2018

More on Sinquefield Cup 2018 

The drawback of arriving in the US a week before Sinquefield Cup is that the longer you stay, the worse jetlag arriving back home. I’m doing quite well though, and I’ve had time to relax and start thinking about events ahead.
2018

Sinquefield Cup 2018

Back in 2012 FIDE awarded the rights to organize the World Championship cycle to Agon (although not the Chennai match). Apart from the fact that I’ve won the subsequent two matches, the FIDE/Agon cooperation has in my opinion not been particularly successful. This time around it effectively stopped other organizers from making an attractive bid for the match. Anyhow, both Caruana and I have signed the contract, and the London match starting November 9th is on!
2018

Hard fights in Biel

I’ve always been ambivalent about rest days. It brakes the tournament rhythm which is generally a disadvantage and especially so if you are in the “flow”. But, objectively it is needed so that players can regain part of their strength during a taxing tournament.
2018

Mid year 2018 status

Having played three elite events in two and a half months in addition to the 10-day trip to the US lately, it is good to spend some time back in Oslo and also enjoy the football World Cup featuring magical matches as witnessed in Spain – Portugal (3 – 3).
2018

Altibox Norway Chess 2018

I’d like to congratulate Caruana on winning Altibox Norway Chess 2018 with an inspired spurt winning the last two rounds to reach +2. The last round could have seen a five-way tie for first with 8 rounds of Blitz play-off on Friday.
2018

Norway Chess 2018 - Great start!

Hopefully this is what good form is about. Sleeping well. A relaxed atmosphere and little emphasis and focus on expectations. Not second-guessing own opening choices. Efficient time-management. Enjoying the games. Easier said than done, of course.
2018

Leading Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir with two rounds to go

Usually I’m in good shape two days after a tough football match. This time I wasn’t and misplayed the opening against Topalov. Probably both made several inaccuracies, and the middle game was pretty balanced. My plan with Rd2, Qd1, Re3 created challenges for black, but I expected him to see the necessary Kf8-resource. Topalov says he did, but chose to give his queen for rook and bishop. Sometimes you can defend fairly easily against the queen. Generally any misplaced pawn makes it very difficult for the lighter pieces. Today I gave him some drawing chances partly due to my exposed king. Evaluating the position correctly was tricky for both of us, and fortunately I won and took clear the clear lead!
2018

Vugar Gashimov Memorial Shamkir 2018

Expectations were high ahead of the first round today as I was black against second seed Mamedyarov. Still the game fizzled out all too soon. Maybe he expected a Grunfeld and was surprised by my Kings Indian. The line he chose didn’t leave enough play after the opening exchanges. I was hoping to gain some longterm initiative with the queenside majority only to discover that his f4! was even slightly better for white. Draw is objectively fine with black against Mamedyrov, but having had too many non-games in April already, I had hoped for more of a fight. There were more content in some of the other games, but we are all sharing the lead with 0,5/1 !
2018

Grenke Chess Classics 2.place

The last six rounds of Grenke Chess Classics took place in Baden-Baden. It is a short transfer by car from Karlsruhe, but the setting is very different. From the largest Open in the World, taking place in the middle of city, to the much more intimate Kulturhaus playing venue in the spa-town Baden-Baden, partly in summer weather. Curiously, my level of play hasn’t been stellar in Baden-Baden. Not so despite winning in 2015, nor in 2017 or this time. This year I fought hard, had many quite long games and was only in danger once, after over-pressing against Meier. In time trouble none of us saw the beautiful winning line involving a double rook sacrifice on h7 and h6.
2018

Grenke Chess Classics 2018

From a spectator perspective the introduction of Candidates tournaments from 2013 onwards has been a resounding success. Somewhat surprisingly the 2018 tournament is arguably the most exciting so far. I really enjoyed the many intense fights and the uncompromising approach by nearly all the players. With 14 rounds the Candidates is the longest elite event these days, and with the high stakes and winner-takes-all dynamic, gravity pulls down the leaders and facilitates comebacks even at a late stage. Still, I think the early +2 score achieved by first Kramnik and then Caruana forced a risk-taking approach more generally.
2018

6th Wijk aan Zee victory!

