Reports | May 08, 2013 20:37

Karjakin, Nakamura, Svidler winners in Norway Chess round 1

The first round of the Norway Chess tournament, held in Sandnes, saw three decisive games. Sergey Karjakin surprised Teimour Radjabov with an off-beat Sicilian and won with a nice little combination at move 26. Hikaru Nakamura defeated Wang Hao in a Petroff where the Chinese GM didn't seem to have his day. In a Grünfeld, Peter Svidler was playing for a draw for most of the game, until Jon Ludvig Hammer started to make mistakes in the ending. Anand-Aronian and Carlsen-Topalov ended in draws.

The Anand-Aronian press conference | All photos courtesy of Norway Chess

Norway's first super tournament, to some extent the culmination of Magnus Carlsen's success and fame in his own country, took off with a wonderful start. After an exciting blitz event on Tuesday that determined the pairing numbers (an idea borrowed from the Tal Memorial) the first round was not bad at all either.

Carlsen: playing the world's best players on home soil for a change

Three out of five games ended decisively, and throughout the day people from all over the world could enjoy excellent online coverage on the tournament website with Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam (editor of New in Chess magazine) and GM Simen Agdestein, who is famous for having played in the national football team, having taken part in Dancing with the Stars in Norway and for having been Magnus Carlsen's trainer!

So how much of a chess country is Norway by now? Well, the blitz tournament was attended by about 150 spectators in the playing hall, but during the first round there were only about 50. Organizer Jøran Aulin-Jansson, who is also the President of the Norwegian Chess Federation, said about this:

I think its people like to watch this on their PC, laptops and phones. There they can follow the games, and enjoy the computer analysis. I am sure there will be more tomorrow, because of the game Carlsen-Anand.

That will be something indeed. Agdestein (pronounced Ah-geh-deh-stein) went as far as saying "the World Championship match starts here!"

But let's first look at today's round. The first game to end was Anand-Aronian, and we'd like to mention one remark by the World Champion. Referring to his loss against Jon Ludvig Hammer (picked up by local media!), he said:

Yesterday I received a Hammer blow, so I was determined not to let a rook to e3. I didn't succeed.

Please note that for technical reasons today we used Playchess's version of the games to enter the annotations. The games seem to have included the number of seconds the players used for their moves!? 

PGN string

A comfortable draw for Levon Aronian with Black against the World Champ

The first to score a full point was Sergey Karjakin, the winner of yesterday's blitz. The Russian GM managed to surprise his opponent in the opening and then played a very good game in general, where the theme prophylaxis came along several times.

PGN string

Karjakin was modest afterwards. It looked like a good game, but he said he wasn't sure "until he checked it with the computer", a line he might have borrowed from Vladimir Kramnik! He added:

I was in a good mood after yesterday's victory. But still it's just the beginning of a very tough tournament. All decisive games will be played later.

Karjakin seems in good shape, winning the blitz and his first round game

Hikaru Nakamura also started with a win, or perhaps we should say that it was rather a loss for Wang Hao. The Chinese might have been suffering from a jet lag, because his play was below his usual standard.

PGN string

Wang Hao: jetlag?

At the press conference Nakamura said:

I guess all of us are learning that endings are somewhat important because of Magnus!

And indeed, Carlsen started the tournament in his home country by doing what he does very often: playing something unambitious with white, get a position and then try to outplay the opponent. After the game, Topalov said to his opponent:

This is the typical kind of game you win finally. Nothing happens and then suddenly...

Carlsen summarized it as follows:

I was pressing a little bit but then I almost went too far but fortunately I could calm down after the time control.


I made many blunders in previous games against Magnus, even with lots of time. Today I just tried to avoid that.

Topalov: "I was just trying not to blunder again."

PGN string

Jon Ludvig Hammer was "brave enough" (Ten Geuzendam) to try out the Grünfeld against Peter Svidler, who has played the opening for decades. However, Svidler himself noted that

everyone is playing it against me these days!

Hammer went for an ending that is considered to be slightly better for White – at least that's what Svidler thought. In the game he got nothing, and was mostly trying to equalize. This prompted him to remark:

There was only one Grünfeld expert here today and it wasn't me!

PGN string

Hammer: excellent in the opening, but not in the ending

That last press conference was extremely interesting to watch. For instance, Svidler also admitted that he was "kind of ashamed" that he repeated (to be sure he reached the time control) on move 41 "with two score sheets and a big screen" that could have informed him it wasn't necessary!

That was not the most professional behaviour of my life.

Svidler also revealed that both he and his oppent are not feeling great, and both visited the doctor before the game.

I will definitely visit mine again. In fact I can warn my next opponents: I have made a few appointments already!

