Altibox Norway Chess 2018 LIVE

by André Schulz
6/7/2018 – Magnus Carlsen made a quick draw against Vachier-Lagrave in the final round, aiming to take his chances in a tiebreak with one or more of his colleagues. And indeed, we looked to be heading to a five-way playoff after draws from Nakamura (vs Aronian) and a win from Anand (over Karjakin), while Caruana-So looked to be also heading for a split point. But in a dramatic turnaround right after the time-control, Wesley So blundered, and Caruana went on to win and take the Altibox Norway Chess 2018 title! Replay the games and commentary!

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"The world's strongest chess tournament"

Players receive 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. No draw offers are allowed.

Final standings


Live games and commentary


Commentary by Simon Agdestein and Anna Rudolf

Opening package: 1.b3 and Black Secrets in the Modern Italian

Wesley So published two new opening DVDs: 1.b3, the so called Nimzo-Larsen-Attack, for White and his black secrets in the modern Italian. Get them in a package and save money!


The backstory

The Altibox Norway Chess tournament is the strongest ten-player chess tournament in the world this year. Eight players are among current Top Ten, plus Levon Aronian and Viswanathan Anand who have only recently slipped out. Two world champions are there in Carlsen and Anand, the reigning world champion and his predecessor, as well as two challengers, Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana. The latter is slated to play Carlsen for the title in London in November, at a venue still to be announced. Here, the two players meet for the last time before their match in November. While most of the players have been in Stavanger in previous editions, we also find two newcomers in the field: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Ding Liren. [Update: Ding Liren was forced to withdraw following an accident on the first rest day.]


The super-tournament in Stavanger was launched in 2013 in honour of world number one Magnus Carlsen, the same year he later became world champion with his victory over Anand. However, he could not win the tournament as hoped, but had to settle for second place behind Sergey Karjakin. Back then a defeat against Wang Hao cost Carlsen the tournament victory. The following year Carlsen was undefeated, but was again outflanked by Sergey Karjakin. In 2015, Karjakin turned down the invitation to the tournament. But that did not help the World Champion. He played a horrible tournament, lost four games and ended up in seventh place. Veselin Topalov won.

In 2016, the time had finally come: The Norwegian world champion was able to win his "home tournament" for the first time. Although he had to overcome a loss against Levon Aronian to do it, 6 points were enough for first place. Finally, last year saw another setback. With two defeats and one win, Magnus Carlsen was only the runner-up. In four of the five tournaments so far, a blitz tournament was used to draw the starting numbers. Here Magnus Carlsen has always shown his great class. Once he finished second and he has won the blitz tournament three times.

The main tournament starts on Monday. All games begin rather late in the day at 16:30 CEST (10:30 EDT). There are two rest days on May 31st and June 4th. The regular final round will be held on June 7th, with a potential playoff (if necessary) on either the 7th or 8th (depending on the number of tied players). The first six rounds will take place at the Clarion Hotel Energy, and then the tournament moves and plays the rest of the tournament in the Stavanger Concert Hall.

The concert hall of  Stavanger | Image: Google

For all chess fans outside Norway, the organizers are offering a live webcast in English with commentary by Simen Agdestein, Knut Skeie Solberg and Anna Rudolf. Norwegians can also follow the tournament on Norway's TV 2 Sport television channel.

The organizers Kjell Madland, Frode Sømme and Benedicte Westre Skog have all focussed on promoting scholastic chess, as they agree with many others that chess is an excellent tool for the development of the intellectual ability of young people. So, after the Altibox Norway Chess tournament, just outside Stavanger, in Bryne, a three-day school and children's chess festival takes place.

On the edge of the Altibox Norway Chess Tournament, the Norway Summit will also be held, a series of events on artificial intelligence.





Side event

27. May Blitz tournament Clarion Hotel Energy  
28. May 1st Round Clarion Hotel Energy  
29. May 2nd Round Clarion Hotel Energy  
30. May 3rd Round    
31. May Rest day Clarion Hotel Energy  
1. June 4th Round Clarion Hotel Energy  
2. June 5th Round Clarion Hotel Energy  
3. June 6th Round Clarion Hotel Energy  
4. June Rest day    
5. June 7th Round Stavanger Concert Hall Norway Summit (Clarion Hotel Energy)
6. June 8th Round Stavanger Concert Hall  
7. June 9th Round Stavanger Concert Hall  
8. June Playoff (if needed)   School tournament (Bryne)
9. June     Team tournament (Bryne)
10. June     Children's Grand Prix (Bryne)


