2015 Norway Chess (Stavanger, Norway)

The Grand Chess Tour was announced last year after the 2014 Sinquefield Cup as a way to build more high-level attraction and exposure to the chess elite. It is a pact between three entities… Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup), Tower AS (Norway Chess) and Chess Promotions Ltd. (London Chess Classic). Nine of the world’s top players will be slotted into all three events with one additional player selected as a wild card for each event.

Tournament Location Date
Norway Chess 2015 Stavanger, Norway June 15 – 26, 2015
Sinquefield Cup Saint Louis, USA August 21 – September 3, 2015
London Chess Classic London, England December 3 – 14, 2015
Official Site

The first event has begun in Stavanger, Norway with World Champion Magnus Carlsen serving as the home favorite. He will be joined by highly-decorated players all looking to gain momentum in an attempt to wrest the crown away from him. Several of these players will be competing for the right to play Carlsen in the Candidate’s tournament in March 2016.


Norway 2015 will be the first of three events. According to the CCSCSL site, each of the three 2015 Grand Chess Tour events will have prize funds of $300,000 with competitors accumulating points from each event toward a tour prize fund of $150,000 with the over champion winning $75,000 of that amount. The total prize fund for the circuit is set at $1,050,000.

Norway Chess 2015: https://2015.norwaychess.com/
Grand Tour Chess 2015: https://www.grandchesstour.com

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

18 Comments

  1. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #1 – Tuesday, 16 June 2015
    1 Giri, A
    NED
    1-0
    Grischuk, A
    RUS
    2 Anand, V
    IND
    ½-½
    Caruana, F
    ITA
    3 Carlsen, M
    NOR
    0-1
    Topalov, V
    BUL
    4 Nakamura, H
    USA
    1-0
    Hammer, J
    NOR
    5 Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    1-0
    Aronian, L
    ARM
    Official Site

    Carlsen informed that he had forfeited!!

    Carlsen informed that he had forfeited!!

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 1

    1st-4th: Hikaru Nakamura, Veselin Topalov, Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 1; 5th-6th: Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand, ½; 7th-10th: Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian, Jon Ludwig Hammer, 0.

  2. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #2 – Wednesday, 17 June 2015
    1 Grischuk, A
    RUS
    ½-½
    Aronian, L
    ARM
    2 Hammer, J
    NOR
    ½-½
    Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    3 Topalov, V
    BUL
    ½-½
    Nakamura, H
    USA
    4 Caruana, F
    ITA
    1-0
    Carlsen, M
    NOR
    5 Giri, A
    NED
    ½-½
    Anand, V
    IND
    Official Site

    Video by GM Daniel King.

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 2

    1st-5th: Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Veselin Topalov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana 1½; 6th:Viswanathan Anand, 1; 7th-9th: Jon Ludwig Hammer, Alexander Grischuk, Levon Aronian, ½; 10th: Magnus Carlsen, 0.

  3. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #3 – Thursday, 18 June 2015
    1 Anand, V
    IND
    ½-½
    Grischuk, A
    RUS
    2 Carlsen, M
    NOR
    ½-½
    Giri, A
    NED
    3 Nakamura, H
    USA
    1-0
    Caruana, F
    ITA
    4 Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    0-1
    Topalov, V
    BUL
    5 Aronian, L
    ARM
    ½-½
    Hammer, J
    NOR
    Official Site

    Video by GM Daniel King.

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 3

    1st-2nd: Hikaru Nakamura, Veselin Topalov, 2½. 3rd: Anish Giri, 2; 4th-6th: Viswanathan Anand, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana 1½; 7th-9th: Alexander Grischuk, Jon Ludwig Hammer, Levon Aronian, 1; 10th: Magnus Carlsen, ½.

  4. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #4 – Friday, 19 June 2015
    1 Grischuk, A
    RUS
    1-0
    Hammer, J
    NOR
    2 Topalov, V
    BUL
    1-0
    Aronian, L
    ARM
    3 Caruana, F
    ITA
    ½-½
    Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    4 Giri, A
    NED
    ½-½
    Nakamura, H
    USA
    5 Anand, V
    IND
    1-0
    Carlsen, M
    NOR
    Official Site

    Video by GM Daniel King.

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 4

    1st: Veselin Topalov, 3½; 2nd: Hikaru Nakamura, 3; 3rd-4th: Anish Giri, Viswanathan Anand, 2½; 5th-7th: Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 2; 8th-9th: Levon Aronian, Jon Ludwig Hammer, 1; 10th: Magnus Carlsen, ½.

