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Norway Chess 2014 (6)

Old wounds between Topalov and Kramnik as raw as ever in Norway

No doub it was Veselin Topalov's day. Photo ©

No doub it was Veselin Topalov's day. Photo © |

The sixth round of the No Logo Norway will not be remembered so much for the chess as for the drama of tail ender Veselin Topalov's win against Vladimir Kramnik in the only decisive game of the day.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen played some Berlin preparation originally carried out for the World Championship match against Anand. The rook ending was easily drawn.

"It's very slightly tricky but it's all a draw." Carlsen

However there was no doubting the drama of Veselin Topalov's win against Vladimir Kramnik. Topalov felt the game didn't start well as he was surprised in the opening and the position was equal after 10...cxd5 but then he thought Kramnik became much to overoptimistic. Whilst Topalov didn't finish things quite as effectively as he might Kramnik was quite unrecognisable today and fled the venue as soon as the game finished.

"the moment you let your feelings the quality of your play immediately drops." Topalov

Only the Norwegian players Carlsen and Agdestein remain undefeated and the field has crunched together with 1 point separating first from last.

Round 6 Standings: Kramnik, Caruana, Carlsen 3.5pts, Agdestein, Karjakin, Giri, Grischuk 3pts, Topalov, Aronian, Svidler 2.5pts.

Round 7 Tuesday 10th June 2014: Svidler–Agdestein, Carlsen–Grischuk, Giri–Karjakin, Kramnik–Aronian, Caruana–Topalov.

I will be in commentary on ICC with Miguel Illescas at:

Topalov vs Kramnik

Topalov admitted he allowed Kramnik to totally equalise in the opening but soon it was clear Kramnik was ambitious.

Kramnik's 12...Rxd5 and exchange sacrifice 13...Rxd4 led to a good position for white 16...Ba5 was probably the best follow up and Kramnik's position went down hill fast 26...Rd8? was bad due to 27.Bd5! Topalov didn't play the most exactly after that 30.Qb6?! (30.Rb6!) 31...Nh3! was a chance to complicate for Kramnik instead he continue to play badly and Topalov got an overwhelming position just before time control.

Kramnik leaves straight after the game

Kramnik leaves straight after the game. Photo ©

After the game Kramnik immediately left refusing all interviews (although signing one kids autograph) and Topalov gave the press interviews where he responded to Kramnik's position. The only thing they agreed on was that they weren't going to shake hands and that it didn't matter that they didn't. Clearly both players were affected today and Kramnik's play was very weak after the opening. Funnily Topalov thought tomorrow was a rest day something he repeated twice before being corrected, so at least now he knows.

Topalov vs Kramnik

Topalov and Kramnik ignore each other before the game. Photo ©

Topalov,Veselin (2772) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2783) [E21]
2nd Norway Chess 2014 Stavanger NOR (6.4), 09.06.2014

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 0-0 5.Bg5 c5 6.Rc1 h6 7.Bh4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 d5 9.Bxf6N

Topalov has been caught out and played safe.

[Relevant: 9.e3 e5 10.Nf3 g5 11.Bg3 d4 12.exd4 exd4 13.Nxd4 Qb6 14.Ndb5 Bg4 15.Be2 Bxe2 16.Kxe2 Qe6+ 17.Kf1 Qxc4+ 18.Qe2 Qxe2+ 19.Kxe2 Re8+ 20.Kd3 Nc6 21.Rhe1 Red8+ 22.Kc2 a6 23.Na3 b5 24.Kb1 Rac8 25.Red1 Bxc3 26.Rxd8+ Rxd8 27.Rxc3 Nb4 28.Rc1 Ne4 29.Bc7 Rc8 30.f3 Nd2+ 31.Ka1 Nd5 32.Rd1 Rxc7 33.Rxd2 Rc1+ 34.Nb1 Ne3 35.a3 Rg1 36.g3 Rf1 37.Ka2 Nc4 38.Re2 Rxf3 Wojtaszek,R (2701)-Tkachiev,V (2632) Legnica 2013 ½-½]

9...Qxf6 10.cxd5

Vladimir Kramnik


Veselin Topalov

Position after 10.cxd5


[10...exd5 is completely equal.]

