Peter Svidler wins Aker Chess Challenge in Gjøvik

1/5/2009 – The first game in the final between Peter Svidler and Magnus Carlsen, a Ruy Lopez Berlin, ended in a draw after 20 moves. That gave Carlsen the chance to go for a win with the white pieces in the final game. But it was the grandmaster from St Petersburg who took first prize with a fine victory against his Norwegian opponent. Hikaru Nakamura of the US beat Kjetil Lie to take third. Final report.

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Chess Festival in Gjøvik, Norway

The Aker Chess Challenge is being played in the main auditorium of Gjøvik cinema, under the same roof as Thon Hotel, where Simen Agdestein in 1991 played a 2-2 drawn match with classic time controls against the long reigning world champion Anatolij Karpov.

The event consists of a double-round robin tournament, followed by a bronze final and a final. That is a total of eight rounds, plus if necessary sudden death blitz games. Time controls are 25 minutes per game, with 5 seconds increment per move. The games have a running commentary for spectators in an adjoining auditorium, and are also being transmitted live on Playchess and by the official web site (link below).

Results of finals (and tiebreaks)

Final: Monday, January 5th 2009, 13:00h
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Peter Svidler
Bronze Final: Monday, January 5th 2009, 14:20h
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Kjetil Lie
Kjetil Lie 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura took the first game of the match for third place against Norwegian GM Kjetil Lie with a trademark Trompowsky.

Nakamura,Hi (2699) - Lie,K (2539) [A45]
Aker CC Rapid Bronze Gjovik NOR (1), 05.01.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 c5 4.f3 Qa5+ 5.c3 Nf6 6.d5 Qb6 7.Bc1 g6 8.e4 d6 9.c4 e6 10.Ne2 exd5 11.cxd5 Bg7 12.Nec3 0-0 13.Be2 a6 14.a4 Nbd7 15.Na3 Qd8 16.0-0 Rb8 17.Be3 Ne8 18.Qd2 Nc7 19.Rab1 Qe7 20.b4 Re8 21.Bf2 b6 22.Nc4 b5 23.axb5 axb5 24.Na5 Qf6 25.Rfc1 Ra8 26.Nxb5 Nxb5 27.Bxb5 cxb4 28.Qxb4 Rd8 29.Nc6 Rf8 30.Bd4 Qg5 31.Bxg7 Kxg7 32.Qxd6 Ra2 33.Qg3 Qe3+ 34.Kh1 Nf6 35.Re1 Qd2 36.Re2 1-0. [Click to replay]

In the second game, a Modern Defence, Lie was a pawn up and pressing when Nakamura sacrificed first an exchange and then a piece to force a repetition and win the match.

Lie,K (2539) - Nakamura,Hi (2699) [B00]
Aker CC Rapid Bronze Gjovik NOR (2), 05.01.2009
1.e4 d6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 a6 4.a4 Bg7 5.h3 Nf6 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 0-0 8.Bc4 Nbd7 9.0-0 Ne8 10.Re1 Nc7 11.Bf4 b5 12.axb5 Nb6 13.Bf1 axb5 14.Nxb5 Nxb5 15.Bxb5 Rb8 16.e5 Nxd5 17.Qxd5 Rxb5 18.exd6 exd6 19.Bxd6 Bb7 20.Qd3

20...Bxf3 21.Qxb5. Perhaps Lie should have tried 21.Bxf8 Qxd3 22.cxd3 Bxf8 with better chances. 21...Qxd6 22.gxf3 Bd4 23.Kg2

23...Bxf2! Forces a draw by repetition. 24.Kxf2 Qh2+ 25.Kf1 Qxh3+ 26.Ke2 Qh2+ 27.Kd3 Rd8+ 28.Kc3 Qd2+ 29.Kb3 c4+ 30.Qxc4 Rb8+ 31.Ka3 Ra8+ 32.Kb3 Rb8+ 33.Ka3 Ra8+ 34.Kb3 Rb8+ 35.Ka3 ½-½. This was the only half point poor Kjetil Lie scored in the entire event. [Click to replay]

The first game between Peter Svidler and Magnus Carlsen, a Ruy Lopez Berlin, ended in a draw after White's 20th move. That gave Carlsen the chance to go for a win with the white pieces in the final game – a closed Ruy Lopez.

