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.
The Norway tournament attracted eight of the world’s top 10 players.MORE IN Wire News
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