June 13, 2014 20:09

Sergey Karjakin Repeats as Norway Chess Winner

When he was playing against Anish Giri he didn't expect to finish with 3.0/3, but he did. Sergey Karjakin defeated Fabiano Caruana in the final round in Stavanger to clinch victory yet again at the Norway Chess tournament. Like Karjakin, Magnus Carlsen finished on the same number of points as last year after beating his compatriot Simen Agdestein while Vladimir Kramnik finished on 9th place as he lost to Alexander Grischuk.

Oops, he did it again! Sergey Karjakin won the Norway Chess tournament for the second year in a row, somewhat unexpectedly because of a slow start but deservedly as his main rivals made too many “unforced errors”, as Peter Svidler described it. Karjakin finished on the same number of points as last year, 6.0/9, and so did runner-up Magnus Carlsen: 5.5/9. Alexander Grischuk cemented his world #3 position with an excellent third place in a tournament which he described as “clearly the strongest 10-player tournament ever held.” For Vladimir Kramnik, who finished in 9th place, the tournament was one to quickly forget.

Simen Agdestein and his second Evgeny Romanov arriving for the final round

The first game to end in the final round was Giri vs Svidler, and it was not much of a game: right out of the opening the players repeated the moves. “When you have a nice position without counterplay it's not always that you don't lose!” said Giri, referring to his unfortunate loss against Karjakin. “I don't have any excuses, I am just making up one. I didn't know I wasn't in the mood to fight but somehow I wasn't,” added the Dutch number one.

PGN string

Topalov and Aronian also split the point, but there things could have gone differently. The Bulgarian finished on a decent 4.5/9 after a bad start (“It looked totally terrible. Not only the way I was losing my games but I was also blundering.”), but that could have been plus one if he had been a bit more alert. Both players missed an idea for White on move 24 that was connected to a knight going from e3 to c2. Backward knight moves can easily be missed!

PGN string

Aronian explained that he hadn't been in great shape during the tournament. “Generally I was playing badly. I was not feeling 100%. I just had a nose operation and I'm still recovering. The Olympiad is a place where I'm going to have my revenge!”

Then Kramnik went down against his compatriot Grischuk, who seemed under pressure in a Grünfeld and got into time trouble. “Maybe that was what made him go astray,” said Grischuk because as so often, his level didn't really go down with just a few minutes on the clock. Instead, it was Kramnik who started making mistakes. Grischuk: “Better lucky than good!”

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And so the tournament got to see an exciting finish with Karjakin defending his half-point lead over Carlsen. The Russian GM was expected to draw his game with Caruana, while Carlsen was building up a nice advantage against Agdestein.

However, the 47-year-old was by no means going to help his compatriot; in fact he was putting up a good defense. Only just before the time control Agdestein started to make a few small errors.

PGN string

“I don't think I played particularly well, not too disastrous either but I never got going and obviously I missed my chance yesterday,” said Carlsen.

If Karjakin would draw his game, the tournament would be decided in a blitz playoff. The organizers had already put up a chess set in a separate room, but it wasn't necessary. Caruana made a big mistake on move 32 and got into a lost position. It took a while, but eventually Karjakin converted the full point to clinch his second victory in Norway.

PGN string


“Especially when I was playing Anish I didn't think I would finish with plus three!” said Karjakin, who didn't bring a second to the tournament. His regular second, GM Alexander Motylev, was playing a tournament himself.

“I was doing it alone, which is quite unusual for me. My wife was helping me and my manager was supporting me. That was my team basically. Last year I also came only with her. She is my best second!

During one of the interviews, Karjakin was asked the typical question what he would do with his 100,000 Euro first prize. He said “I don't know,” but his wife Galiya, who was standing closeby, said “I know!” 