In 2015 and 2016 I won outright with 9/13 in Tata Steel Chess. This time it was enough for shared 1st with Anish Giri, and with the new play-off rules implemented in 2017, tournament victory was decided by a Blitz play-off to the joy of most spectators and the chagrin of purists taking exception to deciding classical events with Blitz (albeit slow 5+3 Blitz). Personally I’m fine with both alternatives; shared victory, or play-off. I do like play-offs despite the extra pressure, and fortunately I managed to maintain my good record, and won 1,5-0,5 to clinch the title and capture the status of having the most tournament victories ahead of Anand at 5, and Aronian (among contemporary players) and others at 4.
2018

Three-way tie before final weekend

In round 9 I had the black pieces against Viswanatan Anand who has played very well except against Kramnik. We ended up playing a Ruy Lopez variation that is somewhat better for white but solid for black. It was a surprise when he went c4 as I thought I might have more problems after a slower approach with b4, and eventually rerouting the knight from g3. White still had the initiative, but it was not much. When he offered me a draw on move 32 it was still fairly equal. Since I couldn’t see any scenario where I would end up better, I promptly accepted.
2018

Actionfilled weekend in Tata Steel Chess 2018

We played rounds 6 to 8 this weekend, and while the individual results cannot be considered particularly unexpected, the many comebacks from lost positions are exceptional. Friday it was Mamedyarov’s and So’s turn, and by winning Mamedyarov took the sole lead ahead of Anand and Giri.
2018

Wind aan Zee

Even for January in Wijk aan Zee the storm was quite heavy this morning. The planned basketball match in Ijmuiden was cancelled due to an authority red alert related to traffic dangers, falling trees etc. Early afternoon it calmed down a bit and we enjoyed a walk on the beach and a late afternoon basketball session at the local Heliomare, before playing the first online Proleague match of the year for the Norway Gnomes. Todays opponents were aptly named the (Gorky) Stormbringers. We won convincingly.
2018

Two weeks aan Zee ahead

Traveling from Oslo via London for the annual Arctic early January sponsor event onwards to Wijk aan Zee outside Amsterdam, I’m reminded of one effect of living close to the Arctic circle. Just a short flight from Oslo there’s already 1,5 hours more daylight mid January.
2018

Riyadh rollercoaster ride

The King Salman 2017 World Rapid & Blitz Championships in Riyadh was organized at the highest level, and my family and I were treated with great hospitality throughout our stay. The quality of my play was more of a rollercoaster until the last day. The great last day change was reminiscent of the Berlin 2015 Championship, with opposite signs.
2017

Grand Chess Tour 2017 - Paris and Leuven

The Paris tournament finished last Sunday, and I have had some time to digest the overall result as well as how I tackled the challenging Blitz stage. I still have mixed feelings about the event, but fortunately the achievements shine stronger and miserable moments gradually fade away.
2017

Norway Chess 2017 Blitz Kick-off

This year Norway Chess is important for many reasons. Already celebrating the 5th edition, Norway Chess has become a main feature on the elite chess calendar. The more than impressive line-up with the Top 10 players on the February 2017 rating list (in June all still within top 12), undoubtedly makes it the strongest tournament this year. After the World Championship match I’ve ended 2nd or 3rd in all events. While not bad, it is not the standard by which I judge myself.
2017

Grenke Chess Classic 2017 Baden-Baden

Cudos to Levon Aronian winning the Grenke Chess Classics in style with a +4 score. Caruana and I shared second place with a modest +1. This is of course a disappointment for me, in a tournament marked by making far too many blunders in promising positions.
2017

Grenke Chess Classic 2017 - Karlsruhe

Baden-Baden Schachzentrum has been a power house in German chess for decades, organizing events and fielding the strongest team in the chess Bundesliga, a team for which I have played earlier in my career.
2017

Report from hotel Zeeduin

Hotel Zeeduin is indeed at the sand dunes next to the beach in Wijk aan Zee. It has been my home most of January for the 10 years in the A-group (of Tata Steel Chess) since 2007. As usual the weather is interesting and varied. We’ve had strong winds intermingled with quite periods, and bursts of snow, rain and sunshine already. Today was particularly beautiful.
2017

Looking back at 2016

I have won several classical events (Wijk, Norway Chess and Bilbao), led Norway to 5th in the Chess team Olympiad, and won the New York World Championship match (on Rapid tie-breaks) against Karjakin in 2016.
2017

Doha Blitz World Championship 2016

I started well with 3/3. The quality of my play was pointing in the right direction, indicating that I handled the early rounds better than in Rapid.
2017

World Rapid and Blitz 2016 Doha

With the recurring Mainz Rapid and Amber Rapid & Blindfold events last decade, and recently the annual Rapid & Blitz World Championship, faster time controls have gained a more important place in the world of chess in this century. That is very much to my liking. Faster time controls are exhilarating, emotional and intense for players and spectators, and it favors the stronger players more than in classical chess. I hope that the trend will continue, and I already look forward to the next fast play events.
2016

