Norway Chess Tournament 2016
Posted: 19 April 2016 08:00 PM  
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Round 1

There are two great news about Round 1 of the Altibox Norway chess tournament: Anish Giri interrupted a fastidious streak of draws after the Candidates’, winning against Eljanov; Magnus Carlsen dominated Harikrishna and won the first round of a tournament after over two years. With Kramnik beating the qualified Swedish GM Grandelius, all the top three guys won with white today, in a rather spectacular round. Carlsen’s game went down to a crazy time-scramble, and the world champion showed once again that he can think really fast. MVL wasn’t able to get a lot out of the opening, and LI Chao found a nice tactic to enter an opposite-color bishop endgame, which he held comfortably. Aronian found himself in trouble; for a while Topalov had the upper hand in the game, but then the Bulgarian ace failed to find the determination to bring home the full point. An exciting first round of a tournament that promises to be really interesting!

GM Alex Yermolinsky’s video recap

The winner of the GTR contest today is Radja. congratulations!

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Posted: 20 April 2016 06:47 PM   [ # 1 ]  
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Round 2

After a great start, with three decisive results in round 1, today only one game was decisive. But what a game! The strong Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won his encounter with Anish Giri of the Netherlands, swapping places with him in the standings. Maxime now sports a monstrous rating in the live list: 2792.5! Giri lost a game after an impressive streak without a single defeat since November 2015. The game was really exciting; a Sicilian Najdorf that MVL mastered in an almost old-fashioned way, with tactics and brilliant play all over the board. Carlsen drew Topalov comfortably with black, and is now 37 games straight without a loss. Grandelius and Aronian split the point after and interesting Berlin defense. Kramnik tried to complicate his game against Li Chao, but the strong Chinese GM was a able to hold the draw. Now the trio in the lead is Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Tomorrow Round 3 at 10AM EDT - 16 CEST. Live commentary in ICC with IM Christof Sielecki and GM Lars Bo Hansen.

GM Ronen Har-Zvi’s video recap

Today’s winner of the GTR contest is Fork. Well done!

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest for Round 1 is MagPet. Congratulations!

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Posted: 21 April 2016 06:23 PM   [ # 2 ]  
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Round 3

It’s Magnus’ day. the only decisive result today was his victory over Grandelius. Grandelius chose a rare line in the Sicilian, which is almost never played at the top level. It probably caught Magnus off-guard, as the Norwegian thought for quite a long while after 2. …Nf6. but then Magnus went to the main line, allowing Grandelius to overextend his troops with g4 and g5. At that point Magnus decided to sac a piece, to get his King to safety and allow the queen to come out, backed up by a powerful bishop. Carlsen’s pawn in f6 played an important role in the World Champion’s attack, and the game looked difficult for Grandelius already at move 10! Carlsen, in his typical style, went ahead playing the best moves, calmly and with impressive precision. A great game by Magnus, who now loads solo with 2.5 points after 3 rounds. Everyone else drew, in what seems to be a trend in these super-tournaments, where almost invariably we get one decisive result and a lot of draws. Kramnik and MVL follow Magnus half a point behind, and tomorrow they face each other, with MVL as white. the tournament looks already grim for Eljanov, Harikrishna and Eljanov, but with 6 rounds to go they can surely improve their position. Round 4 starts at 10AM EDT, 16:00 CEST. ICC will have live commentary with GMs Pablo Zarnicki and Jonathan Speelman.

GM Lars Bo Hansen’s video recap

Today we had four winners in the GTR contest: Radja, JJ12, Fork and ECP. Well done!

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest is haggai. Congratulations!

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Posted: 22 April 2016 07:28 PM   [ # 3 ]  
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Round 4

