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HomeChessNorway Chess 2024: 7 Issues We Discovered

Norway Chess 2024: 7 Issues We Discovered

GM Magnus Carlsen briefly stared into the abyss of shedding his world number-one spot, however he turned issues round to win his sixth Norway Chess title. GM Hikaru Nakamura returned to the 2800 membership, whereas Girls’s World Champion Ju Wenjun cruised to victory in Girls’s Norway Chess. What did we study from Norway Chess?

  1. Carlsen Received’t Give Up His Quantity-1 Spot With out A Struggle
  2. Nakamura Is Again >2800 After His Final (?) Classical Sport Of 2024
  3. Armageddon Didn’t Make A Distinction
  4. Ding Stays Resilient Regardless of Hitting Rock Backside
  5. Ju Wenjun Is A Dominant World Champion
  6. Anna Muzychuk Is Again
  7. There Are Queues For The Confessional

1. Carlsen Received’t Give Up His Quantity-1 Spot With out A Struggle

When Carlsen resigned in opposition to Praggnanandhaa, issues weren’t wanting good for the previous world champion. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen is now a six-time Norway Chess Champion after scoring three classical wins and 5/6 in armageddon, however for a quick second it had seemed as if issues may disintegrate. A dangerous opening noticed him put to sword by GM Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu in spherical three, in what on the closing ceremony he described as his most memorable recreation of the occasion: “He performed an excellent recreation to crush me in that one!”

When GM Fabiano Caruana additionally beat World Champion Ding Liren in the identical spherical, it felt like an ideal storm. Carlsen would have Black vs. Caruana in spherical 4, and a win for the American would have put him simply 3.6 ranking factors behind the previous world champion. Carlsen’s virtually 13-year unbroken streak as world number-one, on each official and stay ranking lists, can be in peril.

Staff Carlsen along with his father Henrik, girlfriend Ella, and second GM Peter Heine Nielsen. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

That remained a state of affairs for an alternate universe, nonetheless, as Carlsen mentioned his urge for food grew throughout the recreation till he went on to grind out an important win. There was no turning again, as he received the subsequent two video games as properly, whereas Caruana grew to become the second sufferer of Praggnanandhaa. When the mud had settled after the occasion, Carlsen was 30.2 factors away from second place, and 36.2 factors away from Caruana. Disaster properly and actually averted.

The world top-3 after Norway Chess. Supply: 2700chess.

Nakamura talked about that capacity to carry out when it actually issues:

“One factor the good champions in any sport have, this isn’t actually essentially chess, is that they have a manner of getting it completed within the vital moments, and I feel again to Magnus, whether or not it’s the world championship in opposition to Fabiano the place he was one loss away from now not being primary on the planet, or his recreation in opposition to Fabiano right here, which he received, that stunning recreation which sparked the rally. And even the sport in opposition to Karjakin after that loss, I feel in recreation 9 [of the 2016 World Championship match], he bounced again straight away. He finds a technique to get it completed!”

He finds a technique to get it completed!

—Hikaru Nakamura on Magnus Carlsen

Carlsen himself defined that it had been a matter of getting again to fundamentals:

“I assume my mindset simply modified in that in opposition to Fabiano I simply wished to be tremendous, tremendous stable and I used to be actually targeted in that recreation, and it went from making an attempt to play enjoyable chess, which wasn’t enjoyable in any respect, to extra of a sluggish, grinding model, the place I used to be simply making an attempt to see if I might choose up some scraps right here and there, making an attempt to win the boring manner.”

In the long run every little thing went proper for Carlsen. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

Carlsen hasn’t hidden that he’s now not a terrific fan of classical chess, however as he summed up: “If I’m making an attempt to play classical, I’d as properly win the match!”

If I am making an attempt to play classical, I’d as properly win the match!

—Magnus Carlsen

It was one other addition to a protracted checklist. 

