Aronian draws with Radjabov in 12 moves, wins Tata Steel

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Levon Aronian drew his last-round game with Teimour Radjabov in just 12 moves and thus secured clear first at the 74th Tata Steel chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Pentala Harikrishna won the B group while Maxim Turov emerged as the winner in 'C'.

Levon Aronian giving the traditional winner's speech at the closing ceremony on Sunday night

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.

In the five and a half years that this site has existed, we have never witnessed what happened in the final round in Wijk aan Zee today: that a game between two elite players finished before the photographers had left the stage. The game between tournament leader Levon Aronian and runner-up Teimour Radjabov could have been an exicting one, because the player from Azerbaijan could still finish shared first if he won. Instead, already at move 10 the players started repeating moves and then shook hands. (Magnus Carlsen was the next player to shake Aronian's hand, and congratulated him.)

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.29"]
[Round "13"]
[White "Aronian, L."]
[Black "Radjabov, T."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A15"]
[WhiteElo "2805"]
[BlackElo "2773"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rnbq1rk1/pp1n1pbp/4p1p1/3pN3/3P4/2N3P1/PP2PPBP/R1BQ1RK1 w - - 0 10"]
[PlyCount "6"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

10. Nf3 Nf6 11. Ne5 Nfd7 12. Nf3 Nf6 1/2-1/2

Levon Aronian finished his game (and won the tournament) before finishing his tea

This was of course a big anti-climax of what had been a great tournament, and some (photo) journalists who were walking back from the stage to the press room, were joking whether they should be considering a different profession! Much has been said about short draws in chess, especially after the Candidates matches in Kazan last year, and also today this whole thing led to a heavy debat in the comments section below this article.

All we can add is that Aronian can certainly not be blamed. The Armenian played a fantastic tournament and finished as the deserved winner. In fact Aronian himself considered it to be the best individual performance in his career thus far, as he noted in a brief press conference on Sunday afternoon.

I woke up at 6am, went to bed at 1am. I had trouble sleeping as I wasn't sure what to play. I was in good form, but friends told me: 'You'll play for a win next time!' So I just tried to forget about te result and the tournament, but in the end I couldn't.

Aronian felt that his game in the penultimate round against Boris Gelfand had been his best.

Not because the game was good, but because it was was such a tense game. We both had timetrouble and the position was far from clear all the time. I think it was important that I managed to stay calm and he was the one who didn't handle the pressure.

The tournament winner felt that he had improved mentally.

I've been working on being able to strike back, not being upset about losing. [After the loss against Navara] I was very upset, but the more upset you are, the more you are motivated to come back. It's in any kind of activity that requires you to perform well all the time. I don't consider myself a good player unless I can strike back after a loss! Before the tournament I was thinking 'this might not be my tournament'. I felt I had problems in certain chess areas, and I would work on it in February, I would just do my best.. I still have those problems and I will still work on them!

Teimour Radjabov said about the short draw:

I was surprised by his opening choice. I had expected him to go for a win in an effort to reach first place on FIDE’s world rating list, and prepared for a completely different line. I ended up slightly worse with black and a draw was fine with me. I was happy to be the only player to remain unbeaten.

Radjabov eventually finished shared second with Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, who all scored 8/13, a point less than the winner. Carlsen tried to beat Loek van Wely, using the Stonewall, but only reached a slight advantage, not more.

Caruana joined the other two thanks to a last-round win against Boris Gelfand. The Israeli went back to his Petroff Defence, and the position was a draw for a long time, until Gelfand collapsed in the end.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.29"]
[Round "13"]
[White "Caruana, F."]
[Black "Gelfand, B."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2739"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "6k1/5qp1/p6p/1p1pQ2P/8/1PP3P1/1KP5/8 b - - 0 34"]
[PlyCount "28"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

{This looks like a draw but somehow Black doesn't manage to hold it.} 34... Kh7
35. Qd6 Qxh5 36. Qxa6 Qe8 37. Qb7 Qe5 38. Qxb5 h5 39. Qd3+ Kh6 40. b4 g5 41. b5
h4 42. gxh4 gxh4 43. b6 Qb8 44. Qa6 Qd6 45. Qb5 d4 46. b7 dxc3+ 47. Ka2 Qe6+
48. Ka1 1-0

The Italian grandmaster, who will turn 20 later this year, won the 500-euro daily prize for this victory and he received the envelope on stage during the closing ceremony. He was also awarded a special 'young talent' prize and it was the now 101-year-old Professor Van Hulst who delivered it to him!

