Anand’s Norwegian Adventure Continues, Takes Down Carlsen

With the top four players in the tournament standings playing against each other in round five, the situation at the top of the standings will be further tightened during the Norway Chess in 2022 in Stavanger.

Current World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen said ahead of round five that he would play for a win against former World Champion GM Viswanathan Anand. In the classic game, however, it was Anand who was in charge and should have won. The armageddon game was a messier affair, however, but Anand took the lead. In the other top game of the round, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated GM Wesley So in their armageddon game.

These results mean Anand once again moves to the lone first place with 10 points, while Carlsen is right behind him with 9.5 points. Then follow So and Mamedyarov with 8.5.

Round six kicks off Monday, June 6 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. Central Europe.

As the best games were decided in Armageddon games, the results in games in Round 5 meant only minor changes at the top of the tournament standings, but the biggest moves came in the lower-ranked, where two wins in the classic games changed things up a bit. piece changed. bit around. More about those games below.


Every game between the numbers one and two in a tournament brings extra attention and tension along with the usual nerves. But if the players are the current World Champion vs. its immediate predecessor, we are talking about something completely different and special. As a chess fan, it sends memories of those battles between world champions Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov to the surface of the pool of memories.

Carlsen had announced that he would play for the win, but that didn’t surprise anyone, as he always seems to be playing for the win no matter who’s on the other side of the board.

Anand led off with 1.e4 and the players took part in a version of the Hungarian defense, with 4…Be7, which GM Levon Aronian had used against GM Leinier Dominguez in the fairly recent FIDE Grand Prix in Berlin. However, Carlsen deviated from move 10. White then seemed to have a small but clear advantage. This advantage grew steadily as Anand increased the pressure on Black’s position, while Carlsen tried his best to wriggle free and create counterplay.

Tough day at the office for Magnus Carlsen. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess.

After completely outplaying the world champion, Anand missed out on wins on move 32 and 33, as well as a promising follow-up on move 34, allowing Carlsen to finally come off the hook and go into a draw. A huge disappointment for Anand, but still a demonstration that even Carlsen must be at his best when confronted by a motivated, in good shape Anand. Game of the Day Dejan Bojkov

In the armageddon game, the players instead played a line in the Italian game where black quickly retreats the bishop to e7. That was about the last thing that made sense in this game. The advantage went back and forth, from minor to decisive. But as GM Savielly Tartakower wrote many decades ago, “The winner is the one who makes the penultimate mistake.” That player was Anand.


It’s interesting to see how a tournament can develop when a player takes the right out of his position and when he doesn’t. In the Superbet Chess Classic about a month ago, nothing worked for Mamedyarov and the result was one of the worst tournaments of his career. Here in Stavanger it is the other way around. He’s confident, takes risks and tries things he wouldn’t otherwise, and they work.

In the classic game, the players went for the line in the Semi-Tarrasch that was also on the board in the round four between Carlsen and GM Anish Giri. It turns out that the tribal match was again a match between Mamedyarov and So from last year, a match that was won by So after numerous mistakes.

Nevertheless, it was So who first deviated, when he played 16…Qxd3. Whether the move actually means an improvement is a good question, but it means an immediate reduction in material. In fact, it looked like the game was headed for an early draw as the pieces came off the board in a steady stream. But instead of accepting the inevitable draw, Mamedyarov was inspired to play for more. However, the match was always even and in the end the result was the predicted draw.

The armageddon game was the opposite of the classic game. It was chaos from the start. Mamedyarov played a dubious line that gave Black an advantage from the start. That turned when So played inaccurately in the early midgame. This allowed white to launch a vicious attack on the black king while leaving his own king unprotected.

What followed was extremely complex, but with numerous inaccuracies and errors on both parts, but it clearly entertained the spectators, both those who attended in Stavanger and those who followed in the bright light of the computer screens in homes around the world.

I’ll encourage you all to play through the game if nothing else to beat Mamedyarov’s astonishing 29.Kf3!! in the middle of his attack. The only winning move in that position.

Games like this make us forget about the boring technical chess, based on the heavy opening preparation we saw in the classic game, and make the Norway Chess format such a success. It is very fascinating to see the engine analysis of the game here at with the moves given in a number of suits based on the computer evaluation of the respective move’s strength.

Vachier Lagrave-Topalov

In an Italian game, the players performed the kind of shadow boxing that can be done when both players are extremely attentive to the opponent’s odds. Although black seemed to have a small advantage, equality was never far away. After the ladies were exchanged, the game lost most of its luster and shortly before the time check, the players agreed on a draw.

For the armageddon game, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave chose the Ruy Lopez instead of the Italian Game. GM Veselin Topalov, satisfied with a draw, went for the Berlin. Vachier-Lagrave went for a small line with which he gained some experience on both sides of the board.

Vachier-Lagrave and Topalov in their fifth round match-up. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess.

In a position where Black was under some pressure, Topalov made a terrible decision and dropped a pawn. After that, the French grandmaster grabbed hold of the game and never let go. Black resigned on move 53 without ever being close to any counterplay or even shades of counterplay.

Tari Wang Hao

Both GM’s Aryan Tari and Wang Hao had played solid tournaments thus far, but still struggled a bit. Wang, returning from retirement, feels the need to knock the rust off the machine, while Tari didn’t know he was competing in this event until about a week ago and so didn’t have time to prepare especially for his upcoming opponents. .

In a Three Knights Game with 4.d3, Wang as Black played the sharp 4…h6 and 6…g5!? †

Solid effort from Tari so far. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess.

Tari wisely decoded against sending the king in that direction, but only much later, move 24(!), castling queenside, and joined Black’s king who had boxed queenside on move 19. That said, it was Black who made it. game and had the top one. hand. It was only after several errors by Wang that Tari finally equalized and when Wang blundered with 40…d3+?? in the last move before the time control (but with a reasonable time left to make the move) with 40…d3+?? Tari a piece and the party could win.

Chess can be difficult even if you have a rating of 2740+.


GM’s Giri and Teimour Radjabov were victims of Carlsen’s rise to the top in successive rounds, and now they were both stuck in the bottom half of the tournament standings, craving a win, preferably in the classic game, to change their fortunes.

Against Giri’s Ruy Lopez, Radjabov went for solid Berlin and challenged Giri to come up with something interesting instead of heading for the Berlin Wall variation.

Radjabov has wrestled all over Norway. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess.

Radjabov chose a solid, if somewhat passive, continuation, giving White a small but clear advantage. This turned out to be a very bad decision by Radjabov. Giri took control of the game and never let go. The advantage steadily grew and after further errors before the time control on move 40, Radjabov’s additional error took the game from terrible to lost.

An excellent performance from Giri.

Round 5 Standings

All games Round 5

Norwegian Chess 2022 will run from May 31 to June 10, 2022. The event consists of a single 10-player round-robin in a classic 120-minute pre-game time check with an increment of 10 seconds after move 40. The scoring system is three points for a win instead of the usual. If the game is a tie, the contestants play an armageddon game where the winner scores 1.5 points and the loser 1 point. The prize money is 2.5 million Norwegian kroner (NOK).

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