Norway 05: Blunderful round

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/8/2014 – The quality of today's games was not the highest, and some results were hard to predict especially considering how things were shaping after the opening phase. One man walks away victorious from today and that is Kramnik who received a last minute gift from Caruana and the Russian moves to first place. Carlsen somehow beat Aronian, but it was not the only strange game of the round.

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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.

Round Five

Round 05 – June 08 2014, 15:30h
Alexander Grischuk 2792
½-½
Simen Agdestein 2628
Peter Svidler 2753
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2771
Magnus Carlsen 2881
1-0
Levon Aronian 2815
Anish Giri 2752
1-0
Veselin Topalov 2772
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
1-0
Fabiano Caruana 2791

A crowded room watching the games

Daniel King shows a summary of round 5

Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ Agdestein, Simen
A very exciting game. Agdestein tried again the risky French variation that he played against Karjakin, and again his opponent was unable to crack it. Grischuk found himself in trouble shortly after the opening as his pawn sacrifices did not produce the expected results. Luckily for him the opposite colored bishops and activity gave him good chances to hold, and he was able to scrape a draw.

Grischuk suffered, but the draw was reached

Svidler, Peter ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey
Far from the best technical effort from Svidler. After obtaining a clear advantage he was simply unable to find a good way to proceed and he allowed Karjakin to simplify the position into a dead draw.

Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Levon, Aronian
The quality of this game makes it very hard to explain. Carlsen essayed an interesting opening but Aronian fought back and even got an advantage. From then on both players made very strange moves. Aronian maneuvered himself out of the advantage completely turning a relatively useful bishop into a completely useless one, handing the initiative to his opponent. Carlsen reached a winning position that he played rather badly, allowing his opponent some counter chances. But eventually the Norwegian pulled through and won in the end.

It certainly did not seem as if it was the number one and number two players in the World playing, but it is an important victory for Carlsen.

This won't be winning the best game prize

Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 Caruana, Fabiano
After Caruana defended for a long time, the following happened:

[Event "Norway Chess 2014"]
[Site "Stavanger"]
[Date "2014.06.08"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2791"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/4k3/4b1p1/pr4P1/4PK2/1P1R4/8/3B4 w - - 0 45"]
[PlyCount "15"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "NOR"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.04"]

45. Rd2 {Kramnik has been trying to make progress for some time without
success. He moves his rook to d2 to try to penetrate down the h-file.} Bxb3 {
Caruana calculated this line to be a draw.} 46. Bxb3 Rxb3 47. Rd5 a4 48. Ra5 a3
49. Ke5 Kf7 50. Ra7+ Ke8 $4 {A truly unexplainable blunder. After this Caruana
is completely lost.} (50... Kf8 $11 51. Ke6 Rb6+ 52. Kd7 Rb5 $1 $11) 51. Kf6
Rb6+ 52. Kg7 (52. Kg7 {The position is objectively winning for White, but I'm
sure many players might have played on a few more moves. Kramnik himself was
surprised that Caruana resigned, as he still has to prove the win.} Rb3 53.
Kxg6 Rd3 54. Kf6 Rd6+ 55. Kf5 Rd3 56. e5 Kf8 57. Ke4 Rg3 58. Kf4 Rc3 59. e6 Rc6
60. Ke5 Rc3 61. Kf6 Rf3+ 62. Kg6 Rg3 63. Kf5 Re3 64. g6 Rf3+ 65. Ke4 Rg3 66.
Ra8+ Ke7 67. Kf5 Rf3+ 68. Ke5 Re3+ 69. Kf4 $18) 1-0

Receiving a nice gift: Vladimir Kramnik

Caruana seemed very frustrated in the press
conference after such an important blunder

