Reports | February 05, 2013 15:20

Participants Norway Chess 2013 announced, world's top 8 playing

Participants Norway Chess 2013 announced

The full line-up of the first "Norway Chess" tournament was announced today and it's an impressive list: Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjabov, Sergey Karjakin, Viswanathan Anand, Veselin Topalov, Hikaru Nakamura, Wang Hao and Jon Ludvig Hammer.

Photos by New in Chess

Today the organizers of the "Norway Chess 2013" festival announced an impressive line-up for their main event. Only two months after the London Candidates tournament the chess world will enjoy another super, super tournament.

Norway Chess 2013 | Participants

Name Country Born FIDE rating World ranking
Magnus Carlsen Norway November 30th, 1990 2872 1st
Vladimir Kramnik Russia June 25th, 1975 2810 2nd
Levon Aronian Armenia October 6th, 1982 2809 3rd
Teimour Radjabov Azerbaijan March 12th, 1987 2793 4th
Sergey Karjakin Russia January 12th, 1990 2786 5th
Viswanathan Anand India December 11th, 1969 2780 6th
Veselin Topalov Bulgaria March 15th, 1975 2771 7th
Hikaru Nakamura USA December 9th, 1987 2767 8th
Wang Hao China August 4th, 1989 2743 16th
Jon Ludvig Hammer Norway June 2nd, 1990 2629 107th

It's quite remarkable that the organizers managed to get the full top 8 in the world. This is not a record, though: Wijk aan Zee 2001 had the world's top 9 (Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Adams, Leko, Morozevich, Shirov, Topalov and Ivanchuk).

The "Norway Chess 2013" festival will take 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:

  • Super tournament with the majority of the top 10 ranked players
  • School tournament with hundreds of children
  • 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)

Open tournament

Last week it was announced that 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.

There will be one round on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and two rounds on Saturday. The playing schedule will be accommodated to the main tournament, enabling the participants to watch and follow the games of the world elite live. All participants in Stavanger Open will have free entrance to the main tournament of Norway Chess.

More info can be found at the official website

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.


noyb's picture

A great line-up to be certain. The changing venues is an interesting throw-back to tournaments a century ago, but I wonder if the participants are enthused about the repeated changes and travel requirements.

Ivan's picture

For sure Magnus will be happy, fyi he will play a match with Borki right after this , so that will be the 2900 rating chase.

noyb's picture

Interesting also is the fact that this evidently means that Hikaru Nakamura must have dropped out of the US Championship (concurrent).

Tarjei's picture

Chessvibes: A decent field in the Open tournament so far:

Peter Doggers's picture

Added a paragraph: "It's quite remarkable that the organizers managed to get the full top 8 in the world. This is not a record, though: Wijk aan Zee 2001 had the world's top 9 (Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik, Adams, Leko, Morozevich, Shirov, Topalov and Ivanchuk)."

Jøran Aulin-Jansson's picture

But maybe we will have a higher average :-)

Thomas Oliver's picture

Maybe you can answer this question: Is it coincidence that the event will have THE top 8, or does it mean that the field was finalized only after Wijk aan Zee? Caruana was still #5 on the January 2012 FIDE list - it seems that he will play the US Championship while Nakamura doesn't.
Or maybe the press release was "well-timed"? Caruana might regain the lost ground in his next two events (Baden-Baden starting Friday and Zurich).

At least theoretically, Ivanchuk could have entered the live top8 with another excellent result in Gibraltar.

Tarjei's picture

No, it's not a coincidence. The goal was to have the "strongest" tournament ever, which may very well happen if the average increases by 1 point.

Thomas Oliver's picture

I think you didn't understand my question. Of course it is a (very) strong event), what I am wondering about is

1) Was Tata Steel some sort of "qualifier" between Karjakin, Nakamura, (the absent) Topalov and Caruana? Whoever is last between them after the event won't play in Norway!?

Or 2) Did they time the press release because they _currently_ have the top8? If Caruana had performed better in Wijk aan Zee, would they wait until March, "hoping" that he loses rating points in his next events?

Top eight is in any case a snapshot: Mamedyarov (one point behind) and/or Grischuk (three points behind) could overtake Nakamura depending on results of the candidates event and Lisbon Grand Prix (which finishes one week before the Stavanger event and has Radjabov, Karjakin, Nakamura, Topalov and Wang Hao).

Anonymous's picture

you should go to sleep Thomas Oliver, you do not make sens at all

IF IF IF IF fffffffffff

Anonymous's picture

Nobody understand you BUT yourself Thomas O

S3's picture

It's a normal question, not hard to understand really.

