Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (2023)

Magnus Carlsen picked up his first classical win of Norway Chess 2021 by beating Alireza Firouzja in Round 6 with a trademark endgame grind. Richard Rapport extended his lead to three points with four rounds to go by outplaying Aryan Tari after a shaky opening, while the only match to go to Armageddon was Karjakin-Nepomniachtchi. Sergey Karjakin has now beaten both the World Champion and his challenger on consecutive days after Ian Nepomniachtchi cracked in a drawn position.

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (1)

Another tough day against Magnus Carlsen for Alireza Firouzja| photo: Lennart Ootes,Norway Chess

You can replay all the games from Norway Chess 2021 using the selector below.

And here’s the day’s live commentary from Judit Polgar, David Howell and Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam.

Once again two matches were decided in classical chess, with the players picking up the full three points.

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (2)

Carlsen 1-0 Firouzja

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (3)

Magnus Carlsen has a phenomenal record of recovering from losses| photo: Lennart Ootes,Norway Chess

It’s been another tough chess tournament on home soil for Magnus Carlsen, who began with four draws, including one game in which he was lost against Aryan Tari. The fact he then won all four Armageddons somewhat disguised that lacklustre display, but a loss to Sergey Karjakin in Round 5 made things begin to look like a full-blown crisis. His win against 18-year-old threat to his throne Alireza Firouzja was therefore just what the doctor ordered.

The game was a classical Ruy Lopez where Magnus managed to spring a novelty on move 13.

It already proved successful when it got Alireza thinking for 23 minutes before capturing on d2. The next ten moves saw the pieces hoovered off the board until we were left with a same-coloured bishop endgame. Magnus began to push his kingside pawns, but experts and the computer agreed that “objectively” the game should be a draw.

(Video) World No.1 Magnus Carlsen vs World No.2 Alireza Firouzja (ARMAGEDDON) | 2023 Norway Chess

The one big weakness for Black, as Sergey noted, was the a6-pawn, but how could you get to it? Nevertheless, no-one in the world is better than Magnus at slowly ratcheting up the pressure in such situations, and we’ve seen on a number of previous occasions, including inFirouzja-Carlsen from last year’s Norway Chess, that Alireza can be surprisingly shaky in simplified endgames.

It was already becoming tense when Firouzja dropped almost an hour behind on the clock and was suddenly confronted by positions where there was only one path to a draw.

Alireza did play 33…g6!, but it took him 16 minutes. If that was the last critical decision it might have been ok, but Magnus again and again found ways to pose questions, and Alireza had no light at the end of the tunnel — in Norway Chess no time is added at move 40, with only a meagre 10 seconds a move added from that move onwards.

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (4)

Alireza Firoujza plays the only move, but the time it took him made it clear he was already walking a tightrope| photo: Lennart Ootes,Norway Chess

The key moment of the whole game came when Magnus suddenly decided not to go after the pawn on a6 with his king, but played 41.Ke5!

Suddenly it seems to be zugzwang, since if the black bishop moves White will be able to play Bb7 and pick up the a6-pawn. Instead Alireza, down to four minutes to Magnus’ 58, played 41…Kg6?, and after 42.Kxf4 it turned out White was simply winning.

There was still a draw for Alireza, but he had to give up the a6-pawn with 41…Bh3!, when 42.Bb7 Bf1!

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (5)

43.Bxa6 f3! would in fact see Black queen first with a comfortable draw. Magnus could have continued his dance, however, since 43.Bc8!, instead of capturing on a6, would have kept forcing Alireza to find only moves under intense pressure.

In the game after 42.Kxf4 Kf6 Magnus really could set up zugzwang with 43.Bd5!

That was an only move for Magnus, since it’s key to block the black king from the e6-square. Now after 43…Ke7 Magnus could advance with 44.Ke5, and if the king tries to stay relevant with 44…Kd7 then 45.Be6+ trades off the bishops into a won pawn endgame.

(Video) Fabiano Leads the Pack as Magnus, Hikaru, Gukesh, and Alireza Battle in Round 5 | Norway Chess 2023

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (6)

Alireza knew it was all over| photo: Lennart Ootes,Norway Chess

Alireza instead played43…Bd7 with a look of utter dejection, since he knew that after 44.Bb7 there was no saving the game. Magnus had finally got to that one weak point in the black camp.

The remainder of the game was easy, and Magnus has now scored four wins, zero losses and two draws against Alireza Firouzja in classical chess.

Beat them when they’re young, as they say!

