Norway 06: Tournament wide open!

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/9/2014 – As if to add excitement to the tournament, the sole leader fell to the player that was in the bottom of the standings. Topalov dispatched his nemesis Kramnik, with the usual lack of handshakes, and although he remains at the bottom of the leaderboard he is also only one point away from the three leaders, Kramnik, Carlsen and Caruana! It's anyone's tournament.

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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 Six

Round 06 – June 09 2014, 15:30h
Simen Agdestein 2628
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2791
Veselin Topalov 2772
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Levon Aronian 2815
½-½
Anish Giri 2752
Sergey Karjakin 2771
½-½
Magnus Carlsen 2881
Alexander Grischuk 2792
½-½
Peter Svidler 2753

Norwegian television channel VGTV closely follows the action and has their own set-up

Today the round was played at Aarbakke fabrikkhall - a factory!
Tomorrow they return to Stavanger

Agdestein, Simen ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
Perhaps trying to beat his opponent instead of aiming for a solid draw, Caruana used an unusual side-system. This left him ina clearly worse position after barely 10 moves of chess. However Agdestein missed a resourceful exchange sacrifice from Caruana that actually put black on the driver's seat! Black's advantage was minimal, however, and with a timely pawn sacrifice Agdestein mustered enough resources to hold the draw.

Caruana came for the win but didn't quite get there

Topalov, Veselin 1-0 Kramnik, Vladimir
Kramnik came up with an interesting opening idea, but he was unable to follow it with any consistency. His exchange sacrifice was maybe not bad, but it definitely let White have all the chances in the position. A blunder in move 26 in an already difficult position sealed the Russian's fat as Topalov cruised to victory with accurate moves.

Topalov beats his nemesis again

No resignation handshake from Kramnik, but he does keep a tie for first at least

Daniel King shows the game Topalov vs Kramnik

Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ Svidler, Peter
Although the game was packed with action, somehow every time something interesting happened over the board pieces got traded off until eventually there was not enough material to do anything. The opposite colored bishop plus rooks endgame was an obvious draw.

A battle! But both players held their own and it fizzled to a draw.

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
The following was the only important moment of this Berlin:

[Event "2nd Norway Chess 2014"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2014.06.09"] [Round "6"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2771"] [BlackElo "2881"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1k4r/p1pb1ppp/1pp5/4P1N1/6P1/7P/PPP2P2/R2R2K1 b - - 0 16"] [PlyCount "45"] [EventDate "2014.06.03"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] {Black might be in a bit of danger if not for the following key move} 16... h6 $1 {f7 is hanging, but Black has his resources!} 17. Nxf7 Re8 $1 (17... Rf8 18. e6 Bxe6 19. Ne5 {is probably fine for Black too, but the move played in the game seems to be more precise for liquidation.}) 18. f4 (18. e6 Bxe6 19. Ne5 Bf5 {might be worse for White.}) 18... Be6 19. Nxh6 $1 {By sacrificing this piece White obtains a superb pawn chain; it must be destroyed immediately.} gxh6 20. f5 Bxf5 $1 (20... Bd5 21. e6 {leaves Black without moves and Black risks having to sacrifice his bishop under worse conditions.}) 21. gxf5 Rxe5 22. Rf1 Kd7 {The king comes to the defense to jail the passed pawn and the game simplifies into an easy draw.} 23. Rad1+ Ke7 24. Rfe1 Kf6 25. Rxe5 Kxe5 26. Rd7 c5 27. Kf2 Rf8 28. Rxc7 Rxf5+ 29. Kg3 Rg5+ 30. Kf2 Rf5+ 31. Ke2 Rh5 32. Rxa7 Rxh3 33. Rb7 Rh2+ 34. Kd3 Kd5 35. Rxb6 Rh3+ 36. Kd2 Rh2+ 37. Kd3 Rh3+ 38. Kd2 Rh2+ 1/2-1/2

Carlsen is in +1, though before the tournament it would have been
hard to guess that would involve five out of six draws.

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Giri, Anish
An isolated queen's pawn! But not an IQP that went Aronian's way. He was worse out of the opening and sensing the danger he wisely traded off into an endgame where he was down a pawn, but the opposite colored bishops combined with his activity gave him no real losing chances.

Aronian is "tied for last" with Topalov and Svidler at 2.5/6.
That also puts him only a point away from the leaders!
Half glass full, half empty?

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
½-½
Fabiano Caruana 2791
Veselin Topalov 2772
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik 2783
Levon Aronian 2815
½-½
Anish Giri 2752
Sergey Karjakin 2771
½-½
Magnus Carlsen 2881
Alexander Grischuk 2792
½-½
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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Topher O Topher O 6/10/2014 09:59
I'm a fan of Nigel's commentary... think he might be dipping into the bar during those breaks. Highly entertaining.
Petrosianic Petrosianic 6/10/2014 04:33
The time is long past for another Kramnik-Topalov match. No titles on the line, just for the theater of it all. I'd settle for a Best of 24 Blitz match, just get them to the table together. The ideal venue would be on a scaffold at Wrestlemania, but that's negotiable too.
Balthus Balthus 6/10/2014 10:58
Yes, I was so sorry for him when he squandered his winning chances against Karjakin.
idratherplay960 idratherplay960 6/10/2014 01:18
Agdestein is really showing excellent chess, both on the offense and defense. He has never been truly worse and it's past time for his peers and the chess fans to give him his due and stop acting surprised every round.

It makes one reflect upon the claims of Khalifman...
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