Reports | January 27, 2012 20:01

Tata R11: Aronian loses to Navara, still leads by half a point

Tata R11: Aronian loses to Navara, still leads by half a point

Tail-ender David Navara surprised everyone today by beating tournament leader Levon Aronian with the black pieces in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. In a very exciting game not without mistakes, Magnus Carlsen defeated Veselin Topalov to keep his chances for tournament victory alive. With two rounds to go at the 74th Tata Steel tournament the Norwegian shares second place with Teimour Radjabov, who won against his compatriot Vugar Gashimov.

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.

The 74th Tata Steel tournament saw a fantastic round on Friday full of surprises and great games everywhere. The tournament leader went down, the world's number one was probably lost somewhere but emerged as the winner, and in total just one game ended in a draw in the A group. Furthermore, the leader in the B group lost a spectacular game while in the C group things are exciting as well with two co-leaders and two rounds to go. A better starting point for a thrilling final weekend of chess in Wijk aan Zee can hardly be imagined!

We start with the biggest upset of the tournament: tail-ender David Navara beating tournament leader Levon Aronian, with the black pieces. It was the first win for Navara, who got the 500-euro ‘Piet Zwart Prize’ for it. It started with excellent preparation by him and his second Vlastimil Jansa, involving the move 11...Na6. Black was better in the ending that resulted, and so Navara declined an early draw offer by Aronian.

I was looking at the best position I had in the whole course of the tournament!

Navara said during the press conference, which you can watch here. Besides Navara's own explanation we highly recommend checking the live commentary by GM Ian Rogers, who will be providing this during the final three rounds.

PGN string

However, we're not even sure if we should call this fight the game of the day, because Magnus Carlsen and Veselin Topalov fought out a fierce battle as well. The world's number one won it, but wasn't happy about his play. Right after the opening he blundered a pawn, but in return he got a dangerous attack. According to the Houdini evaluations Topalov was winning at some point, and former winner GM John Nunn, who is in Wijk aan Zee to participate in two solving competitions, didn't see how White would mate his opponent either.

John Nunn of England

However, over the board it was extremely difficult of course. Topalov kept good drawing chances for a long time, but eventually Carlsen won, and kept his chances alive to win the 74th edition.

PGN string

Press conference Magnus Carlsen

Carlsen-Topalov was followed closely by Vladimir Kramnik, who suddenly entered the press room in Wijk aan Zee during the round! As it turned out, the ex-World Champion was to sign a contract later that evening together with Levon Aronian and a sponsor, for a 6-game match (classical games!) in the last week of April. More details will be announced soon.

Vladimir Kramnik, a welcome guest in the press room during the 11th round

Anish Giri is having a tough time, with a series of losses. On Friday he lost to Fabiano Caruana, who got three passed pawns in return for a piece.

PGN string

Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura played the only draw of the round, in a 9.0-0-0 Dragon. Loek van Wely ended his drawing streak with a loss against Sergey Karjakin, who still only drew one game! In the derby between the two grandmasters from Azerbaijan, Teimour Radjabov defeated Vugar Gashimov with Black. It was an important win because now Radjabov is still sharing second place with Carlsen. This cannot be said about Vassily Ivanchuk, who lost thread in a completely equal position.

PGN string

The tournament leader in the B group, Pentala Harikrishna, suffered his first loss, against Sipke Ernst. It was a spectacular game in which Ernst used Aronian's idea of h4&g4 in the Lasker QGD.

PGN string

This gave Erwin l'Ami and Alexander Motylev the chance to catch Harikrishna in first place, but they drew their mutual game and so they're both still half a point behind.

In the C group, Hans Tikkanen again caught Maxim Turov in first place. The Swedish grandmaster beat Sahaj Grover while Turov drew with Brandenburg.

