75. Tata Steel Chess Tournament
This event is taking place from January 12-27. The venue is as usual the traditional De Moriaan Center in the Dutch sea resort of Wijk aan Zee. The tournament has three Grandmaster Groups, which have 14 players and are held as full round robins (each competitor plays against every other). The rate of play for all three groups is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and finally 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 seconds/move increment starting with the first move of the game.
Round ten report
By GM Alejandro Ramirez
|Group A: Round 10 - Wednesday January 23|
|Loek van Wely - Anish Giri||
|Fabiano Caruana - Hikaru Nakamura||
|Levon Aronian - Wang Hao||
|Magnus Carlsen - Erwin L'Ami||
|Pentala Harikrishna - Hou Yifan||
|Vishy Anand - Sergey Karjakin||
|Ivan Sokolov - Peter Leko||
A fantastic struggle was the game Sokolov-Leko. Sokolov recently came out with his book on the 4.e3 Variation of the Nimzo-Indian, so he is obviously well versed in these variations. However, Leko is one of the top experts of the Nimzo-Indian, and he lured Sokolov into the sacrifice 17.Rxe6?! The great rebuttal 17... Nf4! gave White unsolvable problems, and after being down the exchange for a pawn Sokolov was unable to create enough play. Through very precise moves Leko converted a nice win, which he analysed in the press room:
Giri stayed true to form and chose the solid Schlecter structure in the Slav. He was eventually able to win a pawn against Van Wely, but White’s pair of bishops compensated for it plentifully. Eventually that pair of bishops was exchanged back for the pawn, and the opposite colored bishops sealed the drawish nature of the position.
Vishy Anand’s handling of the Queen’s Indian was not very impressive, but then he started outplaying Karjakin little by little. At some point his position was exerting a lot of pressure, especially on a very weak c-pawn. However the World Champion was unable to capitalize on the situation and the draw had to be agreed. It would have been interesting had he combined pressures on the kingside and the queenside with the unusual maneuver 37.Qc2 and 38.Qh7!?
Aronian seemed to be doing little more than shuffling pieces in a strange English, and that might have put Wang Hao’s defenses down. He underestimated the tactics starting with 24.Bxc5! and 25.Qd5 and had to shed two pawns, plenty for Levon to mop up the game. Here's his post-game analysis:
Hikaru Nakamura (above) employed an interesting strategy against Fabiano Caruana. Instead of getting into a theoretical discussion with the Italian player, he employed a strange Benoni-like system, but without ever playing the move e6. This paid off handsomely as Caruana seemed to be at a loss for a plan, and by move 20 Black had at the very least equalized. Hikaru continued to outplay Fabiano and punished the incorrect 54.Kc2? with the spectacular sequence 54...g4! and 55...h3! The rest was easy and Hikaru picks up an important point with black.
The Keres Attack has been considered for many years to be very dangerous against the Scheveningen move order in the Sicilian – a reason why it’s rarely seen nowadays. But Hou Yifan (above) has been a faithful practitioner of this system, and this has allowed her to understand the subtleties in these positions. It’s hard to say exactly where Harikrishna went wrong, but when Black’s bishop installed itself powerfully on g5, it was clear that the attack had been stymied and that the positional trumps were on Black’s hands.
In the Sicilians, one of the main pluses of Black’s position is that most endgames will favor them. This endgame was no exception, and after a series of very precise rook moves the Chinese player was able to create a passed pawn on the kingside, which combined with the king activity it was simply too much to handle for the Indian player. Hou Yifan scores her second full point, and does it again with Black.
Carlsen-L’Ami was a relatively one sided affair. The Dutch player gave his Nowegian opponent (above) too much respect and never tried anything particularly active. Even near the end it seems that he could have tried to be more resourceful in the endgame when he was down a pawn. Alas, Carlsen picks up a point that was not too contested and it seems hard for his opponents to catch him in this event.
So where is he now? Take a deep breath: 2872! That is 21 points higher than Kasparov's long-standing record rating and 61 point above his nearest rival (Vladimir Kramnik). And where can he go? Certainly 2900 is not a crazy number, fully out of his reach. Brace for further sensations in the near future.
GM Danny King Play of the Day – Ivan Sokolov vs Peter Leko
Ibpressions from Wijk provided by Vijay Kumar
Results of the B and C Groups
Standings in the B Group
Standings in the C Group
There is full broadcast of all games on the official site and on the Playchess server, which will provide live audio commentary of the most interesting games (free for Premium members) starting at 14:30h for each round, 14:00h for the final round. Commentary begins at approx. 3 p.m. and lasts 2 to 2½ hours, with breaks in between. A round-up show is provided at 8 PM server time. Commentary is available, by the following experts:
|24.01.2012 Free day|
|25.01.2012 Round 11||Yasser Seirawan|
|26.01.2012 Round 12||Yasser Seirawan|
|27.01.2012 Round 13||Daniel King|
Interviews with players after round ten
|Robin van Kampen
The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.