Norway Chess: Karjakin on 2/2
Sergey Karjakin took an early lead at the Norway Chess tournament in Sandnes. The Russian grandmaster won his second game in a row against Jon Ludvig Hammer on Thursday. In the same round Wang Hao recovered and beat Peter Svidler, while Levon Aronian defeated Hikaru Nakamura. The big game Carlsen-Anand as well as Topalov-Radjabov ended in a draw.
Sergey Karjakin | All photos courtesy of Norway Chess
The second round of the Norway Chess tournament was characterized by the big clash between world number one Magnus Carlsen and World Champion Vishy Anand. It attracted about 150 spectators and a large number of Norwegian media! The two have played each other many times but now that they'll be playing a match for the world title in November, such a game is something special. It will happen (at least) one more time, as both will also play in the Tal Memorial next month.
Anand's 1...c5 and 2...d6 Sicilian suggested he was in a fighting mood. Carlsen went for the positional 3.Bb5+ and then Anand again tried the most combative option, 3...Nd7. Just before his match against Boris Gelfand the Indian lost a game in this line to Sergey Tiviakov in the Bundesliga, but this time he was well prepared and equalized without problems. However, an inaccuracy followed and then Carlsen got an advantage anyway, but from that moment the World Champion was precise till the end.
At the press conference (see below) Carlsen said he was "annoyed" that he didn't get more out of this game and Anand "wasn't thrilled either" that he got into trouble after a successful opening.
Asked about the significance of this game related to the match, Anand replied:
If somebody had won, it would definitely be a boost, but you shouldn't overdo it.
Carlsen, about starting with two draws with the white pieces:
Two draws is a bit less than I hoped for, but at this level it's not easy to win games. I've got what I deserved. Besides, it's just two games. If I win one in next couple of rounds, I will be right on schedule.
Please note that at the end of the video the players answer questions from the press
Veselin Topalov and Teimour Radjabov also drew. The Bulgarian was copying Carlsen's model game against Gelfand in London (and why not) but Radjabov came up with a new setup which involved transferring his queen's knight to g6. Black was always very solid in this game.
Against Sergey Karjakin, Jon Ludvig Hammer suffered the same fate as the day before: the opening went fine, he didn't play that badly for most of the game but then he collapsed in the end. It's a bit like an IM playing a GM or a 2250 player playing an IM: you don't seem to be really worse but eventually you almost always lose in the end. It's just the way it goes. But we predict that Hammer's modest and realistic approach to this tournament ("trying not to lose everything") will eventually pay off.
Karjakin, who is now the only player on 2/2, found the tricky 25...Nce5! and around there Hammer started to spend lots of time. The Norwegian avoided real trouble until the time control, but we do wonder why he refrained from 45.Rf4.
You can find the press conference here.
Levon Aronian scored a smooth win against Hikaru Nakamura. The Armenian seemed just a bit more knowledgable in the theory of the fashionable Exchange Slav and found a very subtle queen manoeuvre which he was proud of after the game.
In the last game to finish, Wang Hao defeated Peter Svidler. Who would have guessed that after the first round? It was an f3 Grünfeld and the Chinese played much better than in the first round. He more or less refuted an early pawn sacrifice from his opponent, and won an ending RN and six pawns versus RB and five.
You can find the press conference by Wang Hao here.
Norway Chess 2013 | Pairings & results
|Round 1||08.05.13||15:00 CET||Round 2||09.05.13||15:00 CET|
|Nakamura||1-0||Wang Hao||Wang Hao||1-0||Svidler|
|Round 3||10.05.13||15:00 CET||Round 4||12.05.13||15:00 CET|
|Round 5||13.05.13||15:00 CET||Round 6||14.05.13||15:00 CET|
|Round 7||15.05.13||15:00 CET||Round 8||17.05.13||15:00 CET|
|Round 9||18.05.13||12:00 CET|
Norway Chess 2013 | Round 2 standings
|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|
|17.05.2013||Round 8||Hotel Residence, Sandnes||15:00 – 23:00|
|18.05.2013||Round 9||Stavanger Konserthus, Stavanger||12:00 – 19:00|
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