Post-match reflections

I’ve visited New York many times over the last 7 years. It is obviously a remarkable city and among other things, I’ve enjoyed long walks on Manhattan many times. Playing a World Championship match seemingly twist perceptions and reduce outside sense impressions to the point that I felt I was experiencing a different city this time. The utter joy and relief of match victory will always make the thought of New York bring back fond memories. Nevertheless, I already look forward to be back in the city in a more normal setting as a visitor.
2016

Final countdown

We enjoyed fairly good and stable weather in the aftermath of hurricane Matthew on the training camp that took place the last few weeks. In planning and executing the final stages of preparations for the match starting next Friday, I’ve benefitted from the 2013- and 2014-match experiences, and now I really look forward to the match against Karjakin.
2016

Before the Match

Hi everyone, I’m in the Caribbean area preparing for the upcoming World Championship match in New York starting November 11th. In addition to preparations, I’ve played the Chess Olympiad in Baku in early September and an online match against Nakamura last week since the last blog.
2016

Winning Bilbao 2011, 2012 and now 2016!

The tournament finished yesterday, and together with my parents and two younger sisters I’m still in Bilbao enjoying the luxury of staying an extra day before catching a flight home Monday. That usually feels pleasant after a long and tiresome top level event, and even more so after the tournament victory.
2016

Bilbao 2016

I’m in Bilbao for the first time in summer. It is very nice and pleasant for a Norwegian not always spoiled with sun and summer heat. Since the organizer invited me to Bilbao Masters Final 2016 this winter, I’ve looked forward to revisit Bilbao where I was a frequent participant 5 times from 2007 to 2012 (and winning in 2011 and 2012.)
2016

Leuven Rapid & Blitz 2016

While we all seemed happy to play in Leuven, I think none of us had completely recovered from the Paris Rapid & Blitz event. The “new face” Anand (replacing Fressinet), came directly from Leon, having scored his 9th (or so) Rapid cup victory there. The atmosphere between games and at night playing Avalon, were unusually collegial. That may have reduced some of the tension. Still, in my view, two 4-day rapid and blitz events in succession is more strenuous than a regular classical event.
2016

Paris – Wijk aan Zee - Leuven

The Paris and Leuven Rapid and Blitz events constitute half the Grand Chess Tour 2016. Having grown up watching Amber Rapid and Blindfold as a young chess player and qualifying in time to compete in the last five events until 2011, I was thrilled to see the addition of two major elite events with fast time control this year.
2016

Norway Chess 2016 with three rounds to go

As mentioned last week I was quite optimistic after the Blitz and round one. Subsequently my play has varied, while the results have been good. I’m in the lead with 4/6 before the final three rounds Wednesday to Friday. After six rounds in Stavanger Forum, we are playing in the Stavanger Concert hall from tomorrow.
2016

Norway Chess 2016

In recent years I have typically played two top level events each quarter with minor variations. In general it has provided enough time for restitution between events but often left me slightly rusty early in the next tournament. As discussed in earlier blog posts I chose a different approach this winter to get back in form after varying results from June to November. It worked well. The subsequent two and a half months break, mostly at home, felt good. I enjoyed the excellent February/March skiing conditions locally and spent time with friends and of course followed the exciting Candidates tournament with interest. As last year before Shamkir (same dates as Norway Chess this year) I went south for a training camp early April. This time to Spain. Fortunately it seems to have contributed to a good start here in Stavanger.
2015

After Berlin 2015

I considered myself the main favorite in the Blitz World Championship last week, but maybe it was easier to win the Rapid part
2015

Sinquefield Cup 2015 R5

Things have been shaping up for me after the shaky start! I got a small but clear edge from the opening against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and managed to put enough pressure on him to win quite comfortably
2015

Gashimov Memorial 2015 R7

I have to go back to the winning streak in Wijk aan Zee in January to find something resembling the comfortable feeling of being in the zone at the chess board experienced here in Shamkir this week
2015

Shamkir 2015 R1-3

About an hour into round one Friday I blundered against Anand, A pawn down without counterplay
2015

Gashimov Memorial 2015 in Shamkir

Last year Synergy Group demonstrated that they know how to organize a top level chess event, and I was thrilled to hear that they would host another elite event in memory of Vugar Gashimov in Shamkir this spring.\r\nAt the end of Easter I went for a training camp with Peter Heine Nielsen and others and arrived via Baku three days before the event
2015

February update

A year ago my Rapid and Blitz chess ratings and world ranking (4th) was not satisfactory, and I promised to change the situation
2014

