Inspired By Karjakin, Carlsen Gets 1st Tata Steel Win

Inspired By Karjakin, Carlsen Gets 1st Tata Steel Win

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 15, 2017, 12:11 PM |
34 | Chess Event Coverage

Copying Sergey Karjakin's remarkable 6.a3 in the Najdorf, Magnus Carlsen scored a good win today versus Radoslaw Wojtaszek in round two of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Pentala Harikrishna won as well, and so did Pavel Eljanov—the only player on 2/2. 

Photo Alina l'Ami.

"Today he was a huge inspiration of course," Carlsen grinned to Anna Rudolf in his post-game interview. Like all chess fans, the world champion had been fascinated by Sergey Karjakin's 6.a3 against the Sicilian Najdorf yesterday. While watching it on stage, he was already looking at an improvement for White.

"I was wondering during the game after 6...e5 why not to go 7.Nf5 so it was too tempting to give it a try."

This sequence had been played in a grandmaster game in fact, 11 years ago—but just in one game. It's still the case that new opening theory can start from the most basic positions!

Carlsen was inspired by Karjakin today. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

Wojtaszek's loss wasn't the result of the opening, as Carlsen explained.

"First of all, I think he missed this Qg4 stuff, and then it's kind of very pleasant for White. [Then] I think I misplayed it, and it was more or less equal, but this move, Ra6, was probably quite poor. He lost the thread around there. Afterwards I think I could have won quicker, but I didn't see it, and I didn't want to take any chances."

The Norwegian player made it rather clear that he wasn't thinking about tomorrow's game yet when he said: "I don't know who I'm playing!"

Pavel Eljanov, the only winner on day one, scored another full point today. He was much helped by his opponent, Loek van Wely, who went down surprisingly quickly from an equal middlegame. 

Pavel Eljanov moved to 2/2 today. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

The third winner of the day was Pentala Harikrishna, who beat his compatriot Baskaran Adhiban. Also there, the opening was surely not the problem. But let's have a look at it because there was a remarkable moment for anyone who didn't knew about the theory.

Quiz question: Can Black take on e4? Try to make it work!

"I think this position with two bishops and two knights should be equal," said Hari, "but I think his 31...Kg6 gave me chances. Instead, he could just stay with the bishop on g6 or h7. If I move the knight [on c5], he can play Re6."

Hari was the strongest of the two Indians today both over the borad and by Elo. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

But even that wasn't all that terrible. Only at move 39 did things really go wrong, and in the end, Adhiban's king got stuck in a mating net.

Anish Giri held a slight edge throughout the game versus Wesley So, but eventually his extra pawn in an endgame with opposite-colored bishops and rooks was worth little. Dmitry Andreikin quickly neutralized Ian Nepomniachtchi's play in a Scotch.

Both Levon Aronian and Sergey Karjakin seemed to have better positions against Wei Yi and Richard Rapport respectively, but in both cases, the game petered out into a draw before the time control.

Tomorrow's pairings are Adhiban-Aronian, Eljanov-Harikrishna, Karjakin-Van Wely, So-Rapport, Wojtaszek-Giri, Andreikin-Carlsen, and Wei Yi-Nepomniachtchi.

Tata Steel Masters | Round 2 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Eljanov 2755 3498 1 1 2.0/2
2 Carlsen 2840 2969 ½ 1 1.5/2 1.00
3 Harikrishna 2766 2907 ½ 1 1.5/2 0.50
4 So 2808 2807 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
5 Aronian 2780 2736 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
6 Giri 2773 2796 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
7 Andreikin 2736 2736 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
8 Wei Yi 2706 2758 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
9 Karjakin 2785 2738 ½ ½ 1.0/2 0.75
10 Nepomniachtchi 2767 2743 ½ ½ 1.0/2 0.75
11 Wojtaszek 2750 2613 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.50
12 Rapport 2702 2580 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.50
13 Van Wely 2695 2581 0 ½ 0.5/1 0.00
14 Adhiban 2653 2585 0 ½ 0.5/1 0.00

Games from TWIC.

In the challengers group, the longest game was between Lei Tingjie and Markus Ragger, won by the latter. He's the top seed this year, and he's only three points shy of a 2700 rating. Virtually he has crossed that mark now, being the only player on 2/2.

In a game between two young, rising stars, it was Jeffery Xiong who emerged victorious. Jorden van Foreest might have overestimated his chances somewhere.

Gawain Jones found a nice but easy way to finish off Sopiko Guramishvili.

A nice finish by Gawain Jones. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

Tomorrow's pairings are Guramishvili-Grandelius, Smirin-Jones, Tari-Lu, Bok-Dobrov, Ragger-Hansen, Van Foreest-Tingjie, and l'Ami-Xiong.

Tata Steel Challengers | Round 2 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Ragger, M 2697 3367 1 1 2.0/2
2 Smirin, I 2667 2746 ½ 1 1.5/2 1.00
3 Jones, G 2665 2696 ½ 1 1.5/2 1.00
4 Bok, B 2608 2725 ½ 1 1.5/2 0.50
5 Hansen, E 2603 2596 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
6 Dobrov,V 2499 2625 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.25
7 Xiong, J 2667 2655 0 1 1.0/2 1.00
8 Grandelius, N 2642 2635 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
9 Tari, A 2584 2551 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
10 Van Foreest, J 2612 2636 0 1 1.0/2 0.50
11 L'Ami ,E 2605 2437 ½ 0 0.5/2 0.50
12 Lu Shanglei 2612 2328 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.25
13 Guramishvili, S 2370 2447 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.25
14 Lei Tingjie 2467 1853 0 0 0.0/2

Games from TWIC.


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