June 08, 2014 21:49

Kramnik beats & overtakes Caruana in dramatic 5th round in Norway

Sunday was a dramatic day for Fabiano Caruana at the Norway Chess tournament, who defended well in a difficult ending, calculated the right move but played the wrong one (50...Ke8) and resigned a few moves later, perhaps prematurely. His opponent Vladimir Kramnik overtook him in the standings; the Russian grandmaster is on 3.5/5 and half a point ahead of Magnus Carlsen who defeated Levon Aronian. Anish Giri won his first, against Veselin Topalov, while Simen Agdestein continued to impress and drew with Alexander Grischuk after missing a win.

The fifth round of the Norway Chess tournament could be summarized by it ain't over till it's over - and not even then! Peter Svidler got a very nice position against Sergey Karjakin but let it slip away, Veselin Topalov got a winning position against Anish Giri but blew it in two moves, underdog Simen Agdestein missing a winning tactic and had to be satisfied with a draw against Alexander Grischuk, Magnus Carlsen got outplayed by Levon Aronian who failed to deliver the decisive positional blow and even lost, and last but not least tournament leader Fabiano Caruana blundered in a drawn ending against Vladimir Kramnik and then resigned in a position where many would have played on. And all that on one day!

The game that shook up the standings started as a Fianchetto King's Indian with ...c5 (or is it a Symmetrical English?) and in a tactical sequence the queens and one pair of rooks were traded. Kramnik got optimistic when he played 21.c5 and he ended up winning a pawn, but the endgame after move 36 was described by Anish Giri as “94% draw, 4% White winning and 1% Black winning.”

Caruana defended well and had already calculated a long line to a draw when Kramnik gave up his extra pawn to reach a rook ending. But when it came on the board, the Italian's hand put his king on the wrong square! Caruana had no explanation for why it had happened.

Also in Dortmund last year Caruana lost to Kramnik by a blunder deep in the endgame. “But in Dortmund I didn't see the final move - here I saw the draw!”

PGN string

And so Kramnik is the new leader, and Caruana is now in shared second place together with Carlsen. The Norwegian admitted that he got outplayed by Aronian: “I think I was pretty thoroughly outplayed in the middlegame. I was very lucky not to lose before the time control. And then suddenly I was a pawn up and I thought I was winning, but it was not so easy. It was a fighting game but I just need some rest now.”

Aronian's play was “genius” in the eyes of Giri, who especially liked 17...Na4 and 24...Ba4. On move 32 the white knight is out of play. Carlsen: “If Black gets his bishop on b5 and pawn on a6 I can pack and go home.”


But Aronian “forgot about” the move g3-g4 for White, and so he forgot to play ...h6-h5 to stop that. The Armenian, who was absolutely devastated after the game, said: “I was doing alright. I should have just played …h5 at some moment but I just went completely nuts. It's difficult to explain why someone wouldn't play it. It's a puzzle.”

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Another very disappointed player was Topalov, who got a promising position but failed to grab his chances. He surprised his opponent with the Classical Sicilian and somehow Giri couldn't find the right plan and played very passively. “Of course I had no clue about the position but it's not an excuse to play so badly anyway,” said the Dutch grandmaster.

In the position after 31.Re1 Topalov could have decided the game with the standard pawn break ...d6-d5, but he miscalculated, played two bad moves in a row and suddenly he was lost.

Topalov: “At some point I thought I would win but I missed several simple moves. It's not really a good trend. Very simple blunders.” Giri: “I played in the best spirit of Sergey Karjakin. I got myself into trouble and then I got very lucky. (...) At least it will not be written that I played a retarded game, it will be written that I won.”

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And the theme continues: with a wry smile, a disappointed Agdestein was watching his opponent Grischuk going through their game in the commentary box. The 47-year-old Norwegian still believed in the French variation that he played earlier against Karjakin and again he got away with it. In fact Grischuk overestimated his chances so much that he started sacrificing pawns, looking for things that didn't exist.