World Championship Match 2014

When I visited the winter Olympics in February this year, the idea of coming back later this year for the World Championship match did not cross my mind, and certainly not when (non-Russian) Anand won the Candidates
2014

Sinquefield Cup 2014 Half way

In the first half we saw 10 decisive games out of the 15 exciting games, and Caruana cruising through the field with a highly impressive 5/5.\r\nIn round one as black against Vachier-Lagrave I accepted his invitation to play a sharp line
2014

Tromsoe Chess Olympiad 2014 R5-6

The favourites start to float to the top in the Open section with Azerbaijan and Cuba at 11 match points ahead of Russia, China, Armenia ++ at 10
2014

Dubai next after Norway Chess

I arrived in Dubai late last night with my main coach Peter Heine Nielsen for the Rapid and Blitz World Championship 2014
2014

Shared lead in Norway Chess 2014

The way I spent May, with two busy weeks with events in Norway, Nederlands and New York followed by two relatively quiet weeks at home, felt like a reasonable preparation for the Norway Chess 2014
2014

No Logo Norway Chess 2014

Despite the strong tournament last year, the organizers headed by Kjell Madland have managed to put together an even stronger field this year in a top notch event
2014

Shamkir Chess 2014 . great event!

With a busy schedule this week and next, I.ve enjoyed a few days off after returning from Shamkir last Thursday.\r\nAfter the up.s and down.s in both quality of play and results, the last round victory made all the difference
2014

Shamkir Chess 2014 R7

Except for the draw against Karjakin in round 3, all my games have been decisive! This is not what I expected prior to the tournament
2014

Shamkir 2014 Round 2 and 3

I did not manage to play as accurately as in round 1, but still I.m fairly happy with my level of play both yesterday and today.\r\nAgainst Nakamura yesterday I got a small but comfortable positional edge out of the opening, and close to the first time control Nakamura made a few inaccuracies
2014

Shamkir 2014 starting well!

During the press conference after round 1 I was asked about a perceived tendency to start slow and spend some rounds to get going
2014

Recent events

With the app Play Magnus I hope to contribute to bring chess to the world
2014

Back from fascinating days in Sochi

I don.t remember much from the Lillehammer Winter Olympics 1994 despite watching the 30 kilometer skiing competition with Alsgaard and Dæie ringside
2014

Zurich Round 2 against Aronian

Over the last few years Oleg Skvortsov, the Savoy Chess Corner and the Zurich Chess Club have put Zurich firmly back on the international chess map.\r\nThe 1953 Candidates Tournament in Zurich still has a prominent place in chess history, and as many others I.ve read the Bronstein book from the tournament.\r\nThis year the Savoy Festsaal is packed with spectators and people queuing up outside, and I.ve seldom seen more press people except during the main championships.\r\nNorwegian TV2 is covering the whole event live both on TV and internet back home!\r\nAs white against Aronian today, in what was obviously an important game for the outcome of the tournament, I did not get much from the opening.\r\nIt was difficult to develop my plans without creating significant weaknesses, but I was quite satisfied with Bg4 which seemed to surprise Aronian
2014

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014

Irrespective of how much I enjoyed a long break from tournament chess after the World Championship match in Chennai, I.m simply delighted to be playing the unprecedented category 23 (average rating 2801) Zurich Chess Challenge.\r\nThe first round classical game against Gelfand today was exactly the kind of chess game I like to play
2013

Year end thoughts 2013

Looking back at tournaments won (Tata Steel Chess, the Candidates and Sinquefield Cup), and the successful World Championship match, 2013 is without much doubt my best chess year ever.\r\nBut, I.m equally thrilled by the prospects ahead
2013

Chennai World Championship Match 2013 Victory!

Magnus and (most of the) his team returned to Norway yesterday to a great reception.\r\nIt is time to finally provide an account of the last games.\r\nThe change of direction of the match after the last rest day was appreciated by the spectators
2013

Chennai World Championship match 2013 Game 7 & 8

There is different ways of looking at the pro.s and con.s of having white in game one of the match as Magnus did here, but clearly one key aspect is having the black pieces two games in a row in the middle of the match
2013

Chennai WC 2013 Game 5 & 6

A chess world championship match attracts interest far beyond the circle of tournament players and keen amateurs
2013

Chennai WC 2013 Game 3 & 4

Game 3 and 4 in the World Championship match in Chennai had everything except a decisive result.\r\nMagnus played the white pieces Tuesday
2013

The road to Chennai 2013 . Success at the top

Towards the end of 2008 we discussed a cooperation with Garry Kasparov, and Espen Agdestein, who had already helped us secure the sponsor FAST the year before, agreed to work as a sponsor agent to help finance the cooperation
2013