That win took Magnus right back into the chasing pack, but Richard Rapport seized his chance to beat the lowest-rated player in the tournament before what’s sure to be a tough run-in.

Rapport 1-0 Tari

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (7)

If the pressure of leading is high on Richard Rapport, he isn't showing it| photo: Lennart Ootes,Norway Chess

25-year-old Richard Rapport is an enigmatic player who seems to have crept half-unnoticed into the Top 10 on sheer talent alone, but he’s having a breakout tournament. He’s now not merely in the Top 10, but entrenched there, another win away from moving above Wesley So, Anish Giri and Alexander Grischuk into the no. 6 spot on the live rating list.

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (8)

What’s remarkable is how comfortable he’s been in Norway, though he confessed the opening against Aryan Tari left something to be desired.

I kind of got into trouble in the opening. He surprised me and then he tricked me with this cxd4 gambit. Probably I should have been principled and gone for it, but I tried to dodge the bullet and play some solid position, which didn’t really work out.

He was talking about 4…cxd4 and the position, for instance, after 6…exd5.

(Video) AGGRESSIVE ATTACK!! Magnus Carlsen vs Alireza Firouzja || Norway Chess Blitz 2023 - R9

There’s nothing to stop White grabbing the pawn on d5 with his queen, and in fact it’s the most popular move, though of course after choosing this opening Aryan would have been ready. Instead Richard opted for 7.Nf3 and initially got only a slightly worse position (“Today with White I almost didn’t equalise — that’s kind of embarrassing”), but when both players were out of book he began to take over.

Aryan pushed g5, as he had successfully against Magnus Carlsen earlier in the tournament, but this time his ambition only created a weakness, which Richard set about exploiting on move 20.

20.h4! broke up the black kingside, and Tari’s response 20…Qb6?! proved misjudged, since after 21.hxg5 Qxd4 22.exd4 hxg5 there was no quiet endgame but 23.Rh5!, continuing to probe Black’s weaknesses. Soon the white rooks were invading and Black was in deep trouble.

In fact White already collected material here by meeting 32…Kg8 with 33.Rxf7! Bxf7 34.Bd7!, picking up the pawn on f5.

Richard had an extra pawn and total positional domination, and it was curious that we had another ending with light-squared bishops and pawns, as in Carlsen-Firouzja. It even ended in a similar way after Richard picked up Black’s a-pawn.

How was Richard feeling?

Of course you cannot not be happy with winning! There is still a lot to go, or not so much, but four very tough games, so I will see what happens after tomorrow and take it day by day, but of course I’m very happy.

Karjakin 1/2-1/2 Nepomniachtchi (Sergey wins in Armageddon)

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (9)

Sergey Karjakin is well and truly back| photo: Lennart Ootes,Norway Chess

Fortunes have changed very fast for Sergey Karjakin. On Saturday, instead of a rest day, he lost to Ian Nepomniachtchi, but since then he’s now beaten both World Champion Magnus Carlsen and his challenger. He commented on how things have changed since his loss:

Of course after yesterday’s game [against Magnus] I’m just feeling much better. It’s about the psychological point of view, because when you lose stupidly, like it seems you see the line for the first time but in fact you looked at it for many hours, that’s very unpleasant.

The classical game against Ian Nepomniachtchi in Round 6 was not one to live long in the memory. Sergey commented:

I chose the line where if Black knows what he’s doing, then it’s very drawish, and I was hoping that he doesn’t know the line, because it’s a very rare line, but he knew. That was a bit unpleasant, but what to do?

(Video) KING'S BLITZ!! Magnus Carlsen vs Alireza Firouzja || Norway Chess 2023 - R7

Ian, who’s mentioned he’s mainly in the tournament for practice in classical chess, wasn’t impressed.

Yes I had no problems with Black. I believe this is a more or less known line, so it’s a little bit surprising that Sergey picks this line, but fortunately I remembered all the correct moves.

It meant we got the day’s one Armageddon, with Karjakin springing a very early surprise with 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4, the Bishop’s Opening. Nepo was ready, as you would expect in the run-up to a World Championship match, but although he did well out of the opening, Sergey took over when he pushed his d-pawn to d5, and could have landed a knockout blow on move 21.

22.Bxf6! and, after either capture on f6, White plays 23.Rxe4, when the only chance of Black surviving would be that White gets confused by the over-abundance of ways to win.

Still, after 22.d6 Sergey had a good position, and, though he lost some control, he missed a couple more wins before the game came to a surprise conclusion.

