Norway Chess: Carlsen Escapes Against Caruana Who Maintains Lead
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:
Carlsen planning f4, but maybe Caruana can counter with c6 before it's too late? Qe3 looked more precise for White #NorwayChess— Robin van Kampen ( @GMRobinVK) June 5, 2014
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.
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!
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.”
“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.
Yesterday I was wrong about Svidler's position, but today Kramnik looks winning despite computer evaluation. I don't understand anything!— Ruslan Ponomariov ( @Ponomariov) June 5, 2014
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.”
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.
Norway Chess | Schedule & Pairings
|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 3 Standings