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Norway Chess 2014 (4)

Caruana retains Norway Chess lead after four rounds

Fabiano Caruana. Photo ©

Fabiano Caruana. Photo © |

The fourth round of the Norway Chess tournament took place in Sandnes and saw a rather long but not particularly exciting day's play. Fabiano Caruana leads on 3/4 half a point clear of Vladimir Kramnik.

Fabiano Caruana looked at one stage like he would beat Anish Giri and extend his lead but felt that those chances disappeared in severe time pressure between moves 30 and 40 although the final inaccuracy probably came just after that. Sergey Karjakin won the only decisive game of the day outplaying Alexander Grischuk after sacrificing the exchange.

Sergey Karjakin ended his 17 game drawing sreak with a loss in round 3, he finally won a game beating Alexander Grischuk today. Karjakin got the worse of the opening but Grischuk's confidence in his play seems quite low and he probably had the harder job making his position work. Eventually Karjakin's central mass of pawns more than made up for a lost exchange.

Magnus Carlsen held Veselin Topalov quite comfortably but never had any winning chances. Simen Agdestein drew his fourth game in a row this time against Vladimir Kramnik who had some small chances which were accurate defused by the Norwegian. Agdestein already has more points than Jon Ludvig Hammer scored last year and is playing very strongly and sensibly indeed. Aronian and Svidler drew a Gruenfeld.

Round 4 Standings: Caruana 3pts, Kramnik 2.5pts, Carlsen, Agdestein, Aronian, Karjakin, Grischuk 2pts, Giri, Svidler, Topalov 1.5pts.

Round 5 Sun Jun 8 2:30pm BST: Grischuk – Agdestein, Svidler – Karjakin, Carlsen – Aronian, Giri – Topalov, Kramnik – Caruana.

Karjakin vs Grischuk

Karjakin vs Grischuk Photo ©

The most interesting game of the day was between Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk. Grischuk had the better of the opening but the complications after Karjakin sacrificed the exchange were much harder for him to play and Grischuk went down to a loss. 37.Rb2 seemed to have been the final turning point.

"It's still disgusting to lose such a position" - Grischuk who said in spite of winning two games thinks he's playing "terribly".

"Tomorrow I play my antagonist". Grischuk with all decisive results plays Agdestein who has drawn all his games. I always enjoy Grischuk talking chess.

Karjakin,Sergey (2771) - Grischuk,Alexander (2792) [D85]
2nd Norway Chess 2014 Stavanger NOR (4.2), 07.06.2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Be3 c5 8.Rc1 Qa5 9.Qd2 0-0 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.Ng5 Na6

[11...cxd4 12.cxd4 Nc6 13.Qxa5 Nxa5 14.h3 Bd7 15.Bd3 Rfc8 16.Kd2 b5 17.Nf3 a6 18.g4 h6 Draw San Segundo Carrillo,P (2570)-Svidler,P (2739) San Sebastian 2009]

12.h3 Bd7 13.Bd3 Rac8 14.d5 c4 15.Bb1 Nc5 16.Bd4 Bxd4!N

Alexander Grischuk


Sergey Karjakin

Position after 16...Bxd4

[16...e5!?; Predecessor: 16...Bh6 17.Be3 f6 18.Nf3 Bxe3 19.fxe3 e5 20.0-0 b5 21.Nh4 Qb6 22.Qe1 Rf7 23.Qg3 Rg7 24.Rf3 Qd6 25.Rcf1 Rf8 26.Qf2 Na4 27.Qd2 a5 28.Bc2 b4 29.Bxa4 Bxa4 30.g4 Rgf7 31.g5 fxg5 32.Rxf7 Rxf7 33.Rxf7 Kxf7 34.Nf3 h6 35.Qh2 bxc3 36.Nd4 Qf6 37.Nc2 Qf3 38.Qxe5 Bxc2 39.Qe6+ Kg7 40.Qe7+ Qf7 41.Qe5+ Kh7 42.d6 Ba4 43.Qxc3 Bd7 44.Kg2 Qe6 0-1 (44) Moussa,A (2196)-Kaufman,L (2413) Irvine 2010]


[17.Qxd4 Nd3+ "I thought I am much worse" Karjakin who thought the game continuation was much more interesting.]

17...c3 18.Rxc3 Nd3+ 19.Rxd3 Rc1+ 20.Ke2 Qxd2+ 21.Kxd2

Alexander Grischuk


Sergey Karjakin

Position after 21.Kxd2

"I thought I should be better but it's clear it's much easier for white to play after this sacrifice." Grischuk.

