January 29, 2012 12:19

Aronian draws with Radjabov in 12 moves, wins Tata Steel

Levon Aronian drew his last-round game with Teimour Radjabov in just 12 moves and thus secured clear first at the 74th Tata Steel chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Pentala Harikrishna won the B group while Maxim Turov emerged as the winner in 'C'.

Levon Aronian giving the traditional winner's speech at the closing ceremony on Sunday night

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 the five and a half years that this site has existed, we have never witnessed what happened in the final round in Wijk aan Zee today: that a game between two elite players finished before the photographers had left the stage. The game between tournament leader Levon Aronian and runner-up Teimour Radjabov could have been an exicting one, because the player from Azerbaijan could still finish shared first if he won. Instead, already at move 10 the players started repeating moves and then shook hands. (Magnus Carlsen was the next player to shake Aronian's hand, and congratulated him.)

PGN string

Levon Aronian finished his game (and won the tournament) before finishing his tea

This was of course a big anti-climax of what had been a great tournament, and some (photo) journalists who were walking back from the stage to the press room, were joking whether they should be considering a different profession! Much has been said about short draws in chess, especially after the Candidates matches in Kazan last year, and also today this whole thing led to a heavy debat in the comments section below this article.

All we can add is that Aronian can certainly not be blamed. The Armenian played a fantastic tournament and finished as the deserved winner. In fact Aronian himself considered it to be the best individual performance in his career thus far, as he noted in a brief press conference on Sunday afternoon.

I woke up at 6am, went to bed at 1am. I had trouble sleeping as I wasn't sure what to play. I was in good form, but friends told me: 'You'll play for a win next time!' So I just tried to forget about te result and the tournament, but in the end I couldn't.

Aronian felt that his game in the penultimate round against Boris Gelfand had been his best.

Not because the game was good, but because it was was such a tense game. We both had timetrouble and the position was far from clear all the time. I think it was important that I managed to stay calm and he was the one who didn't handle the pressure.

The tournament winner felt that he had improved mentally.

I've been working on being able to strike back, not being upset about losing. [After the loss against Navara] I was very upset, but the more upset you are, the more you are motivated to come back. It's in any kind of activity that requires you to perform well all the time. I don't consider myself a good player unless I can strike back after a loss! Before the tournament I was thinking 'this might not be my tournament'. I felt I had problems in certain chess areas, and I would work on it in February, I would just do my best.. I still have those problems and I will still work on them!

Teimour Radjabov said about the short draw:

I was surprised by his opening choice. I had expected him to go for a win in an effort to reach first place on FIDE’s world rating list, and prepared for a completely different line. I ended up slightly worse with black and a draw was fine with me. I was happy to be the only player to remain unbeaten.

Radjabov eventually finished shared second with Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, who all scored 8/13, a point less than the winner. Carlsen tried to beat Loek van Wely, using the Stonewall, but only reached a slight advantage, not more.

Caruana joined the other two thanks to a last-round win against Boris Gelfand. The Israeli went back to his Petroff Defence, and the position was a draw for a long time, until Gelfand collapsed in the end.

PGN string

The Italian grandmaster, who will turn 20 later this year, won the 500-euro daily prize for this victory and he received the envelope on stage during the closing ceremony. He was also awarded a special 'young talent' prize and it was the now 101-year-old Professor Van Hulst who delivered it to him!

After congratulating Caruana (who by the way has entered the live ratings top 10!) Van Hulst urged him to enjoy other aspects in life as well, such as "art, literature and family!"

Gata Kamsky hasn't been given much attention in this event, but the American eventually finished his tournament on a respectable +1 score. In the final round he beat Veselin Topalov, who has been struggling with his form throughout the event.

PGN string

With a number of draws in the key games, nothing changed in the B group either and so Pentala Harikrishna of India maintained his half-point lead until the very end. He will be invited to the A group of the 75th edition in 2013.

Pentala Harikrishna receiving the first prize from the mayor of Velzen

In the C group Maxim Turov won another convincing game against Etienne Goudriaan and saw co-leader Hans Tikkanen getting into big trouble against Tania Sachdev. Eventually the Swedish GM managed to draw the game, but it meant that Turov will be playing in B next year.

Maxim Turov qualified for the C group by winning the BDO tournament last summer, and now qualified for 'B'!

The traditional pea soup dinner & closing ceremony

Levon Aronian holding the special Wijk aan Zee plaque...

...giving the traditional winner's speech...

...and celebrating his victory with his girlfriend Arianne Caoili, who played in the 9-round event and in fact won her group as well! Behind them is a delegation of local Armenians, who came along and brought a flag.

