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74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2012 (6)

Aronian moves into clear lead of Tata Steel after defeat of Gashimov in Round 6

Levon Aronian leads alone after 6 rounds. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos.

Levon Aronian leads alone after 6 rounds. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos. |

Levon Aronian had a comfortable victory against out of form Vugar Gashimov to lead alone in the 74th Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee. This was because Magnus Carlsen was held to a draw by David Navara in a game which could easily have been drawn early rather than the 81 moves it was. Teimour Radjabov got a small advantage that he eventually converted to a win against Sergey Karjakin to move level with Carlsen on 4 points. With wins also for Anish Giri over Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura over Boris Gelfand it is starting to become clear which players are in good form and can challenge for first place. The remaining games were drawn although Caruana threw away a win against van Wely. Tata Steel Facebook Page has photos and interviews and they also have a Twitter Account. Round 7 Sat 21st Jan 12:30 GMT: Karjakin-Topalov, Nakamura-Radjabov, Carlsen-Gelfand, Kamsky-Navara, Van Wely-Giri, Gashimov-Caruana, Ivanchuk-Aronian.

Aronian draw Gashimov

Levon Aronian against Vugar Gashimov

Levon Aronian against Vugar Gashimov. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

Levon Aronian took the sole lead in the A-Group when he defeated Vugar Gashimov in 48 moves. Gashimov played a risky sideline of the Benoni and seemed at first to have enough dynamic counterplay for his overtended pawns. Aronian said the players believed 18...Nb6 was an error and instead Rc8 (he didn't say which) was better. After 21.Qe1 white was well on top and he was winning by move 30. Aronian felt this was an easy win and his opponent was not in good form.

Vugar Gashimov

Vugar Gashimov. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

Levon Aronian interview.

Levon congratulations the win seemed like home preparation for the most [part] since you didn't use a lot time.

Actually I didn't really expect this line, it's a very rare line and it's very risky, and I think it is an interesting line and I think you should play precisely. Maybe I didn't play precisely but I was trying to play safe because maybe giving on d5 is not the best idea. We analysed just a bit that probably if Vugar didn't play 18...Nb6 and played 18...Rc8 with the idea of Rc7 his position is OK. He has counterplay and he wants to play c3 at times. So it's not that easy for me to claim an advantage. But with 18...Nb6 it seems that he is not in time because I have this 21.Qe1 which is a strong move.

After you won the c-pawn it was just a matter of technique?

Of course you can hope but your opponent has to help you a lot.

How do you feel now, probably Magnus is going to draw and probably you are going to take the sole lead?

I'm very happy that I managed to beat a strong opponent in an easy game, this happens very rarely and can only be explained by my opponents bad form. So I'm looking forward to the next rounds.

Aronian,Levon (2805) - Gashimov,Vugar (2761) [A61]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (6), 20.01.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.Bf4 Bg7 8.Qa4+ Bd7 9.Qb3 b5 10.Bxd6 Qb6 11.Be5 0-0 12.e3 c4 13.Qd1 b4 14.Ne2 Bb5 15.Ned4

[15.Nf4 Nbd7 16.Bd4 Qb7 17.Be2 Rfe8 18.0-0 Bh6 19.g3 Nxd5 20.Nd2 Nxf4 21.gxf4 Rac8 22.Rc1 Qa6 23.Re1 Nb6 24.Bf3 Bc6 25.Bxc6 Rxc6 26.Qf3 Qc8 27.Ne4 Bg7 28.Bxg7 Kxg7 29.Red1 Qc7 30.Ng3 c3 31.bxc3 Rxc3 32.Ne2 Rc4 33.Rxc4 Qxc4 34.Rd4 Qb5 35.f5 Nd7 36.fxg6 hxg6 37.Qd5 Qxe2 38.Qxd7 Re5 39.Rg4 Qxa2 40.Qd4 Qb1+ 41.Kg2 Qf5 42.Qxb4 Rd5 43.h3 Qf6 44.Rf4 Qc6 45.Qb2+ Kg8 46.Qb8+ Rd8+ 0-1 Kaluga,S (2216)-Badmatsyrenov,O (2450)/Barnaul RUS 2011/The Week in Chess 868]

15...Nbd7 16.Nxb5 Qxb5 17.Bd4 Qxd5

Aronian wondered afterwards whether giving up d5 was really the best idea.

18.Be2 Nb6?!

Vugar Gashimov


Levon Aronian

Position after 18...Nb6?!

After the game the players looked a little bit at this position and decided this probably wasn't the best and that Rc8 was better (he didn't specify which one).

[18...Rac8 19.0-0 Rc7; 18...Rfc8 19.Rc1 (19.0-0) 19...c3 20.bxc3 bxc3 21.Rxc3 Rxc3 22.Bxc3 Rc8]

19.0-0 Rac8 20.Rc1 Rfd8 21.Qe1!

