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Showing posts with label norway chess 2013. Show all posts
Showing posts with label norway chess 2013. Show all posts

Friday, May 10, 2013

Norway Chess R2: Carlsen, Anand Draw


SANDNES: World champion Viswanathan Anand won the psychological battle holding his world championship challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway to an easy draw in the second round of the Norway Chess 2013 Super tournament in progress here.

The much awaited clash turned out to be a full entertainer to the audience as Carlsen tried but could not make much use of his white pieces in a keenly contested game arising out of a Sicilian defence.

Both Carlsen and Anand inched to one point out of a possible two in the 10-player round-robin tournament following a draw in the opener too.

The other game to end early was a damp squib between former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan while Levon Aronian came up with a fine effort to outclass Hikaru Nakamura of United States.

In the other two games Sergey Karjakin crashed through the defences of Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway and, in a surprise, Peter Svidler of Russia was outdone by Wang Hao of China.

After the end of the second round, Karjakin emerged as sole leader with a perfect two points out of a possible two and he is now followed by Aronian a half point behind.

Anand, Svidler, Nakamura, Calrsen, Topalov and Wang Hao share the fourth spot on one point each while Radjabov is ninth with ahalf point in his kitty. With seven rounds still to come, Hammer is at the bottom of the tables, yet to open his account.

Anand went for the principled Sicilian defence against Carlsen. The Norwegian had beaten Anand in the Moscow variation last time out and he stuck to the same but Anand was much better prepared this time. While the position remained equal Carlsen still had that nagging advantage he wanted to encash and Anand had to be precise in the defence even though it was not too difficult.

A rook and knight endgame was reached early and thereafter all Anand had to do was to get rid of the pawns off the board. The game was drawn with Carlsen having an extra knight but no pawns on the board on move 59.

Aronian crushed Nakamura out of an exchange Slav that speaks volumes about the world No 3. The position was about level out of the opening but the Armenian obviously had more ideas.

Nakamura thought he was fine when giving white a queen side pawn majority but he was proven wrong in the endgame as Aronian made most of it. In the end, the American fought vainly after losing a rook for lmost nothing. As it happened, nothing came of it and he had to resign after 70 moves.

Wang Hao played the game of the day outwitting Svidler in his pet Grunfeld. The Chinese was in command early in the opening and did not falter even while reaching an advantageous end-game.

Hammer lost with white which is certain to dent his confidence. Karjakin did everything right after getting a better endgame and won in 54 moves. (PTI)
Results: Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1) drew with V Anand (Ind, 1); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1) drew with Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 0.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 1.5) beat Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 1); Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor, 0) lost to Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 1); Wang Hao (Chn, 1) beat Peter Svidler (Rus, 1).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Norway Chess Round 1

SANDNES: World champion Viswanthan Anand could do little with white pieces as his opponent Levon Aronian of Armenia held him to an easy draw in the first round of Norway Chess 2013 super tournament that got underway in Sandnes.

It turned out to be rather sedate Anand who has got a tough draw in the tournament. White pieces against most of the top seeds and black against lower ranked players means that the Indian ace has to be in top form to deliver the goods and in the opener Aronian was not troubled much.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia continued from where he had left -- winning the blitz drawing of lots -- and put it across Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan whose woes continued after falling hugely in the world ranking.

Norwegian world number one Magnus Carlsen, who is set to play Anand in the next round as well as in the next world championship match in Chennai, could not do more than splitting the point with former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

The other two games in the high category 10-player round-robin tournament, however, were decisive as Russian Peter Svidler scored a lucky win over Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway and Hikaru Nakamura proved smarter than Wang Hao of China.

After the end of the first round, Nakamura, Karjakin and Svidler emerged as early leaders with a full point and Anand, Aronian, Topalov and Carlsen are close behind with a half point each. The three losers are on the bottom of the table.

Anand went for the closed Ruy Lopez as white and his strategy did not yield desirable result. Aronian was well armed in the opening and as many as three minor pieces changed hands by 13th move itself.

The resulting middle game with more heavy pieces was not dry but the presence of opposite coloured Bishops did not give any chance to either player. After a bit of a shadow-boxing, the peace was signed on move 33.

Radjabov slipped further after a dismal show in the last candidates tournament as he fell prey to a finely crafted manoeuvre by Karjakin in the middle game arising out of an off-beat Sicilian.

Playing white, the Russian sensed his chances perfectly in the middle game and his 26th move was a clincher leading to a winning endgame.

Svidler was only trying to equalize a pawn less endgame against Hammer out of a Grunfeld defence when the Norwegian number two started to make a lot of mistakes. Launching his double rook on the seventh rank, the Russian won a handful of pawns to turn the tables.

In the other decisive game of the day, Nakamura won two pieces for a rook with a sortie against Wang Hao to get a winning endgame. The Chinese had gone for the solid Petroff defence which did not come good as black.

Carlsen played a solid English opening as white but got nothing against Topalov who is in top form the game was drawn after 51 moves. (PTI)

Results Round 1: Viswanathan Anand (Ind) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm); Magnus Carlsen(Nor) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul); Sergey Karjakin (Rus) beat Teimour Radjabov (Aze); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa) beat Wang Hao (Chn); Peter Svidler (Rus) beat Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor).

Monday, May 6, 2013

Carlsen Redefines Chess Appeal

STAVANGER: He does fashion shoots with Liv Tyler, enjoys soccer-style sponsorship deals and was recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people. Who is this superstar? The world's top-ranked chess player.