The road to Chennai 2013 . Early development

What did it take for a Norwegian to reach a match for the World Championship title?\r\nIn addition to a talent for and deep interest in chess, I think it was important to get possibilities and encouragement on the way
2013

The road to Chennai 2013 . Match information

Being busy with preparations for the World Championship match against Viswanathan Anand starting in a little over two weeks, Magnus has asked me to write about the match and how he got there
2013

Sinquefield Cup 2013 Victory

The Sinquefield Cup was my last tournament prior to the World Championship match in November, and it exceeded expectations both with regard to the excellent organisation of the event and my own result.\r\nKamsky had a promising position against Nakamura in their sharp encounter in the last round yesterday, but the latter put up a tenacious defence and it ended in a draw
2013

Penultimate round lead in Sinquefield Cup

I played Americans with the black pieces two days in a row and with good results.\r\nFeeling a bit tired after all the workout on the rest day I ate a heavy brunch before the game against Kamsky yesterday
2013

Chennai Visit

On the way to Chennai we (me and my manager, my father, a chef and a few media representatives from Norway) had a short stop in Doha, Qatar
2013

Tal Memorial 2013 R6 to R8

In round 6 before the last rest day I had black against the 2012 World Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand
2013

Tal Memorial 2013 R5

Today.s game against Anand was probably our last encounter prior to the World Championship match in November in Chennai, and it attracted quite some attention from the photographers at the start of the round
2013

Norway Chess 2013 R5

Not surprisingly this category 21 tournament is the strongest ever taking place in Norway, and it marks the start of an amazing year and a half with the World Cup in Tromsoe in August and the Olympiad in Tromsoe next summer.\r\n\r\nThe tournament is taking place in the Stavanger region, in Sandnes at the player.s hotel and R4, R7 and R9 in interesting locations regionally
2013

Candidates 2013 in London!

Winning the Candidates 2013, and the right to challenge the reigning Wold Champion V.Anand for the title, is my most important single tournament victory to date! \r\nThe drama of the last rounds resulted in a +3 tie between me and V.Kramnik
2013

Tata Steel Chess R8

Most years leaving Norway early January for Wijk aan Zee translates to leaving the snow and the freezing cold behind
2013

Tata Steel Chess 2013 R6

I.m trying to find a metaphor for the role of the Wijk aan Zee tournament in chess compared to other sports
2013

Tata Steel Chess 2013 R4

Yesterday I played white against Pentala Harikrishna, who qualified for the A-group by winning the B-group last year
2012

Yearend 2012

Looking back at 2012 on New Year.s eve, I.m really satisfied with my chess results
2012

R5 & R6 London 2012

I think this is my best round robin tournament start ever with 5.5/6 (or 16 points with football score)!\r\nYesterday I wasn.t very optimistic for most of the game having blundered a pawn in the opening as black against M.Adams
2012

Round 4 London 2012

For those of us who haven.t had a .bye. yet, we are at the half way mark of the 4th London Chess Classics
2012

London Classics R2 and R3

Great results so far despite too many inaccuracies in the middle game.\r\nYesterday against Aronian I got a pawn in the opening for which he did not have sufficient compensation
2012

2012 Grand Slam Final: Another Basque winners hat

Things went my way yesterday much like the final day last year.\r\nSurprisingly my key competitor in this tournament, Caruana, accepted repetition of moves very early on as black against Francisco Vallejo
2012

Biel 2012 Round 6 & rest day update

Biel Round 6 & rest day update.\r\n\r\nThe highlight for me yesterday was when I nutmegged a couple of the Frenchmen in the daily football match
2012

Biel Grandmaster tournament 2012

With Bazna cancelled I.m very happy to play in Biel for the 6th time!\r\nI.m here with family, we took the ferry to Kiel and drove through Germany on Friday
2012

Winning Tal Memorial 2012

With the prevailing tie break rules I thought I needed to win round 8 and 9 to have a shot at 1st place
2012

Tal Memorial 2012 - Blitz tournament

My accidental four months break from tournament chess after Tata Steel is by far the longest break since playing my first children tournament in July 1999.\r\nAnticipated rustiness made me more than happy to accept playing a Blitz tournament to decide the starting order in the main event.\r\n\r\nTal Memorial was moved to June this year to avoid a potential conflict with the Candidates, and it is nice for once to visit Moscow in the summer.\r\nMost of the elite chess players are participating, and the event is category 22
2012

Tata Steel Chess 2012 . Back home again

A draw would secure sole victory for Aronian in the last round of Tata Steel Chess 2012, and he needed just 10 minutes and 12 moves to share the point with Radjabov
2012

Round 7 victory against Gelfand!

