Carlsen Wins 81st Tata Steel Chess Tournament
Carlsen receives the winner's trophy from Theo Henrar, Chairman of the Management Board of Tata Steel Netherlands. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen Wins 81st Tata Steel Chess Tournament

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
|
89 | Chess Event Coverage

For the seventh time in his career Magnus Carlsen won the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. The Norwegian grandmaster held Anish Giri to a draw without much trouble today. Vladislav Kovalev promoted from the challengers to the 2020 masters.

Jorden van Foreest and Vladimir Kramnik finished in last place as they both lost in the final round, to Richard Rapport and Sam Shankland respectively.

While beating Stefan Kuipers himself, Kovalev saw his main rivals Andrey Esipenko and Maksim Chigaev both lose, to Evgeny Bareev and Benjamin Gledura respectively.

FIDE's Director General Emil Sutovsky Tata Steel Chess 2019

FIDE's Director General Emil Sutovsky opened the round today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Both Carlsen and Vishy Anand had five Wijk aan Zee titles after the 2016 edition. After Wesley So won two years ago, last year Carlsen made it his personal record by winning for the sixth time.

He improved on it further this year, and won for the seventh time, on the same day that Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open for the seventh time.

Carlsen commented with a smile: “It feels good but I hope to be able to break the record again later!”

Carlsen drew his final game towards tournament victory using the same Sveshnikov as against Teimour Radjabov two days ago, and was surprised Giri went for this.

Giri Radjabov Tata Steel Chess 2019Giri played the same line vs Carlsen's Sveshnikov as Radjabov had done before. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

"It isn’t that easy for Black to play but I don’t know exactly what his intentions were," Carlsen said. "His exchange sac is I think a bit desperate. I think if anyone is better after that it’s black but I didn’t particularly look for it seeing as I had a safe continuation in the game."


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

"I prepared this obviously a little bit, because he played this against Teimour two days ago," said Giri. "I thought …Kh8 was a mistake that time, so I didn’t expect him to repeat because I thought the bishop shouldn’t go to b7 in this structure."

Giri admitted that he "didn’t really look too deeply at home" and noticed, while calculating, that although it always looks nice for White, it's not easy at all to prevent Black's counterplay.

Anish Giri Tata Steel Chess 2019Like many before, Giri couldn't get an advantage against the Sveshnikov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

And the weird exchange sac? "He was sitting there, sort of so eager to go home, that I thought OK, how can I keep him sitting here, and I went this insane 20.Be2," said Giri.


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

Giri-Carlsen Tata Steel Chess 2019Photographers focusing on the key game Giri-Carlsen. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

"People are greedy so obviously when they win games, they want to win more games," said Giri about finishing second again. "I’m not alien to that as well. Of course I should be happy but before today second place was sort of given, so of course I was hoping for more. It didn’t really work out."

"I started a bit slowly but obviously plus five over the last nine is very good. Generally my level of play has been stable. It hasn’t been sparkling but it’s been good," said Carlsen. It might take a while before we see the world champion at the board again; the first event he has signed up for is Grenke in late April.

Carlsen Tata Steel Chess 2019Carlsen: "Not sparkling but good." | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The final round only saw two decisive games. A very quick one was Van Foreest's loss to Rapport, where things were more or less decided late in the opening.

"I think anyway this line is dubious, what he played, but I believe I had a game [many] years ago until he played …d4, but I think that position is already unpleasant," said Rapport. "If you start in high-level chess with such a position you normally should be able to finish it."


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

Jorden van Foreest Tata Steel Chess 2019With 4.5/13 Jorden van Foreest still won a tiny bit of rating. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

That happened early in the round. All the way at the end, when the winners of both the masters and challengers were already known, poor Kramnik suffered his sixth loss in the tournament—possibly a record for him.

After an adventurous game with Shankland, it looks like the 14th world champion got over-optimistic again when he dismissed an instant draw at move 50, only to be finding himself in a lost endgame soon after.

Shankland Tata Steel Chess 2019Sam Shankland eventually finished on 50 percent. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Mamedyarov-Fedoseev was a quick and remarkable draw. The game couldn't have been sharper, and abruptly ended in a perpetual.

The draws Nepomniachtch-Radjabov, Duda-Ding Liren and Anand-Vidit had very little content and mostly showed that these players had enough of this tournament.

Live ratings January 27, 2019Source: 2700chess.com.

Carlsen won 9.5 Elo points and is now 16.5 points ahead of Fabiano Caruana. With a 14.3-point Elo gain, it's not surprising that Giri summarized his tournament in one word as "good." The Dutchman is 2.7 points away from crossing 2800.

Mamedyarov lost a whopping 27.3 points and is now the world number five. Anand's tournament was solid and good, and as a result he climbed two places. His old rival Kramnik, however, lost 24.4 points and dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since November 2014.

