Norway 01: Caruana strikes first

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/3/2014 – The first round in Stavanger almost saw five draws and a very solid series of games. Carlsen had some chances against Giri but an exceptional defense allowed the Dutchman to hold on to a draw. Grischuk got into his typical time pressure but his solid position should have ended in the players splitting the point, until a colossal move 39 mistake cost him the game Round one report.

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The Unibet Norway Chess Tournament will take place in Stavanger, Norway from June 2nd to June 13th. The tournament features some of the best players in the world and has a massive rating average of 2774.

Many of our readers have been inquiring about the banner appearing above the Norway Chess 2014 tournament logo. The organizers have explained it:

Our main sponsor, Unibet, is one of the largest online gambling operators in the European market with over 8.9 million customers worldwide in more than 100 countries. According to Norwegian gambling law marketing of international online gambling operators is not allowed. However sponsoring is accepted if commercial logo is not displayed to the public. Though the law still states that Unibet cannot claim for their logo to be used in connection with the tournament, or the event they are sponsoring.

This partnership does not give Unibet commercial rights to advertise in Norway, and therefore a neutral sponsor-name for the tournament has been chosen. No Logo Norway Chess has no direct link to Unibet, nor its way of operations. Towards their international markets Unibet will use the “No Logo” logo in combination with its own logo. The agreement also give Unibet the rights to stream matches from the tournament, and all of Magnus Carlsen’s matches will be shown live online on Unibet TV. This will coincide with a huge offering on odds for the event, both pre match and live.

Round One

Round 01 – June 03 2014, 15:30h
Levon Aronian 2815
½-½
Simen Agdestein 2628
Sergey Karjakin 2771
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2772
Alexander Grischuk 2792
0-1
Fabiano Caruana 2791
Peter Svidler 2753
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Magnus Carlsen 2881
½-½
Anish Giri 2752

Kasparov came in to to provide analysis and talk
about the upcoming Tromso FIDE elections

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Agdestein, Simen
Aronian had a very slight advantage from the opening, but he misplayed it and Agdestein counterattacked perfectly. A great exchange sacrifice, which Aronian completely missed, left Black with enough compensation and maybe even some pressure. The game ended up fizzling to a draw.

Aronian almost run into serious trouble against the lowest rated player in the event

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Topalov, Veselin
A strategic duel featuring hanging pawns left at lot of tension on the board. Karjakin found a nice combination that won the exchange, but his weak pawns left him a tough technical task ahead. After losing one of his weaknesses, Topalov set up an impregnable fortress.

Carlsen congratulated the Karjakins on their marriage

Grischuk, Alexander 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano

Grischuk likes Blitz so much he makes sure he never has more than five minutes,
even on standard time controls. Today this came back to haunt him.

[Event "Norway Chess 2014"] [Site "Hidle Flor & Fjære"] [Date "2014.06.03"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A62"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2791"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 c5 5. d5 O-O 6. Nc3 e6 7. Nf3 exd5 8. cxd5 d6 {The Benoni Fianchetto is always useful for Black to know as it can arise from many different openings, from the Catalan to the g3 anti-Grunfelds.} 9. O-O Re8 10. a4 {This is not the most common move, but it has become popular recently.} Ne4 11. Nxe4 Rxe4 12. Nd2 Rb4 13. Ra2 a5 {"I remember a5 was an important move". Caruana shows that he has good home preparation everywhere.} 14. b3 b5 15. axb5 Nd7 {Of course there is no rush in recovering the b5 pawn, it will fall sooner or later.} 16. Ne4 Qe7 17. Qc2 Rxb5 18. Bg5 Nf6 (18... Qf8 {is also possible, but Caruana wanted to give more life to his pieces, even if it meant self-pinning temporarily.}) 19. Qd3 Rb7 20. Qe3 {"I missed this move, and was lucky I wasn't losing" - Caruana. Actually Black has two good ways to not lose this position.} h6 $5 {An interesting pawn sacrifice. Black will get plenty of dark square control in exchange for a pawn.} (20... Bf5 21. Nxf6+ $6 Bxf6 22. Qxe7 Bxe7 $15 {also looks great for Black.}) 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. Qf4 Be5 23. Qxh6 Rxb3 24. Nxc5 Rb5 (24... dxc5 25. d6 Qa7 26. Qg5 {is incredibly messy. The reader can indulge himself in analyzing further variations, both sides have resources. For example:} Bxd6 27. Bd5 $1 (27. Qd5 $5)) 25. Nd3 {Black's passed pawn and pair of bishops give him full compensation for the pawn.} Bg7 26. Qd2 a4 27. Qc2 a3 28. Rxa3 $5 {Changing the character of the position. Now White will have a very solid fortress but he will not have a material advantage.} Rxa3 29. Qxc8+ Kh7 30. Bf3 {It's hard to believe either side can make progress. White is very solid while he cannot really activate his pieces in any significant manner.} Rc3 31. Qg4 Rbb3 32. h4 f5 $1 {A cunning move. White's queen is surprisingly unpleasantly placed.} 33. Qa4 Ra3 34. Qd1 Bh6 35. Kg2 Qf6 36. Rh1 Qd4 37. Qb1 Rab3 38. Qa2 $4 {A time trouble horrible blunder. Any other reasonable queen move would have kept equality.} Rxd3 39. exd3 Rb2 { A tragic end of the game. Notice how the queen on d4 perfectly protects the a7 check.} 0-1

1-8 odds that he wins the event? That will go down very soon.

