So Grabs Tata Lead; Carlsen Plays Football

So Grabs Tata Lead; Carlsen Plays Football

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 19, 2017, 2:20 PM |
42 | Chess Event Coverage

Wesley So is the new leader of the Tata Steel chess tournament masters group. Today he defeated Pentala Harikrishna and took over pole position from Pavel Eljanov, who lost to Levon Aronian.

The fifth round, which was played at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam, saw two more winners. Baskaran Adhiban surprised everyone by convincingly beating Sergey Karjakin as Black, whereas Loek van Wely suffered his fourth consecutive loss, to Radoslaw Wojtaszek.

Photo Alina l'Ami.

Before we go to today's action, first a quick note about the rest day. Now one of many traditions for this tournament is a football event on the first Wednesday. Played in the stadium of the local football club Telstar, a match was held between two teams, led by Magnus Carlsen and Loek van Wely.

Carlsen played with his second Peter Heine Nielsen, along with Ian Nepomniachtchi, his second Alexander Motylev, Vladimir Dobrov and Lu Shanglei. Loek had chosen Benjamin Bok, Jorden van Forreest, Aryan Tari and two non-GM friends, Ard van Beek and Rob Duijn.

Both teams got one player from Telstar. Eventually Team Carlsen won 6-2.

Lu Shanglei has just scored the 5-2. | Photo Maria Emelianova

Carlsen showing some tricks on the field. | Photo Maria Emelianova

Carlsen also played a bit with a famous former Feyenoord player, Ben Wijnstekers.

And then, on Thursday, the players of the masters had to get up a bit earlier for a bus ride to Rotterdam. They arrived about 12:15 p.m. for a photo shoot inside the stadium and then played the fifth round in the Maasgebouw, alongside the stadium.

A group photo on the Feyenoord pitch. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

Commentary was provided by GM Robin van Kampen and IM Anna Rudolf, enjoyed by several hundred fans on site, besides the internet audience.

One of the GM guests in that live broadcast was the new leader of the tournament, Wesley So. The American grandmaster leads with 4/5 after beating Pentala Harikrishna today.


The round started with a huge surprise. Baskaran Adhiban, who was sharing last place with Loek van Wely after four rounds, defeated Sergey Karjakin! The mighty Russian, the world championship contender, the "Minister of Defense," was outprepared and outplayed in a French opening.

Afterward the Indian GM duly stated that he had never played the French before...

For So to become the tournament leader there was one more game involved, obviously: Levon Aronian's win over the previous leader, Pavel Eljanov.

The latter was under pressure for most of the game, but kept hanging on until he blundered on move 37.

Levon Aronian scored his first win, after four draws. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

Poor Loek van Wely isn't making his son very proud yet. Rather, it's convenient for him that Nicholas is too young to tease his dad about his four losses in a row! 

"I would like to see Loek putting some pawns in the center," was how Van Kampen put it. He was referring to Van Wely's unsuccessful black openings. With simple and healthy moves Wojtaszek won the game without much effort.

Only 0.5/5 for Van Wely so far. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

Magnus Carlsen played a relatively quick draw with Ian Nepomniachtchi, and the same result was seen in Adreikin-Rapport and Wei Yi-Giri. 

The pairings for the sixth round, tomorrow in Wijk aan Zee, are Aronian-Carlsen, Giri-Nepomniachtchi, Rapport-Wei Yi, Van Wely-Andreikin, Harikrishna-Wojtaszek, Adhiban-So, and Eljanov-Karjakin.

Tata Steel Masters | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 So 2808 2996 ½ ½ 1 1 1 4.0/5
2 Carlsen 2840 2900 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 3.5/5 9.25
3 Eljanov 2755 2866 0 ½ 1 1 1 3.5/5 5.25
4 Aronian 2780 2799 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.0/5
5 Giri 2773 2757 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5/5 7.00
6 Harikrishna 2766 2757 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 6.50
7 Andreikin 2736 2757 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5/5 6.00
8 Wei Yi 2706 2779 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 6.00
9 Karjakin 2785 2718 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 2.5/5 3.75
10 Wojtaszek 2750 2755 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 3.50
11 Nepomniachtchi 2767 2692 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 2.0/5 5.75
12 Adhiban 2653 2685 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 2.0/5 4.25
13 Rapport 2702 2620 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/5
14 Van Wely 2695 2369 0 0 0 0 ½ 0.5/5

Games from TWIC.

Markus Ragger dropped his first half point in the challengers, who played their round on a half-empty stage in Wijk aan Zee. The game of the day, at least opening-wise, was the following.

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

Tata Steel Challengers | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Ragger 2697 2951 1 ½ 1 1 1 4.5/5
2 Smirin 2667 2798 1 1 ½ ½ 1 4.0/5
3 Xiong 2667 2751 0 1 ½ 1 1 3.5/5 6.75
4 Jones 2665 2721 0 ½ 1 1 1 3.5/5 5.25
5 Lu Shanglei 2612 2655 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 3.0/5
6 Grandelius 2642 2595 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 2.5/5 5.50
7 L'Ami 2605 2599 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 2.5/5 5.25
8 Hansen 2603 2621 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 2.5/5 5.00
9 Van Foreest 2612 2498 0 1 0 1 0 2.0/5 4.50
10 Dobrov 2499 2563 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 2.0/5 4.50
11 Tari 2584 2480 0 0 ½ ½ 1 2.0/5 2.75
12 Bok 2608 2423 0 0 ½ 0 1 1.5/5
13 Lei Tingjie 2467 2397 0 0 0 1 0 1.0/5
14 Guramishvili 2370 2253 0 0 ½ 0 0 0.5/5

Games from TWIC.


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