Norway Chess, Round 8: Gukesh wins brilliancy against Tari

by André Schulz
6/9/2023 – D. Gukesh was the only player to win his classical game in the penultimate round of the Norway Chess Tournament by creating a veritable work of art against Aryan Tari. Hikaru Nakamura lost to Nodirbek Abdusattorov in Armageddon, but still has a chance to win the tournament. Fabiano Caruana remains in the lead, and Magnus Carlsen won his seventh Armageddon game, but with 10.5/24 he is still in the lower part of the table. | Photos: Lenart Ootes/ Norway Chess

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The 11th Norway Chess Tournament in Stavanger is coming to an end. The eighth and penultimate round was played on Thursday and the tournament will be decided in the final round on Friday.

With one round to go, Fabiano Caruana leads the field, with only Hikaru Nakamura able to catch up. The draw, or more precisely the ranking of the Blitz tournament that preceded the "real" one, paired the two leaders for the final round. If Nakamura beats Caruana in round 9 in the classical game, Nakamura will also win the tournament.

Magnus Carlsen no longer has a chance of winning the event, but his "home tournament" has never been a walk in the park for Carlsen. He was beaten by Sergey Karjakin at the inaugural event in 2013 and again in 2014. It was only in 2016 that Carlsen was able to claim victory. From 2019 to 2022, however, he won every tournament.

The new mode with three points for a classical win and half an extra point for an Armageddon victory after a draw suited Carlsen, who is almost impossible to beat in rapid chess. To win the tournament, however, you have to win a classical game now and then.

But in round 8, playing with Black against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Carlsen again only managed a draw, although he later won the Armageddon game.

The first move

Helen Totland, CEO of Ernst & Young Norway, opened the game at the board of Mamedyarov and Carlsen.

The world number one recently complained in a blog that deep opening preparation was making it increasingly difficult to play a proper game. This was also the case against Mamedyarov. Nothing really exciting happened in a line of the Queen's Gambit and almost all the pieces were exchanged fairly quickly. The game didn't last long, but Carlsen took something positive from it - that it would be a short day's work.

In the ensuing Armageddon game Carlsen won in the endgame with a positional exchange sacrifice.

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Most of the other players didn't fare any better in this round.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Hikaru Nakamura practised the Berlin with positions that were different from the usual ones. At some point, however, the position became locked and the game ended without a winner. In Armageddon, the opening was repeated, but this time the Uzbek managed to break down the US player's Berlin Wall.

Here's Nakamura recap of his games against Nodirbek Abdusattorov:

Leader Fabiano Caruana could not beat Wesley So in the classical game, but he won the Armageddon game to extend his lead over the chasing pack, though not far enough to claim the tournament title.

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Alireza Firouzja and Anish Giri had a long and interesting battle. The initiative was mostly with Firouzja, who led the white pieces, but Giri defended attentively. Eventually, an endgame of rook and bishop against rook against two pawns was on the board, which neither could win.

The Armageddon game, however, was won by Anish Giri after he had fended off a fierce king attack by Firouzja.

But D. Gukesh won his classical game against Tari, creating a masterpiece on the way.

In the live rankings, Gukesh is now ranked 17th in the world and is in the top 20 for the first time in his life.

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.

An autograph of the future world champion?




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