Wijk aan Zee Round thirteen: Dotting the i's.

It was all clear with Magnus. Or was it?

Giri-Carlsen. Anish came in the mood for a "Big Game". And Magnus wasn't going to runa way eitehr. King's Indian. Samisch. And the result: a real GRANDMASTERS draw! WELL DONE!!

Who wcould have thought that in the final round, the worl champion would face diofficulties in the Four Knights Opening? Wang Hao, however, depnstrated not just a reserve of fresh idaes, but a new approach to handling the well-worn positions reached. IOn the kingdom of chess, we are experiencing a new Renaissance. First Magnus with the Ponziani, now the Four Knights...But what happened in the game? 

Wang Hao - Anand

After White's 20th move

Imperceptibly, Vishy has slipped into a slightly worse ending, which in itself was an achievement for Wang Hao. It is not clear whether the well-known theoretical advantage of bishop over knight in an open position would have been enough against a more concentrated (motivated?) Anand. But the tournament was almost over, first place was out of reach, a decent result was already achieved, and second or third was not a great difference in the overall scheme of things. I venture to suggest that a moment came when a certain lack of concern became evident. And this was exploited by the fresher (younger) opponent. Thus: 20…Nd7 21.Rac1 Nf8 22.Bd3 Kf7 23.cxd5 cxd5 24.b4 Nd7 25.Rc6 Nf6 26.a4 «Houdini» (Computerkibitz: Houdini 2.0c x64;Depth:26 with 101.465 kN in 39s;http://tatasteel2013.live.whychess.com/) continues to be unconcerned, but the advance of the pawns opens more scope for the bishop. It is time to start worrying! 

It is interesting to see how the Chinese GM senses the certain lack of urgency on the part of his opponent and turns up the heat. »: 26… e5 27.f3 Rd8 28.Kf2 e4 29.fxe4 dxe4 30.Bc4+ Kg6 31.Ke3 Kh7 32.Rc5 Red7 33.a5 Rd2 34.Re2 Rd1 35.a6 Nd7 36.Rc7 Ne5 37.Be6 Kg6 38.Rxa7 Gradualy, without any clear oversights, Black has landed in a hopeless position. One has to credit Wang Hao, who has nurtured his small advantage carefully and patiently. The furtehr course of the game is a hymn to the power of the bishop, in both defence and attack, as well as its control of the a-pawn's queening square. 

38…R1d6 39.Ba2 Nc6 40.Rb7 Rd3+ 41.Kf2 Nd4 42.Bf7+ Kf5 43.Re1 Rd2+ 44.Kg1Kf4 45.Bc4 g6 46.a7 Kg3 47.Bf1 Nf3+ 48.gxf3 exf3 49.Rf7  Black resigned (1:0). A defeat which to a considerablke extent spoils the picture of what was otherwise a good performance by the world champion in the first supertournament of the year. It's a defeat which is typical, in that he did not blunder (which he has rarely done in the past), nor did it result from opening preparation (which again has never happened to him recently), but through being outplayed in classical style. It is stupid to draw far-reaching conclusions on the basis of a single game, but the fact that some form of "climate change" is occurring at the top of world chess is clear for all to see. .

A previous winner did not miss the chance to take advantage of the champion's lapse .

Karjakin - Van Wely

After White's 17th move

Sergey, as always, was superbly prepared in the opening and Black experienced difficulties developing his pieces. But his next move with the pawn in front of his king...I think Loek himself, as White, would have played the attack with no less energy. 17…h5?! 18.g4 e5  19.Qg1 Nf4 20.Re1 hxg4 21.fxg4 Bc8 22.Qg3 a5 23.Qh4 a4 24.Bxf7+Kg7 25.Ne4an effective conclusion. If the previous game was a quiet melody, here, the Russian GM has concluded the Wijk symphony in a major key. 

