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74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2012 (1)

Carlsen, Aronian and Giri win in Round 1 of Tata Steel 2012

Magnus Carlsen beat Vugar Gashimov in Round 1. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos.

Magnus Carlsen beat Vugar Gashimov in Round 1. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos. | http://www.chessvista.com

Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian and Anish Giri lead after the first round of the 74th Tata Steel tournament. Carlsen took a minute advantage from the opening and turned it into a winning bind after Vugar Gashimov went active in pursuit of a mating net that wasn't there. Aronian's pawn sacrifice led to a long term initiative against Sergey Karjakin which he turned into a winning advantage around first time control. Giri won the final game to finish in the A-Group. Boris Gelfand lost a pawn for insufficient compensation straight out of the opening against Giri. Gelfand did get some saving chances but Giri eventually found a way to make his advantage count. Tata Steel Facebook Page has photos and interviews and they also have a Twitter Account. Round 2 12:30pm GMT Topalov-Van Wely, Gashimov-Kamsky, Ivanchuk-Carlsen, Aronian-Nakamura, Caruana-Karjakin, Giri-Radjabov and Navara-Gelfand.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos: http://www.chessvista.com

My thanks to Frits Agterdenbos: http://www.chessvista.com for use of his photos. He will write a photo report at his own website later.

Round 1 (January 14, 2012)
Carlsen, Magnus - Gashimov, Vugar 1-0 67 A30 English Symmetrical
Radjabov, Teimour - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 27 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Nakamura, Hikaru - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 21 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
Kamsky, Gata - Van Wely, Loek ½-½ 41 D78 Gruenfeld 3.g3
Navara, David - Topalov, Veselin ½-½ 31 A20 English Opening
Karjakin, Sergey - Aronian, Levon 0-1 42 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Gelfand, Boris - Giri, Anish 0-1 70 D02 Queen's Pawn Game

Magnus Carlsen ground down Vugar Gashimov eventually reducing his knight to a spectator in a nice positional game.

I was slightly better from the opening then we got an endgame with three pawns each and opposite coloured bishops, it looked pretty drawish but I had a passed pawn and my pieces were a little more active. Then he went wrong at some point, he tried to create a mating net round my king but it turned out there was nothing there and then he had just misplaced his pieces and after that I gained a kind of a bind, his knight couldn't move and from then on it was not so difficult.

Magnus Carlsen in interview. See below.

Carlsen,Magnus - Gashimov,Vugar [A30]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (1.6), 14.01.2012

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 e6 4.g3 b6 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0-0 Be7 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 d6 9.Bg5 a6 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Qf4 0-0 12.Rfd1 Be7 13.Ne4 Bxe4 14.Qxe4 Ra7 15.Nd4 Rc7 16.Rd2 Rc5 17.Rad1 Qc7 18.b3 Kh8

[18...Re5 19.Qb1 Rc5 20.Rc2 Rc8 21.Bh3 Qd7 22.Rcd2 Nc6 23.e3 b5 24.Bg2 Ne5 25.cxb5 axb5 26.h3 b4 27.Qe4 Qa7 28.Kh2 Qb6 29.Ra1 Nc6 30.Nxc6 R5xc6 31.Rad1 R6c7 32.Qd4 Qa5 33.h4 d5 34.Qf4 Bf6 35.Bf1 Rc2 36.e4 Qxa2 37.exd5 exd5 38.Qf5 Qb2 39.Qxc8+ Rxc8 40.Rxb2 Bxb2 41.Rxd5 Kf8 42.Rd7 Be5 43.Bc4 Rc7 1/2-1/2 Mastrovasilis,A (2503)-Jeremic,V (2487)/Leros GRE 2009/The Week in Chess 767]

19.Qb1 Nd7 20.e3 Qc8 21.Rc2 Rc7 22.a4 Rd8 23.Qa2 Ne5 24.h3 Bf6 25.Rcd2 Rc5 26.f4 Ng6 27.Rd3 h6 28.Qd2 e5 29.Nc2 b5 30.axb5 axb5 31.Na3 bxc4 32.Nxc4 d5 33.Bxd5

[33.Nb6 Qe6 34.Rxd5 Rcxd5 35.Nxd5 Ne7 and black swaps into a bishops of opposite coloured squares endings.]

