Pix 1. IM Tania Sachdev, playing in Group C, Tata Steel Chess 2012. (Photo by Fred Lucas)
17 January 2012, Kuala Lumpur – In the Netherlands, the third round completion returned GM Magnus Carlsen as the leader of the Group A tournament of the Tata Steel Chess 2012 after beating Aronian.
The official website of the tournament reported that Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the world’s highest ranked chess player, replaced Armenia’s Levon Aronian on top of the standings in grandmaster group A of the 2012 Tata Steel Tournament after an exciting third-round duel between the two ended in a victory for the Norwegian Monday (see picture). Playing white in a Queen’s Gambit, Carlsen profited from an overly aggressive black kingside pawn advance to gain an early advantage but Aronian fought back for all he was worth. In the end, it took Carlsen 68 moves before he forced Aronian – the number two on the international rating list- to admit defeat.
Carlsen left no doubt afterwards that he was far from happy with the win. Judging from the look on his face, in fact, no one would have guessed that he had just beaten his strongest opponent on the planet and taken the lead in the world’s strongest tournament.
“I was completely winning, of course,” he complained to journalists. “All I had to do was to try and find the most accurate way to win.” Apparently, he failed. “No, I didn’t feel good about that but I had to go on, and in the end I won mostly by luck. But a win is a win.” Asked if Aronian might have salvaged a draw, Carlsen said he felt he was “probably still winning” after he “wasted the advantage” but admitted that the Armenian came awfully close to escaping with a half point.
There was an added bonus of 500 euros for the lucky but far from satisfied winner when Dutch GM Ivan Sokolov decided to award the “Piet Zwart” prize for the round’s most attractive group-A game to the 22-year-old Norwegian. The prize, named for a former Wijk-aan-Zee tournament director, is funded jointly by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk.
The official website reported that in Group C, Germany’s Elisabeth Paehtz and England’s Matthew Sadler shared the day prize of 100 euros in group C for their spectacular draw in 40 moves from a Modern opening. Paehtz teetered on the edge for a few moves when she was forced to send her King on a long march to b3, which it should not have but did in fact survive.
Official website: http://www.tatasteelchess.com