Norway Chess R3: Carlsen wins in style

by André Schulz
4/21/2016 – In round three of the Altibox Chess Tournament Magnus Carlsen played against Nils Grandelius. In the opening blitz tournament Carlsen drew against the Swedish grandmaster, but in classical chess Grandelius lost clearly. In an unusual opening Carlsen sacrificed a piece for which he had tremendous pressure that Grandelius could not shake off. The four other games were drawn. Carlsen now leads with 2.5/3.

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In the third round Magnus Carlsen played with White against Nils Grandelius, who tried the Nimzowitsch-Sicilian against the World Champion. This line is a rare guest in top tournaments but probably did not Carlsen by surprise because Grandelius had played it before.

After a couple of unusual moves (6…Qb6 7.Qc1) Grandelius decided to push his pawns on the kingside to put pressure on White's pawn on e5. This early pawn push on the kingside provoked a piece sacrifice by Carlsen. White obtained tremendous pressure while Black suffered from a serious lack of development. With powerful moves Carlsen won the game in fine style.


Pentala Harikrishna had White against Veselin Topalov, who opted for a Nimzo-Indian. An early exchange on d5 led to an unusual position, in which Black was settled with an isolated pawn on d5. However, after 19 moves both players indicated peaceful tendencies by finding a repetition of moves.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Pavel Eljanov discussed the pros and cons of the Berlin Defense, which is much more popular with the players than with the public. In the main line Eljanov chose a line with an early Be7 followed by Nh4 to swap the white knight on f3. In the further course of the game more and more pieces vanished from the board until a drawn endgame with opposite-colored bishops was reached.


Playing with Black against Levon Aronian Li Chao chose the Schlechter Variation of the Slav, which is rather popular among some Chinese top players. After an exchange on d5 Aronian obtained a slight space advantage on the queenside and later managed to settle Black with a pawn weakness on c6. However, Black's pieces were active enough to compensate this weak pawn and the game soon ended in a draw.

Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri discussed the intricacies of the Grünfeld Fianchetto line. After 7.b3 by Kramnik Giri took on c4 and continued with ...c5, which led to a balanced position. After an early exchange of queens Kramnik tried for a long time to get an advantage but could not make any progress against Giri's precise defense.

Results of round 3

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


Games of rounds 1 to 3




Tournament page...


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


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