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!”

PGN string

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


Thomas Richter's picture

"The reason for making a long and explicit tiebreak for the classic escapes me though, or was it just a gimmick? Perhaps just to get reporters to agree on the final standing." Yep, maybe reporters want to know, but mostly some chess fans 'care' about who finished sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth.

With nothing but braggging rights (not the players themselves, but their fans and anti-fans) at stake and most wins being only the third tiebreaker, why would it have any effect? But even in cases where tiebreaks "matter a lot", it's hard for players to suddenly change their style - this rule will generally favor those who are always more willing to take risks. And there's no guarantee: At the candidates this year, everyone knew that the 'most wins' tiebreaker could decide matters in the end (cf. last year), and almost everyone played accordingly (or even as if football scoring applied). Everyone but Anand who stood clear of the mayhem, used his chances (not even all of them) and deservedly finished on top.

Your example (European Ch.) is again a Swiss event where tiebreaks are a) more needed (because there are always big groups finishing with the same score somewhere in the table), b) make more sense (because these players played quite different events). For World Cup qualification, if there's a tie for 18th to 35th place, finishing 26th or 27th remains a matter of luck - but #20 is deservedly in, and #30 deservedly out. One year had 'bogus tiebreakers', but it couldn't be as bad as "winning in the last round is worse than losing", because number of points scored is still "tiebreaker #0". As far as I remember, for some players it would have been beeter to forfeit their final game (by being late under zero tolerance rules) than to lose at the board - because a forfeit didn't affect tiebreak calculations.

BTW Biel 2013 had a rather funny tiebreaker: a four-player blitz playoff that didn't affect prize money _at all_, but only who became official winner. I know because I had asked the organizers whether clear first after the classical event is money-wise worth more than first after the blitz tiebreak, or if some 'Hort system' applies. The answer: prize money is equally shared, the blitz playoff only determines the official winner. It was a show where the general audience didn't know how little was at stake (I guess the players themselves knew).

Merlinovich's picture

@Thomas Richter

"it couldn't be as bad as 'winning in the last round is worse than losing', because number of points scored is still 'tiebreaker #0'."

No the last point is not correct, the actual number of points was not respected, the game against the highest rated and the lowest rated player was DELETED so that even the score in those games was deleted. That means if the 2 eliminated games were losses, the player would get a great performance score, but if the 2 eliminated games were wins, the performance score would be lousy. This means if you scored 7½/11 then after eliminations you could either have 5½/9 or 7½/9 which of course has a huge effect on the percentage, so even if 7½/9 was against a lower average rating, it would still be a much higher performance rating.

The Kenneth Harkness idea of eliminating the highest rating in my opinion misguided, while eliminating the two lowest would be fine. If you play against the absolute highest rating in the tournament, your expected score will go down as it should, throwing that rating away will at least distort what effect that game had on the overall result.

Most reasonable people counted on that the performance rating would be based on 7½/11 against an average modified by removing the highest and lowest rating, but the arbiter geniuses also removed the actual results, without explaining that properly in the rules. Then the protest of Peter Heine Nielsen was rejected by Danailov & Co because they could have protested before the tournament started which is of course a straw man if the interpretation the arbiters made of the rules was against all common sense, and that could only be discovered when the results were published.

I think the point of rigging the last round was rather to obtain an unplayed game with a loss by default in the last round against a player that could then be considered 0 rating who really had the highest real rating of his opponents, which would mean that the strongest player eliminated would be another player than the actual last round player. It does depend on the actual rules for how to handle performance rating with 2 eliminations, when one game was unplayed. Does the default loss become part of the eliminations? Or will it be tossed out so that additionally 2 players are eliminated? I don't see clear rules in FIDE on that, or indeed in the regulations of the tournament.

Then there was an obscure rule that the difference between highest and lowest rating for a given player should not be more than 400, but nothing about how that would be enforced (it probably wouldn't).

Anónimo's picture

Mother Russia doesn't sound as S3 did; S3's English was more articulated. Mother Russia really acts as the proverbial chauvinistic Russian! If we recall well he used to back up Kramnik big time, but it is easy to understand why he is not doing that this time. Anyways, Kariakin is a far more likeable "Russian" than Vladimir Borisovich and we have a fair winner to Norway Chess 2014.

s3's picture

Anonimo i commend your insight but I think you are wrong, m russia sounds like the typical (norwegian) troll succesfully looking for response and or diversion.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik's three latest tournaments: Russian Superfinal 2764 performance, Candidates 2768 performance, Norway Chess 2734 performance.

Carlsen's 22 latest events = 2815+ performance in every one of them.

