Carlsen Beats Gelfand In Tata Steel

Carlsen Beats Gelfand In Tata Steel

| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

Official Website Round 7 Report

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen defeated Israel’s Boris Gelfand in seventh-round action to regain his place on top of the standings in the premier division of the 74th annual Tata Steel Chess Tournament at the rain and wind-swept Dutch North Sea coastal resort town of Wijk-aan-Zee on Saturday.

Playing white against Gelfand’s Slav Defense, the world’s highest ranked grandmaster profited from a minor mistake to obtain a slight advantage and then gradually increased the pressure on his opponent, forcing him to resign after 52 moves.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Magnus Carlsen - Boris Gelfand.jpg


Carlsen was not completely satisfied with his performance, however. “I had a plus straight out of the opening,” he explained after the game, “but then I blundered and lost all my advantage. It was just that later on, he exchanged queens one move too late. If he had simply played 30…Qc2 instead of 30…Nd7, there would have been no question of me having an advantage. When he came up with the exchange one move later, I won a pawn, and it became very difficult for him to fight his way back into the game.” Gelfand, who had not yet recovered from a horrible blundering loss in the previous round, proved unequal to the task. “Boris has produced only one fine win (against Ukraine’s Sergey Karjakin) so far. He’s not in great shape,” Carlsen said.



Armenia’s Levon Aronian, second on the international rating list and the Norwegian’s main rival in the field of fourteen, was black in Saturday’s round in Grandmaster group A. He settled for a draw after 30 uneventful moves from a Catalan opening against Vassily Ivanchuk of the Ukraine, dropping half a point and allowing Carlsen to come alongside again.

“The line we played is one of those variations that are supposed to be draws,” Aronian told reporters after he left the tournament hall. “But Vassily has a very good feeling for such positions. He had this cunning plan to make me lose my concentration and to beat me like that. Fortunately, I managed to avoid trouble.”

Tata 2012 Round 7 Vassily Ivanchuk - Lev Aronian.jpg




Two more encounters ended peacefully without much ado, with Hikaru Nakamura of the U.S. and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan calling it a day in a Sicilian game after just 28 moves. Radjabov explained later that the balance had been “dynamical” and that the two players therefore “had to tread very carefully” but since they both did, the result was never in doubt.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Hikaru Nakamura - Teimour Radjabov.jpg




Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan and Italy’s Fabiano Caruana split the point in a Ruy Lopez that took 50 moves. Gashimov played white and was slightly worse throughout much of the encounter but that turned out to be insufficient for Caruana to score a win.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Vugar Gashimov - Fabiano Caruana.jpg




Also drawn was the Dutch derby between ‘Lucky’ Loek van Wely and national champion Anish Giri – a drawn-out affair from a rare Trompowski opening, in which Van Wely had a lasting advantage that dwindled gradually and disappeared completely at move # 59. The peace was signed nine moves later.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Loek van Wely -  Anish Giri.jpg




“Tiredness is taking its toll,” explained GM Ivan Sokolov, who is responsible for awarding the daily ‘Piet Zwart Prize’ funded by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk. “Van Wely was a long-time candidate but he let his advantage slip.” U.S. champion Gata Kamsky won his Berlin-Wall game with white against David Navara but that “was a very disappointing game,” Sokolov felt, with the Czech GM “on a disastrous roller coaster down” having lost four games so far.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Gata Kamsky - David Navara.jpg




Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov, black in a Sicilian game against Sergey Karjakin of the Ukraine, “was clearly better” when he, too, fell victim to tiredness and suffered “a dramatic turning of the tables” finally to lose after 99 moves, Sokolov said. “It was very difficult to choose in a round marred with blunders,” he added, in the end awarding the 500 euros to Carlsen, who gave a “fine display of his skill of exploiting microscopic advantages.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Sergey Karjakin - Veselin Topalov.jpg




The standings after round 7 in Group A:

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


In Group B, Sokolov awarded the prize – set at 250 euros in this section of the tournament – to 15-year-old Ilya Nyzhnyk for his win in 34 moves with white in a Benoni against Italy’s Daniele Vocaturo. “The young Ukrainian nicely demonstrated the typical Benoni central break 16.e5! after which Vocaturo’s position quickly collapsed,” Sokolov said, adding that Vocaturo “should have tried 16…exd5 if he had wanted to stay in the game rather than 16…dxe5.”

Tata 2012 Round 7 Nyzhnyk-Vocaturo.jpg



India’s Pentala Harikrishna kept the lead in Group B after a draw with black in 66 moves from a Nimzo-Indian against Russia’s Vladimir Potkin. He was one full point ahead of his nearest rival in the field of fourteen.

The results in Group B in round 7:

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


The standings in Group B after 7 rounds:

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


The 100-euro daily prize in Group C went to Russia’s Maxim Turov and India’s Sahaj Grover for the highly entertaining ending to their Queen’s Gambit which resulted in a draw after 65 moves.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Turov - Grover.jpg



Turov remained in first place in this group with a score of 6 pts. He was followed at half a point by Sweden’s Hans Tikkanen, who defeated Holland’s Lisa Schut in 47 moves with black from a Sicilian Dragon.

Tata 2012 Round 7 Schut-Tikkanen.jpg



The results from round 7 in Group C:

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


The standings after 7 rounds in Group C:

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


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

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