August 31, 2010 6:39

Carlsen beats Anand, Hammer comes third

Magnus Carlsen won the Arctic Securities Chess Stars rapid tournament by beating Viswanathan Anand 1.5-0.5 in the final. Jon Ludvig Hammer came third after he won his minimatch against Judit Polgar with the same score.

The Arctic Securities Chess Stars rapid tournament took place August 28-30 in Kristiansund, Norway. Anand, Carlsen, Polgar and Hammer first played a double round robin on Saturday and Sunday and then on Monday they played the final and bronze final.

The time control was 20 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 10 seconds per move. More info in our previous report.

Day 3

Carlsen today started with a very powerful white game, which, it must be added, was also affected by an early mistake by Anand. The World Champion was very critical of himself at the press conference: "Obsiously it's a pity, because it would have been nice to play some decent games today, but essentially I threw way the game in one move. 21...a5 loses a pawn on the spot." It does indeed, but it looks like Carlsen didn't respond the best way.

Kristiansund (final, 1st game) 2010

In this position very strong looks 22.cxd5 exd5 23.Rc5, and indeed the pawn on a5 drops, because 23...Qc7 fails to 24.Bxd5. However, Carlsen played 22. Bc3 when 22... b6?! is obviously wrong because of 23. c5 bxc5 24. Bxa5, but in this position the simple 22... Qc7 seems possible. Anand continued 22...dxc4 23. Bxa5 cxb3 24. Rb2 Rdc8 25. Rxb3 and had to fight against annoying pressure along the b-file, and later also in the centre. After Carlsen had opened the centre with e3-e4, the Norwegian could deliver the decisive blow soon.

41. Bxh5! Now 41... gxh5 is answered by 42. Qh7+ and in most lines White will win back a full rook: a) 42... Kf8 43. Qh6+ Kg8 44. Qg5+; b) 42... Ke8 43. Qxh5+; c) 42... Kf6 43. Rg5! Rxg5 44. hxg5+ Kxg5 45. Qg7+ Kf5 46. Qf7+ Kg5 47. Rc5+ +-. In the game Anand tried 41... Rxe5 42. dxe5 Qd5+ 43. Bf3 Qxe5 which turned out to be pretty hopeless too. In the next game he got nothing with White in a Breyer Ruy Lopez and offered a draw at move 28.

The bronze final started with an interesting Scotch Four Knights where Polgar had a slight advantage at some point, but Hammer held his own in the ending. Like the first game of the final, the second game of the bronze final was also decided more or less by a one-move mistake.

Kristiansund (bronze final, 2nd game) 2010

Here Polgar played 19... c4? and after 20. e4! the loss of a pawn was inevitable, because she had missed that after 20... Rd6 the move 21. exd5! comes with tempo and c4 hangs.
Hammer finished the game showing excellent technique, though Polgar perhaps could have put up a bit more resistance. For example at the very end:

Here she went 54... Kd8 and resigned after 55.c6. The move 54... Ke8 at least forces 55. Bxa2 though White is also winning after 55... Nxa2 56. Kf6.

It seems that this Arctic Securities Chess Stars was to some extent part of the lobby for the possible Tromsø Olympiad in 2014. It was certainly an example of the growing interest in chess in Norway. It should also be mentioned that Arctic Securities is Carlsen's personal sponsor, so there's enough reason for the Norwegians to be happy today.

As a nice bonus, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (Norsk Rikskringkasting – NRK) provided live coverage on its website through several video cameras. In our view this could have been done better, as for example there were no good close-ups of the players' faces. Maybe something for next year?

Games day 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Carlsen and Anand in their second game, just moments before Anand will admit defeat

Judit Polgar resigns against Jon Ludvig Hammer in game 2 | Screenhots from Norsk Rikskringkasting


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


yump's picture

i m sorry if this is stupid question.

will the win or loss in rapid affect the elo ratings of the players

cool's picture

no, it wont. rapid matches do not have a rating procedure.

@Chess Fan

prelims (6 games)
Anand 5/6
Carlsen 3.5/6

finals (2 games)
Anand 0.5/2
Carlsen 1.5/2

Anand 5.5/8
Carlsen 5.0/8

who won?

Clearly there is a problem is with match format - favoring Carlsen

jan van der marel's picture

Being interested in close-ups of the players is a personal thing; I'm only interested in the game on the board. All I wanted to say is that it's great to follow these games live. Apparantly this is impossible in big tournaments in, for example, the Netherlands.

Chess Fan's picture

Still any questions as to who is the world number one????????

alx's picture

Exactly, is the world number one! :)

blueofnoon's picture

" In the next game he got nothing with White in an Anti-Marshall and already offered a draw at move 22."

No, it was Breyer system, one of "proper" Ruy Lopez variations.

Peter Doggers's picture

Ah, of course, got confused by the move order. Thx, corrected.

