Carlsen Closing In On So After Beating Van Wely

Carlsen Closing In On So After Beating Van Wely

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 24, 2017, 2:29 PM |
41 | Chess Event Coverage

Magnus Carlsen was the only winner in the ninth round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament's Masters. The World Champion defeated Loek van Wely and is now half a point behind Wesley So.

Ilia Smirin joined Markus Ragger in the lead in the Challengers, where the winner will promote to the Masters 2018 tournament.

Photo: Alina l'Ami.

Van Wely was a most welcome pairing for Carlsen on Tuesday. First, the Norwegian had a full rest day to recover from his first loss in Wijk aan Zee, and then he got to play the tail-ender, the young father, and also the "nestor" in the group—a man who is completely off-form in his 25th year of participating.

And still, it wasn't a walkover. As our GM commentator shows, Black might not have lost the rook endgame objectively speaking. Carlsen was a pawn up from the start, after he had treated the Keres Attack in the Scheveningen rather positionally. 

It's hard not to call this a typical Carlsen win.

Last year Van Wely got a winning position against Carlsen,
but definitely not this time. | Photo: Alina l'Ami.

In what was the least productive round so far, Carlsen's win was the only one in the Masters today. As a result, not much changed except for the Norwegian player to move back up to shared second place, half a point behind So. 

In the remaining four rounds, So will play Wojtaszek, Andreikin, Wei Yi, and Nepomniachtchi. Carlsen's program is tougher; his next opponents are Harikrishna, Adhiban, Eljanov, and Karjakin.

Two of the six draws were very interesting and deserve to be embedded here. Let's start with Nepomniachtchi-Harikrishna, a game that saw an English Opening which seemed to leave theory rather early. The first nine moves had been played in one 2015 game.

Things got extremely tactical, and White's initiative soon got overwhelming. However, "Nepo" failed to win it, and will have a hard time sleeping tonight.

That could and should have been 1-0. | Photo: Alina l'Ami.

Dmitry Andreikin hasn't been playing the most exciting games in the tournament so far, but today vs Pavel Eljanov it wasn't bad at all. Four pawns on the c-file, an octopus for Black, an exchange sac, another one, a steel king... This game had it all!

That's a strong candidate for game of the tournament! | Photo: Alina l'Ami.

The pairings for round 10, on Wednesday in Haarlem, are Aronian-Rapport, Van Wely-Giri, Harikrishna-Carlsen, Adhiban-Nepomniachtchi, Eljanov-Wei, Karjakin-Andreikin, and So-Wojtaszek.

Wesley So, still on top at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament.Photo: Alina l'Ami.

Tata Steel Masters | Round 9 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 So 2808 2870 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 6.0/9
2 Carlsen 2840 2825 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 5.5/9 22.50
3 Eljanov 2755 2820 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.5/9 21.75
4 Wei Yi 2706 2824 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 5.5/9 20.00
5 Aronian 2780 2800 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 5.0/9 25.00
6 Adhiban 2653 2792 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 ½ 5.0/9 22.00
7 Karjakin 2785 2782 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0/9 20.50
8 Harikrishna 2766 2749 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/9 21.25
9 Giri 2773 2764 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/9 20.25
10 Andreikin 2736 2701 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/9 17.00
11 Wojtaszek 2750 2710 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.0/9 14.75
12 Rapport 2702 2691 0 1 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/9 16.00
13 Nepomniachtchi 2767 2672 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/9 14.00
14 Van Wely 2695 2476 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1.5/9

Games from TWIC.

Markus Ragger is still tied for first place in the Challengers, but finds another name next to him in the leaderboard. Gawain Jones lost to Jeffery Xiong, but Ilia Smirin defeated Van Foreest to catch Ragger.

The Dutch Champion went all or nothing, and got the latter.

The pairings for the challengers on Wednesday are Grandelius-Dobrov, Lu-Hansen, Jones-Tingjie, Guramishvili-Xiong, Smirin-l'Ami, Tari-Van Foreest, and Bok-Ragger.

Tata Steel Challengers | Round 9 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Ragger 2697 2736 ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5/9 26.25
2 Smirin 2667 2753 ½ 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 6.5/9 26.00
3 Xiong 2667 2720 0 1 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 6.0/9 24.25
4 Jones 2665 2726 1 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 6.0/9 23.00
5 Hansen 2603 2676 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 5.5/9 22.00
6 Lu Shanglei 2612 2664 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 5.5/9 20.75
7 L'Ami 2605 2609 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 5.0/9 18.75
8 Grandelius 2642 2621 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.0/9 18.50
9 Tari 2584 2595 ½ 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/9
10 Dobrov 2499 2533 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 3.5/9 13.50
11 Bok 2608 2490 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 1 3.5/9 10.50
12 Van Foreest 2612 2407 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 ½ 2.5/9
13 Lei Tingjie 2467 2399 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 1 2.0/9
14 Guramishvili 2370 2272 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1.0/9

Games from TWIC.


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