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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