  5. Carlsen floundering on home turf… Topalov soaring

    After the first break in the Norway Chess tournament, no one would have predicted such an abysmal performance by the World Champion. Yet, Magnus Carlsen sits on ½/4 with no realistic chances of winning the tournament. Meanwhile Veselin Topalov has a remarkable 3½/4 and has moved back into second on the FIDE rating list. Hikaru Nakamura is on 3/4 with a key win over Fabiano Caruana.

    Everyone is wondering what’s wrong with “Boy Wonder”.

    Carlsen’s performance is notable since the tournament is being held in Norway, a place where he has had mediocre results. With the next world championship match projected to be in the U.S., it may be fortuitous that Norway may not host it. Carlsen’s first round forfeiture was due to his missing the opening comments by the arbiter and he appeared flummoxed when he was forfeited.

    Viswanathan Anand is in good form with an impressive win over Carlsen and is on 50% with Anish Giri.

    Norway Chess 2015: https://2015.norwaychess.com/
    Grand Tour Chess 2015: https://www.grandchesstour.com

  6. Anand went to +1 with his win over Carlsen, which is where he still is now. Fun tournament to watch thus far. Topalov has been gifted 1.5 points by the two Norwegians.

    1. Yes… it’s been incredible on a number of levels. Carlsen’s dismal outing is perhaps the headliner and Topalov’s resurgence runs a close second. Nakamura… he is doing what he does. Anand was written off long ago, but he is thriving without having the pressure of the title. Carlsen seems to be the one under pressure and has plummeted about 30 Elo points.

  7. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #5 – Sunday, 21 June 2015
    1 Carlsen, M
    NOR
    1-0
    Grischuk, A
    RUS
    2 Nakamura, H
    USA
    ½-½
    Anand, V
    IND
    3 Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    ½-½
    Giri, A
    NED
    4 Aronian, L
    ARM
    1-0
    Caruana, F
    ITA
    5 Hammer, J
    NOR
    0-1
    Topalov, V
    BUL
    Official Site

    Video by GM Daniel King.

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 5

    1st: Veselin Topalov, 4½; 2nd: Hikaru Nakamura, 3½; 3rd-4th: Anish Giri, Viswanathan Anand, 3; 5th: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 2; 6th-8th: Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, 2; 9th: Magnus Carlsen, 1½; 10th: Jon Ludwig Hammer, 1.

  8. Even the best players in the world know that, among equals, nothing is guaranteed. But, it appears that Magnus hasn’t quite shaken off his first round baffling loss. It may be too late for a major come back, but hopefully he could still have a strong finish.

    1. Apparently. There have been mistakes galore in this tournament. Magnus loss on time was really quite shocking. It’s possible that he may only win one game. I believe now he may appreciate what Anand went through for those five years.

  9. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #6 – Monday, 22 June 2015
    1 Grischuk, A
    RUS
    0-1
    Topalov, V
    BUL
    2 Caruana, F
    ITA
    ½-½
    Hammer, J
    NOR
    3 Giri, A
    NED
    ½-½
    Aronian, L
    ARM
    4 Anand, V
    IND
    1-0
    Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    5 Carlsen, M
    NOR
    ½-½
    Nakamura, H
    USA
    Official Site

    Video by GM Daniel King.

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 6

    1st: Veselin Topalov, 5½; 2nd-3rd: Hikaru Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand, 4; 4th: Anish Giri, 3½; 5th-7th: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, 2½; 8th-9th: Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk, 2; 10th: Jon Ludwig Hammer, 1½.

  10. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #7 – Tuesday, 23 June 2015
    1 Nakamura, H
    USA
    ½-½
    Grischuk, A
    RUS
    2 Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    ½-½
    Carlsen, M
    NOR
    3 Aronian, L
    ARM
    ½-½
    Anand, V
    IND
    4 Hammer, J
    NOR
    ½-½
    Giri, A
    NED
    5 Topalov, V
    BUL
    ½-½
    Caruana, F
    ITA
    Official Site

    Video by GM Daniel King.

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 7

    1st: Veselin Topalov, 6; 2nd-3rd: Hikaru Nakamura, Viswanathan Anand, 4½; 4th: Anish Giri, 4; 5th-7th: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, 3; 8th-9th: Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk, 2½; 10th: Jon Ludwig Hammer, 2.

