Aronian Wins Norway Chess, Nakamura Second

Altibox Norway Chess, the strongest classical tournament of the year, featured an outstanding performance by Levon Aronian, who took clear first by a full point. Our own GM Hikaru Nakamura was also a major contender in Norway Chess up until the final game where he lost to Fabiano Caruana. This left Nakamura in a tie for 2nd place with Vladimir Kramnik. Another huge story in Norway was the poor performance from World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Magnus scored minus one in Norway Chess, and lost ten rating points. https://twitter.com/chess24com/status/875768337342636037 Before our round-up of some of the best Norway Chess games, can you find how Anish Giri (playing White) caused Viswanathan Anand to resign the next move?
Show Solution
33.Bb4! wins immediately as the threat of d4 cobmined with the pinned f7-pawn devastates. 33...f6 allows 34. Qh5 winning.
On his way to clear first, Levon Aronian won against both Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik with the white pieces. The game against Carlsen was a stunner, featuring an unusual example of the classic Bxh7+ sacrifice.
[pgn]

[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2832"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Armenia"]
[BlackTeam "Norway"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ARM"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NOR"]
[WhiteClock "0:08:51"]
[BlackClock "0:04:22"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 a6 6. b3 Bb4 7. Bd2 Nbd7 8. Bd3
O-O 9. O-O Qe7 10. Bc2 Rd8 11. a3 Bxa3 12. Rxa3 Qxa3 13. c5 b6 14. b4 Ne4 15.
Nxe4 dxe4 16. Bxe4 Rb8 17. Bxh7+ Kxh7 18. Ng5+ Kg8 19. Qh5 Nf6 20. Qxf7+ Kh8
21. Qc7 Bd7 22. Nf7+ Kh7 23. Nxd8 Rc8 24. Qxb6 Nd5 25. Qa7 Rxd8 26. e4 Qd3 27.
exd5 Qxd2 28. Qc7 Qg5 29. dxc6 Bc8 30. h3 Qd5 31. Rd1 e5 32. Rd3 exd4 33. Qe7
Bf5 34. Rg3 Bg6 35. Qh4+ 1-0[/pgn]
[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"]
[Date "2017.06.12"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2793"]
[BlackElo "2808"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Armenia"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ARM"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]
[WhiteClock "0:49:53"]
[BlackClock "0:00:27"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8.
cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 O-O 11. Bc4 Nd7 12. O-O b6 13. Rac1 Bb7 14. d5
Nc5 15. Rfe1 Qf6 16. Qe3 Rac8 17. e5 Qg6 18. d6 f6 19. Nh4 Qg4 20. g3 fxe5 21.
Qxe5 Rcd8 22. f4 Rf6 23. Rc3 Rh6 24. Be2 Qh3 25. Qg5 Qxh4 26. gxh4 Rg6 27. Rd1
Bd5 28. f5 Rxg5+ 29. hxg5 Kf8 30. fxe6 Bxe6 31. Bc4 Bf5 32. Re3 g6 33. Re7 Rd7
34. Rde1 1-0

[/pgn]
Nakamura won nice victories over Giri and Vachier-Lagrave:
[pgn]

