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Norway Chess 2015: Players profile

The Norway Chess 2015 super tournament kicks off this week to take part from June 15 through June 26, at Flor & Fjære (introductory blitz tournament), Hotel Scandic Stavanger Forus, Utstein Kloster Rennesøy (round 4) and Vitenfabrikken, Sandnes (rest day). You will be able to view all the Norway Chess 2015 live action on with triple engine analysis and commentary from GMs and IMs.

From this year Norway Chess has joined forces with Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Classic to form the Grand Chess Tour circuit. Each of the three events will award individual prize funds of $300,000, with competitors also tallying points toward a tour prize fund of $150,000.

Just hours before the show starts, we present you short preview on the Norway Chess 2015 participants.


World champion Magnus Carlsen will head the field. Carlsen has won every tournament in which he had played since the beginning of 2015. Three trophies out of three tournaments: Grenke Chess Classic 2015Tata Steel Masters 2015 and Shamkir Chess Tournament Gashimov Memorial 2015.

Carlsen has the illusive Elo rating of 2876, leaving the nearest followers more than 70 points behind.

Nevertheless, World number one is looking for another trophy and perhaps for a record break of the 2900+ barrier.


caruanaThe mediocre performance of Fabiano Caruana (2805) in Grenke, Wijk aan Zee and Zurich was followed by the third place in Shamkir Chess Tournament Gashimov Memorial.

Later on Caruana tied for the first place at the 2015 Khanty Mansiysk Grand Prix Tournament to qualify for the 2016 Candidates Tournament.

Right before the start of the decisive Khanty Mansiysk GP Tournament Caruana announced his decision to join the U.S. Chess Federation. More information here


Anand ZurichThe former World champion Viswanathan Anand (2804) and World number 3 Hikaru Nakamura (2802) came out joint winners of Zurich Chess Challenge 2015.

However, Nakamura defeated Anand in a playoff match after a thrilling Armaggeddon game to take the trophy.

Anand disappointed in Grenke Chess Classic with the penultimate seventh place and 2,5/7 points but a s,ilver medal from the Shamkir Chess Tournament improved his statistics for the year.


nakamura 1In the meantime, Hikaru Nakamura started the year with a trophy from the prestigious 13th Tradewise Gibraltar Masters and continued his successful performances winning the 2015 U.S. Championship.

Nakamura finished second at the 2015 Khanty Mansyisk Grand Prix Tournament and thus qualified for the 2016 Candidates Tournament.

On the 1st June, 2015, Hikaru Nakamura reached his Elo rating peak of 2802 but he is certainly not intending to stop here.


Veselin Topalov

Veselin Topalov

The best Bulgarian player and former World champion Veselin Topalov (2798) is currently fifth in the FIDE World Top 100 ranking.

He participated only in the 13th Gibraltar Tradewise Chess Festival this year. He finished fifth with 7,5/10 points and lost two Elo points to fall under 2800.

Topalov is the least active player from the participants in Norway Chess 2015 but it doesn’t make him less dangerous.



Alexander GrischukAlexander Grischuk (2781) finished eighth at the Tbilisi Grand Prix Tournament in February. Later on he had the unsatisfying “-1” score on the first board for the team of Russia at the World Team Chess Championship in Tsaghkadzor, Armenia.

Grischuk continued being active, heading the team of Malakhit at the Russian Premier League in Sochi, where he scored 3/4 points to add 5 more Elo points to his rating.

The last competition for the Russian player was Khanty Mansiysk GP Tournament, where he finished seventh.


Aronian-Alekhine-rd6Levon Aronian (2780) didn’t impress in Zurich Chess Challenge 2015 but he improved his play at the World Team Championship in Tsaghkadzor and Russian Premier League in Sochi.

The best Armenian player ever gained ten more Elo points to his rating to climb to FIDE World number eighth in June 2015.




Anish Giri 2012Anish Giri (2773) started the year sharing second place at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee and tied for the fourth place at the Tbilisi GP.

However, the latter string of tournaments didn’t go well for the young prodigy from the Netherlands. He shared the last place at the Shamkir Chess Tournament Gashimov Memorial 2015 and scored 5,5/11 at the forthcoming Khanty Mansiysk GP. However, it seems that Giri is getting back in shape since he scored 8/10 at the 2015 French TOP-12 Team Championship in Montpellier just a few days ago. His Elo performance was 2828.


VachierLagrave-Biel-rd6Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2723) had a bad season. He started the year fine, sharing second place at the Tata Steel Masters 2015 but the string of his unsuccessful performances started right after that.

He finished ninth at the Tbilisi GP, eighth at the Shamkir Chess Tournament and last at the Khanty Mansiysk GP. Meanwhile, MVL scored 0,5/2 points at the 47th CIS Master Italian Team Championship 2015, playing against much lower rated opponents. As a result, Vachier-Lagrave has lost 52 Elo points since February, 2015, but just like Anish Giri he’s getting back in form, scoring “+4” at the recent 2015 French TOP-12 Team Championship.


Jon Ludvig HammerJon Ludvig Hammer (2677) is the lower rated participant in Norway Chess 2015.

He emerged a clear winner of the 2015 Fagernes Chess International Tournament in April this year.

Hammer continued his successful performance winning the prestigious EnterCard Scandinavian Masters just a month later to qualify for the Norway Chess 2015.



Tournament website / LIVE games with analysisStandings and statisticsPlay chess online

ReplayNorway Chess 2014 games / EnterCard Scandinavian Master games

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