World Champion Regains His Form, Wojtaszek Ruins Leningrad Variation Again

Время публикации: 16.01.2015 02:40 | Последнее обновление: 24.01.2015 10:15

Both win their round 5 games and approach the leader

The 5th round of the Tata Steel Chess festival has been held in Rotterdam (see photo report by Evgeny Surov) instead of Wijk aan Zee. So far, chess fans have no reason to complain about the chess contents of the supertournament: the round was again extremely exciting, with its four games to have proved decisive and the drawn encounters far from boring. The bleakest game was probably a short although quite tense draw between the leader Vassily Ivanchuk and one of his nearest rivals Ding Liren.

The heroes of the day were Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Magnus Carlsen, who both won their White games against Fabiano Caruana and Levon Aronian respectively. Let's start with the world champion's game who is now back to the top half of the crosstable with 3 points out of 5.

Having faced Aronian's usual Ragozin Defence, Magnus went for a calm positional line leading to the Carlsbad-type structure. Quite surprisingly, Aronian, who is by no means a novice in this kind of positions (as well as in chess), chose a dubious, passive setup. Sitting and waiting in a slightly worst position with no real counterplay is probably the least promising way of playing against Carlsen even if one's Elo is close to 2800.


14...Rfd8?! It seems to the annotator that this rook could have been useful at the king's side. The alternative was 14...c6, thinking about Rae8 (d8) and Bc8 and having in mind counterplay in the center and at the kingside, for instance: 15.Na4 Rae8 16.Nc5 Bc8 16.Qb3 Bxc5 17.dxc5 (17.Rxc5 Nf5 and ...Nd6 isn't bad either) 17...Ng6 19.Qc3 Ne5 20.Nxe5 Rxe5 - Black's position is reliable and he keeps active possibilities.
Besides, Zahar Efimenko is his game vs Jobava (Rijeka 2010) has demonstrated even more radical way for Black to solve his problems: 14...c5!? 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Na4 Ba7 17.b4 d4! 18.Nxd4 Rad8 19.Qf1 Bxd4 20.exd4 Nf5 21.Nc5, and the players agreed to a draw. In the final position, Black could play 21...Bd5 with at least equal chances.

15.b4 Nc8?! 17.Na4! b6 18.Nb2 Ng6 19.a4 (intending to provoke further weaknesses by a4-a5) 19...a5 20.b5 (now the c7-pawn is the permanent headache for Black as well as the c6-square) 20...Re8 21.Rc3 Bf5 22.Rac1 Rad8. Black has developed all his pieces but, apart from sitting and waiting, it's quite unclear what to do next, while White has room for improvement.

23.Nd2! As Magnus explained during the internet relay at the official website, his plan was to play g2-g3 and then either Bf3-g2 or Bg4, but 23.g3 at once would have been worse due to 23...Bg4, and if 24.Nd2? then 24...Bxe2 25,Qxe2 Qxd4.
23...Rd7 24.g3 Nf8 25.Bg4 (depriving Black of his bishops' pair) 25...Nh7 26.Bxf5 Qxf5 27.Qf3 Qg5 (there is little doubt that the endgame is very unpleasant for Black) 28.h4 Qe7 29.Rc6 Nf6 30.Nf4 g6?! Black's position is already difficult. After the exchange of knights, the d5-pawn would have become weaker, so Aronian decided to stop Nh5 but gets into a bigger trouble instead.

31.h5! This positional move has tactical justification. 'It's typical: when you have a positional advantage the tactics will be in your favour' - Carlsen.
The main idea is that while the immediate 31.Nxd5 doesn't work because of 31...Nxd5 32.Qxd5 Ba3! (33.Rxg6+? Kh7), it becomes possible now in case of 31...g5: 32.Nxd5 Nxd5 33.Qxd5 Ba3 34.Qf5! Bxc1 35.Rxh6 f6 36.Qg6+ with the quick mate.

31...Kg7 32.hxg6 fxg6 33.Nxd5 (here this capture also works fine) 33...Nxd5 34.Qxd5 Bxg3 (if 34...Ba3 then 35.Qxd7! Qxd7 36.Rxc7 wins - this might have been missed by Aronian, according to Magnus) 35.Qg2 Bd6 36.Nc4. The white king seems to be exposed but in fact his pieces are so dominating that Black can't make use of that, while Black's own monarch isn't very reliable too. White just wants 37.Nxd6 and 38.Rxb6 from which Black has no good defence.
36...Rf8?! After this move, everything becomes clear, although Black's position is probably lost anyway.
37.Ne5! (forking d7 and g6) 37...Bxe5 38.Qxg6+ Kh8 39.Qxh6+ Kg8 40.dxe5. The rest of the game was just finishing Black off; Aronian resigned 7 moves later. A clean victory by the world champion who has finally begun to show what he is capable of after the poor start. 1-0

It was definitely not Levon's day...

