Carlsen Leads Tata Steel Chess Before Clash With Giri
Carlsen vs Duda watched by Judit Polgar, Arkady Dvorkovich and Emil Sutovsky. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen Leads Tata Steel Chess Before Clash With Giri

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 26, 2019, 4:46 PM |
45 | Chess Event Coverage

Magnus Carlsen goes into the final round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament with a half-point lead over his final round opponent Anish Giri. The Dutchman needs to win, and it's already clear that there won't be a playoff this year.

We're in the middle of the final weekend of the 81st Tata Steel Chess tournament, and that's usually the weekend when the tournament receives a number of special guests. This time, the list included GMs Ken Rogoff and Judit Polgar and also FIDE's Director General Emil Sutovsky and even President Arkady Dvorkovich, who arrived on Friday.

Arkady Dvorkovich phone photo Tata Steel Chess 2019Arkady Dvorkovich taking a photo with his phone... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Arkady Dvorkovich gong Tata Steel Chess 2019...and hitting the gong to open the round. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

These distinguished chess people and other chess fans saw Carlsen taking the sole lead today thanks to another successful endgame grind, this time against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. The world champ was expected to win much faster when his opponent erred straight out of the opening.

"I don't know if it was winning but it was certainly considerably better," said Carlsen about that moment. "I don't know if he fell for a trap or what he did, but I think after ...h6 his position is, well, what happens is worse and then it's very difficult for him."

So why didn't he win quicker? "I think I played a bit inaccurately early on. Then I sort of got back on track but it was still very difficult to win and I think practically he had very decent drawing chances."


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

Polgar Dvorkovich Sutovsky Tata Steel Chess 2019Judit Polgar, Arkady Dvorkovich and Emil Sutovsky watching Carlsen-Duda. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Giri dropped half a point behind, and that could have been a full point. He was under serious pressure against Teimour Radjabov, even in the final position. “I thought I was completely lost,” Giri admitted. “I played badly for sure. What I did was too adventurous and not good. I was very fortunate.“


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

Giri vs Radjabov Tata Steel Chess 2019Giri vs Radjabov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

With Giri half a point behind Carlsen, the runner-up is in a must-win situation. Or so it seems! In his interview, Giri pulled a face and remarked: “You assume I want to win the tournament or something? I am going to defend with the white pieces and see what happens.”

Carlsen said: "I'm a bit sad that last year's playoff won't be repeated but apart from that I'm happy. It's always better to be ahead."

It's going to be a fight tomorrow only between these players (the same as last year!) because Ian Nepomniachtchi lost, and terribly, we may add. The Russian player experimented a bit in the opening, which backfired completely against Sam Shankland, who thus recovered nicely from yesterday's "hallucination" against Giri.

Shankland vs Nepomniachtchi Tata Steel Chess 2019Shankland giving Nepo the look, with Bareev and Anand watching. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Vladimir Kramnik won his second straight game (“It seems I would like another 13 rounds!” he said), vs Vladimir Fedoseev. The two are now sharing last place with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Jorden van Foreest.

“I don’t know why but I think today I played quite decently. I was not expecting this but it happened,” said Kramnik.


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

Vidit Gujrathi was close to scoring his third win in a row, but this time he only got a draw, vs Richard Rapport. “I got into time pressure and I messed up the win. It was really very complex. He did well to complicate the matters,” the young Indian player said.


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

Vidit Tata Steel Chess 2019Almost a third straight win for Vidit. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

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 Carlsen 2835 2902 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 8.5 / 12 47
2 Giri 2783 2869 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 8.0 / 12 42.75
3 Nepomniachtchi 2763 2809 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 7.0 / 12 42.25
4 Ding Liren 2813 2806 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 7.0 / 12 41
5 Anand 2773 2813 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.0 / 12 37.75
6 Vidit 2695 2785 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5 / 12 35.5
7 Radjabov 2757 2752 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 6.0 / 12 36.5
8 Shankland 2725 2724 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 5.5 / 12 33
9 Rapport 2731 2738 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 5.5 / 12 31.25
10 Duda 2738 2692 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 1 5.0 / 12 27.25
11 Fedoseev 2724 2663 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 0 0 0 4.5 / 12 28.75
12 Mamedyarov 2817 2663 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5 / 12 26.5
13 J. van Foreest 2612 2680 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 4.5 / 12 25.75
14 Kramnik 2777 2666 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 4.5 / 12 24.75

Pairings for round 13 (Sunday): Giri-Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi-Radjabov, Kramnik-Shankland, Mamedyarov-Fedoseev, Rapport-Van Foreest, Anand-Vidit, Duda-Ding Liren.

Despite (or perhaps because of!) being one of the late-night heroes who are almost daily frequenting the local bars, Vladislav Kovalev took the sole lead with one round to go in the challenger group. With black he defeated Elisabeth Paehtz, who blundered early on.


Andrey Esipenko scored a quick win against Dinara Saduakassova with a nice final move:

Esipenko vs Saduakassova Tata Steel Chess 2019Esipenko vs Saduakassova. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Tata Steel Chess Challengers | Standings

# Fed Name Rating SB 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score TPR
1 Kovalev 2687 51.5 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 9.0 / 12 2773
2 Esipenko 2584 47.25 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 8.5 / 12 2732
3 Chigaev 2604 44.25 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 8.5 / 12 2733
4 Gledura 2615 39.25 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 7.5 / 12 2670
5 Korobov 2699 38.75 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 7.0 / 12 2634
6 L'Ami 2643 37.75 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.5 / 12 2612
7 Maghsoodloo 2679 31.75 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5 / 12 2608
8 Bareev 2650 30.75 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 6.0 / 12 2574
9 L. van Foreest 2502 30.25 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 5.5 / 12 2548
10 Keymer 2500 23.25 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.0 / 12 2522
11 Praggnanandhaa 2539 24.5 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5 / 12 2506
12 Paehtz 2477 18.5 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 12 2425
13 Kuipers 2470 16.75 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ ½ 3.0 / 12 2387
14 Saduakassova 2472 16.5 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 3.0 / 12 2400

Pairings for round 13 (Sunday): Van Foreest-Korobov, Gledura-Chigaev, Saduakassova-Praggnanandhaa, Bareev-Esipenko, Kovalev-Kuipers, L'Ami-Paehtz, Keymer-Maghsoodloo.


Replay the live broadcast of the 12th round.

The official video broadcast is "proudly powered" by Chess.com, which you can watch on both tatasteelchess.com and Chess.com/TV. The remaining round starts at noon local time (6:00 a.m. New York, 3:00 a.m. Pacific) in Wijk aan Zee with commentary by GM Robert Hess and IM Sopiko Guramishvili.


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