  11. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #8 – Wednesday, 24 June 2015
    1 Grischuk, A
    RUS
    ½-½
    Caruana, F
    ITA
    2 Carlsen, M
    NOR
    1-0
    Aronian, L
    ARM
    3 Giri, A
    NED
    1-0
    Topalov, V
    BUL
    4 Nakamura, H
    USA
    ½-½
    Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    5 Anand, V
    IND
    1-0
    Hammer, J
    NOR
    Official Site

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Standings after Round 8

    1st: Veselin Topalov, 6; 2nd: Viswanathan Anand, 5½; 3rd-4th: Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, 5; 5th-7th: Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 3½; 8th-9th: Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, 3; 10th: Jon Ludwig Hammer, 2.

  12. Sup Drummas? Just made it down to the Frank E. Merriweather Library , any new impressions on the play?

  13. Norway Chess 2015
    June 15-26, 2015 (Stavanger, Norway)
    Round #9 – Thursday, 25 June 2015
    1 Vachier-Lagrave, M
    FRA
    ½-½
    Grischuk, A
    RUS
    2 Topalov, V
    BUL
    ½-½
    Anand, V
    IND
    3 Hammer, J
    NOR
    1-0
    Carlsen, M
    NOR
    4 Aronian, L
    ARM
    0-1
    Nakamura, H
    USA
    5 Caruana, F
    ITA
    ½-½
    Giri, A
    NED
    Official Site

    Video by GM Daniel King.

    Game annotated by GM Alejandro Ramirez Alvarez.

    Video by CCSCSL.

    * * *

    Final Standings

    1st: Veselin Topalov, 6½; 2nd-3rd: Viswanathan Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, 6; 4th: Anish Giri, 5½; 5th-6th: Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 4; 7th-8th: Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk, 3½; 9th-10th: Levon Aronian, Jon Ludwig Hammer, 3.

  14. Topalov wins Norway 2015!

    The first event of the Grand Chess Tour has finished with the old guard still showing that they are a viable force. Veselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand drew their last round encounter giving them both 1st and 2nd place in the first leg of the new elite event.

    Topalov had a fortuitous start with a won over Magnus Carlsen who was unaware of the time control and flagged. This apparently affected the world champion as he dropped another game in the second round to nemesis Fabiano Caruana. After compiling only 1/2-point in the first four rounds, the chess world was in total shock. Meanwhile Topalov, Anand and Hikaru Nakamura were in solid form.

    Viswanathan Anand congratulates Topalov after making 18-move draw.
    Criticism from fans and commentators was swift.

    What is interesting about this tournament was the fact that the two oldest competitors ran the tables and proved that they could still play steadily against top competition. On the other hand, top seeds Carlsen and Caruana struggled mightily. Caruana made a number of uncharacteristic blunders including the 40…g5?? blunder against Nakamura and a gross misjudgment against Levon Aronian.

    Carunana finished on -1 and has been in a bit of a free fall on the Elo list tumbling from his perch of 2851 reached last October. Carlsen has also hemorrhaged points losing 23 points in this tournament alone. The champion had a chance to draw even in the last round but was beaten soundly by tail-ender and compatriot Jon Ludwig Hammer.

    Carlsen close to resigning against Hammer.

    It is with a certainty that future championship matches will not be played in Norway as long as Carlsen is the champion. He simply does not perform well on his home turf. It is possible that he will have to defend his title in the U.S. against an American! Nevertheless, Carlsen has two more events and will return to the U.S. to play in the Sinquefield Cup in August.

    There were no breakout performances this year and the result was in doubt all the way until the 8th round when Nakamura failed to convert an advantage against Alexander Grischuk. After that, Topalov moved to 1.5 points ahead of Nakamura and meant either he or Anand would score the victory regardless of the result. Despite barely missing a chance to vie for 1st place, the top American was pleased with his play and builds on his outstanding year. He is now at a career high Elo of 2814.

    These five battled at 2014 Sinquefield and will return in August!

    These five battled at 2014 Sinquefield and will return in August!

    Topalov was ecstatic and admitted to being the recipient of great fortune in a few of his games. However, he stated in an interview that it is very difficult to maintain the focus of 20 years ago and that he was pleasantly surprised at his performance. Both he and Anand seemed to be supportive of each other in these observations. However, Anand is playing better than he has during his champion years… which is bad news for the rising stars. We will certainly see if the field (and possibly Wesley So) will come to St. Louis with vengeance in their hearts.

    Norway Chess 2015: https://2015.norwaychess.com/
    Grand Tour Chess 2015: https://www.grandchesstour.com
    Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/

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