Reports | January 25, 2012 20:59

Tata R10: Aronian wins again, Ivanchuk now sole second

Tata R10: Aronian wins again, Ivanchuk now sole second

Levon Aronian maintained his full point lead at the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. On a "Black Wednesday" for the A group, the Armenian grandmaster won an excellent game with Black against Anish Giri. Vassily Ivanchuk, who beat David Navara, is now in sole second place, a point behind Aronian.

Event Tata Steel Chess Tournament | PGN Group A, Group B, Group C via TWIC
Dates January 13th-29th, 2012
Location Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
System 3 GM groups with 14 players-player double round robin
A group
Carlsen, Aronian, Radjabov, Topalov, Karjakin, Ivanchuk, Gashimov, Nakamura, Gelfand, Caruana, Kamsky, Giri, Navara, Van Wely
B group
Bruzon, Potkin, Motylev, Tiviakov, Harikrishna, Ernst, L'Ami, Reinderman, Timman, Nyzhnik, Lahno, Vocaturo, Harika, Cmilyte
C group
Sadler, Turov, Adhiban, Tikkanen, Grover, Brandenburg, Danielian, Paehtz, Sachdev, Hopman, Ootes, Haast, Schut, Goudriaan
Rate of play 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.

In 2007 he won shared with Teimour Radjabov, and in 2008 together with Magnus Carlsen. Levon Aronian has excellent chances to finish first in Wijk aan Zee for the third time after winning his black game against Anish Giri on Wednesday. With the form he's in, the Armenian grandmaster might as well try to clinch his first sole victory in the Dutch coastal town.

The game he played in the 10th round was one by a great champion, one that Tigran Petrosian would have been proud of. We mention the 9th World Champion, also from Armenia, because of the positional exchange sacrifice in the game, which was analyzed by Aronian's second Arman Pashikian during the Tal Memorial in Moscow last year. According to Aronian, whose explanation of the game can be found here, computers don't understand that Black is at least equal in the resulting middlegame. A few inaccuracies by Giri quickly led to a hopeless position for White.

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The other big favorite for tournament victory, Magnus Carlsen, is now 1.5 points behind after a quick draw with Hikaru Nakamura. Vassily Ivanchuk is in sole second place thanks to a win against David Navara, which earned the Ukrainian the 500-euro Piet Zwart Prize.

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Teimour Radjabov shares third place with Carlsen after splitting the point with Loek van Wely. The Dutchman accepted a draw offer in a winning position!

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It's important to realize that it's really not easy to see that Black is winning in the final position, because Houdini's evaluation of -5.80 is based on a number of different tactics. Besides, Van Wely didn't have much time on the clock:

He offered me a draw. I had like 50 seconds left for my last move. I was a bit suspicious when he offered me a draw; I had to make a decision. His offered seemed very reasonable to me.

"KingLoek" drew all of his games so far. However, a few years ago he actually drew 11 games in Wijk aan Zee, so he said:

I still have some work to do to break my record!

But this was not all; the A group's 10th round actually saw two more decisive games and here too the point went to Black. Fabiano Caruana is playing a fine tournament and on Wednesday he beat Veselin Topalov.

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Gata Kamsky managed to beat Sergey Karjakin with Black. According to the American grandmaster, Karjakin's win over Carlsen in the previous round played a role.

I think it contributed to why he tried to win so hard. Sometimes it backfires so I was lucky I guess.

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In Grandmaster Group B, Alexander Motylev won the daily prize of 250 euros for his

brilliant technical victory with white

(Ivan Sokolov) against Sipke Ernst.

Ernst was gradually pushed off the board.

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Pentala Harikrishna is playing very strongly this year in Wijk aan Zee. In the 10th round he got some help from his opponent to win his sixth game:

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Pentala Harikrishna is in top form this year

The C group saw a big surprise as Dutch tailender Pieter Hopman beat co-leader Hans Tikkanen in a fine game that earned him the 100-euro day prize.

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Maxim Turov drew his game and is sole leader again. In the game between Tania Sachdev and Lisa Schut, Black blundered in a textbook endgame.

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Lisa Schut (l.) already secured a WGM norm, but lost a drawn endgame against Tania Sachdev

Thursday is a rest day for Grandmaster Groups A, B and C as well as for all amateurs.

