During the second round of the Tata Steel chess tournament yesterday, Armenian Grandmaster Levon Aronian once again drew (tied) — this time with USA’s Hikaru Nakamura (0.5–0.5).
The 73rd edition of the tournament, this year from Jan. 14–30, is held in the Dutch city of Wijk aan Zee, near Amsterdam. According to Chessbase.com, there are three Grandmaster Groups, with 14 players each and each competitor playing against every other. The rate of play is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and finally 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 seconds/move increment starting with the first move of the game. Games begin at 1:30 pm local time (CET), except for the last round on Jan. 30, which begins at 12:30 pm. There are three rest days, on Jan. 19, 24, and 27.
Recall that Aronian with black tied with Norway’s Magnus Carlsen at the 28th move during round one on Saturday. Yesterday, Aronian and Nakamura agreed to a draw after only 17 moves.
After round 2, leading the standings in Group A with 1.5 points are Viswanathan Anand (India), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) and Jan Smeets (Netherlands). Aronian, with only 1 point, along with 5 other players, occupies the 5th to 10th places in the standings.
In Group B, Armenia’s Gabriel Sargissian tied with the Philippines’ Wesley So (0.5–0.5). After round 2, Sargissian, with 1.5 points, finds himself occupying the 2nd to 4th places in the standings with two other players. Group B is led by England’s Luke McShane, who won both rounds and has 2 points.