Arctic Securities Rapid: Anand and Carlsen lead with 2.5/3

by ChessBase
8/29/2010 – The first half brought the result many expected: the World Champion and the world's highest ranked player won both their games against their lower-ranked opponents, and drew the encounter against each other. But it was not all smooth sailing. In his game against compatriot Jon Ludvig Hammer Magnus stared disaster in the face. First day report with poignant videos by Europe Echecs.

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Arctic Securities Chess Stars

This rapid chess tournament is taking place in Kristiansund from Saturday, August 28th to Monday, August 30th 2010. It is a double round robin with four players: Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, Judit Polgar and Jon Ludvig Hammer. On Monday there follows the finals between the two leading players, together with the bronze final for third place. Time controls are 20 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move. Live broadcast of the moves on, live video broadcast by NRK.

Jon Ludvig Hammer faced World Champion Viswanathan Anand in a surprise Giuco Piano, and seemed to hold his own fairly well – up to his fiftieth moves.

Anand,V (2800) - Hammer,J (2636) [C53]
Arctic Stars Prelim Kristiansund NOR (1), 28.08.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 a6 6.0-0 Ba7 7.Bb3 d6 8.Re1 h6 9.Nbd2 0-0 10.Nf1 Be6 11.Ng3 Re8 12.Bxe6 Rxe6 13.h3 d5 14.Qe2 Qd7 15.Nh4 Rd8 16.Nhf5 dxe4 17.dxe4 Qd3 18.Kf1 Ree8 19.Qxd3 Rxd3 20.Ke2 Red8 21.f3 a5 22.a4 R3d7 23.Ne3 Ne8 24.Ngf5 Nd6 25.Nxd6 Rxd6 26.Nc4 Rd3 27.Bd2 Bc5 28.Red1 f6 29.Be1 Rxd1 30.Rxd1 Rxd1 31.Kxd1 h5 32.g4 hxg4 33.fxg4 g5 34.Ke2 Kf7 35.Kd3 Ke6 36.Nd2 Nb8 37.b4 axb4 38.Nb3 Bb6 39.cxb4 c6 40.Kc4 Nd7 41.a5 Be3 42.b5 cxb5+ 43.Kxb5 Nb8 44.Nc5+ Bxc5 45.Kxc5 Nd7+ 46.Kb5 Kd6 47.Bb4+ Ke6 48.a6 bxa6+ 49.Kxa6 Kf7 50.Kb7

50...f5?? What? Jon Ludvig needed to play 50...Nf8. 51.exf5 e4. Was he placing his hope on the passed e-pawn? Anand stops it with ease and wins the game: 52.Kc6 Ne5+ 53.Kd5 Nd3 54.Bd2 Nf2 55.Bxg5 Nxh3 56.Be3 1-0. [Click to replay]

Magnus Carlsen played a Berlin against Judit Polgar, and many visitors on the Playchess server thought that the world's number one was going for a draw against the strongest and most dangerous female chess player ever. Judit Polgar, as ever, was in a fighting mood – perhaps too much so for her own good.

Polgar,Ju (2682) - Carlsen,M (2826) [C67]
Arctic Stars Prelim Kristiansund NOR (1), 28.08.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.h3 b6 11.Rd1 Bb7 12.Bf4 Rc8 13.a4 Ne7 14.a5 c5

So far so good, we would say: White has a clear advantage, for instance after 15.axb5 axb5 and then Nb5. But Judit is impatient: 15.Nb5?! a6 16.Nd6+?! cxd6 17.exd6 Nd5 18.c4 Nxf4 19.d7+ Kd8 20.Ne5 Be7 21.axb6 Ne2+ 22.Kf1 Nd4 23.dxc8Q+ Kxc8.

White has a rook and pawn for two bishops (and Black's bishop pair). Her position is now very dangerous – especially when facing a player of Magnus' determination, and when you are trying desperately to save a plan. 24.b4? f6 25.Nd3 cxb4 26.c5 Nc6. The white pawns on c5 and b6 have been effectively blocked, and Black has two loose pawns of his own on the a and b-files. No more serious problems for Magnus Carlsen: 27.Rac1 Rd8 28.Ke1 Rd5 29.Rc4 a5 30.Re4 Ne5 31.Ke2 Rxd3 32.Rxe5 Rxd1 33.Rxe7 Rd7 34.Re8+ Rd8 35.Re7 b3 0-1. [Click to replay]

Polgar,Ju (2682) - Anand,V (2800) [C65]
Arctic Stars Prelim Kristiansund NOR (2), 28.08.2010
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0-0 Nd4 6.Nxd4 Bxd4 7.c3 Bb6 8.d4 0-0 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.dxe5 Qxe5 12.Bd3 d5 13.Kh1?