Peter Svidler

Norway Chess 2013 | Pairings & results

Round 1 08.05.13 15:00 CET   Round 2 09.05.13 15:00 CET
Carlsen ½-½ Topalov   Topalov - Radjabov
Anand ½-½ Aronian   Hammer - Karjakin
Nakamura 1-0 Wang Hao   Wang Hao - Svidler
Svidler 1-0 Hammer   Aronian - Nakamura
Karjakin 1-0 Radjabov   Carlsen - Anand
Round 3 10.05.13 15:00 CET   Round 4 12.05.13 15:00 CET
Anand - Topalov   Topalov - Hammer
Nakamura - Carlsen   Wang Hao - Radjabov
Svidler - Aronian   Aronian - Karjakin
Karjakin - Wang Hao   Carlsen - Svidler
Radjabov - Hammer   Anand - Nakamura
Round 5 13.05.13 15:00 CET   Round 6 14.05.13 15:00 CET
Nakamura - Topalov   Topalov - Wang Hao
Svidler - Anand   Aronian - Hammer
Karjakin - Carlsen   Carlsen - Radjabov
Radjabov - Aronian   Anand - Karjakin
Hammer   Wang Hao   Nakamura - Svidler
Round 7 15.05.13 15:00 CET   Round 8 17.05.13 15:00 CET
Svidler - Topalov   Topalov - Aronian
Karjakin - Nakamura   Carlsen - Wang Hao
Radjabov - Anand   Anand - Hammer
Hammer - Carlsen   Nakamura - Radjabov
Wang Hao - Aronian   Svidler - Karjakin
Round 9 18.05.13 12:00 CET        
Karjakin - Topalov        
Radjabov - Svidler        
Hammer - Nakamura        
Wang Hao - Anand        
Aronian - Carlsen        

Norway Chess 2013 | Round 1 standings



Date Activity Place Time
07.05.2013 Blitz University of Stavanger 17:00 – 19:00
08.05.2013 Round 1 Hotel Residence, Sandnes 15:00 – 23:00
09.05.2013 Round 2 Hotel Residence, Sandnes 15:00 – 23:00
10.05.2013 Round 3 Hotel Residence, Sandnes 15:00 – 23:00
11.05.2013 School tournament Kongeparken, Ålgård  
12.05.2013 Round 4 Aarbakke AS, Bryne 15:00 – 23:00
13.05.2013 Round 5 Hotel Residence, Sandnes 15:00 – 23:00
14.05.2013 Round 6 Hotel Residence, Sandnes 15:00 – 23:00
15.05.2013 Round 7 Flor & Fjære, Sør Hidle 15:00 – 23:00
16.05.2013 Day off    
17.05.2013 Round 8 Hotel Residence, Sandnes 15:00 – 23:00
18.05.2013 Round 9 Stavanger Konserthus, Stavanger 12:00 – 19:00

Locations (Google Map)



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


bluto's picture

Naka does what he does regularly.... beats the wang.

Unanimous's picture

Hammer says "you can't touch this".

Lee's picture


You have amused me sir. I laughed.

redivivo's picture

Entertainment of the day was following bronk and S3 going into overdrive mode with their "Carlsen is consistently cheating, his opponents are bribed, Hammer will throw their game, Topalov is the one pressing for the win, Carlsen is a cheater" all on endless repeat at Chessbomb. These guys just never ever tire :-)

Hagen's picture

Redivivo, I don't care about what people do on other sites. You are obsessed with each other. Now be kind and don't bother us with it here.

redivivo's picture

Yes, I too spend much of my time posting about those guys, that's just how obsession works I guess.

Eeve's picture

Yeah, some people just have nothing in life. I guess they will keep quiet when Magnus show what hes made of and get a victory tomorrow.

Anonymous's picture

Fortunately I'm one of the lucky guys who don't have to bear that kind of "fun" (pathetic obsession) anymore. There is a neat way to ban those and other silly comments from your chessbomb screen. I take you know we have a choice now ;-)

Thomas Oliver's picture

Yeah but then redivivo would have nothing to write about - on a day with little reason to praise Carlsen into seventeenth heaven.

redivivo's picture

If you seriously think my posts are nothing but praising Carlsen into seventeenth heaven, well, that's how it looks to you I guess. I'd say my posts about Carlsen are fairly balanced, but it would be interesting to see you come up with the most seventeenth heaven praising quote I have ever made.

rogge's picture

We have a choice now? Please tell :)

Bobby Fiske's picture

-There is a script who removes all the Chat handles you want from
Works with Chrome and Firefox. Very easy in use and free.

You want the link?

rogge's picture

Sure Bobby, chessbomb might be useful in the future, thanks :)

bronkenstein's picture

Yes, the link could be very helpful. Please, do share.

Bobby Fiske's picture

Here is the link:
w w

(chessvibes doesn't allow links, so you have to remove the space from w w w)

rogge's picture

Thank you Bobby, chessbomb is now an option when watching live games.

S3's picture

Yes, thanks bobby. Finally rogge will be able to stop following me like a fly that follows the sh% t .. (how appropriate :).

Perhaps it can cure his obsession.

RealityCheck's picture

Thanks for keeping watch @redivivio. Your one of Carlsen's best internet security guards. Did they stumble and fib or did they just tell the truth as usual?

redivivo's picture

"did they just tell the truth as usual?"

You would certainly say so.

