Tata R06: Carlsen in the lead with 2923 performance

by ChessBase
1/18/2013 – A lot of terrific games today: Magnus Carlsen crushed Ivan Sokolov to put half a point between himself and his pursuers – and five more points on his Elo rating; Levon Aronian wrung a point out of Peter Leko in 59 moves; Loek van Wely did likewise against Wang Hao in 41; the Chinese GM Hou Yifan used a Dragon to defeat Anish Giri in 85 moves. Full report with pictures and videos.

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75. Tata Steel Chess Tournament

January 2013
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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 taken place since 1938 and was known as the Corus Chess Tournament. The Indian company Tata Steel bought Corus (for US $7.6 billion) in 2006 and the chess event way renamed accordingly. 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 six report

By GM Alejandro Ramirez

More terrific games happened today, and some super solid players were defeated in unusual fashions. Carlsen put half a point between himself and his pursuers, but by no means is he running away with the tournament just yet. This close struggle will be vibrant over the next few rounds!

Group A: Round 6 - Friday January 18
Loek van Wely - Wang Hao
Hikaru Nakamura - Erwin L'Ami
Anish Giri - Hou Yifan
Fabiano Caruana - Sergey Karjakin
Levon Aronian - Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen - Ivan Sokolov
Pentala Harikrishna - Vishy Anand

A couple of years ago, Hikaru Nakamura beat Erwin L’Ami from a completely equal endgame. This year I expected Hikaru to press for a long time against the Dutchman, but surprisingly Erwin seemed to be the higher rated player as he made his position better with every move. A solid Caro-Kann allowed him to outmaneuver the American, and the only question I have about the game is if Black had any chances to push in the final position with 41… Nfg6.

Sergey Karjakin has been playing the Berlin Defense with white and black for years now, and he rarely loses when he is on the defending side. This one was no exception as he easily held Fabiano Caruana to a draw.

Harikrishna-Anand was a very strange game all around. An unusual opening led to an unusual position in which I honestly thought the World Champion might have some pushing chances. After a strange combination White had two pieces for a rook, but they were very uncoordinated and the pawns very weak. The players agreed to a draw in a position that is hard to evaluate.

Loek van Wely (above) vs Wang Hao was also unusual. Black sacrificed a pawn early on in a Fianchetto King’s Indian Defense. The follow-up 18… g5? was very ineffective and Van Wely soon had a free extra pawn and a dangerous majority on the queenside. Black’s activity was never enough to compensate. Here is the postgame analysis of Loek in Wijk:

Carlsen on his side took advantage of Sokolov’s over eagerness to trade pieces. At some point after the rooks came off Black was saddled with weaknesses on the kingside and a relatively useless bishop on a7. Not a good combination. After a knight was firmly placed on f5, White may have only held a slight advantage, but in my mind there was no doubt what the result of the game was going to be. Carlsen didn’t forgive and won convincingly at the end.

Levon Aronian got somewhat lucky against Peter Leko. The 21st Century Gambit in the Queen’s Indian Defense gave the first player a little edge, but nothing special. In the endgame it seemed like the pair of bishops could easily hold the pawn deficit. Trading off into an opposite colored bishop was probably not a wrong decision, but Leko soon went astray with the move 53…Bc2? I’m sure our friend Karsten Muller will soon be analyzing this endgame for us and providing the drawing technique.

Anish Giri has been super solid this tournament, but Hou Yifan (above) didn’t care. She went all out and played a Dragon against him! Giri’s handling of the situation was rather mediocre. He shunned the complications of the Yugoslav, which is alright, but the way that he handled his Nge2/g3 setup was strange. The move 14.Ra2 really showed me he was planless at that point. Yifan quickly put the pressure on the queenside, and capitalized with the powerful exchange sacrifice 22… Rxb3! followed by 23… Nc4! Giri sacrificed an exchange in hopes of holding the endgame, but it was to no avail. The Chinese girl picks up her first full point, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Giri resigns after 85 moves in this live cam coverage from Wijk

Replay all the games of the round on our JavaScript player

Current standings

GM Danny King Play of the Day – Carlsen - Sokolov

Results of the B and C Groups

Group B: Round 6 - Friday January 18
Robin van Kampen - Alexander Ipatov
Arkadij Naiditsch - Nils Grandelius
Jan Timman - Jan Smeets
Pedrag Nikolic - Daniil Dubov
Richard Rapport - Maxim Turov
Romain Edouard - Sergey Tiviakov
Sipke Ernst - Sergei Movsesian
Group C: Round 6 - Friday January 21sr
Alexandra Goryachkina - Oleg Romanishin
Miguoel Admiraal - Twan Burg
David Klein - Mark van der Werf
Alexander Kovchan - Hjorvar Gretarsson
Fernando Peralta - Krikor Mekhitarian
Robin Swinkels - Igor Bitensky
Sabino Brunello - Lisa Schut

Commentary schedule

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:

19.01.2012 Round 7 Lawrence Trent
20.01.2012 Round 8 Lawrence Trent
21.01.2012 Free day  
22.01.2012 Round 9 Yasser Seirawan
23.01.2012 Round 10 Daniel King
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 six

Hou Yifan
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
Erwin l'Ami
Hikaru Nakamura
Loek van Wely
John van der Wiel
Viswanathan Anand
Pentala Hariskrishna
Sergey Karjakin

Fabiana Caruana

Video report from Wijk by Vijay Kumar


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.

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