21...Rxh1 22.Rb3 b5


23.Nf3 f6

[23...Rc8!? 24.Bd3 Ra1 25.Bb1 Rc4 26.Ne5 Rxd4+ 27.Kc3 Rd1 28.Bc2]

24.Ne1 a5 25.Rc3 Rc8 26.Rc5 b4

[26...f5 27.e5 e6 28.d6 Rxc5 29.dxc5 Rf1 30.Ke2 Rh1=]

27.Bd3 a4 28.Ra5 b3 29.axb3 axb3 30.Ra7 Rd8 31.Rb7

Alexander Grischuk


Sergey Karjakin

Position after 31.Rb7


[31...b2 Karjakin]

32.Rxd7 Ra2+ 33.Kc3 Rxe1 34.Kxb3 Rxf2 35.Rxe7 Re3 36.Kc4 Rd2 37.Bb1

Alexander Grischuk


Sergey Karjakin

Position after 37.Bb1


[37...Re1 38.d6 Red1 39.d5 Rc1+ 40.Kb3 Kf8 41.Rc7 Rxb1+ 42.Kc3 Rbb2 43.Rc8+ Kf7 44.d7 Rbc2+ 45.Kb3 Rb2+ 46.Kc3]

38.d6 Kf8 39.Bd3 Rd2 40.Bf1 Ra3 41.Kb4 Ra1 42.Bc4 Rc1 43.Rf7+ Ke8 44.d7+ Kd8 45.Kc5 Kc7 46.Rxh7

The position is now essentially winning.

46...Rcd1 47.d5 Rc1 48.g4 g5 49.d8Q+ Kxd8 50.Kd6 Ke8 51.Bb5+ Kf8 52.Ke6 Re1 53.Kxf6 Rf2+ 54.Kg6 1-0

Topalov vs Carlsen

Topalov vs Carlsen. Photo ©

Magnus Carlsen held Veselin Topalov relatively comfortably on the black side of a Ragozin where Topalov's 10.Nd2 was new. Topalov sacrificed a pawn on a2 but the position remained balanced and Carlsen didn't have any ideas he believed in to try and push for a win after the game and the game ended in a repetition.

Agdestein against Kramnik

Agdestein against Kramnik. Photo ©

Simen Agdestein's solid performance continued with a draw against Vladimir Kramnik on the white side of a Nimzo-Indian. 11...h6 is a new idea but Agdestein soon found a way to liquidate to a totally drawn ending. Kramnik continued to push and in fact Agdestein himself hoped that he might overpush otherwise he would have played b3 and a4 with almost an immediate draw. Adgestein's time became a factor and once he made time control on move 40 with e6 the game was drawn.

Levon Aronian took on Peter Svidler's Gruenfeld but after a lot of fast moves were played and white only had a tiny advantage in a drawn ending which soon finished in a draw. The game no doubt will have some interest for Gruenfeld theory.

Caruana vs Giri

Caruana vs Giri. Photo ©

Anish Giri got a completely satisfactory opening against the leader Fabiano Caruana, a reversed Sicilian. Somehow the position got out of control, 19...g5 may have been a mistake (19...e4) 38...Qe5 was, 39.Qb4 was a much better move and after 43.Nf5+ the position became equal again. "It seems like just before the first time control I had good winning chances." Caruana. It seems Qe5 was a mistake "but my position was already very, very lousy." Giri. "I should have managed my time better today." Caruana.

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 * . ½ . . . 1 ½ 1 . 3 2987
2. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2783 . * ½ ½ . . . 1 ½ . 2848
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2881 ½ ½ * . . . . ½ . ½ 2 2774
4. Agdestein, Simen g NOR 2628 . ½ . * ½ ½ . ½ . . 2 2780
5. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2815 . . . ½ * 1 0 . ½ . 2 2736
6. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2771 . . . ½ 0 * 1 . . ½ 2 2751
7. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2792 0 . . . 1 0 * . . 1 2 2787
8. Giri, Anish g NED 2752 ½ 0 ½ ½ . . . * . . 2683
9. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2753 0 ½ . . ½ . . . * ½ 2703
10. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2772 . . ½ . . ½ 0 . ½ * 2712
Round 4 (June 7, 2014)
Caruana, Fabiano - Giri, Anish ½-½ 53 A29 English Four Knights
Agdestein, Simen - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 45 E54 Nimzo Indian
Aronian, Levon - Svidler, Peter ½-½ 41 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Karjakin, Sergey - Grischuk, Alexander 1-0 54 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Topalov, Veselin - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 28 D38 QGD Ragozin

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