Games group A, round 10


Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group A | Pairings

Round 1 14.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 2 15.01.12 13.30 CET
Navara ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Van Wely
Gelfand 0-1 Giri   Gashimov ½-½ Kamsky
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Ivanchuk ½-½ Carlsen
Karjakin 0-1 Aronian   Aronian 1-0 Nakamura
Nakamura ½-½ Ivanchuk   Caruana 1-0 Karjakin
Carlsen 1-0 Gashimov   Giri ½-½ Radjabov
Kamsky ½-½ Van Wely   Navara ½-½ Gelfand
Round 3 16.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 4 17.01.12 13.30 CET
Gelfand ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Gashimov
Radjabov 1-0 Navara   Ivanchuk ½-½ Van Wely
Karjakin 1-0 Giri   Aronian 1-0 Kamsky
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Caruana ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Aronian   Giri ½-½ Nakamura
Kamsky ½-½ Ivanchuk   Navara 0-1 Karjakin
Van Wely ½-½ Gashimov   Gelfand ½-½ Radjabov
Round 5 19.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 6 20.01.12 13.30 CET
Radjabov ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Ivanchuk
Karjakin 0-1 Gelfand   Aronian 1-0 Gashimov
Nakamura 1-0 Navara   Caruana ½-½ Van Wely
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Giri 1-0 Kamsky
Kamsky ½-½ Caruana   Navara ½-½ Carlsen
Van Wely ½-½ Aronian   Gelfand 0-1 Nakamura
Gashimov 0-1 Ivanchuk   Radjabov 1-0 Karjakin
Round 7 21.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 8 22.01.12 13.30 CET
Karjakin 1-0 Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Aronian
Nakamura ½-½ Radjabov   Caruana ½-½ Ivanchuk
Carlsen 1-0 Gelfand   Giri 0-1 Gashimov
Kamsky 1-0 Navara   Navara ½-½ Van Wely
Van Wely ½-½ Giri   Gelfand ½-½ Kamsky
Gashimov ½-½ Caruana   Radjabov ½-½ Carlsen
Ivanchuk ½-½ Aronian   Karjakin ½-½ Nakamura
Round 9 24.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 10 25.01.12 13.30 CET
Nakamura ½-½ Topalov   Topalov 0-1 Caruana
Carlsen 0-1 Karjakin   Giri 0-1 Aronian
Kamsky ½-½ Radjabov   Navara 0-1 Ivanchuk
Van Wely ½-½ Gelfand   Gelfand ½-½ Gashimov
Gashimov ½-½ Navara   Radjabov ½-½ Van Wely
Ivanchuk 1-0 Giri   Karjakin 0-1 Kamsky
Aronian 1-0 Caruana   Nakamura ½-½ Carlsen
Round 11 27.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 12 28.01.12 13.30 CET
Carlsen - Topalov   Topalov - Giri
Kamsky - Nakamura   Navara - Caruana
Van Wely - Karjakin   Gelfand - Aronian
Gashimov - Radjabov   Radjabov - Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk - Gelfand   Karjakin - Gashimov
Aronian - Navara   Nakamura - Van Wely
Caruana - Giri   Carlsen - Kamsky
Round 13 29.01.12 12.00 CET        
Kamsky - Topalov        
Van Wely - Carlsen        
Gashimov - Nakamura        
Ivanchuk - Karjakin        
Aronian - Radjabov        
Caruana - Gelfand        
Giri - Navara        

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group A | Round 10 standings


