Awesome Aronian, Carlsen Crumbles
As Magnus Carlsen again disappointed, Levon Aronian’s fine form continued in Norway
Levon Aronian continued his dominant form from the Grenke Chess Classic as victory in the Altibox Norway Chess 2017 tournament confirmed his return to the very top and 2800. Home favourite Magnus Carlsen might have won the opening blitz tournament which determined the pairings and Aronian might have begun with draws against Caruana, Nakamura and Giri, but once again the Armenian’s encounter with Carlsen was to have a pronounced effect on the tournament’s outcome.
In Baden-Baden Aronian had survived a tricky and at one point even lost position against Carlsen (see pp.8-10 of the June CHESS) before hitting his straps and running away with the tournament. In Norway he produced a brilliant early exchange sacrifice to keep Carlsen’s queen offside and won with a vintage kingside assault, as we enjoyed in last month’s Editorial.
After comprehensively outplaying the world champion, Aronian held Vachier-Lagrave with his favourite Marshall Gambit before crushing one of Magnus’s great predecessors.