Another hero of the 5th round, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, has again proved that the Dutch Defence is a risky opening even if played by such outstanding players as Carlsen and Caruana. Curiously enough, the Polish grandmaster came to the Netherlands very well prepared for the Dutch - either being respectful to the host country or having anticipated that the glorious opponents would try to beat him with Black?
In the Leningrad variation of the Dutch, Caruana chose the order of moves slightly different from the one played by Carlsen in round 3. This fact, however, didn't help him avoid problems in the opening.


By this time, according to the relay, Caruana has already spent around 40 minites, while Wojtaszek has gained (!) 4 minites. White's position is more pleasant as he is ready for the typical knight transfer to d3 underlining the weakness of the e5-square. The next part of the game went according to the familiar scenario: calm positional play by White, weak a-pawn appearing in the Black's camp, White's attack and capture of the weakness, Black's attempts to create counterplay on the other side which proved unsufficient...

White is seriously better as he has got a healthy extra pawn. With only 5 minites on the clock against Wojtaszek's 45, Caruana finds an excellent resource: 32...e5!, and it was the Pole's turn to sink into deep thought. He spent more than a half of his time and, as a result, decided to deviate from the most principled way (at least according to engines) 33.fxe5 Rxa3 34.Qxa3 Be7 35.Qb2! Bxc5 36.dxc5 with great compensation for the exchange. Instead, he went for a continuation which, even if objectively weaker, would create multiple choices for Black on almost every move.
33.Rxa8 Rxa8 34.Qb1 exd4 35.Qxf5 Qxe3+?! This natural capture is an inaccuracy; Black had to prefer less obvious 35...Qe6! 36.Qxe6 dxe6 with good chances to survive.
36.Bf2 Qe6 37.Bd3 Qxf5 38.Bxf5 Ra1+. In this game, Caruana didn't demonstrate his ability to be excellent in time-trouble - perhaps the clever choice by Wojtaszek a few moves ago is to be blamed
. Black should have played Ra3 here or on the next move.
39.Kg2 d3?! A nervous move which brings Black nothing but a loss of the pawn.
40.Bxd3 d4 41.b4.

Black's time trouble is over, and it turns out that White's position is extremely close to a technical win, as Black is unable to disturb the white king despite all the efforts.
It took Radoslaw only 6 more moves to convert his advantage into win: 41...Bb3 (41...Ra4 42.b5 Rb4 would have been more tenacious) 42.b5 Be7 43.Rh5 Rd1 44.Be2 Rd2 45.Bxg4 Rb2 46.Bf3 Bb4 47.b6! 1-0 (Games annotated by GM Andrey Deviatkin)

Among other games of the 5th round, two outcomes deserve to be mentioned especially: the principled battle between Giri and Jobava ended in favour of the young Dutchman after Jobava's blunder in a double-egded position, while Wesley So strived hard to beat Hou Yifan but the latter showed guts and was equal to her opponent in every stage of the game.

After 5 rounds, Vassily Ivanchuk maintains the lead with 4/5. Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Ding Liren are half-a-point behind. Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, Wesley So, and Fabiano Caruana have 3 points each. The players have already returned to Wijk aan Zee, and the next round will take place in the usual location (starting at 12:30 GMT). The most anticipated game is obviously Cariana - Carlsen.

