Norway Chess Super Tournament 2013 Round 4: Sergey Karjakin in Lead, Anand Loses to Nakamura
Norway Chess Super Tournament 2013 Round 4 News: Round four also had five hard fought and interesting games, but for a change only two of them got a winner. This because Jon Ludvig Hammer, playing black against former World Champion Veselin Topalov, scraped a draw out of his long and difficult endgame. Although this round had only two game winners, one of them still was the 23 year old Russian Sergey Karjakin, today winning a great counterattacking game as black against second seeded Levon Aronian. The largest smile this evening by far still belonged to the 25-year-old American Hikaru Nakamura – and that was very well understandable as he in the afternoon outplayed World Champion Viswanathan Anand as black. Carlsen-Svidler and Wang-Radjabov both were relatively sound and balanced draws, meaning Karjakin at 4/4 is leading with an amazing one and a half point margin before the middle round of this tournament.
The first move was made by the organizer, which moved the playing venue home to one of the main sponsors, the Aarbakke AS factory at Bryne. That plan worked out very well, as many new faces were seen among the numerous spectators. All of the arbiters (and probably some of the players) got an aquarium feeling by seeing the spectators only through some giant windows. But playing conditions still were excellent inside the glass, and the spectators reportedly enjoyed the possibility to discuss the ongoing games outside.
The first key game of the fourth round obviously was second seeded and second placed Levon Aronian playing white against the so far untouchable leader Sergey Karjakin. Always ambitious Aronian entered a positional Queen’s Indian fianchetto line and once more had the longer preparation, making his first 19 moves more or less without thinking. But, Karjakin took his time to calculate and won. Needless to say, Karjakin-Carlsen in round five will be a key game for both players. Aronian after suffering one of his few collapses is down in the crowd at 50 %, but remember that is still only half a point behind the second prize.
The second most important game was World Champion Viswanathan Anand playing white against United States number one player Hikaru Nakamura. It all started with the Arkhangelsk variation in the Ruy Lopez, a rather closed line in which black plays 4.— Nf6 followed by 6.— Bc5. Interestingly Anand now gave this line a new try despite losing with it against Fabio Caruana in Zürich earlier this year, but Nakamura preferred 10.— Re8 to Caruana’s 10.— h6. By thematic means the players after 15 moves had reached a fairly balanced position with a King’s pawn center (e4 versus e5 with the d-pawns exchanged). Both afterwards tried to exchange the opponent’s bishop on e3/e6 for a knight – and both succeeded so far. Anand took back on e3 with his knight, apparently with pleasant prospects to reach d5 and/or f5. This plan however was nipped in the bud as Nakamura once more sacrificed his pawn structure for activity, accepting a double isolani pawn when he creatively took back on e6 with the f7-pawn instead of the rook. Good win for Nakamura.
Magnus Carlsen and Peter Svidler settled for an uneventful draw. Hao Wang – Teimour Radjabov was an important game for both players, but true enough not the most exciting for any of them. It was a draw as for Topalov and Hammer. (The detailed report by Hans Olav Lahlum is available at the official website.)
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