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Vishy Anand finishes 7th at the Norway Blitz

by Sagar Shah - 06/06/2017

It is the strongest event of 2017. Altibox Norway Chess 2017 is here and it is a star studded line up that we are looking at - Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Wesley So, Fabiano Caruana. Vishy Anand ensures that Indian fans have a hero to cheer for at the event. On 5th June, a blitz tournament was held for players to decide their number for the main event. Magnus Carlsen crushed the field with 7.5/9. Anand finished seventh with 4.0/9. We give you information about how to follow the classical games live with commentary. Blitz event report.

The Norway chess 2017 kicked off with a blitz tournament on 5th of June 2017. Ten of the best players in the world are in Stavanger to take part in this event sponsored by Altibox.


Vishy Anand is the biggest attraction for the Indian fans at this event. Of course the hot favourite to win the title will be Magnus Carlsen. But he will receive stiff challenge from Wesley So. World Championship Challenger Sergey Karjakin is also here and so is Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, MVL and Anish Giri. Adn then you have the two evergreen players Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian. It's going to be an event to remember.

The press conference before the start of the tournament
The blitz tournament was a nine round event with 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment.The winner of the blitz tournament would choose his number in the main tournament. Number 2 gets the highest available number, and number 3 the second highest, and so on.
Vishy was very solid in the blitz. He lost two games, won one and drew six! His win came against Fabiano Caruana, while he lost to MVL and Vladimir Kramnik. 4.0/9 was good for a seventh place finish.

Here is Anand's only win from the event, against Fabiano Caruana:

[Event "5th Norway Blitz 2017"]
[Site "Stavanger NOR"]
[Date "2017.06.05"]
[Round "7.4"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C54"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "104"]
[EventDate "2017.06.05"]
[EventType "blitz"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 O-O 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4
a6 9. Bb3 Ba7 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. Re1 Kh7 12. Nf1 g5 $5 13. Bg3 (13. Bxg5 $2 Bxb3
$1 14. axb3 hxg5 15. Nxg5+ Kg7 $17) (13. Bxe6 $1 {would have refuted Anand's
strategy!} fxe6 14. Bxg5 hxg5 15. Nxg5+ Kh8 16. Nxe6 Qd7 17. Nxf8 Rxf8 $16)
13... Bxb3 14. Qxb3 Rb8 15. d4 exd4 16. Nxd4 Nh5 17. Nf5 {White seems to have
a pleasant position because of the f5 square weakness. But Anand fights on.}
Ne7 18. N1e3 Bxe3 19. Nxe3 Qd7 20. Rad1 Qe6 21. Qc2 Kg8 22. c4 Rbd8 23. c5 Nxg3
24. hxg3 dxc5 25. Qxc5 Rxd1 26. Rxd1 Qxe4 27. Rd7 (27. Qxc7 $16) 27... Ng6 28.
Qxc7 Qb1+ 29. Kh2 Qxb2 30. Ng4 Kg7 31. Rd6 h5 32. Nf6 (32. Rb6 Qd4 33. Ne3 $16)
32... Qxf2 33. Qc3 Kh6 $1 34. Nd7 Re8 35. Ne5 Qf5 $1 {Anand is now many pawns
up and his king position is also safe.} 36. Nxg6 fxg6 37. Qc7 h4 38. Rd4 hxg3+
39. Qxg3 Qe5 40. Rd7 b5 41. Ra7 Qxg3+ 42. Kxg3 Re3+ 43. Kg4 Ra3 {The rest is
matter of technique.} 44. g3 Rxa2 45. Ra8 b4 46. Rh8+ Kg7 47. Rb8 Ra4 48. Rb7+
Kh6 49. Rb8 b3+ 50. Kf3 g4+ 51. Ke3 Ra3 52. Kf4 a5 0-1

Two arch rivals getting ready for the game in the first round. The battle ended in a draw.
Wesley So came to the game in a t-shirt. Knowing the perfectionist that he is, we can be quite sure that he wore this attire in order to ensure that he is more comfortable while playing blitz!
Carlsen simply crushed the field and won the event with 7.5/9, two points clear of the second placed Nakamura and Aronian.

Final Standings

1. Carlsen, Magnus – 7½/9
2. Nakamura, Hikaru – 5½/9
3. Aronian, Levon – 5½/9
4. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime – 5/9
5. Kramnik, Vladimir – 4½/9
6. Karjakin, Sergey – 4½/9
7. Anand, Viswanathan – 4/9
8. So, Wesley – 4/9
9. Caruana, Fabiano – 3/9
10. Giri, Anish – 1½/9

Daniel King recaps the entire blitz event on his Power Play chess

Video of the game between Anand and Carlsen that ended in a draw. Even after nearly two and half years of their World Championship Match, the encounter between these two players is exciting for all the Indian chess fans!

Replay all the games of the blitz event:

The main tournament:

The classical event begins from the 6th of June. Round one will start at 4 p.m. local time which translates to 7.30 p.m. IST. Here are some of the regulations of the event:

  1. Ten players are to take part in the Tournament;
  2. The Tournament is a round-robin event;
  3. The Tournament consists of 9 rounds.
  4. The time control is 100 min for 40 moves + 50 min for 20 moves, + 15 min for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move 61. Participant is obliged to record the moves on the score sheet, starting from the first move.
  5. The “Sofia” rule will apply. No talking between the players, so no offers of draw. Ref article 9.1 of Fide rules
  6. There will be 1 point for victory, ½ point for draw.
  7. Money prizes will be shared among the players with the same sum of points.
    This does not apply for the first prize.
  8. In case of shared first place, there will be a blitz play-off to decide the winner.

Prize fund – main event 

1 70 000
2 40 000
3 25 000
4 20 000
5 17 500
6 16 000
7 15 500
8 15 250
9 15 000
10 14 750
Total 249 000 Euro

Live commentary:

Nigel Short and Dirk jan ten Guezendam will be the commentators for the event. You can watch the live commentary at 7.30 p.m. IST over here.