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 6/7/2018 03:43
@ macauley : And, furthermore, things are not so far from being VERY satisfying : for example, a Candidates tournament or a World Championship match with games annotated by GMs Fernandez or Yermolinsky every day would be some sort of a "chess paradise" for me !
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 6/7/2018 03:37
@ macauley and ali4110m : "please take these comments as friendly criticism for the good of ChessBase website" (ali4110m) : I quite agree ! I very much like this site, and, if I say all this, it is only because I regret certain things ; I intend this only as "positive criticism" indeed !
ali4110m ali4110m 6/7/2018 04:04
@macauley: I think Petrarlsen illustrated exactly what I meant (Thanks to Petrarlsen). It is not only me. Although we still can find great work on ChessBase website but I personally feel the quality is not as it used to be.

Again thanks for all the great work you do but please take these comments as friendly criticism for the good of ChessBase website.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 6/7/2018 12:47
@ macauley : To illustrate my vision about the coverage of a round of an important tournament, for me, more or less, the GM or IM-annotated games are the "meat", and the rest of the text, the "sauce" ; when I read such an article and I find that there are no GM or IM- annotated games, I feel like as if I was eating in a restaurant, and if, in my plate, there was only a lot of sauce, and nothing else... If the sauce is good, it is really something quite positive, but a plateful of sauce without anything else to go with it doesn't interest me much, I must say !
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 6/7/2018 12:38
@ macauley : I must say that I find also that there are some problems in the ChessBase coverage of some events.

For example, in the last Candidates tournament, there were MANY rounds were there wasn't any bit of GM or IM analysis (apart, perhaps, from videos - but I watch such videos VERY rarely), and, for the first time in more or less 10 years (...I am - or was, because my opinion about this site isn't as clear cut as it was - really a diehard ChessBase fan...), I switched more or less completely to another website for the rest of this competition.

And I was really quite disappointed to be thus "forced" (by the circumstances) to do this, as, normally, I really very much like to follow important events on ChessBase...

I also remember that I found quite paradoxical that, more or less at the same time as the Candidates tournament, there was some rather secundary tournament, which featured (on ChessBase too) quite excellent GM comments, either by GM Yermolinsky or by GM Fernandez, if I remember well... this while the Candidates coverage was really completely subpar, in my opinion (...for me, the MOST important thing by far, in the coverage of a tournament's round, is the presence of GM or IM-annotated games, which, one more time, were missing most of the time, during the Candidates)...
macauley macauley 6/6/2018 10:40
@ali4110m - Can you offer an example of a past tournament in our archives for which you find the daily coverage exemplary? I don't mean to suggest some massive shift to Twitter for coverage, we certainly do not have any plans to do that. But for "breaking news" that's clearly the go-to medium in news today, in general. And so that was where I and most observers not in Stavanger learned about Ding's accident. Since this is about Norway Chess, we have in fact had daily coverage of the most important games by GM Daniel King and IM Lawrence Trent, with GM Yermolinsky on the weekend (and GM Daniel Fernandez coming up in the final rounds) and high-quality photos from Lennart Ootes. Have they been hard to find for some reason?
ali4110m ali4110m 6/6/2018 02:30
Although Finrod75's comments seem toxic and irrelevant. but I should agree with Royce's comments about the quality of the ChessBase website. For me, ChessBase has been the main source of chess news and content for years. I come to ChessBase every day to check for the latest news. But recently I can not see your comprehensive daily coverage of great tournaments like before. You used to have a great analysis of the most important games by GMs and high-quality photos. I think most of the viewers of the website agree with this that you can not use social media like Twitter for coverage of a chess tournament.

I really appreciate your great work along these years but I need to say I am not relying on ChessBase for my chess needs anymore as I find the coverage tiny and shallow without the great content you used to have.
royce campbell royce campbell 6/6/2018 01:01
FYI, reposting this 'live' article daily before each round (and sometimes hours after the round starts) with little update (for this or any tournament) doesn't really work. I get things have changed at chessbase; unfortunately so has the quality of the website. I can't lay blame, as I don't know for sure who is responsible.

Daily round reports, while understandably needing time to be thorough, could be published quite sooner than they are now.

And while the crosstable in this particular article is now current, it wasn't for the first five rounds.

Not everyone is on social media, so saying a subject is covered on twitter is irrelevant to this site. (That being said, your coverage of Ding's accident here seemed thorough enough to me).

Is there an 'official site?' If so, it should be in the links section.

