Oslo Blitz – Nakamura beats Carlsen in the final

by ChessBase
11/29/2009 – This low-key blitz event took part on Saturday, November 28th in Oslo, Norway. Ten players were invited and divided into two groups, insuring that the two designated finalists, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, would meet in the final. We have with difficulty managed to get some of the games in PGN. We also have a special visual treat for you: front-seat videos of the final.

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Oslo Blitz – Battle of Titans

The quarter-finals started with the two favourites sailing through easily. Magnus Carlsen won all of his games, except for a draw against GM Monika Socko. Hikaru Nakamura, the US American blitz specialist, won all of his games period.

In the semifinals Nakamura played Danish GM Peter Heine Nielsen , who is a second of World Champion Vishy Anand (and a former trainer of Magnus Carlsen). Nakamura demolished him 3-0. The same applies to Magnus Carlsen, who won the first three of four semifinal games against Swedish GM Emanuel Berg (the fourth in each case did not need to be played). Here's a cute little miniature from the semifinal you might enjoy:

Nielsen,Peter Heine - Nakamura,Hikaru [D20]
BNBank Blitz semifinal Oslo (3), 28.11.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bxc4 Nb6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ne2 Bg4 8.Be3 e6 9.Nbc3 Be7 10.Be4 Bf5 11.Bf3 Nb4 12.0-0 N4d5 13.Ng3 Bg6 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 15.Qb3 Rb8 16.Qa4+ c6 17.Qxa7 Bd3 18.Rfd1?? (18.Rfc1 would have left the position playable) 18...Ba6

The queen is trapped (...Ra8) and can only be rescued by sacrificing a bishop: 19.Bg5 Bxg5 20.Qc5. 0-1.

The final began well for Magnus Carlsen, who won the first game with the black pieces, and then had a completely winning position in the second:

Carlsen,Magnus - Nakamura,Hikaru [E32]
BNBank Blitz Final Oslo (2), 28.11.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Bb7 8.Nf3 d6 9.Nd2 Nbd7 10.f3 h6 11.Bh4 c5 12.e4 Rc8 13.Bd3 Re8 14.0-0 Rc7 15.Rad1 Qc8 16.d5 e5 17.Rfe1 Nh5 18.Nf1 Nf8 19.Ne3 Ng6 20.Bf2 Qd8 21.Bf1 Bc8 22.b4 Bd7 23.bxc5 Rxc5 24.Nf5 Rc7 25.Nxd6 Rf8 26.c5 bxc5 27.Rc1 Nhf4 28.Qa5 c4 29.Rxc4 Qg5 30.Kh1 Rxc4 31.Nxc4 f5 32.exf5 Bxf5 33.d6 Bd3 34.Bg3 Bxf1 35.Rxf1 Ne2 36.Bxe5 Ngf4 37.Bxf4 Qxf4 38.Qd5+ Kh8 39.d7 Qh4 40.Qd6 Rd8 41.Rd1 Nc3 42.Ne5 Kg8 43.Qe6+ Kh7 44.Qg6+ Kg8

"So far so good," said Magnus' training in Moscow. White can play g3 and attack the black rook with Nc6. Fritz gives the position +10.20. However to the horror of Garry Kasparov, who was receiving the moves via Skype, his Norwegian protegé started to lose the thread. 45.Qe8+ Kh7 46.Qxd8 Qxd8 47.Nc6 Qb6 48.d8Q Nxd1 49.Qxb6 axb6. Suddenly Magnus has just a one-pawn advantage (Fritz says +1.06 with a frown), and the demoralised young GM goes on lose the game. 50.Kg1 Nc3 51.Nd4 Kg6 52.Kf2 Kf6 53.Ke3 Ke5 54.Kd3 Nd5 55.Ne2 Kd6 56.Kd4 Nc7 57.Nc3 Ne6+ 58.Ke4 g6 59.Nb5+ Kc5 60.Ke5 Kxb5 61.Kxe6 Ka4 62.Kf6 Kxa3 63.Kxg6 b5 64.f4 b4 65.f5 b3 66.f6 b2 67.f7 b1Q+ 68.Kxh6 Qf5 69.Kg7 Qg5+ 70.Kh7 Qf6 71.Kg8 Qg6+ 72.Kf8 Kb4 73.h4 Kc5 74.h5 Qxh5 75.g4 Qxg4 76.Ke7 Qg7 0-1. You can watch this all unfold in full technicolor in the YouTube videos below.

The winner of the Oslo Blitz tournament: Hikaru Nakamura, USA

In the end Hikaru Nakamura won the Oslo Blitz final 2½-1½, with the final draw being conceeded in a totally won position. [Addendum: the official site gives the result of the final as 3:1 for Nakamura, indicating that the result of the final game would be incorrect. It should not be ½-½ but 0-1 for the American.]

We have to recognize: Hikaru is one of the all-time great blitz players, something he has proved on the Playchess server, where he reached top rankings at 3542 in blitz. And now has beaten the inofficial number one player in the world, who is just back from Moscow, where he won one of the strongest blitz tournaments in history, three points ahead of World Champion Vishy Anand, who was himself three points ahead of the rest of the world elite field.

Videos posted on YouTube by Todd Freitag

Below are the videos of the four games of the Oslo Blitz Finals. They were captured by Todd Freitag of Chicago off the live video feed of the official web site. The videos are a littly choppy at times – either the webcam was not working properly, or the organisers had insufficient bandwidth.

As a special service you can watch the four videos together with replayable games on our JavaScript board. Try it out: start the video and click on the notation or the replay buttons to follow the moves on the graphic chessboard. Note that you can pause the video at any stage by pressing the Space bar on your computer keyboard. Pressing it again will restart the video.

If you just want to watch the videos you can use the YuoTube players below:

Hikaru Nakamura-Magnus Carlsen, BNbank Blitz Norway 2009 Final, Game 1

Magnus Carlsen-Hikaru Nakamura, BNbank Norway Blitz 2009 Final, Game 2

Hikaru Nakamura-Magnus Carlsen, BNbank Norway Blitz 2009 Final, Game 3

Magnus Carlsen-Hikaru Nakamura, BNbank Norway Blitz 2009 Final, Game 4


To read, replay and analyse the PGN games we adivse you to download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light. This program also gives you immediate access to the chess server Playchess.com.

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