Reports | January 27, 2013 19:09

Tata R13: Carlsen wins by 1.5 points, Naiditsch first on tie-break in B, Brunello clear first in C

Magnus Carlsen holding the trophy, with Vishy Anand in the background

Having already won the tournament, Magnus Carlsen was under pressure against Anish Giri in the final round but escaped with a draw, finishing on 10/13, the same score as Garry Kasparov achieved in 1999. World Champion Vishy Anand lost with Black against Wang Hao and Sergey Karjakin quickly beat Loek van Wely.

Magnus Carlsen holding the trophy, with Vishy Anand in the background | Photos © Tata Steel, more here

In the B group Arkadij Naiditsch and Richard Rapport won their games to tie for first place, as Sergey Movsesian had to split the point. Taking into account previous years, it's quite possible that both Rapport and Naiditsch will be invited for next year's A group. There's no discussion about who promoted to "B" from "C", as Sabino Brunello finished clear first there, achieving a gigantic 11/13 (a 2765 performance rating). 

Event Tata Steel Chess Tournament | Games in PGN: A group, B group, C group via TWIC
Dates January 12th-28th, 2013
Location Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands
System 3 GM groups with 14 players-player round robin
A group
Carlsen, Aronian, Anand, Caruana, Karjakin, Sokolov, Nakamura, Wang Hao, Giri, Harikrishna, Van Wely, Leko, l'Ami, Hou Yifan
B group
Naiditsch, Movsesian, Edouard, Tiviakov, Turov, Rapport, Nikolic, Smeets, Dubov, Ipatov, Van Kampen, Grandelius, Timman, Ernst
C group
Peralta, Kovchan, Brunello, Mekhitarian, Gretarsson, Swinkels, Burg, Van der Werf, Klein, Goryachkina, Bitensky, Admiraal, Schut
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.

Even though the tournament had been decided the day before, the last round of the Tata Steel chess festival provided good entertainment for the visitors and the online spectators. The winner was in trouble, the World Champion even more, and at the end of the day the average number of moves in the A group was as high as 57.3!

Magnus Carlsen, who only had his rating and Kasparov's 1999 record to play for, never got close to an advantage with Black. In a bit of an old line in the Sämisch King's Indian, it was Anish Giri who grabbed the initiative with an excellent temporary positional pawn sac, despite being behind in development. But then one inaccuracy allowed a neat trick that saved the day for Carlsen.

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Videos by Freshmen media

Traditionally, the winner of the tournament gave a press conference on the final day together with the tournament director. (Apparently there were no decent microphones available, so they had to use a headset instead. Therefore the image is somewhat clumsy and the sound is not good.)

The shortest game of the round, at least in number of moves, was the one between Sergey Karjakin and Loek van Wely, an excellent game by the Muscovite who came up with a new idea in an important position of the Sicilian Dragon. A tactical oversight by Van Wely had an easy refutation.

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Vishy Anand left the tournament with a disappointing loss and therefore a shared third place with Karjakin. Wang Hao played a line in the Scotch Four Knights which was introduced last year by Vladimir Kramnik and can be quite annoying for Black. The Chinese finished his tournament with a good game.

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Hou Yifan and Peter Leko followed Marshall theory (in fact a Karjakin-Aronian game from a few months ago) for 25 moves an like so often, White's extra pawn was not enough to create winning chances.

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Hikaru Nakamura tried hard to finish his tournament with a win. Against Pentala Harikrishna he started with 1.g3 and got a small advantage out of the opening. With a positional pawn sac he kept controlling the position, and at some point he won the pawn back, but the Indian defended well in the ending.

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Dutchmen Erwin l'Ami and Ivan Sokolov fought out a long battle in a Semi-Tarrasch which eventually led a to a rook ending with an extra pawn for Black. It was always a draw, except for one moment, when both players missed a winning rook move for Black.

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Levon Aronian will have mixed feelings after the tournament. His score wasn't bad, but his game against Fabiano Caruana wasn't the first time that he failed to win a won position. Just after the time control the Italian was fighting for his life, and this time successfully.

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Group B

The B group was all about the showdown between Sergey Movsesian, Arkadij Naiditsch and Richard Rapport. The latter was the first to win his game against Predrag Nikolic thanks to a devilish trick in the time trouble phase. Movsesian faced a well playing Alexander Ipatov who avoided getting into trouble in what was a complicated game, so the Armenian lost the battle for promotion to the A group.

