Grand Chess Tour standings, as well as what this means for the players and a recap of the event in the next couple of days.

Round nine games

[Event "Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2798"] [BlackElo "2804"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "35"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. d4 {(6s)} Nf6 {(6s)} 2. c4 {(7s)} e6 {(5s)} 3. Nf3 {(7s)} d5 {(6s)} 4. Nc3 {(30s)} Bb4 {(12s)} 5. Bg5 {(34s)} h6 {(10s)} 6. Bxf6 {(12s)} Qxf6 {(8s)} 7. e3 {(434s)} O-O {(52s)} 8. Rc1 {(72s)} dxc4 {( 18s)} 9. Bxc4 {(30s)} c5 {(11s)} 10. O-O {(329s)} cxd4 {(53s)} 11. Nxd4 {(96s)} Bd7 {(43s)} 12. Qb3 {(85s)} Nc6 {(83s)} 13. Nxc6 {(11s)} Bxc3 {(8s)} 14. Rxc3 {(10s)} Bxc6 {(5s)} 15. Bb5 {(9s)} Bd5 {(12 s)} 16. Bc4 {(6s)} Bc6 {(5s)} 17. Bb5 {(8s)} Bd5 {(7s)} 18. Bc4 {(7s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2723"] [BlackElo "2781"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. d4 {(5s)} Nf6 {(17s)} 2. c4 {(3s)} e6 {(18s)} 3. Nf3 {(4s)} d5 {(21s)} 4. Nc3 {(4s)} Bb4 {(17s)} 5. cxd5 {(13s)} exd5 {(5s)} 6. Bg5 {(6s)} h6 {(78s)} 7. Bh4 {(5s)} Nbd7 {(6s)} 8. e3 {(15s)} g5 {(9s)} 9. Bg3 {(5s)} Ne4 {(5s)} 10. Qc2 {(37s)} h5 {(37s)} 11. h3 {(496s)} Qf6 {(62s)} 12. Bd3 {(11s)} Bxc3+ {( 56s)} 13. bxc3 {(9s)} Nxg3 {(4s)} 14. fxg3 {(7s)} g4 {(6s)} 15. hxg4 {(10s)} hxg4 {(17s)} 16. Nh4 {( 9s)} Nb6 {(427s)} 17. Qf2 {(116s)} Qxf2+ {(671s)} 18. Kxf2 {(38s)} Be6 {(11s)} 19. Nf5 {(164s)} Kd7 {(752s)} 20. Rh4 {(259s)} Rhg8 {(56s)} 21. Ke2 {(97s)} Nc8 {(3593s)} 22. Rf1 {(757s)} Nd6 {(22s)} 23. Nxd6 {(7s)} Kxd6 {(12s)} 24. Bf5 {(7s)} Rg5 {(116s)} 25. Bxe6 {(131s)} Kxe6 {(31s)} 26. Rh7 {( 56s)} Rf8 {(43s)} 27. a4 {(483s)} b6 {(310s)} 28. Kd3 {(318s)} c5 {(44s)} 29. Rh6+ {(287s)} f6 {(12s)} 30. Rh7 {(5s)} Rf5 {(200s)} 31. Rf4 {(496s)} c4+ {(101s)} 32. Ke2 {(10s)} Rxf4 {(6s)} 33. gxf4 {( 19s)} Kf5 {(10s)} 34. Rd7 {(129s)} Ke4 {(7s)} 35. Re7+ {(367s)} Kf5 {(3s)} 36. Rd7 {(8s)} Ke4 {(3s)} 37. Re7+ {(184s)} Kf5 {(1s)} 38. Rd7 {(8s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C80"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "86"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. e4 {(5s)} e5 {(4s)} 2. Nf3 {(4s)} Nc6 {(3s)} 3. Bb5 {(6s)} a6 {(3s)} 4. Ba4 {(5s)} Nf6 {(4s)} 5. O-O {(23s)} Nxe4 {(12s)} 6. d4 {(20s)} b5 {(4s)} 7. Bb3 {(4s)} d5 {(3s)} 8. dxe5 {(8s)} Be6 {(2s)} 9. Nbd2 {(476s)} Nc5 {(25s)} 10. c3 {(22s)} Be7 {(4s)} 11. Bc2 {(19s)} d4 {(6s)} 12. Nb3 {(7s)} d3 {(17s)} 13. Bb1 {(12s)} Nxb3 {(7s)} 14. axb3 {(2s)} Bf5 {(91s)} 15. Re1 {(97s)} O-O {(33s)} 16. b4 {(43s)} Qd7 {( 67s)} 17. h3 {(32s)} Rfd8 {(39s)} 18. g4 {(2030s)} Bg6 {(37s)} 19. Bf4 {(53s)} a5 {(146s)} 20. bxa5 {(934s)} Rxa5 {(66s)} 21. Ba2 {(416s)} Rf8 {(58s)} 22. b4 {(133s)} Ra4 {(460s)} 23. Qd2 {(944s)} Nd8 {(536s)} 24. Bg5 {(912s)} c5 {(254s)} 25. Bxe7 {(217s)} Qxe7 {(47s)} 26. bxc5 {(7s)} Qxc5 {(17s)} 27. Nh4 {(274s)} Ne6 {(349s)} 28. Bb3 {(7s)} Rxa1 {(258s)} 29. Rxa1 {(4s)} Qxe5 {(87s)} 30. Nxg6 {(96s)} hxg6 {(4s)} 31. Bxe6 {(166s)} fxe6 {(10s)} 32. Qxd3 {(3s)} b4 {(3s)} 33. Rc1 {(37s)} Qf4 {(87 s)} 34. Rf1 {(45s)} b3 {(338s)} 35. Qxg6 {(6s)} Qc4 {(7s)} 36. Re1 {(35s)} Rf6 {(148s)} 37. Qe8+ {( 37s)} Kh7 {(1s)} 38. Qh5+ {(15s)} Rh6 {(15s)} 39. Qe5 {(3s)} Rxh3 {(175s)} 40. Qxe6 {(0s)} Qxe6 {(0s)} 41. Rxe6 {(10s)} Rxc3 {(259s)} 42. Rb6 {(13s)} Rc4 {(26s)} 43. Rxb3 {(3s)} Rxg4+ {(4s)} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A25"] [WhiteElo "2780"] [BlackElo "2802"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. c4 {(6s)} e5 {(7s)} 2. Nc3 {(5s)} Nc6 {(4s)} 3. g3 {(26s)} Bc5 {(9s)} 4. Bg2 {(31s)} d6 {(18s)} 5. e3 {(49s)} a6 {(31s)} 6. Nge2 {(42s)} Ba7 {(24s)} 7. a3 {(176s)} h5 {(198s)} 8. d4 {(238s)} h4 {(187s)} 9. b4 {(89s)} Nge7 {(228s)} 10. c5 {(296s)} Bf5 {(1121s)} 11. Bb2 {(1601s)} Qd7 {(279s)} 12. Qb3 {(1030s)} h3 {(1075s)} 13. Bf3 {(336s)} exd4 {(242s)} 14. Nxd4 {(107s)} Bg4 {(272s)} 15. Bxg4 {( 1305s)} Qxg4 {(24s)} 16. Nxc6 {(23s)} Nxc6 {(308s)} 17. Qd1 {(267s)} Qg6 {(870s)} 18. cxd6 {(50s)} O-O-O {(92s)} 19. Rc1 {(407s)} Rxd6 {(502s)} 20. Qc2 {(5s)} Qh5 {(70s)} 21. Qe2 {(380s)} Ne5 {(84s)} 22. Qxh5 {(330s)} Nd3+ {(11s)} 23. Ke2 {(3s)} Nxc1+ {(7s)} 24. Rxc1 {(1s)} Rxh5 {(8s)} 25. g4 {(89 s)} Re5 {(356s)} 26. Rg1 {(6s)} Re8 {(191s)} 27. Rg3 {(31s)} Bd4 {(17s)} 28. Na4 {(114s)} Bxb2 {(64s)} 29. Nxb2 {(3s)} Red8 {(8s)} 30. Nc4 {(59s)} Rc6 {(4s)} 31. Ne5 {(11s)} Rc2+ {(5s)} 32. Ke1 {(6s)} f6 {(161s)} 33. Nf3 {(1s)} Rh8 {(7s)} 34. g5 {(26s)} Ra2 {(29s)} 35. Nd4 {(5s)} Rxa3 {(70s)} 36. Ne6 {( 17s)} Ra1+ {(64s)} 37. Ke2 {(1s)} Rh1 {(9s)} 38. gxf6 {(22s)} gxf6 {(6s)} 39. Nf4 {(1s)} b6 {(115s)} 40. Nxh3 {(0s)} Rb1 {(0s)} 0-1 [Event "Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2015.06.25"] [Round "9"] [White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D30"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2876"] [Annotator ""] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [TimeControl "40/7200:3600+30"] 1. d4 {(4s)} d5 {(8s)} 2. c4 {(6s)} e6 {(5s)} 3. Nf3 {(34s)} a6 {(15s)} 4. Bg5 {(412s)} f6 {(371s)} 5. Bd2 {(5s)} dxc4 {(159s)} 6. e3 {(18s)} Nc6 {(640s)} 7. Bxc4 {(74s)} Bd6 {(4s)} 8. e4 {(1504s)} Nge7 {(58s)} 9. O-O {(7s)} O-O {(11s)} 10. Qb3 {(673s)} Kh8 {(904s)} 11. Bxe6 {(231s)} Bxh2+ {(8s)} 12. Kxh2 {(111s)} Qd6+ {(7s)} 13. Kh1 {(115s)} Bxe6 {(9s)} 14. d5 {(18s)} Bg8 {(245s)} 15. Qa3 {(69s)} Qxa3 {(49s)} 16. Nxa3 {(81s)} Na7 {(141s)} 17. Bb4 {(479s)} Rfe8 {(102s)} 18. Rac1 {(1s)} Rac8 {( 509s)} 19. Nd4 {(843s)} f5 {(45s)} 20. f3 {(13s)} fxe4 {(113s)} 21. fxe4 {(3s)} Ng6 {(106s)} 22. Nf5 {(418s)} Rxe4 {(67s)} 23. Bc3 {(2s)} Bxd5 {(24s)} 24. Bxg7+ {(288s)} Kg8 {(83s)} 25. Bd4 {(2s)} Rxd4 {(380s)} 26. Nxd4 {(2s)} Bxa2 {(16s)} 27. b3 {(17s)} Rd8 {(1151s)} 28. Ne6 {(134s)} Rd2 {(137 s)} 29. Rc3 {(112s)} Re2 {(311s)} 30. Nf4 {(176s)} Rb2 {(39s)} 31. Nxg6 {(74s)} hxg6 {(1s)} 32. Rxc7 {(62s)} Rxb3 {(11s)} 33. Rd1 {(81s)} Nc6 {(6s)} 34. Rdd7 {(11s)} 1-0