13...Qf4. 13...dxe4 was a very strong alternative – probably winning. 14.Qd2 Qxd2 15.Nxd2 Rd8 16.e5 c5 17.Rad1 c4 18.Bc2 Bg4 19.f3 Be6 20.f4 d4 21.cxd4 Bxd4 22.b3 cxb3 23.Bxb3 Be3 24.f5 Bxb3 25.Nxb3 Rxd1 26.Rxd1 Re8 27.Rd5 Bf4

28.Rd7? The Hungarian Super-GM has been struggling for most of the game. After this move her fate is sealed: 28...Rxe5 29.g3 Be3 30.g4 Bb6 31.Nd2 Re1+ 32.Kg2 Rd1 33.Kf3 Ba5 34.Rd5 b6 0-1. [Click to replay]

In Carlsen-Hammer people also suspected a transmission error, but it turned out the moves were actually played – anything is possible in a rapid chess event.

Carlsen,M (2826) - Hammer,J (2636) [D42]
Arctic Stars Prelim Kristiansund NOR (2), 28.08.2010
1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nf3 c5 6.e3 Nc6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be4 Nf6 10.Bxc6 cxd4 11.Nxd4 bxc6 12.Nxc6 Qc7 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.e4 Ba6 15.e5 Nd5 16.Nxd5 exd5 17.Re1 Rfd8 18.Qd4 Rab8 19.Bd2 Qb7 20.Bc3 Qb6 21.e6 Qxd4 22.Bxd4 Rb7 23.Rac1 fxe6 24.Rxe6 Bd3 25.f3 a5 26.Re3 Bg6 27.Ra3 Rb4 28.Bc3 Rc4 29.Rxa5 d4 30.Rd1 Rd7 31.Rb5 h6 32.Ba5 Rc2 33.h4 d3 34.a4 Re7 35.h5 Be8 36.Rb8 Ree2 37.Rxd3 Rxg2+ 38.Kf1 Rh2

Carlsen had a clear advantage in the opening phase of the Semi-Tarrasch, but his young colleague, second strongest player in Norway, has fought back to reach what looks like at least a draw. White can meet the mate-in-one threat by 39.Bd2 or simply 40.Ke1, but not with 39.Rd2?? Doesn't that lose a rook and bishop to 39...Rc1+ 40.Rd1 Rxd1+ 41.Be1 Rh1+ 42.Kg2 Rhxe1? It certainly does – and Black missed it: 39...Rhxd2? This was not a transmission error, but panicky fast play by Hammer, who was down to one minute on his clock. He describes it in the Europe Echecs video report below, which you really should not miss. 40.Bxd2 Kf7 41.Bc3 Bxa4 42.Rb7+ Ke6 43.Rxg7. White is simply two pawn up and goes on to grind out a win. 43...Bb5+ 44.Kg1 Be8 45.Rh7 Kf5 46.Rxh6 Kg5 47.Re6 Bxh5 48.Re5+ Kh6 49.f4 Kg6 50.f5+ Kf7 51.f6 Bg6 52.Re7+ Kf8 53.Rc7 Ke8 54.b4 Kd8 55.Rc5 Kd7 56.b5 Kd6 57.Bb4 Rb2 58.Ba3 Ra2 59.Rc3+ Ke6 60.b6 Ra1+ 61.Kf2 Be4 62.Be7 Bh1 63.Re3+ Kf7 64.Rb3 Bb7 65.Ke3 Ra5 66.Rc3 Rb5 67.Rc7 Bh1 68.Bd8+ Ke8 69.f7+ Kf8 70.Bf6 Bd5 71.Bd4 Bxf7 72.b7 Be8 73.Ba7 1-0. [Click to replay]

The highly anticipated clash between the World Champion and the currently highest ranked player in the world turned out to be a Yugoslav Attack in the Sicilian Dragon. Both the 2800-players did not allow anything to burn out of control and the game ended after 31 moves in a draw by repetition. Jon Ludvig Hammer and Judit Polgar played a Nimzo-Indian Rubinstein which ended as a well-fought 45-move draw.

Standings after the first half of the tournament

Introduction and excerpts from the press conference before the tournament. There
is some lovely music at the end, so don't stop watching as soon as the conference ends

Interviews with the players

In the second video report the "blunder of the day" is vividly described by Jon Ludvig, who apparently like all Norwegians speaks a very high level of English. Starting at 1:57 min into the video he talks about the missed chance, while the thumbnail on the top left (from 2:14 min) shows Magnus playing 39.Rd2?? and Hammer immediately recapturing with his h-rook – and realising what he has missed at 2:21 min. Heartbreaking to watch.

  • Videos by GM Robert Fontaine and Gérard Demuydt for Europe Echecs


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