Carlsen Beats Aronian, Leads Tata Steel

Carlsen Beats Aronian, Leads Tata Steel

| 65 | Chess Event Coverage

Official Website Round 3 Report

Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the world’s highest ranked chess player, replaced Armenia’s Levon Aronian on top of the standings in grandmaster group A of the 2012 Tata Steel Tournament after an exciting third-round duel between the two ended in a victory for the Norwegian.

Playing white in a Queen’s Gambit, Carlsen profited from an overly aggressive black kingside pawn advance to gain an early advantage but Aronian fought back for all he was worth. In the end, it took Carlsen 68 moves before he forced Aronian – the number two on the international rating list - to admit defeat.

Carlsen left no doubt afterwards that he was far from happy with the win. Judging from the look on his face, in fact, no one would have guessed that he had just beaten his strongest opponent on the planet and taken the lead in the world’s strongest tournament.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Magnus Carlsen - Lev Aronian.jpg


“I was completely winning, of course,” he complained to journalists. “All I had to do was to try and find the most accurate way to win.” Apparently, he failed. “No, I didn’t feel good about that but I had to go on, and in the end I won mostly by luck. But a win is a win.” Asked if Aronian might have salvaged a draw, Carlsen said he felt he was “probably still winning” after he “wasted the advantage” but admitted that the Armenian came awfully close to escaping with a half point.

There was an added bonus of 500 euros for the lucky but far from satisfied winner when Dutch GM Ivan Sokolov decided to award the “Piet Zwart” prize for the round’s most attractive group-A game to the 22-year-old Norwegian. The prize, named for a former Wijk-aan-Zee tournament director, is funded jointly by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk.



Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan’s win over Czech GM David Navara was not a case of sheer luck. Far from it. The Azeri, white in a King’s Indian, held a clear advantage throughout most of the encounter and was gradually increasing the pressure when Navara hastened matters by blundering away a piece on his 29th. He surrendered three moves later.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Teimour Radjabov - David Navara.jpg




In the third A-group win of the day, Lady Luck did play an important part. The player who profited from her smile was Sergey Karjakin of the Ukraine and he was extremely happy about it. His victory - with white in 37 moves from a French Defense - over Dutch champion Anish Giri put an end to a disastrous tournament start of two losses in as many rounds.

“It was not an easy game,” Karjakin said afterwards. “It is never easy to recover from a defeat, especially after losing twice at the start of a tournament.” He admitted, however, that Giri had offered a helping hand by “making the very bad move 20…f5 creating a lot of weaknesses” and went from bad to worse sacrificing an exchange a few moves later. The young Dutchman resigned on his 37th.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Sergey Karjakin - Anish Giri.jpg




The four other games in group A were all drawn with Gata Kamsky of the U.S. and Vassily Ivanchuk of the Ukraine being the first to leave the tournament hall after 30 moves from a Queen's Pawn game. People in the audience thought Ivanchuk had the better play as he was pacing up and down the A-group podium with a blissful smile on his face but experts knew better. “He’s simply thinking about something he likes – dames, or a good dinner, who knows,” one of them explained. “Besides, the position is dead drawn.” As it turned out, he was right.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Gata Kamsky - Vassily Ivanchuk.jpg



Holland’s Loek van Wely and Azerbaijan’s Vugar Gashimov took a little longer, splitting the point after just 23 moves in an uneventful English game.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Van Wely - Vugar Gashimov.jpg




Boris Gelfand of Israel and Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov tried for 35 moves but failed to disturb the balance in an Anti-Nimzo-Indian, while last year’s winner Hikaru Nakamura of the U.S. and Fabiano Caruana of Italy took 42 moves from a Gruenfeld to agree to a draw.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Boris Gelfand -  Veselin Topalov.jpg



Tata 2012 Round 3 Hikaru Nakamura - Fabiano Caruana.jpg




The standings in Group A after 3 rounds:

1 Carlsen, Magnus  NOR  2835
2 Radjabov, Teimour  AZE  2773 2
3 Caruana, Fabiano  ITA  2736 2
4 Aronian, Levon  ARM  2805 2
5 Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  2766
6 Kamsky, Gata  USA  2732
7 Giri, Anish  NED  2714
8 Van Wely, Loek  NED  2692
9 Topalov, Veselin  BUL  2770
10 Nakamura, Hikaru  USA  2759 1
11 Karjakin, Sergey  RUS  2769 1
12 Gashimov, Vugar  AZE  2761 1
13 Gelfand, Boris  ISR  2739 1
14 Navara, David  CZE  2712 1


