Three wins for the second day in a row without sudden death. It seems that the innovative system (every match must have a winner) of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament in Stavanger (Norway) greatly encourages combativity. The Iranian Alireza Firouzja, 17, beat the Norwegian Aryan Tari again and is the leader with one more point (victory without a tiebreaker gives three) than the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, who took revenge on the Polish Jan Duda, his executioner on Saturday after 800 days undefeated, in the 6th round of the ten scheduled.
Who feels superior to his rival knows that taking the duel to the sudden death (ten minutes for white, forced to win, and seven for black) increases the chances that the forecast will not be fulfilled, and also implies a loss of points (1.5 for the winner and one for the defeated) with respect to to win the slow game. This is probably why 72% (13 out of 18) of the games played so far have had a winner, when many elite tournaments do not even reach half.
This also explains that Carlsen, with white, and Firouzja, with black, won flawlessly, with hardly any options for Duda and Tari, respectively. In the case of the Iranian, it is important to note that neither yesterday nor today (the 1st round of the 2nd round repeated the same games as the last of the 1st but with the colors changed) has he launched at great risk against Tari as he usually does. against the big stars. They were both dressing tasks, waiting for the opponent’s error, cleanly executed.
The most interesting game was that of the Armenian Levón Aronián and the American Fabiano Caruana, defeated on Saturday with White, who took his revenge after a great fight. Aronián was about to achieve something amazing: to get out of a very complicated position alive with very few minutes available; but the difficulty was so great, and the pressure of the clock so great, that his inaccuracies in moves 34 and 35 were enough to be lost.
The first four will face each other this Monday: Caruana-Carlsen and Firouzja-Aronián. The American received some wise advice from former world champion Vladimir Krámnik during the live broadcast of Chess24: “After a game as intense as the one you won today, it was hard for me to sleep; sometimes I couldn’t until seven in the morning, because my brain was too excited. The best I can wish you is that you sleep well tonight. Caruana replied: “Thank you. But it’s very rare that I have trouble sleeping. What worries me does not go that way ”.
Classification: 1st Firouzja 13 points; 2nd Carlsen 12; 3rd Aronian 11; 4th Caruana 10; 5th Doubt 4; 6th Tari 1,5.