Giri, Anish 1-0 Topalov, Veselin

[Event "Norway Chess 2014"] [Site "Stavanger"] [Date "2014.06.08"] [Round "5.5"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B67"] [WhiteElo "2752"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6r1/1b2bpk1/q2ppp2/1Nr4p/PpPNPP1P/3Q2P1/P2R4/1K1R4 b - - 0 29"] [PlyCount "28"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "NOR"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 29... Qxa4 {The game so far has been a fascinating struggle in the Sicilian. White's knights are fighting the pair of bishops and both kings are rather exposed. It is ahrd to say who is better, but it does seem that playing with Black is easier.} 30. f5 $2 {A very strange move. Even if it doesn't lose immediately, which it does, it is so antipositional it is hard to justify.} Re5 $1 {The rooks is very powerfullly placed on e5 and e4 is hanging. Giri was trying to provoke this move, missing Black's resources.} 31. Re1 Kh8 $4 {A horrible move in every sense.} (31... Qa8 32. Rde2 Kh8 $15) (31... d5 $1 $19 32. fxe6 dxc4 $1 (32... dxe4 {is also better for Black.}) 33. Qxc4 Rc8 $1 34. Qb3 Qxb3+ 35. axb3 Bxe4+ 36. Kb2 fxe6 {and White is simply completely lost.}) ( 31... Kh7 {was even preferable to Kh8.}) 32. Nf3 {now it is White that is winning.} exf5 (32... Rxb5 33. cxb5 Rxg3 34. fxe6 fxe6 35. Qc4 $16) 33. Nxe5 fxe5 (33... dxe5 34. Qd7 Rd8 35. Qxe7 Rxd2 36. Qf8+ Kh7 37. Qxf7+ Kh8 38. Qxf6+ Kh7 39. Qxf5+ Kh6 40. Qg5+ {costs Black the rook on d2 and the game.}) 34. Nxd6 b3 {this is desperation, and the rest of the game is not so hard for Giri.} 35. Nxb7 bxa2+ 36. Ka1 Qb4 37. Qe3 f4 38. gxf4 Bxh4 39. Rh1 Qxb7 40. fxe5 Rg4 41. Qh6+ Kg8 42. Qxh5 Qxe4 43. Rd8+ 1-0

Giri (above) also played rather strange, but Topalov made the same mistakes he made in Khanty-Mansiysk. After obtaining beautiful positions from the opening he found strange ways of botching them up and even losing games.

Standings

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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
½-½
Anish Giri 2752
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
½-½
Magnus Carlsen 2881
Fabiano Caruana 2791
1-0
Peter Svidler 2753
Veselin Topalov 2772
0-1
Alexander Grischuk 2792
Levon Aronian 2815
1-0
Sergey Karjakin 2771
Round 03 – June 05 2014, 15:30h
Sergey Karjakin 2771
½-½
Simen Agdestein 2628
Alexander Grischuk 2792
1-0
Levon Aronian 2815
Peter Svidler 2753
½-½
Veselin Topalov 2772
Magnus Carlsen 2881
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2791
Anish Giri 2752
0-1
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Round 04 – June 07 2014, 15:30h
Simen Agdestein 2628
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Fabiano Caruana 2791
½-½
Anish Giri 2752
Veselin Topalov 2772
½-½
Magnus Carlsen 2881
Levon Aronian 2815
½-½
Peter Svidler 2753
Sergey Karjakin 2771
1-0
Alexander Grischuk 2792
Round 05 – June 08 2014, 15:30h
Alexander Grischuk 2792
½-½
Simen Agdestein 2628
Peter Svidler 2753
½-½
Sergey Karjakin 2771
Magnus Carlsen 2881
1-0
Levon Aronian 2815
Anish Giri 2752
1-0
Veselin Topalov 2772
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
1-0
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.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


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chessloverguy chessloverguy 6/11/2014 02:40
I wouldn't mind Ramirez "disrespectful" comments, if he could back them up with deep annotation. But he simply quotes winning lines without explanations, as if he was some 1500 rated who uses his engine to shout "blunder!" when watching top level game on the Internet.
Topalov's kh8 was "horrible" because he could spit some engine lines without explanation, Caruana's ke8 was "truly unexplained blunder" without explaining the difference between it and the correct Kf8 (i.e. controlling g7).
Very very disappointing. I come here to get added value, and I get just the opposite..
firestorm firestorm 6/9/2014 06:31
Chessbase is a free site which offers superb daily updates of news, in-depth articles, selected games from tournaments, daily coverage of the top events and annotated games. Regarding how well or otherwise an annotator does the job is largely subjective, and you have to remember, the audience for whom he produces these is diverse in playing strength, and most likely going to spend a few minutes flicking through the games and reading the comments. He calls it as he sees it- isn't that what a commentator is supposed to do? - if he gets it wrong, that's a lesson for the reader and for him to reflect on. After all, you should still read commentaries to a game with a critical eye- I don't always agree with what's said, but so what? It gives me food for thought.