11.e3 Rxd5 12.Qb3 Rxd4?!


13.exd4 Nc6 14.Bb5 Qf4 15.0-0 Nxd4 16.Qd1

Vladimir Kramnik


Veselin Topalov

Position after 16.Qd1



17.Rxc3 e5 18.Bc4 Bd7 19.Qc1 Qf6 20.Qe3 Bc6 21.Bd3 Re8 22.Be4 Bb5 23.Re1 Qa6 24.Rc7 Qxa2 25.Rxb7 a6 26.b3




27.Bd5! Ne2+!?

[27...Rf8 is just giving up.]

28.Kh1 Nf4 29.Bxf7+ Kh8

Vladimir Kramnik


Veselin Topalov

Position after 29...Kh8


[30.Rb6 Qd2 (30...Rf8 31.Qxe5 Rxf7 32.Rxh6+ Kg8 33.Qb8+ Rf8 34.Rh8+ Kxh8 35.Qxf8+ Kh7 36.Qxf4 Qxb3 37.Qe4+ is crushing.) 31.Rb8]]

30...Qd2 31.Rg1 Kh7?

[31...Nh3!? 32.gxh3 Be2 33.Qc6 and things have definitely got out of control.]


[32.Rb8! Bc6 33.Bg6+ Nxg6 34.Qxd8 Qxd8 35.Rxd8 wins for white.]



33.Qc7 Bd7? 34.Qb8 h5 35.Qg8+ Kh6 36.Qh8+ Kg5 37.Qxg7+ Kf5 38.Bxh5

Vladimir Kramnik


Veselin Topalov

Position after 38.Bxh5

Playing the most simple winning continuation.

38...Nxh5 39.Qg4+ Kf6 40.Qxh5 Qxf2 41.Qh6+ Ke7 42.Qg7+ Ke6 43.Qg4+ Ke7 44.Rd1 1-0

Kramnik and Topalov as far apart as ever

Unused Dove of Peace

Unused Dove of Peace. VG TV didn't get both players in the studio so we can't know how they intended to use this dove. Their "Shake hands for Peace" campaign was clearly destined for failure. Photo ©

Topalov like Kramnik (TV Interview with Kramnik) tried to speak about the game but defended his position over their match in Elista.

"I think his behaviour there was really awful and totally unsportif and since he never apologised for it, it's a matter of principal.": Kramnik on TV2 Norway who in particular is referring to the default he had during the match as well as the accusations against him.

Topalov gave an interview with VG Direct where he was asked to respond some edited parts of his comment:

"I think he's just the most favoured player in history. He played several matches for the world title but in fact he never really deserved this because he didn't qualify, there were just some political decisions. He never qualified like for example Magnus did or now Vishy Anand." Topalov

"Several years ago [the ethics commission of FIDE] tried to investigate his behaviour and then it suddenly turned out that many hours of his behaviour were missing because organisers they destroyed it.... It even becomes more suspicious... The reason they were destroyed because everyone would see that the members of my delegation were right and this is what I believe." Topalov

Sergey Karjakin vs Magnus Carlsen

Karjakin vs Carlsen

Karjakin vs Carlsen. Photo ©

Karjakin,Sergey (2771) - Carlsen,Magnus (2881) [C67]
2nd Norway Chess 2014 Stavanger NOR (6.3), 09.06.2014

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 Bd7

[Relevant: 9...h6 10.Rd1+ Ke8 11.Nc3 Bd7 12.Bf4 Rd8 13.Ne4 Be7 14.g4 Nh4 15.Nxh4 Bxh4 16.Kg2 Be6 17.f3 b6 18.b3 c5 19.c4 Rd7 20.Bg3 Be7 21.Rxd7 Bxd7 22.Nc3 Kd8 23.Nd5 Re8 24.Rd1 Kc8 25.Nxc7 Rd8 26.Nd5 Re8 27.Be1 Bd8 28.Bc3 g6 29.Kg3 b5 30.cxb5 Bxb5 31.Ne3 Re6 32.f4 Ra6 33.Rd2 h5 34.gxh5 gxh5 35.Nf5 Rg6+ 36.Kh2 Bc6 37.Nd6+ Kb8 38.f5 Rg8 39.f6 Caruana,F (2783)-Carlsen,M (2881) Shamkir 2014 1-0]

10.Rd1 Be7 11.g4 Nh4 12.Nxh4 Bxh4 13.Nd2 Kc8 14.Ne4 b6 15.Bg5 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 h6 17.Nxf7 Re8 18.f4 Be6N

Most probably this line will turn out to be theoretically important.

