June 11, 2014 3:01

Norway Chess R7: Giri Blunders, Loses to Karjakin

The seventh round of the Norway Chess tournament saw just one decisive game: Anish Giri was an Exchange up for a long time against Sergey Karjakin but blundered terribly on move 131 (!) and had to resign immediately. Karjakin has joined Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana and Vladimir Kramnik in first place, with two rounds to go which will be played on Thursday and Friday.

Nigel Short playing the guitar before starting his commentary

It's arguably the worst way of losing: trying hard for hours and hours to win a better, possibly winning position but then blundering the game away. This is what happened to Anish Giri on Tuesday in Norway; if anyone would never lose this game it was the Dutchman, but it happened anyway, after many hours of play, and after the official commentary had already finished.

In a Symmetrical English not much was going on for a long time, but Giri was better and eventually won an Exchange on move 75. Lots of shuffling followed, but he did make progress and finally he reached a winning position. Update: as Henk Jonker emailed us, it's not so clear actually. See the game annotations. But then he didn't see the right queen maneuver that would have allowed him to activate his rook, and it must have been tiredness what happened at the end. Such a shame!

PGN string

A terrible blunder

This was in fact one of four games that took longer than five and a half hours!

Carlsen gave Grischuk an unpleasant afternoon in a Grünfeld, where the ending is supposed to be theoretically OK for Black, but not in this game. After 26 moves Grischuk had all his pieces on the first rank and a bad pawn structure. He said: “If I had Instagram I would put this position from Black's point of view and hashtag #excitingchess.” 

Even when he gets quite far in a quiet ending like that, Carlsen can be critical of himself: “I'm not sure there was a win but I could have done better.” About the tournament situation he said: “Everything has been going the right way for me the last couple of rounds, not necessarily in terms of my play but in terms of other results so. Normally with plus one it would have been, now it was not. Certainly I hoped to win because I had a very pleasant position.”

PGN string

Kramnik came close to a win, but Aronian found a miraculous escape: just when the Russian felt he was going to score a full point, his opponent played a combination that led to perpetual check, and it was correct in every line. Splended defense!

PGN string

Caruana got into trouble against Topalov in a very theoretical line of the Sicilian, English Attack. Caruana: “I was probably completely lost. I couldn't remember anything.” Topalov: “Actually I'm not sure it's possible to remember.”

PGN string

Amazingly, Agdestein keeps on drawing his games after getting excellent positions. Svidler had looked at his French Defense the night before, starting at 11pm and thinking, at 3 am, “I really should get some sleep!” By then, and also the next morning, the Russian grandmaster hadn't succeeded in finding anything against it. “It started as fun but it was an incredibly depressing experience.” Agdestein: “It's a bit like the Berlin Defense.”

And so Svidler went for a Réti, but that didn't go according to plan either. Agdestein was simply better after the opening, but was happy to repeat moves when Svidler did so. “An easy day at the office,” the Norwegian said.

PGN string

And so, with two rounds to go, there is a four-way tie for first place. Topalov commented: “I am dreaming of sharing the first to the last place.”

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 - Caruana
Carlsen ½-½ Grischuk   Karjakin - Kramnik
Giri 0-1 Karjakin   Grischuk - Giri
Kramnik ½-½ Aronian   Svidler - Carlsen
Caruana ½-½ Topalov   Agdestein - Topalov
Round 9 13.06.14 14:30 CET        
Carlsen - Agdestein        
Giri - Svidler        
Kramnik - Grischuk        
Caruana - Karjakin        
Topalov - Aronian        

Norway Chess 2014 | Round 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2833 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 1   ½ 4.0/7 13.75
2 Kramnik,Vladimir 2783 2820 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1   ½   0 ½ ½ 1 4.0/7 13.75
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2791 2815 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png   ½ 1 ½   1 ½ 4.0/7 13.25
4 Karjakin,Sergey 2771 2820 ½     phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 4.0/7 13.25
5 Agdestein,Simen 2628 2779   ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½   ½ ½ ½ 3.5/7 12.25
6 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 2773 ½   0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½   3.5/7 11.25
7 Topalov,Veselin 2772 2740 ½ 1 ½ ½   0 phpfCo1l0.png   ½ 0 3.0/7 11.50
8 Aronian,Levon 2815 2716 0 ½   1 ½ 0   phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 10.75
9 Svidler,Peter 2753 2715   ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png   3.0/7 10.50
10 Giri,Anish 2752 2728 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½   1 ½   phpfCo1l0.png 3.0/7 10.25

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


jimknopf's picture

When I saw all the posts of this sociopath, who seems to have chosen chessvibes as the proper padded cell for his state of mind, I first had similar thoughts.

