Caruana, Nakamura Win In Norway Chess Round 8
Anand resigns his game vs Caruana. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Caruana, Nakamura Win In Norway Chess Round 8

| 43 | Chess Event Coverage

It was a good day for American chess as both Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana won their games at the Altibox Norway Chess tournament, and Wesley So held a worse rook ending.

Magnus Carlsen, So, Nakamura and Caruana are leading with one round to go.

One day you win, and another day you lose. It happened to Vishy Anand, who found himself tied for first place after his good win yesterday but fell back again in the standings after losing to Fabiano Caruana

Anand Caruana Norway

Anand looking at the big screen that shows the positions of all four boards. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The world number-two is really turning his Petroff into a killer weapon if he manages to win with it even in the quiet 5.d3 line, as Peter Svidler remarked today.

Anand was thus involved in both black wins in the tournament, although it felt like Caruana was playing White today. This Petroff basically turned into a French Exchange, where answering ...Bg4 with h3, g4 and Ne5 is fairly standard. That's what Caruana did as Black, but taking back on d6 was not standard at all.

“It looks very strange, but I have a knight on e4 and I get a lot of space,” Caruana said. “I knew that it was playable, but also that it was not very good. But I just remembered that it was very tough for White, if Black plays correctly, to navigate through the complications. So I thought, why not?”

Anand Caruana Norway

Anand and Caruana going through some variations right after the game. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Anand didn't go for the most critical reply (14.Qb3), which gave his opponent comfortable play. "Already after 17...f4 I thought I am definitely not risking anything and I have the more pleasant position. I might not be objectively better but it’s definitely easier for me to play," said Caruana.

By move 35 the American grandmaster thought he was winning, but Anand dodged a bullet there.

After the game Anand said to his opponent that 36.g3 here was a draw, but Caruana was hoping for that because he had seen the splendid reply 36...Qf5!!.

For a while Anand defended tenaciously, and only after 48...Qc8 Caruana felt he was winning again.


Caruana beats Anand Norway 2018

Caruana with Simen Agdestein and Anna Rudolf in the official broadcast.'s interview with Caruana.

Hikaru Nakamura won surprisingly easily against the usually solid Sergey Karjakin. It was an opening disaster for the Russian grandmaster, who wasn’t fully ready for Nakamura’s old line in the English—the one tested in the Seville 1987 match between Kasparov and Karpov. (Nakamura, who worked with Kasparov some years ago, obviously also knew The Boss’s crushing win over a young Ivanchuk in 1988.)

Hikaru Nakamura

Nakamura, successful with the English today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Basically right after Nakamura’s novelty 14.Nd2, Karjakin started to go astray, possibly mixing up lines. White got an overwhelming advantage on the kingside and Nakamura decided to grab an exchange and liquidate to a winning endgame. He wasn’t fully satisfied with his technique, but won easily anyway.'s interview with Nakamura.

Magnus Carlsen said that it wasn’t his day, after drawing his game with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

“I lost the thread,” was how Carlsen described the phase in the endgame where he started with an extra pawn and winning chances, but lost all his advantage.

Mamedyarov had copied the Open Ruy Lopez that was successful for Anand the other day, but only up to a certain point.

“Carlsen had a free day; maybe he analyzed this game,” the Azerbaijani grandmaster explained. He said that 11…Nxd2 was worse than Anand’s 11…Nc5. “But I thought why not, it’s a playable position.”

Carlsen started losing the thread with 26.Bd1, which was about as bad as it looked. Two strong moves by Mamedyarov later, White’s dark-squared bishop had become quite bad and Black’s activity forced the world champion to go for a draw.

Carlsen Norway 2018Carlsen: "It wasn't my day." | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Wesley So and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave drew the longest game of the round. In what was quite an interesting Najdorf, on move 80 MVL stopped his attempts to win a theoretically drawn rook-vs-rook-and-pawn ending, after his opponent had passed the exam and shown how to defend it.

So vs MVL Norway

So vs MVL in round eight. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Altibox Norway Chess 2018 | Round 8 Standings*

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2843 2834 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 4.0/7 14.5
2 So,Wesley 2778 2837 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/7 14
3 Nakamura,Hikaru 2769 2847 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.0/7 13.75
4 Caruana,Fabiano 2822 2837 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 4.0/7 13.25
5 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2808 2745 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 3.5/8 12.5
6 Aronian,Levon 2764 2797 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 3.5/7 12
7 Anand,Viswanathan 2760 2796 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 3.5/7 12
8 Karjakin,Sergey 2782 2747 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 3.0/7
9 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2789 2682 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 2.5/7
10 Ding,Liren 2791 0.0/0

Ding won't continue the tournament and his results are not counting.

Final-round pairings (Thursday): MVL-Carlsen, Caruana-So, Karjakin-Anand, Aronian-Nakamura.

Games via TWIC.

Magician Norway Chess

The magician Kevin Lunde joined the studio today... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Magician Norway Chess

...and fooled Anna Rudolf multiple times. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

You can follow the games in Live Chess each day starting at 4:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. Pacific, 10:30 a.m. Eastern) on our Live Server.


The Chessbrahs are be providing daily video commentary with GMs Aman Hambleton, Eric Hansen and Yasser Seirawan on and

Previous reports:

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