Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carlsen Wins, Nakamura Draws, 12th Rd, Tata Steel Chess

30 January 2011, Kuala Lumpur – Carlsen wins the 12th round while Nakamura draws his game against Kramnik at the Tata Steel Chess at Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands.

The official Tata Steel website reported that with the frontrunners in the 73rd Tata Steel Chess Tournament producing a series of draws, the last round but one brought hardly any change to the top of the standings in the highest group of the annual event in the resort town of Wijk-aan-Zee on Saturday.

Hikaru Nakamura of the U.S. (see picture) kept his first place after a draw with white against Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik, world champion Viswanathan Anand of India picked up half a point from his encounter with Holland’s Anish Giri to remain in second place and Armenia’s Levon Aronian remained in third after agreeing to a draw with Holland’s Erwin l’Ami.

Magnus Carlsen, however, picked up another full point scoring his third victory in as many rounds to come alongside Aronian in an impressive dash to the finish.

The Norwegian former Boy Wonder played white in an advance Caro-Kann against China’s Wang Hao (see picture), who complained afterwards that he “couldn’t focus on the game. I just felt too tired.” The opening led to the kind of closed position in which white typically mounts an attack on the K-side while black looks for counter play on the other side of the board. In this game, white came first. “In fact, Wang didn’t get any counter play at all,” Carlsen said. “He should have taken counter measures before I castled, playing Qb6 for instance, but he never got round to it. The resulting position with the bishops’ pair and a clear plan just favoured white.”

“After he actually even closed the position with 17…c4, I got an automatic attack for free. I guess he missed my idea with 19.Bg4. I think he probably expected he could defend against my intentions along the h-file. He couldn’t.” After (see diagram) 29.Bf6 Wang resigned in view of 29…gxf6 30.exf6 Rxf6 31.Qh8+ Kf7 32.Rh7+ Kg6 33.Qg8+ Kf5 34.Rh5+ Ke4 35.Qg4+ Kd3 36.Qd1+ Ke4 37.Qb1 mate.

Asked whether he was prepared to comment on the game for the press at a news conference, Carlsen replied he felt “that wasn’t really called for after such an easy win.”



To read more of the round 12 happenings, please click here.


(pictures courtesy of Tata Steel Chess, Results of Round 12 courtesy of Susan Polgar’s website and Standings courtesy of Tata Steel Chess)

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