Report of round 2

In round 2 of Tata Steel Chess, world number two Levon Aronian took sole lead by beating last year’s winner Hikaru Nakamura. The American grandmaster of Japanese descent had little to complain about a Dutch opening, as Aronian freely admitted: “That was not the way to play against the Dutch!”. Soon White give up a queen for rook and bishop and it seemed Black was doing fine. Somehow, some way, over the next 30 moves Aronian used his surplus of pieces to greater effect than Nakamura used his queen, and collected the full point.

World number one Magnus Carlsen could not keep in pace, as he soon found himself in a lifeless position against Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. The matadors gave it 30 more moves, but the evaluation never dipped below dead even. The third leader after day one, Dutch Anish Giri, had by then long left the premises. Teymour Radjabov had comfortably taken the sting out of Giri’s Samisch King’s Indian and even though the youngster was up a pawn, there was no way to exploit this asset and his draw offer after 24 moves was accepted.

Wijk aan Zee dinosaur Loek van Wely was also facing the King’s Indian Saemisch and just as Radjabov soon reached a comfortable position. Just before the first time control it seemed like Veselin Topalov was making some progress, but in the end the former World Champion was the one who had to tread carefully to salvage half a point. Drawing even more comfortably with the black pieces were Boris Gelfand, against David Navara, and Gata Kamsky playing Vugar Gashimov.

The Piet Zwart Prize, made possible by the municipalities of Velsen and Beverwijk, was awarded to Fabiano Caruana of Italy for his victory over Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

More here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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