[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"]
[Date "2017.06.06"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2771"]
[PlyCount "133"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "Netherlands"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "NED"]
[WhiteClock "0:18:43"]
[BlackClock "0:11:16"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Ne4 5. Bh4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 dxc4 7. e3 Be6 8.
Qb1 b6 9. Nh3 Bh6 10. Bg5 Bxg5 11. Nxg5 Qd5 12. Nxe6 Qxe6 13. Qb4 Qd5 14. Qxc4
Qxc4 15. Bxc4 e6 16. Be2 Nd7 17. a4 Ke7 18. a5 c6 19. Kd2 b5 20. Rab1 Rab8 21.
Rb2 f5 22. Rhb1 Kd6 23. f3 e5 24. c4 exd4 25. cxb5 cxb5 26. Bxb5 dxe3+ 27. Kxe3
Nf6 28. Bc4 Rxb2 29. Rxb2 Re8+ 30. Kd4 Re7 31. Rb8 Rd7 32. Rc8 Rb7 33. a6 Rb4
34. Kc3 Ra4 35. Kb3 Nd7 36. Bb5 Ra5 37. Kb4 Ra1 38. Rd8 Rb1+ 39. Ka5 Ra1+ 40.
Kb4 Rb1+ 41. Ka4 Ra1+ 42. Kb3 Rb1+ 43. Kc4 Rc1+ 44. Kd3 Rc7 45. Kd4 Ke7 46. Ra8
Kd6 47. h4 Ke7 48. Bxd7 Rxd7+ 49. Ke5 Kf7 50. Rb8 Re7+ 51. Kd5 Kf6 52. Rb7 Re5+
53. Kd4 Ra5 54. Rxa7 f4 55. Kc4 Ra2 56. Kc5 h5 57. Ra8 Rc2+ 58. Kb6 Rb2+ 59.
Kc5 Rc2+ 60. Kb6 Rb2+ 61. Ka7 Rxg2 62. Rb8 Rf2 63. Rb6+ Kg7 64. Kb7 Rxf3 65. a7
Ra3 66. Ra6 Rb3+ 67. Kc6 1-0[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"]
[Date "2017.06.10"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2785"]
[BlackElo "2796"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "France"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "FRA"]
[WhiteClock "0:19:03"]
[BlackClock "0:04:41"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bd3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8.
O-O O-O 9. Ng3 Be6 10. Nd5 Bxd5 11. exd5 g6 12. c4 Ne8 13. Bh6 Ng7 14. b4 Nd7
15. Rc1 a5 16. a3 axb4 17. axb4 Ra3 18. Ne4 f5 19. Nc3 e4 20. Be2 Bg5 21. Bxg5
Qxg5 22. c5 Ne5 23. c6 Nh5 24. Bxh5 gxh5 25. Kh1 Qh4 26. Qd4 Ng4 27. h3 f4 28.
Kg1 e3 29. hxg4 hxg4 30. cxb7 exf2+ 31. Rxf2 g3 32. Rxf4 Qh2+ 33. Kf1 1-0[/pgn]
In the last round, Fabiano Caruana, moved back up to 50% with a well prepared victory over his Olympic team-mate.
[pgn]

[Event "Altibox Norway Chess"]
[Date "2017.06.16"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2808"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[PlyCount "117"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
[WhiteClock "0:56:07"]
[BlackClock "0:29:58"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd3
Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. f5 Be7 11. fxe6 fxe6 12. Be2 Qa5 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. g4 h6 15.
Rg1 Bd7 16. g5 hxg5 17. Rxg5 Nc6 18. Rxg7 O-O-O 19. Ncb5 axb5 20. Nxb5 Ne5 21.
Nxc7 Nxd3+ 22. cxd3 Ng8 23. Na8 Kb8 24. Nb6 Bc6 25. Bf4 e5 26. Bg3 Bf6 27. Rf7
Be8 28. Rf8 Bg7 29. Rf2 Ne7 30. Bg4 Nc6 31. Rfb2 Nd4 32. Nd5 b5 33. a4 Bh6 34.
axb5 Rg8 35. h3 Kb7 36. Ne7 Rf8 37. Nc6 Bxc6 38. bxc6+ Kxc6 39. Bf2 Rxf2 40.
Kxf2 Rf8+ 41. Kg2 Be3 42. Rb8 Rxb8 43. Rxb8 d5 44. Rc8+ Kd6 45. Rd8+ Ke7 46.
Rd7+ Kf6 47. exd5 e4 48. dxe4 Bf4 49. h4 Nb5 50. h5 Be5 51. Bf5 Kg5 52. Bg6 Nd6
53. Re7 Nc4 54. Re6 Bf6 55. d6 Ne5 56. Bf5 Nd3 57. Rxf6 Kxf6 58. d7 Ke7 59. h6
1-0

[/pgn]
Wesley So scored 4.5/9, with all draws. So is now ranked #3 in the World, as Kramnik's plus one in Norway put him a squeak ahead of So in the live rating list. Aronian's performance and play was met by excitement on twitter as the stylish and personable SuperGM climbs up the live rating list. https://twitter.com/chess24com/status/875769772255969281 https://twitter.com/hansenchess/status/875770504258490369 https://twitter.com/LennartOotes/status/875770251702652929 World Champion Magnus Carlsen now has less than a dozen point rating lead on the live rating list at 2700chess.com. https://twitter.com/CristianChirila/status/875390390840344576 https://twitter.com/TarjeiJS/status/875757243450486784 Next up for the World elite, including our top three US players: The inaugural Grand Chess Tour events in Paris and Leuven. Find a preview on NPR and follow live at grandchesstour.org. 

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