June 12, 2014 23:10

Karjakin in Sole Lead in Norway After Beating Kramnik

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.

PGN string

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.”

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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.

PGN string

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


 

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers
Chess.com

Comments

celso's picture

krapmnik....What a champion!

Vladimir Topalov's picture

What happened to Kramnik suddenly?!!

Anonymous's picture

kramnik escaped next time from press conference
he shall retire

Witkacy's picture

Gee! Carlsen seems to have lost it, can't even win his game...What a champ! Eh, umm, maybe he has become bored with chess and is already looking for other options. Anyways, his chess is boring to the core.

RG13's picture

Carlsen is doing the exact same thing that people were criticising Anand for doing - hiding prep!

ITsOverPeople's picture

Carlsen and Kramnik are broken mentally. Carlsen will still win the match but anyone who has seen his WEAK performance over the last 20 games knows he is a broken man disenfranchised with his field of expertise and clearly wanting a way out. .

Anonymous's picture

The °weak° Carlsen is in second position, half a point behind the leader, with a performance of 2823. Yes, that's actually being strong.

Furthermore, please ban s3.

cashparov's picture

Kramnik is such a poor loser... again he storms out of the building after losing and skips the post-game commentary. What a cry-baby.

Grandaunt's picture

If Carlsen beats Agdestein and Caruana beats Karjakin or they draw there will be a blitz playoff match! Better than the rules for the candidates!

jimknopf's picture

Carlsen played on big bad annoying blunder move after having reached a clear winning position (with half a dozen moves winning). But despite the utter frustration that must cause, he did not shy away from the press conference, and did not try any lame excuse.

Kramnik in sharp contrast ran away for the second time in a row, and that's a real disgrace meanwhile. If he is unable to lose with dignity, he should stop playing chess altogether, or if he doesn't, not even be invited to super-tournaments any more.

Anonymous's picture

This campaign against Kramnik will lead you anywhere. You better watch your words or you'll get into trouble with TO.

jimknopf's picture

There is no campaign against Kramnik.

I just happen to dislike this behavior of running away after losses, just like his increasing tendency of long monologues after games, not giving his opponent enough room to speak his own mind or even interrupting opponents in their own explanation a bit too much.

TO can speak for himself, no problem with that.

Anonymous's picture

I find it amusing, if not pathetic, how some people talk about TO as if he were the emperor of CV. I prefer the objectivity of other posters. Besides TO doesn't posts as much as others do.

strana's picture

jimknopf,
After Calrsen refused to shake hands with such a nice and beautiful girl as Alexandra Kosteniuk, it is very difficult to defend Calrsen´s behavior and criticize Kramnik´s.

RG13's picture

She practically accused Carlsen of cheating by claiming he retracted a move. Shame on her!

http://youtu.be/WeyXKTVYenA

Mark Sicter's picture

Only s3 would make that Kosteniuk comment. He has a "thing" about that incident.

As well as "strana", s3 is "MMB", "Witkacy", "ItsOverPeople" and an "Anonymous" on this thread.

Peter, do we have to put up with this crap forever? Is this really how "free speech" is supposed to work?

Alcoholics anonymous's picture

I rather doubt that strana is s3 (unless s3 is impersonating strana). The posts are too different in content and style to originate from the same person.

Thomas Richter's picture

We don't know if Carlsen would have shown up at the press conference if this wasn't his home tournament - in general, it's a relatively recent invention that losers are also supposed to, or at least do attend press conferences. Wijk aan Zee where I was backstage this year didn't have press conferences (but the final one of the tournament winner), and doesn't even have mini-interviews with losers - an exception was made for local player van Wely but he probably could have declined. Bianca Muhren after Nakamura's loss against van Wely: "I won't approach/bother him, I know how he feels, I play chess myself!".

As everyone knows (here this standard phrase makes sense), Kramnik has a 'special' relationship with Topalov - I didn't like the tendency of comments in that thread to blame him more than his opponent. Yesterday's game against Karjakin was long and tiring, at other occasions commentators might have said after similar games "we don't expect that there will (still) be a press conference". This doesn't mean that Kramnik's behavior was correct, only that he is IMO criticized a bit too harshly.

BTW there seems to be no contractual obligation to attend press conferences: the regulations do not mention press conferences, but do mention that players will be fined (100 Euros, of course 'peanuts' compared to the prize money) if they arrive late for their game. But why bother with facts if one can instead bash Kramnik?

Thomas Richter's picture

Addition: of course Carlsen didn't lose against Svidler, but it may have felt like a loss - course of the game and reduced chances to win the tournament/no longer solely depending on his own result.

Anonymous's picture

"We don't know if Carlsen would have shown up at the press conference if this wasn't his home tournament - in general"

It has mostly to do with the fact that it's a part of the contract with the organizers, all players are obligated to take part on press conferences and speak to media after their games, even if you lose your game.

This is a good thing. Personally I think we've been too easy on the losing players. Professionals can and should be able to speak to media after tough losses. That's one way where chess can be appealing for mainstream media.

Tarjei's picture

Although Kramnik's behavior after his Topalov loss is understandable, it's obviously not something he should do. Whether he will be fined for that, it's between him and the organizers.

Anonymous's picture

VK critics is not harsh it is normal estimation of bad behaviour

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen ALWAYS showed up at the press conferences ! So, yes, we KNOW

Anonymous's picture

"We don't know if Carlsen would have shown up at the press conference if this wasn't his home tournament"

OK...

Anonymous's picture

Thomas, in the last years we have seen many internet press conferences with winnes and losers from elite tournaments. And we have seen a lot of frustrated losers, still commenting on their loss and not shying away. Whenever the players were very tired, commentators usually showed some understanding and made it shorter.

I think your effort to clarify some legal status does not make Kramnik's behavior any bit better, compared to all the other players who don't run anway, despite losing or being disappointed about a draw (as Grishuk yesterday openly confessed his huge disappointment).

I meanwhile dislike both the way Kramnik attends press conferences nowadays (not giving enough room for opponent comments and instead talking too much himself) and the way he runs away like a disappointed child after frustrating results.

Could it be that he unconsciously or consciously stubbornly sticks to claiming another role than his actual results allow him to take?

jimknopf's picture

this was jimknopf

Frits Fritschy's picture

I would prefer a player who fights his games with intensity and shows his disappointment by not showing up at a press conference over someone who plays a lacklustre draw and then still has the energy to be polite and funny at the aftershow.
The main effect of the tendency to do ever more press conferences may be that people on forums like this rather seem to talk about the behavior of players than about their games.
The so-called bad behaviour of players, whether they are named Kramnik, Topalov, Carlsen or Nakamura or any other, is mainly a reflection of the intensity of how they undergo their profession.
How would Van Gogh have performed at press conferences? And even when that would be interesting, should our judgment on that performance be of any importance?

Anonymous's picture

"I would prefer a player who fights his games with intensity and shows his disappointment by not showing up at a press conference over someone who plays a lacklustre draw and then still has the energy to be polite and funny at the aftershow"

One can be polite also after losing games.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Yes, it is of utmost importance to discuss here how polite players are, whether they give enough to charity and how often they help old ladies cross the street.
By the way, did anyone notice the fine piece of analysis Henk Jonker produced on Giri-Karjakin (proving me completely wrong)? But of course that's hardly relevant when talking about a chess tournament.

Anonymous's picture

"it is of utmost importance to discuss here how polite players are"

Hurts that Vladdy is sore loser huh? :)

Frits Fritschy's picture

---deleted for impersonation---
http://www.chessvibes.com/terms

Anonymous's picture

You declared yourself an arbiter by yourself ? :) :)

Frits Fritschy's picture

---deleted for impersonation---
http://www.chessvibes.com/terms

Fritschy Frits's picture

---deleted for impersonation---
http://www.chessvibes.com/terms

Anonymous's picture

I am Fritschy Frits.
I am all wise in these things. I have the right to be sanctimonious.

Fritschy Frits's picture

---deleted for impersonation---
http://www.chessvibes.com/terms

Anonymous's picture

I am Fritschy Frits.
I am the great moral arbiter of chessvibes. You should not question what I say

Frits Fritschy's picture

Excellent!

 Anon's picture

+1 Completely agree. The chess should be the most important.

Anonymous's picture

It's just not as fun anymore when it isn't the usual Carlsen bashing, right?

jimknopf's picture

Frits, I don't agree with you here.