Vugar Gashimov


Levon Aronian

Position after 21.Qe1!

A powerful move that gives Aronian the advantage.

21...c3 22.bxc3 bxc3 23.Ba6 Rc7 24.Rxc3

White has won a pawn. Aronian implied that he didn't think the win was that easy from here and that he still required further help from his opponent.

24...Rxc3 25.Qxc3 Ne4 26.Qa3 Bxd4 27.Nxd4 Qc5 28.Qxc5 Nxc5 29.Bb5 Ne6 30.Nxe6 fxe6

The trouble is that this pawn structure is losing for black really rather easily black is however running out of good ideas.

31.Rc1 Rd2 32.a4 Ra2 33.g3 a6 34.Bxa6 Rxa4

This ending is known to be just lost.


[35.Be2 also seems rather clear.]

35...Ra5 36.Be2 Nd7 37.Rc7 Nf8 38.Bc4 Ra4

White is winning and he immediately heads for the pawn setup he needs.

39.Kg2 Rb4 40.h4 h6 41.f4 h5 42.Kf3 Ra4 43.Ke4 Kh8 44.Ke5 Kg8 45.Kf6 Ra5 46.e4 Ra4 47.e5 Ra3 48.Rc8 1-0

Vugar Gashimov


Levon Aronian

Final position after 48.Rc8

Navara draw Carlsen

David Navara miscalculated the complications in the opening against Magnus Carlsen but this just led to an almost completely drawn position after 23 moves. There aren't many players but Carlsen who would have tried to find something but he did, however the position never really departed from equal and the game was drawn in 81 moves.

Magnus it seemed like it should be a draw 50 moves earlier.

Yeah but I thought I wasn't going to be doing much in the hotel anyway. So why not sit there for a while.

David Navara:

In the opening I misplayed it a bit then I played e4 I saw some of the complications but I missed one strong move 19...Rd5. Fortunately I had a way to equalise but Magnus still kept some advantage, or at least the advantage of the stronger player and OK I lost three games in a row.


Besides anything can happen. Of course the position was equal but it had the potential to be slightly better for me if I could fix his pawns on the queenside and then but of course it's a long shot.


OK one might be tired and anything can happen and Magnus is very strong of course. I'm happy with the draw of course.

Navara,David - Carlsen,Magnus [D45]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (6.4), 20.01.2012

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.Rd1 b4 12.Na4 c5 13.dxc5 Rc8 14.Qe2 Nxc5 15.Nxc5 Rxc5 16.e4N

[16.Bd2 a5 17.e4 Qb8 18.h3 Bf4 19.a3 Bxd2 20.Nxd2 Ba8 21.Qe3 Rc7 22.a4 Bc6 23.Nb3 Qa7 24.Qxa7 Rxa7 25.f3 Rd8 26.Bb5 Rxd1+ 27.Rxd1 Bxb5 28.axb5 Kf8 29.Nc5 Ra8 30.b6 Ke7 31.b7 Rb8 32.e5 Nd5 33.Ra1 Kd8 34.Rxa5 1-0 Ponomariov,R (2764)-Giri,A (2701)/Dortmund GER 2011/The Week in Chess 872]

16...Nxe4 17.Bxe4 Bxe4 18.Rxd6 Bxf3 19.Qd2 Rd5

Missed in Navara's initial calculations but fortunately there is a way to almost complete equality.

20.Rxd8 Rfxd8 21.Qe1 Rd1 22.Bg5

Navara is playing directly for the draw.

22...Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Rd5

[23...Rd1 24.Rxd1 Bxd1 25.Bd2 b3 26.a3 and an agreed draw would have been many GMs choice.]

24.Be7 Bg4 25.Bxb4

Magnus Carlsen


David Navara

Position after 25.Bxb4

Carlsen has even sacrificed a pawn to keep the rooks on here. I don't think it can be said Carlsen is even better here but he wants to play on and see if he can present Navara with problems.

25...h5 26.Bc3 f6 27.f3 Bf5 28.Re2 e5 29.Rd2 Rc5 30.Kf2 Kf7 31.h4 Be6 32.Rd6 Bc8 33.Rd8 Rc4 34.Kg3 Be6 35.a3 Rc7 36.Ba5 Rc2 37.Ra8 Rxb2 38.Rxa7+ Kg8 39.Bb4 Bc4 40.Rd7 Bf1 41.Rd2 Rb3 42.Kf2 Bd3 43.Ke3 Bb5+ 44.Kf2 Kf7 45.Rd5 Bd3 46.Rd7+ Kg8 47.Rd8+ Kh7 48.Rd7 Bf5 49.Ra7 Kg8 50.Ra8+ Kh7 51.Ra7 Rb2+ 52.Kg1 e4 53.Bf8 Kg8 54.Bxg7 e3 55.Bxf6 Rb1+ 56.Kh2 e2 57.Bc3 e1Q 58.Bxe1 Rxe1