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Final standings

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
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Carlsen Magnus 2876
½-½
Giri Anish 2773
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
1-0
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
0-1
Topalov Veselin 2798
Aronian Levon 2780
½-½
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Round 4 - 19.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
1-0
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Topalov Veselin 2798
1-0
Aronian Levon 2780
Caruana Fabiano 2805
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Giri Anish 2773
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Anand Viswanathan 2804
1-0
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Round 5 - 21.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Carlsen Magnus 2876
1-0
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
½-½
Giri Anish 2773
Aronian Levon 2780
1-0
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
0-1
Topalov Veselin 2798
Round 6 - 22.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
0-1
Topalov Veselin 2798
Caruana Fabiano 2805
½-½
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Giri Anish 2773
½-½
Aronian Levon 2780
Anand Viswanathan 2804
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Carlsen Magnus 2876
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Round 7 - 23.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Aronian Levon 2780
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
½-½
Giri Anish 2773
Topalov Veselin 2798
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Round 8 - 24.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Grischuk Alexander 2781
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2805
Giri Anish 2773
1-0
Topalov Veselin 2798
Anand Viswanathan 2804
1-0
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
Carlsen Magnus 2876
1-0
Aronian Levon 2780
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
Round 9 - 25.06.2015
Name
Rtg
Res.
Name
Rtg
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2723
½-½
Grischuk Alexander 2781
Aronian Levon 2780
0-1
Nakamura Hikaru 2802
Hammer Jon Ludvig 2677
1-0
Carlsen Magnus 2876
Topalov Veselin 2798
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2804
Caruana Fabiano 2805
½-½
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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luishon luishon 6/29/2015 06:05
I remember a few tournaments and a many comments back
people complain that Magnus Carlsen was playing his opponents to the end or else
now they complain for not doing it
what it's going on some body switch my book???
abdekker abdekker 6/29/2015 01:01
The Topalov-Anand draw was disappointing, but it was nonetheless good chess. Don't be so harsh on Anand (or Topalov), they were being practical in an even osition against a strong opponent. For Black to push in that position was probably reckless. It does make me wonder, though, whether there is a workable mechanism to ensure a winner. Some classic games, like Go, *always* have winner because komi is 6.5. Maybe something like that can be dreamed up for chess?
amarpan amarpan 6/27/2015 03:21
In order to try and beat a player like Topalov with black in such a crucial
encounter, Anand would have needed to take some risks, or even come
up with a novelty. Yet, the odds still piled up in favor of Topalov. Its not
worth it as Anand would rather preserve such resources for the candidates.
He's done well enough in this tournament. Hammer is Carlsen's good friend
and his second. Carlsen probably stands to gain by gifting Hammer a game,
and keeping him in good spirits. Moreover since the outcome of the game
would have changed nothing for Carlsen in this tournament.
daftarche daftarche 6/26/2015 10:43
i understand why they didn't take risks. my point was playing a REAL game. they could play it safe but play a REAL game not replaying a previous game.
Mindhunterr Mindhunterr 6/26/2015 08:19
@sranj: Carlsen always wants to win (as do most chess players!) so "gifting" a game is simply absurd.
Seversalih Seversalih 6/26/2015 08:02
can anyone say, there was even one great game?
sranj sranj 6/26/2015 07:22
These top players operate on a different level in interpersonal matches. They would like to keep their balance sheets clean with specific opponents and it can get very personal. Regarding Topalov, Anand has already beaten him a match, he always has an upper hand psychologically. Perhaps he has indirectly acknowledged his career and good play recently by offering him an easy game in an important tournment, however with a subtle warning that it wont be so easy in the candidates match. By the same logic, its likely that Carlsen has gifted a game to his good friend.
firestorm firestorm 6/26/2015 06:23
In other competitive sports, playing in a way that shows no spirit and shows the competitors are tacitly agreeing an outcome and/or avoiding a fight results in the competitors being disqualified. In boxing, for example, a competitor who does not fight back and is excessively negative gets a warning, and if they continue to do the same the fight is stopped with them declared the loser. If I recall correctly, another example- in the last olympics badminton players who qualified from preliminaries but then deliberately played for results to avoid stronger opponents in the next round because the pairing was based on the prelim results were disqualified.

Anand's play has been described as "smart", but it could also be described as cynical. He took a fightless draw for clear second, when the game against Topalov was the climax of the tournament. Kasparov found sponsorship in America for the world ch. match against Anand, but it was poor PR for chess because of the amount of halving out without a fight when Anand was white. Giving up in decisive games when you can still try, no matter how hard, is not the way to sell chess. There is no way on earth Kasparov for example would ever have come to the last round of a tournament half a point behind the leader who he was playing, and played the way Anand did.

For anyone who still thinks there is an argument that Anand's attitude was smart and not cynical, consider these two questions-

How many original moves did Anand play in his game against Topalov?

None- "The disappointment of the round. The players repeated the game between Ivanchuk-Carlsen from Wijk aan Zee." - Chessbase report. He played no original moves whatsoever.

How much effort did Anand make to seek complications and a fight? - "A handshake less than half an hour after the start of the game"- Chessbase report. That is, 18 moves played in less than 15 minutes each on average. That is not making an effort to win, let alone provide anything interesting for the spectators or sponsors.

