Nakamura Leads Tata Steel

Nakamura Leads Tata Steel

| 44 | Chess Event Coverage

Hikaru Nakamura is having a great tournament in Wijk Aan Zee so far, and by beating Jan Smeets today he is the sole leader after seven rounds.  Great opening preparation and another strong endgame ensured victory for the American.

Naka's next two games will be crucial. He is black against Magnus Carlsen in round eight on Sunday, and after a rest day on Monday he has white against Vishy Anand on Tuesday.

The other winners in Group A were Kramnik and Aronian.  Kramnik won an early pawn against Giri and never looked back.  Aronian beat a desperately out-of-form Grischuk on the black side of a Ruy Lopez.

The clash between Carlsen and Anand promised much but failed to deliver.  Anand equalised with ease in a Najdorf and the points were split after a mere 18 moves.  Nepo and Pono's draw was just four moves longer while Vachier-Lagrave and L'Ami played six more moves before arriving at the same result.

The last game to finish in the A Group was more lively, with Shirov refusing to temper his sacrificial style despite poor results so far. However, he remains firmly rooted at the bottom of the standings after drawing with Wang Hao.

Are you lookin' at me? Nakamura is now the man to beat in Wijk.




Anand easily equalises against 'The Kid' Carlsen in round seven








Wang Hao and Shirov hear no evil and speak no evil during their entertaining struggle




Luke McShane finally came unstuck in Group B, losing to the young Vietnamese star Le Quang Liem.  This allowed Zahar Efimenko to catch him at the top of the standings, where they were joined by Wesley So who beat David Navara.

The Force deserts Luke against Quang Liem in round seven




Wesley So wins his third game in a row to join the Group B leaders (pics from the official Facebook site)





The leaders of Group C, Illya Nyzhnyk and Daniele Vocaturo both won again to keep up the hectic pace at the top.  Kateryna Lahno also won an opposite coloured bishop ending to stay just half a point behind.

Proving size doesn't matter - 14 year-old Ukrainian Illyna Nyzhnyk beats Sebastian Siebrecht






For all the games and more information visit the official website

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The full results and standings after round seven:

Group A

Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 Smeets, Jan
Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 Giri, Anish
Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan
Nepomniachtchi, Ian ½-½ Ponomariov, Ruslan
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ L'Ami, Erwin
Wang, Hao ½-½ Shirov, Alexei
Grischuk, Alexander 0-1 Aronian, Levon
Group B

So, Wesley 1-0 Navara, David
Efimenko, Zahar ½-½ Li, Chao
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 1-0 Fressinet, Laurent
Sargissian, Gabriel 1-0 Nijboer, Friso
Le, Quang Liem 1-0 McShane, Luke J
Ganguly, Surya Shekhar 1-0 Spoelman, Wouter
Hammer, Jon Ludvig 0-1 Tkachiev, Vladislav
Group C

Nyzhnyk, Illya 1-0 Siebrecht, Sebastian
Vocaturo, Daniele 1-0 Pruijssers, Roeland
Lahno, Kateryna 1-0 Bok, Benjamin
Kazhgaleyev, Murtas 1-0 Tania, Sachdev
Swiercz, Dariusz ½-½ Ivanisevic, Ivan
Van Kampen, Robin 1-0 Van Der Werf, Mark
De Jong, Jan-Willem 0-1 Bluvshtein, Mark


Group A

Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2751
Anand, Viswanathan IND 2810 5
Aronian, Levon ARM 2805
Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2784
Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2814 4
Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2733 4
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2715 4
Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2744
Giri, Anish NED 2686 3
Wang, Hao CHN 2731 3
L'Ami, Erwin NED 2628
Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2773 2
Smeets, Jan NED 2662 2
Shirov, Alexei ESP 2722
Group B

So, Wesley PHI 2673 5
McShane, Luke J ENG 2664 5
Efimenko, Zahar UKR 2701 5
Sargissian, Gabriel ARM 2667
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw POL 2726 4
Le, Quang Liem VIE 2664
Navara, David CZE 2708
Li, Chao
CHN 2649
Tkachiev, Vladislav FRA 2636
Fressinet, Laurent FRA 2707 3
Ganguly, Surya Shekhar IND 2651
Nijboer, Friso NED 2584 2
Spoelman, Wouter NED 2547 2
Hammer, Jon Ludvig NOR 2647 2
Group C

Nyzhnyk, Illya UKR 2530
Vocaturo, Daniele ITA 2570
Lahno, Kateryna UKR 2518 5
Bluvshtein, Mark CAN 2590 4
Kazhgaleyev, Murtas KAZ 2637 4
Van Der Werf, Mark NED 2439
Tania, Sachdev IND 2391
Ivanisevic, Ivan SRB 2630
Swiercz, Dariusz POL 2540
Van Kampen, Robin NED 2443 3
Bok, Benjamin NED 2453
Siebrecht, Sebastian GER 2439
De Jong, Jan-Willem NED 2437
Pruijssers, Roeland NED 2484
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