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Altibox Norway Chess R8: Carlsen regains his sole lead

by Shahid Ahmed - 14/10/2020

The world champion is back at the top as he beat his compatriot Tari quite comfortably with a beautiful finish. Carlsen takes sole lead heading towards the final rest day of Altibox Norway Chess with a score of 16.5/24. Caruana avenged his loss and beat Firouzja in the Armageddon. Firouzja is at the sole second place with 15.5/24. Carlsen and Firouzja will duke it out in Round 9, seemingly virtual final of the event as the result of that game will almost decide the winner of the event. Who do you think will win the battle between Carlsen and Firouzja? Penultimate round games of Round 9 will resume on Thursday 15th October from 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Aronian loses his fourth Armageddon of the event

Carlsen regained his sole lead by scoring a comfortable victory against compatriot Aryan Tari in Round 8 of Altibox Norway Chess. The world champion is now at 16.5/24. Caruana got his revenge against Firouzja as he beat him in the Armageddon. Firouzja got into trouble out of the opening as he misplayed. Firouzja is currently at second place, a full point behind Carlsen at 15.5/24. Aronian lost his fourth Armageddon of the event, this time against Poland no.1 Duda. The Armenian is at the sole third position with 13.0/24 going into the final rest day of the event. Carlsen will meet Firouzja in Round 9 on 15th October in a virtual final of the event.

Carlsen is back at the top | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Norway Chess

Carlsen - Tari 3-0

Tari started well in the opening but soon got into a position which was obvious that the world champion squeeze out an advantage.

Position after 20.Bxf6

It is evident that white intends to maneuver his knight to the outpost - d5 and control maximum squares, thus 20.Bxf6

Position after 33...Rc7

In an already difficult position, black played 33...Rc7 and provoked the inevitable 34.Nd5 then Rc8 allowed white to take control of the seventh rank with 35.Ra7 and win became just a matter of time for white.

Position after 41...Rf7

Find out the fantastic winning continuation for white after 41...Rf7

Carlsen continues his pre-match ritual with a Namaste greeting.

Carlsen made a beautiful finish against Tari | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

The world champion explaining to his compatriot after the game | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Caruana - Firouzja 1.5-1

Caruana got a good position out of the Fantasy variation of the Caro-Kann.


Position after 15...c5

There are a couple of ways to create a double pawn on f6 and f7. Caruana chose to go with 16.dxe5. What was the other way? The game eventually petered out to a draw forcing an Armageddon.

Caruana repeated Fantasy variation once again in the Armageddon but Firouzja tried not to repeat the same variation as their Classical encounter.


Position after 12...e6

The first mistake in the Armageddon was definitely 12...e6 as that blinds the d7-bishop and the position looks terrible for black.

Position after 15...c5

Sacrificing the c-pawn with 15...c5 only helped white as he gained massive space advantage on the queenside.

Position after 30...Qb7

Black seems to threaten both knights on the long diagonal with 30...Qb7 but white has a devastating reply to that. Find out the best continuation for white here.

Caruana got even with Firouzja by beating him in the Armageddon | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Aronian - Duda 1-1.5

After having an uneventful draw in the Maroczy of Sicilian, Duda opted for French Defense in the Armageddon.


Position after 65.Kb5

Knowing that the Armageddon is also heading towards which means Aronian will lose as per the Armageddon rules, in a desperate attempt, he went with 65.Kb5 which is of course losing for white. Find out the winning continuation for black.

Aronian loses fourth Armageddon of the event | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Photo Gallery

The tournament hall | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Carlsen observes Duda-Aronian encounter | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Duda scores another important victory | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Replay Round 8 games


Round 8 had two Armageddon | Photo: chess24


Carlsen takes sole lead heading into final rest day | 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

Live Commentary by 14th World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and greatest female chess player of all time Judit Polgar | Video: chess24


Altibox Norway Chess official site

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