But Naiditsch didn't; the top seed managed to win a drawn pawn ending that turned into a drawn queen ending. Well, theoretically speaking, because in practise these endings are extremely difficult to defend. At move 67 Sipke Ernst gave a losing check, as the tablebase tells us. An amazing way to reach the A group! (The official website informs that Rapport lost the fight for the right to participate in Group A on tie-break, but we wouldn't be surprised if he was invited next year anyway.)

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Arkadij Naiditsch: from B to A

Group C

It was slightly surprising to see Fernando Peralta going for a quick and theoretical draw (first played in Sax-Seirawan, Brussels 1988) against Alexander Kovchan, but also understandable. Sabino Brunello, however, made an already successful tournament even better by also winning his last game. The Italian grandmaster's performance rating wouldn't have made a bad impression in the A group!

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Sabino Brunello: from C to B

Tata Steel 2013 | Grandmaster Group A | Round 13 standings


Tata Steel 2013 | Grandmaster Group A | Pairings

Round 1 12.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 2 13.01.13 13.30 CET
Aronian ½-½ Van Wely   Van Wely ½-½ Hou Yifan
Carlsen ½-½ Caruana   l'Ami ½-½ Karjakin
Harikrishna 1-0 Giri   Wang Hao ½-½ Leko
Anand ½-½ Nakamura   Nakamura ½-½ Sokolov
Sokolov ½-½ Wang Hao   Giri ½-½ Anand
Leko ½-½ l'Ami   Caruana ½-½ Harikrishna
Karjakin 1-0 Hou Yifan   Aronian ½-½ Carlsen
Round 3 14.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 4 15.01.13 13.30 CET
Carlsen 1-0 Van Wely   Van Wely 1-0 l'Ami
Harikrishna ½-½ Aronian   Wang Hao 1-0 Hou Yifan
Anand 1-0 Caruana   Nakamura ½-½ Karjakin
Sokolov ½-½ Giri   Giri ½-½ Leko
Leko ½-½ Nakamura   Caruana 1-0 Sokolov
Karjakin 1-0 Wang Hao   Aronian 0-1 Anand
Hou Yifan ½-½ l'Ami   Carlsen 1-0 Harikrishna
Round 5 17.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 6 18.01.13 13.30 CET
Harikrishna 1-0 Van Wely   Van Wely 1-0 Wang Hao
Anand ½-½ Carlsen   Nakamura ½-½ l'Ami
Sokolov 0-1 Aronian   Giri 0-1 Hou Yifan
Leko 1-0 Caruana   Caruana ½-½ Karjakin
Karjakin ½-½ Giri   Aronian 1-0 Leko
Hou Yifan 0-1 Nakamura   Carlsen 1-0 Sokolov
l'Ami 0-1 Wang Hao   Harikrishna ½-½ Anand
Round 7 19.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 8 20.01.13 13.30 CET
Anand 1-0 Van Wely   Van Wely ½-½ Nakamura
Sokolov ½-½ Harikrishna   Giri ½-½ Wang Hao
Leko ½-½ Carlsen   Caruana 1-0 l'Ami
Karjakin ½-½ Aronian   Aronian 1-0 Hou Yifan
Hou Yifan ½-½ Caruana   Carlsen 1-0 Karjakin
l'Ami ½-½ Giri   Harikrishna ½-½ Leko
Wang Hao 0-1 Nakamura   Anand ½-½ Sokolov
Round 9 22.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 10 23.01.13 13.30 CET
Sokolov 0-1 Van Wely   Van Wely ½-½ Giri
Leko ½-½ Anand   Caruana 0-1 Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Harikrishna   Aronian 1-0 Wang Hao
Hou Yifan 0-1 Carlsen   Carlsen 1-0 l'Ami
l'Ami ½-½ Aronian   Harikrishna 0-1 Hou Yifan
Wang Hao ½-½ Caruana   Anand ½-½ Karjakin
Nakamura ½-½ Giri   Sokolov 0-1 Leko
Round 11 25.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 12 26.01.13 13.30 CET
Leko 1-0 Van Wely   Van Wely 1-0 Caruana
Karjakin 1-0 Sokolov   Aronian ½-½ Giri
Hou Yifan ½-½ Anand   Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura
l'Ami ½-½ Harikrishna   Harikrishna ½-½ Wang Hao
Wang Hao ½-½ Carlsen   Anand 1-0 l'Ami
Nakamura 0-1 Aronian   Sokolov 0-1 Hou Yifan
Giri 1-0 Caruana   Leko ½-½ Karjakin
Round 13 27.01.13 12.00 CET        
Karjakin 1-0 Van Wely        
Hou Yifan ½-½ Leko        
l'Ami ½-½ Sokolov        
Wang Hao 1-0 Anand        
Nakamura ½-½ Harikrishna        
Giri ½-½ Carlsen        
Caruana ½-½ Aronian        

Tata Steel 2013 | Grandmaster Group B | Round 13 standings


Tata Steel 2013 | Grandmaster Group B | Pairings

Round 1 12.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 2 13.01.13 13.30 CET
Rapport ½-½ Van Kampen   Van Kampen ½-½ Smeets
Edouard ½-½ Nikolic   Grandelius ½-½ Dubov
Ernst 0-1 Timman   Ipatov ½-½ Turov
Movsesian ½-½ Naiditsch   Naiditsch 0-1 Tiviakov
Tiviakov 1-0 Ipatov   Timman ½-½ Movsesian
Turov ½-½ Grandelius   Nikolic 1-0 Ernst
Dubov ½-½ Smeets   Rapport 1-0 Edouard
Round 3 14.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 4 15.01.13 13.30 CET
Edouard 1-0 Van Kampen   Van Kampen 0-1 Grandelius
Ernst 0-1 Rapport   Ipatov ½-½ Smeets
Movsesian 1-0 Nikolic   Naiditsch ½-½ Dubov
Tiviakov ½-½ Timman   Timman ½-½ Turov
Turov 0-1 Naiditsch   Nikolic 0-1 Tiviakov
Dubov ½-½ Ipatov   Rapport 1-0 Movsesian
Smeets 1-0 Grandelius   Edouard 0-1 Ernst
Round 5 17.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 6 18.01.13 13.30 CET
Ernst 0-1 Van Kampen   Van Kampen ½-½ Ipatov
Movsesian 1-0 Edouard   Naiditsch 1-0 Grandelius
Tiviakov 0-1 Rapport   Timman 1-0 Smeets
Turov ½-½ Nikolic   Nikolic 0-1 Dubov
Dubov 1-0 Timman   Rapport ½-½ Turov
Smeets 0-1 Naiditsch   Edouard 1-0 Tiviakov
Grandelius 1-0 Ipatov   Ernst 0-1 Movsesian
Round 7 19.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 8 20.01.13 13.30 CET
Movsesian 1-0 Van Kampen   Van Kampen 1-0 Naiditsch
Tiviakov 0-1 Ernst   Timman 1-0 Ipatov
Turov ½-½ Edouard   Nikolic 1-0 Grandelius
Dubov ½-½ Rapport   Rapport 0-1 Smeets
Smeets 1-0 Nikolic   Edouard 1-0 Dubov
Grandelius 0-1 Timman   Ernst 0-1 Turov
Ipatov 0-1 Naiditsch   Movsesian ½-½ Tiviakov
Round 9 22.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 10 23.01.13 13.30 CET
Tiviakov 1-0 Van Kampen   Van Kampen 1-0 Timman
Turov 0-1 Movsesian   Nikolic ½-½ Naiditsch
Dubov 1-0 Ernst   Rapport 1-0 Ipatov
Smeets 1-0 Edouard   Edouard 1-0 Grandelius
Grandelius ½-½ Rapport   Ernst 0-1 Smeets
Ipatov 1-0 Nikolic   Movsesian ½-½ Dubov
Naiditsch 1-0 Timman   Tiviakov ½-½ Turov
Round 11 25.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 12 26.01.13 13.30 CET
Turov ½-½ Van Kampen   Van Kampen 0-1 Nikolic
Dubov 1-0 Tiviakov   Rapport 1-0 Timman
Smeets ½-½ Movsesian   Edouard ½-½ Naiditsch
Grandelius 0-1 Ernst   Ernst ½-½ Ipatov
Ipatov 0-1 Edouard   Movsesian ½-½ Grandelius
Naiditsch 1-0 Rapport   Tiviakov ½-½ Smeets
Timman 1-0 Nikolic   Turov 1-0 Dubov
Round 13 27.01.13 12.00 CET        
Dubov ½-½ Van Kampen        
Smeets ½-½ Turov        
Grandelius ½-½ Tiviakov        
Ipatov ½-½ Movsesian        
Naiditsch 1-0 Ernst        
Timman ½-½ Edouard        
Nikolic 0-1 Rapport        

Tata Steel 2013 | Grandmaster Group C | Round 13 standings


Tata Steel 2013 | Grandmaster Group C | Pairings

Round 1 12.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 2 13.01.13 13.30 CET
Peralta 1-0 Goryachkina   Goryachkina ½-½ Van der Werf
Swinkels ½-½ Kovchan   Burg 0-1 Gretarsson
Brunello 1-0 Klein   Romanishin ½-½ Mekhitarian
Schut ½-½ Admiraal   Admiraal ½-½ Bitensky
Bitensky ½-½ Romanishin   Klein 1-0 Schut
Mekhitarian 1-0 Burg   Kovchan 0-1 Brunello
Gretarsson ½-½ Van der Werf   Peralta 1-0 Swinkels
Round 3 14.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 4 15.01.13 13.30 CET
Swinkels 1-0 Goryachkina   Goryachkina ½-½ Burg
Brunello ½-½ Peralta   Romanishin 1-0 Van der Werf
Schut 0-1 Kovchan   Admiraal ½-½ Gretarsson
Bitensky 1-0 Klein   Klein 1-0 Mekhitarian
Mekhitarian 1-0 Admiraal   Kovchan 1-0 Bitensky
Gretarsson 1-0 Romanishin   Peralta 1-0 Schut
Van der Werf 0-1 Burg   Swinkels ½-½ Brunello
Round 5 17.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 6 18.01.13 13.30 CET
Brunello 1-0 Goryachkina   Goryachkina ½-½ Romanishin
Schut 0-1 Swinkels   Admiraal ½-½ Burg
Bitensky 0-1 Peralta   Klein 1-0 Van der Werf
Mekhitarian ½-½ Kovchan   Kovchan ½-½ Gretarsson
Gretarsson 0-1 Klein   Peralta ½-½ Mekhitarian
Van der Werf ½-½ Admiraal   Swinkels ½-½ Bitensky
Burg 1-0 Romanishin   Brunello 1-0 Schut
Round 7 19.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 8 20.01.13 13.30 CET
Schut ½-½ Goryachkina   Goryachkina 1-0 Admiraal
Bitensky ½-½ Brunello   Klein 1-0 Romanishin
Mekhitarian ½-½ Swinkels   Kovchan ½-½ Burg
Gretarsson 0-1 Peralta   Peralta ½-½ Van der Werf
Van der Werf ½-½ Kovchan   Swinkels ½-½ Gretarsson
Burg ½-½ Klein   Brunello 1-0 Mekhitarian
Romanishin 1-0 Admiraal   Schut 1-0 Bitensky
Round 9 22.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 10 22.01.13 13.30 CET
Bitensky 1-0 Goryachkina   Goryachkina 0-1 Klein
Mekhitarian 1-0 Schut   Kovchan ½-½ Admiraal
Gretarsson 0-1 Brunello   Peralta 1-0 Romanishin
Van der Werf 0-1 Swinkels   Swinkels 1-0 Burg
Burg ½-½ Peralta   Brunello 1-0 Van der Werf
Romanishin ½-½ Kovchan   Schut 0-1 Gretarsson
Admiraal 1-0 Klein   Bitensky 1-0 Mekhitarian
Round 11 25.01.13 13.30 CET   Round 12 26.01.13 13.30 CET
Mekhitarian 1-0 Goryachkina   Goryachkina 0-1 Kovchan
Gretarsson 1-0 Bitensky   Peralta 1-0 Klein
Van der Werf 0-1 Schut   Swinkels ½-½ Admiraal
Burg ½-½ Brunello   Brunello 1-0 Romanishin
Romanishin ½-½ Swinkels   Schut 0-1 Burg
Admiraal 0-1 Peralta   Bitensky ½-½ Van der Werf
Klein ½-½ Kovchan   Mekhitarian 1-0 Gretarsson
Round 13 27.01.13 12.00 CET        
Gretarsson ½-½ Goryachkina        
Van der Werf 0-1 Mekhitarian        
Burg 1-0 Bitensky        
Romanishin 1-0 Schut        
Admiraal 0-1 Brunello        
Klein 0-1 Swinkels        
Kovchan ½-½ Peralta        

The traditional pea soup dinner with amateurs sitting together with top GMs...

...and the equally traditional words by Professor Johan van Hulst, who will turn 102 on Monday the 28th!