The Russian was lucky that his opponent failed to miss a winning tactic. Agdestein: “I was tired; I'm missing simple tactics. It's lack of experience - on this level.”

PGN string

It is known that Svidler is a big cricket fan, but he also likes tennis.

The grandmaster from St Petersburg was among the group of players who failed to make something out of a promising position, but in his case it wasn't clearly winning. In a Symmetrical English, neither player was aware of a certain correspondence game where the strong move 15...Nd5! was played - a move Svidler only spotted after he made his 15th. Karjakin missed it and was worse, but held it when Svidler started hesitating a bit.

PGN string


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 - Giri
Svidler ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin - Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Aronian   Grischuk - Svidler
Giri 1-0 Topalov   Topalov - Kramnik
Kramnik 1-0  Caruana   Agdestein - Caruana
Round 7 10.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 8 12.06.14 15:30 CET
Svidler - Agdestein   Aronian - Caruana
Carlsen - Grischuk   Karjakin - Kramnik
Giri - Karjakin   Grischuk - Giri
Kramnik - Aronian   Svidler - Carlsen
Caruana - Topalov   Agdestein - Topalov
Round 9 13.06.14 14:30 CET        
Carlsen - Agdestein        
Giri - Svidler        
Kramnik - Grischuk        
Caruana - Karjakin        
Topalov - Aronian        

Norway Chess 2014 | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Kramnik,V 2783 2908 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1       ½   3.5/5  
2 Carlsen,M 2881 2854 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½   ½     1   ½ 3.0/5 7.25
3 Caruana,F 2791 2862 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png   ½   1   1   3.0/5 7.25
4 Agdestein,S 2628 2782 ½     phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½     2.5/5 6.50
5 Giri,A 2752 2771 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png         1 2.5/5 5.75
6 Karjakin,S 2771 2752       ½   phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 ½ ½ 2.5/5 5.50
7 Grischuk,A 2792 2756     0 ½   0 phpfCo1l0.png 1   1 2.5/5 4.75
8 Aronian,L 2815 2695   0   ½   1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½   2.0/5 4.75
9 Svidler,P 2753 2716 ½   0     ½   ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/5 4.75
10 Topalov,V 2772 2643   ½     0 ½ 0   ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/5  

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


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Anonymous's picture

Amazing game by Kramnik!

Chris's picture

Amazing? Horrible Ke8 ? by Caruana, blunder.

Anonymous's picture

Why do naive Carlsen fanboys insist that their hero has a deeper understanding of chess than Kramnik? Kramnik's contribution to opening theory is unparalleled. Carlsen has added nothing new to the game. Indeed, Carlsen's "dominance" is not related to his chess skills, but artificial factors, as Kramnik has observed in the past. Kramnik was the deserved winner of the London candidates, but FIDE moved from the classical and tested Sonneborn-Berger score, and replaced it with a decadent "most wins" "tiebreak", and so the lucky Norwegian got to play Anand. The Norwegians can now see with their own eyes what is plain for all other nations to see: Kramnik is the better player. Soon Kramnik will reclaim the crown that is rightfully his and chess fans all over the world shall rejoice.

Anonymous's picture

"Indeed, Carlsen's "dominance" is not related to his chess skills"

Absolutely true. In fact, it's all about his haircut.

Truthteller's picture

His opponents have a tendency to gag even winning positions away. Today was another example of this.

Leo's picture

Hehe, good one :)

Anonymous's picture

"Kramnik was the deserved winner of the London candidates"

Actually, I would tend to agree with this. But Carlsen, based on rating and tournament record, was the deserving challenger.