The players at the closing ceremony | Photo © Chess.com

Norway Chess 2014 | Pairings & Results

Round 1 03.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 2 04.06.14 15:30 CET
Aronian ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian 1-0 Karjakin
Karjakin ½-½ Topalov   Kramnik ½-½ Carlsen
Grischuk 0-1 Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Svidler
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Topalov 0-1 Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ Kramnik   Agdestein ½-½ Giri
Round 3 05.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 4 07.06.14 15:30 CET
Karjakin ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian ½-½ Svidler
Grischuk 1-0 Aronian   Karjakin 1-0 Grischuk
Svidler ½-½ Topalov   Caruana ½-½ Giri
Carlsen ½-½ Caruana   Topalov ½-½ Carlsen
Giri 0-1 Kramnik   Agdestein ½-½ Kramnik
Round 5 08.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 6 09.06.14 15:30 CET
Grischuk ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian ½-½ Giri
Svidler ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Aronian   Grischuk ½-½ Svidler
Giri 1-0 Topalov   Topalov 1-0 Kramnik
Kramnik 1-0  Caruana   Agdestein ½-½ Caruana
Round 7 10.06.14 15:30 CET   Round 8 12.06.14 15:30 CET
Svidler ½-½ Agdestein   Aronian ½-½ Caruana
Carlsen ½-½ Grischuk   Karjakin 1-0 Kramnik
Giri 0-1 Karjakin   Grischuk ½-½ Giri
Kramnik ½-½ Aronian   Svidler ½-½ Carlsen
Caruana ½-½ Topalov   Agdestein 0-1 Topalov
Round 9 13.06.14 14:30 CET        
Carlsen 1-0 Agdestein        
Giri ½-½ Svidler        
Kramnik 0-1 Grischuk        
Caruana 0-1 Karjakin        
Topalov ½-½ Aronian        

Norway Chess 2014 | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Karjakin,Sergey 2771 2894 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 6.0/9  
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2841 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 5.5/9  
3 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 2810 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 5.0/9  
4 Caruana,Fabiano 2791 2772 0 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 4.5/9 19.75
5 Topalov,Veselin 2772 2774 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 0 1 1 4.5/9 19.50
6 Aronian,Levon 2815 2731 1 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/9 18.25
7 Svidler,Peter 2753 2738 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 4.0/9 18.25
8 Giri,Anish 2752 2738 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ 4.0/9 17.75
9 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2735 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 4.0/9 17.00
10 Agdestein,Simen 2628 2711 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 3.5/9  

The Norway Chess tournament runs 2-13 June in the Stavanger region. All photos courtesy of the official website | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Anonymous's picture

Observer, don't you have a life? A job? You spend so much time here! This site is clearly very important in your life, but don't you have anything else to do?

observer's picture

Must be a lot more important for you, s3, as you seem to have a great need to adopt many identities and spoof people, which I don't need to do. That makes you a truly desperate person. Plus you are on several other forums doing the same thing.
So I suggest you ask yourself those questions.

Anonymous's picture

You are avoiding answer. Tell me, do you have friends, a life, a job? Or is it enough for you to be a tiny bit better than the s3 troll who is obviously the most important person in your life?

observer's picture

@ Anonymous = s3:

There are easy answers to that, s3. You can see, for example, that I have not been on the forum for the last 17 hours. I have yet to read the latest thread. Sometimes I am not here for more than a week at a time.

However, do you not think you should answer the questions I asked you first, Mr self-admitted gutless coward?

Vhomas Topalov's picture

this time it's hard not to say karjakin has been quite lucky, 1) lost position vs Agdestain, 2) worse against Grischuk and then won 3) lost in many times vs Giri... and incredibly won 4) another little gift by Caruana short on time, in general with magnus not at his best a very balanced tournament, Kramnik should have more respect for his collegues, kramnik still acts like all his losses are caused ONLY by his ows mistakes, or in case of topalov by opening preparation (just like opening prep in not part of chess)

Grischuk is not 2790 by chance, yesterday played a sharp line, he made just 1 mistake in time trouble, K. did not take advantage of it at once and then Sasha played the right moves, disattending the press conference K. somehow bellittles Grischuk's win, G. indeed has had his share of luck but I think has also some chess skills

Anonymous's picture

" ...disattending the press conference K. somehow bellittles Grischuk's win"

Even if he might try that, it is to no avail - such beaviour only reflects badly on his reputation as a sportsman. Kramnik shows his character here. He is a whiner.

Thomas Richter's picture

I take the liberty to reply here to observer, else my answer will become unreadable.