If any player is better here is it white,

59.Kg3 Bg6 60.a4 Re2 61.Ra5 Ra2 62.Kf4 Kg7 63.g4 Bf7 64.Ra7 Rc2 65.gxh5 Rc6 66.Kg4 Rf6 67.Rc7 Ra6 68.h6+ Kf6 69.h7 Rxa4+ 70.f4 Ra8 71.f5 Rh8 72.h5 Rxh7 73.Rc6+ Kg7 74.h6+ Kh8 75.Rc8+ Bg8 76.f6 Ra7 77.Re8 Kh7 78.Re7+ Rxe7 79.fxe7 Bf7 80.Kf5 Kxh6 81.e8B Bxe8 1/2-1/2

Radjabov beat Karjakin

Teimour Radjabov

Teimour Radjabov. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

Teimour Radjabov was made to work hard by Sergey Karjakin for the full point. Radjabov gradually built up some strong positional pressure before first time control but just couldn't find the killer blow. Afterwards he thought 38.Qxf6+ might do the trick but it didn't do so. He also used a lot of his time on 42.Rd8 which black seems to hold by a miracle. He went for a favourable ending and just before move 60 found a nice combination that produced the full point.

Radjabov,Teimour - Karjakin,Sergey [E15]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (6.7), 20.01.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Nbd2 d5 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 c5 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.Ne5 Bb7 11.Bb2 Nbd7 12.e3

[12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.cxd5 1/2-1/2 Oll,L (2640)-Khalifman,A (2650)/Parnu EST 1996]

12...Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Nd7

[13...Qb6 14.Qe2 a5 15.Rab1 Rfd8 16.Rfd1 Qa6 17.Bf3 a4 18.bxa4 Bc6 19.cxd5 Qxe2 20.Bxe2 Bxa4 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.Rdc1 exd5 23.Rb7 Kf8 24.Nb3 c4 25.Nd4 Be8 26.Ra1 Bd6 27.Bf3 Be5 28.a3 Ra5 29.Kf1 Rd7 30.Rxd7 Bxd7 31.Bd1 h6 32.Bc2 Ke7 33.Ra2 Kd6 34.f4 Bxd4 35.exd4 Ba4 36.Bf5 Rb5 37.Ke2 h5 38.Kd2 Rb7 39.Kc1 Re7 40.Kd2 Re8 1/2-1/2 Andersson,J (2355)-Schreiber,K (2511)/ICCF email 2007/Corr 2008]

14.Bb2 Bf6 15.Qc2 Qb6 16.cxd5 exd5 17.Rac1 Rac8 18.Rfd1 Rfd8 19.Bxf6 Nxf6 20.Qf5 g6 21.Qf4 Kg7 22.h4 a5 23.e4 dxe4 24.Nc4 Qe6 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Qc7 Qd5 27.Ne3 Qd2 28.Rc2 Rd7 29.Qxc5 Qe1+ 30.Kh2 h5 31.Qe5 Qb4 32.Rc5 Qd2 33.Rc2 Qb4 34.Qg5 Nh7 35.Qf4 Qd4 36.Bh3 Re7 37.Rc7 Qf6 38.Rc5

[38.Qxf6+ Kxf6 39.Rc5 Re5 40.Rxe5 Kxe5 41.Nc4+ was Radjabov's thought after the game but it doesn't appear to be winning. 41...Kd4 42.Nxa5 Bd5 43.Bc8 Nf6 44.a3 e3 45.fxe3+ Kxe3 46.a4 Kd4 47.Bb7 Kc5 48.Kg1]

38...Qb6 39.Rc2 Qa6 40.Rd2 Qf6 41.Qb8 Nf8 42.Qd8

Radjabov has to settle for an ending where he has lots of "tricks".

[42.Rd8 was what Radjabov spent all his time on but it doesn't win. 42...Qxf2+ 43.Ng2 e3 44.Rxf8 Bxg2 45.Rg8+ Kh7 and black manages to hold the balance.]

42...Ne6 43.Bxe6 Rxe6 44.Qxa5 Ba6 45.Nd5 Qe5 46.Qc7 Bd3 47.Qxe5+ Rxe5 48.Nf4 Ba6 49.Nd5 Bd3 50.Nb4 Bf1 51.Nc2 Rb5 52.Ne3 Bd3 53.Rb2 Kf6 54.a4 Ra5 55.Ra2 Ke5 56.b4 Ra7 57.Ra3 Kd4 58.b5 Kc5 59.Rc3+ Kd4

[59...Kb4 had to be tried. 60.b6 Rb7 61.Rc7 Ba6 62.Rxb7 Bxb7 63.g4 Kxa4 64.gxh5 gxh5 65.Kg3]


Now white is winning thanks to a great trick at the end.

