(Gelfand faces the Dutch from Nakamura. Photo from Chessbase.)
The Tata Steel Chess 2012 tournament has reach the halfway point with the top two rated players in the World continuing to share the lead. In the past three rounds, both Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian drew twice and won once, leaving them with 5.0/7. American star Hikaru Nakamura picked up ground with a pair of exciting victories. On the other hand, three players lost twice since the first rest day: Vugar Gashimov, Boris Gelfand, and David Navara.
Standings After Round 8 of 13
Updated 1/22: All round 8 games were drawn except for Giri 0-1 Gashimov.
- 5.5 Aronian and Carlsen
- 5.0 Radjabov
- 4.5 Caruana, Ivanchuk and Nakamura
- 4.0 Giri and Van Wely
- 3.5 Kamsky, Karjakin and Topalov
- 3.0 Gashimov and Gelfand
- 2.0 Navara
Here are my favorite games from Group A, one for every round.
- Karjakin 0-1 Aronian -- Ruy Lopez closed
- Aronian 1-0 Nakamura -- Dutch Leningrad
- Carlsen 1-0 Aronian -- Queen's Gambit Declined + BN vs R endgame
- Navara 0-1 Karjakin -- Ruy Lopez Berlin + pawn endgame
- Nakamura 1-0 Navara -- English Opening, reversed Dragon
- Gelfand 0-1 Nakamura -- Dutch Leningrad
- Kamsky 1-0 Navara -- Ruy Lopez Berlin + R and B endgame
- Giri 0-1 Gashimov -- Sicilian Najdorf, 6.Bg5