[Predecessor: 18...Rf8 19.Rxd7 Kxd7 20.f5 Ke7 21.e6 Rxf7 22.exf7 Rd8 23.Re1+ Kxf7 24.Kf2 Rd2+ 25.Re2 Rd1 26.Kf3 c5 27.Kg3 a5 28.Kh4 Rb1 29.c3 b5 30.Kh5 c4 31.h4 b4 32.g5 hxg5 33.hxg5 g6+ 34.fxg6+ Kf8 35.g7+ Kxg7 36.Re7+ Kf8 37.Rxc7 Rxb2 38.Rxc4 Rxa2 39.Rc8+ Ke7 40.cxb4 axb4 41.Kg6 Kd6 42.Rc4 b3 43.Rb4 Rb2 44.Kh7 Kc5 45.Rb8 Rh2+ 46.Kg8 Rg2 47.Rxb3 Rxg5+ Draw Dominguez Perez,L (2757)-Navara,D (2715) Linares 2013]

19.Nxh6 gxh6 20.f5 Bxf5 21.gxf5 Rxe5

Magnus Carlsen


Sergey Karjakin

Position after 21...Rxe5

Carlsen preparation for his World Championship match. Basically this is drawn and black only has to show some care.

22.Rf1 Kd7 23.Rad1+ Ke7 24.Rfe1 Kf6 25.Rxe5 Kxe5 26.Rd7 c5 27.Kf2 Rf8 28.Rxc7 Rxf5+ 29.Kg3 Rg5+ 30.Kf2 Rf5+ 31.Ke2 Rh5 32.Rxa7 Rxh3 33.Rb7 Rh2+ 34.Kd3 Kd5 35.Rxb6 Rh3+ 36.Kd2 Rh2+ 37.Kd3 Rh3+ 38.Kd2 Rh2+ 1/2-1/2

Agdestein vs Caruana

Agdestein vs Caruana. Photo ©

Simen Agdestein got a big advantage out of the opening against Fabiano Caruana after he realised that 6... Qb6 7.Be3 Qxb7 was not good for him as black. 10.c4 may not have been the most accurate (10.Nc4 with Na5 to come) 14... O-O-O sacrificing the exchange the following move allowed Caruana to get an initiative but Agdestein played well enough to draw.

Aronian vs Giri

Aronian vs Giri. Photo ©

Levon Aronian ran into some trouble against Anish Giri with white but some accurate calculation from him allowed him to reach a drawn ending.

Grischuk vs Svidler

Grischuk vs Svidler. Photo ©

Peter Svidler ran into some preparation from Alexander Grischuk but good calculation allowed him to draw.

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. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2783 * ½ 1 ½ . 1 . 0 . ½ 2819
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2881 ½ * ½ . ½ ½ . ½ 1 . 2837
3. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2791 0 ½ * ½ . ½ 1 . . 1 2821
4. Agdestein, Simen g NOR 2628 ½ . ½ * ½ ½ ½ . ½ . 3 2784
5. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2771 . ½ . ½ * . 1 ½ 0 ½ 3 2773
6. Giri, Anish g NED 2752 0 ½ ½ ½ . * . 1 ½ . 3 2778
7. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2792 . . 0 ½ 0 . * 1 1 ½ 3 2755
8. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2772 1 ½ . . ½ 0 0 * . ½ 2731
9. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2815 . 0 . ½ 1 ½ 0 . * ½ 2705
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2753 ½ . 0 . ½ . ½ ½ ½ * 2730
Round 6 (June 9, 2014)
Agdestein, Simen - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 42 A41 Modern Defence
Karjakin, Sergey - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 38 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Grischuk, Alexander - Svidler, Peter ½-½ 31 A34 English Symmetrical
Topalov, Veselin - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 44 E21 Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3
Aronian, Levon - Giri, Anish ½-½ 48 D41 Semi-Tarrasch Defence

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