33...Qxh3 34.Qg2 Qxg2+ 35.Kxg2

Vugar Gashimov

___r___k
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_____bnp
__rBp___
__N__P__
_P_RP_P_
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___R____

Magnus Carlsen

Position after 35.Kxg2

Carlsen gets a comfortable ending to play but he is by no means winning.

35...exf4 36.exf4 Rc7 37.Ne3 Rcd7 38.Ng4 Bb2

Black doesn't want to swap off this bishop.

39.Nf2 f6 40.Be4 Nf8 41.b4 Rxd3 42.Nxd3 Bc3 43.Rc1 Bd4 44.Nc5 Be3 45.Rc3 Rd2+

.

Carlsen criticised this whole idea after the game as misplacing black's pieces.

46.Kf3 Bd4 47.Rc4 g6 48.Nd3 Bg1 49.Rc8 Kg7 50.Rc7+ Kg8 51.f5 g5

[51...h5 52.fxg6 Ne6 with at least some counterplay.]

52.g4

Vugar Gashimov

_____nk_
__R_____
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_P__B_P_
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Magnus Carlsen

Position after 52.g4

Reducing black to miserable inactivity.

52...Bh2 53.Rb7 Rc2 54.Nc5 Rc3+ 55.Ke2 h5 56.gxh5 g4 57.Ne6

[57.Bd5+ Kh8 58.Ne4 Rf3 59.Rf7 Nh7 60.Re7 Nf8 61.Re8 Kg7 62.h6+ Kxh6 63.Rxf8]

57...Rc8 58.b5 Rb8 59.Rxb8 Bxb8

Vugar Gashimov

_b___nk_
________
____Np__
_P___P_P
____B_p_
________
____K___
________

Magnus Carlsen

Position after 59...Bxb8

With two passed pawns spread so widely white no longer fears the bishops of opposite colours ending.

60.Bd5 Ba7 61.Kf1 Be3 62.Kg2 Kf7 63.Nxf8+ Kxf8 64.Kg3 Ke7 65.Kxg4 Kd6 66.Kf3 Bd2 67.b6 1-0

Levon Aronian impressed in defeating Sergey Karjakin on the black side of a Closed Ruy Lopez. Aronian sacrificed a pawn for interesting play and gradually his position became much easier for him to play than his opponent and towards the end his position was just far better co-ordinated than his opponents who allowed two winning continuations the spectacular 42...Nh3+ and the prosaic but equally winning 42...c2. A great start for Aronian.

Of course, winning with black against a strong opponent is always a great pleasure. I think it was an interesting game although I had the feeling that all these complications although maybe not in my favour, give me good play. So I was quite happy he went for that. But the game was pretty complicated from the start. [The a-pawn was running but it wasn't really dangerous] It depends, he has to play really well, he has to keep his prospects but I think 24.Be3 was a mistake because after I took on a6 his bishop is misplaced, I felt it is important to play 24.Re3 and then after 24...Qa6 25.Bd2 because the bishop cannot protect the pawn anyway from c5 he runs into Nd7, I think my opponent underestimated the dangers for him.

Levon Aronian in interview. See below.

Karjakin,Sergey (2769) - Aronian,L (2805) [C84]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (1), 14.01.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 b4 9.Nbd2 Bc5

[9...d6]

10.h3

[10.Nc4]

10...d6 11.c3 Rb8 12.Re1 Re8 13.a5 Ba7 14.Nf1 Ne7 15.Ng3 Ng6 16.d4 h6 17.Bc2 c5 18.dxe5 dxe5 19.Bd3 Be6!?

Levon Aronian

_r_qr_k_
b____pp_
p___bnnp
P_p_p___
_p__P___
__PB_NNP
_P___PP_
R_BQR_K_

Sergey Karjakin

Position after 19...Be6

A very interesting pawn sacrifice that works out well for black.

20.Bxa6 c4 21.Ra4 Qc7 22.cxb4

[22.Rxb4 Qc6 is also better for black.]

22...Bxf2+! 23.Kxf2 Qa7+ 24.Be3?!

[24.Re3 Qxa6 25.Bd2 was better according to Aronian.]

24...Qxa6

Whatever the objective merits of the position black has the easier play.

25.Kg1 Red8 26.Qc1 Rd3 27.Rd1 Rb3

[27...Bd7]

28.Qd2 Kh7 29.Kh2 Rb7 30.Qf2

[30.Bc5]

30...Bd7 31.Ra2 R7xb4

It is now clear black has a serious advantage.

