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Altibox Norway Chess R10: Aronian beats Carlsen

by Shahid Ahmed - 17/10/2020

Aronian handed Carlsen his second defeat in one week as he ended the tournament on a high note by winning against the champion of Altibox Norway Chess 2020. Carlsen played strangely in the middle game and eventually he uncharacteristically misplayed in the endgame which cost him the point. Carlsen finished first with 19.5/30. Firouzja scored a fine victory against Duda to finish at a well-deserved runner-up position with 18.5/30. Aronian was placed third with 17.5/30. Tari held Caruana to a solid draw in the Classical game, however he lost the Armageddon. Caruana finished fourth with 15.5/30. Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Carlsen loses second time in a week

The world champion had won this tournament with a round to spare. He was paired against the two-time World Cup winner - Levon Aronian in the final round. The Armenian is known to cause a bit of trouble for the Norwegian quite a few times. This time was also no different. As the 14th world champion Kramnik rightly predicted that Carlsen was unable to focus and he will lose in the final round, his prophecy once again had come true. Carlsen played some strange moves in the late middle game and lost the balance. Eventually he made some irrevocable errors in the endgame from which he could not recover. Although he got a chance to salvage a draw in the end but it was just not his day. Aronian finished third. Firouzja picked up a fine victory against Duda to finish at a well-deserved second position. Tari made a solid draw against Caruana in their Classical encounter but lost the Armageddon after he allowed the world no.2 to launch an attack which was overwhelming.

Carlsen beats Firouzja again | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Norway Chess

Carlsen - Aronian 0-3

Carlsen played a bit uncharacteristically against Aronian as he put his own queen in a passive way before he blundered a pawn.

Position after 19.Qb1

White could have taken the queen with 19.Qxb3 or play 19.Rc1. Both looked quite natural move, but 19.Qb1 seems absolutely strange as it blinds the rook at a1.

Position after 22.Rg3

22.Rg3 was a big mistake. It is true that white wouldn't have been able to save the d4-pawn either way, but instead of 22.Rg3, white should have played 22.Rf3 to be able to play g3 and create an escape route for the king with Kg2. Kramnik said, "Magnus seems to me to relax too early. Somehow he cannot concentrate today." He also correctly predicted about Carlsen losing the game and the 14th world champion turned out to be right.

Position after 37.f3

Even though the rook ending seemed equal, the first mistake was 37.f3. Why? Because white just managed to cut-off his own king. Now black's king can rush to d6-c5 in no time, except Aronian didn't do it.

Position after 44.Ra8

After getting a decisive advantage the Armenian went for an incorrect detour with 44...Kd6. What was the better continuation instead?

Position after 50.Rxf6

The world champion made a rare game losing error in the endgame with 50.Rxf6. This was a point of no return, after this winning should not be a challenge for black any longer. Find out the winning way for black and what white should have done to save the game.

Déjà vu - Carlsen and Aronian greets each other with Namaste once again.

Carlsen and Aronian both greet each other with Namaste | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

The final part | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Carlsen hands over the scoresheet | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Aronian did not forget to sanitize even during critical moment | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Firouzja - Duda 3-0

Firouzja finished the tournament on a high note as he beat Duda convincingly.

Position after 20...Nf5

Duda seemed to be out of his element as he played strangely in the middle game. 20...Nf5 unnecessary provokes 21.e4 which gives white complete control of the center.

Position after 24.f4

It is evident that if anyone then only white can push for a win here after 24.f4

Firouzja had a fantastic tournament | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Caruana - Tari 1.5-1

Tari held Caruana to a well-fought draw in their Classical encounter. However in the Armageddon, the Norwegian no.2 he misplayed and allowed his opponent to launch an attack which was too difficult to defend.


Position after 25..Rc2

Black should have gone with 25...Qd5. Okay white still has the initiative but it is much better than the game continuation of 25...Rc2. Find out why it is a mistake.

Photo Gallery

Kasparov said last year, "The chess world is a better place when Aronian is playing well" | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

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

Carlsen observes his nemesis or prodigy? | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Altibox Norway Chess

Carlsen tweeted this after the conclusion of the tournament

Replay Round 10 games

Round 10 results

Round 10 witness one Armageddon | Photo: chess24

Final Standings

1st Carlsen 19.5

2nd Firouzja 18.5

3rd Aronian 17.5

4th Caruana  15.5

5th Duda 9.5

6th Tari 3.5


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.

Prize list

Carlsen wins US$74000, while Firouzja won $39000 | Photo: chess24

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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