Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

Carlsen beats Radjabov in Norway, narrows gap with Karjakin

2 min read


Sergey Karjakin recovered well from his first loss yesterday by holding a difficult position with black against Vishy Anand. The Russian grandmaster is still leading but Magnus Carlsen is now half a point behind him after grinding down Teimour Radjabov in an ending. Something went terribly wrong for Jon Ludvig Hammer, who lost to Levon Aronian in just 24 moves in a theoretical Grünfeld. Nakamura-Svidler and Topalov-Wang Hao ended in draws.

The first game to finish in the sixth round was not one of the draws. No, it was Jon Ludvig Hammer’s loss against Levon Aronian in a Grünfeld. Apparently his salmon for lunch worked only once!

It was a bit of a strange game actually. Hammer played the Grünfeld again, Aronian went for the highly theoretical 8.Rb1 line (so far nothing strange happening there) but then, as it turned out, Hammer wasn’t prepared at all for the complications that arise in the sideline 13.Rxb7.

I think it’s safe to say that I played the Grünfeld one time too many. I did not prepare this,

said Hammer, who got into a position with “half a tempo less” (Aronian) and a few moves later even a full tempo, as the Armenian seemed to recall the game position after 19.gxf3 with Black’s a-pawn one step closer to the promotion square! All in all it’s not completey clear yet where Black went wrong in this but in this game it was over after just 24 moves.

Tournament leader Sergey Karjakin came under big pressure against the World Champion today. At the press conference the Muscovite admitted to be very impressed by Anand’s play, especially the queen manoeuvres, which were quite brilliant indeed. White got very, very close but just not close enough. Anand said he “wasn’t thrilled”.


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