32.Nh5 Bc8 33.Nxf6+ Qxf6 34.Kg1 Bb7 35.Nd2 Qxf2+ 36.Bxf2 Rd3 37.a6

Levon Aronian

________
_b___ppk
P_____np
____p___
_rp_P___
___r___P
RP_N_BP_
___R__K_

Sergey Karjakin

Position after 37.a6

37... Bxe4

Not bad but Aronian could just grab the a-pawn which would have been more straightforward.

[37...Bxa6 38.Rxa6 Rxb2 is also winning for black.]

38.Re1 Ba8 39.Ne4

[39.Nf1; 39.Bc5 Rb5 40.Be3 Nh4 41.Re2 Nxg2 42.Rxg2 Rxe3 43.Nxc4 Rxh3 44.Rh2 Rg3+ 45.Kf2 Rgb3]

39...Nf4 40.a7 f6 41.h4 c3 42.Nc5

Levon Aronian

b_______
P_____pk
_____p_p
__N_p___
_r___n_P
__pr____
RP___BP_
____R_K_

Sergey Karjakin

Position after 42.Nc5

[42.Nxc3 Bxg2 43.Re3 Ba8 44.Rxd3 Nxd3 wins also.]

42...c2

[42...Nh3+ 43.gxh3 Rxh3]

0-1

Boris Gelfand against Anish Giri

Boris Gelfand against Anish Giri. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos: http://www.chessvista.com

Anish Giri got off to a nice start beating Boris Gelfand. Giri won a pawn in the opening in return for the two bishops. Gelfand did find some drawing chances but in the end could not hold the position.

I'm very happy also I think the game is very interesting, I played reasonably well, at some point I gave him drawing chances but OK, he is a strong player, he deserves it.

Anish Giri in interview.

Gelfand,Boris - Giri,Anish [D02]
74th Tata Steel GMA Wijk aan Zee NED (1.2), 14.01.2012

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Qb3 dxc4 5.Qxc4 Bg4 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.Bf4 Nb6

[7...e6 8.e4 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Nb6 10.Qd3 Nh5 11.Bg3 Bd6 12.Qe3 0-0 13.0-0-0 Rc8 14.Kb1 Kh8 15.f4 Bb4 16.Rg1 Nf6 17.Bh4 Be7 18.Bd3 Nfd7 19.Bg5 c5 20.e5 cxd4 21.Qh3 g6 22.Ne4 Nd5 23.Rg3 f5 24.exf6 N7xf6 25.Nxf6 Bxf6 26.Bxg6 Qc7 27.Be4 Bxg5 28.Rxg5 Nxf4 29.Qh6 d3 30.Rc5 Qg7 31.Rxc8 Rxc8 32.Bxd3 Rd8 33.Be2 Rxd1+ 34.Bxd1 Nd3 35.f3 1/2-1/2 Mamedyarov,S (2733)-Le Quang Liem (2714)/Beijing CHN 2011/The Week in Chess 894]

8.Qd3 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Nfd5 10.Be5?

Anish Giri

r__qkb_r
pp__pppp
_np_____
___nB___
___P____
__NQ_P__
PP__PP_P
R___KB_R

Boris Gelfand

Position after 10.Be5?

[10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.Bd2]

10...f6 11.Bg3 Nb4 12.Qb1

Gelfand's opening preparation has gone totally wrong and he's lost a pawn for very little compensation. The two bishops are Gelfand's only plus point.

12...Qxd4 13.Bh3 e5 14.0-0 Be7 15.Rd1 Qc4 16.e3 Qf7 17.f4 exf4 18.Bxf4 0-0 19.a3 N4d5 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.Bg3 f5 22.e4 fxe4 23.Qxe4 Nf6 24.Qe5 Kh8 25.Re1 Bd8!

A very dangerous move. If black gets in Bb6 in a middlegame he is likely to get a huge advantage.

26.Be6 Qg6 27.Qf5 Qxf5 28.Bxf5 Nd5 29.Be4 Bf6 30.Re2 Nb6 31.Rc1 Rfe8 32.f3 a5 33.b4 axb4 34.axb4 Nd5 35.Be1 Nf4 36.Rec2 Nh3+ 37.Kg2 Ng5 38.Re2 Nxe4 39.fxe4 Rad8 40.b5!?

Probably the best defensive attempt.