As he is the next World Championship contender, it is always interesting to play against Boris Gelfand.\r\n\r\nHe deviated from our recent game in Tal Memorial castling short leading to a quiet position this time
2012

Tata Steel Chess 2012 has started

Great start of the 2012 Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee for me with a victory today against Vugar Gashimov, Azerbaijan (ranked 10th in the world).\r\nI haven.t won the 1st round here since 2008
2011

Christmas 2011

I spent a few long days with .60 minutes. and other media representatives last week
2011

London Chess Classics Round 5 to 7

If this blog entry makes it online, the internet at the hotel is working again! Thursday I played black against Aronian and was fine out of the opening
2011

Tal Memorial 2011 Penultimate Round

In the game as white against co-leader Ian Nepomniachtchi I went for 1.e4 and 3.Bb5 against the Sicilian.\r\nAs planned I got a small but pleasant advantage out of the opening, and my opponent spent quite some time early on (at least compared to his normal rapid mode of play).\r\nHe quickly managed to improve his position by playing d5, but it was still somewhat tricky for black
2011

Tal Memorial 2011 R7 Short draw.

Today I.ll keep the blog entry in line with the game against Anand, short.\r\nA long night sleep and I felt great before the round today
2011

Moscow Tal Memorial 2011 R6

On the rest day there was a social event (and informal blitz tournament) at the V.Dvorkovich Chess Club for among others the Tal participants, the Russian Chess Federation board, Tal organizers and chess journalists
2011

Tal Memorial Round 4

Karjakin (21) became GM more than 9 years ago (the youngest ever) and we have both been pretty active in international chess for many years
2011

Moscow Tal Memorial 2011 R3

Black against world no 4 V.Kramnik is usually a bit of a challenge, and the game today was no exception.\r\n1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 h6 4.Nc3 Bb4 is rightly categorized as an .uncommon opening., and we had to think right from the start
2011

Tal Memorial 2011 Round 2

Before the game yesterday I listened to .In My Place. by Coldplay and somehow the passage .I was scared, tired and underprepared. hit a cord inside
2011

Tal Memorial 2011 started today

Commemorating the birth of former World Champion Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) the Tal Memorial is arranged for the 6th year in a row
2011

Botvinnik Memorial in Moscow

I.ve had a few quiet weeks after the tournament in Biel, but now the busy fall season starts with The Botvinnik Memorial
2011

After Biel.

I annotated a game from Biel (Shirov-Carlsen) for chess magazines this weekend as last week was quite busy
2011

Biel GM tournament 2011 Round 6

The Biel chess festival features several chess events and the free days are scheduled after round 3 and 5 in alignment with the major Open events.\r\nOn the first free day I visited the Mayor of Biel, did some interviews and played tennis while yesterday with some football was fairly quiet in comparison.\r\nRegarding my round 5 loss against another 20 year old, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave the short version is simply that he played better than me.\r\nToday.s opponent Pelletier chose the French defense and I deviated from mainline theory fairly early
2011

Biel GM tournament 2011 Round 2

Alexei Shirov is a reknown fighter with an impressive ability to calculate tactical lines.\r\nHis rating has been unstable for many years but at his best he can win any tournament (as for instance Sofia 2009 and Shanghai 2010)
2011

Biel GM tournament 2011

The 44th edition of the Biel tournament is one of the strongest ever (me, Vachier-Lagrave, Shirov, Caruana, Morozevich and Pelletier, resulting in category 19)
2011

Kings Tournament Bazna . Opening Ceremony

Back home parts of Norway experience the worst flood in years so we should be grateful for the little rain here in Bazna, and next week supposedly will be very sunny and warm.\r\nThe Opening ceremony and drawing of lots took place in the playing venue in a Romgaz centre and museum building in Medias.\r\nThe category 21, 6-player double round robin tournament is stronger than last year with 4 players from the top 8 - me, Ivanchuk, Karjakin and Nakamura - as well as Candidate Radjabov and the strongest Romanian player Nisipeanu.\r\n\r\nQuite a crowd and a number of journalists showed up for the well-organized session today
2011

Bazna coming up!

