Carlsen, Giri Join Leaders At Tata Steel Chess
Giri defeated Duda to join the leaders. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Carlsen, Giri Join Leaders At Tata Steel Chess

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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34 | Chess Event Coverage

In a most entertaining sixth round it was again "double Dutch" at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament with wins for both Anish Giri and Jorden van Foreest. Giri joined Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi in the lead and so did Magnus Carlsen, who won his second game in a row.

Whereas one journalist complained about the poor level in some of the games, most of his colleagues and other chess fans truly enjoyed the sixth round in Wijk aan Zee, held after the first rest day.

On that rest day, a basketball match was organized for a small group of participants who were eager to do some sports. While it was good fun, there was also an unfortunate end to it.

One non-chess photographer who has been taking photos in the Wijk aan Zee playing hall for decades and is known for showing somewhat rude behavior there, was at the basketball as well. At some point he was asked to stop photos, but kept on clicking away. Carlsen was so fed up with it that he decided to leave early. The photographer has now been banned from the tournament.

Fast forward to round six, where Carlsen arrived 11 minutes late at the board. He wasn't asked about it in his post-game interview, but the suggestion that he might have wanted to avoid the aforementioned photographer makes sense.

Carlsen late Tata Steel Chess 2019Carlsen arriving late. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Carlsen's opponent Shakhriyar Mamedyarov then waited about 11 minutes as well before coming to the board and making his first move—a class act if that was because he didn't want to start with a time advantage.

Things started very quietly in a Queen's Gambit Accepted. The queens were traded on move eight, and only after a lot of maneuvering the game suddenly caught fire on move 33 when a tactical sequence led to a rook and pawn for Carlsen vs two minor pieces for Mamedyarov.

Carlsen thought it was a draw, but everything changed when his opponent suddenly played way too slow with 44...h5, underestimating White's plan of Bb5-c4 and pushing the b-pawn—which looks slow as well!

As IM Thomas Rendle noted, Carlsen needed to wait so long for his London bus (his first win after 21 draws), and when it finally came, another bus appeared right away (his second win).

"I am very happy of course to have beaten a very strong player," said Carlsen. "Today wasn't a brilliant game, but I managed to outlast him. It was one of those day where you're a little better and your opponent eventually makes a mistake and loses."


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

Carlsen Tata Steel Chess 2019Carlsen, finally among the leaders. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Giri personally worked some more on the excellent score for the black pieces in this tournament so far (now 10 vs 4 with 28 draws) as he won his third game as Black. ("Losing one with white also helps the statistics!" he noted.)

The Dutchman, who tied for first with Carlsen last year, might get another chance to score the first Dutch win in Wijk aan Zee since Jan Timman in 1985, if he keeps playing this way!

In some kind of reversed Closed Sicilian, Giri got the upper hand quickly when Jan-Krzysztof Duda allowed the typical ...f5-f4, and this soon led to a material advantage for Black. Giri admitted that he could have played more convincingly in the last phase, but how it went, it was enough.


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

Giri Tata Steel Chess 2019Anish Giri, now also among the leaders. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Arguably the most interesting game was played by the other Dutch participant, Van Foreest. He wasn't doing great actually. "I thought I was much worse and I was getting outplayed," he said, and our commentator Dejan Bojkov agreed with that.

"Somehow he started to play very quickly and also making some mistakes. After the time control was over I found myself in a much better if not winning position."


Van Foreest interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Van Foreest vs Fedoseev Tata Steel Chess 2019A second win for the lowest rated participant. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Of the four draws, Richard Rapport vs Vladimir Kramnik cannot remain unmentioned. It was a fantastic fight where both sides had chances, but in the end the point was split and perhaps that was a result that this game deserved.

Rapport vs Kramnik Tata Steel Chess 2019Rapport vs Kramnik. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess Masters | Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Nepomniachtchi 2763 2911 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.0 / 6 12.25
2 Carlsen 2835 2871 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 4.0 / 6 11.25
3 Ding Liren 2813 2850 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 4.0 / 6 10.75
4 Giri 2783 2892 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 4.0 / 6 10
5 Anand 2773 2784 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.5 / 6 9.75
6 Vidit 2695 2798 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 3.5 / 6 9.5
7 Radjabov 2757 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.0 / 6 8.5
8 Mamedyarov 2817 2716 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5 / 6 7.75
9 Shankland 2725 2704 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5 / 6 7.25
10 Rapport 2731 2698 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5 / 6 6.75
11 Duda 2738 2659 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 2.5 / 6 6.5
12 Fedoseev 2724 2602 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 2.0 / 6 6.75
13 Kramnik 2777 2656 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 2.0 / 6 6
14 Van Foreest 2612 2638 0 0 0 0 1 1 2.0 / 6 4.5

Pairings for round seven (Saturday): Fedoseev-Carlsen, Shankland-Van Foreest, Radjabov-Vidit, Giri-Ding Liren, Nepomniachtchi-Duda, Kramnik-Anand, Mamedyarov-Rapport.

Vladislav Kovalev grabbed the lead in the challengers group with a win over Dinara Saduakassova. In a queenless Petroff middlegame the Belarussian grandmaster managed to increase his tiny edge to a bigger an at some point winning advantage. Quite a thematic game in fact!

Vladislav Kovalev Tata Steel Chess 2019Vladislav Kovalev. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Anton Korobov drew with Evgeny Bareev, giving Maksim Chigaev the chance to join him in second place. Chigaev beat Parham Maghsoodloo, who unnecessarily weakened his kingside and suffered from it.

Chigaev wife Tata Steel Chess 2019A last-minute good luck for Chigaev, and it worked. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess Challengers | Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Kovalev 2687 2746 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4.5 / 6 12.5
2 Chigaev 2604 2730 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4.0 / 6 11.5
3 Korobov 2699 2686 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 4.0 / 6 9.25
4 Esipenko 2584 2633 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 6 10
5 Bareev 2650 2629 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 3.5 / 6 9.5
6 Gledura 2615 2609 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 3.0 / 6 9
7 Van Foreest 2502 2595 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.0 / 6 8.75
8 L'Ami 2643 2552 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 3.0 / 6 7.5
9 Keymer 2500 2529 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0 / 6 7
10 Maghsoodloo 2679 2562 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 3.0 / 6 6.5
11 Praggnanandhaa 2539 2549 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5 / 6 8
12 Paehtz 2477 2522 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 2.5 / 6 7
13 Saduakassova 2472 2433 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1.5 / 6 5
14 Kuipers 2470 2324 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1.0 / 6 3

Pairings for round seven (Saturday): Esipenko-Korobov, Praggnanandhaa-Kuipers, Chigaev-Paehtz, Van Foreest-Maghsoodloo, Gledura-Keymer, Saduakassova-L'Ami, Bareev-Kovalev.


Replay the live broadcast of the sixth round.

The official video broadcast is "proudly powered" 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. New York, 4:30 Pacific) in Wijk aan Zee, except for the following two rounds:

  • On January 23 (Leiden) the rounds starts half an hour later, at 2 p.m.
  • The final round, on Sunday January 27, starts 1.5 hours earlier, at noon local time.

Commentary will be provided by IMs Anna Rudolf and Lawrence Trent during the first week, and GM Robert Hess and IM Sopiko Guramishvili during the second week.


Previous reports:

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