60...Rxa4 61.b7 Rb4 62.Rc4+!! 1-0

Sergey Karjakin


Teimour Radjabov

Position after 62.Rc4!!

Giri beat Kamsky

Anish Giri against Gata Kamsky

Anish Giri against Gata Kamsky. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

Anish Giri finally beat Gata Kamsky but only after having to win the game twice over. Firstly Kamsky grabbed a pawn which was quite hot and after 17...b5? 18.Qa5 he had to sacrifice in order to save his queen and retain practical chances. 24.Nxg4 would have won almost immediately allowing Kamsky to find the nice 24...f5 when white's winning chances became much less. The remaining part of the game was Giri grinding away and Kamsky trying to save a position which was harder for him to play. Giri wasn't all that complimentary about either players choices but said that he eventually found the right idea and once he found the 66.Nf3 idea he felt he was close to winning and after 68...e6 and finally 79...Rd1 he had a decisive advantage.

So Anish it was an exciting game? First you were winning and then not, and then you were winning anyway.

Yeah, it was not necessarily exciting actually. I think the game was divided into a few parts. The first part was when I just was winning after he blundered this move 18.Qa5! [ie Kamsky allowed Giri to play it] Which at first also I didn't see actually but then eventually I saw this idea of Qa5. I don't think he has to go b5 so maybe it wasn't so clear. It was OK I was thinking it's just a completely winning position I thought. [More in the video]

Giri,Anish - Kamsky,Gata [A31]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (6.2), 20.01.2012

1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nc3 g6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bd7 8.0-0 Bg7 9.Nc2 Rc8 10.Bd2 h5

[10...0-0 11.b3 Be6 12.Ne3 Qd7 13.Ned5 Bxd5 14.cxd5 Nb8 15.Rc1 Rc7 16.e4 Rfc8 17.Qe2 Ng4 18.Bh3 h5 19.Nb5 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 21.Bxc1 a6 22.Na3 Qc7 23.Qc4 Qa5 24.Bxg4 hxg4 25.Kf1 Qd8 26.Qe2 Nd7 27.Qxg4 Ne5 28.Qd1 Qc8 29.Kg2 Qc3 30.Be3 Qb4 31.Nc4 Nxc4 32.bxc4 Qxc4 33.Qb1 b5 34.h4 b4 35.g4 a5 36.h5 Qe2 37.hxg6 Qxg4+ 38.Kf1 fxg6 39.Qc2 Bc3 40.a3 Kg7 0-1 Tratar,M (2420)-Cebalo,M (2540)/Nova Gorica SLO 1997]

11.h3 Be6 12.Ne3 Qd7 13.Kh2 Nd4 14.Ncd5 Bxd5 15.cxd5

Black has emerged fine from the opening but now he embarks on an adventure that gets him into trouble.

15...Qb5 16.Re1 Qxb2?!

Very risky.

17.Qa4+! b5?

Missing white's next.

[17...Kf8; 17...Qb5]


Gata Kamsky


Anish Giri

Position after 18.Qa5

White is threatening to trap black's queen.



19.hxg4 hxg4+ 20.Kg1 Nxe2+ 21.Kf1 Nc3 22.Bxc3 Qxc3 23.Qxb5+ Kf8

Gata Kamsky


Anish Giri

Position after 23...Kf8


[24.Nxg4 and it is hard to see black surviving.]


Black now has strong practical chances to save the game.

25.Qb1 Qb2 26.Qxb2 Bxb2 27.Rd3 Kf7 28.Rb1 Bf6 29.Ke2 Rc5 30.Ra3 Rh2 31.Rh1 Rxh1 32.Bxh1 Rc1 33.Bg2 Bd4 34.Rd3 Bc5

[34...Bxe3 35.fxe3 Rc2+ 36.Rd2 Rc5 37.Rb2 Ra5 38.Kf1 Kf6 39.e4 Kg5]

35.Rd1 Rc3 36.Rd3 Rc1 37.Rd1 Rc3 38.Rd2 Rc1 39.f3 gxf3+ 40.Bxf3 Kf6 41.g4

Having at first thought the game was going to be drawn white starts to feel better about his position again. "After 41.g4 at least I have some kind of grip."

41...Kg5 42.gxf5 gxf5 43.Bg2 Kf4 44.Nf1 a5 45.Kd3 a4 46.Rc2 Rd1+ 47.Ke2 Rb1 48.Rc4+ Kg5 49.Kd3 Rb2 50.Rc2 Rb4 51.Nd2 Rg4 52.Bh1 Rd4+ 53.Ke2 Rb4 54.Bf3 a3 55.Nb3 Bb6 56.Rc3 Rh4 57.Bg2 Rg4 58.Kf1 Rb4 59.Bf3 Kf6 60.Ke2 Rh4 61.Bg2 Rg4 62.Kf1 Rb4 63.Rc2 Rg4 64.Nd2 Rb4 65.Ke2 Bc5 66.Nf3

Gata Kamsky


Anish Giri

Position after 66.Nf3

Giri was critical of both players moves up to here but now he feels that I found the right plan and that white is again close to winning.