Daily video by the organizers

Games group A, round 11


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 1-0 Topalov   Topalov - Giri
Kamsky ½-½ Nakamura   Navara - Caruana
Van Wely 0-1 Karjakin   Gelfand - Aronian
Gashimov 0-1 Radjabov   Radjabov - Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk 0-1 Gelfand   Karjakin - Gashimov
Aronian 0-1 Navara   Nakamura - Van Wely
Caruana 1-0 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 11 standings


Games group B, round 11


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 ½-½ Motylev   Motylev - Harikrishna
Timman 1-0 Cmilyte   Reinderman - Ernst
Potkin 1-0 Harika   Bruzon - Vocaturo
Tiviakov 1-0 Lahno   Lahno - Nyzhnyk
Nyzhnyk 1-0 Bruzon   Harika - Tiviakov
Vocaturo 0-1 Reinderman   Cmilyte - Potkin
Ernst 1-0 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 11 standings


Games group C, round 11


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 ½-½ Hopman   Hopman - Grover
Danielian ½-½ Adhiban   Sadler - Tikkanen
Turov ½-½ Brandenburg   Tania - Ootes
Schut 0-1 Paehtz   Paehtz - Haast
Haast 0-1 Tania   Brandenburg - Schut
Ootes ½-½ Sadler   Adhiban - Turov
Tikkanen 1-0 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 11 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.


arkan's picture

What an amazing round this was! Aronian seems to have the hardest 2 rounds left, so will be very exciting

evahaut's picture

What a strange turn of events. I have to congratulate David on keeping his head cool against the tournament leader!

Leo's picture

I'm happy for Navara; pretty much a flawless games today! Nice to see it come together for him finally. Adds excitement to the final rounds, too.

Leo's picture

... flawless game*

Mindhunter's picture

Cracking game by Carlsen!! Nice to see Navara get a win too :)

buri's picture

Wow, this tourney proves that anything can happen lol Houdini was saying that Topalov was winning at some point? Not sure if its actually winning because it looked extremely dangerous!

jimknopf's picture

And despite actually being rather a blunder than a sacrifice, I was very happy to see Magnus in his element in the type of resulting unbalanced position, which I think he would play better than most others anytime.

Why not move his opening repertoire a bit more into such a direction, which at least makes such kinds of positions possible, instead of concentrating on classical, more balanced positions as basis for slowly outmanoevering opponents. Running higher risks right from the opening (though surely not as high as today after ...Nxb2) should at least become one of his more often used options than it has lately been the case IMHO.

LawrenceI's picture

And Giri gets "coffeehoused" fourth time in a row. I guess what goes around comes around!

Pal G.'s picture

Hahahahaha... nice one.

Anonymous's picture

Come on you know nothing of Calsen's style. Carlsen , as an intuitive player can play many styles according to whom he is playing against. However , against Topalov he can pull such tricks out because Topalov is a strictly calculating player so he can lose the thread not being able to calculate everything in such a wild position while Carlsen can play according to his intuition . Although I believe today he just blundered or at list riksed more than his position allowed him...intentionally or not only he knows.

Parkov's picture

That's nonsense. There are positions where even Carlsen can't rely on intuition and calculation is absolutely necessary.

Thomas's picture

And what do you know of Topalov's style? I do not know or cannot describe his style but I watched a few of his games: Some of his sacrifices were also dubious or objectively incorrect, still he managed to confuse the opponent, prevail and emerge victorious in the complications (like Carlsen today against him). Some of his trademark exchange sacrifices were for long-term positional compensation, a matter of intuition rather than "strict calculation".

Today's game, with today's result was possible because Topalov is either out of form or past his prime (the future will tell), and because he always had (psychological?) problems against Carlsen. It's nonsense to question engine evaluations - the result was different because Topalov made the strange decision to part with his queen (for the second time since he got married ,:) ) not because engines were wrong.

Abbas's picture

There must be something wrong with Topalov. This is the second time he gave up his Queen where he is not forced to do so!!!

Septimus's picture

How did Carlsen win? His position was almost dead lost when I left.

Morley's picture

Check out the game record: Topalov seemed to have gotten really worried about all of Carlsen's pieces near his king, and when he was a piece up, sacrificed his queen in order to nullify Carlsen's attack, even though there was no real attack and Topalov was winning. This went into an endgame in which Topalov had two bishops, a rook, and two pawns against Carlsen's Queen and 4 pawns. Carlsen outplayed him in that ending, winning his pawns and eventually weaving a mating net. A very up and down affair!

AK's picture

No news that Kramnik was in Wijk today? Kramnik and Aronian will play a match in April. 6 classical games. Kramnik arrived to sign a contract.

sulutas's picture

Hikaru has just tweeted that he thought he saw Kramnik while wandering around the Wijk streets and he was apparently confused.