Coming off a ten weeks tournament break after Amber it feels great to be back in Bazna for the Kings Tournament!\r\nThe sporting highlights for me this late spring have been the epic Real Madrid . Barcelona clashes
2011

Amber 2011 Round 7

Former World Champion Kramnik is known for his match victory against Kasparov back in 2000 and can still be a formidable opponent
2011

Amber 2011 Round 5 & 6

The fact that after four double rounds the tail-ender may beat the leader in such an even leveled field is no big surprise, but it required a real meltdown from me to lose 0-2 against Ivanchuk the way I did yesterday
2011

Amber 2011, 4th round

The fourth day was another good day for me, as I won 1.5-0.5 and kept the lead (shared with Aronian, who won with the same score)
2011

Amber 2011, 2nd round

As mentioned before, my opponent today was Gashimov, one of four players with a perfect score after day 1
2011

Amber 2011. Finally!

Later today most of the world elite will play blindfold and rapid chess once again in Monaco
2011

Mexico, NYC and home

After finishing The Tata Steel Tournament I was really keen to spend some days in the sun, a week in Mexico before going to NYC for the fashion week was great! 28 degrees C, both in the air and in the water
2011

Tata 2011 Penultimate Round

The standard top level tournament lasts 10 rounds these days and it is good that Wijk aan Zee maintain the traditional format of 14 players single round robin (13 rounds)\r\nToday was the penultimate round and I had the white pieces against Wang Hao
2011

Tata Steel R7 & R8

Round 7 and 8 turned out very differently for me.\r\nAgainst reigning World Champion V.Anand in round 7 I got nothing out of the opening
2011

Tata Steel Chess 2011 Round 3 & 4

The highlights for me the last few days was the traditional football match against the Dutch squad today as well as the even more traditional sponsor dinner with Tata executives yesterday.\r\nThe round 3 and 4 results were less notable
2011

Happy New Year!

After the difficult start it was a great feeling to win London Chess Classics and end 2010 on a high note
2010

London tournament 2010 Round 5

The London Chess Classics is part of a grand chess festival with several side events aimed at promoting Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC).\r\nSome of my friends and former high school chess colleagues are playing the Open
2010

Tal Blitz Chess World Championship 2010 Day 3

Congratulations to Levon Aronian on winning the Blitz World Championship! Five rounds before the end he had a three points lead and was the only one that scored consistently well all three days
2010

Tal Blitz World Championship 2010

Following three back-to-back tournaments (Olympiad, Bilbao, Nanjing), a two weeks break came and went quickly, and we arrived in Moscow on Sunday evening.\r\nMonday a week ago NRK, the main Norwegian TV channel, covered a chess session I had at Simonsen Law firm with an 8-yr old (son of an employee) and Tuesday I was a guest at the .Storbynatt. talk show as I.m a fan of hosts Eia and Tufte Johansen.\r\nFriday and Saturday I visited Tromsø the kick-off for the organizational phase of the 2014 Chess Olympiad, playing blindfold, blitz and chess with live pieces.\r\nBack to the Tal Blitz: At the opening and drawing of lots today I received the Chess Oscar for 2009!\r\nThe combined Tal and World Championship Blitz takes place over three days as a 20-player all-play-all-twice tournament with time control 3 minutes + 2 seconds/move per game per player.\r\nI got off to an excellent start winning the first four games against blitz expert Nakamura, Ponomariov, Kramnik and Movsesian
2010

Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 finished -Tal WC Blitz n

Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 finished, Tal WC Blitz next\r\nThe early 10 am start of the last round of the Nanjing tournament didn.t stop the players from showing excellent fighting spirit.\r\nAnand outplayed Bacrot with the white pieces to take clear second (with Bacrot clear third), while Wang Yue came very close to his first Nanjing victory
2010

Nanjing Pearl Spring 2010 Victory!

I.ve won Nanjing 2010 with one round to go! \r\nBlack against Topalov was likely to be a significant hurdle and my opponent did play very well in the opening and early middle game in the Catalan with 4. Bxd2
2010

Nanjing 2010 Halfway

Despite his consistent high rating and world ranking, as white I have a very good score in classical chess against Topalov
2010

Nanjing 2010 Round 4

Vugar Gashimov is one of the three top-30 Azerbaijan grandmasters and quite an aggressive player
2010

Nanjing 2010 Round 1

The Bilbao tournament was a well-organized Grand Slam Final but one cannot help being impressed by the grandeur of the Nanjing Grand Slam tournament
2010

Ready for Bilbao!