47…a3! and 47…Qd3+! should still draw, while after 47…Qb3? 48.c7! there was no stopping the c-pawn and Sergey went on to win.

The assumption of Sergey and the commentators was that 47…Qb3 had been a flawed attempt to draw by repetition, but in fact things were a bit stranger! Nepo commented:

I guess it was an interesting game, maybe it was even until some moment more or less high quality, but you know, when you lose a drawn position because you think Qb3 is a check, but it’s actually not a check, that’s a little bit annoying, but that’s probably why people love this format — everyone looks like a moron!

Sergey summed up:

I’m happy that I won today — it was very important for me to keep going. My mood is good, my chess is dubious, but I’m ready to fight!

Although Ian has commented on a number of occasions about how the half a point difference between winning or losing Armageddon doesn’t matter, from a standings point of view that’s simply not true. He now leads Magnus by half a point, who in turn leads Sergey by half a point. Out in front, however, is of course Richard Rapport!

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (10)

In Round 3 Rapport faces Karjakin, while Carlsen will be out to score a 5th win of his career against Tari. If Firouzja wants to pull off an immediate comeback, he’ll have to do it against Nepomniachtchi.

Norway Chess 6: Carlsen storms back to beat Firouzja (11)

(Video) Watch Fabiano v Gukesh & Magnus v Alireza in the Battle of Prodigies | Norway Chess 2023 Round 7

Don’t miss all the action right here on chess24 from 11:00 ET/17:00 CEST!

See also:

  • Official website
  • Norway Chess games with computer analysis and live commentary on chess24
  • Firouzja-Carlsen in Norway Chess, Nepo late arrival
  • Norway Chess 1: Carlsen beats Firouzja as Rapport enters Top 10
  • Norway Chess 2: Nepo beats Firouzja with King's Gambit
  • Norway Chess 3: Magnus and Nepo scrape wins before showdown
  • Norway Chess 4: Carlsen gets to torture Nepomniachtchi
  • Norway Chess 5: Karjakin takes down Carlsen


Who won the Norway chess 2023? ›

Congratulations to Hikaru Nakamura for winning the 2023 Norway Chess Tournament👏 After winning on demand his last game against Fabiano Caruana, Nakamura surpassed his compatriot with just half a point to win his first #NorwayChess!

How many rounds are there in Norway Chess 2023? ›

After seven rounds, the top three spots are taken by three American grandmasters at Norway Chess 2023. GM Fabiano Caruana continues to lead by 2 points despite losing on time in armageddon against GM Gukesh D with a winning position on the board.

Is Alireza Firouzja a genius? ›

Alireza Firouzja is an Iranian chess prodigy. He won the Iranian Chess Championship at the age of 12, and earned the grandmaster title at the age of 14. He is the second-youngest player ever to reach a rating of 2700 after Wei Yi, accomplishing this at the age of 16 years and 1 month.

What is Alireza Firouzja rating? ›

#White PlayerRating
3Carlsen, Magnus2853
4Firouzja, Alireza2785
5Firouzja, Alireza2785
6So, Wesley2760
19 more rows

Who is the best chess player in the world 2023? ›

GM Ding Liren 2780 | #3

Ding Liren is the reigning FIDE World Chess Champion after defeating GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in the 2023 World Championship. Like most world champions, a combination of dominance and close calls have defined Ding's career leading up to winning the title.

What is the prize money for the Norwegian Chess Championship? ›

About tournament
Prize Pool:$234 000
Series:Norway Chess
2 more rows
2 days ago

What is the longest competitive chess game? ›

Longest game
  • The longest tournament chess game (in terms of moves) ever to be played was Nikolić–Arsović, Belgrade 1989, which lasted for 269 moves and took 20 hours and 15 minutes to complete a drawn game. ...
  • The longest decisive tournament game is Danin–Azarov, Turnov 2016, which Danin won in 239 moves.

What is the longest running chess tournament? ›

The longest running annual match in chess is the Cambridge-Oxford match. The traditional series began in 1873. There has been 130 matches from 1873 to 2012.

How many chess GMs are there in Norway? ›

Magnus Carlsen, the highest-rated chess player of all time and five-time World Chess Champion, represents Norway (18 GMs and 2 WGMs).

Who is the lowest rated international master chess? ›

Introduced with CM in 2002, Woman Candidate Master is the lowest-ranking title awarded by FIDE. This title may be achieved by gaining a FIDE rating of 2000 or more.