After congratulating Caruana (who by the way has entered the live ratings top 10!) Van Hulst urged him to enjoy other aspects in life as well, such as "art, literature and family!"

Gata Kamsky hasn't been given much attention in this event, but the American eventually finished his tournament on a respectable +1 score. In the final round he beat Veselin Topalov, who has been struggling with his form throughout the event.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.29"]
[Round "13"]
[White "Kamsky, G."]
[Black "Topalov, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A46"]
[WhiteElo "2732"]
[BlackElo "2770"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "6k1/3rbpp1/4p2p/qNp1P3/p1P4P/2R3P1/1P2QP2/6K1 b - - 0 33"]
[PlyCount "20"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

33... Qd8 $6 {The start of a dubious plan.} 34. Ra3 Rd2 35. Qf3 Rd1+ 36. Kh2
Qd2 $6 {"Topalov is risking too much!" said commentator GM Ian Rogers.} 37.
Rxa4 Qe1 38. Nc3 Qg1+ 39. Kh3 Re1 40. Ra7 Qf1+ 41. Qg2 Qxg2+ 42. Kxg2 Bf8 43.
f4 {and White won the ending.} 1-0

With a number of draws in the key games, nothing changed in the B group either and so Pentala Harikrishna of India maintained his half-point lead until the very end. He will be invited to the A group of the 75th edition in 2013.

Pentala Harikrishna receiving the first prize from the mayor of Velzen

In the C group Maxim Turov won another convincing game against Etienne Goudriaan and saw co-leader Hans Tikkanen getting into big trouble against Tania Sachdev. Eventually the Swedish GM managed to draw the game, but it meant that Turov will be playing in B next year.

Maxim Turov qualified for the C group by winning the BDO tournament last summer, and now qualified for 'B'!

The traditional pea soup dinner & closing ceremony

Levon Aronian holding the special Wijk aan Zee plaque... the traditional winner's speech...

...and celebrating his victory with his girlfriend Arianne Caoili, who played in the 9-round event and in fact won her group as well! Behind them is a delegation of local Armenians, who came along and brought a flag.

Daily official video

Games group A, round 13



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 Topalov½-½Ivanchuk
Karjakin0-1Gelfand Aronian1-0Gashimov
Nakamura1-0Navara Caruana½-½Van Wely
Carlsen½-½Giri Giri1-0Kamsky
Kamsky½-½Caruana Navara½-½Carlsen
Van Wely½-½Aronian Gelfand0-1Nakamura
Gashimov0-1Ivanchuk Radjabov1-0Karjakin
Round 721.01.1213.30 CET Round 822.01.1213.30 CET
Karjakin1-0Topalov Topalov½-½Aronian
Nakamura½-½Radjabov Caruana½-½Ivanchuk
Carlsen1-0Gelfand Giri0-1Gashimov
Kamsky1-0Navara Navara½-½Van Wely
Van Wely½-½Giri Gelfand½-½Kamsky
Gashimov½-½Caruana Radjabov½-½Carlsen
Ivanchuk½-½Aronian Karjakin½-½Nakamura
Round 924.01.1213.30 CET Round 1025.01.1213.30 CET
Nakamura½-½Topalov Topalov0-1Caruana
Carlsen0-1Karjakin Giri0-1Aronian
Kamsky½-½Radjabov Navara0-1Ivanchuk
Van Wely½-½Gelfand Gelfand½-½Gashimov
Gashimov½-½Navara Radjabov½-½Van Wely
Ivanchuk1-0Giri Karjakin0-1Kamsky
Aronian1-0Caruana Nakamura½-½Carlsen
Round 1127.01.1213.30 CET Round 1228.01.1213.30 CET
Carlsen1-0Topalov Topalov1-0Giri
Kamsky½-½Nakamura Navara½-½Caruana
Van Wely0-1Karjakin Gelfand0-1Aronian
Gashimov0-1Radjabov Radjabov½-½Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk0-1Gelfand Karjakin½-½Gashimov
Aronian0-1Navara Nakamura1-0Van Wely
Caruana1-0Giri Carlsen½-½Kamsky
Round 1329.01.1212.00 CET    
Van Wely½-½Carlsen    

