Norway Chess R7: Giri Blunders, Loses to Karjakin

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 6/10/14, 5:59 PM.

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!

A terrible blunder

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
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 ½-½ Svidler
Grischuk 1-0 Aronian   Karjakin 1-0 Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ Topalov   Caruana ½-½ Giri
Carlsen ½-½ Caruana   Topalov ½-½ Carlsen
Giri 0-1 Kramnik   Agdestein ½-½ Kramnik
Round 5 08.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 6 09.06.14 15:30 CET
Grischuk ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian ½-½ Giri
Svidler ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Aronian   Grischuk ½-½ Svidler
Giri 1-0 Topalov   Topalov 1-0 Kramnik
Kramnik 1-0  Caruana   Agdestein ½-½ Caruana
Round 7 10.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 8 12.06.14 15:30 CET
Svidler ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian - Caruana
Carlsen ½-½ Grischuk   Karjakin - Kramnik
Giri 0-1 Karjakin   Grischuk - Giri
Kramnik ½-½ Aronian   Svidler - Carlsen
Caruana ½-½ 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 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2833 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.0/7 13.75
2 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2820 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 4.0/7 13.75
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2791 2815 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 4.0/7 13.25
4 Karjakin,Sergey 2771 2820 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 4.0/7 13.25
5 Agdestein,Simen 2628 2779 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/7 12.25
6 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 2773 ½ 0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ 3.5/7 11.25
7 Topalov,Veselin 2772 2740 ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 3.0/7 11.50
8 Aronian,Levon 2815 2716 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 10.75
9 Svidler,Peter 2753 2715 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 3.0/7 10.50
10 Giri,Anish 2752 2728 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 3.0/7 10.25

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

15656 reads 43 comments
3 votes


  • 2 years ago


  • 2 years ago


    Carlsen is hemorraging points? No, Giri and Topalov are hemorraging points. I heard someone tweeted that Giri said only three people are better than him and Carlsen isn't on the list. Maybe he'll stop saying such nonsense now...

    Carlsen is still playing at a very high level and I don't think a few near misses should satisfy those who want to write his obituary already. Also, to the guy who said Grischuk was in control vs Carlsen... go over the game again, unemotionally and unclouded by bias, and you'll see that Carlsen was the one pressing. It's a real shame people can't appreciate the sublime skill of our World Champion.

  • 2 years ago


    If Nakamura will be playing in this tournament Carlsen will have a +1 advantage. So I'm happy that Nakamura did not played in this tournament, he always loses against Carlsen even when he has a clear advantage. This makes it easy for Carlsen to win tournaments where Nakamura plays. Just remember the last tournament where Nakamura lost twice vs Carlsen.

  • 2 years ago


    In the event of a tournament tie:

    • Tiebreak:
      A: Sonneborn Berger
      B: Most wins
      C: Most wins with black
      D: Shared place and prizes.

       So technically, Kramnik is currently leading as he's had the most wins. That would be karma in some way if he wins like that over Carlsen!
  • 2 years ago


    If Simen loses the last round, allowing Carlsen to win, there will be cries of outrage that he threw the game to allow Carlsen to win. That's what usually happens when there are lots of Russians/ex-Soviet players in the draw, e.g. 2013 Candidates, where everyone expected Ivanchuk to lose to Kramnik, who of course being Ukranian would not even consider it!
    Predicting there will be a tie for first. What's the tie-breaker used in Norway?  

  • 2 years ago


    Bados I'll start you off. Bc3 blocks the retreat of the white rook to defend white's king which is now in trouble. If white tries to retreat with the queen, let's say Qh5 or Qh6 then black plays Qe4+ and now has a forced mate. 

    So now what if white takes the bishop, Rxc3, with the rook instead? Try to work out some lines after the simple pawn re-capture by black; dxc3. 

  • 2 years ago


    I totally agree that players are catching on to magnus. He has been rendered ineffectual for the most part in this event and is hemorraging points. He isn't getting the type of positions he likeS and his clients are not playing in the event. No one to puff up his rating so he has to play a style he does not like but he is so used to people collapsing against him he doesn't know how to play sharp chess so he doesn't take enough risks and we get draw after draw. I think anand will beat him in Novermber and I think there will be a new challanger in 2016. Magnus' time at the top is coming to an end.

  • 2 years ago


    can somebody talk to me, why it's a blunder on move 131?
    what is the continuation moves?

  • 2 years ago


    I think Carlsen will win this tournament. Carlsen has easy opponent to beat in final round (Agdestein). Smile

  • 2 years ago


    Carlsen should win this. I will not be surprised in the least, if Adgestein finally loses in the last match, to Carlsen. WinkWink

    But of course, the biggest surprise (or not) is Agdestein being unbeatable so far, vs all these "super GMs".

  • 2 years ago


    I'll say it again... "karjakin is a wizard"

    grischuk displayed 'excellent technique' holding carlsen at bay

  • 2 years ago


    Why do I think this tourny is so silly with all these draws. Every other tourny this year was more entertaining.

  • 2 years ago


    chessdoggblack i hate to break it to you but Carlsen was in the driver's seat the entire game.

  • 2 years ago


    Karjakin :D

  • 2 years ago


    Agdestein is the draw champion of this tourney!

  • 2 years ago


    I hope Agdestein wins the last two games and the tournament!

  • 2 years ago


    Poor Giri, move 131, fatigue?

  • 2 years ago


    This tournament is so tight!! 3.0 3.5 and 4.0 this is close!

Back to Top

Post your reply: