Levon Aronian convincing winner in Tata Steel A Group Print
Sunday, 29 January 2012 22:50
levon_aronianA repetition of moves in the final round in one of the most combative chess events in recent years earned Armenia’s Levon Aronian an unshared 10,000-euro first prize in the 74th annual Tata Steel Tournament at the wintry resort town of Wijk-aan-Zee Sunday.

Playing white against Teymour Radjabov of Azerbaijan – one of his main rivals in the field of fourteen - Aronian came up with an innocuous line of the Gruenfeld, followed theory for ten moves and then initiated the repetition that ended the game two moves later. Speaking to reporters after their short sojourn in the tournament arena, both players stressed that there had been no deals of any kind beforehand.

At a press conference later in the day, Aronian said the tournament victory was his “best result so far. Sure, I’ve had some other good tournaments, but winning in Wijk-aan-Zee is very special, because, after all, this tournament is for chess what Wimbledon is for tennis. This year’s edition was very interesting, with several young players who had something to prove. Many games were fighting games, and, of course, there are bound to be mistakes in such games.”

Earlier, Aronian put in an appearance at the commentary pavilion on the town commons, where he told the audience that he was quite happy with his tournament record of seven wins, four draws and two losses. When asked whether he ought not to have tried and gone for a win in his final-round game in an effort to come alongside Magnus Carlsen on top of the world ranking list, Aronian replied: “I want to win tournaments and become World Champion, but a first place on any rating list, FIDE’s or any other, doesn’t interest me at all.”

Radjabov’s final score of 8 points - for his unbeaten tournament record of three wins and ten draws - kept him one point below Aronian’s 9 and was not enough for an unshared second place in the final Group-A standings. The Azeri GM could lay claim to only one-third of the combined 13,000 euros for the second, third and fourth prizes. The remaining two thirds went to Norway’s Carlsen and Italy’s Fabiano Caruana.

The 3,000-euro first prize in Group B went to India’s Pentala Harikrishna, who added a draw against Holland’s Dimitri Reinderman to a tournament record of six wins, six draws and one loss.

Russia’s Maxim Turov defeated Holland’s Etienne Goudriaan in final-round action Sunday to finish clear first in Group C. Sweden’s Hans Tikkanen, level with Turov at the outset of the round, was held to a draw by India’s Tania Sachdev and had to settle for second place.

Read the full report on the official website

Replay the games with computer analysis and Grandmaster annotations

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