Norway Chess, Round 9: Carlsen Wins the Tournament, but Loses to Caruana
Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 1:58AM
Dennis Monokroussos in 2019 Norway Chess, Fabiano Caruana, Magnus Carlsen

Congratulations to the world champion and to his most recent challenger! Magnus Carlsen had a good tournament overall, just about maintaining his classical rating with a +2 score in the classical games, while winning his first six Armageddons. And congratulations to Fabiano Caruana as well. He went +1 in classical chess and overcame a poor start to finish fourth, just half a point behind Yu Yangyi and Levon Aronian. And, of course, his biggest congratulations comes from beating Carlsen in the last round. He even had a chance to defeat Carlsen in the classical game, which would have been an even bigger feather in his cap, but after missing his chance there he showed excellent technique in the Armageddon game, doing a Carlsen to grind out his great opponent in an ending.

As mentioned, Yu Yangyi tied for second, and he got there by defeating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in their classical game. Surprisingly, this happened in the Scotch Four Knights, and while Yu didn't get anything with it earlier in the event, this time he was more successful. Mamedyarov didn't play very well, and lost in just 30 moves.

In the other games, Levon Aronian "drew" the Armageddon game with Black against Viswanathan Anand to win their battle. In fact he could have won very easily, but gave a charity draw to finish the match. The end of the game was nice, with Aronian appearing to fall into a trap; of course, he saw a little further and got the last tactical laugh.

Wesley So was in trouble with White against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave early on in their Armageddon game, but a careless move or two by MVL allowed So to flip the script. Given a chance to take over, he did it, and tied with Caruana for 4th-5th.

Finally, Alexander Grischuk drew his Armageddon game with Black against Ding Liren. He was clearly winning early on, and while he let the full point slip away he achieved what he needed with the draw.

The games (without notes) are here; here are the final standings:

1. Carlsen 13.5/18
2-3. Yu, Aronian 10.5
4-5. Caruana, So 10
6. Ding 8.5
7-8. Vachier-Lagrave, Anand 8
9-10. Mamedyarov, Grischuk 5.5

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