66...Re4+ 67.Kd3 Re3+ 68.Kd2 Re4 69.Bf1 e6?!


70.dxe6 Rxe6 71.Rc4 Re8 72.Rh4 Be3+ 73.Kc2 Bc5 74.Bc4 Re3 75.Bd5 Re2+ 76.Kd3 Rf2 77.Rh6+

White now has good winning chances again.

77...Kg7 78.Re6 Rf1 79.Kc4 Rd1?

Allowing a trade into a lost ending.

[79...Rc1+ 80.Kb5 Rf1 81.Kc6 wins for white.; 79...Rb1 is forced. 80.Ne1 Rb4+ 81.Kc3 Rh4 82.Nd3 Bd4+ 83.Kb3 Rh3]

80.Re1 Rxe1 81.Nxe1 Kg6 82.Nd3 Ba7 83.Kb3 Kg5 84.Kxa3 f4 85.Kb3 Kg4 86.Ne1 1-0

Gelfand lost to Nakamura


Gelfand-Nakamura. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

"I played horribly" was Boris Gelfand's verdict after his loss to Hikaru Nakamura on the white side of a Dutch. Indeed white's play did seem quite irresolute, at one moment avoiding favourable simplification, the next trying to make a draw by repetition, Gelfand then got into time trouble, lost the intitiative and then allowed Nakamura an immediate win by doubling rooks on the d-file. Nakamura meanwhile seems to be picking up confidence by the day after a downbeat start to the event.

Hikaru Nakamura interview

What happened did Boris blunder?

At the very end he blundered, I think 35.Kg2 was probably drawing but Boris was a bit low of time and I think he just forgot about this 35...Red4 [followed by] Rd1 idea because it's not very obvious at first glance.

A clearly upset Boris Gelfand said in interview afterwards.

OK it's horrible game yes, it's very weak game, what to do?

What did you think after making this move?

It's not the only mistake in the game. Maybe computer say it's the last one but OK the whole game I played horribly.

Hikaru Nakamura comments

For the spectators it looked like the game was about drawn the whole time but I don't think this was the case was it?

This is one thing I really like when I play the Dutch is that a lot of positions, they appear to be drawish or maybe white is a little bit better, for instance I think out of the opening according to standard principals white should just be just better. You have the two bishops, I have a slightly worse pawn structure but I think the position is quite playable. I think that's one of the things, it's very hard because optically it looks very good for white but it's not so easy to break through and I think Boris got a little impatient at a certain point and tried a little bit too hard and then after I got in d4 I just felt I had the initiative for the second half of the game.

Gelfand,Boris - Nakamura,Hikaru [A88]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (6.3), 20.01.2012

1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c4 Bg7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Nf3 d6 7.0-0 c6 8.d5 e5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.b3 Re8 11.Bb2 Na6 12.Ng5 Qe7

[12...Nc5 1/2-1/2 Parligras,M (2626)-Gurevich,M (2617)/Konya TUR 2011/The Week in Chess 870 (32)]

13.Nxe6 Qxe6 14.Qc2 Nc5 15.Rad1 Rad8 16.e3 Nce4 17.Nxe4

[17.Ne2 0-1 Kleissl,H (2299)-Hengl,C (2232)/Austria AUT 2006/The Week in Chess 595 (50)]

17...fxe4 18.Rd2 d5 19.cxd5 cxd5 20.Qc5 b6 21.Qb5 Nh5 22.Ba3?!

If white truly wanted to just draw here he should have just taken the bishops off and amongst other things could double rooks on the d-file.

[22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Rfd1 Nf6 24.Qa4]

22...Bf8 23.Bb2 Bg7 24.Ba3 Be5

Nakamura decides to continue, not least because Gelfand only had about 20 minutes left.

25.Rc1 Nf6 26.Rdc2 d4!

Hikaru Nakamura


Boris Gelfand

Position after 26...d4!

With a lasting initiative for black.

27.Rc6 Qf5 28.exd4 Bxd4 29.Qxf5 gxf5 30.Bh3 e3 31.Bxf5 exf2+ 32.Kf1 Be3

Black has lots of threats now but probably isn't winning.

33.Rb1 Ne4 34.Bxe4 Rxe4

Hikaru Nakamura


Boris Gelfand

Position after 34...Rxe4


Completely overlooking black's main threat in this position.

[35.Rd6 Rxd6 36.Bxd6 Kf7 is better for black but white should hold.; 35.Kg2 Nakamura.]


wins material on the spot.

