Norway Chess R7: Giri Blunders, Loses to Karjakin

Norway Chess R7: Giri Blunders, Loses to Karjakin

| 33 | Chess Event Coverage

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

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

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