Lev Aronian Leads Tata Steel

Lev Aronian Leads Tata Steel

| 28 | Chess Event Coverage

Official Website Round 2 Report

In round 2 of Tata Steel Chess, world number two Levon Aronian took sole lead by beating last year's winner Hikaru Nakamura.

The American grandmaster had little to complain about a Dutch opening, as Aronian freely admitted: “That was not the way to play against the Dutch!”. Soon White give up a queen for rook and bishop and it seemed Black was doing fine.

Somehow, some way, over the next 30 moves Aronian used his surplus of pieces to greater effect than Nakamura used his queen, and collected the full point.

Lev Aronian defeated Hikaru Nakamura

Tata 2012 Round 2 Lev Aronian - Hikaru Nakamura.jpg




World number one Magnus Carlsen could not keep in pace, as he soon found himself in a lifeless position against Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. The matadors gave it 30 more moves, but the evaluation never dipped below dead even.

Vassily Ivanchuk and Magnus Carlsen

Tata 2012 Round 2 Vassily Ivanchuk - Magnus Carlsen.jpg




The third leader after day one, Dutch Anish Giri, had by then long left the premises. Teimour Radjabov had comfortably taken the sting out of Giri's Samisch King's Indian and even though the youngster was up a pawn, there was no way to exploit this asset and his draw offer after 24 moves was accepted.

Anish Giri and Teimour Radjabov

Tata 2012 Round 2 Anish Girir - Teimour Radjabov.jpg




Wijk aan Zee dinosaur Loek van Wely was also facing the King's Indian Saemisch and just as Radjabov soon reached a comfortable position. Just before the first time control it seemed like Veselin Topalov was making some progress, but in the end the former World Champion was the one who had to tread carefully to salvage half a point.

Tata 2012 Round 2 Veselin Topalov - Loek Van Wely.jpg



Drawing even more comfortably with the black pieces were Boris Gelfand, against David Navara, and Gata Kamsky playing Vugar Gashimov.

David Navara and Boris Gelfand

Tata 2012 Round 2 David Navara - Boris Gelfand.jpg




Vugar Gashimov and Gata Kamsky

Tata 2012 Round 2 Vugar Gashimov - Gata Kamsky.jpg




The Piet Zwart Prize, made possible by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk, was awarded to Fabiano Caruana of Italy for his victory over Sergey Karjakin of Russia. In a Rubinstein Nimzo-Indian the Italian's minor pieces started to gradually gather on the kingside, while his opponent's knights gravitated towards the other side of the board. When White's queen joined the fray with 27.Qd1 Rfe8 28.Qg4, facing great peril, Black chose to give up an exchange with 28...Kf8 29.Bd6 Nxd6 30.Nxd6 and lost without a chance some 30 moves later.

Fabiano Caruana beat Sergey Karjakin

Tata 2012 Round 2 Fabiano Caruana -  Sergey Karjakin.jpg




Group A standings after 2 rounds:

Aronian, Levon  ARM 2805 2
Carlsen, Magnus  NOR 2835
Giri, Anish  NED 2714
Caruana, Fabiano  ITA 2736
Radjabov, Teimour  AZE 2773 1
Topalov, Veselin  BUL 2770 1
Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR 2766 1
Van Wely, Loek  NED 2692 1
Kamsky, Gata  USA 2732 1
Navara, David  CZE 2712 1
Gashimov, Vugar  AZE 2761 ½
Nakamura, Hikaru  USA 2759 ½
Gelfand, Boris  ISR 2739 ½
Karjakin, Sergey  RUS 2769 0


In Grandmaster Group B Pentala Harikrishna of India is the sole leader with two out of two after grinding down Katerina Lahno in a rook endgame.

Pentala Harikrishna defeated Kateryna Lahno

Tata 2012 Round 2 Pentala Harikrishna - Kateryna Lahno.jpg



Ivan Sokolov awarded the Piet Zwart Prize in group B to Sergey Tiviakov for his expert exploiting of the pair of bishops against his compatriot Jan Timman.

Sergey Tiviakov (right) and Jan Timman

Tata 2012 Round 2 Sergey Tiviakov - Jan Timman.jpg



Group B round 2 results:

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


The Group B standings after 2 rounds:

Harikrishna, Pentala  IND 2665 2
L'Ami, Erwin  NED 2596
Nyzhnyk, Illya  UKR 2568
Vocaturo, Daniele  ITA 2545
Motylev, Alexander  RUS 2677 1
Harika, Dronavalli  IND 2516 1
Potkin, Vladimir  RUS 2684 1
Reinderman, Dimitri  NED 2581 1
Tiviakov, Sergei  NED 2677 1
Lahno, Kateryna  UKR 2557 1
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro  CUB 2691 ½
Ernst, Sipke  NED 2606 ½
Timman, Jan H  NED 2571 ½
Cmilyte, Viktorija  LTU 2503 0


Second seed Maxim Turov was the only player in Group C to win his first two games by beating Pieter Hopman of the Netherlands on the black side of a Benko Gambit.

Tata 2012 Round 2 Hopman - Turov.jpg



Somewhat surprisingly, number one seed Matthew Sadler of England, long-time resident of the Netherlands, was unable to beat much lower rated Tania Sachdev of India. In fact, the Englishman was somewhat fortunate to escape with a draw after having been outplayed with White in a theoretical endgame resulting from a Scotch Game.

Tata 2012 Round 2 Tania Sachdev - Matthew Sadler.jpg



The daily prize was awarded to Dutch Lars Ootes and India's Baskaran Adhiban for their spectacular draw.


Group C round 2 results:

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


The Group C standings after 2 rounds:

Turov, Maxim  RUS 2645 2
Adhiban, Baskaran  IND 2561
Goudriaan, Etienne  NED 2279
Sadler, Matthew D  ENG 2660
Tikkanen, Hans  SWE 2549
Grover, Sahaj  IND 2532
Tania, Sachdev  IND 2411 1
Brandenburg, Daan  NED 2527 1
Ootes, Lars  NED 2326 1
Haast, Anne  NED 2290 ½
Danielian, Elina  ARM 2490 ½
Schut, Lisa  NED 2290 ½
Paehtz, Elisabeth  GER 2454 0
Hopman, Pieter  NED  2342 0


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

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