Norway Chess: Carlsen and Aronian win

by André Schulz
4/28/2016 – In round seven Magnus Carlsen played against Vladimir Kramnik, one of his predecessors as World Champion. Carlsen seemed well prepared and won a fine strategic game in which he exploited Black's weak square f5 in textbook fashion. Levon Aronian used his space advantage to harass Black's king and to win with a mating attack. The three other games were drawn.

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Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik discussed a Queens Gambit, an opening that had been on the board during the opening blitz tournament. In the blitz game Carlsen had played 4.cxd5, a move he repeated now. But this time Kramnik did not take with the knight (as he did in the blitz game, which he lost rather clearly) but after a short moment of reflection took back with the pawn.

Kramnik then tried a line with an early 6...Bf5 and allowed White to shatter his pawn structure on the kingside. In return Kramnik had the pair of bishops and the queens vanished from the board. However, Carlsen found a new idea to exploit the weak square f5 - an idea that he followed with brutal consistency and that helped him to win the game.

 

 

Levon Aronian played with White against Pavel Eljanov and tried a Reti. After the opening everything seemed to be fine for Black but then White could continually improve his position whereas Black - after missing a good opportunity - lacked counterplay. After a few more inaccuracies by Black White won.

 

 

The top-players currently do not seem to like to play against the Grünfeld and more and more players try the Anti-Grünfeld with 3.f3 - as Pentala Harikrishna did against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The French Grandmaster transposed into a Benoni and Harikrishna saw no reason to deviate from the plan he had employed in round five against Li Chao, namely to develop the king's knight via e2 to c3. But Maxime Vachier-Lagrave also had a couple of original ideas and that led to a lively game that finally ended in a perpetual.

Veselin Topalov and Anish Giri played a Dragon with reversed colors and Giri had no problems to equalize with Black. Topalov later managed to get a slight advantage in the middlegame but this advantage soon vanished and after a little tactical skirmish which culminated in a queen sacrifice by Giri  the game ended with a repetion of moves.

The Caro-Kann with 5...Nf6 6.Nxf6 gxf6 is a rare guest in top-level chess but this did not stop Chinese Grandmaster Li Chao, who played with Black against Nils Grandelius, to give it a try. But Grandelius was unimpressed and secured a large space advantage. He tried hard to convert the space advantage in a more tangible advantage but without success. Li Chao defended tenaciously and after 93 moves only the two kings were left on the board and Grandelius had to accept the draw.

Results of round 7

Br. Tit Name Coun ELO Ergebnis Titel Name Coun ELO
1 GM Veselin Topalov
 
2780 ½ - ½ GM Anish Giri
 
2793
2 GM Penteala Harikrishna
 
2753 ½ - ½ GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave
 
2785
3 GM Levon Aronian
 
2786 1 - 0 GM Pavel Eljanov
 
2760
4 GM Nils Grandelius
 
2637 ½ - ½ GM Chao B Li
 
2751
5 GM Magnus Carlsen
 
2844 1 - 0 GM Vladimir Kramnik
 
2801

Games of rounds 1 to 7

 

Standings after round 7

 

Photos: Altibox Norway Chess

Tournament page...

 



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.

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