"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Monday, 30 January 2012

Tata Steel 2012 in Wijk aan Zee: Loek Van Wely vers Magnus Carlsen ½:½

Today, I want to present one of the most important games of last the last round of Tata Steel 2012 in Wijk aan Zee, the game Loek Van Wely vers Magnus Carlsen. Winning a full point, Carlsen would have gained 8½ point which would have been enough to secure second place in the tournament.

Carlsen came to win. It was quite obvious right from the outset and from his choice of an opening. He opted for the Dutch Defence and Stonewall set-up.
Carlsen very likely missed his chance playing 25...Qe6. Russian grandmaster Sergey Zagrebelny, who commented this game “live” on ChessPro.ru recommended 25...d4!? and wrote:  “...I do not insist that in this case “The Iron” Loek would have capitulated unconditionally but the move in the game just forced the draw...” 
And definitely, if you have a look at the position resulting from the move 25...d4 then you have to admit that there was some chance for Black to play for win.
Let’s have a look at the game with the commentaries of GM Sergey Zagrebelny.

And what Carlsen says for Tata Steel Chess about his performance in this tournament: “I played really well in the first three rounds and all went okay until the seventh round. After that, it was a total mess. In the end, I was even lucky to finish at plus 3.” 
He added that he hoped to be invited for next year’s jubilee tournament. 
“We’ll have to see, of course … but I’ve been here nine times in a row, so it would be a shame to miss out next year,” Carlsen said. 

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