40...cxb5 41.Rb1 Rd5!? 42.Bg3

[42.exd5 Rxe2+ 43.Kf3 Re5 44.d6 Rd5 45.Bg3 Kg8 46.Rc1 h5]]

42...Rc5 43.Bd6 Rg5+ 44.Kf3 Re6 45.Bf4 Rc5 46.e5 g5!

Anish Giri

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_p_____p
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_pr_P_p_
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_R______

Boris Gelfand

Position after 46...g5

Wins.

47.exf6 Rxf6 48.Re7 Rxf4+ 49.Kg2 Rg4+ 50.Kf3 Rh4 51.Rd1 Rc8 52.Kg3 b6 53.Rb7 Rb4 54.Rxb6 Rc7 55.h4 gxh4+ 56.Kh3 Kg7 57.Rd3 Kf7 58.Re3 Kg7 59.Rf3 Rf7 60.Rd3 Rf6 61.Rb8 Rc6 62.Rf3 Kh6 63.Rb7 Kg6 64.Rb8 Rc5 65.Rg8+ Kh5 66.Rg7 h6 67.Rg1 Rd4 68.Kh2 b4 69.Rg8 Rc2+ 70.Kh3 Rc3 0-1

Hikaru Nakamura and Vassily Ivanchuk both carried a lot of baggage from Reggio Emilia into their first game of the Wijk aan Zee tournament. Ivanchuk lost four straight games there but recovered to beat Nakamura in the final round. Nakamura has made it clear that his confidence is fairly low for this event. Here Ivanchuk started to play quite fast out of the opening which is never a good sign from him. But then it seemed he started to like his position and he slowed down. However Ivanchuk then allowed a draw by repetition on move 21 when it seems that he has a serious advantage with 20...Be7 something that Nakamura seemed to be confirm after the game on ICC. I don't think I would put money on either to do well in this event but it is very early days.

GMHikaru Hikaru Nakamura

Apparently Ivanchuk and I are still on tilt from Reggio Emilia. Hopefully we can both play some decent chess by the end of the tournament!

Vassily Ivanchuk

r_q__b_r
_b___k__
__p_pp__
p______p
Pp______
_PpQBBP_
____PP_P
R__R__K_

Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 20.Be3

20. Be3 Rb8

(20... Be7 21. Qd7 c2 22. Rd4 Qxd7 23. Rxd7 Rad8 24. Rxd8 Rxd8 25. Rc1 Rd1+ 26. Kg2 Rxc1 27. Bxc1 f5 with advantage to black.

21. Ba7 Ra8 1/2-1/2

David Navara drew in 22 moves against Veselin Topalov. They followed Navara-Karjakin Sochi 2008 until 18.Qc2 from Navara. Topalov took the initiative on the kingside sacrificing a pawn and piece but once the material was returned the Double Rook and pawn ending was completely equal.

Teimour Radjabov got no advantage on the white side of an Exchange Gruenfeld against Fabiano Caruan and the players repeated moves to draw in 28 moves.

Gata Kamsky against Loek van Wely

Gata Kamsky against Loek van Wely. Photo © Frits Agterdenbos: http://www.chessvista.com

Loek van Wely took off queens as black on move 8 against Gata Kamsky. Kamsky got the kind of position he likes to play but he never looked like turning this into a serious advantage and a draw was agreed on move 41 in a totally sterile opposite coloured bishops ending.

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. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2835 * . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . 1
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2805 . * . . . . . . . . . 1 . . 1
3. Giri, Anish g NED 2714 . . * . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
4. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2773 . . . * . . . ½ . . . . . . ½ 2736
5. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2770 . . . . * . . . . ½ . . . . ½ 2712
6. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2766 . . . . . * ½ . . . . . . . ½ 2759
7. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2759 . . . . . ½ * . . . . . . . ½ 2766
8. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2736 . . . ½ . . . * . . . . . . ½ 2773
9. Kamsky, Gata g USA 2732 . . . . . . . . * . ½ . . . ½ 2692
10. Navara, David g CZE 2712 . . . . ½ . . . . * . . . . ½ 2770
11. Van Wely, Loek g NED 2692 . . . . . . . . ½ . * . . . ½ 2732
12. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2769 . 0 . . . . . . . . . * . . 0
13. Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2761 0 . . . . . . . . . . . * . 0
14. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2739 . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . * 0

Lazaro Bruzon Batista is the top seed in the B-Group but he lost with white to Pentala Harikrishna. Jan Timman returns to play in Wijk aan Zee after a long gap. He was one of the first to draw holding one of the strongest players Vladimir Potkin with white. There were wins for Erwin L'Ami, Kateryna Lahno and Illya Nyzhnyk.