Peter Doggers's picture

@jan van der marel on August 31st, 2010 08:46
Right. So if the cameras would have pointed to the floor, we couldn't have criticised that either, as it would still be better than no cameras!?

aun1's picture

why should there be? anand beat topalov in the wcc match; carlsen won a 2 game rapid match. how do they compare?

noone's picture

Did not Anand get half a point more if all games were counted?

SXL's picture

The lighting and camera angles were lousy. Why did the players accept lighting that threw long shadows from the pieces? The stage seemed stark and dark - not welcoming at all.

Grubby championship, if we go by the video.

john's picture

Carlsen should not let a rapid match (2 games only) victory over Anand go to his head. Anand has proven he can step up his level in matches, Carlsen should have no doubt that if he makes it to a match with Anand it will take all his skill to beat him.

fgdfd's picture

Some people will always be very unhappy about Carlsen being the best player in the world, must hurt to see him show it again and again every time he plays :-)

jan van der marel's picture

The webcam coverage was great; critics about a lack of close-ups are ridiculous. I know tournaments where they don't have any webcam coverage. In fact, I know a lot.

jan van der marel's picture

Great to see Carlsen concentrating only on the board, and not being interested in his opponents. A lot of chess players see chess as a personal battle.

jan van der marel's picture

Nice to see Hammer thinking: shall I accept her hand??

peter visser's picture

Very nice little tournement. I enjoyed it a lot!

Zaw's picture

Congratulations to Carlsen for beating Anand but boo to all those people who will take any minor victory to mean that Carlsen is the strongest in the world. Wake up, it's a 2 game rapid match. Also, have you forgotten that Carlsen had 2 losing positions against Hammer and was very lucky to win one of those after blundering like an amateur? I like Carlsen and I like Anand but I don't like those people who try and rate one over the other on such poor evidence.

Mark Crowther's picture

I loved the close up of the boards. Seeing the hesitations and also being able to follow the game was excellent. I agree there should have been a better headshot angle, they seemed to have one from behind but they rarely used it. I would add that another tiny webcam pointed at the clock would have been nice.

The overhead close-up of the board was used in TV coverage of Kasparov - Karpov 1990 in France and I've never seen it again. It can give so much information about the state of mind of the players (I remember one blunder of Kasparov's where he pushed a pawn in Karpov's time trouble was so obviously the result of adrenaline once you saw him actually make the move). This side angle also worked, I watched about half the games like that and it was just like being there kibitzing.

Just an observation that if only one was available I'd rather have the angle they used than a wider one where you just saw the players, like in Anand - Topalov in Sofia (which to be sure was also really useful). But we're seeing more live coverage so no doubt experimentation will continue.

reality check's picture

I will only be convinced of Carlson's superiority after he has qualified as world championship contender, defeats the reigning world champion in a classical (not a two game mini exhibition rapid) match and then remains at the top over a ten, fifteen, twenty year period.
Time will tell what Magnus Carlson is made of. So, why don't you cats back off all the hype, let him prove himself.

Dude's picture

Who is Magnus Carlson??

fgdfd's picture

@ reality check: It's luck, it's hype, etc :-) Carlsen is the best player in the world and that won't change if he loses the knockout, just like Kasparov was the best player in the world in spite of failing to win an event now and then. But it isn't difficult to look at the results over the last year and realise that Carlsen is #1 right now.

reality check's picture

You appear to be another deprived, irrational, helpless soul. We leave you with a quote from Hermann Hesse: “Auf einfache Wege schickt man nur die schwachen."
Of course, it is your right to be simple minded. Enjoy yourself.

fgdfd's picture

@ reality check

Thanks! I especially appreciate that you have understood that Carlsen only can be the best player at the moment if he stays top ten for fifteen or twenty years after that. :-)

fgdfd's picture

Oops, that should have been "remains at the top over a ten, fifteen, twenty year period". Not many players do that, Fischer and Morphy were a the top for a few years and were still quite appreciated. But that's enough for me on the subject.

Jonas's picture

Is it still possible somewhere to see those videos?

reality check's picture

The undisputed World Chess Champion title holder, Viswanathan Anand, is number one, numero uno, nummer eins at this very moment irregardless of the arbitrary rating system you employ Elo, Ingol, USCF, Live, etc. to belittle his crown. Everyone else, including Magnus Carlson, is just a challenger. A “wanna-be" if i may.
Remember this, Anand doesn't need Elo, he's the World Chess Champion; an active world champion at that.
I don't think he'll be ducking and dodgeing opponents like the late great Garry Kasparov. So don't worry Magnus may very well get the chance to show the world what he's made of.

Patrick's picture

I'm happy for Carlsen, but i was kind of rooting for M.C. Hammer.