In group B, the 250-euro Piet Zwart Prize was awarded to Lithuania’s Viktorija Cmylite for her victory, in 66 moves with white from a Slav Defense, against Holland’s Sipke Ernst.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Cmilyte - Ernst.jpg



Pentala Harikrishna downed fellow Indian Harika Dronavalli to notch up his third victory in a row. He remained on top of group B, half a point ahead of Holland’s Erwin l’Ami, who overcame Daniele Vocaturo of Italy in 51 moves with white from a Reti opening.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Harika - Harikrishna.jpg





The 3rd round results in Group B:

L'Ami, Erwin  1-0  Vocaturo, Daniele
Timman, Jan H  1-0  Nyzhnyk, Illya
Lahno, Kateryna  ½-½  Reinderman, Dimitri
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro  ½-½  Motylev, Alexander
Potkin, Vladimir  0-1  Tiviakov, Sergei
Harika, Dronavalli  0-1  Harikrishna, Pentala
Cmilyte, Viktorija  1-0  Ernst, Sipke


The standings in Group B after 3 rounds:

1 Harikrishna, Pentala  IND  2665 3
2 L'Ami, Erwin  NED  2596
3 Tiviakov, Sergei  NED  2677 2
4 Nyzhnyk, Illya  UKR  2568
5 Reinderman, Dimitri  NED  2581
6 Timman, Jan H  NED  2571
7 Motylev, Alexander  RUS  2677
8 Vocaturo, Daniele  ITA  2545
9 Lahno, Kateryna  UKR  2557
10 Bruzon Batista, Lazaro  CUB  2691 1
11 Potkin, Vladimir  RUS  2684 1
12 Harika, Dronavalli  IND  2516 1
13 Cmilyte, Viktorija  LTU  2503 1
14 Ernst, Sipke  NED  2606 ½


Germany’s Elisabeth Paehtz and England’s Matthew Sadler shared the day prize of 100 euros in group C for their spectacular draw in 40 moves from a Modern opening. Paehtz teetered on the edge for a few moves when she was forced to send her King on a long march to b3, which it should not have but did in fact survive.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Paetz - Sadler.jpg



Russia’s Maxim Turov kept the lead in this lowest grandmaster group after beating Holland’s Lisa Schut in 67 moves with white from a Gruenfeld. He was half a point in front of Etienne Goudriaan, who notched up a win with white after fellow Dutchman Lars Ootes blundered away a piece at the 16th of their King’s Indian encounter and resigned five moves later.

Tata 2012 Round 3 Turov - Schut.jpg



Tata 2012 Round 3 Goodriaan - Ootes.jpg



The third round results in Group C:

Turov, Maxim  1-0  Schut, Lisa
Goudriaan, Etienne  1-0  Ootes, Lars
Adhiban, Baskaran  ½-½  Tikkanen, Hans
Brandenburg, Daan  ½-½  Grover, Sahaj
Tania, Sachdev  ½-½  Hopman, Pieter
Danielian, Elina  ½-½  Haast, Anne
Paehtz, Elisabeth  ½-½  Sadler, Matthew D


The standings in Group C after 3 rounds:

1 Turov, Maxim  RUS  2645 3
2 Goudriaan, Etienne  NED  2279
3 Adhiban, Baskaran  IND  2561 2
4 Tikkanen, Hans  SWE  2549 2
5 Grover, Sahaj  IND  2532 2
6 Sadler, Matthew D  ENG  2660 2
7 Brandenburg, Daan  NED  2527
8 Tania, Sachdev  IND  2411
9 Ootes, Lars  NED  2326 1
10 Haast, Anne  NED  2290 1
11 Danielian, Elina  ARM  2490 1
12 Paehtz, Elisabeth  GER  2454 ½
13 Hopman, Pieter  NED  2342 ½
14 Schut, Lisa  NED  2290 ½



Report and photos from the official website coverage. Videos by Freshmen media.

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