Nakamura, Gelfand & Ivanchuk Win In Tata Steel
Official Website Round 5 Report
With the two tournament leaders both settling for a draw in fifth-round action, the 500 euros set aside for the best game in Tata Steel’s Grandmaster Group A Thursday went to Israel’s Boris Gelfand for a victory with black over Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
The win, in 44 moves from a Najdorf, was nothing to write home about, Gelfand felt. “Sure, it was a good game,” he told reporters about his first victory in this year’s tournament, adding: “I think Sergey made a few incorrect moves. It’s always nice to win but, on the whole, I can’t say I’m really satisfied with my play so far.”
However, Ivan Sokolov, the Dutch GM responsible for awarding the prize - which is named after a former director of the Wijk-aan-Zee chess spectacular and funded by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk – was full of praise for the Israeli GM’s performance. “It was a beautiful game, interesting and exciting. You’ve got to take into account that he won with black in a very difficult variation against a reputed theoretical connoisseur of the line,” Sokolov defended his choice.
Hikaru Nakamura’s win in 34 moves with white from an English game against Czech GM David Navara, was “not bad either,” Sokolov said, but “Navara caved in much too early and too easily after his weak 18…Na6?, where 18…f5 19.Bxf5 Rxf5 would have restricted the damage to just a slightly worse position.”
Nakamura said he “would not call it an easy game,” however. “It’s just that I understood the position and the pawn structure in the opening and the middle game better than he did. He went for a plan that was a little bit dubious, which allowed me to increase the pressure, gradually improving my position. It was only in the late middle game that he made a few serious mistakes,” he said.
The win with black against Azerbaijan’s Vugar Gashimov with which Vassily Ivanchuk of the Ukraine put a stop to a rather disappointing series of four draws from the previous rounds did not qualify for the prize either, Sokolov said. “Gashimov made things too easy. His 13.g4 was probably overly enthusiastic and Chucky's reply 13…Nc4 gave him an early advantage.” Gashimov was “simply steamrollered” and his attempt to salvage a draw by giving his queen for two rooks failed miserably. “There were too many weaknesses in his position by then.” The Azeri resigned on his 35th move.
Levon Aronian settled for a quick draw after 31 moves with black from a Queen’s Gambit against Holland’s Loek van Wely. “It’s a long tournament,” he explained to reporters afterwards. “I didn’t feel like taking any risks in this round and decided to allow myself another rest day.” Van Wely, who was well prepared and had been playing rather quickly, said he “had hoped the guy would try some risky business, knowing that I hadn’t been playing any serious chess for a year. But unfortunately, he seemed content with the draw.”
The other front-runner, Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, played white in a King’s Indian against Dutch champion Anish Giri in Thursday’s round and tried hard but he, too, had to settle for a draw. It took a while longer, though, with the two players signing the peace only after 64 moves, when just the two kings were left on the board.
Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov and Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov agreed to a draw after 28 uneventful moves from a Queen’s Gambit, while reigning U.S. champion Gata Kamsky and Fabiano Caruana reached the same result in 84 moves from a Ruy Lopez.
The standings in Group A after round 5:
|Van Wely, Loek||NED||2692||2½|
In Grandmaster Group B, the Piet-Zwart Prize of 250 euros went to veteran Jan Timman who downed fellow Dutchman Sipke Ernst with white in a Reti game. After Timman’s early positional pawn sacrifice, black never managed to escape from the pressure exerted on his position. At his 33rd, Ernst’s position was hopeless and rather than make another move, he resigned.
India’s Pentala Harikrishna remained on top of the standings in this group after a quiet draw with black in a Queen’s Gambit against Holland’s Erwin l’Ami. Russia’s Alexander Motylev defeated Kateryna Lahno of the Ukraine to move into the second spot, half a point behind Harikrishna.
The results for round 5 in Group B:
|L'Ami, Erwin||½-½||Harikrishna, Pentala|
|Timman, Jan H||1-0||Ernst, Sipke|
|Tiviakov, Sergei||½-½||Nyzhnyk, Illya|
|Potkin, Vladimir||½-½||Vocaturo, Daniele|
|Cmilyte, Viktorija||½-½||Reinderman, Dimitri|
|Lahno, Kateryna||0-1||Motylev, Alexander|
|Harika, Dronavalli||0-1||Bruzon Batista, Lazaro|
The standings in Group B after round 5:
|Timman, Jan H||NED||2571||3|
|Bruzon Batista, Lazaro||CUB||2691||2½|
The 100 euros earmarked for the Piet-Zwart Prize in Grandmaster Group C had to be shared by India’s Baskaran Adhiban and England’s Matthew Sadler for their draw in 59 moves from a French Tarrasch. After a slow start with continuous pressure by the young Indian, the Englishman jumped on his first chance to activate his pieces, leading to a spectacular series of sacrifices and counter-sacrifices.
White is about to push his passed e-pawn, but black is just in time with 51...Ra2 52.Rg1 Rfa8! 53.e6 Bxg2! 54.Qxh6! (both 54.Rxg2? Rxg2 55.Kxg2 Qg6 56.Kf1 Ra1 and 54.exf7? Bd5 55.Qf2 Rxf2 56.Kg3 Rf3 57.Kh2 Bxf7 win for Black) 54...gxh6 55.exf7 Bd5 56.Kg3 Bxf7 and the game was drawn a few moves later.
Russia’s Maxim Turov maintained his perfect score in this group with a win over Holland’s Lars Ootes. He was followed in second place by Sweden’s Hans Tikkanen, who downed Armenia’s Elina Danielan in 69 moves with black from a King’s Indian.
The results for round 5 in Group C:
|Turov, Maxim||1-0||Ootes, Lars|
|Adhiban, Baskaran||½-½||Sadler, Matthew D|
|Brandenburg, Daan||½-½||Tania, Sachdev|
|Goudriaan, Etienne||0-1||Grover, Sahaj|
|Schut, Lisa||1-0||Haast, Anne|
|Paehtz, Elisabeth||½-½||Hopman, Pieter|
|Danielian, Elina||0-1||Tikkanen, Hans|
The standings in Group C after round 5:
|Sadler, Matthew D||ENG||2660||3|