Norway Chess: Carlsen, Kramnik and Giri win

by André Schulz
4/20/2016 – The Norway Chess tournament in Stavanger saw a lively first round and three players winning with the white pieces: Anish Giri used his tactical chances to win against Pavel Eljanov and Magnus Carlsen steamrolled Pentala Harikrishna. Vladimir Kramnik won against Nils Grandelius by showing patience and good technique. The other two games ended in a draw.

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At the Candidates Tournament in Moscow Anish Giri often failed to make use of his chances and as a result had to suffer countless jokes about his many draws. But in the first round of the Norway Chess tournament he showed that he still knows how to win. In an Italian game he exploited a tactical oversight by his opponent.


At the start of a tournament and against weaker opponents Magnus Carlsen sometimes has problems to show his real strength. However, during the opening blitz the World Champion already demonstrated how keen he is to play. And Pentala Harikrishna is everything but a "weaker" opponent but close to replace Vishy Anand as India's number one. However, against Carlsen things did not go too well for the Indian. He was virtually steamrolled.


Vladimir Kramnik's game was less spectacular. Playing with White against Nils Grandelius, Kramnik, who recently took a liking to openings with an early Bf4, always had the initiative and was better, but needed patience and good technique to win. But the constant pressure was finally too much for the Swedish grandmaster who faltered a few moves before the time-control.


Round 1 - Results

Br. Tit Name ELO Ergebnis Titel Name ELO
1 GM Vladimir Kramnik 2801 1 - 0 GM Nils Grandelius 2637
2 GM Magnus Carlsen 2844 1 - 0 GM Pentala Harikrishna 2753
3 GM Maxime Vachier Lagrave 2785 ½ - ½ GM Li Chao 2755
4 GM Anish Giri 2793 1 - 0 GM Pavel Eljanov 2760
5 GM Levon Aronian 2786 ½ - ½ GM Veselin Topalov 2780

Standings after round 1

Photos: Altibox Norway Chess/Joachim Steinbru

Tournament page...


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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Vxqtl Vxqtl 4/21/2016 02:02
@gmwdim: Eljanov unrated??!! Try #13 in the world in current live ratings.
fistoffury fistoffury 4/20/2016 05:22
Giri proved wrong by exploiting a tactical oversight in this game? Tactical oversight exploitation and positional weakness exploitation are the opposite ends of the spectrum... the former is way way easier compared to the latter
Stupido Stupido 4/20/2016 03:50
Carlsen, Kramnik, Giri, so efficient and so dull.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 4/20/2016 03:32
Magnus won the blitz and the first round of classical chess. Even when Magnus has good results in tournaments, he normally begins slowly. But, he never won the Norway Chess tournament, and last year he even counter-performed, ending 7 on 9. At home.

So, his strong departure could be a sign. I have the impression that, after Serguey Karjakin won the candidates impressively, Magnus, as Daniel King puts it, wants to show “who is the boss” in the chess world. Especially at home where he had lesser results in the past – got something to prove and may want to please his local fans.

We will see.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 4/20/2016 03:31
In the Kramnik-Grandelius game, there was an early trade of Queens (12th, move), whereas the Queens remained until the end in the Magnus-Pentala game. Kramnik played great, with a lots of nasty tactical threats that Grandelius avoided. Grandelius defended well and had a somewhat acceptable, even though inferior, position for a long time. Which showed the great positional sense of Kramnik. It was a good game. I do not know why the author states that the Kramnik's victory was "less spectacular" than the one of Magnus. 4/20/2016 10:01
Ok, no mo jokes. Giri broke his bad spell...
This guy would be a lethal hazard in the wild west:
fightingchess fightingchess 4/20/2016 09:35
it is not up to anybody to decide if giri jokes are funny or not.
sunnyside sunnyside 4/20/2016 08:50
@Andre Schulz what do you mean by "Vladimir Kramnik's game was less spectacular"!!?
Kramnik's game was so positionally spectacular. I think you meant to say it was just not too tactical
sunnyside sunnyside 4/20/2016 08:46
Giri promised to score an early victory and he did!!! That tactic and winning an exchange back...! well done Giri
Denix Denix 4/20/2016 08:24
Magnus missed a mate just after the time control.
Paul Janse Paul Janse 4/20/2016 07:54
It is time to stop joking about Giri's draws. Not in the first place because he won yesterday, but because they are not funny.
jajalamapratapri jajalamapratapri 4/20/2016 05:34
Can chessbase post the pairings and playing schedule, the tournament website is terrible (did they hire Agon to make it?).
gmwdim gmwdim 4/20/2016 02:55
Giri failed to draw because he was facing Eljanov, an unrated player.
Vxqtl Vxqtl 4/20/2016 02:11
Giri fails to draw! A much more significant event than AlphaGo beating a top 3 Go player 4-1.