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Mamedyarov, Dzagnidze In Full-Point Leads With Clean Scores
GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is in the lead with 3/3 after the first day of the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Mamedyarov, Dzagnidze In Full-Point Leads With Clean Scores

VSaravanan
| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and GM Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia won all three rounds to jump into the sole lead of the 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Open Rapid and 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Women's Rapid, respectively, by a full-point margin at the end of the first day.

Mamedyarov was followed by Indian GMs Arjun Erigaisi and Nihal Sarin, with two points each, in a tough day for favorites GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Wesley So of the U.S. in the open section. In the women's section, Dzagnidze is trailed by Indian GMs Humpy Koneru and Harika Dronavalli, as well as Ukrainian GMs Anna Ushenina and Mariya Muzychuk, all on two points.

The event continues on November 29 at 22:30 p.m. PT/November 30 at 07:30 CET.

How to watch the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Tata Steel India Chess Women's Rapid

You can keep up with all the details of the tournament on our live events platform by following separate links for open and women's sections.

 


The fourth edition of the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid started off at the iconic National Library of India, India's largest library by volume and public record, with more than 200 years of history. A British-era building with typical charm and standing, the auditorium inside was the venue of the tournament, with special lighting and branding for the event.

Open

Mamedyarov played his trademark dynamic chess to outwit all his three opponents. In the first two games, he exploited uneven play by Indian GMs Gukesh D and S P Sethuraman. He showed his best in the third game against So, where he infused complications by uncorking 9...b5!? in the opening. This is presented as our Game Of The Day:

 

An obviously pleased Mamedyarov turned up at a press conference at the end of the day, and had pleasant words on the emerging young talents of India:

One of the most absorbing games of the day was between two of the pre-tournament favorites and countrymen, Nakamura and So, and they presented the spectators with a great clash.

So—coming on top in a great clash against his fellow countryman. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Nakamura lost a pawn in the endgame and put up a tough fight, only to lose the game after a long-drawn struggle. The game went on long after the other games had ended, drawing applause from the audience for the quality of the fight:

Another nice effort came from Nihal who played a classic set-piece maneuver in the King's Indian Defense, where Black sacrifices the f-pawn and occupies the dark squares with his pieces: the e5- and f4-squares. But Nihal gained these squares even without the necessary pawn sacrifices against GM Vidit Gujrathi in the game below.

Nihal, getting ready for the classic set-piece maneuver. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

All Games Open - Day 1

Standings

Women's

The day actually started with the women's event, when the spectators got to see the well-designed playing arena on the stage of the auditorium:

The Tata Steel Chess India event begins! Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Dzagnidze scored three wins to emerge as the only player with a clean score at the end of the day, taking a full-point lead. Facing opponents all younger than her by almost two decades, she was in varying levels of difficulty in all three games.  If her play on the day can be defined by any single factor, it can be called "staying power."

GM Dzagnidze of Georgia—staying power. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

In her post-game interview, she pointed out the position after her (Black) 17th move against IM Oliwia Kiolbasa from the third round:

"I have ideas here, I have plans. White should stay, you know. It is not easy to stay." She indeed stayed on with grit in all the games, defending two difficult endgames with the black pieces against WIM Savitha Shri and Kiolbasa, and a difficult, dynamic position with the white pieces against IM Vaishali R. In fact, she almost lost the game against Savitha Shri but both the players overlooked a blunder too:

Ushenina's sole win came against Kiolbasa in the first round with black pieces, where she planted her dark bishop on the d4-square, and the rest of her game played by itself:

GM Ushenina—the power of dark-squared bishop on d4. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

Another important game was between Koneru and GM Anna Muzyuchuk where the former's sense of danger was acutely felt, especially for a rapid game. In chess, one of the most important principles for strong players is the "risk threshold" of a player. Such a sense cannot be trained consciously—it always simply "flows through the finger" for a player of class. Koneru's provocative play, fightback in a seemingly worse position, and defense were instructive:

Inaugurating the tournament with the game of the heavyweights: Koneru and Muzychuk. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India.

All Games Women's - Day 1

Standings

The 2022 Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Women's Rapid are two of India's most prestigious rapid chess events. Players compete in a 10-player round-robin in rapid games with a 15+10 time control. The prize fund for each event is $24,000.


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