International News Today - Jan 31, 2012

Levon Aronian emerged victorious at the 74th Tata Steel tournament in Netherlands on Sunday, with a final round draw to clinch 1st place. He finished a full point ahead of Magnus Carlsen, Teimour Radjabov, and Fabiano Caruana. There were some truly exciting games in the final few rounds of the tournament, and it was announced that it will be back again next year.

With his fine performance Caruana moves into 10th spot on the Live Ratings list, meaning that 5 of the top ten are under 25. I suspect this is a first !

The super strong Swiss in Gibralter has played 7 rounds and Michael Adams is alone in 1st place with 6 points. There are ten players ½ point behind him. Today he plays the top rated from that group, Shak Mamedyarov. Yesterday saw a great showdown between Hou Yifan, the World’s Womens’ Champ and Judit Polgar the #1 Woman on the FIDE rating list. Hou Yifan came out on top in their 1st ever meeting.

The Moscow Open is three rounds in. It is a “warm” up for the more “beefy” Aeroflot Open which follows right afterwards. Top seeds are falling by the wayside and 7th seed Viorel Iordachescu (MDA) leeds a list of 8 players with perfect scores.