Crosstable, schedule, pairings and other information about the tournament

All the games of the 5th round of the A-tournament can be viewed below.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.15"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Van Wely, Loek"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B84"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2667"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Be2 Nf6 6. Nc3 d6 7. O-O Be7 8. f4 O-O 9. Be3 Nc6 10. Kh1 Qc7 11. a4 Re8 12. Bf3 Bf8 13. Nb3 b6 14. a5 bxa5 15. e5 dxe5 16. fxe5 Rd8 17. Qe2 Nd5 18. Bg5 Re8 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Bxd5 Be6 21. Be4 Rac8 22. Bf4 Qb6 23. Be3 Qb5 24. Qxb5 axb5 25. Bxc6 Rxc6 26. Nd4 Rcc8 27. Nxe6 Rxe6 28. Rxa5 Rxe5 29. Bf4 Re2 30. Rxb5 Rcxc2 31. Rb8 Rxb2 32. Rxb2 Rxb2 33. h3 f6 34. g4 Kf7 35. Bg3 Bc5 36. g5 Ke6 37. gxf6 gxf6 38. Re1+ Kf5 39. Rf1+ Kg6 40. Rf4 Rd2 41. Rg4+ Kf5 42. Rf4+ Ke6 43. Rh4 Rd7 44. Re4+ Kd5 45. Re2 Rb7 46. Kg2 Bd4 47. Bf2 Be5 48. Kf3 h5 49. Rd2+ Ke6 50. Rd3 Kf5 51. Ra3 Rb4 52. Rd3 Rf4+ 53. Kg2 Ke4 54. Re3+ Kd5 55. Rd3+ Kc4 56. Rf3 Re4 57. Rf5 h4 58. Rh5 Kd3 59. Rxh4 Rxh4 60. Bxh4 Ke4 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.15"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A88"] [WhiteElo "2744"] [BlackElo "2820"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nc3 c6 8. Re1 Na6 9. b3 Ne4 10. Bb2 Nxc3 11. Bxc3 Nc5 12. Ng5 d5 13. Nh3 Ne4 14. Bb2 Be6 15. Nf4 Bf7 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Nd3 a5 18. a4 b5 19. axb5 Qb6 20. e3 Rfb8 21. Bf1 Qxb5 22. Ra3 Qe8 23. f3 Nd6 24. Qa1 g5 25. Bc3 g4 26. f4 Ne4 27. Bxa5 h5 28. Rc1 h4 29. Be1 Bf6 30. Nc5 hxg3 31. hxg3 Nxc5 32. Rxc5 e5 33. Rxa8 Rxa8 34. Qb1 exd4 35. Qxf5 Qxe3+ 36. Bf2 Qe6 37. Bd3 Qxf5 38. Bxf5 Ra1+ 39. Kg2 d3 40. Bxd3 d4 41. b4 Bb3 42. b5 Be7 43. Rh5 Rd1 44. Be2 Rd2 45. Bxg4 Rb2 46. Bf3 Bb4 47. b6 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.15"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Ding Liren"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vasil"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2732"] [BlackElo "2715"] [PlyCount "51"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. e3 Nf6 5. b3 b6 6. Bb2 Bb7 7. Nc3 Nbd7 8. g3 g6 9. Bg2 Bg7 10. O-O O-O 11. Qe2 Qe7 12. a4 a5 13. Ba3 c5 14. Rac1 Rfd8 15. Rfd1 Rac8 16. Nb5 Ne4 17. Nd2 Ndf6 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. dxc5 bxc5 21. Rxd8+ Rxd8 22. Rd1 Bf8 23. Bb2 Bg7 24. Ba3 Bf8 25. Bb2 Bg7 26. Ba3 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.15"] [Round "5.4"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2673"] [PlyCount "132"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. e3 O-O 8. Rc1 dxc4 9. Bxc4 c5 10. O-O cxd4 11. Nxd4 Bd7 12. Ne4 Qe7 13. Qh5 Nc6 14. Nb3 Be8 15. a3 f5 16. Qe2 Bxa3 17. bxa3 fxe4 18. Nc5 Ne5 19. Ba2 Nf3+ 20. Kh1 Qh4 21. gxf3 Bh5 