Who is the youngest player to cross 2800? ›

Alireza Firouzja (Persian: علی‌رضا فیروزجا, Persian pronunciation: [æliːɾeˈzɑː fiːɾuːzˈdʒɑː]; born 18 June 2003) is an Iranian and French chess grandmaster. Firouzja is the youngest ever 2800-rated player, beating the previous record set by Magnus Carlsen by more than five months.

Who has a 2900 rating in chess? ›

Chess grandmaster GM Magnus Carlsen recently announced his newest goal to reach a 2900 FIDE rating. Carlsen (2022, personal communication) described his challenge in the following manner: what level of play or “hot streak” would he have to play at to have a reasonable chance of achieving 2900?

Do high IQ people play chess? ›

Just like in any other activity, having a high IQ is a big boost and helps a lot, but its not neccesary to play chess. And it goes both ways. Just because you have high IQ it doesn't mean you will be great chess player. People with high IQ tend to be better at almost everything they try compared with regular folks.

What is Hikaru's IQ? ›

It is 102. Levy also scored 102 on his IQ test. IQ is only a small factor in being a good chess player. Much more important are things like determination and perseverance, and of course a love of chess.

Who is the smartest black chess player? ›

Maurice Ashley (born 1966) is a Jamaican-born American chess player, author, and commentator. In 1999, he earned the FIDE title of Grandmaster (GM), making him the first Black person to do so. Ashley is well known as a commentator for high-profile chess events. He also spent many years teaching chess.

Who is the smartest chess player of all time? ›

1. Garry Kasparov. Garry Kasparov is one of the most well-known chess players and is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time. He dominated the chess world for over 20 years and was the reigning world champion from 1985 to 2000.

Who is the most intelligent chess player? ›

Magnus Carlsen

At 19 years old, he became the number one chess player, the youngest to do so in the history of chess. His peak rating of 2882 is the highest in history.

Who is the most accurate chess player? ›

According to this system the highest ratings achieved were: 2725: José Raúl Capablanca. 2720: Mikhail Botvinnik, Emanuel Lasker. 2700: Mikhail Tal.

What is the biggest chess prize? ›

Top Winners

The answer, of course, is GM Magnus Carlsen. Even with his last World Championship coming back in 2021, the winner of the Champions Chess Tour (CCT), Norway Chess, and both the World Rapid and Blitz Championships (WRBC) earned nearly $560,000 in major tournament prizes throughout 2022.

How much money can you make from chess tournaments? ›

According to the FIDE rating, people with a rating below 1600 can charge $5 to $10 an hour; if you happen to be a little decent with a rating between 2500-and 2600, you can charge $30 to $100. And if you belong to the top cream layer of rating above 2700 and above, you can charge upwards of $100 per hour.

How smart is Magnus Carlsen? ›

Probably below average. Although math came easy to Magnus at school, he stopped learning any math at about the time he went to high school, which is about ten years ago. With his exceptional memory and pattern recognition abilities, I'm sure he would have excelled at math if he had put his mind to it, but he never did.

Who is the fastest chess player? ›

The top-ranked blitz chess player as of February 2023 is Alireza Firouzja from France. As of May 2023, Ju Wenjun of China is the women's top-ranked rapid player, who is also the current Women's World Chess Champion in classical chess. The women's top-ranked blitz player is Hou Yifan, also from China.

What is the 50-move rule? ›

THE FIFTY-MOVE DRAW: The 50-move draw rule, which today states that a draw can be claimed if no capture is made and no pawn is moved for 50 consecutive moves, took centuries to reach its modern definition.

What is the quickest chess defeat? ›

The fool's mate can be achieved in two moves only by Black, giving checkmate on the second move with the queen. The fool's mate received its name because it can occur only if White commits an extraordinary blunder.

Has Magnus Carlsen ever lost? ›

Magnus Carlsen lost against Hikaru Nakamura in the losers final of the Champions Chess Tour Chessable Masters 2023 thanks to a dramatic slip of his mouse in what is his last tournament as the world champion.

What is the longest possible chess game with 50 move rule? ›

Since every move that lays an effect on the game only needs to be played once every 50 moves, we can multiply that number by 50. 118 * 50 = 5900 moves. After 5900 moves, there will be nothing left on the board except two kings, so the longest possible chess game that follows the 50-move rule can last 5900 moves.

Who has best record against Magnus Carlsen? ›

Carlsen's head-to-head record vs notable opposition
35 more rows
Jan 30, 2022

What IQ do chess GMs have? ›

A person with average IQ is expected to reach a maximum rating of about 2000 in chess. Strong grandmasters with a rating of around and over 2600 are expected to have an IQ of 160 plus. The strongest grandmasters of the day with their ratings hovering around 2800 are expected to have IQs around 180.