The Armenian GM sat down and played with great appetite:

Caruana - Aronian

One would hardly believe that 12 exhausting rounds of fighting were already behind the players! Black ingeniously took the initiative and obtained a winning position. 25…a4! 26. Nh4 – trying to repulse the threats by winning the exchange– 26… Rxe5 – Be my guest!  27.f4    Rxe3 28.Rxe3 Bxc2

29.bxa4 Rxa4 30.a3 Nd4 31.Nf3 Bf5 32.Rc1 Be6 – The three black pawns are ready to roll, crushing all in their path. Only a miracle can save White...

33.Nd2 c4 34.g4 hxg4 35.hxg4 – and now 35…g6 (Computerkibitz: Houdini 2.0c x64;Depth:26 with 101.465 kN in 39s;http://tatasteel2013.live.whychess.com/) would solidly stop all White's attempts to take the initiative and leave the rest as a formality, which Levon would without doubt have coped. 35… Nb3?! – suggests tiredness at the end of the tournament. From this moment, White's initiative gradually grows and although he missed some chances, Fbiano eventually held. 

После 46-го хода белых

Например, здесь. Почему не 46…b4?

Or here?? 50… с4-с3 (in the game 50…Rh2 was played). The game reached rook and bishop v rook, where the Professor Aronian examined the Italian student for 104 moves, but Caruana held. Draw.  (½ : ½). One cannot rule out the possibility that, due to the growing drawing tendency in chess, the game will revert to the rules of shatranj, used in several Arab countries, where it is only necessary to achieve extra material to win. Admittedly, that will cause some panic with endgame studies! 

This thought would probably appeal to the American GM. His heroic efforts to overcome harakrishna led only to an extra knight, with a king each on an empty board. 

There was no reason for dissatisfaction at the darwn between Hou Yifan and Peter Leko. Peter confirmed his high class with +2, and 5th place can be regarded as a return to the standards which the Hungarian has slipped from for some unknown raeson in recent years. Hou can also be plaeased, as before the event, she was regarded as a weak link. She confounded the forecasts, scored plenty of points and put up a rating performance of 2685 (!), while the quality of her play said a lot. Most of all, before much longer, there will be a new leader in the women's rating list. 

The winner of the place in next year's A-group was decided by the games  Nikolic-Rapport and Naiditsch - Ernst.


The 1980s star had held off the threats for a long time, but again collapsed close to the time control:   37…gxf4 38.exf4?? Which Richard at first failed to exploit – 38…c4?! (38…Rxh3) 39.f5?? A new lapse, after which it is overя : 39…    c3 40.Nxc3 Qf4 (+-3.29; Computerkibitz: Houdini 2.0c x64;Depth:26 with 101.465 kN in 39s;http://tatasteel2013.live.whychess.com/) and it ended in mate. (0:1).

Later, Rapport was joined by the German GM, who managed to win a queen ending with an extra h-pawn. Now we must await the decision of the organisers, although it woudl be logical to invite both.

In the C group, Sabino Brunello had the betetr chances in the final round,. playing an opponent of much lower class:  

Admiraal - Brunello

The Italian energetically conducts the attack and his opponent could not stand the pressure:  24.Rg2? (things are not so clear after 24.Qc4 Bxf2+ 25.Rxf2 g3 26.Qe4+ Kd8 27.hxg3) g6 25.hxg3 gxf5 26.Qa4 Ke7 27.Qc2 Qh1+ etc. (0:1). His rival the Srgentinian peralta made a quick draw with Kovchak, a decision which I find hard to understand or explain. Of course, he had a tough opponent, but why not risk it? Second place and a big rating gain were guaranteed in any case. …  

So, we thank the players of the festival, who have entertained us with many exciting events. They went on to the closing ceremony and traditional pea soup. We have once again tried to please the visitors to our site with results of the tournmaent and the opinions of authotitative experts. See you again soon! 


Round one report 

Round two report

Round three report 

Round four report 

Round five report

Round six report

Round seven report  

Round eight report

Round nine report 

Round ten report  

Round eleven report  

Round twelve report 

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Text: Sergey Kim