Kramnik Tata Steel Chess 2019A tournament to forget for Vladimir Kramnik. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

On the February rating list Kramnik will be world #15, which is the lowest spot he has occupied in 27 years, since he jumped from 25th (July 1992) to 6th in January 1993, when he was 17 years old. (Back then rating lists only appeared twice a year.)

Nepomniachtchi will be the highest rated Russian grandmaster with 2771, as the new world number eight.

Tata Steel Chess Masters | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Carlsen 2835 2888 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 9.0 / 13 55.5
2 Giri 2783 2861 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 8.5 / 13 51.5
3 Nepomniachtchi 2763 2809 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 7.5 / 13 48.75
4 Ding Liren 2813 2805 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 7.5 / 13 47.25
5 Anand, 2773 2809 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.5 / 13 44.25
6 Vidit 2695 2787 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.0 / 13 42
7 Radjabov 2757 2753 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 6.5 / 13 43.25
8 Shankland 2725 2755 ½ 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 6.5 / 13 40
9 Rapport 2731 2755 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.5 / 13 38.5
10 Duda 2738 2697 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 1 5.5 / 13 33.25
11 Fedoseev 2724 2668 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 5.0 / 13 34.25
12 Mamedyarov 2817 2661 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.0 / 13 31.25
13 J. van Foreest 2612 2654 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 1 ½ 0 4.5 / 13 28
14 Kramnik 2777 2641 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 4.5 / 13 26.75

We'll see Kovalev back next year in Wijk aan Zee as one of the participants of the masters. The Belarusian GM convincingly won the challengers, eventually finishing 1.5 points ahead of the pack. He had a half-point lead going into the final round with the pleasant pairing against Kuipers, and besides winning himself easily he saw both Esipenko and Chigaev lose.

Kovalev Tata Steel Chess 2019A most pleasant final day for Vladislav Kovalev. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Gledura started with four draws and a loss, but in the remaining eight rounds he scored plus five to tie for second place. In the final round he defeated one of Kovalev's main rivals:

Erwin l'Ami played a funny game where he chased Elisabeth Paehtz's king up the board, until the monarch got himself stuck in a mating net.

Alina Erwin l'Ami Tata Steel Chess 2019Erwin l'Ami with his wife Alina, the official photographer in Wijk aan Zee. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Whereas Esipenko and Gledura did pretty well, the other three young talents Maghsoodloo, Keymer and Praggnanandhaa couldn't make the big jump yet. Both ladies Saduakassova and Paehtz had a tough time in Wijk aan Zee, and Kuipers even more so. Another young Dutchman will take his place next year.

Tata Steel Chess Challengers | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Kovalev 2687 2783 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 10.0 / 13 59
2 Esipenko 2584 2690 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 8.5 / 13 51.5
3 Gledura 2615 2687 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 8.5 / 13 51.25
4 Chigaev 2604 2688 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 8.5 / 13 48
5 Korobov 2699 2628 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 7.5 / 13 45.25
6 L'Ami 2643 2632 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 7.5 / 13 44.25
7 Bareev 2650 2604 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 7.0 / 13 41.75
8 Maghsoodloo 2679 2601 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.0 / 13 37.5
9 L. van Foreest 2502 2557 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 6.0 / 13 37
10 Keymer 2500 2529 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5.5 / 13 28.75
11 Praggnanandhaa 2539 2496 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0 / 13 28.25
12 Saduakassova 2472 2413 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 13 20.5
13 Paehtz 2477 2413 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 13 20
14 Kuipers 2470 2378 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ ½ 3.0 / 13 18


Replay the live broadcast of the 13th round.

Vladislav Kovalev wins Tata Steel Chess challengers 2019Vladislav Kovalev receives the winner's prize from Martijn Smit, mayor of Beverwijk. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Kovalev, Gledura, Esipenko Tata Steel Chess 2019Kovalev, Gledura, Esipenko with the mayor. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Esipenko Young Talent Award Tata Steel Chess 2019Esipenko also won the Young Talent Award named after Professor Johan van Hulst, who couldn't live this moment anymore as he passed away in March 2018, at the age of 107. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Sarkhan Vugar Gashimov portraits Tata Steel Chess 2019Sarkhan Gashimov, the brother of the late Vugar Gashimov, gave Fair Play Awards with portraits of Vugar to Dinara Saduakassova (challengers) and Vishy Anand (masters) and another one to Tata Steel's Theo Henrar for showing the appreciation for this tournament, the last Vugar played in. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Erwtensoep pea soup Tata Steel Chess 2019The traditional erwtensoep (pea soup) was once again served at the closing ceremony. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen gong Tata Steel Chess 2019Carlsen closing the 81st tournament by hitting the gong. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Group photo winners Tata Steel Chess 2019A group photo with players and organizers. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.


Previous reports:

More from PeterDoggers
Junior Speed Chess: Xiong Beats Gledura In Overtime

Junior Speed Chess: Xiong Beats Gledura In Overtime

FIDE Launches Survey To Investigate Chess Market

FIDE Launches Survey To Investigate Chess Market