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12th Norway Chess R4: Nakamura schools Praggnanandhaa, emerges new sole leader

by Shahid Ahmed - 31/05/2024

Hikaru Nakamura defeated R Praggnanandhaa to leap to the top of the 12th Norway Chess 2024 leaderboard. Praggnanandhaa's ambitious knight sacrifice to increase the vulnerability of his opponent's king did not work out. Nakamura had no trouble converting his advantage into a win. The teenager kept fighting but to no avail. Magnus Carlsen avenged his last year's loss on the exact day against Fabiano Caruana. The latter blundered into a mate in five in a queen endgame which ideally should have ended in a draw. Alireza Firouzja defeated the reigning world champion, Ding Liren for the second time in this year. Today is a rest day. Round 5 starts tomorrow 1st June from 5 p.m. CET, 8:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Norway Chess/Stev Bonhage

No Armageddon needed

For the first time in this edition, all three games were decided in Classical format only. Hikaru Nakamura (USA) has leapfrogged to the top of table 7/12. He is followed by Alireza Firouzja (FRA) 6.5/12, Magnus Carlsen (NOR) 6/12, R Praggnanandhaa 5.5/12, Fabiano Caruana (USA) 5/12 and Ding Liren (CHN) 2.5/12.

Hikaru Nakamura (USA) defeated R Praggnanandhaa to become the new sole leader

Caruana - Carlsen: 0-3

Fabiano Caruana (2805) and Magnus Carlsen (2830) played their last Classical rated game at the very same event on the same day exactly a year ago. Caruana won that game last year. Magnus lost his previous round game against Praggnanandhaa, so it would be obvious that he will play for only one result - him winning the game. Caruana opted for Giuco Piano/Italian opening. Both bishops got traded at e3 and e6-squares by eleventh move. The game eventually liquidated into a queen endgame. Although, Caruana was down by a pawn, it seemed like the game is heading towards a draw.

Position after 65...Kf2

66.Qa2+ e2 67.Qf7+ Ke1 68.Qh5 Kd2 69.Qa5+ would have led to a draw. However, Caruana blundered 66.Kh2?? e2-+ and it is over.

World no.2 Caruana vs World no.1 Carlsen - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

A heartwrenching loss for Fabiano Caruana (USA) against Magnus Carlsen (NOR) before the first rest day

Nakamura - Praggnanandhaa: 3-0

Last month, Hikaru Nakamura (2794) defeated R Praggnanandhaa (2747) in their second encounter at the FIDE Candidates 2024. After beating the World no.1, Magnus Carlsen, Praggnanandhaa was evidently high on confidence.

Position after 19...Bd7?

19...Bd7? is an inaccuracy as White forces the trade of bishops and knight sits firmly on f5. 20.axb5 Bxb5 21.Bxb5 Qxb5 22.Nf5 Nxe4? an ambitious sacrifice which in reality does not work out. The simple explanation is after 23.fxe4 Rxe4+ 24.Kf2 Black does not have sufficient material left on the board to take advantage of the exposed king. Black fought for another 62 moves but in vain.

After Carlsen it's time for Nakamura vs Pragg, Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Checkmate on move 86 | Video: GMHikaru

Firouzja - Liren: 3-0

Earlier this year, Alireza Firouzja (2737) defeated the reigning world champion - Ding Liren (2762) at 86th Tata Steel Masters 2024. Once again the world no.16 repeated the same result with the same color.

Position after 23.Qxe4

The above position looks better for White and slightly unstable for Black. 23...Qxh3?? did not help Black's case. 24.Qxh7 Rd8 25.Rxg7 and things fell apart in a hurry for Black.

Ding Liren suffered his second Classical loss in-a-row

Replay live stream

Replay Norway Chess 2024 Round 4 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 4 games

Round 4 results

Round 4: All three games were decided in Classical | Photo: Norway Chess

Standings after Round 4

Hikaru Nakamura has jumped to the top of the points table 7/12 | Photo: Norway Chess

Round 5 pairings

Round 5 pairings | Photo: Norway Chess


6 players will take part in the Tournament.

The Tournament is a double-round event with Armageddon.

The Tournament consists of 10 rounds.

Time Control

Each player will have 120 minutes on the clock with an increment of 10 seconds starting from move 41. The time control for the Armageddon game: white has 10 minutes and black has 7 minutes with an increment for both players of 1 second per move, starting from move 41.

Draw by Mutual Agreement

Players are not allowed to agree to a draw until at least 30 moves have been made by each player. This rule does not apply to Armageddon games.


If the classical game is drawn, an Armageddon game will be played. It shall start within 20 minutes of the conclusion of the classical game. The player with White pieces will continue with White in Armageddon. If the Armageddon game is drawn, black will win.


Players will get the following points per round:

Win in the classical game: 3 points

Loss in the classical game: 0 points

Draw in the classical game & win Armageddon: 1½ points

Draw in the classical game & loss Armageddon: 1 point


From 27th May to 7th June, every day game starts at 5 p.m. local time and 8:30 p.m. IST. Rest days are on Friday 31st May and Wednesday 5th June.

Prize money

Prize Money The total prize fund of the Tournament is 1690000 NOK. Distribution of Prize money occurs as followed:

1st - NOK 700000

2nd - NOK 350000

3rd - NOK 200000

4th - NOK 170000

5th - NOK 150000

6th - NOK 120000

Watch the tournaments live at the venue:

SR-Bank in Stavanger City.

Address: Christen Tranes Gate 35, 4007 Stavanger

All tickets are purchased directly at the venue. No pre-sale.

It is possible to reserve tickets, however, this is normally not necessary due to good capacity at the venue. Reserve your ticket by e-mailing the desired dates and names to:


Ticket prices per day:

Adults: 200 NOK

Children: 100 NOK

Family: 400 NOK


Tournament Regulations

Norway Chess: Official site, facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, linkedin

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