Andreas's picture

'nobody understands' means 'these are silly questions'. you should read between the lines. for me these are paranoia-questions.

S3's picture

To me they aren't. Just someone who want's to know if they decided on the line up after TATA or before. Did Caruana's performance cost him participation? I'm not particulary interested but others might be. Any answer wouldn't diminish the value of tournament in any way, if that is what you are afraid of.

Anonymous's picture

what i understand is that thomas oliver, RC, S3, Andreas, are the same person

Anonymous's picture
Andreas's picture

thanks for your diagnosis, anonymous ;) it's so funny here sometimes. nevertheless my intention is not to unsettle anybody. i'm looking forward to witnessing a great chess year, the very begin already has been quite promising, hasn't it.

Anonymous's picture

yw andreas, no irony intended.

S3's picture

A lot of hatred because of one little innocent question. Just an answer would suffice.

Teztee's picture

And if by innocent you mean dripping with insinuation...

S3's picture

Perhaps, but does that justify these attacks? Everybody can have their own opinion based on the facts.

Teztee's picture

It looks to me like TO was conspiracy mongering and trying to drum up negative sentiment against Carlsen and the Norwegians without any credible basis.

S3's picture

You'd hope those Norwegians would be able to hear other, perhaps even stupid, opinions without having to resort to low insults. But from what I've seen on the interwebs a lot of them behave quite agressive, overreacting to any critique, justified or not.
For instance, they are even mocking TO on the Grenke topic where he hasn't even posted yet. Good old fashioned group bullying.. I've seen the same Norwegians trying to insult well known chess journalists as Loffler, Giddins and Tkachiev because they had their opinions.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Indian and Israeli fans of Anand and Gelfand are in general a lot more relaxed and civilized when faced with critique.

redivivo's picture

Let's see now, disagreeing with anyone stating various extremely negative things about Carlsen's chess and person must mean that the person disagreeing is Norwegian. Disagreeing with Tkachiev means insulting him, while calling Carlsen a coward etc is just stating the facts, that only Norwegians can disagree with.

Anonymous's picture

@ redivivo and your other accounts: MC has by far the most militant fans around, and plenty of them have identified themselves as Norwegian. And while T.O. never called Carlsen a coward, anonymous accounts try to insult him. You think that's allright. Says a lot about you and those Norwegians.

redivivo's picture

"MC has by far the most militant fans around"

I don't think so, but there are many quite aggressive fans of other players, and some even more aggressive haters of Carlsen that can't stand the fact that they aren't particularly gifted when it comes to discussing things.

"anonymous accounts try to insult him. You think that's allright. Says a lot about you"

It says a lot about you that you lie about what I think or write, but I wouldn't expect better from someone like you.

sab's picture

Sorry but most of the insults on this site come from Carlsen fans. They present themselves as Carlsen fans and then insult everyone who doesn't agree with their opinion. Sad truth.

redivivo's picture

Got any examples of that "insulting everyone who doesn't agree with their opinion"?

Anonymous's picture

Apart from them you have calvin almari and his numerous other nicknames. He usually calls opponents drunk too. Just google calvin almari + mirror alias. Wonder if he is the above anonymous as well.

Epic's picture

What's your problem, Thomas?

In my opinion it looks like it's going to be the strongest tournament ever, thanks Norway Chess 2013 :-)

redivivo's picture

The problem is the biased reports, the objective headline should be: "Various players (invited on dubious grounds) that soon may no longer be in the top eight, including the hyped Carlsen, play insignificant event" :-)

Andreas's picture

+ 1,5 ymmd

Tarjei's picture

Not sure what you're trying to imply, Isn't the answer already given, Thomas? Looks to me like one of your conspiracy theories, again.

Anonymous's picture

+ 1000

Thomas Oliver's picture

Which answer has been given? One thing I pointed out is that any rating list, live or official, is a snapshot. The top 8 in the February 2013 list differs from the top 8 in the January 2013 list (of course I meant 2013!) and may again be different in forthcoming lists: March 2013 (after Baden-Baden), April 2013 (after Zurich), May 2013 (after the candidates event), live rating list before Norway 2013 (after the Lisbon GP). Currently the gap between #7 Topalov (2771) and #13 Ivanchuk (2756.7 live) is small enough that they, or any players between them, can swap places within one event (or, for the live rating list, within two or three games).

I will annoy the Carlsen fan brigade a bit more - BTW it's equally unknown how many individuals it comprises, or if some people use multiple handles. In earlier threads, I and others suggested that the organizers, choosing between players of roughly equal strength, might prefer opponents who are convenient for Carlsen. Now they invited Nakamura and Topalov but not Caruana. And Wang Hao, the only non - top8 player besides Hammer, is also Carlsen's "client" (for example Giri wouldn't be). Fair enough, nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong either IMO with suggesting that such considerations could play a role.