But in fact there is no real problem as long as you keep your sense of humor intact: Isn't it rather improbable, that one or two morons can destroy a forum, just because they are not feeling well? They can flood it with nonsense, yes, but does that raise more than a pitiful smile from the rest of us? Hardly anybody will answer these nonsense monologues anyway.

And if someone has proven limited intelligence again and again, but claims Elo 2600 for himself, isn't that rather a tragic-comic figure than a challenge for a forum?

So probably nothing much happens with these floods: we skip them with a slight sigh and keep on posting what we think can be part of real communication.

So what? Life goes on, as does chess :-))

Frits Fritschy's picture

You'r right, Jim.
Somehow the comment "-- deleted, English please --" struck me as quite funny. I pictured John Cleese amidst a bunch of hooligans, just targeting the Germans among them.

observer's picture

Sorry, none of this is funny. And the guy is not even able to do a decent attempt at humour either.

observer's picture

@ jimknopf

Does that include spoofing, Jim?

Andreas's picture

Well said, Oma ;-)

So true and so sad (I feel sad for those 'trolls', they're lacking self-esteem, balance, personality and other qualities which would be appropriate when communicating with respect and dignity).

Frits Fritschy's picture

Giri-Karjakin might well have been a draw (despite the computer evaluation of +1.5 most of the time).
But of course it should have been mentioned that Karjakin was the first to blunder, 118... c5 was a terrible move.
My guess is that Giri had been preparing for the breakthrough for a long time while shuffling around his pieces, and had probably seen the line the computer gives: 118... Qc7! 119 Rxd4 Bc5 120 Rc4 Bf2 121 Rc2 g3 122 Qf3 Qd7 123 d4 Qd5 124 Rxf2, where he still has chances. Then 118... c5 caught him by surprise after which he messed up variations (not just 120 Qe8 but also Qd7 had won easily).

Thomas Richter's picture

I agree that most of the comments in this thread are depressing nonsense - others could have interrupted these "discussions" earlier on with constructive or in any case chessic remarks.

About the actual games, this time it was even more challenging than usual to understand what was going on and to include all critical moments in the round report. My quick comments, obviously engine-assisted:

Giri-Karjakin: As Frits Fritschy pointed out, it was probably objectively drawn even after white won an exchange - and also after Giri's winning attempt 116.g4 hxg4 117.h5. Then Karjakin went wrong with 118.-c5, and Giri returned the favor with 120.Rc2. Giri's final blunder was "everything": tiredness, chess blindness, momentary lapse of reason, yet first and foremost a misguided attempt to avoid a move repetition.

Caruana-Topalov: again both players made one mistake or inaccuracy each, but at a much earlier stage. 19.Qxd4?! (19.e5!?), 23.-Ne5? (23.-Nb6!).

Carlsen-Grischuk: "Carlsen gave Grischuk an unpleasant afternoon in a Grünfeld, where the ending is supposed to be theoretically OK for Black, but not in this game." Huh? The ending was 'theoretically OK', in the sense that black was apparently never in real danger of losing - yes, he had to defend a passive position, but this is the case in many theoretical lines. The ending may have been practically tricky or annoying from black's point of view, but not from an objective theoretical point of view. If white wants to have real winning chances, he probably has to try another variation.

Back to Giri-Karjakin: good and bad luck usually evens out - if not in any particular event, then on longer timescales. Giri had been lucky to beat Topalov from a lost position, Karjakin was arguably unlucky that an extra exchange in round 1 against Topalov wasn't enough to win the game.

Peter Doggers's picture

'Not in this game' obviously meant Black was not OK in this game.

Thomas Richter's picture

This depends on the definition of "OK": it seems that black was OK in the sense of not being in real danger of losing. He was not OK in the sense of having to defend a passive and slightly worse position. As I hinted this is often the case in other opening variations, e.g. (in)famous ones as the Slav 'Elista endgame' or the Berlin endgame where black suffers voluntarily - or doesn't quite suffer because he has confidence in his position.

