Aronian Wins Grenke Chess With Round To Spare

Aronian Wins Grenke Chess With Round To Spare

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

With a fourth win in a row Levon Aronian, reached a 5/6 score today, winning the Grenke Chess Classic with a round to spare since the other games ended in draws.

Tournament victory for Levon Aronian. | Image courtesy Grenke Chess Classic.

"This guy didn't look at a chessboard for two months, and as a result he got his inspiration back," tweeted chess photographer David Llada today. Llada, who lives in San Sebastian, is a good friend of Aronian, who bought a house in that city a few years ago.

Aronian's last tournament was in Sharjah in February, where he finished on a very disappointing 4/9—a horrible start of his 2017 FIDE Grand Prix series. It's understandable that the Armenian player decided to focus on other joys of life after that, and look what it brought him: excellent form, and early tournament victory.

An interview with Levon Aronian by Eric van Reem.

Today he got an early grip on the position against Hou Yifan, but "my opponent defended very well," Aronian credited his opponent. He had a typical explanation for his trade on move 31, vintage Aronian:

"I was sure that it should be winning. It's best just to cash in and play quickly. Svidler's strategy. Make a decision but do it quickly."

Asked how he knows when to cash in, Aronian said: "It doesn't matter, as long as it's quick. If there are decisions then normally you regret. But if you do it quick, you didn't see any other opportunities for you."


For the second time this tournament, Magnus Carlsen managed to draw everyone's attention to his appearance. This time it was not his glasses, but his hairdo.

He had grown it quite long already, and today there was styling at all. It was so messy and wild, that it became the topic of the day on Twitter.

Carlsen himself explained it as follows: "I went to the spa yesterday. This water really f**** up your hair. I discovered now that this is the problem with having a lot of hair. If you don't do anything about it, it looks ridiculous."

But fashionistas need not to worry too much, as he added: "I have a plan. It's going to be revealed in due time."

After scoring his first win yesterday, he played his fifth draw today, with Arkadij Naditisch, who played a system Baadur Jobava likes to play as well. And, as Aronian pointed out today, there was even a similarity with an old Capablanca game.

At the end of the day, Fabiano Caruana failed to beat Matthias Bluebaum, and so Aronian's tournament victory was there. Bluebaum got a slightly worse position as White in a Queen's Gambit Accepted and then lost a pawn, but managed to avoid other pitfalls.


The longest game of the day finished with a RN-R ending. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis.

The game between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Georg Meier was merely interesting from a theoretical point of view. In his favorite Rubinstein French, Meier got the chance to play an excellent novelty.
"The moment I realized, in kind of my chess analysis at home, that Bc5 is very strong, I was sure I would be able to use it against some very strong player, because it looks very counter-intuitive to move the bishop that is developed once again while my queenside is still sleeping," Meier said. 

Why did nobody else play 12...Bc5 before? Because it's far from first choice of the computer. This is when you "hit something precious," as Meier called it.

An interview by Eric van Reem with Georg Meier, who reveals that in a month from now he has to deliver his master thesis in economics, but that he couldn't say no to a tournament invitation like this!

2017 Grenke Chess Classic | Round 6 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Aronian,Levon 2774 2987 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 5.0/6
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2838 2758 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 3.5/6 9.50
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2817 2767 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 3.5/6 8.50
4 Hou,Yifan 2649 2747 0 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 3.0/6 7.50
5 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2803 2700 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 3.0/6 7.00
6 Naiditsch,Arkadij 2702 2747 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 3.0/6 7.00
7 Meier,Georg 2621 2573 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1.5/6 5.50
8 Bluebaum,Matthias 2634 2573 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1.5/6 5.00

The Grenke Classic is an eight-player single round robin. The time control is 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 are not allowed.

Games from TWIC.

Here's a highlight video of the sixth round by the organizers:

Previous reports

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