22. Bxe6+ Kh8 23. Bg4 exf3 24. Qb2 Bxg4 25. Rg1 Rf7 26. Qd4 h5 27. Nd3 Rd8 28. Qe4 Qe7 29. Qxe7 Rxe7 30. Nf4 Kh7 31. Rc5 g6 32. h3 Bf5 33. Nxh5 Bxh3 34. Kh2 Bf5 35. Nf6+ Kh6 36. e4 Rf8 37. e5 b6 38. Rd5 Kg7 39. Kg3 Be6 40. Rh1 Bg8 41. Kf4 Rc8 42. Rd4 b5 43. Re1 a5 44. Kxf3 Rc3+ 45. Kf4 Rxa3 46. Nxg8 Kxg8 47. e6 Ra4 48. Rxa4 bxa4 49. Ke5 Kg7 50. Kd6 Kf8 51. Rc1 Re8 52. Ke5 a3 53. Kf6 a2 54. Ra1 Rb8 55. f4 Rb4 56. f5 gxf5 57. Rxa2 Rh4 58. Rd2 Rh6+ 59. Ke5 Rh1 60. Kd6 Ke8 61. Rg2 Rd1+ 62. Ke5 Rh1 63. Rg6 Ke7 64. Rg7+ Ke8 65. Kf6 Rh6+ 66. Ke5 Rh1 1/2-1/2 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.15"] [Round "5.5"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Jobava, Baadur"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E97"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2727"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. d4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nh5 10. Re1 Nf4 11. Bf1 f5 12. a4 h6 13. Nd2 g5 14. Ra3 g4 15. a5 h5 16. c5 h4 17. Nc4 Neg6 18. cxd6 cxd6 19. Nb5 Rf6 20. g3 hxg3 21. hxg3 a6 22. Nc3 Nh4 23. Ne2 Nf3+ 24. Rxf3 Nxe2+ 25. Bxe2 gxf3 26. Bxf3 Bh6 27. Nb6 Rb8 28. Kg2 Bxc1 29. Qxc1 f4 30. Rh1 Rg6 31. Rh5 Qf8 32. Qh1 Qf6 33. Qh2 Bg4 34. Bxg4 Rxg4 35. Qh3 Qg6 36. Kf3 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.15"] [Round "5.6"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D38"] [WhiteElo "2862"] [BlackElo "2797"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. Qa4+ Nc6 9. e3 O-O 10. Be2 Be6 11. O-O a6 12. Rfc1 Bd6 13. Qd1 Ne7 14. a3 Rfd8 15. b4 Nc8 16. Na4 b6 17. Nb2 Ne7 18. Nd3 Ng6 19. a4 a5 20. b5 Re8 21. Rc3 Bf5 22. Rac1 Rad8 23. Nd2 Rd7 24. g3 Nf8 25. Bg4 Nh7 26. Bxf5 Qxf5 27. Qf3 Qg5 28. h4 Qe7 29. Rc6 Nf6 30. Nf4 g6 31. h5 Kg7 32. hxg6 fxg6 33. Nxd5 Nxd5 34. Qxd5 Bxg3 35. Qg2 Bd6 36. Nc4 Rf8 37. Ne5 Bxe5 38. Qxg6+ Kh8 39. Qxh6+ Kg8 40. dxe5 Qxe5 41. Rg6+ Kf7 42. Rc4 Qa1+ 43. Kg2 Rh8 44. Rf4+ Ke8 45. Re6+ Re7 46. Rxe7+ Kxe7 47. Re4+ 1-0 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.15"] [Round "5.7"] [White "Saric, Ivan"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2734"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. Nbd2 Be6 7. O-O Bd6 8. b3 Nd7 9. Nc4 Bxc4 10. bxc4 O-O 11. Bg5 Be7 12. Be3 Bd6 13. g3 g6 14. Nh4 b5 15. Qg4 Nf6 16. Qf3 Nd7 17. a4 bxc4 18. dxc4 Qe7 19. Rfd1 Qe6 20. Qe2 Rfb8 21. Nf3 Rb4 22. Nd2 a5 23. c3 Rb2 24. Rdb1 Rab8 25. Rxb2 Rxb2 26. Rb1 Rxb1+ 27. Nxb1 Bc5 28. Bh6 Nb6 29. Nd2 Nxa4 30. Nb3 Nxc3 31. Qd3 Bd4 32. Nxa5 Qg4 33. Nxc6 Qxe4 34. Qxe4 Nxe4 35. Kg2 Nd6 36. c5 Bxc5 37. Nxe5 Nf5 38. Bd2 f6 39. Nd7 Bd4 40. Ba5 c6 41. Nb8 c5 42. Nc6 Bb2 43. Bb6 c4 44. Kf3 Kf7 45. g4 Nd6 46. Ke3 Ke6 47. f3 Nb5 48. Nb4 Bc1+ 49. Kf2 Bd2 50. Nc2 Kd5 51. Ke2 Bf4 52. h4 Kc6 53. Bd8 Nc3+ 54. Ke1 Nd5 55. Ke2 Kb5 56. Nd4+ Kb4 57. Ne6 Be5 58. Kd2 c3+ 59. Kd3 Kb5 60. Kc2 Kc4 0-1 


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