Aronian beats Nakamura, grabs early lead at Tata Steel

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Levon Aronian is the sole leader after two rounds at the 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. On Sunday the Armenian grandmaster defeated Hikaru Nakamura to get to a 2/2 score. In the only other decisive game of the A group's second round, former winner Sergey Karjakin lost his second game in a row, to Fabiano Caruna.

Levon Aronian beats Hikaru Nakamura in round 2

EventTata Steel Chess Tournament | PGN Group A, Group B, Group C via TWIC
DatesJanuary 13th-29th, 2012
LocationWijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
System3 GM groups with 14 players-player double round robin
A group
Carlsen, Aronian, Radjabov, Topalov, Karjakin, Ivanchuk, Gashimov, Nakamura, Gelfand, Caruana, Kamsky, Giri, Navara, Van Wely
B group
Bruzon, Potkin, Motylev, Tiviakov, Harikrishna, Ernst, L'Ami, Reinderman, Timman, Nyzhnik, Lahno, Vocaturo, Harika, Cmilyte
C group
Sadler, Turov, Adhiban, Tikkanen, Grover, Brandenburg, Danielian, Paehtz, Sachdev, Hopman, Ootes, Haast, Schut, Goudriaan
Rate of play100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.

The view from the Hotel Hoge Duin ('high dune'), with Tata Steel's blast furnaces ('hoogovens')

Levon Aronian seems to be more ambitious than ever, and determined to start the new year with a very good result. In his game against the winner of last year, Hikaru Nakamura, the Armenian grandmaster got a clear advantage with White in a Dutch Defence, where he had to be satisfied with a quick draw last year. Then Aronian sacrificed his queen for bishop, rook and pawn and although objectively speaking Black should have been OK, it proved too difficult for the American over the board.


The position was very complicated. Lots of unclear things were happening! I can't really say that at any moment that I felt that I'm better, it was very sharp. Only when he captured on c5 and took e6 I already feel I have a clear advantage. White has a clear plan while Black is just suffering with his pieces.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.15"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A88"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2759"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5rn1/4p1kp/B2pP1q1/1RP2pp1/8/4P1P1/3N1P1P/R5K1 w - - 0 31"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

31... dxc5 32. Rxc5 Qxe6 33. Nf3 Qd6 34. Nd4 Kh8 35. Rc6 Qd7 36. Rac1 f4 37.
Bc8 Qa7 38. Ne6 Rf6 39. exf4 gxf4 40. Rc7 Qa4 41. Nxf4 Rd6 (41... Rxf4 $5 42.
gxf4 Qxf4 43. R1c3 Qe5 44. Ba6 Nf6 45. Rc8+ Kg7 46. Rg3+ Kf7 47. Bc4+ e6 {
and it's not clear whether White can make progress (but he can certainly try).}
) 42. Be6 Rd1+ 43. Rxd1 Qxd1+ 44. Kg2 Nf6 45. Rxe7 Qe1 46. Rf7 Qe4+ 47. f3 Qd4
48. Kh3 Qe5 49. Kh4 Qd4 50. Bg4 Qe5 51. Ne6 h6 52. Rf8+ Ng8 53. f4 Qb2 54. Kh3
Qa1 55. Bh5 Kh7 56. Rf7+ Kh8 57. Bg6 Nf6 58. Rf8+ Ng8 59. Bf7 1-0

Levon Aronian leads with 2/2

Fabiano Caruana underlined the progress he's made, and already showed in Reggio Emilia, with an excellent victory over Sergey Karjakin, the sole winner in Wijk aan Zee two years ago. Seeing his opponent build up huge pressure against his king, the Ukrainian-born Moscovite had to give an exchange and defended vigorously, but to no avail.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.15"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E46"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2769"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2r1r1k1/pq3pp1/1n3b1p/1P1p1N2/2nP1B2/3B4/5PPP/R2QR1K1 w - - 0 28"]
[PlyCount "19"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

28. Qg4 Kf8 29. Bd6+ Nxd6 30. Nxd6 Rxe1+ 31. Rxe1 Qc7 32. Qxc8+ Qxc8 33. Nxc8
Nxc8 34. Be2 Nd6 35. Ra1 Bxd4 36. Rd1 Bb6 37. Rxd5 {and White won.} 1-0

Caruana, who won the Piet Zwart prize made possible by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk: 

Yes, a very nice result. Probably I could have played the technical phase better but I think I never let go of the win.