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group A | Round 13 standings


Games group B, round 13


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 Motylev½-½Nyzhnyk
Harika0-1Bruzon Vocaturo½-½Tiviakov
Cmilyte½-½Reinderman Ernst1-0Potkin
l'Ami½-½Harikrishna Harikrishna1-0Timman
Timman1-0Ernst Reinderman½-½l'Ami
Potkin½-½Vocaturo Bruzon1-0Cmilyte
Tiviakov½-½Nyzhnyk Lahno½-½Harika
Round 721.01.1213.30 CET Round 822.01.1213.30 CET
Harika½-½Motylev Motylev1-0Vocaturo
Cmilyte½-½Lahno Ernst½-½Nyzhnyk
l'Ami½-½Bruzon Harikrishna½-½Tiviakov
Timman0-1Reinderman Reinderman0-1Potkin
Potkin½-½Harikrishna Bruzon1-0Timman
Tiviakov0-1Ernst Lahno0-1l'Ami
Nyzhnyk1-0Vocaturo Harika½-½Cmilyte
Round 924.01.1213.30 CET Round 1025.01.1213.30 CET
Cmilyte½-½Motylev Motylev1-0Ernst
l'Ami1-0Harika Harikrishna1-0Vocaturo
Timman½-½Lahno Reinderman1-0Nyzhnyk
Potkin0-1Bruzon Bruzon½-½Tiviakov
Tiviakov1-0Reinderman Lahno½-½Potkin
Nyzhnyk0-1Harikrishna Harika½-½Timman
Vocaturo1-0Ernst Cmilyte0-1l'Ami
Round 1127.01.1213.30 CET Round 1228.01.1213.30 CET
l'Ami½-½Motylev Motylev½-½Harikrishna
Timman1-0Cmilyte Reinderman1-0Ernst
Potkin1-0Harika Bruzon1-0Vocaturo
Tiviakov1-0Lahno Lahno0-1Nyzhnyk
Nyzhnyk1-0Bruzon Harika0-1Tiviakov
Vocaturo0-1Reinderman Cmilyte½-½Potkin
Ernst1-0Harikrishna l'Ami½-½Timman
Round 1329.01.1212.00 CET    

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group B | Round 13 standings


Games group C, round 13


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 Hopman1-0Haast
Brandenburg½-½Tania Ootes0-1Schut
Adhiban½-½Sadler Tikkanen½-½Turov
Goudriaan0-1Grover Grover½-½Danielian
Danielian0-1Tikkanen Sadler½-½Goudriaan
Turov1-0Ootes Tania½-½Adhiban
Schut1-0Haast Paehtz½-½Brandenburg
Round 721.01.1213.30 CET Round 822.01.1213.30 CET
Brandenburg1-0Hopman Hopman0-1Ootes
Adhiban1-0Paehtz Tikkanen1-0Haast
Goudriaan½-½Tania Grover1-0Schut
Danielian½-½Sadler Sadler½-½Turov
Turov½-½Grover Tania½-½Danielian
Schut0-1Tikkanen Paehtz1-0Goudriaan
Haast1-0Ootes Brandenburg½-½Adhiban
Round 924.01.1213.30 CET Round 1025.01.1213.30 CET
Adhiban1-0Hopman Hopman1-0Tikkanen
Goudriaan½-½Brandenburg Grover1-0Ootes
Danielian½-½Paehtz Sadler1-0Haast
Turov1-0Tania Tania1-0Schut
Schut½-½Sadler Paehtz½-½Turov
Haast1-0Grover Brandenburg1-0Danielian
Ootes0-1Tikkanen Adhiban½-½Goudriaan
Round 1127.01.1213.30 CET Round 1228.01.1213.30 CET
Goudriaan½-½Hopman Hopman½-½Grover
Danielian½-½Adhiban Sadler0-1Tikkanen
Turov½-½Brandenburg Tania0-1Ootes
Schut0-1Paehtz Paehtz½-½Haast
Haast0-1Tania Brandenburg1-0Schut
Ootes½-½Sadler Adhiban0-1Turov
Tikkanen1-0Grover Goudriaan0-1Danielian
Round 1329.01.1212.00 CET    

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group C | Round 13 standings



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