Anonymous's picture

"Why do naive Carlsen fanboys insist that their hero has a deeper understanding of chess than Kramnik?"
Hahahaha because they're naive!
Worms in the dirt couldn't have a lesser understanding of what CHESS IS. They go with the highest rating, the most photos and lights, while the real chess champion awaits patiently. Kramnik himself couldn't refrain himself to point out the unavoidable truth, Carlsen does nothing especial, he just gets lucky with a little help from computers.

observer's picture

Having a good time, s3?
I guess having been banned from Chessbomb, you have much more time to spend here now.

observer's picture

Having a good time s3?
I guess having been banned from Chessbomb, you have much more time to spend here now.

obsessiver's picture

By now you are so obsessed with me that you seem unable to write about anything else than doubleposts about me. At this point you are a spammer and a liar, delusional and obsessive indeed. You think I'm behind everything that you don't like. You falsely accuse and without proof. You want to know my name while making tons of posts about the merits of anonymous posting. You're inconsistent, hypocritical and neurotic behavior makes me really worried about your mental health. No kidding.
In your interest I"ll promise to not post on this forum for at least a week, meanwhile get yourself together and try to speak about other things than me. Just let it go. Even tho I frequently had a laugh about your agressive behavior I don't want some internet feud to destroy you. This has been going on long enough.
All the best.

observer's picture

@ "obsessiver" = s3;

Firstly, if you looked properly, you would see it is not a doublepost but two separate replies to two separate spamming posts of yours.

If you didn't post on this forum for a week, then I would have achieved a considerable benefit on behalf of the forum. Unfortunately, like all your lies, this promise is not being kept - still plenty of spamming by you going on. I'm sure Kramnik is severely embarrassed by having you as a fan.

"This has been going on long enough". Yes it has. Why don't you stop it then? - you're the one that's doing it.

And oh please spare me the crocodile tears. Really sorry to disappoint you, but my health is perfectly fine.
Yours is another matter, however. That you derive great pleasure from the disgusting, twisted and unethical way you behave on this and other forums is indicative of a sick mind. Very sick indeed. You should think long and hard about that.

And finally, the question you have not yet answered: Do you categorically deny you spoofed me? Yes or no? Is it too hard for you to answer this question?

gnash's picture


Anonymous's picture

"Why do naive Carlsen fanboys insist that their hero has a deeper understanding of chess than Kramnik?"

Being a fan of both Kramnik and Carlsen, I enjoyed this round very much and I would love to see them battle for the World Championship. Now I don't know what you enjoy, but I doubt it's chess.

pioneer's picture

Bogus. Kramnik did NOT deserve to win the London candidates. The rules were clearly laid out before the tournament. If Kramnik wanted to win, he should have played more enterprisingly than Carlsen and scored more wins.

AngeloPardi's picture

And Carlsen wins his first game in typical Carlsen fashion : winning out of a lost position.
From his grave, Lasker enjoyed it !

Anonymous's picture

Yes, I think Lasker would have been able to relate to Carlsen quite well. Carlsen's skill as a positional and endgame player may be his most touted, but his greatest assets are actually his skills as a fighter and pragmatist.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen has big trouble sleeping, he says on VGTV. Couldn't sleep until 10 o'clock this morning.

Maybe some girl?

Unanimous's picture
Hall of Fame's picture

Carlsen? what a joke, rating means nothing, numbers for the woodpushers, behold the Art of Chess as played by the True Chess Master:
Caruana should not feel bad for losing against a superior talent, indeed he should humble himself and learn from the greatest chess player the world has known. Mastery and Elegance combined.
Too bad poor Levon Aronian couldn't carry out his imaginative game to its necessary end, because for connoisseurs the point should have been his.
As for Carlsen well, hard to find any contribution from him to chess, oh wait! yes, useless fanboys! He produces a lot!

observer's picture

Having a good time, s3?
I guess having been banned from Chessbomb, you have much more time to spend here now.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik is lucky to have fanboys like you. Makes him look so good.

Grandma's picture


"Kramnik is lucky to have fanboys like you. Makes him look so good."

I don't agree. I'm certainly not a Kramnik-fan, but if I were Kramnik, I would have been embarrased to have fans like them. (or him. You never now how many trolls there are here.)

