Wijk aan Zee Rd9: Aronian beats Caruana; Karjakin beats Carlsen

by ChessBase
1/24/2012 – Once again the balance of power's pendulum swung, and Aronian took a full one-point lead after beating Caruana in a strong game in which he always seemed a step ahead. For Carlsen, it was a double nightmare as a mistake put him in hot water against Karjakin from which he never recovered. Ivanchuk also beat Giri after a tense game. Report with video analysis by Sergey Karjakin.

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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 nine

The entrance to the playing area

Group A: Round 9 - Tues. Jan. 24th
Hikaru Nakamura - Veselin Topalov
Magnus Carlsen - Sergey Karjakin
Gata Kamsky - Teimour Radjabov
Loek van Wely - Boris Gelfand
Vugar Gashimov - David Navara
Vassily Ivanchuk - Anish Giri
Levon Aronian - Fabiano Caruana

It was an altogether remarkable round in which several players made their move to establish their gold medal intentions.

The first to achieve a winning score was Levon Aronian, who was tied with Magnus Carlsen for first, against Fabiano Caruana. The opening went quickly very wrong, and while the game took a further 25 moves to end, the Armenian did not let his prey escape.

This win became all the more decisive due to hair-raising result on board one. After a mistake on move 18, Carlsen got into a difficult position from which he never managed to extricate himself, making the round a double nightmare, since aside from his loss, he saw his rival win and take a one point lead with three rounds to go.

Sergey Karjakin analyzes his win over Magnus Carlsen

Ivanchuk is now tied 2nd-4th after his win over Giri

Giri and Ivanchuk also played a tense game with mistakes, but a final one by the young Dutchman allowing the Ukrainian to enter a won pawn endgame ended it.

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

Group A standings after nine rounds

Group B: Round 9 - Tues. Jan. 24th
Viktorija Cmilyte - Alexander Motylev
Erwin L'Ami - Harika Dronavalli
Jan Timman - Kateryna Lahno
Vladimir Potkin - Lazaro Bruzon
Sergey Tiviakov - Dimitri Reinderman
Ilya Nyzhnik - Pentala Harikrishna
Daniele Vocatura - Sipke Ernst

The B group was also extremely lively, with five of the seven games ending in wins, however a key one was leader Harikrishna’s victory over Nyzhnyk, allowing him to maintain his one point lead, with 7.0/9. While Motylev dropped a half point against Cmilyte, L’Ami and Bruzon both won to make it a threesome at 6.0/9.

Group B standings after nine rounds

Group C: Round 9 - Tues. Jan. 24th
Baskaran Adhiban - Pieter Hopman
Etienne Goudriaan - Daan Brandenburg
Elina Danielian - Elizabeth Paehtz
Maxim Turov - Tania Sachdev
Lisa Schut - Matthew Sadler
Anne Haast - Sahaj Grover
Lars Ootes - Hans Tikkanen

In the C group, Turov and Tikkanen lead with 7.5/9, followed by Adhiban with 6.5/9. The good news for Dutch chess was Lisa Schut’s draw against Sadler, securing a WGM norm.

Group C standings after nine rounds

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
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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