Norway Chess: Carlsen Escapes Against Caruana Who Maintains Lead

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 6/5/14, 12:38 PM.

Fabiano Caruana got a very big advantage against Magnus Carlsen on Thursday at the Norway Chess tournament but the game ended in a draw. Caruana still leads, with half a point more than Alexander Grischuk and Vladimir Kramnik, who both won today. Grischuk defeated Levon Aronian, who blundered in the opening, while Kramnik won against Giri.

In quite a long rond, where three of the five games went beyond the time control, two Russian grandmasters won their games: Alexander Grischuk and Vladimir Kramnik. The duo can now be found in shared second place behind Fabiano Caruana, who was worse out of the opening against Magnus Carlsen, then a piece up, but eventually drew with the World Champion.

Carlsen played main line theory for a change, and that worked too. A novelty on move 15 in the topical 3.f3 Grünfeld gave him a nice advantage, and on move 25 the game reached its critical moment. Commentator Nigel Short was quite surprised that Carlsen allowed the 26...c6 break, which could have been prevented by the natural 25.Qe3 attacking the rook on b6.

GM Robin van Kampen agreed with Short:

Of course Carlsen had seen that, but he relied on his 29.Qa3 move, missing 29...a5!. "This just kills my whole game." (Carlsen) In this phase Caruana played very strongly and he ended up with an extra knight for two pawns. “During the game [my chances] felt serious but probably it was always a draw,” he said.

“I am not very happy with my play. I think I made several blunders in this game, a couple of misjudgments. Then it's hard to be completely satisfied,” said Carlsen.

Carlsen: “I am not very happy with my play”

The round started with an opening disaster for Levon Aronian. In the Flohr-Mikenas System of the English, he mixed up his preparation and was basically lost after White's 14th move!

Grischuk vs Aronian: a Flohr-Mikenas System

Aronian: “I analyzed this a week ago but I only remembered the losing line apparently. It's, as they say, a memory malfunction. I didn't consider resigning but I considered hitting myself, that's for sure.” Grischuk: “I got lucky.”

An opening disaster for Levon Aronian

“I have only scored some draws with White in the Catalan recently so I thought maybe I should start winning as Black,” joked Vladimir Kramnik. The 14th World Champion wasn't impressed by Anish Giri's plan of Bd2 and Rd1 in the opening and soon got attacking chances on the kingside. White couldn't create counterplay in time, but at the same time it was difficult for Black to break through. But then, right after the time control, it was suddenly over.

Giri vs Kramnik: “It was time I started winning as Black in the Catalan”

Peter Svidler and Veselin Topalov played a Sicilian Scheveningen which quickly turned into a French Defence where White's pawn on a4 looked a bit funny. To add to the fun, Svidler, who was still disappointed about his loss the other day, decided to put his queen on g4. “I remembered this move from our analysis, but now I'm not sure it was in this position!” Black's long castling followed by ...f6 was enough to keep the balance. Topalov: “We didn't play a brilliant game but we didn't make big mistakes either.”

Svidler vs Topalov: a Scheveningen, no, a French

He started being not 100% fit, but behind the chess board Simen Agdestein is making a very good impression thus far. He prepared a topical line in the French, showed braveness with 22...f6, defended well after an interesting knight sac by Sergey Karjakin and even got a winning position when Karjakin made two mistakes on move 37 and 42. It was only because of very tenacious defense by the Muscovite, and perhaps tiredness at the end of Agdestein that he couldn't convert the full point. But having the same number of points as Carlsen after three rounds is nothing to be ashamed of.

An excellent start for Simen Agdestein

Norway Chess | Schedule & Pairings

Round 1 03.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 2 04.06.14 15:30 CET
Aronian ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian 1-0 Karjakin
Karjakin ½-½ Topalov   Kramnik ½-½ Carlsen
Grischuk 0-1 Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Svidler
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Topalov 0-1 Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ Kramnik   Agdestein ½-½ Giri
Round 3 05.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 4 07.06.14 15:30 CET
Karjakin ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian - Svidler
Grischuk 1-0 Aronian   Karjakin - Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ Topalov   Caruana - Giri
Carlsen ½-½ Caruana   Topalov - Carlsen
Giri 0-1 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        

Norway Chess 2014 | Round 3 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Caruana,F 2791 3088 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1 2.5/3
2 Grischuk,A 2792 2913 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 2.0/3 2.50
3 Kramnik,V 2783 2915 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 2.25
4 Carlsen,M 2881 2776 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.5/3 2.75
5 Aronian,L 2815 2731 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1.5/3 1.75
6 Agdestein,S 2628 2779 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1.5/3 1.75
7 Svidler,P 2753 2662 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/3 1.50
8 Giri,A 2752 2644 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/3 1.50
9 Karjakin,S 2771 2618 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/3 1.25
10 Topalov,V 2772 2652 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/3 1.00

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

17070 reads 44 comments
4 votes


  • 2 years ago


    nakamura starts his match today (June 7,2014) with navara

  • 2 years ago


    Oh sweet -- I didn't realize that this tournament had already started. Wow, Caruana is really on fire!

