All players in Norway are in the shadow of the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen. But Jon Ludvig Hammer, Carlsen’s friend and compatriot, has become a force in his own right in recent years.

Jon Ludwig Hammer has been the trusted second of Magnus Carlsen, the World Champion, for a long time.  [Editor’s note: They are the same age and basically grew up together.]  As a player, Hammer has largely been in the shadow of his illustrious countryman, which is not a surprise. But in the last few years, he has climbed up the rankings and his rating has approached 2700 — the level of an elite grandmaster. His success has been built on many strong tournament performances, including second place in the Rilton Cup in Sweden earlier this month. In this game from that event, he charges ahead in his typical bullish style to take out his Swedish opponent before his opponent could even understand what was happening.

Hammer, J. vs. Blomqvist, E.
45th Rilton Cup 2015-16 | Stockholm SWE | Round 3.1 | 29 Dec 2015 | ECO: D20 | 1-0
1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 e3 lines are of course much more boring. The move chosen by Hammer leads to more fluid positions.
3... Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Bxc4 Nb6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Ne2 Bg4 8. f3 Be6 9. Nbc3 Qd7 10. Ne4 Bd5 11. Nc5 Qc8 12. Bg5!? A novelty, although it's use is not entirely clear to me. I wonder if the bishop is better placed on g5 than say on d2. On the other hand it's just annoying to have your opponents bishop sitting in your territory and I can imagine Black had this itch to just get rid of it. But any way to drive it away creates weaknesses in Black's camp.
12... f6 ugly looking - but since exf6 will help Black develop, it was tempting.
12... e6 13. Rc1 and the bishop remains sitting there obstinately.  )
12... h6 13. Bd2 and h6 is just weak.  )
13. Bh4 fxe5 14. O-O! of course White doesn't care about the pawns! That isn't the Hammer style of play.
14... exd4 Tsk tsk...too greedy! Don't take too many pawns if you aren't developed should be drilled into the minds of all players from the moment they start playing chess.
14... e6 it was much better to realize that Black needs to complete his development at all costs. The position would remain very complicated if Black then played Bd6 and 0-0 next.  )
15. Nf4! The knight gets in on the action as well!
15... Bf7 16. Rc1 The pieces are all well placed. About now, Black must have been wondering why he hadn't continued to develop.
16... e5 17. Nxb7! Nb8 Of course this wasn't going to help him last longer.
17... exf4 18. Re1+  )
17... Qxb7 was critical - and led to some pretty continutions.
18. Bb5! Bc4! 19. Rxc4!! Nxc4 20. Qa4! And Black's position is collapsing. The pins make sure that Black has no way to escape for more than a move or so.  )
18. Re1 N8d7 19. Ba6 c5 20. Bb5 Qc7 21. Nd3 Nc4 22. Rxc4


Parimarjan Negi is an Indian grandmaster who is the second-youngest ever to earn the title (at 13 years 4 months and 22 days). Ranked No. 83 in the world, he is currently a sophmore at Stanford University.