Five draws in round 5 of the Norway Chess Tournament. However, it was a good round, with some interesting fights over the board. Giri said in an interview: “Now everything is back to normal, and I am back to making draws”, showing a good sense of humor, after all the teasing about his record-breaking 14-round draws in the Candidates. His game against Aronian was pretty interesting, with the two top players fighting hard for an advantage. Such a game shows how stressful chess can be, what kind of pressure these young men are able to endure. Kramnik survived to a brilliant MVL, in a very difficult game for the Russian ace.  Grandelius fought with a fierce attitude, and although it’s not easy for the young Swedish GM to play with these monsters, he’s already only half a point from doing better than Hammer at his debut in the Norway Tournament. Carlsen drew with the Chinese Li Chao, and was a bit upset at how the game went. In an interview after the game, the World Champion said: “Very few plays as shamelessly on a draw as Chao Li did today”. Li Chao didn’t play the most ambitious opening of his life, but who would try anything challenging against Magnus? The standings remain unchanged after today’s round, with Carlsen leading solo at 4/5, followed by Kramnik and MVL half a point behind. Tomorrow is the first rest day. Play resumes on Sunday at 10AM EDT - 16:00 CEST. ICC will have live commentary with IM Vojislav Milanovic and GM Max Dlugy.

GM Jon Speelman’s video recap

Today we have again 4 winners in the GTR contest: ECP, Radja, nikenwidiartto and Fork. Well done!

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest is DukeBishop. Congratulations!

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Posted: 24 April 2016 05:42 PM   [ # 4 ]  
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Round 5

Two decisive results today. Not at the very top of the standings, but the games were interesting and entertaining. Topalov vs. Grandelius started with a regular, slow, non-Berlin Ruy Lopez, which led to a slight advantage for white. Topalov was maneuvering in the typical Ruy Lopez fashion, calmly amassing pieces on the king side, when Grandelius decided to break the equilibrium in the center. Topalov took advantage of the unbalanced position, starting to play strong on both sides of the board, a la Petrosian, and planting a uber-strong and extremely annoying knight on h5. Topalov kept playing very solid and precise, putting the Swedish GM under pressure a bit more after every move. An excellent game by the former world champion, Li Chao vs. Harikrishna was the other decisive result today. It was a very interesting positional battle in the King’s Indian defense. Li Chao seemed to be able to hold with the black pieces, but then he gave the Indian GM a chance to improve his position, and Harikrishna played very well, bringing home the full point. Carlsen drew Giri, confirming that the young Hollander is not an easy opponent for the World Champion. The game was quiet, without any real danger for either player. After today’s round, Topalov joined the small but belligerent pack with Kramnik and MVL, that is chasing Magnus half a point behind the leader. Tomorrow round 6 starts at 10AM EDT—16:00 CEST. ICC will have live commentary with IM Voja Milanovic and GM Max Dlugy.

GM John Fedorowicz’s video recap

We have four winners in the GTR Contest: Radja, TiredDad, JJ12 and nikenwidiartto

The winner of the GOTD TRIVIA contest for Round 4 is Activekids

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Posted: 25 April 2016 07:28 PM   [ # 5 ]  
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Round 6

Only two decisive games today, but the standings changed a lot. Carlsen still in the lead, with 4 points out of 6 rounds, but now the howling pack of pursing wolves has got a new member: the strong Indian GM Pentala Harikrishna. Carlsen drew with MVL, but it wasn’t an easy draw for the World Champion. MVL is showing he can be a headache for everyone at the super-top level. They went for a Berlin in the Ruy Lopez, following the game Giri-Karjakin for a long time. At move 22 Carlsen deviated, coming out with a new move: Nd5 . From then on, MVL tried hard, playing quite well, and even getting some slight chance for an advantage, but Carlsen is a great defender, and after a very interesting fight, they agreed on a draw. Kramnik had some chances against Aronian in the middle-game, but Levon was able to hold the Russian to a draw. The strong Indian GM Harikrishna won his game today, defeating one of the favorites of the tournament, Anish Giri. Hari managed to make his queen side pawn into monsters, that later on in the game paralyzed Giri’s troops, to eventually win the game. A Brilliant execution by Pentala, that with this result gets back in the fight for the final victory. Eljanov won with Grandelius, who is not having an easy time in Stavanger. The strong Pavel was able to make the difference finding the brilliant 29. Nf5!, temporarily sacrificing a knight to pry open the enemy king’s defense and scattering Grandelius’ pawn structure. The game was good for white, but still far to be winning. Unfortunately, in time trouble, Grandelius blundered with 34. ...exd6? allowing the white queen to penetrate close to the king, threatening check and take a rook in the process. tomorrow is a rest day. Play resumes Wednesday the 27th, at 10AM EDT—16:00 CEST. ICC will have live commentary with IM John Watson and GM Larry Christiansen.