[35...Red4 36.Ke2 Rd1 This breakthrough wins material. eg 37.Rxd1 Rxd1 38.Rc8+ Kg7 39.Rf8 Re1+ 40.Kd3 a5 (40...Bc1 41.Rxf2 Bxa3) 41.Bd6 b5 42.Rf5 Kg6 43.g4 Ba7 44.Bb8 Bb6 45.Bc7 Bxc7 46.Rxf2 Rh1 47.Rc2 Bxh2 48.Rc5 Ra1 49.Rf5 a4 50.Rxb5 a3 51.b4 Rxa2 52.Kc3 Rg2 53.Kb3 Rg3+ 54.Ka2 Rxg4 55.Rb6+]


Caruana drew Van Wely

Fabiano Caruana blew a winning position against Loek van Wely and eventually had to settle for a draw. Van Wely played the Centre Counter but almost immediately out of the opening he started to go wrong and Caruana just won a pawn for nothing. Van Wely played for complications and combined with time pressure chose the right moment to complicate with 35...f6. Van Wely got the mistake he was looking for. After first time control the position was drawish although the players finally finished on move 69.

Did you give away the win somewhere?

Yes I think I was winning many ways. Probably I shouldn't have allowed him to play a4, and after 35...f6 maybe 36. gxf6 wasn't the best but I'm not exactly sure where I missed it totally but after the time control it was pretty much a draw.

Van Wely

Actually I was quite happy about my opening, we had some kind of typical Caro-Kann type of position quite solid you know, but then I blundered, and what do you expect, it's going to be a tough day yeah?

Caruana,Fabiano - Van Wely,Loek [B01]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (6.1), 20.01.2012

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bd2 e6 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Nxf6+ gxf6 10.0-0 Nd7 11.Nh4 Bg6 12.c3 Qc7 13.Qf3 0-0-0 14.Bf4

[14.b4 Rg8 15.Bb3 f5 16.Bg5 Re8 17.g3 h6 18.Bf4 Qd8 19.Nxg6 Rxg6 20.a4 Nf6 21.b5 c5 22.a5 Ne4 23.b6 a6 24.Ba4 Re7 25.Rad1 c4 26.d5 e5 27.Bxh6 Nd6 28.Bc1 Bg7 29.Ba3 e4 30.Qe3 Be5 31.Kh1 Qh8 32.f4 exf3 33.Rxf3 Kb8 34.Bxd6+ Bxd6 35.Qf2 Rh6 36.Kg1 Re5 37.Rd2 Qc8 38.Re2 Rxd5 1/2-1/2 Kritz,L (2578)-Gonzalez,R (2470)/Las Vegas USA 2006/The Week in Chess 605]

14...Bd6 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.g3 c5?!

This seems to be the real start to black's troubles.

17.Rfd1 Bc2 18.Rd2 Ne5 19.Qxf6 Nxc4 20.Rxc2 Rhf8 21.Rd1 Qd5 22.b3 Nd6 23.c4 Qh5 24.Qf3 Qxf3 25.Nxf3

Black is a pawn down for no compensation.

25...b6 26.dxc5 bxc5 27.Re2 Nb7 28.Rxd8+ Kxd8 29.Re5 Ke7 30.Rh5 Rh8

White must be winning in several ways from here.

31.Ne5 a5 32.f4

[32.a4 was very simple according to Caruana.]

32...a4 33.bxa4 h6 34.g4 Ra8 35.g5

[35.Rxh6 Rxa4 36.g5 Nd6 37.Rh7 Kf8 38.Nd7+ Ke8 39.Nf6+ Kf8 40.h4]

Loek van Wely


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 35...f6


a good final try and it produces a blunder that saves the game for black.


Black is right back in the game, white's scattered pawn structure means that even though he is a few pawns up the position may not even be winning now. There are at least two winning moves for white.

[36.Rxh6 fxe5 37.Rh7+ Kd6 38.Rxb7 exf4 39.g6 e5 40.g7 e4 41.h4 Ke5 42.h5 Rd8 43.h6 Rd1+ 44.Kf2 e3+ 45.Kf3 Rd2 46.h7 Rf2+ 47.Kg4 Ke4 48.h8Q Rg2+ 49.Kh3 Rg3+ 50.Kh2 Kd3; 36.Nd3 fxg5 37.fxg5 hxg5 38.Rh7+ Kf6 39.Rxb7 Rxa4 40.Nxc5 Rxc4 41.Rb5 is a pieces up.]

36...Kxf6 37.Nd7+ Ke7 38.Ne5 Kf6 39.Kg2 Kg7 40.f5 exf5 41.Rxf5 Nd6

"After the time control there probably isn't any way to win." - Caruana.

