Hitting the Bottom

Время публикации: 18.06.2015 16:20 | Последнее обновление: 20.06.2015 21:28

Magnus Carlsen brings up the rear after two rounds in Stavanger

Once again, Magnus Carlsen proves that he is the top chess player in the world. Even though the champion is the only participant of the Norway Chess 2015 who has zero points, he is remaining the main newsmaker. In round 1, he had suffered from a rare incident, losing on time unexpectedly in a winning position, while yesterday Magnus was outplayed by his main rival in the world rankings, Fabiano Caruana.

It's not the first time their battle opened by the Berlin defence. Caruana's last win with White against Carlsen had happened in exactly the same opening, in the Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014. Shortly afterwards, Magnus fought back in the same super-tournament. Their next three classical games were also decisive, but the winning side was Black, with two wins for Magnus and one for Fabiano.

And yesterday, the Berlin Wall was finally broken again. According to Caruana, his home preparation ended after Carlsen's 17...Rg8?! which made the Italian to start thinking seriously for the first time in the game. "I was counting on 17...Bc5 or 17...Be7", he added, and this is hard to dispute because developing the bishop looks much more natural than the awkward rook move.

Five more moves later, the champion made a serious mistake which increased his endgame difficulties greatly.

CARUANA - CARLSEN

22...Ne6? (the correct way is 22...b6 and Black's position is still playable even if unpleasant) 23.Nxe6 Bxa3 The problem is 23...fxe6 24.Be7! paralysing Black who has no defence from Rd8+.
24.Nexg7 Bf8 25.e6 Bxf5 26.Nxf5 fxe6 27.Ng3, and White's advantage became decisive soon. 1-0 on move 45.


norwaychess.com

According to Caruana, he wins approximately one game out of ten in the Berlin Wall as White, with the other nine ending in a draw.
"How do you keep the appetite?! Because the other players start to hate the Berlin", one of the official commentators, Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam (he is to Caruana's left in the image - CN), asked the hero of round 2.
"Sometimes I hate it, but sometimes I quite like it", Caruana smiled. "When I get a position like this I quite like it".

* * *

As one can see from the title screenshot, Magnus Carlsen's mood is far from the best, but he keeps complying with the contract provisions, appearing on the Norwegian TV2 air after each game. You can see a couple of quotations below:

"Today was a terrible day against a very strong opponent".
"What happened today didn't have much to do with yesterday."

Carlsen also said his position against Caruana was such that he couldn't afford making bad moves, but he discovered to have missed some tactics each time after making a move.
Yet, the Norwegian doesn't think he is in a bad shape, pointing out that his sleep is alright. Magnus believes he is still keeping chances to win the tournament, he just needs to play his usual chess.

We can add that the previous time Carlsen had such a disastrous start (2 losses in first 2 rounds) happened five years ago in Bilbao.

* * *

Four other games of round 2 were drawn.

