Norway Chess: Carlsen beats Naka in Armageddon, leads

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/29/2024 – Round 2 of the Norway Chess super-tournament saw all three classical games ending drawn once again. Magnus Carlsen, Alireza Firouzja and Ding Liren all won with white in the subsequent Armageddon tiebreakers to collect 1½ points each. Carlsen, who defeated Hikaru Nakamura on Tuesday, is now leading the standings with 3 points to his name. | Photo: Stev Bonhage / Norway Chess

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A second Armageddon win for Carlsen

Last year’s edition of the Norway Chess tournament, a 10-player single round-robin, saw Magnus Carlsen scoring 8 draws and 1 loss in classical games. The local hero now continues his winless streak in Stavanger, as he drew his first two classical games in the 2024 edition. Carlsen, however, showed his strength in the ensuing rapid tiebreakers, drawing Ding Liren with black and beating Hikaru Nakamura to collect 3 points on the first two days of action.

Carlsen’s pair of Armageddon wins left him atop the standings, as none of the players who prevailed on Monday managed a repeat Armageddon victory in the second round. Sharing second place a half point behind the Norwegian are Ding, Nakamura, R Praggnanandhaa and Alireza Firouzja.

Two out of the three round-2 classical encounters were well-played, hard-fought games, with Carlsen needing precise play to keep the balance against Nakamura and Firouzja failing to make the most of a positional advantage against Caruana.

In the Armageddon deciders, Ding outplayed Pragg in an imbalanced setup; Carlsen grabbed a pawn and showed great technique to convert it into a win; while Firouzja first survived a losing position and then took advantage of a blunder by Caruana to collect his first win of the event.

Pragg v. Carlsen, Caruana v. Ding and Nakamura v. Firouzja are the pairings for round 3.

Alireza Firouzja

Alireza Firouzja defeated Fabiano Caruana with white in a rollercoaster Armageddon encounter | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Ding Liren

Ding Liren grabbed his first win of the event on Tuesday | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Carlsen 1 - 0 Nakamura

Armageddon tiebreaker

Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura

Chess superstars Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura | Photo: Stev Bonhage

Expert analysis by GM Daniel King

Standings after round 2

Rk Name FED Rtg Pts
1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2830 3
2 Hikaru Nakamura USA 2794 2.5
Ding Liren CHN 2762 2.5
R Praggnanandhaa IND 2747 2.5
Alireza Firouzja FRA 2737 2.5
6 Fabiano Caruana USA 2805 2

All games - Classical

All games - Armageddon

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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