Anonymous's picture

Topalov has won his three latest white games against Kramnik.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik is in meltdown. Topalov destroyed him.

Anonymous's picture

"Kramnik is in meltdown. Topalov destroyed him."

Yeah, well, you can put it as an amusing footnote in the history of world chess championship. Too bad for Topalov he was unable to do the same when it mattered. He will be remembered as the second puppet of Danailov who might have become a world champion with another coach.

adriano's picture

Topalov will be remembered as a great chess player with remarkable fighting spirit and fully deserved World champion.

Zeveraar's picture


In fact to be more concrete: Topalov will be remembered as the Specialist in Exchange-sac positions; Kramnik will be remembered for his inability to deal with his losses.

Alcoholics anonymous's picture

"In fact to be more concrete: Topalov will be remembered as the Specialist in Exchange-sac positions; Kramnik will be remembered for his inability to deal with his losses."

You are a troll and thus shouldn't be fed, but just in case there are gullible persons reading your post, I'll point out the truth: both Kramnik and Topalov will be remembered for the many great games that they produced, as well as some of their questionable off-the-board behaviour.

NN's picture

Rather than fully deserved World champion, I think Topalov will be remembered as a FIDE World Champion, a heir of the previous greats Karpov, Khalifman, Ponomariov and Kazimdzanov.

Anon's picture

Only three out of ten players managed to gain rating points, which indicates the many tragedies this tournament produced.

I feel sad for Caruana, who completely broke down after a fantastic start with live ELO > 2800, for Kramnik who seems to have some serious mental problems to handle pressure and losses lately, for Aronian for another event totally gone wrong.

However, congrats to Karjakin for a fantastic comeback, Grishuk for entertaining and successful chess (and commentary, today was hilarious!) and most of all to Agdestein for keeping up easily with the big guys for unbelievable SEVEN rounds!

s3's picture

Agdesteins score d v been even better if he hadnt gifted Magnus the point.

Anonymous's picture

Please ban s3.

MMB's picture

At least he has the guts to put his name to his writing.

Grandaunt's picture

His name??

observer's picture

MMB = s3
This forum is becoming quite good for learning algebraic equations.

s3's picture

Lol. I knew you were still around when I saw all those anonymous posts identifying me everywhere. Sad your obsession is still running wild. Guess you are projecting own behavior.

observer's picture

You really are sad and deluded if you think I'm the only person here that doesn't like you. But I'm glad that you credit me with the skill to post all those "Anonymous" comments to make them appear entirely random, and with such varying styles of language. And to be at my computer 24/7 without sleeping.
I bet those Anonymous guys are having a really good laugh at you.

s3's picture

P.s. Funny how you complain about false accusations when i mention facts like the carlsen cheating tapes (cheating in games with Gashimov, Aronian, Moro, Kosteniuk and others, acting angry when given a due loss) while posting unproven accusations yourself.

Anonymous's picture

Still calling Carlsen a cheater.

Just ban him.

Anonymous's picture

Well this s3 (or whatever) guy reportedly does get banned everywhere sooner or later. This forum is different as no registration is required to post under just about any nickname you like at any given time. People posting under a handle can be just as anonymous as users who don't give an email adress and post under the default 'Anonymous'. It is quite easy to get a temporary disposable email adress, even ip adresses can be hidden/fake by using virtual private networks. I believe there are technical solutions to adress this problem, but that would require some regular administrative work for the forum and first of all the editor's intention to change the existing policy.

observer's picture
observer's picture

Peter, surely you understand I was talking ironically, not literally?

Zeveraar's picture

s3 - could you link the youtube vids please? If true, I'd like to see it with my own eyes.
Else, stop calling them facts.

In this tourney, I have only seen 1 player acting disgraceful, when faced with defeat.

Anonymous's picture

S3 calls a cheater a tennis player whose ball is called fault. Videos of such occurrences is what he calls facts.

s3's picture

Strangely Carlsen is the only player who made these particular faults this many times.

observer's picture

Peter obviously agrees with you because he has deleted s3's attempt to post these videos.
s3's continued obsessive attempts to brand Carlsen a cheater seem to be a really big "thing" with him that he cannot let go of.
A really disgusting attitude by him. All the more so in that he insists Boris Ivanov is completely innocent!! What a twisted Carlsen hater.

s3's picture

Looking above I see your post deleted, again. Maybe you now even think that you are me yourself?!
The videos with Carlsen breaking the rules are easy to find, just google carlsen cheating attempts. If that is breaking house rules I'm sorry.
Observer, your lies and continued attempts to bully cv into your bidding are pityful. I asked you not to speak about me but once again you did because you misidentified me. This is truly delusional and obsessive and I hope you can see that at some point. Your mistake lead to this subject being brought up. So chessvibes, please don't stop with deleting posts and ban observer.

observer's picture

Again? What are you talking about?
In my deleted post I was saying in an ironical way what you were obviously thinking. On reflection, I can see that if my post was taken in isolation, it could be taken literally.