I think the editors do a tremendous job with this website- when something is free it is easy to overlook the work that goes into it and to take it for granted- and if you don't like a particular annotator's comments- simple- play through the game alone or elsewhere. Personally, I think Ramirez's game commentaries are decent for the audience he serves. Keep it up chessbase please!
JeromeApura JeromeApura 6/9/2014 03:30
Nice game
JeromeApura JeromeApura 6/9/2014 03:28
Nice game
Wastrel Wastrel 6/9/2014 02:38
I don't know if I'd call the editors "immature" but the quality of the articles does suffer because English is not the first language of the writers and editors. Sometimes I think the errors are charming, in a way, other times they are just silly, like the confusing "one man victorious" that you mention.

I generally like Ramirez's annotations, and it's not difficult to see that Caruana's 50....Ke8 does not keep Kramnik's king out of g7, but 50....Kf8 would. I don't think Ramirez is disrespectful; he's calling a bad move bad when he sees one. He could say much worse. The players are their own worst critics -- watch a post mortem video; they are brutally self-critical. About 50 years ago I saw a move in an annotated game called a "hallucination." We've all had them.

In the Giri-Topalov game, Topalov played 31....Kh8, and it seems to me that one purpose of the move is to clear the file for the rook, so why doesn't Topalov play Rxg3 on the next move? That pins White's knight. Surely I'm missing something, but the annotations can't explain everything!



sharpnova sharpnova 6/9/2014 11:40
I knew it would be a mistake on Chessbase's part to allow users to comment at the bottom of their articles.

The complaints you guys are making are things I've been annoyed with for years.

Chessbase editors are, in general, fairly immature.

Case in point: "One man walks away victorious from today and that is Kramnik who received a last minute gift from Caruana and the Russian moves to first place."

To me it looks like three people walked away victorious.

These guys (chessbase editors/journalists/whatever you want to call them) are of a fairly low calibre.
Richard Meyes Richard Meyes 6/9/2014 11:29
I really dislike the disrespectful comments of Ramirez about the games.
josuevm josuevm 6/9/2014 09:53
I always have the impression that this commentator loses some perspective. He comments on the games of the elite (including super elite, i.e., Carlsen, Aronian, ..) like if he has the sufficient level (I'm not saying he is a bad player, but clearly from different leagues) and make statements that look sometimes unsupported... For instance, about the game between the top 2...is he actually able to understand their deep analysis? It looks like he just base his comments on computer analysis...the same applies for the "blunder" of Caruana-Kramnik...I mean, how many grandmasters are actually able to understand that mistake? Even Kramnik said that still the winning moves were not so trivial. How is it then that the commentator takes a position like if he was at the same level that the elite players... I really think you should invite someone stronger and more respectful with the elite chess. Thank you, and congratulations for the best website :-)
DaTribe DaTribe 6/9/2014 09:19
@chessisgreat - I believe you need to select the game from the drop down list.
kassy kassy 6/9/2014 05:06
Chessisgreat,
They may be confused by your comment since the game is available under the big label "replay today's games"
chessisgreat chessisgreat 6/8/2014 10:18
In the previous chessbase article titled "13-year-old scores GM norm in Saint Louis", I had pointed out that Chessbase is very famous for partial reporting and whenever it mentions about a great or noteworthy game between two players in a certain tournament, it never displays that particular game on the javaboard and the readers have to go to other websites to see that game...
Well, in this article it has proved my point again, the zillionth time. In this article it said that Carlsen's vs. Aronian wasn't the only strange game, and it doesn't display this particular game on the java board. Now I am going to other websites to see Carlsen Vs. Aronian!!!
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