We arrived in Bilbao yesterday in warm weather but with some serious lighting and thunder
2010

2010 Olympiad Round 8

The General Assembly of FIDE (International Chess Federation) meet during every chess Olympiad
2010

Khanty-Mansyisk, after 5 rounds of the Olympiad

First of all, I apologize for not blogging before this, but I've not been playing much yet, and I was, perhaps understandably, not that eager to blog after an upsetting loss :) More about that slightly later
2010

Kings Tournament Round 8

After four consecutive wins, the game Tuesday represented a possible stumbling block as I played the only opponent with a significant chance of overtaking my lead in the tournament, Boris Gelfand
2010

Kings Tournament Round 7

This morning it was decided to move the tournament from Medias to our hotel in Bazna and I think this was popular with all the players.\r\nMy opponent today, Teimur Radjabov was the no 1 junior player in the world for several years just after I became a GM
2010

Kings Tournament Round 6

Ponomariov lost with white against the King Indian earlier in this tournament and as black against him today I chose the same opening.\r\nSomething went wrong early on and I was very dissatisfied with my position from the opening
2010

Kings Tournament Round 5

The long football session yesterday was popular with all the participants and is likely to be repeated on the next free day.\r\nSometimes chess makes me really happy
2010

Kings Tournament Round 2

My opponent in round 2, Teimur Radjabov from Azerbaijan recently qualified for the 2011 Candidate Matches by capturing the overall 2nd place in the 2008-2010 Grand Prix
2010

Kings Tournament Round 1

The road from Bazna to Medias is a bit bumpy but the organisation of the transportation to the tournament was quite impressive
2010

Amber 2010 Last Round

Finally some words about the last round of Amber 2010.\r\nI expected that daily blogging could be quite a challenge during tournaments but it has turned out to be a good way to reflect on what happened in the particular games of the day and then move on and leave behind whatever negative feelings I might have had
2010

Amber Blindfold and rapid, Round 1

0/2 against Vassily Ivanchuk today, an absolutely awful start! In the blindfold game I had white, and after an unconventional opening I made a serious mistake as early as the 10th move
2010

Amber blindfold and rapid starting on Saturday

After a solid break since Corus ended at the end of January, I am now ready for a another major tournament! The Amber Blindfold and rapid is a rather unique tournament, sponsored by the Dutch billionaire and chess lover Joop van Oosterom, that since the first edition in 1992 has attracted almost all of the best chessplayers in the world
2010

Moscow, Nov.11th 2009, Tal Memorial R6

The first time I played reigning World Champion V.Anand in classical (7 hours) chess was in Corus, Holland in January 2007 and after an initial draw, I lost several games over the next 14 months
2010

Corus 2010 Round 3

When we arrived in Wijk last week snow covered the ground and it was pretty cold
2010

Corus 2010 Round 9

Before the game as white against V.Kramnik today, we had spent quite some time on opening preparation
2010

Corus 2010 Last Round

I.m happy to say I won the Corus 2010 A group in the end with 8,5 / 13 points ahead of Kramnik and Shirov at 8 and Anand and Nakamura at 7,5! \r\nHaving described my last round blunder and subsequent save against Short in London in December as a narrow escape, I could better have reserved the phrase for today
2010

Corus 2010 Round 11

During the last weekend of the Corus tournament we see a ramp up of activities and number of visitors (spectators, tournament organisers and media representatives)
2010

Moskva 5.november 2009

Tal Memorial til æ for tidligere verdensmester Mikhael Tal, trollmannen fra Riga, arrangeres for 4.åpåad i Moskva ifbm Tals føsdag 9.november.\r\nDet meste av verdenseliten er samlet til det som blir åts sterkeste turnering
2010

Corus 2010 Round 6

With V.Anands victories in the 2007 World Championship tournament and 2008 WC match against V.Kramnik, chess had an undisputed World Champion for the first time in this century
2010

Corus 2010 Round 10

Sergey Karjakin (20) is from Ukraine but has recently moved to Moscow and is in the process of switching federations
2010

Corus 2010 Round 7

Yesterday the 10-kamp started, the major amateur event during the Corus chess festival
2010

London Chess Classics 2009, Round 5, Dec.13th

The chess played throughout most of the world wasn.t common in China until late 20th century, but for a decade or two the most promising players have moved and taken permanent residence in Beijing for extensive chess training when not playing in tournaments
2010

Corus 2010 Round 5

On the free day Wednesday I was invited to play a football match against a Dutch team
2010

Corus 2010 Round 2

I.ve played against today.s opponent Jan Smeets (24) in the C-group, B-group (twice) and A-group since 2004
2010

London Chess Classics 2009, Round 2 Dec.9th

My opponent today was 25 year old Luke McShane, the British number 3.\r\nHaving studied at Oxford followed by a career in the City, he is now a full time professional chess player, and clearly stronger than his current rating of 2615.\r\nMy current official (November 1) rating is 2801 and depending on the opposition I may win 2-5 or lose upto 5-8 points in each game