Caruana Wins Again, Leads In Wijk aan Zee

Caruana Wins Again, Leads In Wijk aan Zee

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 11, 2015, 4:06 PM |
24 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Fabiano Caruana is the only player on 2.0/2 at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee. On Sunday he defeated GM Ivan Saric.

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and GM Vassily Ivanchuk are trailing the Italian grandmaster by half a point. World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen, who drew with GM Wesley So, is among eight players with 1.0/2.

In the challengers group there's a five-way tie for first place; GM Valentina Gunina, GM David Navara, GM Wei Yi, GM Bart Michiels and GM Robin van Kampen are all on 1.5/2.

The first two days in Wijk aan Zee have been rather windy, and that can give quite a bit of noise in the players hotel. 

“It was hard to sleep last night,” said GM Wesley So. “But still... it's Wijk aan Zee. If it wasn't such a prestigious tournament I wouldn't be here.”

In a short period of time the amiable young GM has stated several times already that he is “honored” to be playing here. Partly he was speaking about his first ever over-the-board game with GM Magnus Carlsen, in round two. 

The two met many times online, but this one involved a real handshake!

First encounter: Carlsen vs So.

The game started with 1.c4 but quickly transposed into a Nimzo-Indian, Rubinstein variation (4.e3) with 5.Nge2 — which So himself had played 1.5 years ago against GM Loek van Wely in Hoogeveen.

It was clear that he was familiar with the ideas, and after one or two feeble moves from Carlsen, So was almost better at move 18!

“I was kind of happy that he wasn't very ambitious in the opening today,” he said.

Carlsen had to admit that he got nothing.

He outplayed me in the middlegame; he played a very decent game. At the end I didn't have a choice but to go for something drawish.” But he sees no reason to panic: “Two draws is not ideal but last time I played here I started with two draws and that went pretty well.”

Two more quotes from So:

  • Chess is 95% calculation, and 5% positional play.”
  • Caruana is going for 7.0/7 again. I hope not; I play him in round four.

Lots of spectators on the first of three Tata Sundays.

Like the world champion, world #2 GM Fabiano Caruana didn't get much out of the opening. His preparation against GM Ivan Saric wasn't great (somehow he managed to overlook the game Brkic-Saric, Zadar 2010!), and on move 27 of a Zaitsev Ruy Lopez Black was absolutely fine.

However, the Croatian grandmaster then chose the wrong plan. It seemed logical what he was doing, because he ended up with pawns on d5 and e5 and he had two bishops versus two knights. But Caruana had judged better. White had a big, almost winning advantage after 31.Nd3.

At the end of the day Caruana was the only player on 2.0/2. His comment: “Maybe not so smooth today but... I couldn't ask for more.”

Caruana's second win, vs Saric.

The game between GM Levon Aronian and GM Anish Giri saw an amazingly theoretical variation in the Grünfeld, which involved a fantastic idea introduced by GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Aronian recently played it himself as Black too, so he knew it quite well.

Giri: “I knew it was known to be a draw, but I couldn't remember exactly how. But I knew it was very forced. You have to remember it really precisely.”

32.Kh1 was a remarkable move.

Giri: “I was afraid that he would sacrifice one pawn at some moment, but he sacrificed it right away. This was not the most dangerous, at least from a psychological point of view. Because I would have to consider it on every move, and not it already happened. (...) If you postpone that moment you keep my nerves in trouble.”

Aronian playing the Russian System vs Giri's Grünfeld.

GM Loek van Wely faced GM Radek Wojtaszek. The Dutch champion played a inspiring game and was winning at several points, but let his opponent slip away in a game that's hard to get off your mind!

Via transposition the players reached an Open Catalan, and followed Gelfand-Anand, Zurich 2013 for a while. After a complicated middlegame, Wojtaszek weakened his kingside too much, and Van Wely was completely dominating the position after the time control.

Why he didn't win, that's the question.



A game that might keep Van Wely awake tonight.

GM Ding Liren scored a full point as black in the all-Chinese encounter with GM Hou Yifan. Her play in this Panov Caro-Kann wasn't too ambitious, and in the ending she was slowly outplayed:

Ding has no mercy: Hou Yifan starts with two losses.

After his lucky win the other day, the oldest participant GM Vassily Ivanchuk played another good game today against GM Teimour Radjabov. In a very rare line of the Réti Opening, White got a space advantage, but look at how Ivanchuk handled that middlegame (14...Ne8!, Ra8-b8-b7!, 20...e5!, 22...g5!).

