Carlsen Increases Lead At Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz
Carlsen playing football between rounds today. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Carlsen Increases Lead At Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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36 | Chess Event Coverage

Scoring 2.5/3 again, Magnus Carlsen increased his lead at the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz to three points. Wesley So, who also scored 2.5/3 on day two, joined Hikaru Nakamura in second place.

The Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz Grand Chess Tour games start each day at 09:30 CET, which is 03:30 a.m. Eastern and 12:30 a.m. Pacific. You can follow them here as part of our live portal. Commentary is provided by Wouter Bik and GMs Roeland Pruijssers, Aman Hambleton and Simon Williams at Twitch.tv/chess.


Sometimes events that chess players do not always appreciate—"press moments" before they have to play—are quite special indeed. Such was the case when Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand, the two contestants of the 2013 world championship in Chennai, India, visited Kolkata's famous cricket ground—Eden Gardens, which was established in 1864 and is the oldest cricket stadium in the country.

Eden Gardens Chess
The Eden Gardens stadium. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Today it hosted the test match between India and Bangladesh, and the two chess world champions rang the ceremonial bell to kick off day two of the test match, which has an audience of approximately one billion viewers.

Cricket Anand Carlsen Kolkata
Anand and Carlsen at the bell. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

In the playing hall, the show has belonged to Carlsen so far. Scoring 5/6, or rather 10/12 as rapid games count double, the world champion has already created quite a gap with the rest of the field.

"Much like six years ago it's going swimmingly—pun intended!" he said in an interview today, referring to his jump in the hotel pool after he won the world title.

Carlsen started the second day with a win against runner-up Hikaru Nakamura. White's 4.d3 and 6.e4 are not exactly the main line, but it makes sense to try it (with an extra tempo) if you've been playing the Sveshnikov as Black for a while!

Nakamura's treatment was not great, and he did have some chances later, but overall Carlsen remained in control:

Carlsen Nakamura Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz
Nakamura resigns his game with Carlsen. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Perhaps also inspired by cricket, Anand started his day with a win as well. Aronian tried his favorite setup with ...Kh8 and ...f5 in the Giuoco Pianissimo, but the Indian GM knew how to deal with it:

Anand Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz
A good win for Anand to start the day. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Carlsen continued winning in round five, where with the black pieces he defeated Anish Giri. With this win, his fourth in a row, the Norwegian reclaimed the number-one position in the live rapid ratings. The game finished with a pawn endgame:

Giri l'Ami Tata Steel Chess India 2019
Giri with his second, Erwin l'Ami. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Nakamura bounced back with a win in round six to retain second place:

Nakamura Tata Steel Chess India 2019
Nakamura was 50 percent today but still in second place. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

So also scored 2.5 points today, which was good for a tie for second place with Nakamura. One of his victims was Ding Liren, who was right to go for a self-pin but then missed some tactics:

Wesley So two Tata Steel Chess India 2019
Wesley So scored two wins today as well. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.
2019 Tata Steel Chess India Rapid & Blitz standings after day two
The standings after day two. Image: Spectrum Studios.

One more day of rapid follows on Sunday, and then on Monday and Tuesday we'll see two days of blitz with nine games each day.

All day two games for replay/download:


Previous report:

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