Eljanov Ahead of Carlsen, So At Tata Steel

Eljanov Ahead of Carlsen, So At Tata Steel

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 17, 2017, 12:59 PM |
41 | Chess Event Coverage

Also during the first rest day Pavel Eljanov will be the sole leader of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Today the Ukrainian grandmasters defeated Baskaran Adhiban. He finds Wesley So and Magnus Carlsen, the other winners today, at half a point behind him.

Photo Alina l'Ami.

Few would have predicted that Pavel Eljanov would be in sole first place after four rounds. 3.5/4 is a fine score, but it's not going to be easy for the Ukrainian to maintain the lead much longer.

Eljanov has played against the #4, #12, #13, and #14 of the current standings; his strongest opponents are still to come.

The proud leader after four rounds. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

Eljanov's win against Baskaran Adhiban, the 2016 qualifier from India, started with a puzzling opening phase. Both IM Anna Rudolf and GM Yasser Seirawan had a hard time understanding 8..Be7, but Adhiban trusted his opponent and didn't take the pawn.

The game was fairly equal for a long time, until the Indian player allowed Black to create a passer along the a-file. The bishop might still have been a draw, but Adhiban failed to hold it.

Magnus Carlsen moved to "plus two" thank to a win against Wei Yi, who had held the draw in their first ever encounter, a year ago in Wijk aan Zee.

The world champ started with the Bishop Opening. "Anti-Petroff obviously," he explained afterward. Carlsen also noted that Wei himself tends to play 2.Bc4, and that he was interested in seeing how the Chinese player would treat it!

"18...exd4 was an absolute gift," said Carlsen, who started to be better from that moment. He also said he was happy with his decision to go 24.e5, where 24.Bb3 dxe4 25.f4 was very tempting. "His bishop is cut off on h7 but with ...Kf8 and ...Bg8 maybe not very long."

A second win for Carlsen today. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

About the remaining ending he said: "It's difficult for him, with the style he has, to dig in and defend. The position is difficult to play and perhaps it's also objectively quite a bit better for White."

Tomorrow some players will be playing some football in the Telstar football stadium close by, and Carlsen will be among them. "I think I might give it a shot. Just to beat Loek!"

Speaking of KingLoek; the poor Dutchman has now lost three games in a row, in his 25th participation. Wesley So defeated Loek van Wely as Black from an English opening.

"I just had to play a normal game and see what happens, because it's very hard to play for a win with Black," said So. "There's always a bit of pressure when your rating is higher than your opponent's, but at the same time it's unfounded pressure."

It wasn't an easy victory for the higher rated player though. Van Wely put up an excellent fight, but eventually Black's passed pawn was too strong.

The other Dutchman in the top group (and another father of a very young son!) won't be too happy either. Anish Giri had built up a great position against Dmitry Andreikin and should have won the game, but he failed to find the path to the win.

Tomorrow is a rest day. The pairings for the fifth round, which will be held in Rotterdam on Thursday, are Eljanov-Aronian, Karjakin-Adhiban, So-Harikrishna, Wojtaszek-Van Wely, Andreikin-Rapport, Wei-Giri, and Nepomniachtchi-Carlsen.

Tata Steel Masters | Round 4 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Eljanov 2755 3042 ½ 1 1 1 3.5/4
2 Carlsen 2840 2940 ½ ½ 1 1 3.0/4 6.00
3 So 2808 2943 ½ ½ 1 1 3.0/4 4.00
4 Harikrishna 2766 2831 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 5.00
5 Karjakin 2785 2822 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 3.25
6 Giri 2773 2770 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.50
7 Andreikin 2736 2771 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.25
8 Aronian 2780 2723 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 3.50
9 Wei Yi 2706 2780 0 ½ ½ 1 2.0/4 3.50
10 Nepomniachtchi 2767 2655 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1.5/4 2.75
11 Wojtaszek 2750 2682 0 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/4 2.25
12 Rapport 2702 2584 0 0 ½ ½ 1.0/4 2.00
13 Adhiban 2653 2559 0 0 ½ ½ 1.0/4 1.25
14 Van Wely 2695 2413 0 0 0 ½ 0.5/4

Games from TWIC.

Markus Ragger just keeps on winning. So far he's confirming his status as the top seed of the Challengers. Today the Austrian player defeated Vladimir Dobrov of Russia with the black pieces in an Anti-Grünfeld where both players did not castle. 



In a round without any draws, Jorden van Foreest suffered his third consecutive loss—mirroring Van Wely. "Chessbrah" Eric Hansen was the one who beat him, and was happy to join the live show for a while.

The pairings for round five of the Challengers are Smirin-Grandelius, Tari-Guramishvili, Bok-Jones, Ragger-Lu, Van Foreest-Dobrov, l'Ami-Hansen, and Xiong-Tingjie.

Tata Steel Challengers | Round 4 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Ragger 2697 3359 1 1 1 1 4.0/4
2 Smirin 2667 2874 1 1 ½ 1 3.5/4
3 Xiong 2667 2727 0 ½ 1 1 2.5/4 4.00
4 Lu Shanglei 2612 2645 0 1 1 ½ 2.5/4 2.75
5 Jones 2665 2655 0 ½ 1 1 2.5/4 2.50
6 Dobrov 2499 2639 0 ½ 1 ½ 2.0/4 3.75
7 L'Ami 2605 2597 ½ ½ 0 1 2.0/4 3.25
8 Grandelius 2642 2577 0 ½ ½ 1 2.0/4 2.75
9 Hansen 2603 2625 0 ½ 1 ½ 2.0/4 2.25
10 Bok 2608 2457 0 0 ½ 1 1.5/4
11 Van Foreest 2612 2395 0 1 0 0 1.0/4 2.00
12 Tari 2584 2404 0 0 ½ ½ 1.0/4 2.00
13 Lei Tingjie 2467 2440 0 0 0 1 1.0/4 1.00
14 Guramishvili 2370 2309 0 ½ 0 0 0.5/4

Games from TWIC.


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