Thursday, 26 January 2012

Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee, Round 10: Aronian Shows The Way

Levon Aronian is in seemingly irresistible form in Wijk aan Zee at the moment and he leads the field by a full point with three rounds remaining. His tenth round win with Black against home player Anish Giri had a little bit of everything. Some sharp and enterprising opening theory (courtesy of an Armenian colleague), an exchange sacrifice (inspired, no doubt, by his great Armenian predecessor Tigran Petrosian), confident, patient middlegame technique, topped off with an improbably beautiful knight sacrifice to set up mate.

It seems a long time ago now that we were talking about the possibility of Magnus Carlsen overtaking Garry Kasparov's record rating of 2851 in Wijk. The way Levon Aronian is playing, there is probably a slightly better chance of Levon Aronian overtaking Carlsen at the top of the present rating list by the end of the tournament.

Levon Aronian (photo Fred Lucas)

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