Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:16
Armenian GM Levon Aronian seemed well on his way to win the 10,000-euro first prize in Grandmaster Group A of the 74th annual Tata Steel Tournament at Wijk-aan-Zee on Wednesday.
With just three more rounds to go in this, the world's strongest chess event, he defeated Dutch champion Anish Giri with black to remain on top of the standings, one point ahead of the competition.
Of the runners-up sharing second place at the outset of the tenth round, only Vassili Ivanchuk of the Ukraine managed to keep up the pace, winning his game with black against David Navara of the Czech Republic. Azerbaijan's Teymour Radjabov and Norway's Magnus Carlsen were both held to a draw and fell back to the third spot.
The ‘Piet Zwart Prize' – 500 euros set aside for the best game of the day by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk – went to Ivanchuk. GM Ivan Sokolov was impressed by the way ‘Chukie' handled the modern Ben Oni line, in which black delays castling, changing pieces and freeing his game. "The most interesting aspect was that after move 27, the black knight on g7 turns out to be much stronger than the white bishop on d3, as he demonstrated convincingly," Sokolov said.
Carlsen, the world highest ranked player but still smarting from his defeat at the hands of Russia's Sergei Karjakin in the previous round, settled for a quiet draw after just 21 moves with black from a semi-Slav Defense against Hikaru Nakamura of the U.S.
In Grandmaster Group B, Sokolov awarded the daily prize of 250 euros to Russia's Sacha Motylev for his "brilliant technical victory with white" against Holland's Sipke Ernst in an open Ruy Lopez. "Ernst was gradually pushed off the board."
India's Pentala Harikrishna kept the lead in this group after downing Italy's Daniele Vocaturo in 27 moves with white from a Catalan opening. It was Harikrishna's sixth victory from the ten rounds played so far.
Holland's Pieter Hopman took the 100-euro day prize in group C for his streamlined victory with white in 41 moves from a Slav Defense against leader Hans Tikkanen. Russia's Maxim Turov became the sole leader in this group after a quick draw in 16 moves with black against Germany's Elisabeth Paehtz. Tikkanen fell back to second place, half a point behind Turov.
Read the full report on the official website
Games with computer analysis