Anonymous's picture

That was the point I think

Grandma's picture

:-) :-)

Thomas Richter's picture

Many people might be embarassed about some of their fans - not just in chess (football clubs don't want to have hooligan fans, but do). You can choose your (mutual) friends, you cannot choose your fans.

That being said: no way to verify, but I can't help thinking that these recent pro-Kramnik comments aren't from Kramnik fans, but from people pretending to be - to make Kramnik fans look silly.

Anonymous's picture

So why would they all be coming up at this particular time?

You are afraid of losing your only ally here.

Harry_Flashman's picture

Well S3.. Your superior talent got beaten by Caruana several times of late.. Let's see how will the tournament end.

Hernán Ruiz's picture

He also produces a lot of envious , useless haters, like you, poor guy.

Frank van Tellingen's picture

That elo means nothing is a typical opinion of low-rated players

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen tossing and turning all night for days, he was saying to VG. Maybe it's Liv again?

S3's picture

Carlsen did not win, Aronian lost.

Zeveraar's picture

Geesh Ke8 was a massive blunder by Caruana. Even a lowly rated amateur like me sees that - it must have been a slip of the hand?
Feel sorry for Aronian, he was doing so well, but Ra5 defo let Carlsen back into the game.
Giri may have gotten more than he deserved this game, but then again, I have no clue what Topalov is doing lately, not even close to super-GM level of play.
Pity for Agdenstein he could not convert the game to a full point, he totally deserved that this time.

Anonymous's picture

Great games today, most people agree Aronian was who showed the chess.
I wonder if the most useless fanboy can observe the positions table?

Anonymous's picture

Vlad is winning this as easily as expected.

observer's picture

Having a good time, s3?
I guess having been banned from Chessbomb, you have much more time to spend here now.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen fanboys busy hating on Vlad for showing he was right about Carlsen being overrated?

observer's picture

Having a good time, s3?
I guess having been banned from Chessbomb, you have much more time to spend here now.

Speedster's picture

Carlsen plays so dull chess that any computer plays more artistic chess than him, the opportunist has no taste for chess, plain and simple. If fanboys want to enjoy high class chess Kramnik is the logical answer.

observer's picture

Having a good time, s3?
I guess having been banned from Chessbomb, you have much more time to spend here now.

DirkBredemeier's picture

Please all, levae the silly "Carlsen is best - Kramnik is best" comments aside... Both were kind of lucky today, each in his own way (Carlsen by fighting back from a bad position, Kramnik in winning a slightly better but theoretical drawn endgame).
Interesting if Kramnik will overcome his Nemesis Topalov tomorrow. If he wins that, chances are about 80% he also wins the tournament.

Zeveraar's picture

lol Kramnik's real enemy in his games against Topalov is... not Topalov but his blatter!
Can someone show me where the restroom is? =S

Van den Wierd's picture

You can bet your granny pants that Kramnik wins the duo Topalov-Fritz. Tomorrow will be a great day, Kramnik conquers Norway.

Anonymous's picture

The whole chess World will rejoice when Vlad wins tournament and fanboys will have to bite the lemon!

Anonymous's picture

Please all, levae the silly "Carlsen is best - Kramnik is best"

You're right there's no issue. Kramnik play chess and Carlsen what does he plays??? Checkers???

Pioneer's picture

Unlike Carlsen, Kramnik has never legitimately qualified for a World Championship match -- and he never will.

Carlsen will still win this tournament.

JazzCat's picture

''Unlike Carlsen, Kramnik has never legitimately qualified for a World Championship match ...''

No, he did not. Back then there wasn't any qualification.

''And he never will''

Are you a prophet?

observer's picture

Methinks s3 is going insane.
This is how he went just before he was banned from Chessbomb.
Seems like he is trying his best to get banned here, too.
Maybe he gets a thrill out of being banned?

Anonymous's picture

He's a sad crazy person, but your spamming is almost as annoying. No offense.

Anonymous's picture

I would have banned s3 a long time ago. What kind of defamatory comment does he have yet to make?


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