June 03, 2014 12:08

Norway Blitz: Carlsen Shines on Home Soil

Last year Sergey Karjakin was the star in both the blitz and the main event, but this time around Magnus Carlsen seems highly motivated to take that role. The World Champion won the Norway Chess opening blitz tournament on Monday most convincingly: 7.5/9 and a 3041 performance rating.

Like last year, the Norway Chess event started with a blitz tournament to determine the pairing numbers for the main event. And whereas last year one of the main rounds were held on Flor & Fjære, this time the organizers decided to host the blitz on the flower island. The players arrived by boat.

A spectacular trip to the first venue: Flor & Fjære
Russians Alexander Grischuk, Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler arriving
Carlsen congratulating newly-weds Sergey Karjakin & Galiya Kamalova
Anish Giri next to his coach Vladimir Tukmakov

Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk and Vladimir Kramnik all three started the blitz with an excellent 2.5/3 score; Anish Giri followed with 2.0/3. Sergey Karjakin, who won the blitz last year, started with two losses but then defeated Levon Aronian in the third round. 

Overall only 13 of the 45 games would end in a draw, and 5 of these were all from the 4th round. Giri continued well with a win over Kramnik:

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Fabiano Caruana clearly wasn't having his day. He started with 1.0/5 and then this happened:

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Not a great day for Caruana

Giri then also defeated Grischuk in a very long game. At some point it seemed that Grischuk tried to claim a draw, but the game continued and the young Dutchman scored the full point. 4.5/6 was Giri's score, but eventually he finished with 3 losses.

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Losses in the final three rounds set Giri back to a still decent 50% score

Meanwhile, Carlsen was doing very well, while using some off-beat openings as Black. Against Grischuk he played 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bf4 Bb4!?, against Svidler he went 1.c4 g6 2.e4 e5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nf3 exd4 5.e5 Ne4 and he countered Karjakin's Ruy Lopez with Alapin's crazy bishop move:

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The other Norwegian, 47-year-old Simen Agdestein, expectedly was having a hard time. One example:

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Spectators and cameramen watching the games

With one round to go Carlsen was on 6.5/8, followed by Aronian with 5.5. Both won their last round games:

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Norway Chess 2014 | Blitz | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 3041 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 7.5/9  
2 Aronian,Levon 2815 2935 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 6.5/9  
3 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 2850 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 5.5/9 23.75
4 Karjakin,Sergey 2771 2852 0 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 1 1 1 1 5.5/9 19.50
5 Svidler,Peter 2753 2814 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 1 1 1 5.0/9  
6 Giri,Anish 2752 2776 0 0 1 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 ½ 1 4.5/9  
7 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2695 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 3.5/9 13.00
8 Caruana,Fabiano 2791 2694 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 3.5/9 12.00
9 Topalov,Veselin 2772 2557 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 2.0/9  
10 Agdestein,Simen 2628 2511 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/9  

And so Carlsen, Aronian, Grischuk, Karjakin and Svidler managed to get the desired five whites and four blacks in the main tournament. 

Norway Chess | Schedule & Pairings

Round 1 03.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 2 04.06.14 15:30 CET
Aronian - Agdestein   Aronian - Karjakin
Karjakin - Topalov   Kramnik - Carlsen
Grischuk - Caruana   Caruana - Svidler
Carlsen - Giri   Topalov - Grischuk
Svidler - Kramnik   Agdestein - Giri
Round 3 05.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 4 07.06.14 15:30 CET
Karjakin - Agdestein   Aronian - Svidler
Grischuk - Aronian   Karjakin - Grischuk
Svidler - Topalov   Caruana - Giri
Carlsen - Caruana   Topalov - Carlsen
Giri - Kramnik   Agdestein - Kramnik
Round 5 08.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 6 09.06.14 15:30 CET
Grischuk - Agdestein   Aronian - Giri
Svidler - Karjakin   Karjakin - Carlsen
Carlsen - Aronian   Grischuk - Svidler
Giri - Topalov   Topalov - Kramnik
Kramnik   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        

Also in Norway, and interviewed by local media: Garry Kasparov. He will join commentators Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Nigel Short in the live show on the official website at 16.30 hrs., one hour after the start of the round

Norway Chess 2014 | Blitz | All games for replay

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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


Jarvis's picture

First, like Carlsen!

Anonymous's picture

According to Chessbase Kramnik won the game against Aronian, but it seems as if they are wrong about that.

