Topalov Wins Norway Chess 2015

norway chess 2015

From June 15 to 27, Norway was stage to one of this year’s chess highlights, the Norway Chess Tournament. They couldn’t have chosen a better pool of participants:

  • Magnus Carlsen. World Champion from Norway and number 1 in world rankings, currently holding an ELO of 2876 points.
  • Visvanathan Anand. Indian former World Champion and current runner-up. Number 2 in worldwide standings at an ELO-rating of 2804 points.
  • Fabiano Caruana. Recent Grand Prix victor and 3rd in world rankings with 2803 ELO points.
  • Hikaru Nakamura. 27 year-old American who ranks 4th in worldwide standings and is current Chess960 World Champion at an ELO of 2799 points.
  • Veselin Topalov. Current number 5 in world rankings. The Bulgarian holds an ELO of 2798 points.
  • Alexander Grischuk. Ranks 6th in international comparison. Holds an ELO of 2780.
  • Anish Giri. Ranked 8th at Gashimov Memorial in April. The 21 year-old ranks 9th in worldwide rankings ar an ELO of 2776 points.
  • Levon Aronian. Armenian with an ELO of 2776 points who currently ranks 10th in international comparison.
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Triple French Champion who was recently defeated by Yi Wei at the City of Leon Masters Tournament. Now 12th in world rankings, 2754 ELO points.
  • Jon Ludvig Hammer. Grandmaster and Norwegian born in 1990 – like Magnus Carlsen. Won the Norwegian National Championship in 2013 and ranks 75th internationally with an ELO of 2665.

*ELO-ratings from May 2015

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The competitors started with a blitz chess tournament on June 15 (3 minutes + 2 seconds, begging at 1st move), the results of which determined the starting positions of the actual tournament.

The prize money fund contained 300,000 US-Dollars, 75,000 of which were reserved for the victor. Ranks two and three were rewarded with 50,000 and 40,000.

Veselin Topalov prevailed with 6.5 out of 9 points after 9 suspenseful rounds over Vishy Anand (6 points) and won the overall tournament. Until the very last round, the two of them fought for the title. Hikaru Nakamura came off 3rd, while Magnus Carlsen, who usually isn’t satisfied with anything other than the gold medal, only ranked 5th at disastrous 3.5 points.

The livestream archive has videos of the individual rounds as well as helpful comments.

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Final Results
Name Rat Fed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score
1 GM Topalov, Veselin 2798 BUL *  ½  0  ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1  1st
2 GM Anand, Viswanathan 2804 IND  ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1  2nd 6
3 GM Giri, Anish 2773 NED  1 ½ * ½ ½  ½  ½ ½ 1 ½
4 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2802 USA  ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½  1 ½ 1  3rd 6
5 GM Carlsen, Magnus 2876 NOR 0 0 ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 1  0
6 GM Caruana, Fabiano 2805 ITA  ½ ½  ½ 0 1 * ½ 0 ½ ½ 4
7 GM VachierLagrave, Maxime 2723 FRA  0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1  ½ ½ 4
8 GM Aronian, Levon 2780 ARM  0 ½ ½  0 0 1 0 * ½ ½ 3
9 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2781 RUS  0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½  ½ ½ * 1
10 GM Hammer, Jon Ludvig 2677 NOR 0 0 ½ 0  1 ½ ½ ½  0 * 3

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Pairings and Individual Results Rounds 1 to 9
Results Round 1
Anand Viswanathan  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
Carlsen Magnus  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Giri Anish  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Aronian Levon  1 – 0

 

Results Round 2
Grischuk Alexander  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
Hammer Jon Ludvig  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
Giri Anish  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 3
Anand Viswanathan  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
Aronian Levon Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Carlsen Magnus  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1

 

Results Round 4
 Alexander Grischuk Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Caruana Fabiano  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0

 

Results Round 5
 Aronian Levon  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Nakamura Hikaru  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 6
 Grischuk Alexander  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Caruana Fabiano  Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½

 

Results Round 7
Aronian Levon  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Carlsen Magnus  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 8
 Grischuk Alexander  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Topalov Veselin  1 – 0
 Anand Viswanathan  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 9
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  Grischuk, Alexander  ½ – ½
 Aronian Levon  Nakamura Hikaru  0 – 1
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin  Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

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Find official reports and summaries on the official tournament website.