Carlsen,M (2776) - Svidler,P (2723) [C84]
Aker CC Rapid Final Gjovik NOR (2), 05.01.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Bd2 b4 10.c3 Rb8 11.Bc4 Qc8 12.Re1 0-0 13.d4 Bg4 14.Be3 Na5 15.Bd3 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Nb3 17.Ra2 Ng4 18.Nd2 bxc3 19.bxc3 Nxe3 20.Qxe3 Bf6 21.Nf3 Re8 22.Rb1 c5 23.dxe5 dxe5 24.Bf1 c4 25.Nd2 Nxd2 26.Rxb8 Qxb8 27.Rxd2 Qb3 28.a5 h6 29.Rd5 Rd8 30.g3 Bg5 31.Qf3 Bf6 32.h4 Qa2 33.Rxd8+ Bxd8

Things are going according to plan for White, who seems to have enough initiative (even after exchanging the rooks). 34.Qd1. 34.Qf5 Qxa5 35.Qc8 was an interesting alternative. 34...Bxa5 35.Qd5? 35.Qd7 Bxc3 36.Qe8+ Kh7 37.Qxf7 was okay for White. 35...Bb6 36.Kh2 Qxf2+ 37.Bg2 a5 38.Qxc4 Qc5. Carlsen is a pawn down and in trouble. He balks at exchanging queens, although 39.Qxc5 Bxc5 40.Bf1 may have proved defensible. 39.Qa4 g6 40.Qb3 h5 41.c4 Kg7 42.Kh3 Qc6 43.Qc3 Qe6+ 44.Kh2 Qe7 45.Qb3 Qb4

Now he has no other choice, though lines like 46.Qxb4 axb4 47.Bf1 b3 48.Bd3 Kf6 49.Kg2 Ke7 50.Kf3 Kd6 51.Ke2 Kc5 52.Kd2 Kd4 look very bleak. 46.Qd3 Bd4 47.Qe2 a4 48.g4 a3 49.gxh5 Qb2 50.Qg4 Qd2 51.Kh3 Qe3+ 52.Bf3 Qf4 0-1. [Click to replay]


The Aker Chess Challenge is over, the final positions are still on the demo screen


Peter Svidler's wife adjusts his tie for the great moment


The exhausted four (Lie, Nakamura, Carlsen, Svidler) wait for the prize-giving


They get: €3,000 (Svidler), Kr 16,000 (Carlsen), €1,200 (Nakamura) and Kr 5,000 (Lie)

All photos provided by Galina Tiviakova

Schedule and results

Round 1: Friday, January 2nd 2009, 13:20h
Peter Svidler 
1-0
 Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Kjetil Lie
Round 2: Friday January 2nd 2009, 14:40h
 Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Kjetil Lie
Round 3: Saturday, January 3rd 2009, 13:20h
Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Hikaru Nakamura
Kjetil Lie 
0-1
 Peter Svidler
Round 4: Saturday, January 3rd 2009, 14:40h
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Kjetil Lie 
0-1
 Magnus Carlsen
Round 5: Sunday, January 4th 2009, 14:20h
Magnus Carlsen 
1-0
 Peter Svidler
Kjetil Lie 
0-1
 Hikaru Nakamura
Round 6: Sunday, January 4th 2009, 15:40h
Peter Svidler 
1-0
 Kjetil Lie
Hikaru Nakamura 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Final: Monday, January 5th 2009, 13:00h
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen 
0-1
 Peter Svidler
Bronze Final: Monday, January 5th 2009, 14:20h
Hikaru Nakamura 
1-0
 Kjetil Lie
Kjetil Lie 
½-½
 Hikaru Nakamura

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.


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