Norway Chess 2024 kicks off with thrilling classical draws; Armageddon decides all round 1 games

Norway Chess 2024 kicks off with thrilling classical draws; Armageddon decides all round 1 games
Image source: Norway Chess

Stavanger, Norway: Norway Chess 2024 commenced with a dynamic start, bringing together the world's elite chess players for a super-tournament held from May 27 to June 7 at SpareBank 1 SR-Bank.

This year, the tournament features not only the renowned Norway Chess tournament but also introduces Norway Chess Women, an all-female tournament showcasing the best female players globally. Both tournaments follow a 6-player double round-robin format with equal prize funds, underscoring a commitment to gender equality in chess, as per a press release from Norway Chess.

The first round delivered exciting games in both tournaments. In the main Norway Chess event, Ding Liren and Magnus Carlsen played a calm classical game, concluding in a 14-move draw. Following the tournament's rules, they moved to an Armageddon game, where Carlsen showcased his prowess by winning convincingly with Black.

In a highly anticipated clash between young talents Praggnanandhaa and Alireza Firouzja, the classical game ended in a draw. The subsequent Armageddon game saw both players under severe time pressure. However, India's star prodigy Praggnanandhaa emerged victorious, clinching the win with just one second remaining on his clock.

Meanwhile, Fabiano Caruana faced Hikaru Nakamura in another engaging match. Nakamura's solid preparation led to a balanced position quickly, but Caruana missed a critical opportunity to gain an advantage. Their game ended in a draw, and Nakamura triumphed in the Armageddon game, again playing as Black.

The Norway Chess Women's tournament also saw intense action. Although all classical games ended in draws, the game between Pia Cramling and Koneru Humpy was particularly noteworthy. Cramling gained a significant advantage early and was poised to win by move 19, according to computer analysis. However, she could not convert her advantage, and the game concluded peacefully.

Ju Wenjun emerged victorious against Vaishali R, while Lei Tingjie defeated Anna Muzychuk in their respective Armageddon round 1 battles.

Round 1 saw all the games ending up in a draw, Armageddon decided the points across both main and women's events.

Round 2

Pairings In the main event, Magnus Carlsen will take on Hikaru Nakamura, while Alireza Firouzja will be up against Fabiano Caruana and Ding Liren will face Praggnanandhaa R in Round 2 on May 28.

In the Women's event, Indian duo Vishali R and Koneru Humpy will take on each other, while Lei Tingjie will face Pia Cramling and Ju Wenjum will be up against Anna Muzychuk.