Carlsen Increases Tata Steel Lead; Anand Held To Draw In Gibraltar

Carlsen Increases Tata Steel Lead; Anand Held To Draw In Gibraltar

| 21 | Chess Event Coverage

On Tuesday, Magnus Carlsen increased his lead to a full point at the Tata Steel Masters. Two thousand kilometers southwest of Wijk aan Zee, Vishy Anand started with a draw in Gibraltar.

The Tata Steel masters is starting to look like a typical Magnus Carlsen tournament. After a slow start he is now running away from the pack — yet again.

On Tuesday, Carlsen faced tail-ender Michael Adams. The off-form English GM put up a good fight, but somehow the result was never really in doubt.

Playing another “club opening,” Carlsen was satisfied with a tiny edge in the opening. After doing 1.d4, Nf3 and 3.Bf4 earlier in the tournament, he almost mirrored that against Adams: 1.e4, 2.Nf3 3.Bc4.

Adams went 3...Bc5 but failed to completely equalize in this Giuoco Piano. Carlsen won a pawn, turned that into an exchange for a pawn, missed a quicker win but was always in control.

Carlsen: back in business. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

A number of truly spectacular games have been played in Wijk aan Zee so far, and it seems that David Navara has been involved in almost all of them. In this round he was on the receiving end of a brilliant attack by Wei Yi.

This game started equally quiet: the 4.d3 variation of the Berlin. The character of the game changed drastically when Wei went h2-h4-h5 and castling queenside.

There haven't been many Berlin games where Black was crushed in under 30 moves. This game was Garry Kasparov's dream scenario when he faced Vladimir Kramnik 16 years ago, but we know that he got the nightmare scenario instead.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

The first few rounds didn't see any Berlins, but the dreaded variation is making its mark in the Tata Steel tournament now as well. However, when we get to see games like this, nobody will complain.

Interestingly, Fabiano Caruana tried a very similar setup against Sergey Karjakin. Here the attack didn't really get off the ground, but the game was pretty good nonetheless:

The other games ended in draws as well. Carlsen is now a full point ahead of Caruana, and half a point below the American is a group of four players.

2016 Tata Steel Masters | Round 9 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2844 2900 6.5/9
2 Caruana,Fabiano 2787 2840 5.5/9
3 So,Wesley 2773 2773 5.0/9 23.00
4 Wei,Yi 2706 2796 5.0/9 22.00
5 Giri,Anish 2798 2777 5.0/9 21.75
6 Ding,Liren 2766 2786 5.0/9 20.75
7 Karjakin,Sergey 2769 2745 4.5/9 20.00
8 Eljanov,Pavel 2760 2752 4.5/9 18.25
9 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2747 2747 4.5/9 18.25
10 Navara,David 2730 2724 4.0/9 19.75
11 Hou,Yifan 2673 2699 4.0/9 18.25
12 Tomashevsky,Evgeny 2728 2664 3.5/9 14.50
13 Van Wely,Loek 2640 2681 3.5/9 14.00
14 Adams,Michael 2744 2580 2.5/9

The challengers saw no fewer than five decisive results. Anna Haast's winning streak was short-lived; she lost to Sam Sevian. Tournament leader Baskaran Adhiban suffered his first loss in his game against Jorden van Foreest.

The Indian's piece sacrifice wasn't correct, and the young Dutchman defended perfectly:

Dutch rising star Jorden van Foreest. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

Adhiban now shares the lead with Azerbaijani grandmaster Eltaj Safarli, who drew with Erwin l'Ami.

2016 Tata Steel Challengers | Round 9 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Safarli,Eltaj 2653 2716 6.5/9 26.50
2 Adhiban,Baskaran 2653 2712 6.5/9 24.75
3 Dreev,Aleksey 2644 2705 6.0/9
4 Van Foreest,Jorden 2541 2587 5.0/9 22.00
5 Antipov,Mikhail Al 2567 2618 5.0/9 20.50
6 Sevian,Samuel 2578 2583 5.0/9 17.50
7 Nisipeanu,Liviu-Dieter 2679 2536 4.5/9 19.25
8 Bok,Benjamin 2607 2591 4.5/9 19.00
9 Abasov,Nijat 2556 2538 4.0/9 17.25
10 L'Ami,Erwin 2627 2522 4.0/9 16.00
11 Batsiashvili,Nino 2485 2506 4.0/9 15.75
12 Admiraal,Miguoel 2441 2477 3.0/9 15.00
13 Ju,Wenjun 2548 2485 3.0/9 14.50
14 Haast,Anne 2391 2386 2.0/9

Now the tournament is moving to Utrecht for one day. In the Railyway Museum the live commentary will be provided by New in Chess editors Jan Timman and Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam.

Tradese Gibraltar Chess Festival: Round one report by Kostya Kavutskiy

The 2016 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival kicked off today at the luxurious Caleta Hotel, with a total of 253 players representing 58 nations, making it not only one of the strongest open tournaments year-round, but also one of the most diverse.

While the first round in many Swisses typically sees many lopsided pairings and very few upsets, here fans were in for quite a shock, as none other than five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand ceded a draw to IM Szidonia Lazarne Vajda of Hungary:

Anand continues the strange trend of world champions entering open tournaments and drawing their first game! Recently Magnus Carlsen drew his first game in the 2015 Qatar Masters, and before him Vladimir Kramnik started with two draws in the 2014 edition of the same tournament.

Before seeing some of the other action from the first round, check out episode two of The Day's Play, featuring clips from the opening ceremony and interviews with Hikaru Nakamura and Anand, hosted by IM Tania Sachdev:

Top seed Hikaru Nakamura faced the Stonewall Dutch, and make quick work of Black's positional weaknesses before finding a nice combination (starting with 25.Bc3) to win Black's queen:

 A smooth start for 2015 winner Nakamura. | Photo John Saunders.

Second seed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had to work a bit harder to win with Black — he first exploited White's timid play against the Sicilian to seize a space advantage before eventually breaking through with his powerful central pawns:

Second seed MVL also started with a win. | Photo John Saunders.

There were also a few super-miniatures, which took place in the bottom half of the tournament, surprisingly on adjacent boards!

The 2016 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is a 10-round open tournament taking place from January 26 through February 4. Round two continues Wednesday at 3 p.m. CET/6 a.m. PST, with live coverage provided by featuring GM Simon Williams and IM Elisabeth Paehtz, which can be viewed live on Chess TV.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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