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Norway Chess 2014 (2)

Caruana leads on two from two in Norway Chess tournament

Magnus Carlsen discusses his round 2 draw against Kramnik. Photo ©

Magnus Carlsen discusses his round 2 draw against Kramnik. Photo © |

Fabiano Caruana scored a second victory beating Peter Svidler in a highly theoretical Sicilian to lead alone on 2/2. Svidler seemed to forget the details and soon got in horrible trouble. There were victories for Grischuk over Topalov and Aronian over Karjakin which brought to an end the latter's 17 game drawing run. Vladimir Kramnik got nothing against Magnus Carlsen's "chicken" opening and even had to be careful towards the end. Kramnik said that the reason the game went on so long was his fault. Simen Agdestein had chances to get an advantage against Anish Giri but misplayed them and stood worse but managed to liquidate to a draw just in time.

Round 2 Standings: Caruana 2pts, Aronian 1.5pts, Agdestein, Carlsen, Giri, Kramnik, Grischuk 1pts, Svidler, Topalov, Karjakin 0.5pts.

Round 3 Pairings: Thurs June 5 2014 2:30pm BST: Karjakin – Agdestein, Grischuk – Aronian, Svidler – Topalov, Carlsen – Caruana, Giri – Kramnik.

Fabiano Caruana against Peter Svidler

Caruana vs Svidler

Caruana vs Svidler. Photo ©

"It's a very fashionable position and we're all looking at it and we're looking at pretty much the same stuff I guess. Up to Rxg7 this is definitely in the notes, I remembered what my "main line says" but I couldn't work out the move order and by this point I realised that if I take on f3 Nxe6 will happen and I didn't like this position."

Peter Svidler played a fashionable variation of the Sicilian Taimanov against Fabiano Caruana and either forgot or had an error in his preparation which led to a very difficult position for both sides but one where white was clearly better. Svidler's position almost invevitably collapsed on move 38.

Caruana went over 2800 for the second time in the live list although he said he wasn't really thinking about it after the game. Caruana has black against World Champion Magnus Carlsen in round 3.

"It's time to stop him!" Carlsen on his game against Caruana although he added that he at least should stop the winning run.

Peter Svidler


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 17.Rxg7

17. Rxg7 exf3

(17... Bf6 18.Rg3 exf3 19. Qxb4 {Svidler} (19. Nxf3))

18. Nxe6 fxe6 19. Bd3

"Playing this position at the board is not a bundle of laughs." Svidler.


(19... Rb8 {Practically impossible to find at the board.}) 20. Bg6+ Nxg6 21. Bxc7 Bxg7 { Giving the queen up was a practical try but white's position is much better.}

22. Qd3 Nge5 23. Bxe5 Bxe5 24. Qe4 Ra7 25. Nc5 Ke7 26. Rf1 Rf8 27. Nxd7 Rxd7 28. Qxe5 Rd5 29. Qe3 Rdf5 30. Qf2 a5 31. b3 Bd7 32. Rg1 Bc6 33. Kb2 R8f7 34. Rg8 Rf8 35. Rg4 R8f7 36. a3 bxa3+ 37. Kxa3 Kd6 38. Rc4 Bd5 39. Rc8 1-0

Levon Aronian against Sergey Karjakin

Aronian vs Karjakin

Aronian vs Karjakin. Photo ©

Levon Aronian moved into second place with a comfortable win against Sergey Karjakin. Aronian decided to avoid castling queenside and launching an all out war against Karjakin's Queen's Indian but didn't think he got that much. Maybe 23...bxc4 might have been the start of problems and later black's position might have been holdable but black's position was certainly miserable and Karjakin collapsed to defeat very quickly.

Vladimir Kramnik against Magnus Carlsen

Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik. Photo ©

Vladimir Kramnik drew against Magnus Carlsen in the final game to finish. Carlsen chose the Bogo-Indian against Kramnik's Catalan an "old man's opening" according to Nigel Short and a "chicken" variation according to the players. It's certainly not the most ambitious variation in most player's hands but Carlsen has used it with success against Kramnik who also lost another game to it and he actually expected it. An interesting game followed where Carlsen equalised.

Magnus Carlsen


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 31.Qxa4

Hammer on #2sjakk: "Carlsen-Kramnik will be drawn within the next 3 minutes."

Instead the game was drawn over two hours later.

Carlsen managed to create complications in the Queen and Knight ending but the objective evaluation didn't change and the game was eventually drawn. The game was drawn and the players had a cordial post-mortem. There didn't seem a lot of tension. Kramnik said in their discussion they found they were both "missing the same very, very simple thing at one point that's what we were laughing about."

Veselin Topalov vs Alexander Grischuk

Topalov vs Grischuk

Topalov vs Grischuk. Photo ©

Alexander Grischuk won a sharp Najdorf Sicilian against Veselin Topalov having been worse out of the opening. Indeed Topalov said that it was only when he started thinking deeply that he started to go wrong and collapsed quickly.

Alexander Grischuk


Veselin Topalov

Position after 31...d4

32. hxg6?!

32...gxf5 and white retains the advantage.

32...hxg6 33. Rfd3?

In an already difficult position Topalov goes quite wrong. 33...gxf5 had to be tried.

33. ..Nd5 34. cxd4 Bf4 35. Bxf4 Nxf4 36. Rf3 Re1 0-1

After the game Grischuk said he was almost falling asleep even in very sharp positions. He was finding it really hard to get into the event.

"I felt much more motivated for the blitz than the main tournament." - "It's completely stupid."

Simen Agdestein against Anish Giri

Agdestein vs Giri

Agdestein vs Giri. Photo ©

Bottom seed Simen Agdestein secured a second draw in the event and was even disappointed not to have the advantage against Anish Giri. 20.c4 would have been that move. After that Agdestein was in danger of losing but he liquidated to a draw just in time.

Anish Giri


Simen Agdestein

Position after 19...Bf5. 20.c4 was best here but 20.Nd2 was played instead.

2nd Norway Chess 2014 Stavanger NOR (NOR), 3-14 vi 2014 cat. XXI (2774)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2791 * . . . . . 1 1 . . 2
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2815 . * ½ . . . . . . 1 2892
3. Agdestein, Simen g NOR 2628 . ½ * . ½ . . . . . 1 2783
4. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2881 . . . * ½ ½ . . . . 1 2767
5. Giri, Anish g NED 2752 . . ½ ½ * . . . . . 1 2754
6. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2783 . . . ½ . * . ½ . . 1 2817
7. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2792 0 . . . . . * . 1 . 1 2781
8. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2753 0 . . . . ½ . * . . ½ 2594
9. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2772 . . . . . . 0 . * ½ ½ 2588
10. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2771 . 0 . . . . . . ½ * ½ 2600
Round 2 (June 4, 2014)
Caruana, Fabiano - Svidler, Peter 1-0 39 B48 Sicilian Paulsen
Aronian, Levon - Karjakin, Sergey 1-0 55 E15 Queens Indian
Agdestein, Simen - Giri, Anish ½-½ 36 D38 QGD Ragozin
Kramnik, Vladimir - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 60 E00 Catalan
Topalov, Veselin - Grischuk, Alexander 0-1 36 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation

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