Sunday, January 15, 2012

Carlsen wins 1st Round – Tata Steel 2012

15 Jan 2012, Kuala Lumpur – In Netherlands, the first round of Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2012 was played yesterday with a win for the World’s Number One Magnus Carlsen. 

The official tournament website reported that world number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway Saturday defeated Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan in the opening round of the 74th edition of the annual chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee see picture. Defending himself with a Hedgehog that arose from a Symmetrical English, the only player to make his debut in Grandmaster Group A, was slowly disemboweled by the former child prodigy, now leading the world rankings by a signifant margin.

Second seed Levon Aronian of Armenia quickly reached a comfortable position as Black in a Ruy Lopez against Russia's Sergey Karjakin. A tense struggle ensued until Karjakin cracked under pressure with (see diagram) 32.Nh5?, where White could have struck with 32.Bxh6!! and after for example 32...gxh6 33.Rxd7 Nxd7 34.Ng5 Kh8 35.Nxf7 Kg8 36.Nxh6 Kf7 37.Qf7 Kxh6 38.Nf5 Kg5 39.Qxd7 White is certainly not worse as Black will soon have to give his knight to stave off bigger trouble. Aronian missed 32...Nxe4! 33.Ng5 Nxg5 34.Rxd7 Qe6 when White would soon have collapsed under the combined pressure of the black pieces. Instead, the game entered an endgame where Karjakin nonetheless succumbed to the continuous strain on his position.

The 500-euro “Piet Zwart Prize” for the best game of the day was awarded to Anish Giri (see picture) for his victory over World Championship contender Boris Gelfand of Israel. The Dutch prodigy, fresh off his formidable tournament victory at Reggio Emilia in Italy a week ago, made a big impression with another fine example of his mature positional style. Giri aptly neutralized Gelfand's initiative after the latter sacrificed a pawn out of a Queen's Gambit Accepted. Commentator of the day, Grandmaster Ivan Sokolov, was especially impressed with the 17-year-old's ability to keep posing his opponent new problems every time a safe haven came in view.

Below is the cross-table for Grandmaster Group A after the first round:-


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