Karjakin in Sole Lead in Norway After Beating Kramnik

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 12.06.2014, 14:07.

With one round to go, the winner of the 2013 Norway Chess tournament has excellent chances to repeat his success. Sergey Karjakin defeated co-leader Vladimir Kramnik on Thursday while Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen both dropped half a point. The latter spoilt a winning position against Peter Svidler. Simen Agdestein lost his first game, to Veselin Topalov. If more than one player finishes in first place tomorrow, there will be a playoff.

The 8th round in action | Photo © Chess.com

After three rounds, not many people were expecting that Sergey Karjakin would win two Norway Chess tournaments in a row. With one round to go, that's quite a realistic scenario.

“I think I played very badly in the first three games. Somehow I recovered, maybe with a little bit of help from my opponents but I was fighting,” the 24-year-old Muscovite said to the commentators after he had just beaten his compatriot Vladimir Kramnik. That game took energy. “I am very tired, but actually when you win you have energy, if you lose you have not!”

Karjakin didn't play the opening too ambitiously, and in fact around move twenty he was trying to steer the game to a draw. “"If there wouldn't be Sofia Rule, I would have offered a draw, he said. But Kramnik avoided a move repetition, so the game went on.

And then, as the game got closer to the time control, Kramnik played a few inaccurate moves and was worse. Just after the time control he had to give an Exchange, but he couldn't hold it.

Magnus Carlsen could, and should have been in shared first place with Karjakin. With Black he got a big advantage out of the opening because of some very bad moves by Peter Svidler in an English. “I am extremely embarrassed about the way I played the first half of the game. Abysmal,” is how Svidler described his play in the first half of the game. “I completely forgot 10…b6 is a legal move.”

Grischuk said about Svidler: “During dinner he reads comic books, but if he plays 1.c4 he should at least once read Marin's books!”

Svidler's position got worse and worse, and on move 24 it was completely over. “It's really the sort of position you don't analyze,” said Carlsen, who spent 15 minutes on the clock, only to play one of the few moves that didn't win. “I had seen Kf7 but I didn't see Rg3 for whatever reason. I even took fifteen minutes but I couldn't find something that simple.”

Carlsen misses a relatively easy win

Fabiano Caruana couldn't maintain his shared first place either - he drew his game with Levon Aronian, but he should have lost. Thanks to a strong novelty invented by his second Ashot Nadanian, Aronian got a promising position and on move 19 he won a pawn. However, the Armenian grandmaster didn't find the best moves and allowed his opponent, who was also in time trouble, to escape. Not a great performance from either player.

After seven excellent draws, the fun was over for Simen Agdestein. The oldest participant and former top 20 player lost to Veselin Topalov. “I was just so tired today. I slept fantastically, I slept and slept and slept, even just before the game. I just felt like sleeping. Playing chess when you're tired is not good, and losing when you're tired makes it even worse,” he said.

For Topalov it was quite a good game. The Bulgarian equalized quickly in another English opening (four out of five games saw this today!) and easily refuted his opponent's Exchange sac. “I'm the champion of the second half,” Topalov said.

Agdestein & Topalov chatting after the game | Photo © Chess.com

Alexander Grischuk had good chances against Anish Giri, but failed to win. He was clearly disappointed during the press conference as he realized that he didn't have a chance anymore to finish in first place. “I'd rather have a winning position in the last round, and if I win I win the tournament, and then to blunder. That is better than this.” “You're a maximalist!” said Nigel Short.

And so it's Karjakin who has the best chances for tournament victory. If he wins he's there, but if he draws, Carlsen and Caruana can still catch him. In that case a blitz playoff will decide matters.

“I'm just going to play chess. I think it's better to forget about the tournament situation,” said Karjakin, whose lucky win against Giri is suddenly very important. “After that game I was kind of inspired!”

“I don't think if you screw up like this you're entitled to think about first place,” said Carlsen. Tomorrow everything will be decided.

Norway Chess 2014 | Pairings & Results

Round 1 03.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 2 04.06.14 15:30 CET
Aronian ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian 1-0 Karjakin
Karjakin ½-½ Topalov   Kramnik ½-½ Carlsen
Grischuk 0-1 Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Svidler
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Topalov 0-1 Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ Kramnik   Agdestein ½-½ Giri
Round 3 05.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 4 07.06.14 15:30 CET
Karjakin ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian ½-½ Svidler
Grischuk 1-0 Aronian   Karjakin 1-0 Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ Topalov   Caruana ½-½ Giri
Carlsen ½-½ Caruana   Topalov ½-½ Carlsen
Giri 0-1 Kramnik   Agdestein ½-½ Kramnik
Round 5 08.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 6 09.06.14 15:30 CET
Grischuk ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian ½-½ Giri
Svidler ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Aronian   Grischuk ½-½ Svidler
Giri 1-0 Topalov   Topalov 1-0 Kramnik
Kramnik 1-0  Caruana   Agdestein ½-½ Caruana
Round 7 10.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 8 12.06.14 15:30 CET
Svidler ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian ½-½ Caruana
Carlsen ½-½ Grischuk   Karjakin 1-0 Kramnik
Giri 0-1 Karjakin   Grischuk ½-½ Giri
Kramnik ½-½ Aronian   Svidler ½-½ Carlsen
Caruana ½-½ Topalov   Agdestein 0-1 Topalov
Round 9 13.06.14 14:30 CET        
Carlsen - Agdestein        
Giri - Svidler        
Kramnik - Grischuk        
Caruana - Karjakin        
Topalov - Aronian        

