Tata R07: Anand wins again, leads with Carlsen

by ChessBase
1/19/2013 – Recently Vishy Anand announced that 2013 would be a come-back year, and in his first tournament of the year he is fulfilling his promise. With a third victory in this tournament the reigning World Champion climbed to the top of the score table, after Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin drew their games. Nakamura beat Wang Hao with black and is now in third place. Full round seven report.

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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 seven report

By GM Alejandro Ramirez

The games cooled off somewhat as a more sedate style dominated the seventh round of Tata Steel group A. We did have two decisive results, and Carlsen is no longer in solo lead, so there were some important changes in the standings.

Group A: Round 7 - Saturday January 19
Vishy Anand - Loek van Wely
Ivan Sokolov - Pentala Harikrishna
Peter Leko - Magnus Carlsen
Sergey Karjakin - Levon Aronian
Hou Yifan - Fabiano Caruana
Erwin L'Ami - Anish Giri
Wang Hao - Hikaru Nakamura

Erwin L’Ami faced off against Giri in a battle of the young Dutch generation. The game featured a quiet Slav structure and it is hard to say that either side ever had chances for complications. A peace treaty was signed at move 30. Sokolov might have had the slightest of opportunities against Harikrishna, but it is unlikely that even perfect play would have penetrated Hari’s solid position. The Nimzo-Indian proves itself as a solid defense yet again.

Leko-Carlsen followed a Ruy Lopez variation that is becoming increasingly popular, though it is unclear why. White has not had any particularly good results in this variation of the anti-Berlin and this game just proved again that Black’s position is solid even if White gets a space advantage. The game led into a very drawn out bishop endgame in which Black had a worse structure but it was not possible to exploit the weaknesses.

In the video clips given below you can hear Hou Yifan speak her native Chinese!

Fresh of a win yesterday, Hou Yifan tried to put early pressure on the world's number five Fabiano Caruana, with a queen sortie that has given White good results in the past in the Kan. It is unclear if White ever had anything decisive in the position, but it was certainly the Chinese player that had the more comfortable situation. Caruana stubbornly defended and after the queen simplification there was nothing to push for, a draw was agreed soon afterwards.

The biggest miss of the day was certainly by Levon Aronian (above). With very powerful play, he sacrificed a pawn temporarily to obtain the pair of bishops and a certain initiative. This was crowned with the superb move 30... Bxh3! after which White’s position becomes very difficult, the bishop being poisoned due to a tactic on the e-file. In time pressure, Aronian was unable to correctly choose one of many winning continuations on move 38, but certainly retained the initiative nonetheless. His last chance to win was on move 41 with Be6! after which Karjakin would have had to simplify into a hopeless endgame. Instead, the weak move Qa5? allowed the Russian back in the game, and through a series of unforced errors it was even White who was pushing at the end for a win. Aronian managed to defend and a draw was agreed, but the Armenian super star cannot be happy with this result.

Loek van Wely (above right) bravely employed the Scandinavian Defense against Anand, and obtained quite a successful opening position against the World Champion. He was close to equal until his move 18… f5? weakened his position too much. This allowed Anand to swoop a central pawn by simply applying pressure on it, and through some nice technique he kept improving his position. Van Wely blundered in a very difficult position on move 35 and the game was over.

In chess, it is common for players to have what is called a ‘nemesis’ or as Anand put it a ‘nightmare opponent’. These are players that score particularly well against another, sometimes due to style, sometimes just due to luck. Anand commented that Aronian was his nightmare opponent (or "angstgegner"), and he was able to win a fantastic game with black against him earlier this tournament.

Arguably, Wang Hao has been traditionally a nightmare for Nakamura, and again in Tata Steel we see the hunted become the hunter! A Semi-Slav structure was very poorly handled by Hao and just out of the opening it was obvious that Black’s piece activity and his pair of bishops gave him the advantage. The flourish with 22… f5! put Hao in a very difficult position, so he decided to sacrifice the exchange. Hikaru was aided in his efforts by Hao’s atrocious 28. Ra5?? which just sped up his defeat. Nakamura jumps to +2 and third place, putting strong pressure on Anand and Carlsen. The American wants to claim first place at Wijk Aan Zee one more time!

Replay all the games of the round on our JavaScript player

Current standings

If we look at the (unofficial) Live Chess Ratings after seven rounds of the Tata Steel tournament we see that Anand and Nakamura have both moved two places up in the rankings, while Fabiano Caruana has decended three places. Magnus Carlsen has picked up another three points – nothing seems to slow down this incredible Norwegian.

Name Rating
Carlsen 2864.0
22 (30.11.1990)
Kramnik 2810.0
37 (25.06.1975)
Aronian 2801.2
30 (06.10.1982)
Radjabov 2793.0
25 (12.03.1987)
Anand 2785.7
43 (11.12.1969)
Karjakin 2784.6
23 (12.01.1990)
Nakamura 2773.0
25 (09.12.1987)
Caruana 2771.4
20 (30.07.1992)
Topalov 2771.0
37 (15.03.1975)
Mamedyarov 2766.0
27 (12.04.1985)

GM Danny King Play of the Day – Anand vs van Wely

Results of the B and C Groups

Group B: Round 7 - Saturday January 19
Sergei Movsesian - Robin van Kampen
Sergey Tiviakov - Sipke Ernst
Maxim Turov - Romain Edouard
Daniil Dubov - Richard Rapport
Jan Smeets - Predrag Nikolic
Nils Grandelius - Jan Timman
Alexander Ipatov - Arkadij Naiditsch
Group C: Round 7 - Saturday January 19
Lisa Schut - Alexandra Goryachkina
Igor Bitensky - Sabino Brunello
Krikor Mekhitarian - Robin Swinkels
Hjorvar Gretarsson - Fernando Peralta
Mark van der Werf - Alexander Kovchan
Twan Burg - David Klein
Oleg Romanishin - Miguoel Admiraal

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:

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 seven

Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen
Yifan Hou
Fabiano Caruana
Sergey Karjakin
Viswanathan Anand
Ivan Sokolov
Anish Giri
Erwin L'Ami

Hikaru Nakamura
Jan Timman

Hans Bohm


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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