Norway Chess: Caruana beats Carlsen, Gukesh defeats Firouzja

by André Schulz
5/31/2023 – The spectators were treated to an entertaining opening round of the Norway chess tournament and saw two surprises. Carlsen was defeated by Caruana. And the duel of the young stars was won by Gukesh against Firouzja. | Photos: Lennart Ootes

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The organising team in Stavanger around spiritus rector Kjell Madland have again put together a very interesting field for the 11th Norway Chess Tournament. The star of the event - world champion or not - is always Magnus Carlsen. At the Superbet Rapid and Blitz in Warsaw he once again showed who is boss - at least in blitz. And that was enough to win the event. 

Master Class Vol.8 - Magnus Carlsen 2nd Edition

Let our authors show you how Carlsen tailored his openings to be able to outplay his opponents strategically in the middlegame or to obtain an enduring advantage into the endgame.

When did Carlsen last play a classical game? After the Tata Steel tournament, where he finished second behind Anish Giri, Carlsen made three more appearances for his club Offerspill in the Norwegian Elite Series in March. His last game as World Champion was against David Howell - a draw.

The game is now played again according to the Norway Chess formula: A draw is followed by an Armageddon game, with the winner receiving 1.5 points and the loser 1 point. A victory in the classical game is worth 3 points.

In round 1 Carlsen played with Black against Fabiano Caruana. Five years ago the two played a match for the World Championship. It was Caruana's best time.

Navigating the Ruy Lopez Vol.1-3

The Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest openings which continues to enjoy high popularity from club level to the absolute world top. In this video series, American super GM Fabiano Caruana, talking to IM Oliver Reeh, presents a complete repertoire for White.

With just one win in the World Championship match he would have overtaken Carlsen in the world rankings, so close was he to him. But all the games ended in draws and Caruana had no chance in the play-off.

In the World Championship match the Sicilian Sveshnikov was the big theme. In Stavanger Carlsen defended with the French Defence. In the Classical Variation, Carlsen was always slightly worse and under pressure. But eventually he lost the thread and Caruana managed to do what he had failed to do in the World Championship match. He won.

Things aren't easy

Robert Ris analyses

When Gukesh watched the 2018 World Championship match, he was just 12 years old, while his opponent of round 1, Alireza Firouzja, was 15. The game of the two young stars saw an Italian that for a long time was even (though rather complicated). But then Firouzja, who was in terrible time trouble (20 seconds for 9 moves without increment), overlooked a venomous counter.

Attack like a Super Grandmaster

In this Fritztrainer: “Attack like a Super GM” with Gukesh we touch upon all aspects of his play, with special emphasis on how you can become a better attacking player.

D. Gukesh

The winner of the Norway Chess Blitz tournament was Nodirbek Abdusattorov, born in 2004, one year later than Firouzja. The Uzbek has already won a world championship title, in 2021 in rapid chess. He started the tournament today against former prodigy Anish Giri. The classic game between the two ended in a draw. Giri won the Armageddon.

The "senior duel" in the first round was played by Wesley So (b. 1993) and Hikaru Nakamura (b. 1987). Again, the classical game ended in a draw. So won the Armageddon.

Opening package: 1.b3 and Black Secrets in the Modern Italian

Wesley So published two new opening DVDs: 1.b3, the so called Nimzo-Larsen-Attack, for White and his black secrets in the modern Italian. Get them in a package and save money!

Despite his loss in Armageddon, Nakamura analysed the game in his GMHikaru stream:

At 36, Nakamura is only the second oldest player in the tournament. Shahriyar Mamedyarov (b. 1985) has taken on the role of the tournament's Methuselah. The Azeri was up against the second Norwegian in the field, Aryan Tari. Tari is the local hero, born in Stavanger in 1999. The classical game ended in a draw but the nimble Mamedyarov won the Armageddon.

Round 1 scores



Tournament page...

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