And off topic, thank you for listening to me about the structure of the study/problem articles (having the 'reveal' be the intended solution). Much better. I appreciate that it took some time to make this change, and it is welcome.
adbennet adbennet 6/6/2018 12:24
He doesn't know how karma works either.
macauley macauley 6/5/2018 11:03
@Finrod75 - I hesitate to reply to such a wrong-headed and inflammatory comment, but in the interest of clearing up any misunderstanding, I will: The coverage of Norway Chess is comprised of: - This "live" article - A daily round report (all of which can be found using the Norway Chess 2018 tag: - A daily live and on-demand video ( Ding's accident and withdrawal was covered as soon as we learned of it, via Twitter: At that point, it was not clear how serious the injury was or whether he would return to play Round 5. Then it was noted in the June ratings post: And in the Round 4 report: And the Round 5 report: It's also noted, above, in this article (see "The backstory" section) It's true that we did not dedicate an entire post solely to the accident, but I struggle to comprehend how you would miss being informed of the incident and its consequences for the tournament, in view of the above. Citizens of ALL nations are welcome on ChessBase. I personally wrote about Riyadh ( and we covered the story and the controversy. We cover news from Israel: And China: And probably from wherever the heck you come from too. ;) As always thanks for your feedback...but please, try to keep it civil.
macauley macauley 6/5/2018 10:44
@ Raymond Labelle - In fact, this is always shown: It's the number in the 'n' column @ aacebes - In this case there ARE indeed an uneven number of games played among the players -- a special case resulting from Ding Liren's withdrawal. So, in general the players with more points and fewer games played are leading those with fewer or the same number of points and more games played. By the end all players will have played the same number of games and it'll be clear.
Finrod75 Finrod75 6/5/2018 10:11
is this a coverage for the tournament? I needed some minutes to find out that Ding Liren was forced to quit the tournament because of an accident, very pity. I am sure that if it happened to another player it would get the propper attention with a special report. But this is chessbase, website where ISraelis and Chinees are not welcome. Remembering the loud silence of the world rapid championship in Saudi-Arabia last year, when chessbase didn't make any sound of protest against the outraging ban of the Israeli players. ok.. GErmany will become muslim within 20 years, this called Karma.
aacebes aacebes 6/5/2018 08:25
Who is actually leading now? Number of games seem to be uneven among players.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 6/5/2018 06:09
Given Ding Liren's withdraw in unfortunate circumstances (we wish him the best recovery), it could be an idea in the Chart to indicate the number of games played by a player after his points. For example, after round 6, Carlsen would read 3.5/6 and So 3/5 (for purposes of the official results of the tournament, Ding Liren would be 0/0).

We can infer it from looking in the chart and counting, but this would be more user-friendly.
libyantiger libyantiger 6/3/2018 11:58
ok there is some thing new so beats carlsen
Fianshetto Fianshetto 6/3/2018 11:23
Worst commentator ever !!! style, voice, everything......please get someone else ASAP
macauley macauley 6/2/2018 10:09
@Masquer - The current standings are in the table at the top -- click or tap on any result to open the game directly. All games are also included in each round report.
Masquer Masquer 6/2/2018 12:01
where are the rest of the games? where are the current standings??
geraldsky geraldsky 5/29/2018 07:34
I hope the world championship match between the "CAR'S" (Carlsen and Caruana) will not be like of Kasparov -Shirov that never happened..After the failed match against Kasparov, Shirov was slowly and then completely gone from the top.
KevinC KevinC 5/28/2018 10:49
@sshivaji, I was going to comment on that too: It is something else when your two "weakies" are Aronian and Anand!!
sshivaji sshivaji 5/28/2018 06:42
Wow, pretty odd that the lowest rated player is Anand!
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 5/28/2018 06:25
Agreed. Simen much better now with partner, and with regular time controls.
garyklien garyklien 5/28/2018 05:54
i enjoyed listen to him
jimliew jimliew 5/28/2018 01:33
He needs a partner. Two commentators is ideal
yesenadam yesenadam 5/28/2018 07:30
"In 2015, Karjakin turned down the invitation to the tournament"

Gee, wasn't the story that after winning the first 2 Norways in 2013-4, it became part of the Grand Chess Tour in 2015 so Karjakin, after being invited, had his name removed from the list and was asked to play in a qualifier, which he felt was humiliating and wasn't interested in. The year after that he pulled out at the last minute after winning the Candidates, for which he was called by the organizers "disrespectful" and ironically told "we truly wish Karjakin and his advisors understand that one can not just run away from agreements". Which I thought was appalling after how they'd treated him.
Solakas Solakas 5/27/2018 05:44
worst commentator ever.
It is better to watch games without voice