Aronian Keeps Up The Pace In Tata Steel

Aronian Keeps Up The Pace In Tata Steel

| 30 | Chess Event Coverage

Official Website Round 10 Report

Armenian GM Levon Aronian seemed well on his way to win the 10,000-euro first prize in Grandmaster Group A of the 74th annual Tata Steel Tournament at Wijk-aan-Zee on Wednesday.

With just three more rounds to go in this, the world’s strongest chess event, he defeated Dutch champion Anish Giri with black to remain on top of the standings, one point ahead of the competition.

Of the runners-up sharing second place at the outset of the tenth round, only Vassily Ivanchuk of the Ukraine managed to keep up the pace, winning his game with black against David Navara of the Czech Republic. Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov and Norway’s Magnus Carlsen were both held to a draw and fell back to the third spot.

Tata 2012 Round 10 Anish Giri - Lev Aronian.jpg


“It was a very complicated game,” Aronian said about his victory over Giri, which came after 43 moves from a rare line of the Queen’s Gambit and in which preparation played a crucial part. The Armenian knew the line quite well.

“Actually, I was the first person to try 7.Be2 dxc4 8.0-0 with white myself and, with black, I now played the new 8…Nb6, which may not have been the best move, but white must know how to play. Anish didn’t quite grasp the position. After 13.Bf3 Rxf3, maybe it was unclear but it was easy for black to play. I had a clear plan and, somehow, Anish began to play very badly. Maybe he was upset it wasn’t what he had prepared for. He committed some inaccuracies and after that it was more or less easy for me.”


Asked whether he felt he was going win the tournament, Aronian smiled and said: “We’ll have to wait and see, don’t we? Anyway, I hope I’ll be able to play the next few games as well as I did today.” Giri, who felt he “was a little bit unlucky, getting these coffee-house positions against coffee-house players” had different hopes for the remainder of the tournament. “Maybe, after three defeats in a row, it is time for a new approach: not to try anything and just play better.”





The ‘Piet Zwart Prize’ – 500 euros set aside for the best game of the day by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk – went to Ivanchuk. GM Ivan Sokolov was impressed by the way ‘Chucky’ handled the modern Benoni line, in which black delays castling, changing pieces and freeing his game. “The most interesting aspect was that after move 27, the black knight on g7 turns out to be much stronger than the white bishop on d3, as he demonstrated convincingly,” Sokolov said.

Ivanchuk himself felt that he “was in good shape the last few days” and said that Navara had giving him a helping hand, allowing the devastating 30.Bxf5 Re2. “Before that, I believe the position was maybe about equal.”

Tata 2012 Round 10 David Navara - Vassily Ivanchuk.jpg




Carlsen, the world highest ranked player but still smarting from his defeat at the hands of Russia’s Sergey Karjakin in the previous round, settled for a quiet draw after just 21 moves with black from a semi-Slav Defense against Hikaru Nakamura of the U.S., who said “the opening came as a surprise” for him. “Anyway, I haven’t been feeling too well these last few days, and so,” accepting the peace offer “seemed the practical thing to do. After all, the onus wasn’t on me here. I mean, he’s the stronger player,” Nakamura said.

Tata 2012 Round 10 Hikaru Nakamura - Magnus Carlsen.jpg




Radjabov splitting the point with Holland’s Loek van Wely was a comedy of errors caused by the fact that both players were in time trouble. Their game, from a Dutch Defense with the Azeri playing white, was entirely balanced until Radjabov reached the time control with 40.Qf3?? and proposed a draw. With only seconds left on his clock, Van Wely went for the half point – a serious blunder, as 40…Ra2! would at least have earned him a piece.

“It seemed a very reasonable peace offer to me,” said Van Wely, for whom it was his tenth consecutive draw. “Of course, if I’d had a little more time to consider his proposal …”

Tata 2012 Round 10 Teimour Radjabov - Loek van Wely.jpg




The draw between World Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel and Azerbaijan’s Vugar Gashimov, in 25 moves from a Queen’s Indian, was less spectacular with neither player getting any chances or making any serious mistakes.

Tata 2012 Round 10 Boris Gelfand - Vugar Gashimov.jpg



There were mistakes galore, however, in Karjakin’s Ruy Lopez with white against U.S. champion Gata Kamsky. Karjakin, still in a winning mood after his victory over Carlsen, was too aggressive, Kamsky felt. “It was a very strange game,” he said, in which “I messed up the opening. But then when I played 18…Qc7, he forgot that I had the retreat 19.Qg3 Bd8 after which I equalized because he couldn’t get the two bishops any longer. 22.Nf5 was a mistake, because after 22…Bxf5 23.exf5, he gets no attacking chances and I can just push my pawn and position my rooks.” Karjakin resigned after the time control in a hopeless position.

Tata 2012 Round 10 Sergey Karjakin - Gata Kamsky.jpg




The final Group-A game of the day also ended in a victory for black, with Italy’s Fabiano Caruano beating Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov in 39 moves from rare line of the Sicilian Defense.

Tata 2012 Round 10 Veselin Topalov - Fabiano Caruana.jpg



The standings in Group A after round 10:

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


In Grandmaster Group B, Sokolov awarded the daily prize of 250 euros to Russia’s Sacha Motylev for his “brilliant technical victory with white” against Holland’s Sipke Ernst in an open Ruy Lopez that took moves. “Ernst was gradually pushed off the board.”

Tata 2012 Round 10 Motylev - Ernst.jpg



India’s Pentala Harikrishna kept the lead in this group after downing Italy’s Daniele Vocaturo in 27 moves with white from a Catalan opening. It was Harikrishna’s sixth victory from the ten rounds played so far.

Tata 2012 Round 10 Harikrishna - Vocaturo.jpg



The results from round 10 in Group B:

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


The standings after round 10 in Group B:

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


Holland’s Pieter Hopman took the 100-euro day prize in group C for his streamlined victory with white in 41 moves from a Slav Defense against leader Hans Tikkanen. Russia’s Maxim Turov became the sole leader in this group after a quick draw in 16 moves with black against Germany’s Elisabeth Paehtz. Tikkanen fell back to second place, half a point behind Turov.

Tata 2012 Round 10 Hopman - Tikkanen.jpg




The results from round 10 in Group C:

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


The standings after round 10 in Group C:

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


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

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