I brought in Topalov because, from my point of view, there may well have been a relationship between clear privileges for Topalov and and lesser privileges for Kramnik. If Kramnik had won in Mexico, he would have been obliged to play yet another WCh event to reconfirm a title he already obtained twice - would you agree that this would have been rather unfair? Then by way of compensation, Kramnik got another shot at the title even if he doesn't win in Mexico - hence there may have been a link between both scenarios. I disagree about "complete tangents with no relevance at all".

Shirov isn't a nutcase, but he is an emotional person - by comparison, it's hard to imagine that introvert persons like Caruana and Karjakin are capable of deep and sustained hatred for anyone. He was 'robbed', that's for sure, and then may have projected his hatred primarily on Kramnik - also, what could he gain from hating Kasparov? The "job offer" scenario might still hold: If the second candidate out of two suitable for the job declines, the employer might come up with an improved offer for candidate #1 after all (but in the given case, it was extremely unlikely). In any case, when Kramnik agreed to play a match against Kasparov, Shirov's legitimate(!) rights for such a match were definitely gone. Shirov's strong reaction was understandable, but nonetheless from my point of view irrational. I also like Shirov, and really enjoy his books.

observer's picture

Another specious argument by you.
Ask yourself a simple question, Thomas: Would there have been a change after Elista to the unification agreement if only Topalov had demanded it? That would be pretty brazen even for Ilyumzhinov (who in any case was probably pretty annoyed with Topalov for what he did in Elista). And if this was so, and Kramnik was then offered what would be obviously necessary "compensation", surely if he was the man of principle you claim him to be, he would have rejected it and spoken out about it, rather than take part in a dirty deal at Anand's expense?
It is almost certain that Kramnik had input to this from the start.
But of course on the other hand, Ilyumzhinov also couldn't just give something to Kramnik without giving something to Topalov as well, as Topalov would start squealing - so Topalov was given something, too.

Ok, let's look at the balance of advantages and disadvantages to Kramnik of this deal.
1) With 7 strong players in Mexico apart from himself, the chances of Kramnik winning this event and thus remaining World Champion are a lot less than 50%. And if he doesn't win, he's effectively back to square one.
2) Kramnik would have fancied his chances as better than 50% of beating Topalov in another match.
(With a well under 50% chance that he would have to play such a match.)
3) Kramnik would have fancied his chances of beating Anand in a match at 50%, and any other winner of Mexico as more than 50%.
4) Thus whatever happens at Mexico, Kramnik has at least a 50% chance of being World Champion after another match, and more than that if it's a Topalov match.
Versus well under 50% chance of being World Champion after Mexico if the deal is not there.
Clearly, Kramnik overall gains a lot from this deal.

Both Kramnik and Topalov were ridiculously favoured by this deal at the expense of the other 7 participants in Mexico 2007 by the "lesser evil" Ilyumzhinov. Simply a scandal.

The overall conclusion has to be that Kramnik almost certainly intrigued to gain World Championship privileges for himself (contrary to s3's claim), and in the unlikely event he did not initiate these he certainly took what came his way at the expense of others in a dirty deal.

Re Shirov: For goodness sake, Thomas, you don't hate someone for gain (that's a different emotion eg envy, etc), you hate someone for wrong you perceive they have done to you or other people. Clearly, Shirov perceived that Kramnik had done him a greater wrong, at least ethically, than Kasparov.

You have now just scored an own goal with your "job offer" scenario. For in that case, if Kramnik was a man of principle, he should have declined the "job" and said to Kasparov: "this is not right, go and play Shirov".

As a matter of fact, I don't think Kramnik was too much out of order in accepting the match (apart from his 1998 comment) for the reasons you gave in your previous post. By 2000, a Kasparov-Kramnik match was the only WCh match worth having.

Quite a different story however with Kramnik insisting on a knockout Qualifier (to ensure Kasparov wouldn't play - Kasparov had not said until this point that he wouldn't play) after previously condemning this format, such hypocrisy. And to do this to someone who had been his friend and mentor and who had helped his career (eg getting him into the Russian team for the 1992 Manila Olympiad).
My dislike of Kramnik began at that point, as I'm sure it did for many others.

Dave's picture

Winning just Two games out of Nine - one of those against a non-descript 2628 rated player. And that's a 2841 perf?! What rubbish.