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.


Morley's picture

Intense finish, especially in the B group. Congrats to the winners! Do Naiditsch and Rapport both get invites to A group next year?

A shame for Vishy to end on this note, otherwise he had a very solid tournament. To be fair though, Wang Hao played a superb game.

You could really tell the toll such a long, grueling event had on the players. Magnus, Lev, Giri ... they all played pretty subpar, and I am sure they will all be glad the event is over!

Great tournament win for Magnus, for whom the sky seems the limit. And great job by Hou. After losing back-to-back to the 2800s (which can happen to anyone!) she closed with an impressive 3/4. I hope to see her in A group again next year!

miguelanjelo's picture

So when Anand has to actually play an endgame versus a decent player who is not happy with a quick draw, he quickly loses his way... good to know. Congrats Magnus !!

Eadon's picture

Anand makes chess look hard, whereas Carlsen makes it look easy :)

FlatEarth's picture

Yet again in this round there are things to recommend Anand’s results over Carlsen’s. Carlsen’s game was an unmitigated blunderfest whereas, when assessed with an engine, none of Anand’s moves were very far off the mark until the very end. Recall that Carlsen likewise made zero headway against Wang Hao in their head-to-head battle; hence the Anand-Carlsen comparison adds up to a wash at worst and, more realistically, probably a slight edge to the Undisputed-World-Champion. The fact that Carlsen equaled Kasparov’s dominating 10-of-13 tournament score from Wijk’s 1999 edition is of no significance because, as everyone plainly knows by now, there has been tremendous rating inflation in the intervening years so that an apples-to-apples comparison is not available. The unfortunate fact remains that Carlsen’s apparent edge in this event, viewed though the monocular and distorted prism of the so-called “official” tournament score is without exception 100% attributable to his only marginally significant ability to convert points (rather than convincingly win) against opponents who are lower rated than himself. Carlsen was also the lucky beneficiary of two games where his opposition barely even showed up: the joke games between Magnus and L’Ami and Nakamura. Taking away those two undeserved points more than eviscerates Carlsen’s narrow 1.5 point lead in the official standings and puts him, at best, tied with Anand and Karjakin, slightly behind Aronian. Carlsen’s fanboys are no doubt justifiable worried that, after this mediocre display, Carlsen goes wounded and limping in to the Candidates event with slim chances indeed given the many flaws in his play that were all too evident at Wijk.

GM Grand's picture

Very good summation. I find no reason to cheer Carlsens performance. ELO inflation does not make his "record" score such a record. It would perhaps be more impressive if he could win a tournament from a much lower rating. Right now Magnus is just doing what the patzers expect of him.

barry's picture

This channels Thomas and the rest of the flat earth society so precisely that I'm sure they will have nothing more of substantive to add, but I'm equally sure we will see from them variations on these themes, as we always have. I wonder if ChessVibes knows that, having let itself be so colonized by the flat-earthers, it marginalizes the entire site in the eyes of many players and fans.

redivivo's picture

Well, realising how deeply some guys suffer when Carlsen plays well almost makes me hope he will have at least one single really bad event just once, so they can have something to be happy about instead of just repeating the same old same old about how unfair it is that people aren't negative enough about Carlsen and his chess.

Anonymous's picture

+1 disgusted by these guys, it's not a discussion anymore, i'm out

cak's picture

In support of your analysis, the numbers show that Carlsen was lucky to play against opponents that were not having their best day, Wang Hao being a prime example. In fact when they met Carlsen most of the players were in bad shape and only had a combined score of 2.5/13, while on the days they met Anand the same players were twice as strong and scored 5/13.

cak's picture

Oops, slight miscalculation but the point still stands.

FlatEarth's picture

Commendable analysis. Worthy of one of the charter members of the FE Society.

Kronsteen's picture

This is the very best analysis I've seen. Bravo!

Anonymous's picture

"Taking away those two undeserved points more than eviscerates Carlsen’s narrow 1.5 point lead in the official standings and puts him, at best, tied with Anand and Karjakin, slightly behind Aronian." - suggesting that, had L'Ami and Nakamura "turned up", they would have beat Carlsen, which seems like a pretty desperate assumption to make to try and prove a (somewhat unprovable/ridiculous) point.

Kudos though for the straight face and unflinching tone of the post - almost enough to make someone believe that you are taking your points seriously.

mdamien's picture

I'm the first to herald the value of the world champion title over an inflated rating system based on tournament play, but let's accept the fact that Carlsen is phenomenal. If the world championship candidate were chosen solely by rating, we would have a fantastic match in Carlsen vs Anand, but I suppose that would rob the chess world of the upcoming candidates tournament that promises a feast of exciting games, and would put too much emphasis on guarding your rating, if you are the contender at the top of the rating list. Kramnik and others are still in this mix, but I think we can all agree that a Carlsen vs Anand championship match would be spectacular.

Angel's picture

FlatEarth, your comments always give me such a good laugh.
""" Carlsen equaled Kasparov’s dominating 10-of-13 tournament score from Wijk’s 1999 edition is of no significance because, as everyone plainly knows by now, there has been tremendous rating inflation """
-- As far as I know, everybody's rating has inflated, including Anand, so going 10 of 13 is equally impressive today as it was in 1999 and will be for years to come.

Now this one is really funny.
"""attributable to his only marginally significant ability to convert points (rather than convincingly win) against opponents who are lower rated than himself. """
-- Last time I checked, EVERYBODY is lower rated than him. What do you want him to do? beat Houdini?

Thanks for the lolz man.

ANand's picture

I hope u are kidding. Magnus games blunderfest?? Have u seen chessbomb? I rest my case.

Ricitos's picture

Only one draw for Ernst in the B group. Not many wins, though.

Michael's picture

Peter, do let us know as soon as there are news about Naiditsch and/or Rapport getting invited to the A group next year...

Tarjei's picture

Most likely both. That has happened several times in the past.

Eadon's picture

The contrast is fun here. Carlsen never loses these days. He just dominates. Even when things get shaky he survives. It's as if he likes to live dangerously to give mortals some hope.
This was not an easy field, and Anand's loss today highlights this. Carlsen is number one, and towers above the World Champ. Anand can only look upwards at Carlsen, Carlsen is simply exceptional, literally. No one else comes close to him.
No doubt there will be those that say that Carlsen is not better than Anand, but Anand was second or third fiddle to Kasparov and now he's second or third fiddle to Carlsen. Well, at the moment, Anand is worse than Kranmic and Aronian, he drew against Gelfand.
Carlsen has superpowers, no one can understand his games very well :)

1337's picture

Another funny contrast:

a)Magnus + Black pieces + tough endgame Vs Wang = Draw after just 31 moves.

b)Anand + Black pieces + tough endgame Vs Wang = Well.... you know :)

Old Man Says's picture

It is good to be young

chessvn's picture

Hope they dont invite Naditsch, disgusting today...

Axel's picture

What happened?

Anonymous's picture

Beware the Great Wes Shark pampered goldishes are his jumping desserts!!!

pilto's picture

I totally agree ...

Alfonso's picture

I do not undertand why to highlight the excellent results of Carlsen one has to be disrespectful about Anand. Let's not forget the literally hundreds of chess gems by Vishy, a player that has been top-5 for more than 20 years.

Kronsteen's picture

That's true. But if you believe that the title of World Champion carries a certain "obligation" to perform at a certain level and not just sit on your laurels, Vishy is not fulfilling that obligation, and hasn't for a while.

As Shipov wrote, it just underlines how broken the WC system is. And as long as Anand clings to the title while not winning tournaments, he's painting a bullseye (for criticism) on his forehead.

Eadon's picture

@Alfonso - the trouble is, Anand plays for draws these days much too often, and plays insipid chess, he's a poor ambassador for the game. Who gets excited by Anand these days. even his win over Aronian was due to his team and computers coming up with a trap.
Carlsen is so much more inspiring.

Alfonso's picture

Well, Anand is 43 years old, and he probably has not the energy required to withstand succesfully the tension of top tournaments. He has to decide already when and where to spend his forces. Karpov's last great succeses arrived when he was 44/45, but he finished last in Las Palmas 1996 (not a single game won). Kasparov did not have to face the dilemma of how to face his waning forces, because he retired when he was 41. It is not Anand's fault that he defeated Topalov, Kramnik and Gelfand to keep his title. Probably he will be a happy man when someone frees him form the burden of the World Title...and perhaps he can try to become a player like Ivanchuk, more erratic in his results but funnier to follow. That said, Anand did play some nice chess in this tournament. I only ask not to judge a chess player only by his final and decline years...