The other five games ended in draws. Anish Giri seemed to be doing very well again in his game against Teimour Radjabov. The Dutch hope grabbed a pawn, and another one, and at one point

felt that it was going to be some nice, easy win. Then I calculated a bit deeper and I got worried.

Vassily Ivanchuk got a tiny edge against Magnus Carlsen and tried to increase it, but the Norwegian avoided any real trouble. Veselin Topalov also had a small advantage at first, against Loek van Wely, but in the final part of the game it was the Bulgarian who had to be careful.

In the B group we also have a sole leader: Pentala Harikrishna of India. Kateryna Lahno made a big mistake just after the time control:

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMB"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.15"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Lahno, Kateryna"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B84"]
[WhiteElo "2665"]
[BlackElo "2557"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r7/1R5R/8/5pP1/p2k4/6P1/2r4P/5K2 w - - 0 40"]
[PlyCount "17"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

40. Ra7 Rb8 $2 {
Trying to get the other rook on the second rank as well, but it won't work.} (
40... Rxa7 41. Rxa7 Rxh2 {should be a draw.}) 41. Rxa4+ Ke3 42. Re7+ Kd3 43.
Ra3+ Kd4 44. Re2 Rb1+ 45. Kf2 Rh1 46. Rxc2 Rxh2+ 47. Kf3 Rxc2 48. Ra5 1-0

Dutch legend Jan Timman lost against Sergey Tiviakov, who was awarded the Piet Zwart prize for his use of the bishop pair:

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMB"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.15"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Tiviakov, Sergei"]
[Black "Timman, Jan H"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B18"]
[WhiteElo "2677"]
[BlackElo "2571"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2kb3r/pp4p1/1nq1pp2/3n4/4N2P/1BP2Q2/PP3P2/1KB4R w - - 0 26"]
[PlyCount "25"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

26. Qg3 g5 27. f3 Bc7 28. Qe1 gxh4 29. Rxh4 Rd8 30. c4 Ne7 31. Nxf6 Nf5 32. c5
Nd5 33. Nxd5 exd5 34. Rg4 Re8 35. Qg1 Qe6 36. Re4 Qg8 37. Qxg8 Rxg8 38. Bxd5

In the C group, Maxim Turov is the only one with 2/2 because Matthew Sadler couldn't beat Tania Sachdev, who was in fact better for most of the game. The longest game of the day took its toll: the ending between Hans Tikkanen and Daan Brandenburg flickered between equal, good for Black, equal, suddenly lost for White, and eventually was drawn!

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMC"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.15"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Tikkanen, Hans"]
[Black "Brandenburg, Daan"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A20"]
[WhiteElo "2549"]
[BlackElo "2527"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3k4/5Rp1/bp6/2p1PB2/8/2K3P1/5r2/8 w - - 0 72"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

72. e6 $6 (72. g4 $11) 72... Bb5 $2 (72... Rf3+ 73. Kc2 Ke8 $1 {
gives Black some winning chances:} 74. Ra7 (74. g4 g6 $1 75. Bxg6 Rxf7 76.
exf7+ Ke7 77. Kb3 Be2 78. Ka4 Bc4) 74... Rxf5 75. Rxa6 b5) 73. Bd3 $1 Rxf7 74.
exf7 Ke7 75. Bxb5 Kxf7 76. Kd3 (76. Bd3 Kf6 77. Kc4 Kg5 78. Be2 Kf5 79. Kd5 Kg5
80. Bd1 Kf5) 76... Kf6 77. Ke4 Kg5 78. Be2 c4 79. Kf3 b5 80. g4 Kf6 81. Kf4 Ke6
82. g5 Kd5 83. Kf5 (83. Ke3 $11) 83... b4 84. Kg6 $2 (84. Bd1 b3 85. Kg6 Kd4
86. Kxg7 $11) 84... b3 $2 (84... c3 85. Bd1 Kc4 86. Be2+ Kb3 $19) 85. Bd1 $1
Kc5 (85... Kd4 86. Kxg7 Kc3 87. Bg4 $11) 86. Kxg7 Kb4 87. g6 c3 88. Bxb3 Kxb3
89. Kf7 c2 90. g7 c1=Q 91. g8=Q Qc4+ 92. Kg7 Qxg8+ 93. Kxg8 1/2-1/2

