The chess elite fears 17-year-old Alireza Firouzja more every day. The Armenian Levón Aronian offered him a draw in a position that he would undoubtedly have tried to win against other rivals. Then, in the quick tiebreaker, the Iranian came close to defeat and with much less time, but Aronian got mixed up and ended up losing. The world champion, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, jumps to the first place after winning the number two, the American Fabiano Caruana, who made an improper mistake of him. This Friday is the rest day in the Altibox Norway Chess tournament, which takes place in Stavanger (Norway).
The sudden death (ten minutes for White, forced to win, and seven for Black) began with a painful incident, which Firouzja, with Black, related after his victory, still very angry: “The referee told me that we started at 8:45. I arrived on stage at 8:44 p.m., and my watch was ticking, with only five minutes remaining. The referee then tried to convince me that he had told me at 8:42 p.m., which is simply incredible.
This story helps to understand that Firouzja played that game much worse than normal until he was in a very inferior position, losing in practical terms to a rival as strong as Aronián, who also had a three-minute lead. But, for some strange reason, the Armenian suffered a kind of block similar to Firouzja in the 2nd round against Carlsen, to whom he lost after having him on the ropes. In other words, the Iranian, who resides in France and plays with the FIDE flag, had this Thursday the luck that you missed on Tuesday. The fact is that Aronian made several errors in a row until he was in a lower position and lost on time when he could no longer win.
The fight between the two best in the world was very disappointing. Carlsen came out of the opening with white as usual, with a microscopic advantage, ready to squeeze it for hours. With good judgment, Caruana sacrificed a pawn in exchange for activating his pieces and making the Scandinavian’s pieces passive. But shortly afterwards he did something incomprehensible: he unlocked the pawn that was keeping White passive, which immediately took him to a much lower position. The rest was a regular technical display at Carlsen. “The alien to chess has happened today in Caruana’s mind. It is inconceivable that he would make such a serious positional error, “stressed former world champion Vladimir Krámnik during his live comments for Chess24 with Judit Polgar, the best chess player in history.”
To complete the first round of the double league, Firouzja still has to face (on Saturday) the Norwegian Aryán Tari, of Iranian parents, who has won in the sudden death Jan Duda from Poland, 15th in the world but in very poor shape for reasons not explained. In the slow games, Firouzja beat Duda and has drawn with Carlsen, Caruana and Aronian. And of the three sudden deaths, He has only lost to Carlsen, who has already accumulated 125 slow games undefeated in the last 800 days.
.Classification: 1st Carlsen 9 points; 2nd Aronian 8; 3rd-4th Firouzja and Caruana 7; 5th Tari 1.5; 6th Doubt, 1.