With his trendy look and athletic physique, Norway's Magnus Carlsen has brought an injection of cool to the normally sedate world of global chess — extending its popularity beyond its niche following. The 22-year-old's home country is buzzing with excitement as he competes in a tournament here just months before he tries to crack the greatest prize in the game: the chess World Championship.

In November, the young Norwegian challenges the reigning world champ, Viswanathan Anand, for the title, which typically is contested every other year. The inaugural Norway Chess competition in Stavanger, starting Tuesday, is being widely touted as a dress rehearsal for the championship that is tentatively slated to be played in Chennai, India, where Anand enjoys home court advantage.


FILE - In this photo taken Monday April 29, 2013 Norwegian chess champion Magnus Carlsen smiles during a press conference in Oslo. Carlsen has brought an injection of cool to the normally sedate world of global chess. And the 22-year-old’s home country is buzzing with excitement as he competes in a tournament here months before he tries to crack the greatest prize in the game: the chess World Championship.

With the lure of Carlsen and the 43-year-old Anand, and the 275,500 euros prize money, the competition has attracted one of the strongest lineups ever assembled for a chess tournament. Even with the withdrawal in April of world No. 2, Vladimir Kramnik, the 10-man competition will feature seven of the world's top 10 players, and nine of the top 16, all vying for the 100,000 euros top prize.

"It is very good timing for us. It is very big for Norway that Magnus is doing so well and this probably wouldn't have been possible without him," said Norway Chess chairman Kjell Madland. "We hope it will be the first of very many big chess moments in Norway."

The competition is the first example of oil and gas-rich Norway, today one of the most successful welfare states in the world, leveraging Carlsen's brilliance to try to earn a place alongside more traditional chess superpowers like Russia, Armenia and the United States.

"It is right to say that when nations are in good shape, they tend to throw up good chess players," said Simon Terrington, a British chess writer, evoking Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov's observation that every world champion is a representative of the geopolitical age.

Russian mastery in the shape of Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in the 1980s helped prop up an otherwise creaking Soviet ideology. Later, Viswanathan Anand's triumph in the World Championship in 2000 and his reign as world champ since 2007 has coincided with the re-emergence of India as a great world power. Carlsen took Anand's place at the top of the monthly world rankings in July 2011. Anand has since slumped to 5th.

Now Carlsen's prodigious brilliance is seen by some as bringing intellectual and cultural heft to the social welfare models of Nordic Europe, particularly Norway.

"Chess is connected to what you can call a kind of prestige in the sense that many people look upon the best players as very intelligent and many countries would like to be associated with this," said Joeran Aulin-Jansson, president of the Norwegian Chess Federation. "We hope that the next Magnus Carlsen will come from Norway, though the chances in such a small country are fairly slim."

If not a necessarily a geopolitical shift, the tournament here certainly represents chess' generational shift bringing into sharp focus the edge afforded by youth.

In a game rarely associated with feats of physical endurance, Carlsen prepares for tournaments by mentally revising openings while pounding a treadmill. He will be the youngest competitor at Norway Chess. But he is among six of the world's top eight, all competing here, who are still under 30.

"These long tournaments are quite tiring and long games are very tiring, especially at the end," he told The Associated Press. "If you are in good shape and can keep your concentration you will be the one who will profit from your opponents' mistakes. In general towards the end of the tournaments younger players have that advantage so the other players will have to try to equal that by having good fitness as well."

His fitness matches his unusual style of favoring the middle and long game over obsessive strategizing about opening exchanges.

"I do focus quite a bit on the opening," Carlsen said. "But I have a different goal. Some people try to win the game in the opening. My goal is to make sure I get a playable position and then the main battle is going to happen in the middle game and the later game."

The strategy has worked. Earlier this year, he passed Kasparov's record to attain the highest chess rating ever in the world governing body FIDE rankings. With his modeling contract alongside Liv Tyler for fashion label G-Star Raw, soccer-style sponsorship slogans on his clothing and unnervingly fast and aggressive decision making, the emergence of this telegenic young chess superstar has also helped spur interest in the game not seen since the '70s and '80s — the heydays of the Russian masters and the American Bobby Fischer.

Norwegian grandmaster Simen Agdestein, who will provide commentary on the Stavanger tournament over the Internet, says the interest in Carlsen has been astounding.

In April's Candidates tournament in London, in which top players faced off for the right to play Anand in November, Agdestein's Internet connection became patchy whenever Carlsen was competing.

"All of the top players around the world, and lots of other interested people, were watching him. I don't think the bandwidth could handle it," Agdestein said.

In Stavanger, the round-robin format, in which each of the 10 players will accumulate points by competing against every other competitor, ensures Carlsen will face Anand.

"I don't think it really matters which of us wins that game in Stavanger," Carlsen said. "The kind of momentum that I have going into the November match will be decided by the tournaments I play. I can disassociate the earlier match whatever the result."

Aulin-Jansson is not so sure.

"Whoever wins that game, going into the World Championship, it will be like having a 1-0 lead in a soccer match," he said. (AP)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Norway Chess 2013: Magnus Carlsen Special Promo Video

Are you planning to play at the Norway Chess 2013 Festival? Think about it! Here's World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in a great promo video.



Music video with Magnus Carlsen playing chess on The Pulpit Rock in the Norwegian Lyse fjord in the Stavanger region.
Produced for Norway Chess by Genesis Film.

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