Veselin Topalov: World Class for a Quarter of a Century

Veselin-Topalov

The Bulgarian chess grandmaster Veselin Topalov (or in Cyrillic Веселин Топалов) celebrates his birthday today. It is not just any birthday – it is his 40th! Round lots seem to play a special role in his life anyway. At the exact age of 30, 10 years back, Topalov was crowned chess world champion. The best reason for us to have a closer look at the life of the superstar who has constantly stayed at the world’s top in matters of chess.

. Veselin Topalov was born Son of an economist and doctor on March 15 1975 in Russe, Bulgaria.

. In 1982, at the age of seven, he learned to play chess. Owed to his quick and remarkable development, he began his chess career early.

. Topalov won the U14 World Championship in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico in 1989.

. He was announced grandmaster in 1992.

. In 1993 he ranked 11th in worldwide standings and has remained at the world’s top ever since.

. 1994 was the year Topalov achieved the best ELO-performance at the Chess Olympics that he competed at with the Bulgarian national team.

. He had his longest sequence of successes in 1996 when he won in Madrid (1.-2.), Amsterdam (1.-2.) León (1.-2.), Novgorod (1.), Vienna (1.-3.), and Dos Hermanas (1.-3.).

. Topalov competed at the Chess Olympics with the Bulgarian national Team again in 1998 and 2000 and achieved the second best ELO-performance of all participants.

. Furthermore, he represented Bulgaria at the European Team Chess Championship in 1999 at which he delivered the best ELO-performance of all participants.

. The same year he participated at the European Club Cup as a member of the ŠK Bosna Sarajevo that won the tournament.

. At the international traditional tournament in Vijk aan Zee in 1999 Topalov played against Kasparov which is one of the most commented duel in the history of chess (he lost, unfortunately).

. In 2002 he made it all the way to the final duel at the Braingames Candidates’ Tournament which he lost to Peter Leko in the end.

. Topalov prevailed over World Champion Vladimir Kramnik at Vijk aan Zee in 2005 and thus ranked 3rd.

. With Kasparov, whom he defeated in the last round, he won the Tournament of Linares and also secured gold at the M-Tel Masters in Sofia one point ahead of Visvanathan Anand.

. Veselin Topalov won the 2005 edition of the double-rounded FIDE World Championship tournament at the Argentinian city San Luis prematurely. One round prior to the last he secured the victory and should have become first single World Champion in history. As the classical World Champion Kramnik was not present, the title remained divided.

. In 2005 topalov was awarded with the Chess Oscar.

. The year after he won a shared first rank with Visvanathan Anand at thr world-class tournament Corus Vijk aan Zee.

. In addition, he prevailed over European Champion Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and repeatedly won the M-Tel Masters in Sofia.

. Topalov and Kramnik faced each other for the battle for the title in 2006. The question of who would be the single World Champion was finally to be answered. After the two were even in score and had drawn in the last round, Kramnik was able to decide the rapid chess tiebreaks in his favor – and thus became Chess World Champion.

. In 2007 Topalov, Aronian, and Radjabov won the Grandmaster Tournament in Vijk aan Zee. Another victory followed at the Spanish tournament of Category 19 the same year.

. He won the Bilbao Final Chess Masters and the Pearl Spring Tournament in Nanjing in 2008. With the Bulgarian national team he also achieved the third best result at the Chess Olympics.

. Topalov won the 2009 edition of the Candidates‘ Final in Sofia prematurely which qualified him to compete for the World Championship title.

. In 2010 he competed against World Champion Visvanathan Anand at the World Championship duel in Sofia, which he lost with a one point disadvantage. In April that year his ELO rated 2816.9 points and is therefore the seventh highest rating ever achieved.