You really are seriously deluded and paranoid if you think I posted those "Anonymous" posts that "misidentified" you and made a "mistake".

What lies? You are the one that lies. You lied that I said I predicted Karjakin would get last place in the Candidates. I produced the evidence that I predicted he would get fourth or better. No evidence whatsoever was produced by you to back up what you said, despite you being asked to do so.

You started this, s3, by lying about what I said and spoofing me. You seem remarkably resistant to answering simple questions about these things.
So I will ask you yet again:
1) Do you categorically deny that you lied when you said I predicted Karjakin would get last place in the Candidates? Yes or no?
2) Do you categorically deny that you spoofed me? Yes or no?

I suggest you answer these questions before pretending to take the moral high ground.

s3's picture

Maybe it's not your post that should be taken into isolation;)
A few lines above you write s3=mmb. So yes, you misidentified me again. Now if you could talk about the content of posts instead of posters we might get somewhere. Let's both try to not spoil the environment here and do that, ok?

observer's picture

Do you have some particular problem with answering those questions, s3?
Perhaps if you managed to do this, we might get somewhere, ok?
The ball's in your court, sunshine.

s3's picture

You don't get it. You are not the forum police who gets to ask questions. I've no interest in playing your silly games.
But in the interest of this forum you could help to prevent these silly discussions. But it seems your ego is more important to you.

observer's picture

You are the one that doesn't get it. Hang the "forum police". I am after an acknowledgment from you that you did those things and a personal apology for them.
Are you too much of a coward to do this?

You are the one that is playing silly games and abusing this forum, s3, you always have been, and you still are. Lies, spoofing, adopting multiple identities to confuse and mislead people and give the impression that there is much greater support for your views than there really is. And now you pretend you are the injured and innocent party - what a hypocrite you are.

You're the one that did this stuff s3, so it is up to you to make the first move to correct it.
Once again, why do you have a problem answering a couple of simple questions? They are not difficult to understand.

Anonymous's picture

Observer, give it a rest. Peter doesn't seem to mind that Chessvibes is repeatedly highjacked by S3. That's his problem and responsibility. You'll only manage to get S3 to parade and talk big, as he has already done.

s3's picture

You should listen to anonymous observer, just give it a rest.If you can.

observer's picture

And you'll be giving spoofing and adopting multiple identities a rest, will you s3? As if.

A pity you're so gutless that you cannot answer a couple of simple questions. I presume, then, that you are taking the coward's way out - is that correct?

s3's picture

Yeah, that's correct. Are you done now?

observer's picture

Well, whaddya know? s3 admits he's a gutless coward.

Are you also going to give spoofing and adopting multiple identities a permanent rest, s3? After all, if you do, there won't be any need for me and others to play "silly games" in identifying you, will there?

s3's picture

No, that need of you will stay. Only medication might stop it. Bye observer

observer's picture

"No, that need of you will stay". So you are admitting that you are going to keep on spoofing and adopting multiple identities.

"Only medication might stop it". You poor guy, you need medication to be able to stop adopting multiple identities.
I'm sorry, s3, I didn't realise you had such a serious problem. You have my heartfelt sympathies. If I can do anything to help you, let me know.

Anonymous's picture

Big Vlad once again refused to turn up for the press conference, the only loser to do that throughout the tournament, after all his three losses.

Anonymous's picture

As I predicted on the previous thread.

Grandaunt's picture

Excellent tournament by Agdestein, he is a tough cookie! I did not expect him to perform so well against the world elite.

pioneer's picture

Like I said before the tournament, don't forget the defending champion.

Karjakin repeats in Norway. Nothing to see here.

axel's picture

Agdestein's performance was pretty amazing. A shame that the final score doesn't reflect this. After 7 rounds he could easily have been at +2.
He must have inspired a lot of non-elite GMs.

Anonymous's picture

Credit to Kramnik, he refused repetitions against Karjakin and Grischuk. He also could play solidly and make a draw against Topalov. Maybe he shouldn't have tried to push hard after losses. It seems like that loss to Topalov really affected him. However, refusing to attend the press conferences is childish and unprofessional. There is no excuse for that.

MMB's picture

There is every excuse if it is stipulated in the contract. In many past tournaments the loser of a game was not obliged to attend.

Anonymous's picture

This isn't "many past tournaments" though. At Norway Chess players were asked to attend, reagrdless of their result, and everybody did in every single round - except......?


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