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Chess: World No 1 Carsen fails to win Stavanger tournament

World champion Magnus Carlsen did badly in Stavanger JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

Levon Aronian won the title of the extremely heavy 10-player Norway Chess 2017 in Stavanger. Aronian won the title with six points following a 59-move draw with Wesley So. In the end, only the two kings remained on the board.

Earlier, Aronian’s nearest rival Hikaru Nakamura suffered his only loss after facing Fabiano Caruana. Vladimir Kramnik shared the second spot with Nakamura after dismissing Anish Giri in just 20 moves.

“I think I am more concentrated,” he said in an interview after his victory. “I want to win much more. I started concentrating on things outside chess, like hanging out with friends, doing some sport. We are next to this forest with a lake, lots of opportunities to exercise, it was a good tournament.”

Meanwhile, Viswanathan Anand, who was world champion between 2000 and 2002 and again between 2007 and 2013, held current World champion Magnus Carlsen to a draw for the seventh spot.

Anand and Carlsen played a Guico Piano but the game didn’t last more than 34 moves. Anand, playing white, held a slight advantage after the opening phase but Carlsen soon gained active play.

Carlsen sacrificed a pawn without gaining much compensation. Eventually Anand repeated moves to ensure a draw after sensing the potential of the black pieces in the given position. The duo shared the seventh spot with Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at four points.

“I thought the first two rounds were OK,” says Carlson, “I played not spectacular but it was OK. But already in the game with Naka[mura] I was not feeling so great in my head, and then that trend continued.

The worst for Carsen were rounds 5 and 6, he says, “I didn’t make anything, I played poorly and I didn’t feel motivated.” 

Results Ninth and last round:

Viswanathan Anand (India) - Magnus Carlsen (Norway) 1/2-1/2
Wesley So (US) - Levon Aronian 1/2-1/2
Fabiano Caruana (USA) - Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 1-0
Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) - Anish Giri (Netherlands) 1-0
Sergey Karjakin (Russia) - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) 1/2-1/2

1 Levon Aronian 6
2/3 Nakamura 5
2/3 Kramnik 5
4/6 Caruana 4½
4/6 So 4½
4/6 Giri 4½
7/9 Vachier-Lagrave 4
7/9 Anand 4
7/9 Carlsen 4
10 Karjakin 3½