Norway Chess Round 2 Update

After a crushing loss on time (in a won position) yesterday, the question of round 2 was how Magnus Carlsen would respond. The answer was: poorly. Fabiano Caruana played a fabulous game and defeated the world champion in a Berlin Endgame, dropping the pre-tournament favorite to a shocking 0/2 score and last place in the standings!

With the victory, Caruana is now the favorite to win the event, while Carlsen now projects to win less than one time in twenty! Here are each player’s odds, along with how they’ve shifted each round:

Player Pre-Event Odds Odds After Rd 1 Odds After Rd 2
Fabiano Caruana 9.7% 9.7% 25.2%
Veselin Topalov 7.8% 25.3% 23.1%
Hikaru Nakamura 10.6% 17.5% 18.3%
Anish Giri 6.2% 14.5% 13.5%
Viswanathan Anand 11.4% 9.5% 8.9%
Magnus Carlsen 41.9% 15.9% 4.5%
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 1.5% 4.6% 4.0%
Levon Aronian 5.3% 1.4% 1.3%
Alexander Grischuk 5.3% 1.6% 1.1%
Jon Ludvig Hammer 0.2% 0.1% 0.04%

Even with this second loss, Carlsen still remains the favorite to win the three-event Grand Chess Tour. While his odds of winning the first leg are low, he still has a strong chance to rebound for solid points, and of course remains the favorite in the remaining two legs. Here is each player’s updated odds of winning the tour:

Player Pre-Norway After Rd 1 After Rd 2
Magnus Carlsen 68.1% 49.5% 33.6%
Fabiano Caruana 6.3% 8.0% 17.9%
Hikaru Nakamura 6.9% 12.6% 14.9%
Veselin Topalov 4.4% 12.7% 13.9%
Viswanathan Anand 7.1% 8.3% 9.5%
Anish Giri 2.4% 5.9% 6.7%
Alexander Grischuk 2.4% 1.4% 1.4%
Levon Aronian 2.3% 1.2% 1.4%
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 0.2% 0.6% 0.6%

Tomorrow sees Carlsen with the white pieces against Anish Giri, one of five players currently tied for first place with 1.5/2 points. The other four leaders face each other in two critical games, with Nakamura taking white against Caruana while Vachier-Lagrave gets white against Topalov. Will there be a decisive result in either game, allowing the winner to pull further ahead of the pack one third of the way through the tournament? Or will both games be drawn, perhaps allowing someone in the bottom half of the standings to make up ground? We shall see!


One thought on “Norway Chess Round 2 Update

  1. Again, my bets are Caruana and Nakamura.
    At the start, I was thinking of Magnus, but it seems he does not have the Almighty favour in home territory!
    Just like in Grand Prix, Grischuk looks uninspired here (as he himself put it, “…maybe I’m just a bad player”).
    Topalov is in borrowed time (that gift from MC, and struggle with Naka).
    Wheeh MVL topped the blitz (adrenalin overflow from Leon) then beat Levon in Rd 1!! Not anymore a whipping boy … but still in the company of backmarkers.


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