Wijk aan Zee Rd7: Carlsen and Aronian lead with 5.0/7

by ChessBase
1/21/2012 – It wasn't his cleanest win, as Boris Gelfand self-destructed some time during time trouble, but a win is a win, and with it Magnus Carlsen rejoins Aronian for the lead. Karjakin, who has yet to draw a single game, beat Topalov, while Kamsky also bounced back and beat Navara. Van Wely will no doubt wonder where he missed Giri, as he dominated their game throughout. Illustrated report with video.

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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 seven

Group A: Round 7 - Sat. Jan. 21st
Sergey Karjakin - Veselin Topalov
Hikaru Nakamura - Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen - Boris Gelfand
Gata Kamsky - David Navara
Loek van Wely - Anish Giri
Vugar Gashimov - Fabiano Caruana
Vassily Ivanchuk - Levon Aronian

One of the billboards outside

A street in the neighborhood

Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows. This is the phrase used by carnival barkers at the Wheel of Fortune, and it could just as well apply to Wijk this year. This is not to say there haven't been any constants.

A special tribute to the various sponsors of the event

Martha was invited to sound the opening of the round

Carlsen and Gelfand start their game

An artist's view

Carlsen won his game, and once again drew level with Aronian, a phrase we have also been alternating between the players. His game was quite level, but somehow near time trouble Gelfand got confused, or panicked, and when the dust settled, the Israeli was down two pawns. Possibly still in shock, he played on a few moves, but then resigned.

A fan of Aronian

Kamsky has been struggling, but scored his first win in round seven

Kamsky, who had lost to Anish Giri, bounced back with a win of his own when he beat the down in the doldrums David Navara, who just hasn’t been getting his way.

It was the battle of the Dutch, and strongly leaned toward the 'experience' side
before ultimately drawing.

As to Anish Giri, it is remarkable that after stating before the tournament’s start that his ambition was to come ahead of Loek Van Wely, he nearly ran adrift when the latter hd a huge advantage entering the endgame which seemed like a certain win. Somehow, the veteran was not able to convert, and Giri escaped with the draw, but no doubt he will spend a good deal of time seeking the win he may have missed.

There are fans of all sizes

Sergey Karjakin has yet to score a single draw, with wins and losses in all his seven games. After two opening losses, then two wins, then two losses, he beat Topalov in a very imbalanced game where the Bulgarian seemed to have chances to score his first win. Instead his initiative fizzled and his material deficit was decisive.

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

Group A standings after seven rounds

Group B: Round 7 - Sat. Jan. 21st
Harika Dronavalli - Alexander Motylev
Viktorija Cmilyte - Kateryna Lahno
Erwin L'Ami - Lazaro Bruzon
Jan Timman - Dimitri Reinderman
Vladimir Potkin - Pentala Harikrishna
Sergey Tiviakov - Sipke Ernst
Ilya Nyzhnik - Daniele Vocatura

Last year, both Ilya Nyzhnyk and Daniele Vocaturo had a close race to win Wijk C

Group B standings after seven rounds

Group C: Round 7 - Sat. Jan. 21st
Daan Brandenburg - Pieter Hopman
Baskaran Adhiban - Elizabeth Paehtz
Etienne Goudriaan - Tania Sachdev
Elina Danielian - Matthew Sadler
Maxim Turov - Sahaj Grover
Lisa Schut - Hans Tikkanen
Anne Haast - Lars Ootes

Daan Brandenburg prepares to start his game against a young prodigy

Group C standings after seven rounds

Pictures by Martha Fierro, Nadja Wittman, and Joachim Schulze


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
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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