 

Radjabov and Ivanchuk shake hands before the game.

As so often, GM Baadur Jobava avoided deep theory. His off-beat moves in a Sicilian led to a Dragon where he castled kingside, like the old masters who faced this opening for the first time. 

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave equalized quickly with ...d5 and that was it.



2015 Tata Steel Masters | Pairings & Results

Round 1 10.01.15 13.30 CET Round 2 11.01.15 13.30 CET
Radjabov ½-½ Van Wely Van Wely ½-½ Wojtaszek
Ivanchuk 1-0 Jobava Carlsen ½-½ So
Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Hou Yifan Aronian ½-½ Giri
Ding Liren 0-1 Caruana Caruana 1-0 Saric
Saric ½-½ Aronian Hou Yifan 0-1 Ding Liren
Giri ½-½ Carlsen Jobava ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave
So ½-½ Wojtaszek Radjabov ½-½ Ivanchuk
Round 3 12.01.15 13.30 CET Round 4 13.01.15 13.30 CET
Ivanchuk - Van Wely Van Wely - Carlsen
Vachier-Lagrave - Radjabov Aronian - Wojtaszek
Ding Liren - Jobava Caruana - So
Saric - Hou Yifan Hou Yifan - Giri
Giri - Caruana Jobava - Saric
So - Aronian Radjabov - Ding Liren
Wojtaszek - Carlsen Ivanchuk - Vachier-Lagrave
Round 5 15.01.15 13.30 CET Round 6 16.01.15 13.30 CET
Vachier-Lagrave - Van Wely Van Wely - Aronian
Ding Liren - Ivanchuk Caruana - Carlsen
Saric - Radjabov Hou Yifan - Wojtaszek
Giri - Jobava Jobava - So
So - Hou Yifan Radjabov - Giri
Wojtaszek - Caruana Ivanchuk - Saric
Carlsen - Aronian Vachier-Lagrave - Ding Liren
Round 7 17.01.15 13.30 CET Round 8 18.01.15 13.30 CET
Ding Liren - Van Wely Van Wely - Caruana
Saric - Vachier-Lagrave Hou Yifan - Aronian
Giri - Ivanchuk Jobava - Carlsen
So - Radjabov Radjabov - Wojtaszek
Wojtaszek - Jobava Ivanchuk - So
Carlsen - Hou Yifan Vachier-Lagrave - Giri
Aronian - Caruana Ding Liren - Saric
Round 9 20.01.15 13.30 CET Round 10 21.01.15 13.30 CET
Saric - Van Wely Van Wely - Hou Yifan
Giri - Ding Liren Jobava - Caruana
So - Vachier-Lagrave Radjabov - Aronian
Wojtaszek - Ivanchuk Ivanchuk - Carlsen
Carlsen - Radjabov Vachier-Lagrave - Wojtaszek
Aronian - Jobava Ding Liren - So
Caruana - Hou Yifan Saric - Giri
Round 11 23.01.15 13.30 CET Round 12 24.01.15 13.30 CET
Giri - Van Wely Van Wely - Jobava
So - Saric Radjabov - Hou Yifan
Wojtaszek - Ding Liren Ivanchuk - Caruana
Carlsen - Vachier-Lagrave Vachier-Lagrave - Aronian
Aronian - Ivanchuk Ding Liren - Carlsen
Caruana - Radjabov Saric - Wojtaszek
Hou Yifan - Jobava Giri - So
Round 13 25.01.15 12.00 CET
So - Van Wely
Wojtaszek - Giri
Carlsen - Saric
Aronian - Ding Liren
Caruana - Vachier-Lagrave
Hou Yifan - Ivanchuk
Jobava - Radjabov

2015 Tata Steel Masters | Round 2 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Caruana,F 2820 3499 2.0/2
2 Ivanchuk,V 2715 2921 1.5/2 1.00
3 Vachier Lagrave,M 2757 2890 1.5/2 0.25
4 Radjabov,T 2734 2691 1.0/2 1.25
5 Carlsen,M 2862 2773 1.0/2 1.00
6 Giri,A 2784 2829 1.0/2 1.00
7 So,W 2762 2803 1.0/2 1.00
8 Wojtaszek,R 2744 2715 1.0/2 1.00
9 Van Wely,L 2667 2739 1.0/2 1.00
10 Aronian,L 2797 2725 1.0/2 0.75
11 Ding Liren 2732 2746 1.0/2 0.00
12 Jobava,B 2727 2546 0.5/2 0.75
13 Saric,I 2666 2618 0.5/2 0.50
14 Hou Yifan 2673 1945 0.0/2

There were four winners in today's round in the challengers. GM David Navara beat WIM Anne HaastGM Bart Michiels inflicted the second loss upon 14-year-old GM Sam Sevian, a long and tough fight:


Like Hou Yifan, GM Sam Sevian started with two losses.