Nima's picture

Both Anand and Carlsen are wonderful players. To ask who will win if they played a WC match today is obviously a hypothetical question. Even if one believes Carlsen has the better chances, he still has to go through the candidates cycle, beat the other players, and then beat Anand. Without it, he cannot be called the world champion, and as strong as he is, it is not certain that he will be able to do that in the next cycle.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Its a pity the finals were just two games, when the prelims were so elaborate with double round robin (actually the prelims alone can stand as event and enough to decide a winner). Carlsen lost a game to hammer in prelims, Anand lost one in the finals. It does not say anything about who is better. It only says that Carlsen won this final event. Thats it.

juanefren's picture

Can't wait to the candidates match...

chessrobot's picture

What a wonderful exercise match this has been. I really found it quite exhilarating especially with the informal Anand-Carlsen competition bouncing all over these posts.

Like juanefren said, I cannot wait for the candidates match to begin.

Bring in Topalov and Kramnik for more fireworks and Kamsky (IMO) as a wildcard.

Is there a final line-up already?

rogge's picture

reality choke is trolling, of course. Following his logic reality chocke will only be convinced of Anand's superiority if/when Anand remains at the top over a ten, fifteen, twenty year period.

Someone's picture

Yes, but Anand has been top 3 for the last 15 years, more or less. Magnus has been there for less than two.

blueofnoon's picture

It's like comparing Fischer and Spassky in 1970. Fischer at that time had never won a candidate tournament, let alone world champion title, but won almost every tournament he took part in and had higher rating than Spassky.

Personally, I would agree with Karpov and Kasparov for their saying that world champion should prove his superiority by winning every tournament he plays in. But ok, those guys were from another planet, whereas Anand is only human...

S's picture

rogge, it's certainly possible to only see someone as superior if he dominates the field for a certain amount of time, be it Anand or Carlsen. It's not that r-check is trolling, it's just that you are being rude and an intolerant know-it-all.

Poryo's picture

Karpov didn't have to play Fisher when he was dominant from 1975-1985, and Kasparov was not at his peak during that time. Please do not compare Karpov to Kasparov or Anand!!!

vimapa's picture

Do you know where does Topalov get his ELO from??? he never plays the big ones like Larsen, Anand, etc, etc,

rogge's picture

S: thanks, I succeeded copying reality choke then (intentionally misspelling, + he is a rude besserwisser).

Anand, of course, is a great champion and one of my favourite players. But the last 50 years only Kasparov (and maybe Karpov) remained at the top for 10-20 years. "Top" in this context is not top 3 , but #1.

jan van der marel's picture

Who gives a shait if Carlsen is still number one in twenty years?? The earth may have been struck by a meteorite by that time...

fgdfd's picture

I could add that Anand is one of my favourite players too, even more than Carlsen in fact. It's just so fascinating with all these people that hate seeing Carlsen do well so much that you can almost see how they jump on their chairs in anger in front of their keyboards as soon as someone praises his results, or, the most forbidden thought of all, hint at his maybe being the best player in the world right now. :-) Carlsen is obviously not the World Champion and maybe he never will be, but he is still the best player in the world at the moment. He naturally doesn't need to be number 1 for 15 or 20 years to be number 1 now.

Deep Mikey's picture

*sigh* I wish there were an "ignore function" here or even a "nonsense filter" ...

Leon's picture

When Fischer stopped, Karpov was the best player with a margin, won almost everything. But somehow many said that Fischer was the better player...

Also in other sports, eg Sergey Bubka was the absolute best, but hasn't had many olympic medals.

fgdfd's picture

@ vimapa

Topalov's latest tournaments have been a match against Anand (lost in the final game), Linares (that he won) and Nanjing where he was second behind Carlsen.

mdamien's picture

I find Carlsen's rise quite exciting, and the Fischer vs Spassky analogy is a good one. The frustration is when rating is seen as the absolute mark of best player, when instead that distinction is settled in a championship match. Although a rating clearly has predictive value, it is still a measure of play against a large and varied field of opponents: remember Topalov boasting that his 50 points put him in a different class from Kramnik, yet the match showed a different result.

It may have been seen in the storm brewing, but we couldn't say Fischer was the best player in the world until he beat Spassky.

Carlsen too will have his day, and I hope he will then hold on to his crown for a good long time.

fgdfd's picture

@ mdamien

But was Euwe the best player in the world in 1936 or Kramnik the best player in the world in 2005? One can't just look at the previous title match against one opponent to decide who is the best player in the world at any given time.

yump's picture

Topalov has already experience of wcc.

Its difficult for carlesn to beat kramnik and topa in the candidate match.

Does anybody even think that carlsen will be able to defeat kramnik?

chessrobot's picture

@yump: Remember how Kramnik won the WCC title from Kasparov, and Garry was able to beat Kramnik in their matches _after_ the championship match? (I do not know the percentages though.)

_Anything_ can happen once Carlsen faces his opponents for the candidates match.

S's picture

@rogge; so "reality" may actually think that only Kasparov and Karpov have proven to be superior to all others since the 80's. That's a point of view that could be defended I guess.

jussu's picture

"But was Euwe the best player in the world in 1936 or Kramnik the best player in the world in 2005?"

While Kramnik's 2005 should better be forgotten, Euwe was certainly one of the viable candidates for the title "best of 1936". It was quite an interregnum back then, and nobody was clearly above others.


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