2. Nakamura Is Again >2800 After His Final (?) Classical Sport Of 2024

Though Praggnanandhaa had a terrific occasion—selecting up 10 ranking factors and coming into the ultimate spherical with some title possibilities—as soon as once more it was Nakamura who pushed Carlsen hardest. The five-time U.S. Champion regretted a missed classical win in opposition to GM Alireza Firouzja, however he had little else to complain about. As he listed in his last recap: unbeaten in classical chess, over 2800, number-one American, and quantity two on the planet.

Hikaru Nakamura is again as much as world number-2. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

Crossing 2800 is the one which stands out, because it represents a outstanding profession arc. Nakamura was final over 2800 again in the summertime of 2015, hitting a peak of 2816 and world number-two on the October 2015 FIDE ranking checklist. He’d then dropped as little as 2736 and world number-22 on the eve of the pandemic, in order that his tenure on the very prime of world chess seemed as if it is perhaps coming to an finish.

Then got here streaming, fame, riches, and a outstanding profession renaissance.

The draw back of success is that Nakamura is a busy man. On his Kick channel after the penultimate spherical in Norway, he talked about that the subsequent recreation can be his final classical recreation of 2024. Let’s hope it isn’t, since amongst different issues that might imply Nakamura isn’t representing the U.S. on the Olympiad this September.

3. Armageddon Didn’t Make A Distinction

Nakamura scored a surprisingly poor 3/8 in armageddon (1.5 factors), in contrast, for example, to Carlsen’s 5/6 (2.5 factors), although you possibly can argue if the additional half-points have been “so essential on the finish of the match” as Carlsen described them. In reality, it’s a curious element that no placement in both the Open or Girls’s Norway Chess can be modified in the event you counted solely the classical video games on the dimensions used for the occasion—three factors for a win, one for a draw. 

Norway Chess Closing Standings   

# Identify FED Win Draw Loss Classical Armageddon Factors Complete
1 Magnus Carlsen 3 6 1 15 5/6 2.5 17.5
2 Hikaru Nakamura 2 8 0 14 3/8 1.5 15.5
3 Praggnanandhaa R 2 7 1 13 3/7 1.5 14.5
4 Alireza Firouzja 1 8 1 11 5/8 2.5 13.5
5 Fabiano Caruana 1 7 2 10 3/7 1.5 11.5
6 Ding Liren 0 6 4 6 2/6 1 7

Norway Chess Girls Closing Standings

# Identify FED Win Draw Loss Classical Armageddon Factors Complete
1 Ju Wenjun 3 7 0 16 6/7 3 19
2 Anna Muzychuk 2 8 0 14 4/8 2 16
3 Lei Tingjie 2 7 1 13 3/7 1.5 14.5
4 Vaishali R 2 5 3 11 3/5 1.5 12.5
5 Koneru Humpy 1 6 3 9 2/6 1 10
6 Pia Cramling 0 7 3 7 2/7 1 8

You can additionally rely the classical video games by the usual one level for a win, half a degree for a draw scale, and the one distinction can be that Carlsen and Nakamura can be stage on 6/10, as a substitute of Carlsen being a degree forward.

The place the armageddon video games did make an enormous distinction is within the notion of the day’s motion. All video games have been drawn within the Open part within the first two and the ultimate 4 (!) rounds, however there have been few complaints about uninteresting chess, because it meant a flurry of quicker video games.

4. Ding Stays Resilient Regardless of Hitting Rock Backside

In our Norway Chess preview, we talked about the world champion’s intention “to not end in final place.” Unusual as that sounds, he was lethal critical, and he failed within the try, with a sequence of 4 losses in a row seeing Ding drop 17.2 ranking factors and fall out of the highest 10. In some methods it was even worse, with the mate-in-two he stumbled into in opposition to Carlsen actually surprising for a participant of his power.

Ding advised Hindustan Instances that he’d thought of dropping out of the match and was open about his psychological state: “Earlier, I wasn’t emotional. After some issues occurred in life, I’ve change into extra emotional. Now after every loss…how do I put it… I’m very unhappy, very upset.”

Ding Liren had a disastrous center of the match however managed to maintain going. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

A German interview from April surfaced during which Ding talked about struggling to sleep after the world championship match, which led to despair. He revealed he was handled in a clinic and had been taking medicine.  