GM Valentina Gunina defeated GM Salem Saleh, but not in a straightforward manner.

Black was doing O.K. in this Sämisch King's Indian, and at move 26 he found the right idea, but played it in the wrong order. Later he missed a chance for a draw:


An unfortunate loss for Saleh.

GM Wei Yi won a nice attacking game versus GM Vladimir Potkin:

2015 Tata Steel Challengers | Pairings & Results

Round 1 10.01.15 13.30 CET Round 2 11.01.15 13.30 CET
Shankland ½-½ Wei Yi Wei Yi 1-0 Potkin
Dale ½-½ Haast Gunina 1-0 Saleh
Navara ½-½ l'Ami Sevian 0-1 Michiels
Timman ½-½ Klein Klein ½-½ Van Kampen
Van Kampen 1-0 Sevian l'Ami ½-½ Timman
Michiels ½-½ Gunina Haast 0-1 Navara
Saleh ½-½ Potkin Shankland ½-½ Dale
Round 3 12.01.15 13.30 CET Round 4 13.01.15 13.30 CET
Dale - Wei Yi Wei Yi - Gunina
Navara - Shankland Sevian - Potkin
Timman - Haast Klein - Saleh
Van Kampen - l'Ami l'Ami - Michiels
Michiels - Klein Haast - Van Kampen
Saleh - Sevian Shankland - Timman
Potkin - Gunina Dale - Navara
Round 5 15.01.15 13.30 CET Round 6 16.01.15 13.30 CET
Navara - Wei Yi Wei Yi - Sevian
Timman - Dale Klein - Gunina
Van Kampen - Shankland l'Ami - Potkin
Michiels - Haast Haast - Saleh
Saleh - l'Ami Shankland - Michiels
Potkin - Klein Dale - Van Kampen
Gunina - Sevian Navara - Timman
Round 7 17.01.15 13.30 CET Round 8 18.01.15 13.30 CET
Timman - Wei Yi Wei Yi - Klein
Van Kampen - Navara l'Ami - Sevian
Michiels - Dale Haast - Gunina
Saleh - Shankland Shankland - Potkin
Potkin - Haast Dale - Saleh
Gunina - l'Ami Navara - Michiels
Sevian - Klein Timman - Van Kampen
Round 9 20.01.15 13.30 CET Round 10 21.01.15 13.30 CET
Van Kampen - Wei Yi Wei Yi - l'Ami
Michiels - Timman Haast - Klein
Saleh - Navara Shankland - Sevian
Potkin - Dale Dale - Gunina
Gunina - Shankland Navara - Potkin
Sevian - Haast Timman - Saleh
Klein - l'Ami Van Kampen - Michiels
Round 11 23.01.15 13.30 CET Round 12 24.01.15 13.30 CET
Michiels - Wei Yi Wei Yi - Haast
Saleh - Van Kampen Shankland - l'Ami
Potkin - Timman Dale - Klein
Gunina - Navara Navara - Sevian
Sevian - Dale Timman - Gunina
Klein - Shankland Van Kampen - Potkin
l'Ami - Haast Michiels - Saleh
Round 13 25.01.15 12.00 CET
Saleh - Wei Yi
Potkin - Michiels
Gunina - Van Kampen
Sevian - Timman
Klein - Navara
l'Ami - Dale
Haast - Shankland


2015 Tata Steel Challengers | Round 2 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Gunina,V 2538 2773 1.5/2 1.25
2 Navara,D 2729 2674 1.5/2 1.00
3 Wei Yi 2675 2820 1.5/2 1.00
4 Michiels,B 2563 2715 1.5/2 0.75
5 Van Kampen,R 2615 2704 1.5/2 0.50
6 Shankland,S 2652 2483 1.0/2 1.25
7 L'Ami,E 2613 2661 1.0/2 1.25
8 Klein,Da 2517 2604 1.0/2 1.25
9 Timman,J 2593 2565 1.0/2 1.00
10 Dale,A 2291 2502 1.0/2 0.75
11 Haast,A 2352 2320 0.5/2 0.50
12 Potkin,V 2608 2449 0.5/2 0.25
13 Salem,S 2603 2838 0.5/2 0.25
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