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Norway Chess R3: Rapport misses his chance against Carlsen

by Shahid Ahmed - 10/09/2021

Richard Rapport's strategy almost worked against Carlsen in the third round of Norway Chess 2021. He wanted to play Armageddon with white pieces. After making a quick draw against King's Indian, the Hungarian opted for reverse King's Indian himself. However, he missed his opportunity and allowed the world champion to escape with a draw. Speaking of missed opportunities, Firouzja and Tari also missed their winning chances against Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi respectively in Armageddon. Round 4 will witness one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament between Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi. Who do you think will win it? It starts tonight from 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Black wins three Armageddon

All three games of Round 3 went to Armageddon. Black won all three of them. While Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi won the game, Carlsen drew the Armageddon from a difficult position to win the match.

Players are swinging hard towards Carlsen but missing their mark | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Firouzja - Karjakin: 1-1.5

Firouzja drew the Classical game against Karjakin. After surviving initial difficulties, Firouzja got himself a significant advantage against Karjakin in Armageddon.

Armageddon

Position after 39...Kh8

There is nothing wrong with 40.Rxf8. However, 40.Rxh5 gives more definitive chance as 40...Rc7 41.Rg6 Rh7 42.Rxb6 Qf7 43.Rhxh6 Rxh6 44.Rxh6+ Kg8 45.Rxb6 and it is safe to say that White is winning now. It is quite difficult to spot this in Armageddon.

Firouzja misses a win in Armageddon | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Tari - Nepomniachtchi: 1-1.5

The Classical game ended in a draw. Tari got himself a completely winning position against Nepomniachtchi.

Armageddon

Position after 23...Qxa2

Black is reeling in the above position. 24.Ng5 fxe6 25.f6 wraps the game in favor of White. However, White missed this due to time scramble and played 24.Rxe3 which allowed Black to get back in the game 24...fxe6. After a few more moves, Black gained the upper hand, resulting Tari to resign.

Tari is playing well, but finish is not working in his favor | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Rapport - Carlsen: 1-1.5

The Classical game was a short 18-move draw by repetition.

Carlsen's expression pretty much sums up the story | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Rapport went for his trusty 1.g3 in Armageddon, and it almost worked.

Armageddon

Position after 24...Rh2

White had to play 25.Bf3 to go for a win. 25.Bxg5 allowed Black in the game 25...Rg8. Now White has to play for a draw.

Rapport: "You're playing the no. 1, why not think more than 10 seconds?" | Video: chess24

Rapport had a real chance to score an upset against Carlsen | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Photo Gallery

Rapport-Carlsen was one of the most anticipated match of the day | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

The Classical battle ended prematurely... | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

...in a draw | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Nepomniachtchi is definitely happy to swindle Tari in Armageddon | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

All six players in action | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Replay Round 3 games

Pairings

Pairings for all rounds | Photo: chess24

Results

Firouzja lost to Karjakin in Armageddon | Photo: Norway Chess

Tari lost to Nepomniachtchi in Armageddon | Photo: Norway Chess

Rapport drew both Classical and Armageddon against Carlsen | Photo: Norway Chess

Standings

Rapport still in the sole lead | Photo: chess24

Scoring

Players will get the 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.

• 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.

Replay the Live Stream

Greatest female chess player of all time GM Judit Polgar and IM Jovanka Houska are the Official Commentators | Video: chess24

Links

Norway Chess official site