It's also the case in some lines of the Grunfeld: in his video series, expert Peter Svidler had some lines where "after hours of analyses, all I can come up with is an endgame a pawn down that's holdable for black".

Nomme de guerre's picture

Newsflash! WC will be in Sochi!

observer's picture

For Carlsen's sake, let us hope that Ilyumzhinov is gone by this time.

Septimus's picture

Back to Topalov Cauana, clearly the most exciting and complicated game of the round, I wounder if there was any merit in going white going 0-0 instead of 0-0-0, right into the storm? Caruana did not really have a counter-attack going anyway...

Zeveraar's picture

To fuel the MC/VK battle, did you all see the press conferences of the MC-Grischuk game and the VK-Aronian game?
Did you observe the differences?
Carlsen gentleman-like allowed for Grischuk to take the floor and explain the game from his POV, laughing at Grischuk's Instagram joke and letting Grischuk finish before adding his own thoughts.
Then Kramnik, who was holding a complete monologue and every time Aronian tried to have a word, overpowering him. Even the brilliant Bxh4 - Bxg3 and the water-proof draw manoeuvres were monologued away.
You can conclude what you like from this, but the footage does not lie.

Anonymous's picture

Vlad was always very smug.

jimknopf's picture

Vlad really has more and more developed into an embarrassing monologue specialist, as if others had nothing substantial to say, while in fact his endless monologues, interrupting others in impolite ways (even if unconsciously), are more and more lacking substantial thoughts.

Anonymous's picture

Indeed. This is Carlsen's take on it:

– Kramnik tror at han vet alt, sier Magnus Carlsen.

My translation: Kramnik thinks he knows it all, says Magnus Carlsen.

– Det er veldig imponerende hvordan Kramnik lirer av seg forskjellige varianter og så videre, og det er ikke så lett å gjennomskue hvis man ikke kan gamet ordentlig selv. Men hvis man ser litt dypere, er det ofte bare tull, sier Carlsen.

My translation: – It's very impressive how Kramnik rattles off different variations and so on, and it's not so easy to see through if you don't know the game properly yourself. But if you look a little deeper, it's often plain nonsense, says Carlsen.

Source: nrk.no/sport/carlsen-fyrer-mot-erkerivalen-1.11611042

Grandma's picture

+1 Zeveraar

I agree. Everyone should realize the difference if they are listening and watching with an open mind.

Kramnik's monologues are quite annoying.

Dirk8231983's picture

Karjakin could have claimed a draw by repetition instead of moving 113...Bf8.

Ralf Knopf's picture

I fully agree with Knopfie, I mean when I saw all the posts of this sociopath, who seems to have chosen chessvibes as the proper padded cell for his state of mind, I first had similar thoughts, then I cooled off and went to re-classify my socks by texture and color and alphabetically.
Well, anyway, good luck to Adgestein, you can do it paly!

Bob Knopf's picture

Hi Ralph, I like to classify things too, and people. But some dudes get's angry, I don't know why. Oh, I almost forget it, I wanted to ask you, what is your rating Ralph?

Ralph Knopf's picture

Hey Bob s'up, my rating is 2699.

Bob Knopf's picture

Oh you have a big rating Ralph. You must be a very intelligent person. I would like to be like you someday! I mean, you're like Kramnik to me or Carlsen. I like the chess from every player! I have no real taste whatsoever!

Dick Knopf's picture

Hey, what are you doing both of you? This forum is kinda private did ya heard me? kinda Private! And let me tell you this, NONE of this is funny! Uh? uh?
You two better be serious here, or you'll suffer the consequences... and plus I'll get that gluteous rash again.
Why don't you talk about the tourno? I think Adgestein is doing a great job I think I'll kiss him if he pulls this out.

Lord Butters's picture

Oh, this is an scandalous! Someone please stop this noooonseense!

Dick Knopf's picture

Chill out Butters, you just ignore them, they're crazy, not like us happy, well-balanced cats, who just pass all the time in this forum. Oh man, we're so cool!
And go Aronian!

Anonymous's picture

I understand the frustration of people here. Trolls are everywhere in the internet. I look at the comments section here just to see what kind of idiotic discussion is going on.


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