Games group B, round 10


Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group B | Pairings

Round 1 14.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 2 15.01.12 13.30 CET
Reinderman ½-½ Motylev   Motylev ½-½ Potkin
Bruzon 0-1 Harikrishna   Tiviakov 1-0 Timman
Lahno 1-0 Ernst   Nyzhnyk ½-½ l'Ami
Harika ½-½ Vocaturo   Vocaturo 1-0 Cmilyte
Cmilyte 0-1 Nyzhnyk   Ernst ½-½ Harika
l'Ami 1-0 Tiviakov   Harikrishna 1-0 Lahno
Timman ½-½ Potkin   Reinderman ½-½ Bruzon
Round 3 16.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 4 17.01.12 13.30 CET
Bruzon ½-½ Motylev   Motylev 1-0 Tiviakov
Lahno ½-½ Reinderman   Nyzhnyk ½-½ Potkin
Harika 0-1 Harikrishna   Vocaturo ½-½ Timman
Cmilyte 1-0 Ernst   Ernst 1-0 l'Ami
l'Ami 1-0 Vocaturo   Harikrishna ½-½ Cmilyte
Timman 1-0 Nyzhnyk   Reinderman ½-½ Harika
Potkin 0-1 Tiviakov   Bruzon ½-½ Lahno
Round 5 19.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 6 20.01.12 13.30 CET
Lahno 0-1 Motylev   Motylev ½-½ Nyzhnyk
Harika 0-1 Bruzon   Vocaturo ½-½ Tiviakov
Cmilyte ½-½ Reinderman   Ernst 1-0 Potkin
l'Ami ½-½ Harikrishna   Harikrishna 1-0 Timman
Timman 1-0 Ernst   Reinderman ½-½ l'Ami
Potkin ½-½ Vocaturo   Bruzon 1-0 Cmilyte
Tiviakov ½-½ Nyzhnyk   Lahno ½-½ Harika
Round 7 21.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 8 22.01.12 13.30 CET
Harika ½-½ Motylev   Motylev 1-0 Vocaturo
Cmilyte ½-½ Lahno   Ernst ½-½ Nyzhnyk
l'Ami ½-½ Bruzon   Harikrishna ½-½ Tiviakov
Timman 0-1 Reinderman   Reinderman 0-1 Potkin
Potkin ½-½ Harikrishna   Bruzon 1-0 Timman
Tiviakov 0-1 Ernst   Lahno 0-1 l'Ami
Nyzhnyk 1-0 Vocaturo   Harika ½-½ Cmilyte
Round 9 24.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 10 25.01.12 13.30 CET
Cmilyte ½-½ Motylev   Motylev 1-0 Ernst
l'Ami 1-0 Harika   Harikrishna 1-0 Vocaturo
Timman ½-½ Lahno   Reinderman 1-0 Nyzhnyk
Potkin 0-1 Bruzon   Bruzon ½-½ Tiviakov
Tiviakov 1-0 Reinderman   Lahno ½-½ Potkin
Nyzhnyk 0-1 Harikrishna   Harika ½-½ Timman
Vocaturo 1-0 Ernst   Cmilyte 0-1 l'Ami
Round 11 27.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 12 28.01.12 13.30 CET
l'Ami - Motylev   Motylev - Harikrishna
Timman - Cmilyte   Reinderman - Ernst
Potkin - Harika   Bruzon - Vocaturo
Tiviakov - Lahno   Lahno - Nyzhnyk
Nyzhnyk - Bruzon   Harika - Tiviakov
Vocaturo - Reinderman   Cmilyte - Potkin
Ernst - Harikrishna   l'Ami - Timman
Round 13 29.01.12 12.00 CET        
Timman - Motylev        
Potkin - l'Ami        
Tiviakov - Cmilyte        
Nyzhnyk - Harika        
Vocaturo - Lahno        
Ernst - Bruzon        
Harikrishna - Reinderman        

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group B | Round 10 standings


Games group C, round 10


Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group C | Pairings

Round 1 14.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 2 15.01.12 13.30 CET
Sadler 1-0 Hopman   Hopman 0-1 Turov
Tania ½-½ Grover   Schut ½-½ Danielian
Paehtz 0-1 Tikkanen   Haast ½-½ Goudriaan
Brandenburg ½-½ Ootes   Ootes ½-½ Adhiban
Adhiban 1-0 Haast   Tikkanen ½-½ Brandenburg
Goudriaan 1-0 Schut   Grover 1-0 Paehtz
Danielian 0-1 Turov   Sadler ½-½ Tania
Round 3 16.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 4 17.01.12 13.30 CET
Tania ½-½ Hopman   Hopman 0-1 Schut
Paehtz ½-½ Sadler   Haast 0-1 Turov
Brandenburg ½-½ Grover   Ootes 1-0 Danielian
Adhiban ½-½ Tikkanen   Tikkanen 1-0 Goudriaan
Goudriaan 1-0 Ootes   Grover 0-1 Adhiban
Danielian ½-½ Haast   Sadler ½-½ Brandenburg
Turov 1-0 Schut   Tania 0-1 Paehtz
Round 5 19.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 6 20.01.12 13.30 CET
Paehtz ½-½ Hopman   Hopman 1-0 Haast
Brandenburg ½-½ Tania   Ootes 0-1 Schut
Adhiban ½-½ Sadler   Tikkanen ½-½ Turov
Goudriaan 0-1 Grover   Grover ½-½ Danielian
Danielian 0-1 Tikkanen   Sadler ½-½ Goudriaan
Turov 1-0 Ootes   Tania ½-½ Adhiban
Schut 1-0 Haast   Paehtz ½-½ Brandenburg
Round 7 21.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 8 22.01.12 13.30 CET
Brandenburg 1-0 Hopman   Hopman 0-1 Ootes
Adhiban 1-0 Paehtz   Tikkanen 1-0 Haast
Goudriaan ½-½ Tania   Grover 1-0 Schut
Danielian ½-½ Sadler   Sadler ½-½ Turov
Turov ½-½ Grover   Tania ½-½ Danielian
Schut 0-1 Tikkanen   Paehtz 1-0 Goudriaan
Haast 1-0 Ootes   Brandenburg ½-½ Adhiban
Round 9 24.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 10 25.01.12 13.30 CET
Adhiban 1-0 Hopman   Hopman 1-0 Tikkanen
Goudriaan ½-½ Brandenburg   Grover 1-0 Ootes
Danielian ½-½ Paehtz   Sadler 1-0 Haast
Turov 1-0 Tania   Tania 1-0 Schut
Schut ½-½ Sadler   Paehtz ½-½ Turov
Haast 1-0 Grover   Brandenburg 1-0 Danielian
Ootes 0-1 Tikkanen   Adhiban ½-½ Goudriaan
Round 11 27.01.12 13.30 CET   Round 12 28.01.12 13.30 CET
Goudriaan - Hopman   Hopman - Grover
Danielian - Adhiban   Sadler - Tikkanen
Turov - Brandenburg   Tania - Ootes
Schut - Paehtz   Paehtz - Haast
Haast - Tania   Brandenburg - Schut
Ootes - Sadler   Adhiban - Turov
Tikkanen - Grover   Goudriaan - Danielian
Round 13 29.01.12 12.00 CET        
Danielian - Hopman        
Turov - Goudriaan        
Schut - Adhiban        
Haast - Brandenburg        
Ootes - Paehtz        
Tikkanen - Tania        
Grover - Sadler        

