Aronian secures at least shared first in Wijk aan Zee

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Levon Aronian beat Boris Gelfand on Saturday in Wijk aan Zee and is again leading the Tata Steel tournament by a full point, with one round to go.  Both Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov, who were trailing by half a point, drew their games. In the B group Harikrishna kept his half-point lead, while Maxim Turov and Hans Tikkanen still share the lead in 'C'.

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 round 11, one of the most exciting rounds in Wijk aan Zee in many years, the 12th round was more quiet, almost disappointing. Levon Aronian bounced back from his loss against David Navara the previous day and won against Boris Gelfand. This meant that his closest rivals, Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov, had to win as well, but they both didn't manage. This mean that Aronian increased his lead to a full point again, and the tournament was suddenly already decided. The Armenian wouldn't lose his last-round game, with the white pieces, against Teimour Radjabov, now would he?

The Gelfand-Aronian started as a sideline of the Queen's Gambit Declined, where Black went ...Nf6-e8 and ...f7-f5 at an early stage to bring a Stonewall pawn structure on the board. At some point Black won a pawn, but White had strong pressure as compensation. The game was more or less balanced until after the first time control, when suddenly things got tricky.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.28"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2739"]
[BlackElo "2805"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5rk1/R2b1r2/2p2P1q/1pQp2p1/1P2p2p/4P2P/4N1P1/5RK1 b - - 0 43"]
[PlyCount "21"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

43... g4 $1 44. hxg4 $6 ({Better was} 44. Rf4 gxh3 45. gxh3 Bxh3 46. Kh2 Bd7 {
and now} 47. Rxd7 $1 Rxd7 48. Qxc6) 44... h3 $6 (44... Bxg4) 45. Nf4 hxg2 46.
Kxg2 $2 (46. Nxg2 {should end in a draw.}) 46... Qxf6 {
Now Black has a winning attack.} 47. Kg3 Rh7 48. g5 Qxg5+ 49. Kf2 Rxf4+ 50.
exf4 Rh2+ 51. Ke3 Qg3+ 52. Kd4 Qg7+ 53. Ke3 Rh3+ 0-1

Don't miss Levon Aronian's press conference, where at the end he answers our question what aspects of the game he managed to improve in recent months.

Long before the end of Gelfand-Aronian, Teimour Radjabov had already drawn with Vassily Ivanchuk. The Ukrainian, known for his wide opening repertoire, solved his opening problems quite easily in a Volga/Benkö Gambit. Against Gata Kamsky, Magnus Carlsen again wasn't showing his best chess.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.28"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "Kamsky, Gata"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C89"]
[WhiteElo "2835"]
[BlackElo "2732"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r4rk1/2p1q1pp/p1b5/1p1n1p2/3P4/1BP1pP2/PP1N2PP/R2QR1K1 w - - 0 16"]
[PlyCount "23"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

16. c4 $6 ({Everyone expected} 16. f4 {
when White has some chances for an advantage.}) 16... Nf4 $1 17. cxb5+ Kh8 18.
Nc4 (18. bxc6 Qg5 19. g3 ({not} 19. Re2 Nxe2+ 20. Qxe2 exd2 21. Rd1 Qf6) 19...
exd2 {was perhaps less bad than it looked because of} 20. Re5 $1) 18... e2 19.
Qd2 Qg5 20. Rxe2 $1 (20. g3 $6 Nh3+ 21. Kg2 Bxf3+ 22. Kxf3 Qg4+ 23. Kg2 f4 24.
Ne5 f3+ 25. Kh1 Qe4 26. Bc2 Qd5 27. Bb3 Qb7 28. d5 Nf2+ 29. Kg1 Qb6) 20...
Nxe2+ 21. Qxe2 Bxb5 22. Qe3 $1 f4 23. Qe5 Qh4 24. Qe1 Qxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Bxc4 26.
Bxc4 c6 27. Re6 {Strong defence by Carlsen, who managed to draw this endgame.}

Veselin Topalov won his first game of the tournament against a struggling Anish Giri. The Bulgarian kept the advantage right from the opening - the Petroff, which had yielded Giri two victories in his previous tournament.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMA"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.28"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C42"]
[WhiteElo "2770"]
[BlackElo "2714"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/3q2p1/p2p3R/2p5/P4r2/1P6/2PQ3P/1K2R3 b - - 0 43"]
[PlyCount "8"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

43... Rf7 ({Black's last chance was} 43... Rf5) 44. Rg1 c4 45. Qg5 Rdf8 46. Qh5
Rf1+ 47. Kb2 1-0

In the B group, tournament leader Pentala Harikrishna managed to hold the important game with black against Alexander Motylev to a draw. This meant that Erwin l'Ami could have reached shared first with the Indian, if he beat Jan Timman. Instead, the oldest of the two Dutch grandmasters outplayed his younger opponent with Black, only to finish the game with another horrible blunder.

[Event "74th Tata Steel GMB"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"]
[Date "2012.01.28"]
[Round "12"]
[White "L'Ami, Erwin"]
[Black "Timman, Jan H"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E15"]
[WhiteElo "2596"]
[BlackElo "2571"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2r3k1/R5pp/5q2/3b1p2/4pP2/1P2n1PB/5N1P/Q5K1 b - - 0 37"]
[PlyCount "3"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]

37... Bxb3 $4 ({Several moves, like} 37... Qc3) ({or even} 37... h6 {
were close to winning for Black.}) 38. Nxe4 $1 Qxa1+ 1/2-1/2

In the C group things will be decided on the final day, because both leaders, Maxim Turov and Hans Tikkanen, won their games. The latter won against pre-tournament favorite Matthew Sadler.


Games group A, round 12


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 Wely-Carlsen    

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group A | Round 12 standings


Games group B, round 12


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 12 standings


Games group C, round 12


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 12 standings



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