Aronian by Edwin Woudt , Radjabov by Macauley Peterson, and Topalov by Carla Amse.
by Jennifer Shahade
Levon Aronian, Veselin Topalov and Teimour Radjabov tied for first in Corus Wijk Aan Zee (January 12-28).They share a top prize of 20,500 Euros, not to mention significant appearance fees, the exact values of which are secret. The three super-GMs had very different roads to victory.
24-year-old Aronian was the hero of the final round, out-calculating Dutch Champ Sergei Tiviakov in a wild game to join the winners circle with 8.5.
With victories in the 2005 World Cup and Linares 2006, Aronian has established himself as a top ten fixture, even reaching 3rd position for a few months. (He is currently ranked seventh.) Aronian is a fan favorite, known for his laid-back, fun personality and his uncompromising chess style.
Topalov ponders whether he should push with the Black pieces. Photo Macauley Peterson.
Fans hoped for a slugfest today between Topalov and Radjabov today, but it was not meant to be.
Kramnik defeated Van Wely to finish with 8 points, just a half a point out of first.
Magnus Carlsen and Alexei Shirov shared the basement with 4.5 points each. Moments after Shirov drew with Carlsen, he said, "For my generation it's absolutely impossible nowadays to use any kind of experience...it's youngsters who have to teach us chess, not the other way around." But who will have the final say between 31-year-old Topalov, 24-year-old Aronian and 19-year-old Radjabov? For that, we'll have to wait for the eight player round robin in Linares/Morelia (February 16-March 11), in which all three will play.
Corus Wijk Aan Zee "A"
1. V. Topalov, L. Aronian and T. Radjabov 8½
4. V. Kramnik 8
5. V. Anand 7½
6. P. Svidler 7
7. S. Karjakin and D. Navara 6½
9. R. Ponomariov 6
10. L. van Wely, S. Tiviakov and A. Motylev 5
13. A. Shirov and M. Carlsen 4½
Corus Wijk Aan Zee "B"
1. P. Eljanov 9
2. G. Sargissian, Bu Xiangzhi, M. Vachier-Lagrave and D. Jakovenko 8
6. E. L’Ami 7½
7. V. Bologan and D. Stellwagen 7
9. J. Smeets 6
10. F. Nijboer 5½
11. S. Atalik and J. Werle 4½
13. T. Kosintseva and V. Georgiev 4
Corus Wijk Aan Zee "C"
1. M. Krasenkow 10½
2. I. Nepomniachtchi 10
3. E. Berg 8
4. P. Negi 7½
5. Hou Yifan and W. Spoelman 7
7. J. van der Wiel, M. Bosboom and E. van Haastert 6
10. N. Kosintseva and Z. Peng 5½
12. H. Jonkman 4½
13. S. Brynell 4
14. T. Willemze 3½
Macauley Peterson contributed to this story- look for from Macauley on Corus in the April Chess Life Magazine.