It was spectacular, due to this fact, that Ding managed to flee the spiral of defeats and draw his last 4 classical video games, whereas additionally beating Nakamura in armageddon. He missed some possibilities for extra in these video games and commented in one other interview with the Indian media: “Lastly I started to attain factors. It’s a very good signal that I present I can get again to the scoreboard.”

There’s no scarcity of well-wishers, with GMs Anna Muzychuk and Lei Tingjie among the many gamers to want Ding a swift restoration throughout the occasion.  

It’s extra difficult for Ding’s opponents on the board, since nonetheless nice the non-public sympathy, they know they should be ruthless throughout video games—the actual Ding can present up at any second!

5. Ju Wenjun Is A Dominant World Champion

China’s different world champion appears utterly at residence in her function. Ju first received the title in 2018 in a match vs. GM Tan Zhongyi (who she’ll play once more subsequent yr) after which remarkably retained the title by successful a 64-player knockout later that yr. Match wins over GMs Aleksandra Goryachkina (2020) and Lei Tingjie (2023) adopted, and the four-time world champion continues to impress.

Ju Wenjun was peerless at her Norway Chess debut. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

In Norway, regardless of a considerably sluggish begin, she was peerless, successful three classical video games, drawing the remainder, and scoring 6/7 in armageddon. The one mini-match she misplaced all match was to Muzychuk, when she misplaced on time in a drawn place that might have given her victory since she had the black items in armageddon.

Lei had gone on a terrific run on the finish to take the combat for first into the ultimate spherical, however Ju swatted away the problem with a clean classical win. A near-perfect efficiency at her Norway Chess debut.    

6. Anna Muzychuk Is Again

Anna Muzychuk lastly picked up some wins after a winless Candidates. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

Muzychuk is, along with Ju, certainly one of simply six ladies ever to have been rated over 2600, however she’d had a tough month. She completed winless in final place on the FIDE Girls’s Candidates Event and began slowly in Stavanger, drawing her first three classical video games to make it a streak of 21 video games and not using a win. She additionally misplaced all three armageddon video games that adopted.

All of it modified after that, nonetheless, as Muzychuk scored classical wins in opposition to the 2 oldest gamers within the discipline, GMs Koneru Humpy and Pia Cramling. She ended the occasion unbeaten and in addition scored 4/5 in her remaining armageddon video games, making it an ideal warmup for the Cairns Cup in St. Louis that begins on Thursday and contains a $50,000 prime prize. 

Muzychuk’s occasion is in some methods a mirror of that of GM Vaishali Rameshbabu, who led on the midway mark after carrying on her good kind from the top of the Candidates however then ran out of steam, shedding three classical video games within the second half.

Chess legend Pia Cramling fell simply wanting a classical win on the ultimate day, however she checked out residence in Stavanger. Picture: Maria Emelianova/

7. There Are Queues For The Confessional

There’s completely no shock at who dominated the confessional, with Nakamura making it his second residence throughout the occasion.

We acquired to listen to the gamers’ ideas throughout the motion moderately than after they’d fastidiously checked with a pc, and Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa have been among the many gamers to appreciate one thing solely whereas speaking on digicam. 

There was clearly a nervousness about making an attempt out the confessional, significantly for the ladies who have been encountering it for the primary time, however by the top many of the gamers had made their debuts…

…and there have been stories of queues to disclose all. Speaking to an viewers throughout the intense focus of a recreation of chess will not be for everybody, however it appears the confessional is right here to remain! 

There was simply time for slightly extra chess…

…earlier than the gamers and commentators headed their separate methods. 

Up subsequent is the Bullet Chess Championship, with Nakamura, Firouzja, Praggnanandhaa, and Caruana among the many gamers in motion in one-minute chess starting tomorrow. Carlsen has determined to sit down this one out. “I feel that’s Hikaru’s turf, so I’ll be following intently as a spectator, however I don’t take pleasure in bullet a lot nowadays. I’m glad to let others combat that out!”

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