Nepomniachtchi Joins Carlsen, Anand To Lead Tata Steel Chess
Spectators in Wijk aan Zee. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Nepomniachtchi Joins Carlsen, Anand To Lead Tata Steel Chess

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 22, 2019, 1:53 PM |
26 | Chess Event Coverage

Ian Nepomniachtchi defeated Vidit Gujrathi to join Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen in the lead in round nine of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Teimour Radjabov suffered his first loss vs Vladimir Fedoseev.

The 81st edition of the Tata Steel Chess tournament remains a close affair. With four rounds to go, there are three leaders, and two players trailing them by half a point. Betting on Carlsen to win the tournament is still the safest option, but anything can happen. 

After winning the Tal Memorial in 2016 and the 2018 Dortmund tournament, Nepomniachtchi is hoping to score the third major tournament victory in his career. He is still very much in the race after a nice win over Vidit on Tuesday.

The Russian player stepped into Magnus Carlsen's footsteps when he played the move 4.Nd3 in the Petroff. "This endgame is very complex," said Nepomniachtchi. "As far as I know [Vidit] is not a big specialist of the Petroff defense. I thought maybe this endgame would be interesting to play and somehow it paid off."

It definitely did when the white player got an attack on the opponent's king—also without queens on the board, attacking with opposite-colored bishop can be quite devastating!

Nepomniachtchi was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Nepo's compatriot Fedoseev won his second game in a row and is back to 50 percent. Today he defeated Radjabov in a Chebanenko Slav, an opening that used to be extremely popular some five years ago.

The game was about equal for a long time. It seemed White was having some small chances due to his active queen on the queenside, but at move 49 it was Black who avoided a move repetition. The rook endgame was equal as well, until Radjabov miscalculated. He thought the pawn endgame was OK, but it wasn't, thanks to a devilish trick by Fedoseev.

Carlsen drew with Sam Shankland, who was playing good game. Sometimes there's just nothing to hope for, even if you're the world champion.

"He played in a classical way which I think is not a bad way to meet it," Carlsen described the opening in which he had played a very early ...a6. "He was slightly better for most of the game but I was always very solid I think."


Carlsen was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

The other leader, Anand, played a similar game where, as Black, he was about equal all the time vs Richard Rapport.

Vladimir Kramnik played a bit more solidly and drew with Ding Liren.

The all-Dutch affair between Anish Giri and Jorden van Foreest was quite an interesting game that involved a positional queen sacrifice.

First, Giri picked up Ding's odd-looking 6.Ba3 in the English, which the Chinese GM had tried in the second round against Vidit. Giri said that he had underestimated his opponent's move 14...d5. "I guess I originally blundered my queen in my calculation and then I decided to do it on purpose."


Van Foreest was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

The commentator Sopiko Guramishvili was surprised by her husband's draw offer at the end, and the feeling was mutual. "I was myself surprised!" said Giri. "I felt I misplayed it a little bit. There were all kinds of checks on the horizon and some lines where my a2-pawn is being attacked. I spent a lot of time trying to consolidate the position in my head and I couldn't do that and I had three minutes left..."


Giri was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess Masters | Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Nepomniachtchi 2763 2899 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6.0 / 9 26.5
2 Carlsen 2835 2865 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 6.0 / 9 23.25
3 Anand 2773 2868 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.0 / 9 23
4 Ding Liren 2813 2821 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 5.5 / 9 23.5
5 Giri, Anish 2783 2827 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5.5 / 9 21.5
6 Fedoseev 2724 2742 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 4.5 / 9 21
7 Radjabov 2757 2742 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5 / 9 18.25
8 Duda 2738 2739 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 4.5 / 9 18
9 Vidit 2695 2707 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 4.0 / 9 18
10 Shankland 2725 2706 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.0 / 9 16.75
11 Rapport 2731 2693 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 9 15.5
12 Mamedyarov 2817 2685 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 9 15.25
13 Van Foreest 2612 2635 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 0 3.0 / 9 14
14 Kramnik 2777 2613 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 2.5 / 9 11.5

Pairings for round 10 (Wednesday): Carlsen-Anand, Duda-Rapport, Ding Liren-Mamedyarov, Vidit-Kramnik, Van Foreest-Nepomniachtchi, Fedoseev-Giri, Shankland-Radjabov.

Maksim Chigaev defended his half-point lead in the challengers group against one of his main rivals and compatriots, Andrey Esipenko in a quiet game, or Giuoco Pianissimo in Italian, and that was the opening as well.

The biggest news was IM Stefan Kuipers scoring his first win in the tournament against another Dutchman, Lucas van Foreest. After he had been on the white side of a classical French against Praggnanandhaa (and lost horribly), Kuipers played the same opening and refuted his opponent's attacking play in a funny way by sacrificing an exchange but trapping a white knight on h7.

 

Tata Steel Chess Challengers | Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Chigaev 2604 2740 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5 / 9 24.5
2 Kovalev 2687 2715 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 6.0 / 9 27.5
3 Esipenko 2584 2714 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 6.0 / 9 27
4 Gledura 2615 2670 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 5.5 / 9 22.5
5 L'Ami 2643 2612 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0 / 9 21
6 Korobov 2699 2618 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0 / 9 19.25
7 Maghsoodloo 2679 2594 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 5.0 / 9 16.5
8 Bareev 2650 2585 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 4.5 / 9 19.75
9 Van Foreest 2502 2577 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 4.5 / 9 18
10 Keymer 2500 2546 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4.5 / 9 15
11 Praggnanandhaa 2539 2556 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 4.0 / 9 16
12 Paehtz 2477 2411 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 2.5 / 9 10.75
13 Saduakassova 2472 2400 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 2.0 / 9 10
14 Kuipers 2470 2361 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 2.0 / 9 8.75

Pairings for round 10 (Wednesday): Korobov-L'Ami, Keymer-Kovalev, Maghsoodloo-Bareev, Paehtz-Saduakassova, Kuipers-Gledura, Esipenko-Van Foreest, Praggnanandhaa-Chigaev.


Replay the live broadcast of the ninth round.

The official video broadcast is "proudly powered" by Chess.com, which you can watch on both tatasteelchess.com and Chess.com/TV. All rounds start at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. New York, 4:30 Pacific) in Wijk aan Zee, except for the following two rounds:

  • On January 23 (Leiden) the rounds starts half an hour later, at 2 p.m. local time.
  • The final round, on Sunday January 27, starts 1.5 hours earlier, at noon local time.

Commentary will be provided by IMs Anna Rudolf and Lawrence Trent during the first week, and GM Robert Hess and IM Sopiko Guramishvili during the second week.


Correction: A previous version of this article failed to mention Nepomniachtchi's tournament victory at the 2018 Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund.


Previous reports:

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