By those standards - our neighborhood pub has an average perf level of 2750 every day of the year.

Anonymous's picture

Had Kramnik drawn the game against Caruana as he should have without Fabiano's unusual, capital and decisive blunder, he would have finished last in the final tournament standings. Talking about standards?

Leo's picture

"Those standards"? You mean the formula by which performance rating is calculated?

Anon's picture

This more and more becomes a place of hate speech and trolling from different camps of "fans". It's a pity. I still hope the last remaining serious people will keep up the occasional interesting and chess-related discussions.

Anonymous's picture

"This more and more becomes a place of hate speech and trolling from different camps of "fans" "

Sad thing, this is true for quite some time already. Anonymous posting including mine should be made a lot more difficult than it is now. If only confirmed handles like Thomas Richter's were allowed in here, the quality of dicussions would improve significantly and trolling (insulting, impersonating) would disappear all of a sudden.

Anónimo's picture

You are probably right but makes me wonder if my strong dislike for Kramnik, the person, disqualifies my respect for Kramnik, the chessplayer. Food for thought.

s3's picture

Btw. Well organized tournament. This time they even managed to write round reports after it became clear that the local hero wouldn't win. Last year the reports suddenly stopped. No wonder they ditched that writer for this edition.

Anonymous's picture

Does the impaler look pretty pale in the closing ceremony, or is that only my impression? Well, credits to him for at least turning up there, which is far from self-evident as we have (not) seen in three of his post game interviews.

Lopez's picture

Anand will kick butt all pf them

Anonymous's picture

If Vlady hadn't been under the weather he would have won this.

Anonymous's picture

Agreed, he seems a bit shaky recently, and this was a really strong tournament. At least Vlady didn't finish last here. Surely he will do a lot better in Dortmund Sparkassen.

Dirk849312476's picture

Tournament regulations say "After each round the participants shall comment on their games and answer questions from the press at the press center".

How come the tournament site doesn't mention the prizes? Is that a secret?

s3's picture

As far as I know you can skip a post game press conference, you just got to pay. I think it was a 5 k fine.

Viking's picture

That seems a lot of money to give up to skip a press conference, says something about the upset Kramnik must feel about losing.

jimknopf's picture

Great tournament despite many draws: it had much interesting content, including the draws.

Karjakin was rewarded for remarkable tenacity and is a deserved winner. There were a lot of blunders or missed chances or luck the other way round in the second half, but that's human chess after all.

Carlsen showed a lack of concentration unusual for him. He would have a hard time like this against Anand, but my impression is that he is basically fine, definitely advancing the flexibility of his style, and that he will be back to full focus soon.

I even got the (of course purely fictional) impression that he played like someone, who has suddenly fallen in love or faced other private problems and was fluctuationg between optimistic impetus (blitz, some game phases in the classic), and missing concentration (at 80% or 90% of his normal level).

Still I don't worry a bit about Magnus, as long as even then, he is able to finish half a point behind, becoming second now and then. I also like his very straightforward and quite objective comments in post game talk a lot.

Big thanks to the organisers, and I also enjoyed the commentators, despite some weak or less helpful comments now and then. All in all a very entertaining tournament, and a very sympathetic and witty Grishuk making me smile and laugh more than once.

s3's picture

Wow! An entire sentence about Karjakin. Not bad Jim :)

Leo's picture

Wow! An entire post without anti-Carlsen innuendo. Not bad, S3 :)

jimknopf's picture

Perhaps you forget that I was the one defending Karjakin in this forum when he was ridiculed in an unfair way, looking at his series of draws. He is a clear top ten player, even if he plays a bit hesitant and over-cautious at times.

I must confess I find Grishuks games more interestijg, and in contrast to some I also see lots of very intersting stuff going on in Carlsen's games, of which most look neither boring nor dry to me (with some exceptions not to be denied).

jimknopf's picture

that was @s3

Anonymous's picture

The comment by Merlinovich was quite interesting. Unfortunately it is lost in a sea of S3 crap.

matu's picture

impossible for agdestein not to see mate. i think he gave away the game. what do you say admin?

Leo's picture

Why would you expect a forum admin to comment on such an accusation?


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