Chess has reached the point where it has excellent coverage with live broadcasts and commentaries on the internet, but cynical, fightless draws in games that have great dramatic potential are a poor advert. Its not "smart" to take the money by playing a short draw with zero original content and no apparent inclination to do anything else if you want sponsors to say "these guys really try to entertain". Rentero, running Linares, got rid of fightless draws. Doing the same in these tournaments would be a good idea.
idratherplay960 idratherplay960 6/26/2015 05:55
People who argue that the uneventful draw seen in the last round between the frontrunners is why chess can't gain mainstream popularity clearly haven't followed every fight Mayweather has ever been in...
hariharansivaji9 hariharansivaji9 6/26/2015 04:57
I remember my tournament experience when i am playing in the last round in 13th Southern Championship under 2000 category. I am in White and my opponent is in Black he is leading the tournament he needs only draw to win the tournament unfortunately he deployed a opening (Modern Benoni)which is not good for hold a draw and lost the game and title. For me i need to win the game to win the tournament i got it also. Its a dramatic change, its very sad to loose a tournament in such a way. I feel Anand and Topalov took a wise decision.
hariharansivaji9 hariharansivaji9 6/26/2015 04:51
I don't understand why criticizing Anand there is nothing wrong to take a draw in last round, This is not a deciding game of World title match, More over Anand is not a person who play for money, just he enjoys the game. There is no need for him to take a risk in Black, In such scenario why Topalov playing in white choose the line which leads to draw, I know he needs a draw to win the tournament. Just remember Topalov lost the world title to Anand in the 12th game that too when Topalov played for win.
Peter B Peter B 6/26/2015 02:29
People are being way too harsh on Anand. It is hard to play for a win with black when your opponent is a strong player who only needs a draw. (Yes Nakamura won with black, but his opponent wasn't playing for a draw). Plus, every place in this tournament matters, as players get "Grand Prix" style points. So Anand played it smart.
James Thompson James Thompson 6/26/2015 02:24
An astonishing result for Carlsen. This may be the worst tournament result for a reigning world champion ever. I checked and the worst result for any world champion (while holding the title) from Steinitz to Kasparov was an equal score (Alekhine and Petrosian each had one). Does anyone know of a world champion, while holding the title, having a worse score?
The Bear The Bear 6/26/2015 12:20

Problems have a funny way of showing its ugly face on the chess board.

Carlsen must be having a gross love related problems i bet.
If my wild guess is correct we're yet to witness the worst.
daftarche daftarche 6/26/2015 09:37
this is one of the reasons chess cant become popular and attract a lot of rich sponsorships. just imagine a sponsor advertising on game topalov - anand and these two guys decide not to play a real game. chess needs more fighting spirit. sports like spirit that carlsen brought to the game. playing real games to the end. chess is all about fans. without fans they wont get any sponsors any live broadcast any considerable money. chess fans! have more respect for yourself and stop saying something like i m sure this guy knows when to go for a win.
Pawnroller Pawnroller 6/26/2015 08:33
Magnus has some soul searching to do.
bex141 bex141 6/26/2015 08:32
yes Anand shows why he is afraid. In 2005 he chickened out and forces a draw vs topalov missing his only chance of overtaking topalov
Anandkumar Anandkumar 6/26/2015 07:31
ramirez and others having a go at Anand,
At the press conf yesterday, Topalov apologised for going into the line that he did saying one has to be practical. Dont hear anyone having a go at him. Having played long enough, I assume vishy knows a thing or two about taking risks when he considers it worthwhile.
bronkenstein bronkenstein 6/26/2015 06:55
Bravo Topa! Expected risk-free decision by the vicechamp, another (almost expected) loss by his royal majesty and Lev...when will you finally wake up?
Hhorse Hhorse 6/26/2015 06:13
@Logos @Petrosianic i have played Anand from the time he was blitzing everyone at mikhail tal chess club. many times in his career he has disappointed sponsors and fans by taking the "safe" path. Professionally it is the right decision for him but (as Maurice Ashley was screaming today), it is not good for the sport/sponsorship when GMs take draws without a fight. The real fault is the system that needs to provide the right incentives..
Wallace Howard Wallace Howard 6/26/2015 05:14
Very disappointed in Topalov-Anand. I made coffee, cooked eggs, and sat down to watch a "great fight for first" that ended up being a non-game. I understand Topalov is happy to draw, but why on Earth didn't Anand go for a different line? He walked straight down a drawn line. I honestly don't understand why he would allow Topalov to draw without making a single new move. I love Anand, but this was ridiculous.
alekhina alekhina 6/26/2015 04:50
This is the most frustrating chess tournament for Carlsen.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 6/26/2015 04:01
dear hhorse! if anand had white....and had he settled for a draw in this way, you can blame him....but you cannot with anand having black and topalov's settling for a solid opening!
karavamudan karavamudan 6/26/2015 02:46
All in all a great tournament with many unexpected results. A lot is at stake for Carlsen in the next tournament.