Leo's picture

As I understand it, Topalov more or less self-destructed two times around; first by needlessly giving the Q where he could have just defended and maintained his material plus, and then by mishandling the resulting Q+4p vs RBB+p endgame, which must surely have been incredibly difficult for White to win against correct play. To be fair, though, "correct play" in that position can't be easy to find for either player.

Leo's picture

Or ... you know, what Morley said. Didn't read before posting :)

Mike's picture

Why nobody's saying "Caruana played a masterpiece"???

columbo's picture

Caruana played very well , but Navara's Na6 is something you have to notice !

roberto's picture

Best game ever of an Italian player since Gioacchino Greco!!! Hope he'll arrive in the top three of the tournament

Zeblakob's picture

I want to know S3 point of view about the quality of the games.

columbo's picture

S3 is at the hospital for transfusion :)

redivivo's picture

Lol, needless to say it was a day of grief also for many at Chessbomb since Carlsen won :-) Fascinating with bronkenstein's bitter statements the other day that no one will remember Carlsen a 100 years from now while Gelfand will be remembered, for some reason Carlsen's chess and results are nowhere near as memorable as Gelfand's. :-)

columbo's picture

just had a word with the future, Chessbomb is not anywhere to find in there :)

KingTal's picture

So much for the so called "draw dead" of chess.

Szoker's picture

this is such a weird tournament...

awesome ! :P

Jambo's picture

Well great games today, most impressed with Magnus who played a game that seemed outside his comfort zone and got the win against the former 2800 player. Sad to see Aronian faulter, but equally glad young Navara goes home with a win against the leader that will take the sting off his otherwise dismal performance. Caruana at 19yo is threatening to enter the elite top ten zone, which in all honesty I had pegged Giri to pass him by before it happened oops maybe not.

Wijk 2012 has been a show even if last years winner and break out Nakamura has been on cruise control. Radjabov is letting us know he belongs at the top too and Ivanchuk is predictably Vasilating which now lets us know how his name translates into English, I vasilate so much I vanto chuck sorry ;0], he always keeps it interesting really!

Pulern's picture


Ivan Sokolov interviews Veselin Topalov:

joey's picture


Lee's picture

Caruana looks like the real deal.

After this round, the tournament is wide open again. Damn exciting stuff.

sulutas's picture

In a sense, Carlsen gave a handicap (material disadvantage) to a former world champion and then first equalized before going on to win; this type of handicaps happen in blitz games between the players who have a gap of a couple of hundred rating points in online 'play chess' websites. Then this is so sad, given how much of a difference there is between Carlsen and the rest of the chess world at the moment.

I also liked the fact that Karjakin (who drew only one game so far) beat Van Wely who had drawn all his games until today; that is, the one eager to win always have a better chance to leave the table happy :-)) Maybe Karjakin is trolling the chess players who are content with dull draws! I can imagine him saying, "I had better die if I were to draw a game" :-)

Leo's picture

Not sure what point you are trying to make in your first paragraph. What is it that's sad ...? Also, I hardly think that e.g. van Wely is not eager to win games; he is facing very strong opposition and given that he was supposed by many to be somewhat of a "punching bag" in this tournament I think he has to be reasonably happy with his results.

sulutas's picture

I mean 'sad' in terms of the viewpoint of the other players; when you achieve to be the best in your field one day but if you realize that there is an insurmountable gap between you and 'the best', it is simply sad, isn't it :-(( And as chess fan.

And I don't buy that for van Wely; he may not be a rating favorite but he has been almost a regular in this tournament - the problem is not that he hasn't won a single game so far, but rather he almost never took any risk to do so. Look at his games and you will see mostly relatively quick draws even before the time control. If you participate a tournament and think of gaining rating points by drawing games (no matter with white or black) you should simply sit at home and not "dare to disturb the universe".

Thomas's picture

I looked at van Wely's games (again) and found two quick draws against Gashimov and Gelfand - eight other games were fought out even if some ended just before the time control. Maybe he didn't take excessive risks as in some earlier editions of Wijk aan Zee, though we don't know what would have happened if Topalov (Saemisch KID) and Navara (Sicilian Najdorf) had gone for the sharpest lines with opposite castling. He was worse against Ivanchuk and Caruana, he was better against Giri and Navara, all games were still drawn. This can happen to anyone: Nakamura had tournaments where he drew almost all of his games, this time Topalov kept drawing until he started losing.

