Tata Masters: Aronian Still Leads, Giri & So Half a Point Behind
Levon Aronian still tops the standings at the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee after beating Arkadij Naiditsch in round 5 on Friday. The Armenian grandmaster is on 4.0/5 and is followed by the two young GMs Wesley So, who beat Boris Gelfand today, and Anish Giri, who won against Pentala Harikrishna. In the Challengers Group Ivan Saric joined Baadur Jobava in the lead in what was their sixth round.
Almost half-way the tournament, Levon Aronian is the clear favorite to win the Tata Steel tournament, and it would be the fourth time already for the Armenia's number one. The top seed defeated Arkadij Naiditsch from the black side of an old line of the Berlin Ruy Lopez when the German GM as in the endgame.
It was quite a bloody round with four more decisive games. Richard Rapport continues to amaze with his opening play, but this time his 3.g4!? was perhaps a bit too much. Leinier Dominguez won quickly.
The game between Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin saw a repetition as early as move 20, but was very interesting nonetheless. Answering a Qd8-a5 check with Ke1-e2 is not something you see every day and so this Nimzo-Indian got very sharp at an early stage. Commentators IM Lawrence Trent and GM Erwin l'Ami clearly enjoyed diving into the many variations, and luckily they didn't use an engine, which would have spoilt a lot of the fun!
Fabiano Caruana won a Sveshnikov Sicilian against Loek van Wely and in this game it is hard to point out where exactly the Dutchman went wrong. After the opening he lacked piece coordination, and soon had to give a pawn on the queenside. However, because of the opposite-colored bishops White's advantage was still small and even in the ending Black wasn't completely lost.
The last winner of the day was Anish Giri, who ground down Pentala Harikrishna in an ending that started as a Giuoco Piano. The Dutchman's middlegame play deserves attention look and so does his endgame!
Tata Steel 2014 | Masters | Round 5 Standings
In the Challengers Group Ivan Saric defeated Etienne Goudriaan (now on 0.0/6) and thus joined Baadur Jobava in the lead.
Jobava, who put on a shirt, jacket and tie for his game against Anna Muzychuk, not only showed good manners off the board. (Actually Muzychuk simply defended well!)
Jan Timman moved to plus one as he profited from a big mistake by Zhao Xue in an equal position.
Tata Steel 2014 | Challengers | Round 6 Standings
The Tata Steel tournament runs 11-26 January and is held in Wijk aan Zee, Amsterdam and Eindhoven. You can find the official website here and the live games here. The live streaming commentary can also be found here on Chess.com!