Svidler wins Aker Chess Challenge

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Peter Svidler won the Aker Chess Challenge yesterday by beating Magnus Carlsen 1.5-0.5 in the final. He won the second game with the Black pieces. Nakamura came 3rd; he beat Lie, also with 1.5-0.5.

The Aker Chess Challenge took place 2nd-5th January and was part of the International Chess Festival in Gjovik (Norway). Magnus Carlsen, Peter Svidler, Hikaru Nakamura and Kjetil Lie played a rapid double round-robin with 25 minutes per game plus 5 seconds increment on the clock. It was followed by final and bronze final games, but a blitz play-off (4 minutes + 2 seconds) was needed to determine the finalists.

Finals Yesterday the finals were played. Svidler-Carlsen was a quick draw in a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence (no Wall this time) and this was a psychological success for Carlsen, who had beaten Svidler with the white pieces twice in the tournament. But not a third time, no, in the final it was the Russian with the strongest nerves. In an ending that was at least slightly better for White but probably a draw, Carlsen blundered on move 35 after which it was suddenly very difficult, and soon after winning for Black.

The bronze final started with a convincing victory for Nakamura with the white pieces against Lie, but in the second game the American was on the verge of losing. He then found a clever trap and Lie fell for it, after which Black had a draw by perpetual.

Games of the finals

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Magnus Carlsen and Peter Svidler in the final



The players showing their cheques - in Norwegian crowns it feels better to come second and fourth ;-)



Photos courtesy of the official website.



Note that Macauley Peterson is in Gjovik, reporting for the Chess.FM blog, and has posted some excellent videos!



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