June 04, 2014 1:24

Norway Chess R1: Grischuk Blunders, Loses to Caruana

Fabiano Caruana grabbed an early lead at the Norway Chess tournament in Stavanger. The Italian GM profited from a blunder by his opponent Alexander Grischuk just before the time control. The other four games ended in draws. Tomorrow the second round will start at 15.30 local time.

At the Hotel Scandic Stavanger Forus, the venue for seven of the nine rounds, the Norway Chess tournament got off to a good start on Tuesday. Despite four draws and a fifth game that should have ended in a draw, the chess fans enjoyed five excellent games.

Alexander Grischuk is known for being a timetrouble specialist, and he usually finds the strongest moves even with seconds on the clock, but against Fabiano Caruana he blundered badly. The game started as a Benoni where White fianchettoes his bishop. “I couldn't remember everything, but I knew that 13...a5 was important,” said Caruana. “I think Fabiano played the opening exceptionally well,” said Grischuk.

However, then Caruana missed two queen moves by his opponent, and he had to give one pawn. Then Grischuk gave up an Exchange to win another pawn, and he was in full control. “I could not imagine I can lose this position,” said Grischuk.

Alexander Grischuk: “I could not imagine I can lose this position.”

But then somehow the Russian's queen had very few squares, and Black was able to force the draw, except that Grischuk queen stepped on one of the forbidden squares.

PGN string

Indiana Jones fared better when he had to chose the correct tiles to go forward in the Temple of the Sun, following the name of God. He started wrong, stepping on a J because he spelled Jehova, not Iehova. Mr Jones survived, but Grischuk's queen didn't!

About making a mistake despite being a timetrouble specialist, Grischuk said: “It's a bit tough to switch from increment to no increment, but in the end it's always your own fault.”

Anish Giri started the round as the only participant who never lost a classical game to Magnus Carlsen, and he can still use this line on his cv. Thanks to some subtle opening preparation the Dutchman got a decent position out of the opening. When Carlsen went for a long and forced variation, Giri missed that White could sacrifice an Exchange and keep a strong passer on c7, but thanks to very accurate defence he held the draw.

Anish Giri: good preparation, good calculation

“I missed this idea of giving up the Exchange, and it got me sweaty. It took me a very long time to see that I'm not losing and then to make myself believe that I'm not losing,” said Giri. “It's all forced but he found the right moves and it's a draw. He played a good game,” said Carlsen.

PGN string

Magnus Carlsen: “He played a good game”

Simen Agdestein got off to a good start too. A draw as Black against Levon Aronian is always a good result, but especially when you're not feeling well. Before the game he had to visit a doctor due to a painful cough and hurting ribs, but he had a good motto for the day: “I felt quite horribly actually before the game. But I learnt you don't need to feel well to play well! I was telling that to myself.”

Still, it was Aronian who was dealing the cards in this game, and White had a pleasant advantage around move 25. However, with 29.Kf2 Aronian lost an important tempo, allowing the typical Exchange sacrifice 29...Rb4!. Commentator Nigel Short pointed out that a great Armenian player used to make a living out of such sacrifices, and asked, “how could you miss it?” Aronian: “The best tacticians blunder the simplest tactics. Being Armenian, I have the ability to blunder the Armenian ideas!”

Aronian vs Agdestein

Aronian shouldn't have touched that rook, but he took it and Black was better afterward. Perhaps Agdestein could have tried 33...Qf6; in the game Aronian could give back material and equalize. “Now I'm going to root for him!” said Aronian.

PGN string

A good start for Simen Agdestein, who used an “Armenian idea”

Sergey Karjakin and Veselin Topalov played a rather interesting opening which is hard to name. White postpones the development of his knight, Black plays a QGD setup but then fianchettoes his king's bishop, what is this?? :-)

White ended up with hanging pawns and the pushed on of the two to win an Exchange. Topalov is used to those situations, and Black was OK, although he made life a bit difficult for himself with the move ...b5.

PGN string

Karjakin vs Topalov

Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik played a rather correct draw that started as an English. Here's that game, again with annotations based on variations by the players at the press conference:

PGN string

Norway Chess | Schedule & Results

Round 1 03.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 2 04.06.14 15:30 CET
Aronian ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian - Karjakin
Karjakin ½-½ Topalov   Kramnik - Carlsen
Grischuk 0-1 Caruana   Caruana - Svidler
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Topalov - Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ 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        

Norway Chess 2014 | Round 1 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 SB Pts
1 Caruana,Fabiano 2791 3592 phpfCo1l0.png                 1 1.0/1  
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2752   phpfCo1l0.png           ½     0.5/1 0.25
3 Aronian,Levon 2815 2628     phpfCo1l0.png           ½   0.5/1 0.25
4 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2753       phpfCo1l0.png     ½       0.5/1 0.25
5 Topalov,Veselin 2772 2771         phpfCo1l0.png ½         0.5/1 0.25
6 Karjakin,Sergey 2771 2772         ½ phpfCo1l0.png         0.5/1 0.25
7 Svidler,Peter 2753 2783       ½     phpfCo1l0.png       0.5/1 0.25
8 Giri,Anish 2752 2881   ½           phpfCo1l0.png     0.5/1 0.25
9 Agdestein,Simen 2628 2815     ½           phpfCo1l0.png   0.5/1 0.25
10 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 1991 0                 phpfCo1l0.png 0.0/1  

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


Asuka's picture

Guess the blitz result was quickly forgotten. Fabiano continues his campaign for 2800. Only one win away now...

