Norway Blitz: Carlsen Shines on Home Soil

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 6/3/14, 2:10 AM.

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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14529 reads 22 comments
4 votes


  • 2 years ago


    Chess is a matter of delicate judgment, knowing when to punch and how to duck. --- Fischer

  • 2 years ago


    that garden at the end is sooo magical, is it even real? lol

  • 2 years ago


    Should the rules be changed in blitz competitions? How can a player keep tabs on the "50 move rule" with the time contraints and rules as they are? There must also be cases in blitz chess as ones hand rushes to move a piece and brushes against a neighbouring piece. Now if each game has a referee could not he/she also be counting moves and there is an automatic draw if either the"50 move rule" or the "3 move repetition rule" applies.

  • 2 years ago


    WOW Magnus Carlson is THE chess beast

  • 2 years ago


    Magnus the GOD!!!!

  • 2 years ago


    Alghul, I quoted your comment on with this reaction:

    The CA is right here that he doesn't have to give this information to a player. He would be interfering in the game. When Grischuk had claimed a draw, the CA would have been forced to investigate the number of moves played, but at a price for Grischuk: Giri would have been given an extra minute when the outcome of the investigation had been that Grischuk was wrong in the number of moves. Instead, giving him the information before the claim would be giving Grischuk a free ride.

  • 2 years ago


    lol @ carlsen game

  • 2 years ago


    Beautiful, idyllic venue. I want to go to there.

  • 2 years ago


    Expected more from Fabiano... And losing to Magnus in ELEVEN MOVES has got to hurt.

  • 2 years ago


    _valentin_, to be fair to giri, I'm sure he had no idea how many moves it had been, and they must have both been extremely low on time at that point

  • 2 years ago


    _valentin_ : I think Giri knows the rules (50 moves without pawn move and without piece capture). You assume that Grishuk made the draw claim, but according to information on Emil Sutovsky's facebook page that was NOT the case!

    I quote Morten Sand: "I have spoken to the Deputy Chief Arbiter in Norway Chess. According to his information G asked how many moves were made. The CA said its the players duty to keep track of this. The reason for asking was obviously linked to the possibility of claiming a draw. However, no such claim was put forward and the game continued. Very well handled by the CA ."

    Of course in spirit you are right. It was rather harsh by the arbiter and I would have liked to seen more fair-play from Giri.

    Here is how Sutovsky sees it:

    "Emil SutovskyWell, there must be some clear solution to this and similar cases, prescribed in the regulations. It can't be, that players depend on the particular arbiter's vision of the situation. In my opinion, if there is a proper way to check it, then the claims shall be always allowed. Otherwise the situation can quickly become pathetic, and lead to unpleasant conflicts."


    I've read that the FIDE rules are going to change July 1, 2014 when the draw will become automatic after 75 moves (which would not have helped Grishuk). The new handbook is already available on their website but I did not read it yet.


    Update: There is only one handbook, but there are 2 versions of the Laws of Chess. Section 9.6.3 is about the automatic draw after 75 moves without pawn move and without piece capture.

  • 2 years ago


    Some of the blitz games from Norway Chess 2014:

  • 2 years ago


    Nice to see a photo of Tukmakov. It brings back memories of the 70s. In his prime he was a very strong positional player. I'm sure he is an excellent coach.

  • 2 years ago


    Heh Did I miss something. I thought Nakamora was going to play in this tournament

  • 2 years ago

    FM gauranga

    Nice gardens.

  • 2 years ago


    Pretty dry report. It doesn't point out for example that Karjakin was +4 against Carlsen before blundering the game away in one move. Or that Svidler had an edge in his game with Carlsen but lost on time. There was a lot of action, but this article avoids all the juicy details! I guess in blitz, it happens much more often that the game turns one way to another, so perhaps, not as interesting.

  • 2 years ago


    Great to see this tourney under way and what a lineup!!

    Chess lovers are going to be spoilt this month.

  • 2 years ago


  • 2 years ago


    Giri does need to learn the rules of the game (50 moves without a change in pawn structure is a rightful draw, if claimed) and be a person with integrity too (to accept it when the opponent claims it).  Not sure why Grischuk continued to play all the way to 63 moves after the previous pawn move -- probably he was so low on time that didn't want to risk being incorrect about the move count, or perhaps noone was keeping move count... -- before he finally made a mistake and paid the price in that endgame.  It was a correctly claimed draw in the first place.

  • 2 years ago


    Nice photos...

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