Daily video by the organizers

Games group A, round 2


Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group A | Pairings

Round 114.01.1213.30 CET Round 215.01.1213.30 CET
Navara½-½Topalov Topalov½-½Van Wely
Gelfand0-1Giri Gashimov½-½Kamsky
Radjabov½-½Caruana Ivanchuk½-½Carlsen
Karjakin0-1Aronian Aronian1-0Nakamura
Nakamura½-½Ivanchuk Caruana1-0Karjakin
Carlsen1-0Gashimov Giri½-½Radjabov
Kamsky½-½Van Wely Navara½-½Gelfand
Round 316.01.1213.30 CET Round 417.01.1213.30 CET
Gelfand-Topalov Topalov-Gashimov
Radjabov-Navara Ivanchuk-Van Wely
Karjakin-Giri Aronian-Kamsky
Nakamura-Caruana Caruana-Carlsen
Carlsen-Aronian Giri-Nakamura
Kamsky-Ivanchuk Navara-Karjakin
Van Wely-Gashimov Gelfand-Radjabov
Round 519.01.1213.30 CET Round 620.01.1213.30 CET
Radjabov-Topalov Topalov-Ivanchuk
Karjakin-Gelfand Aronian-Gashimov
Nakamura-Navara Caruana-Van Wely
Carlsen-Giri Giri-Kamsky
Kamsky-Caruana Navara-Carlsen
Van Wely-Aronian Gelfand-Nakamura
Gashimov-Ivanchuk Radjabov-Karjakin
Round 721.01.1213.30 CET Round 822.01.1213.30 CET
Karjakin-Topalov Topalov-Aronian
Nakamura-Radjabov Caruana-Ivanchuk
Carlsen-Gelfand Giri-Gashimov
Kamsky-Navara Navara-Van Wely
Van Wely-Giri Gelfand-Kamsky
Gashimov-Caruana Radjabov-Carlsen
Ivanchuk-Aronian Karjakin-Nakamura
Round 924.01.1213.30 CET Round 1025.01.1213.30 CET
Nakamura-Topalov Topalov-Caruana
Carlsen-Karjakin Giri-Aronian
Kamsky-Radjabov Navara-Ivanchuk
Van Wely-Gelfand Gelfand-Gashimov
Gashimov-Navara Radjabov-Van Wely
Ivanchuk-Giri Karjakin-Kamsky
Aronian-Caruana Nakamura-Carlsen
Round 1127.01.1213.30 CET Round 1228.01.1213.30 CET
Carlsen-Topalov Topalov-Giri
Kamsky-Nakamura Navara-Caruana
Van Wely-Karjakin Gelfand-Aronian
Gashimov-Radjabov Radjabov-Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk-Gelfand Karjakin-Gashimov
Aronian-Navara Nakamura-Van Wely
Caruana-Giri Carlsen-Kamsky
Round 1329.01.1212.00 CET    
Van Wely-Carlsen    