  • 2 years ago


    donde esta nkamura

  • 2 years ago


  • 2 years ago


    This is an awesome tournament...

  • 2 years ago


    With regards to Simen Agdestein;there is a well known British saying. "Form is temporary Class is permanent".

  • 2 years ago


    Major props to Agdestein, look at the rating difference and hes playing excellent.I wish he won this round, it would be hilarous because the REAL norwegian hero would be Agdestein!

  • 2 years ago


    Carlsen is going to come back like he does in every tournament where he is losing. Next 2 games he will win and he will probably be tied for first, then from there he will draw/win everything and probably end up with 6.5/9

  • 2 years ago


    Caruana is shy

  • 2 years ago


    I think rounds 4 and 5 will be the decisive rounds..

  • 2 years ago


    It's interesting and strange (especially given the fact that Magnus used to play Sicilians with black a lot) that Carlsen misjudged the opposite side castling position quite badly. Same happened in the Carlsen Radjabov game in Shamkir where he was slightly better from the opening, then started making mistakes and allowing too much counterplay and eventually lost. A recent trend in Carlsen's white games? As seen in Shamkir and also here at times, he has been trying to change his style apparently and go for more dynamic and tactical continuations but it seems to backfire at the moment.

    On the other hand, Carlsen himself said he still has a lot to learn about chess and this is probably his main weakness (i.e. tactical games where both players have chances for a win, as opposed to technical/strategic grinds where he seeks a tiny edge and only one side can win), so he seems to be trying to play exactly against his own weakness. Long-term it may prove a great decision, but only time will tell. Interesting to see how this trend develops.

  • 2 years ago


    hmm, well Carlsen was kicking Caruana at first, i am very surprised that it all went wrong for him, but he still got the draw. Imagine if he had lost!!! That would be terrrible for Carlsen.

  • 2 years ago


    @dailywatersitting,  saying that he blundered is good for his personal growth, but you also have to give credit to the opponent. Carlsen seldom does that. Of course, blame yourself for the bad position, but you landed in that position because your opponent was playing better than you. 

  • 2 years ago


    "Carlsen better get it together fast, or this could be icky."

    Yeah, this Norwegian upstart is really in trouble. If he keeps just barely eeking out wins like he has in the past, his tenure at the top may be short lived........ perhaps only a few decadesWink

  • 2 years ago


    take a break and enjoy some Tal...................

  • 2 years ago


    Tal actually adapted his style in the '60s, and was no longer the mad sacrificer of his youth.  He qualified for the Candidates' also in 1965 and 1968 and again in the 1979 cycle, and for the last time in 1985.

    He also set the record for undefeated streaks in master tournaments in the early '70s, then broke his own record shortly after losing the first streak.

  • 2 years ago


    @eastyz... why does Tal's keep coming up, his style was flamboyant but not balanced enough according to Fischer and Spassky.

    "Tal is like a crazy fisherman who stirs the waters hoping to catch a confused fish. His style will not weather strategic scrutiny very long and I think little of him as a chess player. He is just an over-developed tactician (who thrives on complications but not the principals of the game)" (Bobby Fischer)

    Tal's wins are great for sub-2000 noobs like us, but Spassky and Petrosian soon learnt that if you closed the game and played deep strategy, the "magician of Riga" was helpless. Tal did try to balance his style later on but his health was failing by then.

    "I realized that he (Tal) was out-calculating me tactically in open positions, so I avoided them altogether (and realized to my great pleasure that he was hardly a worthy positional player)" Boris Spassky

  • 2 years ago


    Carlsen is the risen houdini. 

    He escapes with a draw in a losing position even by the likes of a very strong player, Caruana.

  • 2 years ago


    Carlsen Escapes Against Caruana Who Maintains Lead, good game by both. Tongue Out

  • 2 years ago


    Carlsen proved again why he is the World Champion.  He is such an incredible defender and a tough nut to crack.  As pointed out by some GM's, it is this ability to defend worse positions that enables him to win more tournaments than the other top players.

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