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 * . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . 1
2. L'Ami, Erwin g NED 2596 . * . . . . . . . . . 1 . . 1
3. Nyzhnyk, Illya g UKR 2568 . . * . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
4. Lahno, Kateryna g UKR 2557 . . . * . . . . . . . . 1 . 1
5. Potkin, Vladimir g RUS 2684 . . . . * . . ½ . . . . . . ½ 2571
6. Motylev, Alexander g RUS 2677 . . . . . * ½ . . . . . . . ½ 2581
7. Reinderman, Dimitri g NED 2581 . . . . . ½ * . . . . . . . ½ 2677
8. Timman, Jan H g NED 2571 . . . . ½ . . * . . . . . . ½ 2684
9. Vocaturo, Daniele g ITA 2545 . . . . . . . . * ½ . . . . ½ 2516
10. Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2516 . . . . . . . . ½ * . . . . ½ 2545
11. Bruzon Batista, Lazaro g CUB 2691 0 . . . . . . . . . * . . . 0
12. Tiviakov, Sergei g NED 2677 . 0 . . . . . . . . . * . . 0
13. Ernst, Sipke g NED 2606 . . . 0 . . . . . . . . * . 0
14. Cmilyte, Viktorija g LTU 2503 . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . * 0
Round 1 (January 14, 2012)
L'Ami, Erwin - Tiviakov, Sergei 1-0 57 E18 Queens Indian
Lahno, Kateryna - Ernst, Sipke 1-0 35 C97 Ruy Lopez
Reinderman, Dimitri - Motylev, Alexander ½-½ 39 B14 Caro Kann Panov
Timman, Jan H - Potkin, Vladimir ½-½ 30 C07 French Tarrasch
Harika, Dronavalli - Vocaturo, Daniele ½-½ 39 E33 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2
Bruzon Batista, Lazaro - Harikrishna, Pentala 0-1 79 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Cmilyte, Viktorija - Nyzhnyk, Illya 0-1 64 E62 King's Indian 6...Nc6

Matthew Sadler may have been invited to the B-Group had his return not taken place so late in the year. He and Maxim Turov are by far and away the strongest players in the C-Group and they both started with very straightforward victories.

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. Sadler, Matthew D g ENG 2660 * . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . 1
2. Turov, Maxim g RUS 2645 . * . . . . . . . 1 . . . . 1
3. Adhiban, Baskaran g IND 2561 . . * . . . . . . . . . 1 . 1
4. Tikkanen, Hans g SWE 2549 . . . * . . . . . . 1 . . . 1
5. Goudriaan, Etienne f NED 2279 . . . . * . . . . . . . . 1 1
6. Grover, Sahaj m IND 2532 . . . . . * . ½ . . . . . . ½ 2411
7. Brandenburg, Daan g NED 2527 . . . . . . * . ½ . . . . . ½ 2326
8. Tania, Sachdev m IND 2411 . . . . . ½ . * . . . . . . ½ 2532
9. Ootes, Lars NED 2326 . . . . . . ½ . * . . . . . ½ 2527
10. Danielian, Elina g ARM 2490 . 0 . . . . . . . * . . . . 0
11. Paehtz, Elisabeth m GER 2454 . . . 0 . . . . . . * . . . 0
12. Hopman, Pieter NED 2342 0 . . . . . . . . . . * . . 0
13. Haast, Anne wm NED 2290 . . 0 . . . . . . . . . * . 0
14. Schut, Lisa wm NED 2290 . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . * 0
Round 1 (January 14, 2012)
Sadler, Matthew D - Hopman, Pieter 1-0 40 A81 Dutch Leningrad
Adhiban, Baskaran - Haast, Anne 1-0 32 A57 Volga Gambit
Goudriaan, Etienne - Schut, Lisa 1-0 26 B20 Sicilian Wing Gambit
Brandenburg, Daan - Ootes, Lars ½-½ 50 B07 Pirc Defence
Tania, Sachdev - Grover, Sahaj ½-½ 25 E15 Queens Indian
Danielian, Elina - Turov, Maxim 0-1 42 E62 King's Indian 6...Nc6
Paehtz, Elisabeth - Tikkanen, Hans 0-1 45 C11 French Defence

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