8th Altibox Norway Chess: Caruana wins anew, seizes solo lead

World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana scored his second win in as many games to seize the solo lead in the 8th Altibox Norway Chess Tournament at Stavanger, Norway.

Caruana took 94 moves to subdue a fighting Jan-Krzysztof Duda in a Slav Exchange while his Round 1 co-leader Alireza Firouzja could only draw with Magnus Carlsen and even lost the Armageddon to the world champion on time.

It was the second Armageddon win for Carlsen who did the same to Levon Aronian after drawing their regulation game. Incidentally, the Armageddon format here is 10 minutes for white and seven minutes for black.

Meanwhile, Aronian moved up the standings after outplaying an aggressive Aryan Tari in 48 moves of a Ruy Lopez Marshall Attack. Aronian, himself a Marshall specialist, was somewhat surprised by Tariā€™s opening choice, but proceeded to dismantle his young opponentā€™s position and shortly reeled the point. So after two rounds, both Tari and Duda remained scoreless at the bottom of the standings

The standings after Round 2: 1. Caruana, 6; 2-3. Firouzja, Aronian, 4; 4. Carlsen, 3; 5-6. Duda, Tari, 0.

Carlsen, M (2863)-Firouzja, A (2728) [D35]

Stavanger (2.1) 2020

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Be7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Nge2 Re8 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.f3 b5 12.Bf2 Bb7 13.Ng3 b4 14.Na4 c5 15.Nf5 Bf8 16.Nxc5 Nxc5 17.dxc5 Bxc5 18.Rc1 Qb6 19.Qa4 Bc8 20.Nd4 Bd7 21.Qa6 Re7 22.Rfd1 Ne8 23.Qxb6 axb6 24.Bb1 Ba4 25.b3 Bd7 26.Ne2 Nc7 27.Rd2 Bc6 28.Nd4 Bb7 29.g4 Ne6 30.Nf5 Rc7 31.h4 Rac8 32.Rcd1 Bf8 33.Bg3 Rc3 34.Kf2 Bc5 35.Bd3 d4 36.e4 Ra8 37.Bc4 Rc2 38.Bd3 Rcxa2 39.Be5 Rxd2+ 40.Rxd2 Ra5 41.Kg3 Ba6 42.Bxa6 Rxa6 43.Nxd4 Bxd4 44.Bxd4 Ra3 45.Rd3 Nxd4 46.Rxd4 Rxb3 47.Rd8+ Kh7 48.h5 Ra3 49.Rd4 Ra4 50.e5 Ra5 51.Rxb4 Rxe5 52.Rxb6 Ā½-Ā½

Caruana, F (2828)-Duda, J-K (2757) [D10]

Stavanger (2.2) 2020

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.Bf4 Nc6 5.e3 Nf6 6.Bb5 Bd7 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bd3 Bg4 9.Nge2 e6 10.0-0 Bxe2 11.Qxe2 Be7 12.a3 0-0 13.Na4 h6 14.Bg3 Nd7 15.h3 Qa5 16.Qd1 Rfc8 17.b4 Qd8 18.Rb1 Ra7 19.Nc5 Ncb8 20.Qe2 a5 21.Rfc1 axb4 22.axb4 Nf6 23.b5 b6 24.Na6 Rxc1+ 25.Rxc1 Nbd7 26.Rc6 Qf8 27.Qc2 Ra8 28.Rc7 Bd6 29.Bxd6 Qxd6 30.Qc6 Qf8 31.Rxd7 Nxd7 32.Qxd7 Rc8 33.g3 Rc3 34.Bf1 Qc8 35.Qxc8+ Rxc8 36.h4 g5 37.Nb4 Kf8 38.Nc6 Ra8 39.Be2 Ra2 40.Kf1 Ra1+ 41.Kg2 Ra2 42.Bd3 Rd2 43.Bf1 f6 44.hxg5 hxg5 45.g4 Ke8 46.Kg3 Rd1 47.Be2 Rg1+ 48.Kh2 Re1 49.Bd3 Rd1 50.Nb4 Kd7 51.Kg2 Ra1 52.f4 Ra3 53.fxg5 fxg5 54.Nc6 Kd6 55.Ne5 Ke7 56.Kf3 Ra2 57.e4 Ra1 58.Ke3 Re1+ 59.Be2 Rg1 60.Kf2 Ra1 61.Nf3 Kf6 62.Ke3 Ra8 63.Bd3 Rg8 64.Bb1 Ke7 65.Ne5 Ra8 66.Bd3 Rc8 67.Nc6+ Kd6 68.Ne5 Rf8 69.exd5 exd5 70.Bf5 Re8 71.Kd3 Re7 72.Bg6 Ra7 73.Ke3 Ke6 74.Bf5+ Kd6 75.Kd2 Ra2+ 76.Kc3 Ra3+ 77.Kb4 Ra7 78.Bc2 Ke6 79.Nc6 Ra2 80.Kb3 Ra1 81.Kc3 Rc1 82.Ne5 Rg1 83.Bf5+ Ke7 84.Nd7 Rc1+ 85.Kb3 Rc4 86.Nxb6 Rxd4 87.Kc3 Rd1 88.Nc8+ Kd8 89.b6 d4+ 90.Kc2 Re1 91.Nd6 Re3 92.Nf7+ Ke7 93.b7 d3+ 94.Kd1 1-0