The function of press conferences is not to offer some trash talk or to raise the impression that palyers are nice enough to help old ladies pass a street.

Press conferences after games with some analysis by players are important, because they are an essential part of communicating chess to people interested in chess, and to make it more interesting for the public. It's the same with big football games like now in Brasil: the games are always accompanied by comments and interviews for the sake of public context communication.

It has been one of the weaknesses of former times to keep chess to closed circles and book and journal readers from these inner circles. Nowadays it's so easy to communicate chess live via internet, that a bigh chance would be missed not using it. Press conferences raise public interest for good reasons, not only for second rated entertaining factors.

And Kramnik, who I remember at least has given interesting interviews in the past, nowadays plays quite a poor role in that context IMHO, either exaggerating his own role or running off in frustration.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Jim,
We disagree that chess professionals should be well behaved. I prefer them to be real: chess is a mind game; it's not just about creating something, it's also about destructing your opponent (or being destructed by him). The behavior we see is also a reflection of that last element and for me, there is no need to cover that up with that thin layer of culture all of the time.
I do agree with you that press conferences (Thomas' 'public post-mortem' is a better term) can have a function. I like to know what went on in a GM's mind, even when that's not scientifically correct. But the variations they produce there, are not usually subject of discussion here: it's mostly about their behaviour. (By the way, that's no fault of the excellent reports.) I gave the Henk Jonker example (it's in an update to the round 7 report) to show what could be possible: a reader that goes a bit deeper than 10 second engine evaluations.

Frits Fritschy's picture

---deleted for impersonation---
http://www.chessvibes.com/terms

Fritschy Frits's picture

---deleted for impersonation---
http://www.chessvibes.com/terms

Frits Fritschy's picture

Just post the same thing as anonymous, that saves Peter the trouble of deleting your comments.

Anonymous's picture

I am Fritschy Frits.
I am always right.
It is ok for Kramnik to behave badly.
Just as long as Carlsen doesn't.

Thomas Richter's picture

Disclaimer beforehand: I hardly watched the live action and press conferences of this event - busy enough with work and other hobbies during the week, and last weekend I travelled to and reported on another chess event. So what I write is a long-term impression that may not apply to this particular event.

I don't have statistics available, but my impression is that more often than not, losers didn't and weren't forced to attend press conferences.

Yes, when Kramnik does attend press conferences, he tends to be very to overly enthusiastic and dominant. By comparison, from Carlsen I often got the impression (things he said and body language) "I have to do this, but I would prefer sleeping or playing football or ..." - this may no longer be the case, or at least he may act differently at this Norwegian event. To each his own.

I "clarified the legal status" because others were quick, and apparently wrong, to write that Kramnik violated contractual obligations and should be fined. My general impression is that some people (not you, jimknopf) use any slight opportunity to bash Kramnik. He may be past his prime but still is a world-top player, admitting/realizing that age takes its toll on him - which anyone can consider a cheap excuse or a factual statement.

BTW strictly spoken, for Norway Chess we aren't talking about press conferences (no questions taken from the audience), it's rather a mix of post-game interview and public postmortem. Some of the 'press conferences' that I did watch ended with the words "we let you go, journalists are waiting for you". So journalists got their chance to have _exclusive_ quotes from the players, but it may have been hit or miss?! IMHO this is sub-optimal for journalists as well as players (who may have to answer the same questions two, three or five times). Same story in Wijk aan Zee: no press conferences, some players did appear in the press room after their games, others didn't.

Anonymous's picture

Some people are delusional and some are obsessive, but it is rare to find someone who is obsessive about his delusions.

Al's picture

I just watched the Daniel King video of Kramnik vs Topalov and the psychology between the players is very tense - I recommend watching it - and after you watch it you'll understand why Kramnik is out for the tournament, a bitter pill to swallow.

Carlsen is not in form - I think he has got complacent and lazy at the top, lost the hunger to win. An in form Carlsen would of won several of his games this tournament easily. It is the usual issue he needs to lose a game to step into gear.

ITsOverPeople's picture

No, it is deeper than form. Either he has lost the love for chess, is gambling on his own games, or something has broken inside of his head and he can't do it any more OR the players are better understanding his grinding style so he has to adjust to a style he isn't as good with OR he is hiding prep and getting questionable decisions. It is one of those things. Nothing else.

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