Monday, January 28, 2013

Magnus Carlsen Wins 2013 Tata Steel Tournament

Edward Scimia
By , GuideJanuary 27, 2013

The final round of the 2013 Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee was played today, with Magnus Carlsen scoring a draw with the black pieces against Anish Giri to finish with a 10/13 score and his third Wijk aan Zee title. Of course, if you were paying attention to the tournament, you already knew this on Saturday; Carlsen had clinched the victory with a round to spare, and ended up winning the tournament by 1.5 points over Levon Aronian. The result matched the 1999 score put up by Garry Kasparov as the best result in the history of the tournament; Carlsen won seven games without a loss, putting up a performance rating of 2930 -- enough to push his rating (unofficially) above 2870 for the first time.
It's another impressive performance from the young Norwegian, who has already had a career that would likely put him among the top players in history who didn't win a World Chess Championship -- nothing to scoff at, especially at the age of 22. But in order to make the leap into the list of chess immortals, Carlsen will, of course, have to win a championship eventually (and preferably in a match format for much of the chess world to consider it meaningful). That quest will begin in a couple months, when the Candidates Tournament is held for the 2013 World Chess Championship. Given his recent results, Carlsen will likely enter this tournament as the odds-on favorite to win the event and challenge Viswanathan Anand.
Speaking of Anand, the Tata Steel Tournament was also a good event for the reigning World Chess Champion. After a year of poor results in 2012, Anand bounced back with some very impressive games in the Netherlands. While his 8/13 score was only good enough for third place, it was still a bounce back tournament that showed Anand should be a force to be reckoned with not only in his upcoming title defense, but also in super-tournaments for years to come.

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