Dirk849312476's picture

Nice game by Giri, refuting Carlsens opening attempts. C had to repeat not to get worse.

Of course C has the habit of using the 1st round just to test out his chair.

Looking forward to tomorrow's game against Kramnik, who presumably wants to substantiate his claim that C's high rating is due to "other factors".

Anonymous's picture

Boring tournament.

Snja's picture

Exactly the opposite, just look at the brilliant complications at this game https://arena.chessdom.com/#/game/stream/15414 you will lose it as white or black

Anonymous's picture

I thought Topalov had a nice game as black, with instructive defense in the blockade and Agdestein's resourceful sac for pawnplay also caught my attention.

Anonymous's picture

Big Vlad to beat brat today!

Zeveraar's picture

Could Grischuk just maybe have built a fortress in that final position? Rook d1-f1, Bishop on h1-a8 diagonal (on f3), King on g2. And if black would go for double attacking f2, keep rook on f1 and go Kg1-g2-g1-etc? How would Caruana make progress?

Zeveraar's picture

And that, of course, after Qxb2 Qxb2...

Levon's picture

Push the pawns.

Anonymous's picture

For me it looks like a fortress

Frits Fritschy's picture

Very interesting idea! At least Grischuk resigned a bit early. I have no time for a detailed analysis, but a general idea:
- First win the pawn on d3. That won't be too difficult.
- Put the queen on c3 to pin down white's bishop and king.
- Play f4 g4 Bf6. White can play Rh1, but after Qd2 he will have to play g5 anyway.
- Attack the f2 pawn with Qd2 and Bd4 and move the king to c5.
- Play Bxf2 Rxf2 Qe1. It looks like white is in Zugzwang here.

saturnz's picture

Grischuk thinks 55 minutes on moving his queen one square and then blunders, disgusting.

Giri's game was highly impressive and I enjoyed the guest commentator, the Boss himself. I certainly hope he wins the FIDE elections so that the chess Olympiad can come to my home town, Cape Town!

Born's picture

That is a lie! Grischuk thought for 18 seconds with only 26 seconds on the clock. To blunder under such heavy time pressure is no surprise.

saturnz's picture

so wait, you are telling me that he didn't think for 55 minutes of Qf4?

Born's picture

Yes I am! Maybe you mean Qc2? ;)

Thomas Richter's picture

Actually (thinking time per move given at chess24), Grischuk spent 51 minutes on 16.Ne4. Both players burnt lots of time early in the game, hence big mutual time trouble. Arguably it was poor time management, on the other hand the position was complicated and non-standard.

Anonymous's picture

I heard Giri himself said he escaped by a miracle after missing Nc3.

Brainiac's picture

Seems like Grischuk can't handle time pressure.

Ryan Paulis's picture

Is the video of the round still available?

Grandma's picture

@Ryan Paulis

Yes, it is. Here:


There has been some buffering problems (is that the right words in English?), but I think that all videos from all rounds will be saved here.

A much better broadcasting ( better quality, better commentators, more entertaining) you will find on the Norwegian Channel TV2, here:


All the chess videos from TV2 Sumo you can watch here:


You can see it live for free, but for the videos of all games I think you must sign in to TV2 Sumo and pay a small amount. It's more than worth the money, BUT it is in Norwegian.
Still I believe that also people who don't understand Norwegian will understand a lot of the analysis, and during the broadcasting there are also a lot of interviews with the players and other interesting people..


Yesterday I noticed interwiews with Giri, Aronian and Karjakin's wife.

Anyway, all these videos and the livestreaming are for free:


The Norwegian TV2 (Sportskanalen) has it's main focus in the games where Magnus and Simen are involved (understandable, since most of the spectators there are Scandinavians), unlike the official international channel, which I mentioned first..

Asuka's picture

I just watch the coverage on the new chessbomb and read the reports later on after the round has been over for several hours. Live commentary has been utterly pro magnus which is totally understandable but not my cup of tea.

Grandma's picture

I didn't watch chessbomb, therefore I don't know what you mean with "Live commentary has been utterly pro magnus "...?

It's understandable that they have most focus on the reigning champion and world #1 and that they admire his chess, but it's not understandable if they are rooting for Magnus.

Actually I had to see most of the Norway Chess games in the late evening due to other obligations, and unfortunately I have to do it most of the tournament, but I think that's is the case for quite a lot of chess fans.
Therefore good to have the opportunity to watch on internet later.

(And to check the games on iphone from time to time. ) ;-)

As a Norwegian channel TV2 of course is rooting for Magnus, just as every TV-channel in most countries is rooting for their athlets on any sports event.

But they are also rather objective in the sense that they mostly analyses the games and always suggest what they think are the best moves for both players.

They were very impressed by Anish Giri yesterday and gave him huge credit for his brilliant defence. :-)

Yesterday Jon Ludvig Hammer was disappointed after Simens draw against Levon Aronian.
He thought that Simen should have gone for a win, and that he was too defensive.

I haven't yet watched or studied their game, thus I don't know if Jon Ludvig is right.

But I think that draw (with black) against Aronian is just awesome for Simen. :-)

Anonymous Prime's picture

Indiana Jones? It seems that the writer is infected with the Mike Klein virus!

Anonymous's picture

Vladdy squeezing brat badly :) 1-0 soon

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