Grandelius gains entry to Norway Chess

by André Schulz
3/31/2016 – On 18th April one of the strongest tournaments of the year will begin: the Altibox Norway Chess Tournament 2016. M. Carlsen, V. Kramnik, A. Giri, L. Aronian, M. Vachier-Lagrave, V. Topalov, S. Karjakin, P. Eljanov and Pentala Harikrishna were invited, the tenth participant was established in a qualifier. Which Swedish GM Nils Grandelius managed to win.

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The Norway Chess Qualifier took place from 23th to 26th March and four players were given the chance to qualify for the top tournament: the Norwegians Jon Ludvig Hammer and Aryan Tari, Nils Grandelius from Sweden, and Women's World Champion Hou Yifan.

Aryan Tari (left), born 1999, Norwegian Champion 2015,
focuses before his game against Nils Grandelius (born 1993).

Women's World Champion Hou Yifan (born 1994) and Jon Ludvig Hammer (born 1990)

The four players played one game in classical chess and one rapid game against each of the other three players. A win in classical chess was awarded with 3 points, a win in rapid chess with 2 points. A draw yielded only 1 point, no matter whether it was classical or rapid chess.

Nils Grandelius won in both formats. In both classical and rapid chess he won two of his three games and drew one, thus scoring a total of 12 points.

Grandelius had a good start into the tournament. In the first round (classical chess) he played with Black against top seed Jon Ludvig Hammer and won an interesting game because his opponent overpressed:


Final standings

Norway Chess Qualifikationsturnier
Rk Name Ti FED Rtg Pts
1 Grandelius, Nils GM SWE 2646 12
2 Hammer, Jon Ludvig GM NOR 2701 8
3 Hou, Yifan GM CHN 2667 6
4 Tari, Aryan IM NOR 2553 2

The games with classical time control


The rapid games


(From left to right:) Hou Yifan, Jon Ludvig Hammer, Aryan Tari, Nils Grandelius

Photos: Tom Erikson (Tournament blog)


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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Hawkman Hawkman 3/31/2016 09:28
#1 M. Carlsen, #2 V. Kramnik, #4 A. Giri, #5 M. Vachier-Lagrave, #7 L. Aronian, #8 S. Karjakin,

If you go by ratings, the top 6 seeds are stronger than the top 6 seeds at the Candidates. This tourney is awesome.
malfa malfa 3/31/2016 12:22
It is astonishing to see once again how poorly even strong GMs play fundamental chess endings nowadays: the opposite bishops endgame of Hammer-Grandelius is far from being lost, provided that White plays the standard attack from behind 60.Be8 instead of the horrible 60.Re6?? which loses on the spot. I checked with the tablebases that it is not the only saving move, yet even I would have played it instantly, since it is a "book" defense!
vladivaclav vladivaclav 3/31/2016 11:12
Hammer doesn't look happy :D
sv_blond sv_blond 3/31/2016 10:03
Nh4 in the Hammer - Grandelius game wasn't prepared. He planned Qg5 and then Nh4 but played the wrong move order by mistake.