Anonymous's picture

Here they have Kramnik finding the mate he missed:


Abbas's picture

Thanks to Simen Agdestein
Topalov is not at the bottom of the table anymore.

Grandma's picture

Yes, Simen Agdestein is of course the underdog, and he knows that he will end last among these big guns. :)

But another issue with Simen is that he's ill.

He was in hospital today.


I don't think that he can use painkillers because of the doping rules.

He says that he wish to continue playing, but I wonder what will happen if he get worse and _has_ to stop. .

Will his opponents automatic win the games verus Agdeatein if he is absent because of illness?

What does FIDE Handbook say about such a situation?

Thomas Richter's picture

Here the FIDE Handbook (Section C5 Article 9b) is perfectly clear:

" When a player withdraws or is expelled from a round-robin tournament, the effect shall be as follows:
1. If a player has completed less than 50 % of his games, his score shall remain in the tournament table (for rating and historical purposes), but the points scored by him or against him shall not be counted in the final standings. The unplayed games of the player are indicated by (-) in the tournament table, and those of his opponents by (+). If neither player is present this will be indicated by two (-).
2. If a player has completed at least 50 % of his games, his score shall remain in the tournament table and shall be counted in the final standings. The unplayed games of the player are shown as indicated as above."

Specifically for Norway Chess: If Agdestein should withdraw before round 5, his games do not count for the final standings (while all games played at the board are FIDE-rated). If he withdraws after round 5, his games do count, and his remaining opponents will get a free point.

The FIDE Handbook doesn't consider cases where a player withdraws and is replaced by another player (Bologan replacing Morozevich during one edition of Biel).

Grandma's picture

Thanks, @Thomas R, for a good and clear explanation!

Useful to know!

I must learn more about how the rules are
under special circumstances. :)

Greco's picture


Vhomas Topalov's picture

the giri grischuk was a draw by the 50 moves rule, they actually played about 60 moves without captures before the decisive c4 towards the end, let's say giri's been a little shitty

Zeveraar's picture

50-move rules in blitz games? Tell me, how do you prove you have played 50 moves without capture and pawn push?
You can't just run up to the arbiter and say: hey dude, I'm sure we played 50+ moves, you really need to believe me and declare this game draw!

Frits Fritschy's picture

I've answered Dirk and Remco about this in the comment section of yesterdays article (page 2). Also see Peter Doggers' comment there.

Zeveraar's picture

Indeed - and I was so naive to think that in the spirit of the game and the rules, arbiters should refrain from influencing outcome of games in any possible way.
On the comment from Peter on Geurt Gijssen... imagine a football match where a referee would walk up to a camera man on the side of the field to ask if he should award a penalty or not? That would be crazy - and of course very much not the same as eagle eye technology, which is an actual extension of the rules for football.

Anonymous's picture

"imagine a football match where a referee would walk up to a camera man on the side of the field to ask if he should award a penalty or not? That would be crazy"

It's called rugby. A bit crazy but not that much.

Zeveraar's picture

L2read... in rugby, the rules allow for that explicitly. It's not like the rugby referee looks at the stadium video screen during the game to check what's going on.

Anonymous's picture

"It's not like the rugby referee looks at the stadium video screen during the game to check what's going on."

Orly? L2tell dis to Zidane and Materazzi, n00b.

Tyke's picture

Who is the better blitz player, current Magnus or Anand during his prime?

Anonymous's picture

It has to be Anand. It is not for nothing ,he was called 'lightening kid.'

Anonymous's picture

Woot! Big Vlad is winning with black!

Born's picture

Welcome to Norway! Your home with the champ now!

Anonymous's picture

Very impressive how Vladdy crush Svidler with black, he sure is gonna win this tourney!

Mark Sicter's picture

Another dumb comment by S3, trying to get a bite.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Alghul on chess.com writes, quoting Morten Sand: "I have spoken to the Deputy Chief Arbiter in Norway Chess. According to his information G asked how many moves were made. The CA said it's the players duty to keep track of this. The reason for asking was obviously linked to the possibility of claiming a draw. However, no such claim was put forward and the game continued. Very well handled by the CA ."
The CA is right here that he doesn't have to give this information to a player. He would be interfering in the game. When Grischuk had claimed a draw, the CA would have been forced to investigate the number of moves played, but at a price for Grischuk: Giri would have been given an extra minute when the outcome of the investigation had been that Grischuk was wrong in the number of moves. Instead, giving him the information before the claim would be giving Grischuk a free ride.

Antonietta's picture

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