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group A | Round 2 standings


Games group B, round 2


Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group B | Pairings

Round 114.01.1213.30 CET Round 215.01.1213.30 CET
Reinderman½-½Motylev Motylev½-½Potkin
Bruzon0-1Harikrishna Tiviakov1-0Timman
Lahno1-0Ernst Nyzhnyk½-½l'Ami
Harika½-½Vocaturo Vocaturo1-0Cmilyte
Cmilyte0-1Nyzhnyk Ernst½-½Harika
l'Ami1-0Tiviakov Harikrishna1-0Lahno
Timman½-½Potkin Reinderman½-½Bruzon
Round 316.01.1213.30 CET Round 417.01.1213.30 CET
Bruzon-Motylev Motylev-Tiviakov
Lahno-Reinderman Nyzhnyk-Potkin
Harika-Harikrishna Vocaturo-Timman
Cmilyte-Ernst Ernst-l'Ami
l'Ami-Vocaturo Harikrishna-Cmilyte
Timman-Nyzhnyk Reinderman-Harika
Potkin-Tiviakov Bruzon-Lahno
Round 519.01.1213.30 CET Round 620.01.1213.30 CET
Lahno-Motylev Motylev-Nyzhnyk
Harika-Bruzon Vocaturo-Tiviakov
Cmilyte-Reinderman Ernst-Potkin
l'Ami-Harikrishna Harikrishna-Timman
Timman-Ernst Reinderman-l'Ami
Potkin-Vocaturo Bruzon-Cmilyte
Tiviakov-Nyzhnyk Lahno-Harika
Round 721.01.1213.30 CET Round 822.01.1213.30 CET
Harika-Motylev Motylev-Vocaturo
Cmilyte-Lahno Ernst-Nyzhnyk
l'Ami-Bruzon Harikrishna-Tiviakov
Timman-Reinderman Reinderman-Potkin
Potkin-Harikrishna Bruzon-Timman
Tiviakov-Ernst Lahno-l'Ami
Nyzhnyk-Vocaturo Harika-Cmilyte
Round 924.01.1213.30 CET Round 1025.01.1213.30 CET
Cmilyte-Motylev Motylev-Ernst
l'Ami-Harika Harikrishna-Vocaturo
Timman-Lahno Reinderman-Nyzhnyk
Potkin-Bruzon Bruzon-Tiviakov
Tiviakov-Reinderman Lahno-Potkin
Nyzhnyk-Harikrishna Harika-Timman
Vocaturo-Ernst Cmilyte-l'Ami
Round 1127.01.1213.30 CET Round 1228.01.1213.30 CET
l'Ami-Motylev Motylev-Harikrishna
Timman-Cmilyte Reinderman-Ernst
Potkin-Harika Bruzon-Vocaturo
Tiviakov-Lahno Lahno-Nyzhnyk
Nyzhnyk-Bruzon Harika-Tiviakov
Vocaturo-Reinderman Cmilyte-Potkin
Ernst-Harikrishna l'Ami-Timman
Round 1329.01.1212.00 CET    

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group B | Round 2 standings


Games group C, round 2


Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group C | Pairings

Round 114.01.1213.30 CET Round 215.01.1213.30 CET
Sadler1-0Hopman Hopman0-1Turov
Tania½-½Grover Schut½-½Danielian
Paehtz0-1Tikkanen Haast½-½Goudriaan
Brandenburg½-½Ootes Ootes½-½Adhiban
Adhiban1-0Haast Tikkanen½-½Brandenburg
Goudriaan1-0Schut Grover1-0Paehtz
Danielian0-1Turov Sadler½-½Tania
Round 316.01.1213.30 CET Round 417.01.1213.30 CET
Tania-Hopman Hopman-Schut
Paehtz-Sadler Haast-Turov
Brandenburg-Grover Ootes-Danielian
Adhiban-Tikkanen Tikkanen-Goudriaan
Goudriaan-Ootes Grover-Adhiban
Danielian-Haast Sadler-Brandenburg
Turov-Schut Tania-Paehtz
Round 519.01.1213.30 CET Round 620.01.1213.30 CET
Paehtz-Hopman Hopman-Haast
Brandenburg-Tania Ootes-Schut
Adhiban-Sadler Tikkanen-Turov
Goudriaan-Grover Grover-Danielian
Danielian-Tikkanen Sadler-Goudriaan
Turov-Ootes Tania-Adhiban
Schut-Haast Paehtz-Brandenburg
Round 721.01.1213.30 CET Round 822.01.1213.30 CET
Brandenburg-Hopman Hopman-Ootes
Adhiban-Paehtz Tikkanen-Haast
Goudriaan-Tania Grover-Schut
Danielian-Sadler Sadler-Turov
Turov-Grover Tania-Danielian
Schut-Tikkanen Paehtz-Goudriaan
Haast-Ootes Brandenburg-Adhiban
Round 924.01.1213.30 CET Round 1025.01.1213.30 CET
Adhiban-Hopman Hopman-Tikkanen
Goudriaan-Brandenburg Grover-Ootes
Danielian-Paehtz Sadler-Haast
Turov-Tania Tania-Schut
Schut-Sadler Paehtz-Turov
Haast-Grover Brandenburg-Danielian
Ootes-Tikkanen Adhiban-Goudriaan
Round 1127.01.1213.30 CET Round 1228.01.1213.30 CET
Goudriaan-Hopman Hopman-Grover
Danielian-Adhiban Sadler-Tikkanen
Turov-Brandenburg Tania-Ootes
Schut-Paehtz Paehtz-Haast
Haast-Tania Brandenburg-Schut
Ootes-Sadler Adhiban-Turov
Tikkanen-Grover Goudriaan-Danielian
Round 1329.01.1212.00 CET    

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group C | Round 2 standings


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