Anonymous's picture

and he has the best hair! 8-)

Thomas Oliver's picture

Was Anand's tournament that bad? "plays for draws much too often, plays insipid chess, poor ambassador for the game"
No it wasn't - it remains to be seen if he can keep it up or further improve (two more events in February!). But how long will it take before people abandon prejudices which may have been true in the past? Some people still call Kramnik "Drawnik" ... .

FlatEarth's picture

Correct. Can you believe the views that people get just because Anand has not won a tounament for years? Unmitigated Prejudice, I tell you! You are right: here at Wijk, Anand came within two points of Carsen without having to resort in the same way as Magnus to the facile converting of points against lower rated opponents. How can one call that a bad performance when it is by far his best in years? The prejudices that lead to views that Carlsen is the best player, based merely on ELO ratings and "official" tounament scores, is an even more grotesque distortion of reality.

filiusdextris's picture

I love you, FlatEarth!

eric's picture

Thanks for the comment FlatEarth. I am so happy after reading this one! Just opened a beer after this comment. Cheers:)

S3's picture

Here we go again with silly comparisons. Even if it was all prep by others, it still wouldn't decrease the attractiveness of Anand's game. I would be most interested in what you consider Carlsens most "inspiring" game. In fact, it would be rather amusing to see your top games list of this event, Eadon.
My guess is that you don't really look at chessgames at all but only at results. And yes, Carlsen has inspriring results, but that doesn't make other players boring.

S3's picture

As expected, Eadon fails to come up with a single game. He is not a chess fan, but a groupie.

Catfishcore's picture

I agree. Anand is a champion among champions. I'm wondering how many Carlsen fan boys will be around when he falls back to earth. Believe me he will. It happens to everyone.

Smart zeblakop's picture

Magnus choice to allow a shaky Wang to let him believe that he may have a chance to win againts him gave back him confidence. It paid off at the end againts Anand who got crush. Very smart indirect win from Magnus.

Zeblakob's picture

@B_S, so Smart, Zexxy, and furious Zeb, what's next? :)

fan-boy's picture

Anand is of course still better than Carlsen, as his win over Aronian is worth all of Carlsen's games this tournament.
I am sure S3, RealityCheck and Thomas agrees.

Eadon's picture

@fan-boy you mean the win that was found by Anand's team of helpers + computers during preparation?

VK's picture

@Eadon Are other super GMs not having helpers+computers?.

mike magnan's picture

It's rather funny to see the fanboys come out. Seriously...its rather obvious..Mr Carlsen is the best player on the planet. He is joined my Mr Kramnik, Radjabov,Karjakin and Mr Aronian. I've been not only looking at Mr Anands games but also his body language..through this tournament..The man is a spent force...No doubt he can teach anyone on the planet a thing or two...but its clear he no longer has the drive..Personally I thought he was a great WCC. Time to move on.

AngeloPardi's picture

Great performances by Aronian, Anand and Kramnik
Those 8.5 and 8 points have been enough to win Wijk aan Zee more than once. (in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 winners had 8 or 8.5)
Well, it seems that Carlsen is better still.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik's performance was invisible, not impressive at all.

Tammo's picture

especially Kramnik played wonderful: no mistakes at all:-)

Thomas Oliver's picture

Quite an honor (at least for the time being) for Karjakin to be confused with Kramnik. With respect to the monster scores, one has to keep in mind that this tournament had a relatively weak bottom (world #s 68, 82, 145 and 215) AND a world-top player (Caruana) who was completely out of form.
Not Kramnik's fault that he was completely invisible - well, maybe not completely: today Wang Hao adapted his concept in the Scotch Four Knights.

FlatEarth's picture

Of course there is every reason ot believe that Kramnik, if he had participated in this tounament, would have beaten Carlsen. I dare say that you will not see the Carlsen fanboys able to come up with a shred of concrete evidence to dispute this proposition conclusivley. The fact is, Kramnik's absence at Wijk skews the entire results this year and makes them far less telling about the relative state of play among the elite than the Calsen admirers would have you believe.

Kronsteen's picture

D*mn straight. And having lost to Kramnik, Carlsen's cocky self-confidence would have been shattered, and he'd surely have lost all those "extra" half-points he made through sheer persistence, for instance against Karjakin and Wang Hao. So instead of +7, we're looking at +1 or an even score, maybe even -1 or -2, if the Kramnik loss came in an early round.

Indeed Kramnik would have exposed Carlsen's true colors - 2100-strength on a good day.


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