Reports | May 07, 2013 21:07

Norway's first super tournament takes off, Karjakin wins the blitz

Norway's first super tournament takes off, Karjakin wins the blitz

The Norway Chess tournament, Norway's first ever super tournament, took off on Tuesday night with an exciting blitz event designed as both a warm-up for the main event and a way to produce the pairing numbers for the players. The winner of this blitz was Sergey Karjakin, who chose pairing number 5 to start and finish his main tournament with White.

The first Norway Chess tournament, the first super tournament on Norwegian soil, started on Tuesday with a blitz event among the ten participants: Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Viswanathan Anand, Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler, Veselin Topalov, Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov, Wang Hao and Jon Ludvig Hammer. The time control was 4 minutes and 2 seconds increment. The final standings of this blitz tournament would settle the pairing numbers for the players in the main tournament.

Teimour Radjabov started with 4.5/5 wins, which was quite amazing considering the fact that he had travelled from Switzerland to Norway by train, because his wife, who is accompanying him, is pregnant. After that the Azerbaijani only scored 0.5/4. After seven rounds Magnus Carlsen was the sole leader with 5/7 but then in round 8 he blundered a piece against Sergey Karjakin.

The blitz tournament in action | Photo courtesy of Norway Chess

The Russian GM was tied for first place with Vishy Anand and Peter Svidler, with one round to go. In that round Svidler lost (to Carlsen), Anand drew (with Topalov) and Karjakin won (against Wang Hao) to claim victory. According to the regulations Karjakin was then allowed to choose his pairing number and he picked number 5, because that way he starts and finishes his tournament with white! The rest of the players got the pairing number according to the final standings, and so the first round has:

Carlsen (1)-Topalov (10)
Anand (2)-Aronian (9)
Nakamura (3)-Wang Hao (8)
Svidler (4)-Hammer (7)
Karjakin (5)-Radjabov (6)

Norway Chess 2013 | Blitz games

PGN file

Norway Chess 2013 | Blitz final standings



Round 1 08.05.13 15:00 CET   Round 2 09.05.13 15:00 CET
Carlsen - Topalov   Topalov - Radjabov
Anand - Aronian   Hammer - Karjakin
Nakamura - Wang Hao   Wang Hao - Svidler
Svidler - Hammer   Aronian - Nakamura
Karjakin - 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        

The "Norway Chess 2013" festival takes place May 7th-18th in different locations in the Stavanger region. By using a variety of historical locations, the organizers wish to get maximum attention to the whole region. The festival will include:

  • a super tournament with the majority of the top 10 ranked players
  • a school tournament with hundreds of children
  • a celebrity tournament with a range of celebrities to show their chess skills


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)

The Stavanger Chess Club will host an open tournament alongside the main events, called Stavanger Open NGP 2013. This tournament will be held in at the Scandic Stavanger Forus Hotel betewen May 8th and 12th.

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.


Morley's picture

A great way to start the event! Congrats to Karjakin, he demonstrates yet again his excellent rapid skills. Looking forward to the main event, and for Hammer to surprise everyone.

KingTal's picture

It looks like Aronian and Topalov wanted to get the bigger number of black games to have tiebreak advantage... otherwise it´s hard to explain that strange performance.

noranalyst's picture

Strange that this is a tiebreak criterion given the purpose of the mini blitz tournament (regulations in full: I do not really see the need to break ties in these kinds of tournaments, with relatively few rounds.

Remco Gerlich's picture

Actually "higher place in the blitz tournament" would be a better tiebreaker than number of blacks, in my opinion.

Remco Gerlich's picture

Actually I notice that there will be blitz games played in case of a tie for #1, and prize money is shared in case of ties in other spots, so it's not all that important what the tiebreakers are.

KingTal's picture

You are right, I mistook the blitz tiebreaks for the ones of the main event. Good it is solved this way, although Topalov will be toast if he manages to share first place.. haha

Chris's picture

they are not blitzers

Jim's picture

I could be mistaken, but I do not believe number of black games is used as a tiebreak for the main event.

Daniel's picture

LOL! Topa just scored 1 point...he probably didn't want to disclose his preparation

The Golden Knight's picture

Hammer time!!!

Feuertrunken's picture

Hammer time indeed! :D

chesshire cat's picture

Seems to me that topa's performance was down to an extreme case if hiding all prep and even mainlines.. Look at the rubbish openings he played.. I think he really didn't give a money's about the result. Probably just totally focused on the main event.

AAR's picture

Topalov was like the school kid focusing on the main board exam rather than on the class test.

chesshire cat's picture

Monkey not money lol

Anonymous's picture

Karjakins blitz rating is higher than any of the other participants and he confirmed it by winning! Great!

NN's picture

I watched the first four rounds live, when Radjabov was leading with 4/4, and I came back to see him finish below the middle position. Radjabov really is a strange player.

Thomas Oliver's picture

Radjabov's early lead and slow finish must be partly due to the schedule: In the first four rounds, he played the three eventual tailenders (plus Carlsen). True, Aronian finishing at the bottom of the table was surprising (Topalov just isn't as good in blitz) - Levon was simply out of form that day, which BTW means little if anything for the classical part to follow.

But IMO there is nothing too strange about Radjabov's "collapse" - he simply faced stronger opposition (again, form of the day matters) in the second half of the blitz event.

bronkenstein's picture

Nice to see Champs - both classical and rapid one - placed where they belong. Hopefully the final standings will be similar =)

PS I hope that Lev and Topa will be ranked bit higher in the end.

V. Topalov's picture

Looking forward to the main event.

Xenyatta's picture

Topalov is neither considered to be a great Blitz player, nor a great Rapid Chess player. On the other hand, Aronian has won the Amber Tournament. I think Aronian has had success in Blitz as well. His -4 comes as a surprise. Hammer performed quite decently, and should be pleased with his result. I don't see him getting 3.5 points in the main event.

Saji Soman's picture

It seems Anand is in great form

redivivo's picture

For such a big tournament, held in a country where the English language level generally is high, the official home page has been humorously bad with regards to the language. A couple of examples picked up via

"(Tiebreake 2,3 and place: Carlsen on most games with black pieces, Anand with 2 victories with black aganist Nakamuras 1 victory)"

"This mean that the game with a lot of expectations, namely the matchup between reigning World Champion Vishy Anand and the contennder Magnus Carlsen for the WC match in november 2013, already take place in the second round and with Carlsen have gain the advantage of the white pieces"

Anonymous's picture

I agree, it might well be regarded as somewhat less important but this looks like a joke. One would definitely expect more skill and accuracy dedicated to their website as it represents quite a heavily promoted event before the 2014 Tromsø chess olympiad to online visitors all over the world. Surprisingly, quite some organizers have neglected this part and decent live video coverage in the past

Jambow's picture

The kind of mistakes you typically get from a non native English speaker, not that it changed anything substantive anyway. Seems they could have had someone proof read and edit it but minor problem imho.

As soon as I make a comment about Nakamura stylistically he deliberately adjusts simply to make me look bad ;0] Against Hoa he used space and time although Wang was a willing participant.

Hopefully Radjabov and Hammer will not be whipping boys for the rest, or Radjabov will see the 2700 marker instead of 2800. Some how I was never convinced that Radjabov's elo was more than a temporary blip like Eljanov's was.

Ranjit's picture

It's not a surprise that Topa is so poor at blitz. Not enough time for Danailov to tell him what move to play next.

john's picture

very strong tournament. anyone can beat anyone. hammer will be hammered

Anon's picture

Where is Blitz cross table?

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