Norway Chess 2014 | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Karjakin,Sergey 2771 2860 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 5.0/8
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2823 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 4.5/8 17.75
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2791 2815 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 4.5/8 17.00
4 Topalov,Veselin 2772 2769 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 ½ 0 1 4.0/8 16.25
5 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2771 0 ½ 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.0/8 15.50
6 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 2771 0 ½ 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ 4.0/8 15.00
7 Aronian,Levon 2815 2726 1 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 3.5/8 14.50
8 Svidler,Peter 2753 2736 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 3.5/8 14.25
9 Giri,Anish 2752 2736 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 3.5/8 14.00
10 Agdestein,Simen 2628 2734 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 3.5/8 14.00

The Norway Chess tournament runs 2-13 June in the Stavanger region. All photos courtesy of the official website | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

Czytano 12780 razy 35 komentarze
4 głosów


  • 2 lat temu


    Carlsen will catch Karjakin

  • 2 lat temu


    good games.

  • 2 lat temu



    The great news is that GM Simen Agdestein is so old that he doesnt have to do more babysitting. His kids are grownup.

    So, he has decided that this is his start at a heavy comeback in top-chess. He was nr 16 in the world some decades ago, and now he is coming again.

    I dont think that the age of 47 is a problematic drawback. Victor Korchnoi played fantastic at higher age. People says that the age 40-60 are fantastic. Young enough to have energy, and old enough to understand. I am 52, and have gained ca 400 onlineratingpionts the last half year. 40-60 is a fine age for improving.

    Only Top a love have beaten him in this tournament so far, and Topalov is not a junior.

  • 2 lat temu


    Topalov gogogo!!!

  • 2 lat temu


    Simen Agdestein is 47 years old!

    Shame on those young GMs who couldnt beat him.

  • 2 lat temu


    Obviously Caruana can't catch Karjakin if he draws, because they playing each other

  • 2 lat temu


    One of the reasons that Agdestein is much stronger than his rating is that he for the first time in this millenium(?) is using a secondant, the strong GM Jevgenij Romanov (Fide 2639). Those preparations has secured that he almost always is up on 2800 level in the first 12 moves.

    So I guess that both Simen himself and Jevgenij has added enough strenght to make Simen play at above 2700-strenght

    In this tournament Magnus have been performing only 89 ratingpoints better than Simen, it is above, but not crushing.

  • 2 lat temu


    pyuu88. The ratingdifference of 250 is not enough to make Carlsen a winner. Agdestein is playing this tournament at 2700 strenght, and some games at 2800. Carlsen is scoring a bit better , but not much.

    Carlsen is still a favourite with white, but not by very much. Look at the score, everybody can beat everybody here, and they are theirselves worst enemy. One bad step, and the best rating in the world won´t save you.

    The difference beetween Magnus and Simen is that Magnus is used to playing at top level. Simen is not, and Magnus usually holds a draw when blundering, when Simen probably loose if he blunders against 2700+ players.

    I think it is a match where draw or Magnus win is most likely. Simen hasnt won yet in this tournament, and I dont expect him to trash Magnus. But one bad step from Magnus???

  • 2 lat temu


    The Carlsen Press Conference starts in Part 3 at 39.20...

  • 2 lat temu


    @sampcarroll: http://www.livestream.com/norwaychesscam6

    Amazing coverage as usual, Peter. This is one of the most exciting and, especially, unpredictable tournaments in recent years! 

  • 2 lat temu


    The WCC's influence on chess is evident, safe-defensive play over sacrificial attacks.  Keeping the draw in hand and waiting for a gift (blunder).  

    - Karjakin plays for draws and wins,
    - Agdestein draws 7 games in conservative style; then loses trying to win,
    - Topolov defends and wins,
    - Grischuk misses 2 possible wins with conservative play (loss and draw),
    - Aronian misses win with conservative play,
    - Giri saves 2 games with defensive play,
    - Caruana saves 2 games with defensive play,
    - Carlsen, nearly loses trying to win a completely won game,

    Agdestein's success tomorrow may depend on who is attacking.  Carlsen disdains attacking, expecting his defensive play to win the point.  

  • 2 lat temu


    rahul, extreme hate towards a player is acknowledgement of his grandeur. get the fuck out of here you slave

  • 2 lat temu


    carlsens losing it!

  • 2 lat temu


    Anyone have links to the press conferences? I can't find them on the tournaments web page...

  • 2 lat temu


    Now aronian will lose last match in style.

  • 2 lat temu


    Good thing that Nakamura did not played this tournament because Carlsen will be +1.

  • 2 lat temu


    Exciting games in Round 8! Not a flattering photo of Carlsen, though. Thanks for the coverage!

    (I dislike fluorescent lighting like they're using for these games. Maybe I'm the only one.)

  • 2 lat temu


    Carlsen will win against agdestein. Carlsen play white, the rating difference is 250, it must be easy for carlsen.

  • 2 lat temu


    GMprice I think Carlsen means he doesnt deserve 1st place

  • 2 lat temu


    Only If Karjakin draws Caruana can't win because their playing. I think Carlsen will win, Karjakin will draw and then the'll have blitz tiebreaks, a cool idea.

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