Norway Blitz: Carlsen Shines on Home Soil

Norway Blitz: Carlsen Shines on Home Soil

PeterDoggers
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Last year Sergey Karjakin was the star in both the blitz and the main event, but this time around Magnus Carlsen seems highly motivated to take that role. The World Champion won the Norway Chess opening blitz tournament on Monday most convincingly: 7.5/9 and a 3041 performance rating.

Like last year, the Norway Chess event started with a blitz tournament to determine the pairing numbers for the main event. And whereas last year one of the main rounds were held on Flor & Fjære, this time the organizers decided to host the blitz on the flower island. The players arrived by boat.

A spectacular trip to the first venue: Flor & Fjære
Russians Alexander Grischuk, Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler arriving
Carlsen congratulating newly-weds Sergey Karjakin & Galiya Kamalova
Anish Giri next to his coach Vladimir Tukmakov

Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk and Vladimir Kramnik all three started the blitz with an excellent 2.5/3 score; Anish Giri followed with 2.0/3. Sergey Karjakin, who won the blitz last year, started with two losses but then defeated Levon Aronian in the third round. 

Overall only 13 of the 45 games would end in a draw, and 5 of these were all from the 4th round. Giri continued well with a win over Kramnik:

Fabiano Caruana clearly wasn't having his day. He started with 1.0/5 and then this happened:

Not a great day for Caruana

Giri then also defeated Grischuk in a very long game. At some point it seemed that Grischuk tried to claim a draw, but the game continued and the young Dutchman scored the full point. 4.5/6 was Giri's score, but eventually he finished with 3 losses.

Losses in the final three rounds set Giri back to a still decent 50% score

Meanwhile, Carlsen was doing very well, while using some off-beat openings as Black. Against Grischuk he played 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bf4 Bb4!?, against Svidler he went 1.c4 g6 2.e4 e5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nf3 exd4 5.e5 Ne4 and he countered Karjakin's Ruy Lopez with Alapin's crazy bishop move:

The other Norwegian, 47-year-old Simen Agdestein, expectedly was having a hard time. One example:

Spectators and cameramen watching the games

With one round to go Carlsen was on 6.5/8, followed by Aronian with 5.5. Both won their last round games:


Norway Chess 2014 | Blitz | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 3041 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 7.5/9
2 Aronian,Levon 2815 2935 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 6.5/9
3 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 2850 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ 5.5/9 23.75
4 Karjakin,Sergey 2771 2852 0 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 1 1 1 1 5.5/9 19.50
5 Svidler,Peter 2753 2814 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 1 1 1 5.0/9
6 Giri,Anish 2752 2776 0 0 1 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 ½ 1 4.5/9
7 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2695 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 3.5/9 13.00
8 Caruana,Fabiano 2791 2694 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 3.5/9 12.00
9 Topalov,Veselin 2772 2557 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 2.0/9
10 Agdestein,Simen 2628 2511 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/9

And so Carlsen, Aronian, Grischuk, Karjakin and Svidler managed to get the desired five whites and four blacks in the main tournament. 

Norway Chess | Schedule & Pairings

Round 1 03.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 2 04.06.14 15:30 CET
Aronian - Agdestein   Aronian - Karjakin
Karjakin - Topalov   Kramnik - Carlsen
Grischuk - Caruana   Caruana - Svidler
Carlsen - Giri   Topalov - Grischuk
Svidler - Kramnik   Agdestein - Giri
Round 3 05.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 4 07.06.14 15:30 CET
Karjakin - Agdestein   Aronian - Svidler
Grischuk - Aronian   Karjakin - Grischuk
Svidler - Topalov   Caruana - Giri
Carlsen - Caruana   Topalov - Carlsen
Giri - Kramnik   Agdestein - Kramnik
Round 5 08.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 6 09.06.14 15:30 CET
Grischuk - Agdestein   Aronian - Giri
Svidler - Karjakin   Karjakin - Carlsen
Carlsen - Aronian   Grischuk - Svidler
Giri - Topalov   Topalov - Kramnik
Kramnik   Caruana   Agdestein - Caruana
Round 7 10.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 8 12.06.14 15:30 CET
Svidler - Agdestein   Aronian - Caruana
Carlsen - Grischuk   Karjakin - Kramnik
Giri - Karjakin   Grischuk - Giri
Kramnik - Aronian   Svidler - Carlsen
Caruana - Topalov   Agdestein - Topalov
Round 9 13.06.14 14:30 CET        
Carlsen - Agdestein        
Giri - Svidler        
Kramnik - Grischuk        
Caruana - Karjakin        
Topalov - Aronian        


Also in Norway, and interviewed by local media: Garry Kasparov. He will join commentators Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Nigel Short in the live show on the official website at 16.30 hrs., one hour after the start of the round

The Norway Chess tournament runs 2-13 June in the Stavanger region. All photos courtesy of the official website | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png


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