STAVANGER, Norway — Russia’s Sergey Karjakin won the $130,000 Norway chess championship Saturday after drawing against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
Karjakin needed only a draw against Topalov to take the top prize after the world No. 1 player Magnus Carlsen failed to win against Levon Aronian from Armenia, ranked No. 2.
Karjakin led the nine-day tournament from the beginning, winning his first four games and starting the day on 5.5 points, half a point ahead of Carlsen. He took over five hours to secure the draw.
Playing white, Karjakin handed an early initiative to his opponent with a passive bishop move to e3, giving Topalov hope of a first victory in this tournament.
“I got into a bad position, but I knew if I could get a draw I was in with a good chance of winning,” Karjakin said. “O.K. I didn’t play very well here today, but I thought that I would still have huge chances for first place.”
There had been high hopes for Carlsen, playing on home ground, but the 22-year-old Norwegian said he had not played his best chess since the event began here on May 7.
“I think my play was a little off. In general, the positions I got from white openings weren’t that bad. I just made some mistakes later on,” Calsen said. “Karjakin deserves to win.”
Carlsen faces India’s five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand in November in the holder’s home town of Chennai.
The pair met earlier in the tournament, neither securing a victory which would have handed one of them the psychological advantage going into the final few months of their preparation.
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