42.Rf2 Rxa4 43.Rc2 Ra3 44.Kf1 Nf5 45.Ke1 Ne3 46.Re2 Kf6 47.Nd7+ Kf5 48.Rf2+ Kg4 49.Ne5+ Kg5 50.Kd2 h5 51.Re2 Ng4 52.Kc1 Nxe5 53.Rxe5+ Kf4 54.Rxh5 Rxa2 55.h4 Ke3 56.Rd5 Rh2 57.h5 Rh4 58.Rxc5 Kd4 59.Ra5 Rh2 60.Kd1 Kxc4 61.Ke1 Kd4 62.Kf1 Ke4 63.Kg1 Rb2 64.h6 Kf4 65.Ra8 Rb7 66.Kg2 Kg5 67.Ra6 Rh7 68.Kg3 Rxh6 69.Rxh6 Kxh6 1/2-1/2

Topalov drew Ivanchuk

Veselin Topalov

Veselin Topalov. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

Veselin Topalov obtained a huge if not winning advantage on the white side of a Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence against Vassily Ivanchuk. From move 23 black was left trying to defend passively a position where white could improve almost at will although engineering the final breakthrough didn't prove that easy. Topalov implied he was still winning on move 52 before he played 52.g5 which he thought trapped Ivanchuk's bishop. Instead black is just in time with his knight to protect it after which the position is just a draw. Ivanchuk said afterwards he was very lucky and that he had played very badly.

Veselin Topalov interview. You were trying to win but just couldn't manage.

No I'm very disappointed, simply I think I had a huge advantage but I made one very bad move and it was already a draw. I just completely forgot that he can defend his bishop, I thought I would trap it and take it [but instead] then its just a draw. It's very pity.

Vassily Ivanchuk

He had excellent winning chances but OK I just was lucky. I played really bad today.

Vassily Ivanchuk


Veselin Topalov

Position after 52.g5

52. g5 Nd8 53. Nf6+ Ke7 54. Ng4 Nc6 55. Nh2 Kd7 56. Nf3 Bg3 57. Kd3 Ne7 58. Ke4 Nf5 59. Kd3 Kc6 1/2-1/2

74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee (NED), 14-29 i 2012 cat. XXI (2755)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2805 * 0 . . . . 1 ½ . . 1 1 . 1 2951
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2835 1 * . ½ ½ ½ . . . . . . ½ 1 4 2874
3. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2773 . . * ½ ½ . . . ½ ½ . 1 1 . 4 2865
4. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2736 . ½ ½ * . . ½ ½ . . ½ 1 . . 2817
5. Giri, Anish g NED 2714 . ½ ½ . * . ½ . . 1 1 0 . . 2824
6. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2766 . ½ . . . * ½ ½ ½ . ½ . . 1 2815
7. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2759 0 . . ½ ½ ½ * . . 1 . . 1 . 2802
8. Van Wely, Loek g NED 2692 ½ . . ½ . ½ . * ½ . ½ . . ½ 3 2761
9. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2770 . . ½ . . ½ . ½ * ½ . . ½ ½ 3 2740
10. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2739 . . ½ . 0 . 0 . ½ * . 1 ½ . 2692
11. Kamsky, Gata g USA 2732 0 . . ½ 0 ½ . ½ . . * . . ½ 2 2620
12. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2769 0 . 0 0 1 . . . . 0 . * 1 . 2 2621
13. Navara, David g CZE 2712 . ½ 0 . . . 0 . ½ ½ . 0 * . 2581
14. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2761 0 0 . . . 0 . ½ ½ . ½ . . * 2573
Round 6 (January 20, 2012)
Aronian, Levon - Gashimov, Vugar 1-0 48 A61 Benoni
Radjabov, Teimour - Karjakin, Sergey 1-0 62 E15 Queens Indian
Caruana, Fabiano - Van Wely, Loek ½-½ 69 B01 Centre Counter
Giri, Anish - Kamsky, Gata 1-0 86 A04 Dutch System
Topalov, Veselin - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 59 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Gelfand, Boris - Nakamura, Hikaru 0-1 35 A88 Dutch Leningrad
Navara, David - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 81 D45 Anti-Meran Variations

Groups B-C

Vocaturo draw Tiviakov

Vocaturo draw Tiviakov. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

Pentala Harikrishna got back to winning way in defeating Jan Timman in the 6th round of the B-Group. Harikrishna is a point clear of Alexander Motylev who drew with Illya Nyzhnyk.

Jan Timman

Jan Timman. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos:

Maxim Turov drew with second placed Hans Tikkanen for his first dropped half point. He has 5.5/6 Tikkanen 4.5 points.