Daily official video

Games group A, round 13



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 1-0 Giri
Kamsky ½-½ Nakamura   Navara ½-½ Caruana
Van Wely 0-1 Karjakin   Gelfand 0-1 Aronian
Gashimov 0-1 Radjabov   Radjabov ½-½ Ivanchuk
Ivanchuk 0-1 Gelfand   Karjakin ½-½ Gashimov
Aronian 0-1 Navara   Nakamura 1-0 Van Wely
Caruana 1-0 Giri   Carlsen ½-½ Kamsky
Round 13 29.01.12 12.00 CET        
Kamsky 1-0 Topalov        
Van Wely ½-½ Carlsen        
Gashimov ½-½ Nakamura        
Ivanchuk ½-½ Karjakin        
Aronian ½-½ Radjabov        
Caruana 1-0 Gelfand        
Giri ½-½ Navara        

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group A | Round 13 standings


Games group B, round 13


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 ½-½ Harikrishna
Timman 1-0 Cmilyte   Reinderman 1-0 Ernst
Potkin 1-0 Harika   Bruzon 1-0 Vocaturo
Tiviakov 1-0 Lahno   Lahno 0-1 Nyzhnyk
Nyzhnyk 1-0 Bruzon   Harika 0-1 Tiviakov
Vocaturo 0-1 Reinderman   Cmilyte ½-½ Potkin
Ernst 1-0 Harikrishna   l'Ami ½-½ Timman
Round 13 29.01.12 12.00 CET        
Timman ½-½ Motylev        
Potkin 1-0 l'Ami        
Tiviakov 1-0 Cmilyte        
Nyzhnyk 1-0 Harika        
Vocaturo ½-½ Lahno        
Ernst 0-1 Bruzon        
Harikrishna ½-½ Reinderman        

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group B | Round 13 standings


Games group C, round 13


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 ½-½ Grover
Danielian ½-½ Adhiban   Sadler 0-1 Tikkanen
Turov ½-½ Brandenburg   Tania 0-1 Ootes
Schut 0-1 Paehtz   Paehtz ½-½ Haast
Haast 0-1 Tania   Brandenburg 1-0 Schut
Ootes ½-½ Sadler   Adhiban 0-1 Turov
Tikkanen 1-0 Grover   Goudriaan 0-1 Danielian
Round 13 29.01.12 12.00 CET        
Danielian 1-0 Hopman        
Turov 1-0 Goudriaan        
Schut 0-1 Adhiban        
Haast 0-1 Brandenburg        
Ootes 0-1 Paehtz        
Tikkanen ½-½ Tania        
Grover ½-½ Sadler        

Tata Steel 2012 | Grandmaster Group C | Round 13 standings



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


arkan's picture

Congrats! Although Radjabov should have tried a little more i think, he could end up #1 as well?

Chess Fan's picture

I have always had a respect for Radjabov's chess ever since he beat two world champions Kasparov and Anand, both with black, at Linares (of all places) when he was 14 and 15 (How cool was this kid! - very cool I would say). I have always seen him as a potential young world champion till Aronian and Carlsen came along.
I still think he and Karjakin are the real deal along with the MAGnificient two when(if!) Anand passes his torch. Anand will retire and will not be defeated in a world championship match in my opinion. He will play and defeat both Aronian and Magnus in match till/before 2016. But then people will have some other reason to doubt his credentials, I guess. But this is all my prediction. Let us have fun and see how correct and accurate I am. Remember these predictions. I stand by them.

Anonymous's picture

Aronian now one step closer to matching Anands' career wins at Wyk aan Zee !!!!!

Anonymous's picture

*Wijk aan Zee. By the way, congrat's to Aronian. Also looking foward to the training match schedualed against Kramnik; very nice prelude to the Wch match Anand vs Gelfand.

noyb's picture

Someone needs to teach Radja to pop those nasty zits on his chin. Yuck!

bronkenstein's picture

I don`t think he cares of such details , don`t be so metro on him =)

The Devil's picture

Really... 12 moves? That's borderline insulting! Carlsen must be pissed the f*ck off!

Thomas's picture

As I just noticed, Carlsen had no reason to be pissed off at least in terms of prize money (bragging rights for shared first place might be another story). In any case he had to beat van Wely - another story is that he, like most other players, didn't manage.
If Radjabov does not beat Aronian, this would have been clear second place and 7000 Euros.
If Radjabov had beaten Aronian, it would be shared first to third place and (10000+7000+3500)/3 Euros, actually slightly less than 7000!

bronkenstein's picture

MC spent only few moves more to draw Naka(and practically lose chances for 1st ).

redivivo's picture

Haha, I'm getting addicted to following games at Chessbomb, people there were furious and said that Aronian was immoral and never should be invited to another Wijk, Radjabov was even worse and should be banned entirely from all chess competitions in the future. Both players were shameful cheating cowards and so on, it was impossible to respect them as persons after his draw, and there were endless posts with much worse and unprintable abuse than that. Especially funny that Aronian was showered with so much hate, apparently it wasn't enough to win 7 games, play excellent chess, decline Gelfand's draw offer and risk a lot with black, become the third highest rated player ever, etc. He was still a useless shameful dirty xxxx and xxxx :-)

Abbas's picture
Abbas's picture

By the way, Did they find the organizers who put the draw rules guilty?
I think we shouldn't blame the organizers, but we should blame all the players who follow the draw rules.

redivivo's picture

Some said that this would never happen with Sofia rules (even if repetitions work just as fine then), but in a situation where both players are happy to draw the game will also be drawn. But most users over there seem to be bullet chess kids that never followed a tournament before. It doesn't matter how many brilliant games Aronian won, securing first place by not taking risks to win also in the last round makes him rotten to the core and, as more than one poster said, he must be disqualified since the reputation of the whole tournament would be destroyed otherwise. You've got to love that place :-)

voyteck's picture

Well, I wouldn't blame Aronian that much but Radjabov is another matter. What we are talking about is a 12-move draw with black by a player who:

1) had a shot at the title so was in form;
2) usually prefers trying with black than with white and was facing a player only slightly better by rating points;
3) hadn't lost a game the day before;
4) played only third game in a row after a rest day (being only 24).

Unless he was ill there is no excuse for not trying. What did he participated for? What does he play chess for? To draw and get away with money?

Kenneth Kaye's picture

voyteck is spot on! Sure Aronian should settle for a draw and secure first place, but against an opponent who if he would have won, would have shared first place instead of shared second? Ban Radjabov for the rest of the year! The only way to show the SGM's who regularly play the big events that there will be consequences to this kind of bunk.(I'll refrain from using the stronger language Radjabov deserves.)
The Tata Steel organizers should take the first step and announce immediately that Radjabov will NOT be invited to next year's event.

Anthony's picture

Are you sure Black has a decent continuation other than Nf6? It's easy to become passive in that position.

alberto eduardo hernandez jorge's picture

Ha sido un torneo extraordinario para recordar por largo tiempo Aronian confirmo su buen nivel de extra clase con un juego muy solido y sobre todo una estabilidad emocional envidiable lo cual hace prever que su perfomance apunta al campeonato del mundo ya lo veremos ............. felicidades LEVO ARONIAN .

David Kaufmann's picture

Comparto totalmente su opinión! Levon Aronian está imparable. Veremos si puede arrebatarle el primer puesto en la lista mundial a Magnus Carlsen.

redivivo's picture

An exciting Wijk as always, and congratulations to Aronian for having maybe the tournament of his life, no chess for a long time now as far as I'm concerned, it has been much to follow and discuss the last weeks!

Somrowsky's picture

After his early draw Aronian was showered with negative comments online. Laughable, considering the quality, the maturity, the stability and the tactical class of his play. Excellent tournament, Levon.

Frits Fritschy's picture

Quite understandable Radjabov didn't try anything in this game; first of all having black, secondly against a world number 2 who's playing an opening that is as solid as rock.
His early draw yesterday against Ivanchuk is more difficult to grasp: a position with at least a lot to play for, if not better for white.
Hope he won't get court martialled in Azerbeidjan for cowardice in sight of the enemy...

Szoker's picture

Thats not a nice way to end such an exciting tournament...

I mean 12 moves ?

come on...

Lee's picture

The comments on chessbomb were pretty funny. Super nerds going nuts.

Aronian after a fantastic tournament only needed a draw to win. Radjabov obliged by offering one early. Only a fool wouldn't accept and take 1st place honours.

Radjabov had quite a few sub 30 move draws in the tournament though and his fighting qualities seem a little suspect.

Anonymous's picture

Aronian and Radjabov are just a disgrace to chess. They are pathetic. No wonder chess would never gain in popularity. The current chess champion only plays for draws. And now the number two in rankings goes for a 12 moves draw. It's utterly ridiculous.

sadtruth's picture

Well think about something like football. Leading 1-0 many teams just try to play as boring as possible to win.

moytra's picture

chill the blob off a££tunnell

MiniMe's picture

You are being extremely picky. They are human beings, best of them in the chess field, don't be absurd.

Rodzjer's picture

My advice to you: read the post a bit up, about Aronian's 7 wins (and even more if you count decisive games), battling chess etc.
One game to clinch tournament victory, and you start whining. That's the real disgrace here.

Thomas's picture

Apparently Aronian-Radjabov took less than five minutes, as photographers were still allowed on stage when the game was over .... . The draw was 'welcome' for both players, particularly Aronian. Harder to understand is why Gashimov-Nakamura was drawn in 11 moves - in a rather interesting position, not even bothering to find a move repetition, and Nakamura could have obtained shared second place by winning that game.

darkergreen's picture

did they make moves on foot? picture tells that to be so:)

Arnold Jones's picture

Compare the finals: Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal, 5 hrs 53 min, Aronian vs Radjabov 12 moves!! Massive spectators vs Few ones!!

Thomas's picture

Such comparisons are odd to say the least: How many people would have watched Aronian-Radjabov if it was guaranteed to last for more than 5 hours? How many people did watch Gelfand-Aronian which took that long? And how many people watch a 100m Olympic final which finishes even more quickly than Aronian-Radjabov? :)

MiniMe's picture

Aronian - great!

columbo's picture

Caruana just entered the top 10 ! Congrats to Aronian who played a spectacular tournament !!!

MiniMe's picture

Such a huge improvement in rating for Aronian - +18, that is huge. Such rating changes don't appear often in top-5. Caruana also amazing rating change, +20, rise of a new player in the elite.

Short Draws's picture

A 12-move draw is a disgrace, regardless of how well they played in previous rounds. The sporting situation of "securing" a draw to clinch tournament victory should be unacceptable. It is obviously bad in terms of making chess an attractive sport. Those professional players were paid to play 13 games in a tournament, no less.

The question what constitutes a "real" game is problematic, because if you had a 40-move rule, then they would just continue in protest with meaningless manouvering in a symmetrical position and exchange all pieces, reaching bare kings.

The football scoring system has its own drawbacks, because a fighting draw should be rewarded as well. I would say that as long as the players keep their sporting integrity and fight in every game, then we do not need any artificial rules.

Now, Aronian did fight in many games, including in round 12 when he tried to complicate the game at every turn and take risks - that's all true, but that doesn't give more legitimacy to the non-game of round 13.

Making short draws is an expression of human weakness. I would propose the following: the prize money (or appearance fee) each player receives will be reduced for each "uneventful" draw. The decision what constitutes "uneventful" will be determined by a special committiee, perhaps with some input in terms of public voting. I would define "uneventful" as: "clear lack of intention on a player's part to fight." This is not an ideal proposition, because it opens the door to other problems of dishonesty and corruption, but maybe an improved version of this would be a good solution. Any suggestions?

MiniMe's picture

Actually, that does give more legitimacy to the non-game of round 13. As far as I am concerned they didn't break any rules, they did what was allowed to do, thus everything is ok.

moytra's picture

tell that to lance armstrong and tour de france you fool

robpz's picture

Have you ever seen the last stage of the Tour de France?

Drag Queen's picture

let them do what they want.If you dont like it stop looking.

Short Draws's picture

No, they didn't break the rules, but they broke the sporting spirit of the competition. A sporting situation is a precondition for any tournament, and that means: a fight between two sides (individual players or teams). If there is no fighting spirit in a single game - that breaks the spirit of the competition. If there is no competition - then that single game:
Should not be a source of financial reward for the participants.
Should not count towards other games that are part of a legitimate tournament.
Should not be displayed publicly over the internet as a "competitive chess game", because it is not.
And so on.

There is a problem with the current regulations, and with the current social norms of what's acceptable chess behavior. People are talking about it for years, but no satisfactory solution has been found so far.

I don't agree that classical chess is dead, as has been suggested by Grischuk after the Candidates. The large number of black wins at the highest level in recent tournaments proves the opposite. But I do think that a game which shows No Fighting Intention from the Participants should not be tolerated. My proposal above (financial consequences for such a non-sporting behavior) is in the direction of getting rid of those non-games.

MiniMe's picture

Ok, I can understand that. You are right, but on the other hand maybe it's wrong to concentrate on a single game, and look at the greater picture - the whole tournament. Aronian won seven games, many years in Tata Steel Chess nobody won so many victories and so few draws, you have to give a respect to that. We can think of a tournament as a one long single game, with overall winners and losers, than everything is fine. Players do often spare their energies in some days, and fight vigorously in other.

I think both guys, especially Aronian, just went out of fuel, and that is really not surprising, especially for Aronian who overall in the tournament showed a fighting spirit Tata Steel Chess tournament haven't seen for years (literally, just according to statistics).

Al Hughes's picture

Agree. I think everyone seemed pretty spent by the last round. Just let Lev finish his tea, give him the trophy and let's go home. Given the fights seen in the previous twelve rounds, I don't see any great grounds for complaint.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Its quite amusing how a draw to secure victory can be ridiculed. These are professional chess players for whom chess is the source of income for their bread and butter. If by securing a draw, Aronian can ensure (i) prize money, (ii) invitation to Bilbao and (iii) invitation back to wijk next year as defending champion, then it is absolutely the correct way to go. It is due to Aronian's great play that he put himself in this nice predicament of needing only a draw with white in the last round. It would be nice with chess fans grow up and start considering chess as a professional sport and start respecting chess players. It is not because of short draws that chess is not popular, it is more because of such absurd chess fans. Be a professional chess player and earn your daily money through it and then comment on players.

Short Draws's picture

Using an insulting language does not make your arguments any stronger. Your response is simply: "I'm an Aronian fan and it's great to see him winning tournaments, money, and more invitations".

I'm speaking of a larger problem in the chess world, not about your favorite player. The two non-games today in Group A are part of a trend that ruins the competitive spirit in a chess tournament. It's not only the players' fault. The organizers can do better to fight against it, as well as public opinion on the topic.

As stated in my other posts: I would like to see a situation in which it is not legitimate to have a non-game. This needs cooperated efforts from all parties involved.

Being "professional" should mean having a fighting spirit in every game, and that should be rewarded.

columbo's picture

" insulting language " ??? Harish Srinivasan didn't insult anyone, he put 3 arguments on the table, valuables ones ... You have a bad taste in your mouth ? did you watch the whole Tata Steel ? how can you talk about Aronian lack of fighting spirits ??? he was there on the battle field since the beginning of the tournament ! He showed us all incredible and classy games, he deserves the price.

Short Draws's picture

Insulting language:
"It would be nice if chess fans will grow up"
"chess is not more popular because of such absurd chess fans"
"Be a professional chess player before you can comment"
"It's quite amusing" - and all that to a very serious topic that I raised, and which has not been answered yet by anyone of the cheerleaders here.

This is not about Aronian, so stop responding with how great he played. We know that already.

It is about playing non-games, by ANY professional chess player, and about the fact that such a behavior is tolerated by organizers and sponsors.

Have you seen any other sport in which a non-game is accepted, and calculated into the total result?

alfonso's picture

Yes, I have seen other sport in which a "non-game" is accepted. The last stage of the Tour of France (and other major cycling events) is not really disputed by the top riders, it is only a pleasure walk for the victor. Today Aronian has had his Champs Elysees. Nothing really horrible, methinks.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Its pretty obvious that I am not an Aronian fan. As long as Vishy plays the game I am and will always be a fan of him. But in general I am also a chess fan and don't like it when people complain about the game. You speak of the larger problem in chess. The larger problem that you are talking about is only a problem because it is viewed as one. If all fans respected chess players and considered them as people who are playing the game not just due to the passion but also to earn for their living they would not speak like this. A three fold repetition at the 12th move did not happen in the first 12 rounds of the tournament. Each day 7 games are played and in a total of 72 games there was one game a 12 move draw happened and that too for perfectly fine reasons from Aronian's perspective. For such a small thing if fans stand up and disrespect the players, yes chess will never get popular.

Short Draws's picture

Thank you for responding in a more respectful tone this time.

First of all, there was an 11-move final draw as well in the A Group, and without a threefold repetition.

Second, I agree that the tournament as a whole was a good one, but there were other tournaments with many more short draws (Candidates 2011), and you cannot deny that it is a recurring issue.

When you start tolerating short draws, how many of them are permissible? 1? 2? 20? What you are saying is: they make short draws because they make a living playing professional chess and need to protect their income. I don't agree with this argument. They should play the game to its logical end, and if it's a draw -fine. If one person wins - then that's fine.
Fearing to play a real game is not a professional behavior.

Now, you can say: chess has been like that for decades, and this behavior was seen among almost all the leading players, including world champions. It has become part of our tradition. This is all true, but I come back to the same issue: A non-game should not be accepted as legitimate, because it violates the sporting spirit of the competition, no matter how you look at it.

And this has not yet been answered satisfactorily.


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