Anonymous's picture


pito's picture

RealityCheck and S3 belongs to the dark side anyway.

Anonymous's picture

The dark side has always been more fun. Who in their right mind will go to the light side?! Come and joint the party! :-)

Niima's picture

If I had to choose between getting stuck on an island with Dart Vader, S3, Thomas and the like versus the idol worshippers, I would choose the former. At least the first group would provide for fun conversations, and I would learn how to wield a light saber. The second bunch will bore me to death carving Carlsen’s image on every surface.

Anonymous's picture

Darth, Niima, Darth.

You're not exactly anyone's first choice yourself,sunshine.

Niima's picture

@ Anonymous

You'd be surprised babe! ;-)

S3's picture

Niima, thnx, you are too kind. But it's a waste of your time to talk to the ones who have nothing better to do than discuss me. Frankly i don't care about 'm.

Eeve's picture

Yeah, I dont think they have enough IQ to understand how to move chess pieces, why dont they go to other sport forums. having them is tragic for chess community

Anonymous's picture

you make a confusion between the dark side and the gutter, otherwise you're all right

Morley's picture

I wonder if Radjabov will do even worse than Ivanchuk's catastrophic 90-point plummet in 2009. Poor guy just can't seem to get a break.

Nice press by Naka, and Svidler. Also good to see Topalov break his losing streak with Black against Carlsen. He seems in good shape!

Morley's picture

Looks like from January 2009 to July 2009, Ivanchuk lost 76 points, not 90. My bad.

redivivo's picture

But at the same time Ivanchuk and Moro have always been having huge ups and downs, while Radjabov used to be very stable like Leko and suddenly just looks as if he has totally forgotten how to play chess.

Niima's picture

@ redivivo

Ah! So that is how people who have forgotten how to play chess play. Is that how you play?

redivivo's picture

"Is that how you play?"

In case you don't understand figurative speech, no, I don't play as well as Radjabov. He has lost 11 of his last 26 games though.

redivivo's picture

11 of 24, even.

Anonymous's picture

he was overrated at 2790 anyway.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Not for the organizers, who - when it was true - proudly announced "we have the top 8 !!" ? Of course they couldn't anticipate Radjabov's collapse thereafter. It is what it is - he lost his form but committed to three strong and tough events with very little time to take a breath in between.

Some people seem to enjoy Radjabov playing badly - BTW each loss on its own is nothing too dramatic (all against pretty strong players). While his previous results may have been "Leko-like", his opening repertoire isn't. At least not with the black pieces: KID and Dragon variation (today "declined" by Karjakin).

Chess Fan's picture

I am becoming a fan of Thomas Oliver's comments. He has always been making lot of sense, controversial and unpopular as some of his comments may be to others in this blog.

CigarStoreJesus's picture

My experience with Thomas Oliver is that he is essentially a troll who, when he's not using every rhetorical means to push his anti Carlsen agenda, sometimes has interesting insights.

Anonymous's picture

I've been here for about 3 years and most posts from Thomas are insightful and well structured, something hard to get from any other commenters on this site.

bluto's picture

no, just moronic.

Saji Soman's picture

After marriage, Each and every tournament he is loosing points.

redivivo's picture

He got married in 2011, and in Wijk 2012 he was shared second with Carlsen, and he was shared second also in the super strong Tal Memorial the same year. He improved his rating also in Olympiad and European Club Cup. It rather seems as if his wife's pregnancy conincides with his losing points.

Dave P's picture

Radj must be a class act, I feel bad for him. I believe he played The Ruy Exchange as White as a tribute to Fischer after Fischer passed away. Anyone that would alter his opening strategy in a major tournament to do something like this has got to be a class act. I hope this is just a temporary bad losing streak for him.

Thomas Oliver's picture

"Svidler was playing for a draw for most of the game" - an odd phrase unless Svidler said so himself. Yes, the position was balanced and drawish for a long time, but does this mean that Svidler wanted this to happen?

He may have been surprised that Hammer tried "his opening" against him (Hammer played the Grunfeld before, but not against one of _the_ Grunfeld experts), and for some reason he didn't try 14.Kc2 (Kramnik-Svidler, candidates event).

Greco's picture

So if MC doesnt win this tourney can we say that his is hiding his prep for the WC games? Im just saying cause that used to be the excuse for the fans of a certain known GM....

Anonymous's picture

It is well known that Anand is a better player than MC. Also that Bulgarians are better players than Russians in year 2013.

Anonymous's picture

...and that you don't know how to play chess

Anonymous's picture

Borislav Ivanov is indeed terrifyingly strongly; Houdini analyses reveal him to be more accurate than even the mighty Capablanca and Fischer.

RG13's picture

That is because Capablanca and Fischer had much weaker processors to work with!

Chess Fan's picture

Magnus Calsen is absolutely fantastic player and nothing changes even if it has his rare down performances in this tournament. But it is unlikely, given that this is in his home place of Norway and he would be motivated to play very well. Yes, he would hide his WC preparation, but that is only against Vishy specifically, and will not matter in the overall perspective.


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