Giri Moves To 2/2 In Wijk aan Zee
Anish Giri moved to 2/2 today at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament after beating Vladimir Kramnik. Close behind is Magnus Carlsen, who beat Baskaran Adhiban. The third winner in the Masters group was Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who inflicted the second loss upon Hou Yifan.
Tata Steel Masters
The Dutch chess fans are in an excellent mood as their man is the sole leader after two rounds in Wijk aan Zee. It's too early to make any conclusions, but having a Dutch winner would be just wonderful for this event. The last time it happened was half a chessboard ago and before most participants were born: 32 years back.
Giri's family supported him today: Sopiko Guramishvili and Daniel Giri. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
The first half of the game actually wasn't great for Giri. He got tricked into a Nimzo-Indian type of position where he lost a tempo, and Kramnik was doing more than fine. But the Russian player didn't make the most of his chances and then went astray in time trouble.
A good start but a bad finish for Vladimir Kramnik. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Giri, who has been (unjustly) criticized for playing many draws, was asked if he changed his "parameters" for this tournament. The Dutchman replied with his typical humor: "I am trying to play for a draw but my opponents are helping me very much. Actually, I am trying to change back to the drawing parameters because when I was making all the draws I was world number-three and the moment I started becoming a great player I became world number-15!"
Giri, the sole leader after two rounds. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
At the opening ceremony, Magnus Carlsen reminded everyone that he usually starts badly at tournaments. However, he can't really complain about his 1.5/2. After his draw with Fabiano Caruana, the world champion beat Baskaran Adhiban in yet another game where a seemingly equal endgame had more play in it than it seemed.
The Indian's choice of the Scotch Four Knights was probably an attempt to steer the game to a draw right from the start, but stronger players do tend to get chances in the endgame. "It got unexpectedly complicated and fortunately for me, he collapsed pretty quickly," said Carlsen. "If you're a 1...e5 player with Black it's very hard to avoid these positions. You should just try and play and see what happens."
Magnus Carlsen didn't need to wait long for his first classical win of 2018. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
@MagnusCarlsen) January 14, 2018
It is an honor to be mentioned by you sir. Inspired endgame play the last two rounds. Keep it coming!👏— Anish Giri ( @anishgiri) January 14, 2018
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov surprised Hou Yifan by playing the French Defense for the first time since 2011. The delayed exchange was the logical, solid choice for Hou, but she quickly got outplayed positionally and ended up in a bad endgame that she couldn't hold.
Hou Yifan resigns her game vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
2018 Tata Steel Masters | Round 2 Standings
A quick chat before the round among Svidler, Giri, and Caruana. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
In the challengers, IM Lucas van Foreest upset world junior champion GM Aryan Tari. This was an Exchange Caro-Kann where Black got a doubled pawn on the kingside. That didn't seem too much of a thing, but the younger brother of the two Van Foreests in this group showed pretty good endgame technique.
Lucas van Foreest scored an excellent win against one of the favorites of the Tata Steel challengers. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Speaking of endgame technique, what about the following game. WGM Olga Girya's win over GM Matthias Bluebaum could easily have been one of Capablanca's Best Chess Endings, the old book by Irving Chernev.
Olga Girya channeled her inner Capablanca today. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
A nice win was scored by favorite Vidit Santosh Guijrathi, who surprisingly quickly got a winning attack against Michal Krasenkow in an old line of the Sicilian where the white king loses the right to castle early on. It's possible that a large part of this game was preparation by Vidit.
2018 Tata Steel Challengers | Round 2 Standings
|1||J. van Foreest||2629||2742||½||1||1.5/2||1.75|
|10||L. van Foreest||2481||2614||0||1||1.0/2||0.5|
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