Norway Chess R7: Giri Blunders, Loses to Karjakin
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The seventh round of the Norway Chess tournament saw just one decisive game: Anish Giri was an Exchange up for a long time against Sergey Karjakin but blundered terribly on move 131 (!) and had to resign immediately. Karjakin has joined Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana and Vladimir Kramnik in first place, with two rounds to go which will be played on Thursday and Friday.
It's arguably the worst way of losing: trying hard for hours and hours to win a better, possibly winning position but then blundering the game away. This is what happened to Anish Giri on Tuesday in Norway; if anyone would never lose this game it was the Dutchman, but it happened anyway, after many hours of play, and after the official commentary had already finished.
In a Symmetrical English not much was going on for a long time, but Giri was better and eventually won an Exchange on move 75. Lots of shuffling followed, but he did make progress and finally he reached a winning position. Update: as Henk Jonker emailed us, it's not so clear actually. See the game annotations. But then he didn't see the right queen maneuver that would have allowed him to activate his rook, and it must have been tiredness what happened at the end. Such a shame!
This was in fact one of four games that took longer than five and a half hours!
Carlsen gave Grischuk an unpleasant afternoon in a Grünfeld, where the ending is supposed to be theoretically OK for Black, but not in this game. After 26 moves Grischuk had all his pieces on the first rank and a bad pawn structure. He said: “If I had Instagram I would put this position from Black's point of view and hashtag #excitingchess.”
Even when he gets quite far in a quiet ending like that, Carlsen can be critical of himself: “I'm not sure there was a win but I could have done better.” About the tournament situation he said: “Everything has been going the right way for me the last couple of rounds, not necessarily in terms of my play but in terms of other results so. Normally with plus one it would have been, now it was not. Certainly I hoped to win because I had a very pleasant position.”
Kramnik came close to a win, but Aronian found a miraculous escape: just when the Russian felt he was going to score a full point, his opponent played a combination that led to perpetual check, and it was correct in every line. Splended defense!
Caruana got into trouble against Topalov in a very theoretical line of the Sicilian, English Attack. Caruana: “I was probably completely lost. I couldn't remember anything.” Topalov: “Actually I'm not sure it's possible to remember.”
Amazingly, Agdestein keeps on drawing his games after getting excellent positions. Svidler had looked at his French Defense the night before, starting at 11pm and thinking, at 3 am, “I really should get some sleep!” By then, and also the next morning, the Russian grandmaster hadn't succeeded in finding anything against it. “It started as fun but it was an incredibly depressing experience.” Agdestein: “It's a bit like the Berlin Defense.”
And so Svidler went for a Réti, but that didn't go according to plan either. Agdestein was simply better after the opening, but was happy to repeat moves when Svidler did so. “An easy day at the office,” the Norwegian said.
And so, with two rounds to go, there is a four-way tie for first place. Topalov commented: “I am dreaming of sharing the first to the last place.”
Norway Chess 2014 | Pairings & Results
|Round 1||03.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 2||04.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 3||05.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 4||07.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 5||08.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 6||09.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 7||10.06.14||15:30 CET||Round 8||12.06.14||15:30 CET|
|Round 9||13.06.14||14:30 CET|
Norway Chess 2014 | Round 7 Standings
- Round 6: Norway R6: Three-Way Tie For First as Topalov Beats Kramnik
- Round 5: Norway Chess R5: Kramnik Beats & Overtakes Caruana
- Round 4: Karjakin Beats Grischuk in 4th Round Norway Chess
- Round 3: Norway Chess: Carlsen Escapes Against Caruana Who Maintains Lead
- Round 2: Aronian, Caruana & Grischuk Winners in Round 2 Norway Chess
- Round 1: Norway Chess R1: Grischuk Blunders, Loses to Caruana
- Blitz: Norway Blitz: Carlsen Shines on Home Soil
- Preview: Star-studded Norway Chess Starts Today