NRK TV spectacular: Carlsen vs Norway

by Frederic Friedel
12/1/2014 – It was his 24th birthday, which Magnus Carlsen celebrated with a game of chess against the entire population of Norway. Using an app that people could download from Google Play or the Apple Store his opponents could play the World Champion, who was in the TV studios of NRK, the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company. Guess who won.

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Magnus Carlsen's Birthday Spectacular

World Champion Magnus Carlsen, fresh from the defence of his title in Sochi, took part in an epic three-hour entertainment show, dubbed “Kongen av sjakk” (King of chess), on the Norwegian government-owned radio and television public broadcasting company NRK. The presenters were Kåre Magnus Bergh and Ingrid Gjessing Linhave (picture above), and there was expert commentary by Expert Torstein Bae, Heidi Røneid and Ole Rolfsrud. The event celebrated Magnus' 24th birthday on November 30, 2014. The NRK announcement can be found here.

In the studio: Magnus' sisters Ellen, Ingrid and Signe, and his parents Sigrun Øen and Henrik Carlsen

The game was played via an app, which Norwegians could download from Google Play or the Apple Store. Here are the moves, with Let's Check evaluations showing you how it went – fairly even for around fifteen moves. Carlsen said he was proud of his compatriots for playing bravely for so long. In fact they had the advantage of the bishop pair, but were unable to find a good plan to proceed. That is hardly surprising, since many thousand people across the country were trying to formulate it. Eventually they did find something, but it did not work well for them.

You can see it in the evaluation graph (which you can click to jump to the position) below the replay board. The downhill struggle ended with a checkmate delivered by Carlsen.

[Event "Oslo"] [Site "Oslo"] [Date "2014.11.30"] [Round "?"] [White "Norway, NRK TV."] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B02"] [BlackElo "2862"] [Annotator "Let's Check"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventCountry "NOR"] 1. e4 g6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. exd5 Nxd5 5. Nxd5 Qxd5 6. d4 Bg7 {[%eval 15,0] } 7. c3 {[%eval 17,0]} O-O {[%eval 19,0]} 8. Bd3 {[%eval -11,0]} Bg4 {[%eval 15,0]} 9. O-O {[%eval 6,0]} Rd8 {[%eval 42,0]} 10. h3 {[%eval -12,0]} Bxf3 { [%eval -17,0]} 11. Qxf3 {[%eval -16,0]} Qxf3 {[%eval -18,0]} 12. gxf3 {[%eval -9,0]} Nd7 {[%eval -19,0]} 13. Re1 {[%eval -16,0]} e6 {[%eval -25,0]} 14. Bf4 { [%eval -13,0]} c6 {[%eval -25,0]} 15. Bc7 {[%eval -15,0]} Re8 {[%eval -17,0]} 16. Rad1 {[%eval -24,0]} Nf6 {[%eval -25,0]} 17. Be5 {[%eval -30,0]} Nd5 { [%eval -31,0]} 18. Bxg7 {[%eval -30,0]} Kxg7 {[%eval -31,0]} 19. c4 $6 {[%eval -146,0]} Nf4 $17 {[%eval -138,0]} 20. Re4 {[%eval -219,0]} Nxh3+ {[%eval -199, 0]} 21. Kg2 {[%eval -225,0]} f5 {[%eval -223,0]} 22. Rh4 {[%eval -220,0]} Ng5 $6 {[%eval -102,0]} 23. f4 $17 {[%eval -111,0]} Nf7 {[%eval -115,0]} 24. Rdh1 { [%eval -162,0]} h6 {[%eval -158,0]} 25. c5 $6 {[%eval -321,0]} Rad8 $19 { [%eval -347,0]} 26. b4 {[%eval -379,0]} Rxd4 {[%eval -397,0]} 27. Rd1 {[%eval -639,0]} Red8 {[%eval -767,0]} 28. Rh3 {[%eval -694,0]} e5 {[%eval -773,0]} 29. fxe5 {[%eval -759,0]} Nxe5 {[%eval -950,0]} 30. Re3 {[%eval -915,0]} Nxd3 { [%eval -959,0]} 31. Re7+ {[%eval -1248,0]} Kf6 {[%eval -1411,0]} 32. Rxb7 { [%eval -29987,0]} Nf4+ {[%eval -29988,0]} 33. Kf3 {[%eval -29997,0]} Rd3+ 34. Kxf4 g5# 0-1

Oh, yes, and by the way: Happy Birthday, Magnus!

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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