[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.4"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2805"] [BlackElo "2876"] [ECO "C67"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence, open variation"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 h6 10. Rd1+ Ke8 11. Nc3 Ne7 12. b3 Bf5 13. Nd4 Bh7 14. Bb2 Rd8 15. Nce2 Nd5 16. c4 Nb4 17. Nf4 Rg8 18. g4 Na6 19. Nf5 Nc5 20. Rxd8+ Kxd8 21. Rd1+ Kc8 22. Ba3 Ne6 23. Nxe6 Bxa3 24. Nexg7 Bf8 25. e6 Bxf5 26. Nxf5 fxe6 27. Ng3 Be7 28. Kg2 Rf8 29. Rd3 Rf7 30. Nh5 Bd6 31. Rf3 Rh7 32. Re3 Re7 33. f4 Ba3 34. Kf3 Bb2 35. Re2 Bc3 36. g5 Kd7 37. Kg4 Re8 38. Ng3 Rh8 39. h4 b6 40. h5 c5 41. g6 Re8 42. f5 exf5+ 43. Kf4 Rh8 44. Nxf5 Bf6 45. Rg2 1-0[Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.1"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2781"] [BlackElo "2780"] [ECO "A22"] [Opening "English opening"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. e3 Bb4 4. Nge2 c6 5. a3 Ba5 6. b4 Bc7 7. Bb2 O-O 8. Ng3 d5 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Qc2 Nd7 11. Bd3 N7f6 12. O-O Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Be6 14. Rab1 Kh8 15. Rfd1 Ng4 16. Nf5 g6 17. f3 Nxh2 18. Kxh2 gxf5 19. Bxf5 Qh4+ 20. Kg1 Rg8 21. Bxe6 fxe6 22. Qe4 Rxg2+ 23. Kxg2 Rg8+ 24. Qg4 Rxg4+ 25. fxg4 Qxg4+ 26. Kf2 Qh4+ 27. Ke2 Qg4+ 28. Kd3 Qf5+ 29. Ke2 Qg4+ 30. Kd3 Qf5+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2804"] [ECO "A14"] [Opening "English"] [Variation "Neo-Catalan declined"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 c5 7. Bb2 Nc6 8. e3 b6 9. Nc3 Ba6 10. Qe2 Qd7 11. Rfd1 Rac8 12. Nb5 Rfd8 13. Rac1 dxc4 14. bxc4 Qd3 15. Qxd3 Rxd3 16. Bf1 Rd7 17. d4 Rcd8 18. a4 Bb7 19. d5 exd5 20. Bh3 dxc4 21. Bxd7 Nxd7 22. Nd6 Ba6 23. Nxc4 f6 24. Rd2 Bxc4 25. Rxc4 a6 26. Rc1 b5 27. axb5 axb5 28. Ba3 Kf7 29. Rxd7 Rxd7 30. Bxc5 Ne5 31. Nxe5+ fxe5 32. Bxe7 Kxe7 33. Kf1 Kd6 34. Ke2 e4 35. Rc8 Ra7 36. Kd2 Ra2+ 37. Kc3 Rxf2 38. Rb8 Rxh2 39. Rxb5 Ke6 40. Kd4 Rg2 41. Kxe4 Rxg3 42. Kf4 Rg1 43. Rb6+ Kf7 44. e4 h5 45. Rb7+ Ke6 46. Rb6+ Kd7 47. Kf5 Kc7 48. Rb2 Kd7 49. e5 Rf1+ 50. Kg5 Ke6 51. Kxh5 Kxe5 52. Kg4 g5 53. Kxg5 1/2-1/2 [Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.3"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2798"] [BlackElo "2802"] [ECO "C78"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "5.O-O"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. a4 Rb8 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. d4 Bxd4 10. Qxd4 d6 11. Bf4 c5 12. Qd2 O-O 13. f3 c4 14. Ba2 Be6 15. Nc3 b4 16. Ne2 b3 17. Bb1 bxc2 18. Bxc2 Rxb2 19. Rfb1 Rxb1+ 20. Rxb1 Qc7 21. Rd1 Ne8 22. Qb4 Nd3 23. Bxd3 cxd3 24. Rxd3 Qc4 25. Qa3 d5 26. Kf2 Qc6 27. Nd4 Qc4 28. exd5 Qxd5 29. Nxe6 Qxe6 30. Qb3 Nf6 31. Qxe6 fxe6 32. Rb3 Rc8 33. Bd2 Rc2 34. Ke2 Nd5 35. Kd3 Rc7 36. Rb8+ Kf7 37. g4 Rd7 38. Kc2 Rc7+ 39. Kb3 e5 40. Ra8 Rb7+ 41. Kc2 Rc7+ 42. Kd3 Rd7 43. Ke2 Rd6 44. h4 Nf4+ 45. Bxf4 exf4 46. a5 h6 47. h5 Ke7 48. Ra7+ Kf8 49. Ke1 Kg8 50. Ke2 Kf8 51. Ke1 Kg8 52. Ke2 Kf8 1/2-1/2 [Event "3rd Norway Chess 2015"] [Site "Stavanger NOR"] [Date "2015.06.17"] [Round "2.5"] [White "Hammer, Jon Ludvig"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2677"] [BlackElo "2723"] [ECO "A29"] [Opening "English"] [Variation "four knights, kingside fianchetto"] [EventDate "2015.06.16"] 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. e4 d6 8. d3 h6 9. Be3 Kh7 10. h3 Nd7 11. Rc1 Nd4 12. Bxd4 exd4 13. Ne2 c5 14. h4 b5 15. cxb5 Rb8 16. a4 a6 17. b4 axb5 18. bxc5 dxc5 19. axb5 Rxb5 20. Nf4 Ne5 21. Bh3 Bb7 22. h5 Nxf3+ 23. Qxf3 Qd6 24. Rb1 Rb4 25. Nd5 Bxd5 26. exd5 c4 27. Rxb4 Qxb4 28. dxc4 Qxc4 29. d6 Qc5 30. d7 Qxh5 31. Qxh5 gxh5 32. Bf5+ Kg8 33. Re1 Bf6 34. Re8 h4 35. g4 Kg7 36. f4 Bd8 37. Kg2 Bf6 38. Bd3 Bd8 39. Kf3 Bf6 40. Bf1 Bd8 41. Ke4 Bf6 42. Kd5 Rg8 43. Kc6 Bd8 44. Rxd8 Rxd8 45. Kc7 Rf8 46. d8=Q Rxd8 47. Kxd8 h5 48. gxh5 Kh6 49. Ke7 Kxh5 50. Be2+ Kh6 51. Bf1 Kh5 52. f5 Kg4 53. f6 h3 54. Bxh3+ Kxh3 55. Kxf7 d3 56. Kg7 d2 57. f7 d1=Q 58. f8=Q Qg4+ 59. Kf7 Qf5+ 60. Ke7 Qxf8+ 61. Kxf8 1/2-1/2 

The third round will start today at 17.00 Msk.
Norway Chess 2015: crosstable, schedule, pairings and other material on the event


  


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