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group C | Round 10 standings



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


christos's picture

Radjabov must have put on his best poker face when offering this draw to Van Wely!
And what a beautiful win by Aronian.

Bert de Bruut's picture

Yes, King Loek adhered a bit too strict to his plan to draw all his games and rejoin the 2700+ elite. He might have made life easier for himself, but so far he is on schedule. Keep up the good work Loek!

Speaking about plans. The tournament isn't finished yet, but no matter whether he wins the rest of his remaining games or loses them, Karjakin is the first for sure to win an invitation for next years 75 Years Jubilee Tata edition. We blame Nakamura for spoiling the near perfect execution of his plan, the opposite of Van Wely's: not to draw a single game. Bravo!

S3's picture

I prefer the solid Karjakin who plays good games. If you want to see blunderfests and decisive results they might as well broadcast the games of the amateur groups.

sulutas's picture

The uncompromising Karjakin! He wins even when he loses! Never fails to show inconsistency!

Zeblakob's picture

ya, you are right even if you are wrong. :)

Thomas's picture

Before the tournament, some people predicted or hoped that Carlsen will break Kasparov's rating record during the event - it won't happen (yet). After round 3 (when he beat Aronian), someone wrote that everyone else will be fighting just for second place behind Carlsen.

By now, two other things could happen:
- Aronian becomes #1 on the (live) rating list - a remote but non-zero possibility
- Someone finishes in second place ahead of Carlsen.

This isn't against Carlsen (after all, confirming his rating is a fine result, just not enough to win the tournament), but against some of his overly enthousiastic fans.

redivivo's picture

So someone predicted or hoped that Carlsen would break 2851 during the tournament, and you predict or hope that someone will finish in second place ahead of Carlsen. Maybe you will predict or hope wrong, and then maybe someone will write a post about how someone predicted or hoped that someone would finish in second ahead of Carlsen but predicted or hoped wrong. Yes, that's how we can amuse ourselves at this place :-)

S3's picture

It's just that Thomas knows that several things can happen whereas you and your boys think there is only one possible result.

sadtruth's picture

S3 and the girls should shut up.

Thomas's picture

I didn't predict or hope for anything, just pointed out what _could_ happen - while others were pretty sure that something else will happen.

Xeno's picture

It's a daring prediction or hope indeed to predict or hope after ten rounds that a player currently behind the top two could finish behind the top two.

Guillaume's picture

In July 1999, when Kasparov reached his peak of 2851 Elo, he was 80 points ahead of the second on the rating list (Anand 2771), and 149 points ahead of the number 10 (Ivanchuk 2702). In July 1972, Fisher was 125 points ahead of the second (Spassky 2660) and 160 points ahead of the top 10 (Tal 2625). Carlsen (or anyone else) would have to pass 2900 Elo to achieve something remotely similar nowadays. There's little to be excited about the 2851 mark when the entire field is closing in on this record.

RealityCheck's picture

In July 1999 bla bla bla when GK bla bla .... rating bla bla. As regards rating, there was always little to get excited about.

Parkov's picture

Why then, do your panties get wet at the sight of Carlsens rating rise?

The Devil's picture

Aronian is putting so much pressure on Carlsen on the live rating list.