IM Voja Milanovic’s video recap

Today we had three winners in the GTR Contest: ECP, Radja and bennywins. Well done!

The winner of GOTD TRIVIA for Round 5 is cyborg86. congratulations!

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Posted: 27 April 2016 09:09 PM   [ # 6 ]  
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Round 7

It’s not every day you see Vladimir Kramnik, one of the greatest players of all time, get outplayed, but this is exactly what the Martian from Norway did today, and apparently with little effort, finishing with a huge advantage on the clock. Kramnik barely made the time control at move 40, but at that point there was no way for the Russian legend to save the game: two pawns down and a hopeless position. Kramnik tried to resist, but Carlsen excellent technique left nothing to Vladimir, who resigned at move 50, facing a queen promotion. Carlsen sails happily toward a new important milestone of his amazing career: winning for the first time a super-tournament on his homeland. Aronian played a very good game against Eljanov, and brought home the full point. The former numero-due joins the pursing pack, that after today though howls a bit less loudly, with Magnus a full point ahead with two rounds to go. Topalov Giri was a crazy game, spectacular and thrilling, with a lot of tactics involved. For sure a game to review for the aficionados. Tomorrow Round 8 at 10AM EDT—16:00 CEST. ICC will have live commentary with IM Christof Sielecki and GM Joel Benjamin.

GM Larry Christiansen’s video recap

Today we have three winners in the GTR contest: ECP, nikenwidiartto and bennywins. Well done!

The winner of GOTD TRIVIA contest for Round 6 is GreenLantern.  Congratulations!

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Posted: 28 April 2016 07:59 PM   [ # 7 ]  
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Round 8

One day you shellac, the next day you get shellacked. This is the hard life of the chess players. Magnus Carlsen yesterday won very convincingly with Kramnik, and today lost very convincingly with Aronian. The Armenian played very well, and now he’s there on top with Magnus, with one round to go. Kramnik today won against Harikrishna, letting the leaders know he’s still there, ready to bite. So, what could happen tomorrow? Carlsen plays white against a demotivated Eljanov, who’s having a rather horrible tournament. Aronian has black against Harikrishna, who has had a up-and-down event so far. In theory, Magnus is favorite. Of course if one of the leaders wins, he would take it all. If they both win, there will be blitz playoff: two blitz games with time control 3+2 and if still tied the (in)famous Armageddon, where white has 4 minutes and black 3 minutes plus draw odds. But this is not all! Should both Magnus and Levon draw and one of the pursuing guys win, the playoff would be a double round-robin blitz tournament! Kramnik plays Topalov, and both of them are in the chasing group. MVL plays Grandelius, and he’s the favorite to win tomorrow. The most likely scenario is a three-way tie, with Carlsen, Aronian and MVL. But who knows! Every prediction seems to fail miserably. One thing is for sure: it will be an exciting last round! ICC will have live commentary with Mark Crowther and GM Alex Yermolinsky.

GM Joel Benjamin’s video recap

Today we have two winners in the GTR contest: Corocotta and nikenwidiartto. Well done!

The winner of GOTD TRIVIA contest is Kisei. congratulations!

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Posted: 29 April 2016 08:50 PM   [ # 8 ]  
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Round 9

At the 4th attempt, Magnus Carlsen wins his homeland super-tournament. Entering last round there were several possible scenarios, with Carlsen and Aronian tied in the lead, followed by three hungry wolves: Kramnik, Topalov and MVL. But Magnus, in his typical grinding style, beat Pavel Eljanov to win clear first the Norway Chess Tournament 2016. the Norwegian ace keeps on winning big time, improving his impressive numbers: 4 tournaments won in a row; 7 tournaments won out of the last 9; 23 tournaments won out of 33 since 2010; 27 super-tournaments won so far. Impressive. congratulations to the World Champion! Topalov and Kramnik played an interesting battle. And, making the news, they were seen going over their game in post-mortem analysis, and showed up together at the press conference! Time heals wounds, and it’s nice to see the two great champions trying to get along again, after such a long time.

GM Alex Yermolinsky’s video recap

Today we have two winners in the GTR contest: Fork and bennywins. Well done!

The OVERALL GTR champion is Radja. He wins 12 months of FREE membership. Bravo!

The winner of GOTD TRIVIA contest for Rd 8 is Laurence. Congratulations!

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