Svidler, Peter ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
A game with many technical nuances, but ultimately just a solid draw.

Good prep and a good mindset got Kramnik an easy draw

Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Giri, Anish
An exciting game. After Carlsen sacrificed an exchange it was clear that Giri was against the ropes. With every move Carlsen increased the pressure and the combination of active pieces and a seemingly deadly passed pawn was certainly powerful. However, somehow or another, Giri "convinced himself he wasn't losing" and accurately defended the position, drawing it. Carlsen simply could not crash through.

Giri thought for over 30 minutes on one rather obvious move;
but he still had enough time to find a cold blooded defense later on

Daniel King recaps the game Carlsen vs Giri

Replay today's games

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Schedule of Events

Date
Time
Event
Venue
Playchess commentary
02.06.2014 17.00 Blitz Flor & Fjære  
03.06.2014 15.30 Round 1 Scandic Stavanger Forus Daniel King
04.06.2014 15.30 Round 2 Scandic Stavanger Forus Simon Williams
05.06.2014 15.30 Round 3 Scandic Stavanger Forus Yasser Seirawan
07.06.2014 15.30 Round 4 Vågen VGS, Sandnes Yasser Seirawan
08.06.2014 15.30 Round 5 Scandic Stavanger Forus Yasser Seirawan
09.06.2014 15.30 Round 6 Aarbakke fabrikkhall, Bryne Chris Ward
10.06.2014 15.30 Round 7 Scandic Stavanger Forus Daniel King
12.06.2014 15.30 Round 8 Scandic Stavanger Forus Simon Williams
13.06.2014 14.30 Round 9 Scandic Stavanger Forus Daniel King

Pairings

Round 01 – June 03 2014, 15:30h
Levon Aronian 2815
½-½
Simen Agdestein 2628
Sergey Karjakin 2771
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2772
Alexander Grischuk 2792
0-1
Fabiano Caruana 2791
Peter Svidler 2753
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Magnus Carlsen 2881
½-½
Anish Giri 2752
Round 02 – June 04 2014, 15:30h
Simen Agdestein 2628   Anish Giri 2752
Vladimir Kramnik 2783   Magnus Carlsen 2881
Fabiano Caruana 2791   Peter Svidler 2753
Veselin Topalov 2772   Alexander Grischuk 2792
Levon Aronian 2815   Sergey Karjakin 2771
Round 03 – June 05 2014, 15:30h
Sergey Karjakin 2771   Simen Agdestein 2628
Alexander Grischuk 2792   Levon Aronian 2815
Peter Svidler 2753   Veselin Topalov 2772
Magnus Carlsen 2881   Fabiano Caruana 2791
Anish Giri 2752   Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Round 04 – June 07 2014, 15:30h
Simen Agdestein 2628   Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Fabiano Caruana 2791   Anish Giri 2752
Veselin Topalov 2772   Magnus Carlsen 2881
Levon Aronian 2815   Peter Svidler 2753
Sergey Karjakin 2771   Alexander Grischuk 2792
Round 05 – June 08 2014, 15:30h
Alexander Grischuk 2792   Simen Agdestein 2628
Peter Svidler 2753   Sergey Karjakin 2771
Magnus Carlsen 2881   Levon Aronian 2815
Anish Giri 2752   Veselin Topalov 2772
Vladimir Kramnik 2727   Fabiano Caruana 2791
Round 06 – June 09 2014, 15:30h
Simen Agdestein 2628   Fabiano Caruana 2791
Veselin Topalov 2772   Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Levon Aronian 2815   Anish Giri 2752
Sergey Karjakin 2771   Magnus Carlsen 2881
Alexander Grischuk 2792
 
Peter Svidler 2753
Round 07 – June 10 2014, 15:30h
Peter Svidler 2753   Simen Agdestein 2628
Magnus Carlsen 2881   Alexander Grischuk 2792
Anish Giri 2752   Sergey Karjakin 2771
Vladimir Kramnik 2783   Levon Aronian 2815
Fabiano Caruana 2791   Veselin Topalov 2772
Round 08 – June 12 2014, 15:30h
Simen Agdestein 2628   Veselin Topalov 2772
Levon Aronian 2815   Fabiano Caruana 2791
Sergey Karjakin 2771   Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Alexander Grischuk 2792   Anish Giri 2752
Peter Svidler 2753   Magnus Carlsen 2881
Round 09 – June 13 2014, 14:30h
Magnus Carlsen 2881   Simen Agdestein 2628
Anish Giri 2752   Peter Svidler 2753
Vladimir Kramnik 2783   Alexander Grischuk 2792
Fabiano Caruana 2791   Sergey Karjakin 2771
Veselin Topalov 2772   Levon Aronian 2815

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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jamesclavel jamesclavel 6/4/2014 01:39
" Notice how the queen on d4 perfectly protects the a7 check"
lol...
incredibly I missed that
nice play by Caruana, Daniel could recap this one instead Carlsen x Giri

Very beautiful tournament
Gowez Gowez 6/4/2014 04:14
Wow, finally the posibility of chating and discussing in Chessbase. Congratulations!
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