Who is the best chess player in Norway? ›

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen (born 30 November 1990) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster who is a former five-time World Chess Champion (2013–2023) and current four-time World Rapid Chess Champion and six-time World Blitz Chess Champion.

Which country has best chess players? ›

There are many ways to measure the strongest chess nations. By sheer volume, Russia dominates, with 2,559 titled players, including a remarkable 243 grandmasters. In fact, Russia has more grandmasters than 143 countries combined, according to FIDE's list of 179 federations.

Who is the Norwegian chess champion? ›

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen (born 30 November 1990) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster who is a former five-time World Chess Champion (2013–2023) and current four-time World Rapid Chess Champion and six-time World Blitz Chess Champion.

Where will 2023 World Chess Championship be? ›

On January 19, FIDE announced that Astana, Kazakhstan, would be the host city of the 2023 World Championship. The match happened in the upscale luxury St. Regis Astana hotel, located in Astana Central Park, the heart of the country's capital.

Where is the chess championship 2023? ›

The match took place in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 9 April to 30 April 2023 at the St Regis Astana Hotel. The prize fund was €2 million. It would have been split 60% vs 40% between the winner and the runner-up had either player scored 7½ or more points in the classical portion of the match.

Where is the US Chess Championship 2023? ›

The 2023 US Open Chess Championship & Annual Business Meeting will take place at DeVos Place.

Who is the 2nd best Norwegian chess player? ›

Aryan Tari (Persian: آرین طاری; born 4 June 1999) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster. Tari was Norwegian champion in 2015 and 2019 and won the World Junior Chess Championship in 2017. As of November 2021, he is the second-highest ranked player from Norway by FIDE, after only Former World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Who is the world no 1 chess champion? ›

The World Chess Championship is played to determine the world champion in chess. The current world champion is Ding Liren, who defeated his opponent Ian Nepomniachtchi in the 2023 World Chess Championship. Magnus Carlsen, the previous world champion, declined to defend his title.

Who is the best chess player in the world? ›

Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, the undisputed best chess player in the world, had been the world champion since 2013 but decided in 2022 to vacate his title. Carlsen cited a lack of motivation.

Who invented chess? ›

Legend has it that chess was invented around 200 B. C. by a commander, Hán Xin, who invented the game as a battle simulator. Soon after winning the battle, the game was forgotten, but it resurfaced in the 7th century. For the Chinese, Chess was invented by the mythical Emperor Shennong or by his successor, Huangdi.

How rich is Magnus Carlsen? ›

The richest chess players in the world are Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen, who each currently have a net worth of $50 million. Both players made their fortunes through chess tournaments and outside business ventures.

What does FIDE stand for? ›

Q: What is FIDE? A: FIDE stands for "Federation Internationale des Echecs" - also known as the World Chess Federation.

Where will the 2024 Chess Olympiad be held? ›

Based on the decision of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), Budapest will host the Chess Olympiad, the 5th largest sporting event in the world, in 2024, on the 100th anniversary of the founding of FIDE.

Is there a U.S. Open of chess? ›

The U.S. Open Championship is an open national chess championship that has been held in the United States annually since 1900.

Has an American ever won the World Chess Championship? ›

Bobby Fischer becomes the first American to win the World Chess Championship.

Can anyone play in US Chess championship? ›

a. US Chess membership requirement. Every player must be a member of US Chess in good standing at the time of the invitation. Invitations are a privilege, not a right, and are not afforded to any player by virtue of his or her status as a US Chess member.


1. There's a New Sheriff in Town || Alireza vs Fabi || Norway Chess (2023)
(agadmator's Chess Channel)
2. Finally, The Chosen One! || Magnus Carlsen vs Alireza Firouzja || Classical + Armageddon
(agadmator's Chess Channel)
3. Magnus Carlsen v Alireza Firouzja Armageddon Norway Chess 2023 Round 7
4. NORWAY CHESS 2023: Alireza Firouzja VS. Hikaru Nakamura | ROUND 6 | Armageddon
(Chess Kertz)
5. Magnus Carlsen Plays His OPENING TRAP vs. Anish Giri | Norway Chess 2023
(Magnus Carlsen)
6. Norway Chess Classical '23 | Day7 | Gukesh vs Caruana, Anish, Carlsen | Live commentary: Amruta
(ChessBase India)


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