Aronian & Carlsen maintain half point lead in Wijk aan Zee

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

In round 5 of the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen maintained their half-point lead over the rest of the field. Hikaru Nakamura scored a quick win against David Navara while Boris Gelfand won with Black against Sergey Karjakin. The third winner in the A group was Vassily Ivanchuk, who won against Vugar Gshimov.

The first Thursday is traditionally the only day when no amateur event takes place in the playing hall

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.

After the first rest day, when indeed some players played football, the tournament resumed with an exciting 5th round.

ECU President Silvio Danailov visited the tournament on Thursday - here he's standing next to one of the organizers, Dolf Vos

Hikaru Nakamura was the first to score a full point, which was in fact the first win for the American. Not for the first time in this tournament David Navara at some point completely collapsed.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.19"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Nakamura, Hi"]
[Black "Navara, D."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A22"]
[WhiteElo "2759"]
[BlackElo "2712"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r1rk1/pp1qbppp/1n6/2p5/1n2BN2/1P2P1P1/PB1P1R1P/R4QK1 w - - 0 16"]
[PlyCount "36"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

16... N6d5 $2 (16... f5 17. Bg2 Bf6 {
was the best way to defend against White's pressure.}) 17. Nh5 $1 {
With so many pieces pointed towards his king, Black can hardly defend himself.}
g6 18. a3 Na6 $6 (18... f5 $5 {might have been Black's last chance.}) 19. Bxd5
$1 Qxd5 20. Bf6 $1 {A nice tactic that's more or less decisive.} Qd6 21. Bxe7
Qxe7 22. Nf6+ Kg7 23. Qc4 $1 {With his knight on the rim Black is helpless.}
Qe5 24. Raf1 h5 25. Nxh5+ $1 Qxh5 26. Rxf7+ Rxf7 27. Rxf7+ Kh6 28. Qf4+ g5 29.
Qf6+ Qg6 30. Qf1 Qh5 31. Rxb7 c4 32. Qf6+ Qg6 33. Qxd8 Qb1+ 34. Kf2 1-0

After the game we had a brief chat with Nakamura. First, we asked him whether this was indeed an easy win.

I wouldn't call it easy. David couldn't come up with the right setup for his pieces and pretty much from the early middlegame on I was just a little bit better and then he made a couple of serious mistakes. It was a relatively smooth win and certainly after the poor start I'm quite happy to win a game. For whatever reason up until my game against Anish I felt like I was playing badly and once I was able to draw that game very quickly I... I don't know how to explain it, I just had this very good feeling that I was just going to win my next game. Because of that I was very positive going into the game today, it felt very natural... I'm very happy with my game today overall.

We asked Hikaru to what extent he's thinking about last year's success, and whether it influences his play.

One big difference with last year is that this time I'm coming off with playing three very strong tournaments in a row and it's something I've never done before. I feel like overall, I've been swinging a little bit. In Moscow I played horribly, one of the worst tournaments I've ever played, then I played very well in London, Reggio I was playing well but then I just lost my head at the end...

What exactly happened?

I made two very big mistakes. The first one was that after my win against Vitiugov in the 6th game I started looking ahead instead of focusing on the tournament. My goal at that point was, I wanted to become Anand, I wanted to just draw all games very simply, get out of the tournament and get on to Wijk. That's a sensible plan to have but for whatever reason I made some poor opening choices where there was a lot of play and it was just very difficult. When you sort of switch your mindset from one tournament to another, it's very difficult. I sort of felt like the tournament was over. Instead of staying focused and trying to finish the tournament well I just completely shut down and I think that carried over here.

Until today.

Yes. One big advantage to winning last year, to even playing here several times now is that, one of the main things to remember is that it's a very long tournament and even if you get off to a bad start, if you sort of minimize the damage and you don't lose too many games at the start, you can always return to form before it's too late!

Boris Gelfand also won his first game, and it was a fine victory in a Najdorf with Black against Sergey Karjakin. It got him the 500 euro daily prize.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.19"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Gelfand, B."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2769"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5rk1/1p1nppb1/p1rpb2p/q5p1/3BPP2/2N3PP/PPP2Q2/2KR1B1R w - - 0 19"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

{Gelfand didn't like White's next two moves.} 19. h4 g4 20. Nd5 Bxd5 21. exd5
Rc5 $1 22. Bxg7 (22. Bxc5 Nxc5 {followed by 23...Na4 is even worse for White.})
22... Kxg7 23. Kb1 Rxd5 24. Rxd5 Qxd5 25. Bg2 Qc5 {
White doesn't have enough compensation.} 26. Qe2 Nf6 $1 27. Qxe7 (27. Bxb7 Rb8
28. Bxa6 Qc3 29. Bb5 Qxg3) 27... b5 28. Qb7 Re8 29. Rc1 Qf2 30. Bd5 Nxd5 31.
Qxd5 Re1 32. Qxd6 Qxg3 33. Qd4+ Kg8 34. b3 Rxc1+ 35. Kxc1 Qxh4 36. Kd2 g3 37.
Ke3 Qg4 38. Qd8+ Kg7 39. Qd4+ Kg8 40. Qd8+ Kh7 41. Qd3+ Qg6 42. Kf3 g2 43.
Qxg6+ Kxg6 44. Kxg2 b4 0-1

Boris Gelfand, and other participants, arriving in the playing hall

We know where the Israeli grandmaster got his inspiration from, because afterwards he told us he had been watching Real Madrid-Barcelona on Wednesday night.

"Did you see it? It wasn't really a fight this time. Magnus [Carlsen, known to support Real - CV] agreed, Real wasn't putting up much resistance."

