Aronian Misses 5th Win In A Row

Aronian Misses 5th Win In A Row

| 17 | Chess Event Coverage

Having won the Grenke Chess Classic already, Levon Aronian missed an excellent chance to finish with another win today, vs Fabiano Caruana. Eventually all games in the final round ended in draws.

The top three with organizers Sven Noppes (l.) and Christian Bossert | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

"He was just a tad too confident," Carlsen today said about the tournament winner. The world champ was referring to the fact that Aronian played his last-round game rather quickly. He had been winning since the early middlegame after Caruana had self-trapped his knight.

"I'm extremely fortunate that I didn't lose like four hours ago or something," said Caruana during the post-mortem.

Aronian's confidence was justified, but in a winning position on move 42, and after spending 50(!) minutes on the clock, he failed to calculate the winning line.

Aronian did not evaluate the winning move 42...Qe1! correctly.

Aronian: "I spent 50 minutes, and didn't find this. Incredible."

Having won the tournament the other day, Aronian allowed Caruana to get back into the game. Actually it was the black king who was being chased. "In fact I'm extremely lucky that I'm not getting mated!" Aronian said.



Aronian won 15.3 rating points at Grenke and climbed three places in the world rankings | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

The other three games were drawn as well, so the final standings didn't change anymore. This means that Magnus Carlsen finished on plus one, and only won one game. His comment about this tournament (besides calling it "a little short!"):

"Of course I'm not thrilled. Neither my play nor my result was amazing. Over a seven-game stretch plus one is not a disaster at all. It's just that if there were a couple of rounds, or even four rounds, or six rounds before or after, you can do something. Over such a short distance I cannot afford to blow chances like I did in the first couple of rounds."


Carlsen was "not thrilled" about his tournament. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

MVL finished on 50 percent, and so did Hou Yifan and Arkadij Naiditsch, who played each other today. 

"We went to the endgame and not the best version for White for sure," Hou said. Her decision to take on b5 was risky, according to Naiditsch. 

After that Black had the better chances, and Naiditsch used an interesting exchange sacrifice to keep long-term practical chances. Eventually it wasn't enough for a win.


A fighting draw in the final round between Hou and Naiditsch. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

The game between Meier and Bluebaum, who both finished on a disappointing 2/7, can be found in the PGN file.

2017 Grenke Chess Classic | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Aronian,Levon 2774 2949 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 5.5/7
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2838 2765 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.0/7 13.00
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2817 2768 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 4.0/7 13.00
4 Hou,Yifan 2649 2741 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 3.5/7 10.75
5 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2803 2720 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 3.5/7 10.50
6 Naiditsch,Arkadij 2702 2733 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 3.5/7 10.25
7 Meier,Georg 2621 2587 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 2.0/7 7.25
8 Bluebaum,Matthias 2634 2585 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 2.0/7 6.75

The Grenke Classic was an eight-player single round robin. The time control was 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and 15 minutes to finish the game with a 30-second increment from move one. Draw offers before move 40 were not allowed.

Games from TWIC.

Here's an interview with the winner by Eric van Reem:

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