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Norway Chess R9: Carlsen scores four in-a-row, takes sole lead

by Shahid Ahmed - 17/09/2021

Magnus Carlsen registered his fourth consecutive victory as he defeated Karjakin in the penultimate ninth round of Norway Chess 2021. According to the world champion, this was the toughest win out of them. At one point his position was really bad, and he wanted to provoke a break which is exactly what the former world championship challenger did, allowing his opponent to get back in the game. Firouzja beat Tari for the second time in this tournament, and this win brought him to World no.10 in the live ratings list. Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi will very likely face each other the last time before their world championship match, today in the final round of the tournament starting at 8:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Firouzja enters World top 10

Rapport's strategy of making a quick draw in the Classical and playing Armageddon did not work for the second time. It did not work against Carlsen in the third round and this time it was against Nepomniachtchi. The Hungarian got a good opportunity in Armageddon but he was unable to seize it. Gukesh maintains his sole lead, 8.0/9 in the Open section. He just needs a draw to win the tournament.

Carlsen is on the brink of winning Norway Chess 2021 | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Tari - Firouzja: 0-3

Tari made an incorrect decision at a critical moment of not exchanging knights which allowed Firouzja to get some play.

Position after 21...Nxe5

White should have played 22.Nxe5 here to keep things balanced. 22.Nb5 is an ineffective outpost which does not add anything to White's position. In fact, 22...Ng4 forces White to exchange the bishop with the knight. The game continued 23.Bf4 Rfe8 24.Bf3 g5 and now White is forced to trade the bishop and get a less than favorable position.

Position after 27.c4

27.c4 allows Black to do tactics to gain material. Find out how.

Alireza Firouzja: "It was just lucky I got some good positions" | Video: chess24

Firouzja moves to World no.10 | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Carlsen - Karjakin: 3-0

Carlsen had a really bad position he felt where he had no plan and tried hard to stay in the game.

Position after 26.Rd1

26...h5 was not the best way to continue which the world champion correctly felt to be inaccurate. 26...Re8 or Rbf8 are suggested by the computer.

Position after 30...e4

Carlsen admitted playing 31.Ra6 to provoke 30...e4 which is exactly what he did. It gave White an opportunity to get back in the game 31.Nxd4. Black sacrificed an exchange 31...exf3 32.Nxf3 Bh3 33.Rf2 Rxf3 34.gxf3 with no proper follow up 34...Rf5. Instead, 34...Bg4 would have some semblance.

Magnus Carlsen: "I was feeling really, really bad about my position!" | Video: chess24
Sergey Karjakin: "Everthing looked perfect but the lines didn't work!" | Video: chess24

Carlsen scored his fourth win in-a-row | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Rapport - Nepomniachtchi: 1-1.5

Rapport made a quick 18-move draw in the Classical game and decided to play Armageddon.


Position after 16...Qd7

White's best opportunity occured when Black slipped 16...Qd7. Find out how White should have seized the opportunity here.

Richard Rapport: "I just want to finish the tournament & go home!" | Video: chess24

Rapport's strategy almost worked for him | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Photo Gallery

Potkin enjoying the spectator's perspective | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Nepomniachtchi ends his losing streak | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Spectator's view of the games | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Firouzja gets the better of Tari again | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Nepomniachtchi's second Vladimir Potkin remains close | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Norway Chess

Replay Round 9 games


Pairings for all rounds | Photo: chess24


Firouzja scored a hat-trick of wins | Photo: Norway Chess

Carlsen got his revenge against Karjakin | Photo: Norway Chess

Rapport lost Armageddon again | Photo: Norway Chess


Carlsen has taken the lead | Photo: Norway Chess


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 GM David Howell are the Official Commentators | Video: chess24


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