Fan of Barcelona Boris Gelfand

The third winner in the A group was Vassily Ivanchuk, who thus "recovered" from what was apparently a disappointing draw against Loek van Wely on Tuesday. Basically Vugar Gashimov was playing too optimistically, as he admitted himself after the game.

I played badly so I deserved to lose! Ne1 and g4 didn't work. I tried to play for a win but it was not a good idea.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.19"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Gashimov, V."]
[Black "Ivanchuk, V."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2761"]
[BlackElo "2766"]
[PlyCount "40"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 d6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Bg7 5. e5 Nfd7 6. f4 O-O 7. Nf3 Nb6 8. Be2
Nc6 9. O-O f6 10. exf6 exf6 11. Bh4 d5 {
Here it's more or less OK for White, but he choses the wrong plan.} 12. Ne1 $6
Ne7 13. g4 $6 Nc4 $1 14. Bxc4 dxc4 15. Ng2 b5 $1 16. Nxb5 Rb8 17. Nc3 Rxb2 18.
Na4 Rb4 19. Nc5 c3 20. Qe2 Nc6 {Black was already winning here.}

At the start of the round, most attention went to Carlsen-Giri. The reason, of course, was Giri's quick win exactly one year ago, which made the headlines and resulted in an appearance in a very popular talkshow on national television. This time the two young stars drew, after lots of complications.

The same result was seen in the other games and the quickest of those was Van Wely versus Aronian. It was clear from the start that they were both happy with this result. Van Wely:

Of course I was kind of hoping the guy would try some fancy business and then I could profit from his risky strategy but it seemed that he also was kind of content with a draw I think.


Giving yourself an extra rest day is never a mistake I think. I didn't feel like risking today.

For all groups Ivan Sokolov is awarding the daily prizes, but even if it hadn't been his good friend Jan Timman playing the game, Sokolov would surely have awarded the B group's 250 euro envelope to the white player for his fine victory over Sipke Ernst.

It was a strategical fight where White's Réti bishop got very strong from the start. Some nice, tactical nuances based on positional factors made it a very nice game.

The players analyzing afterwards

Timman showed this game with the famous demo board in the press room and yes, we filmed it! When he was ready, he said to his old friends Hans Ree and Hans Böhm: "Now I hope Ivan likes it too!"

Pentala Harikrishna is half a point ahead of Alexander Motylev, who beat Kateryna Lahno with Black in a Scandinavian with 3...Qd6. The Russian grandmaster, who is also helping Sergey Karjakin, had met the same variation earlier in the tournament with White against Sergey Tiviakov!

Maxim Turov also won his 5th game and so maintained his full point lead - Hans Tikkanen is the only player with 4/5. Pre-tournament favorite Matthew Sadler needs to hurry a bit if he still wants to fight for first place... 

Daily video by the organizers

Games group A, round 5


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
Gelfand½-½Topalov Topalov½-½Gashimov
Radjabov1-0Navara Ivanchuk½-½Van Wely
Karjakin1-0Giri Aronian1-0Kamsky
Nakamura½-½Caruana Caruana½-½Carlsen
Carlsen1-0Aronian Giri½-½Nakamura
Kamsky½-½Ivanchuk Navara0-1Karjakin
Van Wely½-½Gashimov Gelfand½-½Radjabov
Round 519.01.1213.30 CET Round 620.01.1213.30 CET
Radjabov½-½Topalov Topalov-Ivanchuk
Karjakin0-1Gelfand Aronian-Gashimov
Nakamura1-0Navara Caruana-Van Wely
Carlsen½-½Giri Giri-Kamsky
Kamsky½-½Caruana Navara-Carlsen
Van Wely½-½Aronian Gelfand-Nakamura
Gashimov0-1Ivanchuk 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 5 standings


Games group B, round 5


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
Bruzon½-½Motylev Motylev1-0Tiviakov
Lahno½-½Reinderman Nyzhnyk½-½Potkin
Harika0-1Harikrishna Vocaturo½-½Timman
Cmilyte1-0Ernst Ernst1-0l'Ami
l'Ami1-0Vocaturo Harikrishna½-½Cmilyte
Timman1-0Nyzhnyk Reinderman½-½Harika
Potkin0-1Tiviakov Bruzon½-½Lahno
Round 519.01.1213.30 CET Round 620.01.1213.30 CET
Lahno0-1Motylev Motylev-Nyzhnyk
Harika0-1Bruzon Vocaturo-Tiviakov
Cmilyte½-½Reinderman Ernst-Potkin
l'Ami½-½Harikrishna Harikrishna-Timman
Timman1-0Ernst Reinderman-l'Ami
Potkin½-½Vocaturo Bruzon-Cmilyte
Tiviakov½-½Nyzhnyk 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 5 standings


Games group C, round 5


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
Tania½-½Hopman Hopman0-1Schut
Paehtz½-½Sadler Haast0-1Turov
Brandenburg½-½Grover Ootes1-0Danielian
Adhiban½-½Tikkanen Tikkanen1-0Goudriaan
Goudriaan1-0Ootes Grover0-1Adhiban
Danielian½-½Haast Sadler½-½Brandenburg
Turov1-0Schut Tania0-1Paehtz
Round 519.01.1213.30 CET Round 620.01.1213.30 CET
Paehtz½-½Hopman Hopman-Haast
Brandenburg½-½Tania Ootes-Schut
Adhiban½-½Sadler Tikkanen-Turov
Goudriaan0-1Grover Grover-Danielian
Danielian0-1Tikkanen Sadler-Goudriaan
Turov1-0Ootes Tania-Adhiban
Schut1-0Haast 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 5 standings


The B group at the start of the round

Vladimir Potkin and Sergey Tiviakov chatting before the game

The post-mortem between Teimour Radjabov and Veselin Topalov

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