Chess - The Scotsman 17/05/13

MUCH has been said on the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, but not many know that Govan’s finest is a chess aficionado, and over the years has used the odd chess analogy such as, “you can play chess for 10 hours and still lose,” when having a dig at rivals Arsenal.

Even in the 30th anniversary this year of Aberdeen winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup, there is still a misconception that Ferguson missed signing Norwegian Simen Agdestein, a professional footballer but also one of the world’s Grandmasters. The chess-playing midfield dynamo did turn down a transfer to Aberdeen, but it was just after Ferguson had moved to Manchester United.

Agdestein - who played in the World Cup for Norway, but was forced into premature retirement in 1992 with a serious knee injury - reached world No 16 before going on to establish a top chess school in Norway, where his star pupils include Magnus Carlsen and Jon Ludvig Hammer.

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Both Norwegians met in round seven of the Norway Supreme Masters in Stavanger, with Carlsen scoring a hat-trick of a third successive wins to stay in touch with leader Sergey Karjakin, who beat Hikaru Nakamura.

Standings: 1. Karjakin, 5.5/7; 2. Carlsen, 5; 3-4. Anand, Aronian, 4; 5-6. Nakamura, Svidler, 3.5; 7. Topalov, 3; 8-9. Wang Hao, Radjabov, 2.5; 10. Hammer, 1.5.

J Hammer - M Carlsen

Norway Supreme

Masters, (7)

Catalan Opening

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 g3 dxc4 5 Bg2 Bb4+ 6 Bd2 a5 7 Qc2 Bxd2+ 8 Qxd2 c6 9 a4 Ne4 10 Qc2 Nd6 11 Nbd2 Na6 12 Nxc4 Nb4 13 Nxd6+ Qxd6 14 Qd2 0–0 15 0–0 Rd8 16 Rfd1 b6 17 Qc3 Ba6 18 Rd2 Rac8 19 Rad1 Qe7 20 h4 c5 21 dxc5 Rd5 22 Rxd5 Nxd5 23 Qe5 Qxc5 24 Bh3 Re8 25 Nd4 Kf8 26 Bf1 Rc8 27 Nb5 Bxb5 28 axb5 Nf6 29 Qd6+ Ke8 30 Qd3 Qd5 31 Qxd5 exd5 32 e4 Rc2 33 e5 Ne4 34 Rxd5 Rxb2 35 Rd4 Rb4! 36 Rd1 a4 37 Bg2 Nc3 38 Bc6+ Ke7 39 Rd7+ Ke6 40 Ra7 Kxe5 0–1