Dubov, Giri Score In Tata Steel Chess Round 6
Yu-Firouzja and Carlsen-Caruana in round six. Photo: Alina L'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Dubov, Giri Score In Tata Steel Chess Round 6

25 | Chess Event Coverage

Back in Wijk aan Zee, the Tata Steel Chess Tournament saw wins for Anish Giri and Daniil Dubov on Friday in the masters group. Pavel Eljanov grabbed the lead in the challengers with a win against Max Warmerdam.

After the almost two-hour ride from Eindhoven and the late return to Wijk aan Zee on Thursday evening, the players had less time to prepare than usual. Round six had a rather quiet start with two games eventually ending decisively.

Especially the big game between the top two players in the world was disappointing. With his sixth draw in as many rounds, Magnus Carlsen now has also broken Sergey Tiviakov's unbeaten streak if you don't count the two 2300 opponents in November.

Carlsen was interviewed after the game. Video: Tata Steel Chess.

"I tried a fairly safe approach today, trying to get some small advantage," said Carlsen about his game with Fabiano Caruana. "Probably later on my approach was a bit too concrete. If there was something in the position, it was probably slower since after what happened. It just petered out."

The world champion did have some slight pressure out of the opening, but Caruana played a line that's extremely solid. 

Carlsen Caruana 2020 Tata Steel Chess
The fans were surely hoping for fireworks in Carlsen vs. Caruana. Photo: Alina L'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Caruana said that move 11.Rc1 brought the game into a very theoretical line. In fact, for 16 moves he followed an old game by Paul van der Sterren, a Dutch grandmaster who in his heyday was considered an expert of the Queen's Gambit.

"The theory was resolved decades ago, and not much has happened since then," said Caruana.

Caruana was interviewed after the game. Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Anish Giri defeated tailender Vladislav Kovalev in a fine game but surprisingly called it a lucky win. He did outprepare his opponent and had an extra hour on the clock extra at one point, but the game remained highly complicated—so much that the Dutchman said he was happy he wasn't mated.

"The line in the game was so tempting. It was so long and forced that it looked like the right way to go," Giri said. It led to a promising endgame, which he converted nicely.

Giri was interviewed after the game. Video: Tata Steel Chess.

In an all-Russian encounter Danill Dubov defeated Vladislav Artemiev with quiet means. Artemiev was better prepared for the 4.h4 variation of the Advance Caro-Kann than for his game with Alireza Firouzja but couldn't prevent a slight but enduring disadvantage.

Dubov successfully maintained the pressure, hoping that his opponent would collapse. And he did.

Daniil Dubov 2020 Tata Steel Chess
Daniil Dubov. Photo: Alina L'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Concerning drawn games, it should be mentioned that both Firouzja and Jorden van Foreest held the draws from slightly worse positions, so these two young players keep doing well.

2020 Tata Steel Chess round 6 standings

Masters games, round 6

The challengers group has a new leader, and it's not a surprising one. Former world number-12 Eljanov didn't equalize either in the 4.h4 Advance Caro-Kann but set a nasty trap, and Warmerdam fell for it:

Eljanov was interviewed after the game. Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Nils Grandelius actually won in a similar manner. His opponent Lucas van Foreest was having an edge (starting from a Najdorf with the weird move 6.Bd2!?), but the Dutch player also missed a devilish tactic:

Anish Giri Lucas Van Foreest 2020 Tata Steel Chess
Giri checking on Lucas van Foreest's creative opening play. Photo: Alina L'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

2020 Tata Steel Chess Challengers round 6 standings

Challengers games, round 6

Like in previous years, the official video broadcast is produced by Chess.com, which you can watch on both tatasteelchess.com and Chess.com/TV. All rounds start at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. Eastern, 4:30 a.m. Pacific) in Wijk aan Zee, except for round five.
  • On Jan. 16 (Eindhoven) the rounds start half an hour later at 2 p.m. local.
  • Rest days are scheduled for Jan. 15, 20 and 23.
  • The final round on Jan. 26 starts 90 minutes earlier at noon local time.

Commentary will be provided by GM Robert Hess and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni during the first week and by GM Peter Leko and IM Sopiko Guramishvili during the second week.

Replay the live broadcast of the sixth round from Wijk aan Zee.

Previous reports:

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