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Karjakin finishes sole first at the Norway Chess Tournament

Norway ChessThe last round of the first Norway Chess Tournament finished after more than five hours of chess. Sergey Karjakin finally drew his game against Veselin Topalov to claim overall victory at the event. Magnus Carlsen signed an uneventful draw with Levon Aronian, Viswanathan Anand lost with black against Wang Hao and Hikaru Nakamura got shared second place thanks to his win over Jon Ludvig Hammer.

Replay games with computer analysis / Participants

Sergey Karjakin fulfilled the expectations after his great start and finished the event on sole first place after drawing Veselin Topalov with the white pieces today. This game was the longest one of the round and was not a peaceful GM draw by no means. Topalov finished on -1 after drawing eight games and losing against Anand in the third round.

The game was a Sicilian Najdorf. Topalov chose to leave his king in the center protected by the f6-f7 doubled-pawns formation. With a completely blocked position in the center and kingside, Topalov started looking for chances on the queenside. Karjakin defended correctly and fenced-off the danger. The players made a repetition on move 50 in a position where the Russian is a pawn up.

Sergey Karjakin

Sergey Karjakin

The two best rated players in the world faced each other today. Magnus Carlsen needed a win over Levon Aronian to get, at least, a chance to catch Karjakin if he drew with Topalov. However, to look for a win with the black pieces against Aronian is not the easiest thing in the world. The Armenian played solidly and exchanged a lot of pieces out of the opening to get a draw on 30 moves.

The overall result of the event for Carlsen can be evaluated as slightly positive. He recovered from a slow start and finished on shared second place. However, the Norwegian always shoots for first, and especially in the first edition of this super-tournament, in his home soil. On the other hand, Levon Aronian finished on +1, which might also not be enough for his ambitions. He comes from winning the Alekhine Memorial and tiredness might be a big factor at this point.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen

Viswanathan Anand got his fifth decisive result in the event. This time, he lost against Wang Hao with the black pieces. The world champion also arrived with a chance to catch the leader but ended up falling against the creative play of the talented Chinese. Anand finished a point behind the leader on 5/9 and Wang Hao left the bottom side of the table to finish with an even score.

The game was a Symmetrical English where white played fearlessly, going for a line with g4 and e4 included. The dynamic position that arose fit the style of the Chinese, who handled the complications better than his opponent. Anand sacrificed a queen for a rook and bishop and tried to defend an inferior position. However, Wang’s passed pawn on the queenside was the decisive factor that forced the Indian to resign on move 38.

Hikaru Nakamura id

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura finished yet another event on second place after defeating Jon Ludvig Hammer with black. The American repeated his +2 performance from the Gand Prix in Zug and, thanks to these two results, is now on sixth place in the live ratings list. He will be shooting for first place at the upcoming stage of the Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, which stars on Tuesday.

Teimour Radjabov and Peter Svidler finished the tournament with a draw. The Russian played the Gruefeld with black and faced a not-very-ambitious setup by white. The players signed the peace treaty after 31 moves.

Final Standings:

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


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