Wijk aan Zee Rd4: Aronian rejoins Carlsen in lead

by ChessBase
1/17/2012 – If Carlsen had hoped to demoralize Aronian with yesterday's win, the Armenian showed it takes more than that. In a good game against Gata Kamsky, Aronian built a solid advantage he never let go of until the end. Carlsen on the other hand was actually in danger of losing to Caruana at one point, but ended up drawing. Karjakin also came back to 50% with a second win over Navara. Round four report.

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The 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place from January 13 to 29, 2012 in the sports hall Moriaan in Wijk aan Zee. There are three grandmaster tournaments with fourteen players each playing thirteen rounds at 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. Rest days are on January 18, 23, and 26.

Tata Steel Tournament 2012

Round four

Group A: Round 4 - Tues. Jan. 17th
Veselin Topalov - Vugar Gashimov
Vassily Ivanchuk - Loek van Wely
Levon Aronian - Gata Kamsky
Fabiano Caruana - Magnus Carlsen
Anish Giri - Hikaru Nakamura
David Navara - Sergey Karjakin
Boris Gelfand - Teimour Radjabov

After Carlsen and Aronian’s cataclysmic encounter, one went off to score a resounding victory, while his rival had an uneven game he was in danger of losing at one point. From the opening phrase, and knowing Carlsen scored an important victory in the previous round, one would have thought the victor being spoken of was Carlsen, but not so. If the Norwegian had hoped his win that stole the lead would act as a dagger being twisted in the wound, it was dashed as Aronian showed that self-pity isn’t one of his defining characteristics.

A tough day at the office for Gata Kamsky

Early in his game against American Gata Kamsky, he seized an advantage, though nothing decisive per se. He then proceeded to put a strangle hold on Kamsky’s position that looked like it would end before the endgame, but somehow Gata constantly found ways to last a little longer. It seemed almost as if he would save the game, but ultimately the Armenian’s will to win bore out, and he scored his third win in four games.

Carlsen’s game against Caruana was another animal entirely. If he had hoped to simply outplay his Italian opponent in the positional subtleties of the Berlin, it never worked out that way, and Fabiano seemed to know exactly what needed to be done. The shocker was when Carlsen actually made what could have been a decisive mistake with 30…Rh8, but Caruana, possibly out of excessive respect for the world number one, missed the chance and chose a prophylactic move where a proactive one was needed. The balance was immediately restored and they drew a few moves later.

Fabiano Caruana

The other decisive game was by none other than Sergey Karjakin, scoring his second straight, and is now back at 50%, and with plenty of chances to make a statement.

Tomorrow is a rest day.

The round four video report (courtesy of the Tata Steel Facebook page)

Group A standings after four rounds

Group B: Round 4 - Tues. Jan. 17th
Alexander Motylev - Sergey Tiviakov
Ilya Nyzhnik - Vladimir Potkin
Daniele Vocatura - Jan Timman
Sipke Ernst - Erwin L'Ami
Pentala Harikrishna - Viktorija Cmilyte
Dimitri Reinderman - Harika Dronavalli
Lazaro Bruzon - Kateryna Lahno

There were few decisive results in the B Group, and Indian Pentala Harikrishna dropped his first half point, though has a comfortable lead of a full point over his nearest rivals. Erwin L’Ami lost to his compatriot Sipke Ernst, and though he continues in equal second, he was joined by Alexander Motylev, who beat Sergey Tiviakov in a very sharp 3…Qd6 Scandinavian after the latter went astray in the middlegame. That said, Tiviakov cannot blame the opening, which left him with a  good fighting position, and showed the viability of the material on which he authored a DVD.

Alexander Motylev moved into equal second with a good win over Sergey Tiviakov

Group B standings after four rounds

Group C: Round 4 - Tues. Jan. 17th
Pieter Hopman - Lisa Schut
Anne Haast - Maxim Turov
Lars Ootes - Elina Danielian
Hans Tikkanen - Etienne Goudriaan
Sahaj Grover - Baskaran Adhiban
Matthew Sadler - Daan Brandenburg
Tania Sachdev - Elizabeth Paehtz

In the C Group, Turov continues to dominate with 4.0/4, though he has yet to meet any of the 2500+ rated players in his group. Hans Tikkanen moved to second, joined by the Indian GM Baskaran Adhiban. 19-year-old Adhiban was the last person to add his name to the Wijk roster, and fought his way in by winning a qualifier late last year. In round four he beat his 16-year-old compatriot, IM Sahaj Grover, and now has 3.0/4.

19-year-old GM Baskaran Adhiban

Elizabeth Pähtz is interviewed (in German) (courtesy of the Tata Steel Facebook page)

Group C standings after four rounds

All photos © Frits Agterdenbos of ChessVista


There will be 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 15:00h for each round, 14:00h for the final round.

Date Round Day Commentator
18.01.2012 Free Day Wednesday
19.01.2012 Round 5 Thursday King
20.01.2012 Round 6 Friday Seirawan
21.01.2012 Round 7 Saturday Seirawan
22.01.2012 Round 8 Sunday King
23.01.2012 Free Day Monday
24.01.2012 Round 9 Tuesday King
25.01.2012 Round 10 Wednesday Pelletier
26.01.2012 Free Day Thursday
27.01.2012 Round 11 Friday King
28.01.2012 Round 12 Saturday Trent
29.01.2012 Round 13 Sunday King

Commentary begins at approx. 3 PM and lasts 2-2.5 hours with breaks in between. A round up show is provided at 8 PM server time.


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 and get immediate access. Or you can get our latest Fritz 13 program, which includes six months free premium membership to Playchess.

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