Topolov: Good to see you back . PLay more games and try to hold on to your points.
Caruana is so inconsistent that he cannot be a formidable challenger.

Poor Levon : His slide continues
A stronger opponent than Hammer could have made a difference in the final places.

DJones DJones 6/26/2015 02:14
Vam is pathetic.
KevinC KevinC 6/26/2015 01:46
@Logos, Sorry that the truth hurts. Anand has a history of taking draws in the last round when he could have tried to win the tournament. I just don't understand that gutless philosophy.
guest1227491 guest1227491 6/25/2015 11:35
Much though I love Anand, the "Tamer of Carlsen" title is shared with too many other players here to be very meaningful. And Nakamura has the same (undefeated) score as Anand.

Anand does seem to be very slightly ahead (by 0.1) of Topalov in the Live Ratings, so he may be world #2 again in next month's list.
H B H B 6/25/2015 11:19
Anand the Greatest! Tamer of Carlsen! Highest Undefeated Score in the Tournament!
Jeffrey Jeffrey 6/25/2015 11:06
Very misleading title: It seems to imply that Topalov won and Carlsen lost the same thing. But Topalov won the /tournament/ (not his last-round the game) and Carlsen lost his /last-round-game/. Be brief, but don't be misleading.
Vam Vam 6/25/2015 10:51
And as usual, Ramirez goes bonkers over the fact that Nakamura is an American.
I cant wait until Rex Sinquefield's newest sugar boy Caruana comes back over so Ramirez will have more content to go crazy over.
dhochee dhochee 6/25/2015 10:44
Wow. Carlsen's blunder at the end with 32...Rxb3 is quite a shocker. What an awful way to finish a bad tournament. I expect to make mistakes like that at my patzer level, but that's a pretty huge oversight for a world champion.
ChiliBean ChiliBean 6/25/2015 10:41
Oh wait! Naka would have been in 1st place if he beat MVL BUT then Anand and Topalov wouldn't have played for a draw.
ChiliBean ChiliBean 6/25/2015 10:39
Can't wait for the next leg at St. Louis. Naka did great. Too bad he didn't torture VLM by finding Rb1 instead of Ra3. So is Wesley So going to be the wild card?
The D M G The D M G 6/25/2015 10:37
"Topalov wins - Carlsen loses"... Wow! That title has got to win the first price for intelligent reporting... Judging from people's comments, it seems the whole bar of intelligence and erudition among chess fans is rising.... sh*t high!
Vam Vam 6/25/2015 10:27
Lol.. The pay from this tournament is nothing for Anand, who has big paydays from Matches with Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Topalov, Gelfand, Carlsen 1, Carlsen 2.

And not to mention the tournament wins and sponsorships he has in India.
Petrosianic Petrosianic 6/25/2015 10:06
"Logos" "You, whoever you are and whatever your chess erudition, call Anand "a toothless tiger". Should I take you seriously?! Naaah! ;-) "

Yeah, you SHOULD take him seriously when the evidence clearly supports him. Anand had a chance to take clear first today, and did not try. You shouldn't enter a tournament if you don't care about winning.

Ironically, had he tried and failed, he would look a lot better right now. Neither Carlsen nor Nakamura let having Black stop them from making a go at it, and they stood far less to gain than Anand did.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 6/25/2015 10:03
To arcanis. It seems that there is a trace of disbelief in the true result of that game by the person who wrote the results of round 9.

For future readers: the mistake may have been corrected when you read these comments.
Petrosianic Petrosianic 6/25/2015 09:45
Yesterday the story was about how Anand can take clear first by winning today. Now, seeing that he didn't even try, the headline is about how it's no surprise that he didn't. You've got to love the press sometimes.
fistoffury fistoffury 6/25/2015 09:33
Looks like the winner in the battle of playing under home pressure is Vishy.

Vishy lost his first world championship match with Carlsen very badly. An unnoticed factor was the pressure of playing in home ground. He played the following world championship match much better in russia.

Uptil now Carlsen has been struggling to play in norway with the added pressure. In this particular event he had a nervous breakdown.
Logos Logos 6/25/2015 09:28
@ Hhorse,

You, whoever you are and whatever your chess erudition, call Anand "a toothless tiger". Should I take you seriously?! Naaah! ;-) Your sense of humour needs a lot of work though.