Arkansaw's picture

Aronian is doing extremely well, with Ivanchuk just a little behind, although losing to Carlsen seems like a guarantee to Corus victory these days. Carlsen is actually doing just okay given his current rating. Nakamura will be happy to not lose to Carlsen again, but nothing really impressive so far. Gashimov and Karjakin have definitely seen better days.

Besides all that, Sadler is underperforming seriously against the lower rated players.

The Devil's picture

Caruana with black beat Topalov? Congrats man!

bhabatosh's picture

Topalov should have been out of top 10 last yaer ... he was avoiding it by not playing at all .... now we have a clean list !

Jonas's picture

Cheatalov was not avoiding by playing he simple didn't get invitations to top tournaments and obviously he will not get many invittions in the future, not only for his poor play but also because his poor "play" outside of the board with his managed DanaEvil.

Thomas's picture

In fairness to Topalov, the reason why he didn't play much last year may have been that three events where he often participated didn't take place: Linares, MTel and Nanjing. This leaves other supertournaments where he is indeed less likely to be invited: Dortmund, Tal Memorial and London (quasi-fixed field and he doesn't get along well with Nigel Short ...).
In an interview somewhere, Topalov mentioned a forthcoming event in Romania - probably Bazna, the organizers had openly supported the "Danailov for president" campaign.

Caissa's picture

Glad to see cheatalov out of the chess scene lately, he is suffering in this tournament and hopefully he will disappear forever from elite events. This is what should happen to any one with bad habits who tries to obtain the chess crown with dirty manouvers and not with real chess.

Anonymous's picture

Lately Aronian has paid more attention to his physical fitness -
that seems to have made a lot of difference.

arkan's picture

Well just look at his girlfriend :p You need physical topshape

noyb's picture

That's the kind of regimen all chess players need, hehe...

Lee's picture

I agree. he looks fitter and that can only be a good thing.

Harry's picture

Go to ICC. They have the great Levon before chessvibes. He's VERY GOOD!

Harry's picture

Sorry to say that, but this one video wiht the great Levon at the wooden board is better than all the interviews together!!! Even if Chucky's headdress was very nice.

rado's picture

terrible tournament by Topalov, he is not himself

Abbas's picture

I don't understand why Topalov gave up the Queen!!
He wasn't force to.

Manu's picture

Out of the top ten now , what a pity . Maybe his motivation is not strong enough yet , next game against Carlsen could be very dangerous in that sense.

Aditya's picture

Levon Aronian, because of games like yours, it is an honor to follow Wijk Aan Zee live.

Mattovsky's picture

I'm very surprised that Aronian didn't get the best game prize. Wasn't that a brilliant game? Strong opening preparation, a deep exchange sacrifice, powerful middlegame play, a beautiful tactical finish... What else can you ask for? Instead the prize goes to Navara-Ivanchuk, a standard game, decided by a silly blunder. Incomprehensible.

redivivo's picture

Agreed, that prize is a total joke. Navara-Ivanchuk was nothing special, just another horrible game losing blunder from Navara in an equal position. Aronian's win against Giri was, just like Chessbase put it, a masterpiece with a superb exchange sacrifice and fantastic finishing combination.

Thomas's picture

Maybe Sokolov felt, at least subconciously, that Aronian already got enough "game of the day" prizes? And/or maybe he hesitates, again at least subconciously, to reward a win against Giri (only Gashimov was rewarded, but that was the only win in round 8)?
Another story is whether such 'arguments' should play a role ... .

Chess Fan's picture

What a fine display of world class chess by Aronian. What a great lesson this Giri vs Aronian is for chess fans like me.
So, people who want to forget World Champion Anand or want to declare Magnus the "greatest ever" (it could well be true but not supported by facts at the moment), take a grip of yourselves.
Anand is the undisputed world champion, followed by two potential contenders: Magnus and Aronian. Followed by Karjakin and Radjabov. Kramnik should always be considered.

stevefraser's picture

Good comment. Thanks.

Xeno's picture

Of course no one in their right mind would declare Carlsen to be the greatest ever after just turning 21, no chess player has ever accomplished anything at that age to be considered to be anywhere close to top ten among the greatest chess players ever.

Lawrence's picture

Giri on his defeat against Aronian: "I'm getting coffeehouse positions against coffeehouse players". Yet another display of arrogance after his rude remarks on Kramnik on his blog a few months ago. Nakamura 2.0?

Luzin's picture

bah, Aronian coffehouse player?
shame on you Giri...

MJul's picture

I couldn't watch the video reports lately (and most part of chess news).

Can you tell me where can I find that statement?

Lawrence's picture

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