To me it seems that Karjakin is the opposite in terms of results, but not really in terms of style. For some reason all of his games that could have a decisive result did have a decisive result (harder to find precedents in this case). Their game yesterday fits into the overall picture: it was quite balanced for a long time until van Wely went wrong starting before the time control (time trouble?). In the end Karjakin's result prevailed, not necessarily Karjakin's style.

Al Hughes's picture

What an astonishing round's play - another four black victories with six decisive results from sevens games. Incredible! A lovely and precisely played victory (from what I can tell) for Navara that re-opens the betting and the crazy, wild Carlsen-Topalov with a fantastic display of the fighting power of the queen overcoming a rook plus bishop PAIR (!?). Chess is THE most exciting sport, isn't it? :)

Excalibur's picture

Chessvibes does not need your kind

Al Hughes's picture

Of course they don't. They have you.

nishant's picture

carlsen just bluffed topalov. topalov would have been extremely worried that carlsen has seen some thing he has not . this would not have worked against anand kramnik..

columbo's picture

that's the other particularity of what you call " bluff " ... you have to know against WHO ... and obviously Magnus felt something was possible in this situation, against this player. .. you need IRON NERVES to do that !!!

Alyosha's picture

To the ones that say that Carlsen can't rely on his intuition at any position....well fortunately for him you are totally wrong. The only positions that can confuse an intuitive player (although he can make other mistakes too but those can be atributed to other factors )are wide open ones with unstable center.And I am pretty sure if Anand or Kramnik or even Carlsen himself was on the defence at least he would never give up his queen .

Alyosha's picture

Giri can't stop losing :P

dmitry's picture

So Carlsen said it was just a "lucky oversight"...he blundered but he still had play , he went all in as he should under the circumstances and managed to turn the tables with help from Topalov, who despite having a won position, he also had the type of position he by no means wants to play against an intuitive player.
That sums it up I guess.

redivivo's picture

Topalov is probably past it as a top player, not because he lost positions the engines called winning against Karjakin and Carlsen, but the last years he just hasn't been anywhere close to the player he was 2005-08. Right now he isn't playing as if he belongs in the top 20.

Arjo's picture

So there will be a Kramnik VS Aronian Match... sounds interesting, but really... we all know there is only one match we are all looking forward to ;-)

Sarunas's picture

Carlsen -Topalov is not only the game of the round, but also the game of tournament! Only such display of boundless courage together with relentless will-power by White makes me think Carlsen stays in contention to emerge a winner. The style and execution evoke sweet memories of Tal' and Bobbie's name surface as well...
The game erasing all doubts Norwegian is 2800 grade player. On 21...g5 I guess 22.Rd6! B:R 23.N:h6+ Kf8 24.B:g5 attacking was yet another amazing line, dropping the rook, but chasing down enemie's king as in the game. All in all, this attacking masterpiece, featuring 21.Bh4!!, 22.B:f6, 25.B:f7 (25.N:f7 was possible as well 25...Bd5 26.Bc2+ Kg8 (26...e4 27.Ng5+ Kg8 28.B:N Q:N 29.Qf5) 27.Nh6+ Kg8 27.Nf7+ and Black cannot capture this daredevil knight) and 27.f4! stands way above the other texts.

dmitry's picture

With all the respect Sarunas, Carlsen himself said he blundered not sacrificed. Honestly enough in contrast to Tarasch's well known aphorism "If I win I say I sacrificed , if not I say I blundered".

Thomas's picture

At the very least, Topalov didn't play a defensive masterpiece ... not sure how to rank or annotate his 25.-Qxf7. Is 25.-Bd3 that "amazing" (in the sense of inhuman and impossible to find)? The idea Nc3-e2(+)-f4 isn't too unusual!? And 25.-Qb7 is also winning according to Houdini, he actually gives a slightly higher evaluation. Of course black has to return some of his extra material, but he has enough to do so.

I wonder how the game would be described if it wasn't carlsen playing white. To me, the report on the tournament homepage is the most factual one: "Magnus Carlsen, the world’s highest rated player, meanwhile, surprised friends and enemies alike by messing up his opening with white in a Sicilian against Bulgaria’s Veselin Topalov to end up in a losing position. But Topalov failed to find his way to a win through the minefield of middle-game complications, allowing Carlsen to bounce back and clinch victory after 56 moves."

dmitry's picture

And it is Bobby not Bobbie, Bobbie is girly :P


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