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4th Norway Chess 2016 (8)

Aronian beats Carlsen in Norway Round 8 to blow the tournament wide open

After Magnus Carlsen beat Vladimir Kramnik in round 7 it looked like he would finally win his home tournament at the fourth attempt but instead he suffered a rather bad beating at the hands of Levon Aronian. Carlsen seemed off form throughout the game, first of all not being accurate enough in the opening, then getting into severe trouble with the poor 13...Nd6 (13...f6 had to be tried) and finally blundering his entire position away in a couple of moves. A very poor day at the office for Carlsen. Aronian joins Carlsen in the lead on 5/8.

Veselin Topalov missed the chance to catch Carlsen after getting a very large advantage out of the opening with the Berlin Defence as black against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave but by move 30 every trace of his advantage had gone and the game finished in a draw in 50 moves.

Anish Giri has a big plus score against Nils Grandelius but today he overdid his winning attempts and with 22...Bf5 Grandelius would probably have gone on to win, instead Giri found a way to sacrifice for perpetual check.

Kramnik struck back and beat Pentala Harikrishna from an unusual start 1. Nf3 e6 2. g3 b5 3. e3 but it eventually became a Catalan style position where Kramnik had a nice edge which he converted to a win.

Li Chao won a marathon game against Pavel Eljanov where he won a very tricky endgame.

Round 8 Standings: Aronian, Carlsen 5pts, Vachier-Lagrave, Topalov, Kramnik 4.5pts, Li Chao, Harikrishna 4pts, Giri 3.5pts, Eljanov 3pts, Grandelius 2pts.

Round 9 pairings 29th April 2016 3pm I will be hosting commentary with Alex Yermolinsky on ICC: Grandelius-Vachier-Lagrave, Carlsen-Eljanov, Topalov-Kramnik, Harikrishna-Aronian, Li Chao-Giri.

If there is a tie for first there will be a blitz match between two players or double round robin with more.

4th Norway Chess 2016 Stavanger NOR (NOR), 18-30 iv 2016 cat. XXI (2770)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2784 * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ . ½ 1 ½ 5 2864
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2851 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ . 1 5 2855
3. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2788 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ . 2825
4. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2754 ½ ½ ½ * . ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 2811
5. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2801 ½ 0 ½ . * ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 2811
6. Li, Chao b g CHN 2755 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 . 1 ½ 4 2769
7. Harikrishna, Pentala g IND 2763 . 0 ½ ½ 0 1 * 1 ½ ½ 4 2769
8. Giri, Anish g NED 2790 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ . 0 * 1 ½ 2726
9. Eljanov, Pavel g UKR 2765 0 . ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 * 1 3 2673
10. Grandelius, Nils g SWE 2649 ½ 0 . 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 * 2 2589
Round 8 (April 28, 2016)
Aronian, Levon - Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 31 A15 English counter King's Fianchetto
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime - Topalov, Veselin ½-½ 50 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Kramnik, Vladimir - Harikrishna, Pentala 1-0 47 A04 Dutch System
Giri, Anish - Grandelius, Nils ½-½ 29 D45 Anti-Meran Variations
Eljanov, Pavel - Li, Chao b 0-1 57 D02 Queen's Pawn Game

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