Reports | January 06, 2009 18:17

Svidler wins Aker Chess Challenge

Peter Svidler won the Aker Chess Challenge yesterday by beating Magnus Carlsen 1.5-0.5 in the final. He won the second game with the Black pieces. Nakamura came 3rd; he beat Lie, also with 1.5-0.5.

The Aker Chess Challenge took place 2nd-5th January and was part of the International Chess Festival in Gjovik (Norway). Magnus Carlsen, Peter Svidler, Hikaru Nakamura and Kjetil Lie played a rapid double round-robin with 25 minutes per game plus 5 seconds increment on the clock. It was followed by final and bronze final games, but a blitz play-off (4 minutes + 2 seconds) was needed to determine the finalists.


Yesterday the finals were played. Svidler-Carlsen was a quick draw in a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence (no Wall this time) and this was a psychological success for Carlsen, who had beaten Svidler with the white pieces twice in the tournament. But not a third time, no, in the final it was the Russian with the strongest nerves. In an ending that was at least slightly better for White but probably a draw, Carlsen blundered on move 35 after which it was suddenly very difficult, and soon after winning for Black.

The bronze final started with a convincing victory for Nakamura with the white pieces against Lie, but in the second game the American was on the verge of losing. He then found a clever trap and Lie fell for it, after which Black had a draw by perpetual.

Games of the finals


Magnus Carlsen and Peter Svidler in the final

The players showing their cheques - in Norwegian crowns it feels better to come second and fourth ;-)

Photos courtesy of the official website.

Note that Macauley Peterson is in Gjovik, reporting for the Chess.FM blog, and has posted some excellent videos!

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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.


Michel's picture

A good result for Svidler. I think he needed that!

leigh's picture

Svidler won. his award was 3000.
Carlson lost. his award was 16000.

What was the reason????

MamedyarovFan's picture

GM Carlsen's prize of 16,000 was in Norwegian Kroner (which equals approximately 1,700 Euro), presumably because his native currency would be more convenient for him.

Peter Doggers's picture

Why do I write photo captions...? :-)

guitarspider's picture

Yeah really, they're not very helpful. ;)

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