Gukesh clinches Norway Open Masters, Iniyan finishes second

by Shahid Ahmed
9/21/2021 – Gukesh D won the masters’ section of the Norway Chess Open in Stavanger. He scored 8½/10, remained undefeated, performed at 2743 and gained 17.5 Elo rating points. His compatriot Iniyan P scored 7½/10 to finish at second position. He performed at 2550 and increased his rating by 6.7 points. Gukesh is currently playing for Prilep (North Macedonia) at the European Club Cup. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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An imposing performance

The Norway Chess Open took place parallel to the Norway Chess super-tournament. It was a 10-round Swiss open which ran from September 10 to September 17. The masters’ section was played at the Clarion Hotel in Stavanger.

Gukesh scored an unbeaten 8½/10 and finished a full point ahead of the competition to win the tournament. Iniyan secured sole second position with 7½/10 points, finishing a half point ahead of top seed Dmitrij Kollars (Germany) and Valentin Dragnev (Austria).

Iniyan also secured second place in the blitz tournament played on September 11, as he scored 8/9 to finish a half point behind David Howell, the winner of the event.

Norway Chess Open 2021

The tournament hall | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Gukesh scored a very nice victory against IM Tor Fredrik Kaasen (NOR) in the eighth round.


21...Ba4 allowed Gukesh to make a very beautiful sacrifice, 22.Bxh6. Calculate all variations and find out how it works.


Iniyan scored his best win against GM Vitaly Kunin, also in the eighth round.


Iniyan made a very nice move 16.d5. Of course, 16...Nxd5 is a blunder because of 17.Bxd5 Rxd5 18.e4 and Black loses material. However, the not-so-obvious 16...Rxd5 is the best way for Black to continue here — 17.Bxd5 Nxd5 and now White does not have 18.e4 because of Nxc3.

Thus, Black is doing fine compared to the text 16...Ne7 17.c4, when White got a firm grip in the centre. White eventually won the game after launching a strong attack on the kingside.


Iniyan, Ian Nepomniachtchi

Iniyan with World Championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi

Final standings (top 20)

Pl Name i-Rtg Score Med.Buchh i-Performance
GM D Gukesh 2599 8,5 50,0  2743 (+17,50)
GM P Iniyan 2522 7,5 43,5  2550 (+6,70)
GM Dmitrij Kollars 2621 7,0 51,0  2606 (-0,00)
GM Valentin Dragnev 2551 7,0 48,5  2543 (+2,50)
GM Titas Stremavicius 2478 6,5 47,0  2525 (+8,60)
GM Evgeny Romanov 2594 6,5 46,0  2520 (-5,20)
IM Tor Fredrik Kaasen 2405 6,5 44,5  2486 (+11,90)
GM Vitaly Kunin 2562 6,0 46,5  2381 (-16,80)
GM Erik Blomqvist 2536 6,0 43,0  2366 (-17,80)
10  IM Erlend Mikalsen 2380 6,0 39,5  2318 (-7,00)
11  CM Ludvig Carlsson 2369 5,5 46,0  2428 (+16,00)
12  CM Tobias Lang Nilsen 2169 5,5 45,0  2381 (+101,60)
13  FM Jens Hirneise 2289 5,5 44,0  2356 (+14,20)
14  Jacob Templen Grave 2035 5,5 34,5  2243 (+98,00)
15  Aksel Bu Kvaloy 2247 5,0 42,5  2309 (+27,60)
16  CM Thomas Bauer 2230 5,0 41,5  2340 (+24,60)
17  Shazil Shehzad 2126 5,0 40,5  2282 (+71,60)
18  FM Johanna Paasikangas 2163 5,0 40,0  2293 (+26,00)
19  FM Mathias Unneland 2206 4,5 39,5  2210 (-3,00)
20  Alexandr Kostiukov 2281 4,5 39,5  2248 (-10,20)

...35 players

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Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.
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karavamudan karavamudan 9/23/2021 04:17
What did GM Iniyan say to Nepo (full credit to those who write his full name correctly)? GM Iniyan: It is indeed an Honour to meet you Nepo Sir.Before Nepo's trademark grin vanishes GM Iniyan may have continued: I hope to beat you in a chess game soon.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 9/21/2021 06:55
it is an Indian show in the Viking-land!