74th Tata Steel GMB Wijk aan Zee (NED), 14-29 i 2012 cat. XV (2603)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. Harikrishna, Pentala g IND 2665 * . ½ 1 . . . 1 . 1 . . ½ 1 5 2845
2. Motylev, Alexander g RUS 2677 . * . ½ ½ ½ 1 . . 1 . ½ . . 4 2751
3. L'Ami, Erwin g NED 2596 ½ . * . ½ ½ 1 . 1 . 0 . . . 2664
4. Bruzon Batista, Lazaro g CUB 2691 0 ½ . * ½ . . . . ½ . . 1 1 2640
5. Reinderman, Dimitri g NED 2581 . ½ ½ ½ * . . . . ½ . . ½ ½ 3 2590
6. Nyzhnyk, Illya g UKR 2568 . ½ ½ . . * ½ 0 . . . ½ 1 . 3 2618
7. Tiviakov, Sergei g NED 2677 . 0 0 . . ½ * 1 ½ . . 1 . . 3 2606
8. Timman, Jan H g NED 2571 0 . . . . 1 0 * ½ . 1 ½ . . 3 2624
9. Vocaturo, Daniele g ITA 2545 . . 0 . . . ½ ½ * . . ½ 1 ½ 3 2591
10. Lahno, Kateryna g UKR 2557 0 0 . ½ ½ . . . . * 1 . . ½ 2565
11. Ernst, Sipke g NED 2606 . . 1 . . . . 0 . 0 * 1 0 ½ 2514
12. Potkin, Vladimir g RUS 2684 . ½ . . . ½ 0 ½ ½ . 0 * . . 2 2482
13. Cmilyte, Viktorija g LTU 2503 ½ . . 0 ½ 0 . . 0 . 1 . * . 2 2484
14. Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2516 0 . . 0 ½ . . . ½ ½ ½ . . * 2 2482
Round 6 (January 20, 2012)
Harikrishna, Pentala - Timman, Jan H 1-0 40 C02 French Advance
Motylev, Alexander - Nyzhnyk, Illya ½-½ 32 C11 French Defence
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro - Cmilyte, Viktorija 1-0 75 B77 Sicilian Modern Dragon
Reinderman, Dimitri - L'Ami, Erwin ½-½ 79 A11 Reti Opening
Vocaturo, Daniele - Tiviakov, Sergei ½-½ 58 B01 Centre Counter
Lahno, Kateryna - Harika, Dronavalli ½-½ 66 D34 Tarrasch Defence, Main Line
Ernst, Sipke - Potkin, Vladimir 1-0 57 D16 Slav Lasker/Smyslov
74th Tata Steel GMC Wijk aan Zee (NED), 14-29 i 2012 cat. IX (2454)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. Turov, Maxim g RUS 2645 * ½ . . . 1 . . . . 1 1 1 1 2782
2. Tikkanen, Hans g SWE 2549 ½ * ½ . . . ½ 1 . 1 . . 1 . 2685
3. Adhiban, Baskaran g IND 2561 . ½ * ½ 1 . . . ½ . ½ . . 1 4 2586
4. Sadler, Matthew D g ENG 2660 . . ½ * . . ½ ½ ½ ½ . 1 . . 2486
5. Grover, Sahaj m IND 2532 . . 0 . * . ½ 1 ½ 1 . . ½ . 2510
6. Schut, Lisa wm NED 2290 0 . . . . * . 0 . . 1 1 ½ 1 2452
7. Brandenburg, Daan g NED 2527 . ½ . ½ ½ . * . ½ ½ ½ . . . 3 2488
8. Goudriaan, Etienne f NED 2279 . 0 . ½ 0 1 . * . . 1 . . ½ 3 2441
9. Tania, Sachdev m IND 2411 . . ½ ½ ½ . ½ . * 0 . ½ . . 2455
10. Paehtz, Elisabeth m GER 2454 . 0 . ½ 0 . ½ . 1 * . ½ . . 2446
11. Ootes, Lars NED 2326 0 . ½ . . 0 ½ 0 . . * . 1 . 2 2340
12. Hopman, Pieter NED 2342 0 . . 0 . 0 . . ½ ½ . * . 1 2 2333
13. Danielian, Elina g ARM 2490 0 0 . . ½ ½ . . . . 0 . * ½ 2245
14. Haast, Anne wm NED 2290 0 . 0 . . 0 . ½ . . . 0 ½ * 1 2161
Round 6 (January 20, 2012)
Tikkanen, Hans - Turov, Maxim ½-½ 29 E00 Catalan
Sadler, Matthew D - Goudriaan, Etienne ½-½ 36 B53 Sicilian Hungarian
Grover, Sahaj - Danielian, Elina ½-½ 83 D20 QGA
Tania, Sachdev - Adhiban, Baskaran ½-½ 48 A57 Volga Gambit
Paehtz, Elisabeth - Brandenburg, Daan ½-½ 59 C11 French Defence
Ootes, Lars - Schut, Lisa 0-1 115 C15 French Winawer
Hopman, Pieter - Haast, Anne 1-0 37 B20 Sicilian Wing Gambit

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