But now comes the "funny" part: to "justify" Caruana's absence, they use the one moment when he is a bit down - sorry Fabiano, we want the top 8 ... ?!

Oliver Twist's picture

It's just been confirmed, Carlsen will play with White in all 9 rounds.

Andreas's picture

i suggest to provide a special price (say, USD 100,- and the latest chessbase dvd called 'how to enjoy chess in spite of carlsen's dominance') for anybody who is able to nominate a list of 8 participants in any order which thomas oliver is NOT able to prove as being in clear and inappropriate favour of carlsen.

Anonymous's picture

In a related story it's just been confirmed Magnus Carlsen will once again employ a voodoo witch doctor to stick pins into credible likenesses of his opponents, not to kill them but to weaken them so they blunder in the last hour of play.

redivivo's picture

But shouldn't the naughty Norwegians have invited Ivanchuk, who is 2-8 against Carlsen, with the last win coming as far back as in 2008? Or Grischuk or Morozevich who never won against Carlsen?

Thomas Oliver's picture

I don't call the Norwegians naughty, they can do what they want, it's their event and their money. It's just odd to deny that such considerations might play a role, particularly as they now seem at least partly confirmed. It was also odd to deny that Carlsen had a role in selecting the field - something he and his manager had publicly stated, were they lying?

Yep, replacing Karjakin with Ivanchuk would make the picture complete. It's less clear for Grischuk and Morozevich. Carlsen's classical score against Grischuk is +1=6, in exhibition events it's +7=3-7. Carlsen's classical score against Moro is +3=7 but his last win was Linares-Morelia 2007 followed by 5 draws (exhibition events: +7=6-5 for Moro).

jens's picture

What's been partly confirmed, sunshine?

The tournament is part of a marketing plan for the South-West region of Norway. The organisers could easily have signed a higher rated player, but chose to invite the strongest Asian player (Asian tourists = a big market potential). Two Norwegians in the tournament, compared to three Brits in London and four Dutch in Wijk, what's the big deal?

As usual, VG is well informed:

Anonymous's picture

I suppose he meant them chosing Nakamura over Caruana as soon as the opportunity presented itself (after Tata). Nakamura being a Carlsen client and all. I don't buy it as intentional, but it is a possibility nonetheless.

Morley's picture

There is also the fact that Nakamura is a significantly more entertaining and interesting player.

S3's picture

@Morley, that's hardly a fact. Or are you referring to his "bad boy" image?

Thomas Oliver's picture

Some people like to present an opinion (their opinion) as an established fact. "My facts are" (or my opinion is): Nakamura is provocative on and off the board, while Caruana is comparatively modest and quiet off the board. And Nakamura has a seemingly larger, in any case noisier fanbase.

Kronsteen's picture

It seems likely that they wanted variety of nationalities, and did not want to fill the field with ex-Soviets. Many organizers do the same - no conspiracy required. Wang Hao is a young and very strong player from a big (and refreshingly non-European) country. On the February list, Wang is the very next non-Soviet non-Eastern Bloc player after Caruana.

redivivo's picture

OK, it is at least partly if not fully confirmed and odd to deny that Carlsen himself has picked a field of clients, and cunningly waited until Caruana had a weak tournament to get him excluded. The top eight thing is just a coincidence. Carlsen fears Caruana a lot and was eager to get him excluded from the field, this is partly if not fully confirmed and odd to deny. :-)

Tarjei's picture

Thomas: What disappoints me is that it seems from your posts that the organizers have some sort of secret agenda, like inviting players that suits Magnus Carlsen best. This tournament has players from 1-8 on the World Rankings, plus Hao Wang (16th), the highest rated Asian, and Hammer the 2nd rated Norwegian, and STILL you find something to whine about? Shame on you.

Now that they have proven that there are no secret agendas behind the selection of the players by inviting all the top 8 players, you imply that they preferred #16 Hao Wang because he is Carlsen's "client". I call that conspiray theories.

I really don't get your point. You're stating the obvious. But the organizers have no idea knowing who will appear as the top players on the World Rankings 5 months before the start of the event.

They could delay sending out the invitation until the May list, but I somehow believe that many of them would've declined the invitation.

So tell me, who would you swap Caruana with, and WHY?

Anónimo's picture

Wang Hao "the highest rated Asian"?
You guys are funny: Last time I checked both Azerbaijan and India were Asian countries. That even letting away the fact that Nakamura was born on Japanese soil.

Anonymous's picture

It's well known that Carlsen is scared to death of Thomas Oliver


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