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Altibox Norway Chess R4: Carlsen takes sole lead

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/10/2020

World Champion Carlsen has taken the lead with 9.0/12 for the first time in Altibox Norway Chess 2020 when he beat World no.2 Caruana in Round 4. Caruana went into Carlsen's favorite territory of endgame by exchanging queens early in the game and then he was unable to defend properly which allowed the Norwegian to take the lead. Firouzja beat Aronian in the Armageddon after making a draw in their Classical encounter. This was the second consecutive Armageddon victory for the youngster. Aronian had his chances but he missed them. Meanwhile Tari beat Duda after his ambitious play almost cost him the Armageddon. Today is a rest day. Catch all the action of Round 5 tomorrow 10th October from 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Firouzja beats Aronian in the Armageddon

After 19 consecutive draws in their classical encounter, Carlsen beat Caruana in Round 4 of Altibox Norway Chess to take the sole lead with 9.0/12. Caruana opted for an early queen exchange and went straight to the endgame despite being aware of the world champion's endgame prowess. Firouzja made a draw in the classical game against Aronian and beat him in the Armageddon despite arriving almost two minutes late, he jumped to the shared third place with 7.0/12. The Armageddon was a topsy-turvy one where the evaluation kept changing every now and then. Aronian being unable to seize the chances allowed his young opponent to win his second consecutive Armageddon. Tari was determined to win against Duda. Although his ambitions blinded him from seizing decisive advantage in the classical encounter which allowed Duda to salvage a draw. A desperation knight sacrifice almost cost Tari the game but Duda missed his opportunity to capitalize and lost once again.

Carlsen scored a comfortable victory | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Norway Chess

Carlsen - Caruana 3-0

It is quite a surprise that Caruana went for an early Queen exchange against Carlsen, knowing the fact of the world champion's endgame prowess.

Position after 25.Kf3

c4 is dangling. What should black do about it?

Position after 30...Rc6

Black again made an incorrect retreat with 30...Rc6. What should have black played instead?

Position after 39...e5

Black's finale mistake in the game was 39...e5 as he lost another pawn and the lost total control of the game.

Carlsen switched back to Namaste greeting from bowing

Carlsen is back to greeting his opponent with Namaste | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Aronian - Firouzja 1-1.5

After having an uneventful draw in the Classical encounter, Firouzja played his third consecutive Armageddon, this time against Aronian.


Position after 19.b3

Black has some interesting continuations after 19.b3. Find out what are those.

Position after 26...Nce4

At one point, black was in grave danger but white didn't play 27.Qxh5 here. Who knows things could have ended in a different way. Both sides got a few winning chances, eventually it was Firouzja who scored his second consecutive Armageddon victory.

Firouzja scored his second consecutive Armageddon victory | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Tari - Duda 1.5-1

It was evident that the Norway no.2 wanted to go for a win as he played ambitiously from the very beginning. However when the opportunity presented itself in the endgame, he could not seize it.

Classical game

Position after 26...Rh4

The game continued with 27.Rxe6 and black managed to save the game. Find out what was the better continuation for white to maintain the decisive advantage.

Being in a must-win situation, Tari out of desperation sacrificed his knight which was certainly not correct.


Position after 36.Rc7+

Black has two choices. Where should black move the king?

Position after 51...Bxe4

Soon after losing the extra material, black made another mistake and lost two more pawns. Find out what black should have played instead of 51...Bxe4

Tari was determined to win | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Photo Gallery

Carlsen scored a victory after 19 draws in their classical encounter | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Tari took quite a bit of risk and it paid off | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Focus level: Magnus Carlsen | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Alireza Firouzja - as the world champion said definitely the talent to watch out for | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Replay Round 4 games


Round 4 results | Photo: chess24


Carlsen takes sole lead after Round 4 | Photo: chess24


Players will get following points per round:

Victory in main game: 3 points

Loss in main game: 0 points

Draw in main game & victory Armageddon: 1.5 points

Draw in main game & loss Armageddon: 1 point

Armageddon Rules

• If there is a draw in the classical game then the players will move on to Armageddon within 20 minutes after the draw.

• White pieces will continue with white in Armageddon. With this, there will be a winner in each game due to the fact that black pieces will win if the game ends in a draw.


Rank Prize
1st 700000
2nd 370000
3rd 230000
4th 180000
5th 170000
6th 160000

Total Prize fund is NOK 1810000.

Replay the Live Stream

Greatest female chess player of all time Judit Polgar and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik are the Official Commentators | Video: chess24


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