To the spectators' delight, the second round already brought a season premiere.
The centre of attention was the match between Armenia and Norway. And once again it was a King's Indian. Yesterday against Levon, van Wely played 6...e5, but Magnus chose 6...Nc6. It would be interesting to know what the "Godfather" of the King's Indian, Efim Petrovicvh Gelelr, would have said, had he seen this game.
Aronian - Carlsen
This seems to be the first critical moment. The chess world's chief "avantguardist" invites the Norwegian to bag the dark-squared bishop (18... f4). If he takes up the challenge, Houdini (http://tatasteel2013.live.whychess.com/) suggests the following position could arise::
(variation from the analysis of 18.Nb5 f4)
Magnus was not in the mood for such surrealist adventures and declined the sacrifice. However, such human common sense did not guarantee an easy life eitehr, and White seems still to be somewhat better. Levon found a way to rock the boat:
What should Black play?
21… exf4 – A hymn to pragmatism in the third millenium! Why not take if one can? Four moves later, the Elo-favourite found himself in a very difficult position:
Surprisingly, the blakc position is full of life and nothing decisive is visible! Did Magnus really see this? The wise Levon restored material equality and the game went into an endgame.
Although the silicon beast assesses it as equal, by no means everyone would survive such a position against the Armenian genius. Levon could at one point have reaped the fruits of his work:
After the game, it became clear that 37.b5! Nc5 38.Rxf5+ Kxf5 39.Ng7+ Kf4 40.Nxe8 Nd3 41.Nxc7 etc. would have done the job. But... 37.g4?! and the task turned out to be Sisyphian. Magnus solved his remaining problems artfully, and the final position deserves a diagram:
The Armenian GM has cause to be dissatisfied. You remember the words of his great countryman? "I have fed my family on the proceeds of the King's Indian" (T Petrosian). Right now, the meat of the King's Indian is proving a little too tough for Levon.
The two Chinese players secured half points. But whilst Wang hao's draw with Leko was fairly academic in character, Hou Yifan demonstrated thats he was not willing to accept gifts. Admittedly, things did not start off so well for her:
Van Wely - Hou Yifan
Having defended successfully the day before against Aronian, van Wely today determinedly pressed the Dragon. Now he played 28.b4 and Hou had to show considerable ingenuity to avoid the worst. The advantage remained, but Hou was not willing to go wrong. In the end, Leok himself overlooked the danger and...
48.Re1? Nc5 – and now the ex-world champion has a serious initiative. The weakness of the white king has its say. …49.Rxd6 Rxd6 50.Qxd6 Rxb3 51.Ng2? Now the direct 51… а4, pushing the passed pawn, would win for Black (Houdini -3.15). But even without this, Loek's position continued to worsen. See for yourself - White is not to be envied.
What should he do after the obvious 57…а2? But now it was Hou's turn to go wrong: 57…Nxc5?? and then: 58.Rxb3 Nxb3 59.Nh4 Qg1+60.Kh3 Qh1+61.Kg3 Qg1+ Draw! (½:½). One wonders which player was the more dissatisfied?
Hikaru clearly intended to tear apart with his bare hands the Dutch-Bosnian "pensioner", but his hooliganism backfired,a nd by move 23, Ivan could have put the American in his place:
The variation is quite simple: 23... Qc6+ 24.Kg1 Nd4 25.Qb8+ Re8 26.Qb2 Nxe2+ 27.Kf2 Rh5 28.Kxe2 Rxh2+ and that is that.
Sokolov settled for tranposing into an endgame (admittedly, completely winning) with an extra exchange, and again failed to settle the game in his favour. The Wijk stars shone brightly for the visitors today, allowing them to escape with only minor "cuts and bruises". Here, for example:
A variation from the analysis: 47…Rc3 48.Kf2 Kh3 49.e3 Kg4 50.Ke2 Rb3 51.Kf2 Rb2+ 52.Ke1 Kf3 53.Kd1 Rb3 (Houdini, -5,01 http://tatasteel2013.live.whychess.com/)
A variation from the analysis: 75... Re2+ 76.Kg1 Rg2+ 77.Kh1 Kf2 78.Bd6 Rg5 79.Bc5+ Kf1 80.Kh2 Rxe5 (-4,89)
Mmmm. It is easy to sit in one's armchair and bemoan the missed opportunities, with a cup of coffee in hand and a computer running...In the end, it was a draw. . (½:½)
The legendary Ulf Andersson is appearing as a commentator.
The leader of the Rest of the World team in the 1984 match!
The rather dry results in the main group were offset by some interesting stuff in the otehr sections.
Naiditsch - Tiviakov
Sergey has just played his knight into c4. 26.Bxc4 dxc4 27.Rxc4 Qb7 White accepted the bait and from this moment on, had to watch the long diagonal very carefully. Maybe it looks safe enough, but this was happened a few moves later:
32.Rc8?? Bb7?? Signing the amnesty. Sergey, not believing his luck, believed his opponent instead. Why not 32…d4? Arkady gave him a chance to make up for the slip, a few moves later:
37.h4?? d4! – Now there is no escape! 38.h5 Qe4 39.Kf1 d3 White resigns (0:1).
Sergey has confidently taken the lead in Group B..
Text: Sergey Kim
Wijk aan Zee, Rd2: Premier!