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Carlsen wins second game in a row in Norway

Norway ChessThe Norway Chess super-tournament continues and the fight for first place is getting livelier as Magnus Carlsen took down Teimour Radjabov and is now half a point behind the leader Sergey Karjakin. With three rounds to go, anything could happen in the first edition of this strong event. After winning his fifth round game, Hammer lost today against Levon Aronian.

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Magnus Carlsen pulled a victory out of thin air against Teimour Radjabov. The local hero used the white pieces to take down the Azerbaijani in 68 moves. After his win over Karjakin in yesterday’s round, this full point was enough to close the gap with the Russian to only half a point.

The game was started as an English opening. Black broke quickly in the center and was left with two hanging pawns on the c- and d-files. Carlsen tried to use this structural weakness to get an edge but never seemed to get much out of the position. By move 27, only a rook and a minor piece for each side were on the board. Carlsen had a knight against Radjabov’s bishop. It seemed like the draw was inevitable but the Norwegian kept pushing and, once again, obtained a full point where most Grandmasters would have signed a draw much earlier.

Magnus Carlsen Vishy Anand 2013

Magnus Carlsen

The game that faced Levon Aronian with Jon Ludvig Hammer was much shorter. The Armenian only needed 24 moves to go back to a plus score in the tournament. Hammer defeated Wang Hao in the previous round but erred early in the opening today. He has gone back to the cellar, as Wang Hao drew his game today.

The Gruenfeld Defense was chosen by the Norwegian. Aronian used a direct central expansion, using his d- and e- pawns to create problems on black’s side. Hammer managed to spoil white’s kingside pawn structure, but the Armenian’s attack was much too fast and strong to hold the draw. The Norwegian resigned when it was clear that white’s d-pawn was going to promote and black’s a-pawn was not going to be enough to get counterplay.

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian

A highly expected game was the fight between world champion Viswanathan Anand with white and leader Sergey Karjakin with black. The struggle was fierce and the draw was a fair result after both players showed their best game. However, none of them was able to create enough imbalances to achieve something. Anand remains one point behind Karjakin, who leads with 4.5/6 points.

Hikaru Nakamura and Peter Svidler signed their score-sheets with a half point for each player after battling during 30 moves in a sharp Ruy Lopez. Veselin Topalov split the point with Wang Hao after 32 moves in an endgame with two bishops against two knights.

The seventh round might be crucial for the final standings, as Magnus Carlsen has the chance to catch Karjakin in his game against compatriot Jon Ludvig Hammer. The Russian plays with white against Hikaru Nakamura.

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura

Standings after 6 rounds:

1 Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2767
2 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2868 4
3 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2775
4 Aronian, Levon ARM 2813
5 Anand, Viswanathan IND 2783 3
6 Svidler, Peter RUS 2769 3
7 Topalov, Veselin BUL 2793
8 Radjabov, Teimour AZE 2745
9 Wang, Hao CHN 2743 2
10 Hammer, Jon Ludvig NOR 2608

 

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