Aronian, L (2767)-Tari, A (2633) [C89]

Stavanger (2.3) 2020

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.g3 Bf5 14.d4 Qf6 15.Be3 Qg6 16.Nd2 Rae8 17.Qf3 Bg4 18.Qg2 Qh5 19.h4 Be2 20.Nf1 Re6 21.Bd2 Rfe8 22.a4 Bf3 23.Rxe6 Rxe6 24.Qh3 Bg4 25.Qh2 h6 26.axb5 axb5 27.Ne3 Bf3 28.Qh3 Be4 29.Qg4 Qxg4 30.Nxg4 f5 31.Ne5 Bxe5 32.dxe5 Kf8 33.f4 Re7 34.Bxd5 cxd5 35.Be3 Rc7 36.Ra5 Bd3 37.Bd4 Rc6 38.Kf2 h5 39.Ke3 Bc4 40.Ra3 Rg6 41.b3 Bf1 42.Bc5+ Ke8 43.Bb4 Bg2 44.Kd4 Rc6 45.Ra7 g6 46.Re7+ Kd8 47.e6 Rc7 48.Rf7 1-0

Carlsen, M (2863)-Firouzja, A (2728) [D35]

Stavanger tb (2.1) 2020

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Be7 8.Qc2 0-0 9.Nf3 Re8 10.Bd3 Ne4 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Bxe4 dxe4 13.Nd2 f5 14.0-0-0 Nd7 15.g4 fxg4 16.Ndxe4 Nb6 17.Ng3 Be6 18.Kb1 Rf8 19.e4 Rad8 20.Rhe1 Qf6 21.f4 gxf3 22.Qf2 Nc4 23.Rg1 Qh4 24.b3 Nd6 25.Kb2 Rf7 26.Rd2 Rdf8 27.Re1 Kh8 28.Rd3 Rf4 29.e5 Nf5 30.Nce4 Bd5 31.Rxf3 Nxg3 32.hxg3 Rxf3 33.Qxf3 Rxf3 34.gxh4 Bxe4 35.Rxe4 Kg8 36.Ka3 Kf7 37.Kb4 h5 38.a4 Ke6 39.a5 Rg3 40.a6 b6 41.Kc4 Rg4 42.Kd3 Rg3+ 43.Re3 Rg4 44.Rf3 c5 45.dxc5 bxc5 46.Rf8 Kxe5 47.Rf7 1-0





The key to our last problem is 1.Qg4!, and Blackā€™s futile options are: 1…Qxf2 2.Rd1#; 1…Qf4/e5/d6/c7/b8 2.Qxg1#; 1…Rb1 2.Rb2#; 1…Ra1+ 2.Ra2#; 1…Rc3/c4/c5/c6/c7/c8/d1 2.Q(x)d1#; 1…Sf3 2.Qe4#; 1…Se2 2.Qxe2#./PN


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