. At the Candidates’ Tournament 2011 for the World Championship 2012 Topalov made it to quarter finals, but then dropped out after a defeat through Kamsky.

. Topalov achieved the best result at third board of all European Club Cup participants (as a member of SOCAR Baku).

. At the FIDE Grand Prix 2012/13 he secured ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Fabiano Caruana the overall victory and qualified for the Candidates’ Tournament 2014.

. He also represented Bulgaria at the European Team Chess Championship 2013 and achieved the best result at third board.

. In 2014 he, unfortunately, he ended up in bottom rank with 6 out of 14 points at the Candidates’ Tournament. At the Chess Olympics, however, he achieved the best result at first board as a member of the Bulgarian national team. He also won the European Club Cup with SOCAR Baku and achieved the best result at second board. He ranked 3rd (behind Carlsen and Caruana) at the Sinquefield Cup the same year.

. The year 2015 had a good start for him at stake: In February he ranked 5th with a 2747 ELO-performance at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.

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After several successful decades of chess Topalov is currently 4th in worldwide standings at 2798 ELO points behind Carlsen, Caruana, and Nakamura.

All the best, Veselin! To a successful year!

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

 

The World’s 20 Best Chess Players

magnus carlsenThe official FIDE world rankings have already undergone significant changes this year.

While Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana persistently hold out on first and second rank, Hikaru Nakamura has leaped forward due to his recent successes like the third rank at the Zurich Chess Challenge. Certainly worth recognition when considering that he only barely stayed in the Top 10 in the January rakings (9th). His predecessor as the world’s third, Alexander Grischuk, was expelled to 5th place from which he ousted Visvanathan Anand. The vice World Champion now has to comply with 6th rank.

Cursed by his fate is Radoslav Voitaszek who fell back five ranks since the beginning of the year and brings up the rear now. Peter Svidler, Nikita Vitiugov, and Dmitry Andreikin have even completely vanished from the Top 20.

David Navara, Liren Ding, and Evgeny Tomashevsky, on the other hand, have reason to celebrate. The three of them have just arrived in the world’s Top 20! Tomashevsky gained a remarkable 29 ELO-points this year, after he had proved his abilities at the 3rd Grand Prix tournament last week. The Chinese number one, Liren Ding, advanced from 22nd to 19th rank in January and made it to 15th rank now that he performed well at the Tata Steel Tournament. David Navara is literally rocking the ongoing European Championship and has already prevailed over Rui, Parligras, Shimanov, Potkin, and Kempinsky. Not a bad count after eight rounds. It remains to be seen how the final results of this championship and the Reykjavik Open in mid-March affect merry go-round of the world’s Top 20.

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Current Ranking

Rank

Name

Title

Country

Rating

Change

B-Year

1

Magnus Carlsen

G

NOR

2863

1990

2

Fabiano Caruana

G

ITA

2802

1992

3

Hikaru Nakamura

G

USA

2798

↑ (9)

1987

4

Veselin Topalov

G

BUL

2798

1975

5

Alexander Grischuk

G

RUS

2794

↓ (3)

1983

6

Viswanathan Anand

G

IND

2791

↓ (5)

1969

7

Anish Giri

G

NED

2790

1994

8

Wesley So

G

PHI

2788

↑ (10)

1993

9

Vladimir  Kramnik

G

RUS

2783

↓ (8)

1975

10

Levon Aronian

G

ARM

2770

↓ (6)

1982

11

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

G

FRA

2765

1990

12

Sergey Karjakin

G

RUS

2757

1990

13

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

G

AZE

2756

1985

14

David Navara

G

CZR

2750

↑ (23)

1985

15

Ding Liren

G

CHN

2749

↑ (22)

1992

16

Boris Gelfand

G

ISR

2747

↓ (14)

1968

17

Evgeny  Tomashevsky

G

RUS

2745

↑ (31)

1987

18

Michael Adams

G

ENG

2745

1971

19

Dmitry Jakovenko

G

RUS

2742

↑ (20)

1983

20

Radoslaw Wojtaszek

G

POL

2738

↓ (15)

1987

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe