Reports | January 22, 2012 22:31

Gashimov beats Giri in 8th round Tata Steel

Gashimov beats Giri in 8th round Tata Steel

Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen remain in first place at the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Both players drew their game in the 8th round. In fact only one encounter in the A group ended decisively: Vugar Gashimov won his first game, with Black against Anish Giri. Going into the second rest day, Pentala Harikrishna still has a half-point lead over Alexander Motylev in the B group while Hans Tikkanen caught Maxim Turov in first place in 'C'.

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.

Right from the start of the 8th round, all attention went to the A group's game Anish Giri versus Vugar Gashimov. It started as a Najdorf Sicilian and soon got very sharp, with White putting a bishop on d5 while there was a black pawn on e6, and then Black not taking it but instead letting his rook on a8 taken!

As it turned out, it was all theory, and quite old theory. However, the reputation of the line isn't very good - the move 10.Bd5!? hasn't been played by strong players. Interestingly, in the database two games by Italian IM Stefano Tatai can be found, one from 1970 and one from 2011!  The question is, why Giri decided to go for it. He commented in a rather joyful manner:

The highlight of my play, preperation...! I knew one correspondence game, I looked at it this morning and it looked interesting.

Anish Giri got inspiration from a correspondence game, but his sharp play backfired completely

Vugar Gashimov, who won his first game in the tournament and with it the Piet Zwart Prize, said:

I had this position in my analysis some months ago. I remembered that Black is better.

Gashimov wasn't sure how his analysis went exactly, but behind the board he seemed to be playing all the right moves.

PGN string

The tournament leaders both drew their games. Levon Aronian was the first, against Veselin Topalov. The Bulgarian could have won Black's queen, but apparently he agreed with his opponent that the resulting position would be fine for Black.

PGN string


I didn't know much about it but it felt very natural to play Nc6. If he plays e4 instead of e3, Nxf4 and Black is better I think.

Levon Aronian: an easy draw against Veselin Topalov

Magnus Carlsen again played on for quite a while in a dry endgame position against Teimour Radjabov, and did manage to get a slight advantage. However, the Norwegian also felt that this time he "overpressed" a bit. The two analyzed for some time afterwards; something that's quite rare these days.

Teimour Radjabov drew with White against Magnus Carlsen

At some point our camera was ready to shoot a press conference by Gata Kamsky. We had everything set up as the American was completely winning against Boris Gelfand, and it had been quite a nice game, suitable for the demo board.

The Houdini evalutation on the official website went from -5.90 to -6.18 during several half moves, but then the American just didn't see how to finish it off. Gelfand escaped, and commented:

I played another poor game. I saw I could lose two or three times but luck was on my side today.


To be honest at the beginning I had some idea what I was doing but as the game progresses I was getting completely out of my mind and in the end I realized I see absolutely nothing. Just making solid moves and a draw!

PGN string

The two draws in Navara-Van Wely and Caruana-Ivanchuk were quite spectacular as well. We'll give the final part of one of these:

PGN string

In the B group the daily prize went to Vladimir Potkin, who played a fine game with Black against Dimitri Reinderman, full of little tactical nuances.

PGN string

Jan Timman lost his third game in a row, against Lazaro Bruzon. The Cuban probably could have won earlier, but the game was decided when Timman again missed a relatively easy tactic.

PGN string

The C group's top encounter between Matthew Sadler and Maxim Turov ended in a draw and this gave Hans Tikkanen the opportunity to catch Turov in the standings.

Maxim Turov and Matthew Sadler split the point


Games group A, round 8


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 - Topalov   Topalov - Caruana
Carlsen - Karjakin   Giri - Aronian
Kamsky - Radjabov   Navara - Ivanchuk
Van Wely - Gelfand   Gelfand - Gashimov
Gashimov - Navara   Radjabov - Van Wely
Ivanchuk - Giri   Karjakin - Kamsky
Aronian - Caruana   Nakamura - 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 8 standings


Games group B, round 8


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 - Motylev   Motylev - Ernst
l'Ami - Harika   Harikrishna - Vocaturo
Timman - Lahno   Reinderman - Nyzhnyk
Potkin - Bruzon   Bruzon - Tiviakov
Tiviakov - Reinderman   Lahno - Potkin
Nyzhnyk - Harikrishna   Harika - Timman
Vocaturo - Ernst   Cmilyte - 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 8 standings


Games group C, round 8


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 - Hopman   Hopman - Tikkanen
Goudriaan - Brandenburg   Grover - Ootes
Danielian - Paehtz   Sadler - Haast
Turov - Tania   Tania - Schut
Schut - Sadler   Paehtz - Turov
Haast - Grover   Brandenburg - Danielian
Ootes - Tikkanen   Adhiban - 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 8 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.


Hughbertie's picture

Nice to see Marty Feldman beat that so called dutch player

biffmeatstick's picture

Of course he's a Dutchman. He lives there. If he moved to China, he would be a Chinaman. Don't you know that we are all interchangeable now? Our rulers decided this long ago.

Sergio's picture

common we all know he is just called Dutch cause he does well, if he was a criminal we would call him a bl**d* foreigner.

S3's picture

If he was a criminal he still wouldn't be able to speak dutch probably.

Lee's picture

Slightly obscure reference for most I suspect, but you have made me laugh sir.

Parkov's picture

What hump?

raving_mad's picture

Hello you Hughbertie, Giri is as dutch as Marty Feldman is british..

Parkov's picture

Well that doesn't work seeing as Marty Feldman was born, raised and lived most of his life in England

Anonymous's picture

Seriously, why is Anish Giri not a Dutchman? He is a citizen there and is living there since as a child. Isn't he Dutch? The Dutch amongst you can probably clarify my question. Maybe he was 100% Caucasian like his Russian mother, maybe you all won't be joking about this? Just curious about the racial opinions of the Dutch who I consider as amongst the most liberal people in Europe, along with the Scandinavians.

Ashish's picture

With a few exceptions, you cannot become a Dutch citizen by naturalization until you are 18 years old.

Sergio's picture

Well of course he is Dutch cause he has Dutch nationality (passport). I am officially Dutch as well but as people ask me where I am from, my hometown isn't the right answer. People in the Netherlands only see you as Dutch if you look Dutch or either do very good in sport. (hence my previous comment) The political and social climate changed a bit towards foreigners here in the Netherlands in the last years unfortunately.

S3's picture

Well, people get wiser you know. But Giri will receive his papers in a few months.

Remco G's picture

"Seriously, why is Anish Giri not a Dutchman? He is a citizen there and is living there since as a child."

Just correcting the facts: he doesn't have Dutch nationality and he's been living here since february 2008. He chose to play for the Dutch federation and is currently coached by the Dutch chess federation's coach, the Belgian Vladimir Chuchelov.

I assume that if his dad were to find employment elsewhere again, Anish would move with him. Perhaps if Anish enters Dutch university we have a change to keep him, but then, why would he when he's already this close to the world top in chess.

Thomas's picture

Yep, I remember an article in a Dutch newspaper (de Volkskrant) a year ago stating that Giri still has a Russian passport, and quoting him that St.Petersburg still feels most like home for him. Does it matter from a broader perspective? Giri is a young cosmopolitan who is currently living in and representing the Netherlands. This might change - which I would regret from a Dutch perspective (or rather, the perspective of a German living in NL). BTW, of course Giri's coach Chuchelov also isn't a native Belgian - that's how things work in the chess world, and not only in the chess world.

I am still happy for Gashimov, even if he has beaten "the wrong opponent". He is a pretty strong player who just seems to fall a bit short against the very world top (Carlsen, Aronian).

Aingle Pack's picture

With current trend, Topalov will be some 80 rating points below the No. 1 Carlsen in March! The other prodigy of the 90s, Leko is already some 120 rating points lower than Carlsen.

Zeblakob's picture

And y forget about the next WCC challenger :) (no offence)

Marcel's picture

Exactly! And the prodigy of the seventees, Timman is already 250 behind of Carlsen, not to mention how far Fischer and Morphy are behind on him now, in terms of rating! And Lasker en Steinitz didn't have a rating at all! So let's crown Magnus as the world champion! (even if he does not play)

giovlinn's picture

Well, in Fischer's case that was some 40 years ago, not to mention the others! And his rating at that time was very high, some 2780, I think.

redivivo's picture

It's one thing to compare Carlsen to active top players like Leko and Topalov who both competed for the World Championship fairly recently, and another thing to compare him with Timman today. Pointing out that Carlsen has been playing better than Leko and Topalov lately doesn't equal demanding that he should be given the World Championship crown without competing.

Jurgen's picture

"He chose to play for the Dutch federation and is currently coached by the Dutch chess federation's coach, the Belgian Vladimir Chuchelov." And if Chuchelov is Belgian, Giri is Dutch, for sure.

Remco G's picture

Well, Chuchelov actually has a Belgian passport.

Anonymous's picture

Does anybody know why Aronion is on +8 rating more than Carlsen atm with only 1 extra game?

Thomas's picture

Three reasons:
- Aronian's extra game (a win against Fressinet in the German Bundesliga, Elo +3.5) explains about half of it.
- In Wijk aan Zee, he so far faced somewhat stronger opponents than Carlsen, hence his TPR is a bit higher for the same 5.5/8 score (2901 vs. 2891 for Carlsen).
- As his current rating is a bit lower than Carlsen's, he would also gain more Elo for the same TPR.

kvestor's picture

The above musings beg the question whether precious nationality signify anything but a particularly narrow mindset.

Anonymous's picture

Imagine no countries...
Did I quote the song right?
Peace man

christos's picture

From the Radjabov - Carlsen post mortem video, we once again reaffirm one thing: What a master of the endgame Carlsen is. It is also obvious that Radjabov has a lot of respect for Carlsen's opinion.

Grover Monster's picture

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" - Samuel Johnson

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