Tata R3: Nakamura grabs lead in A, McShane wins third

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Tata R3: Nakamura grabs lead in A, McShane wins thirdHikaru Nakamura grabbed the lead in the A group of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament on Monday. The American grandmaster beat Alexei Shirov and is the only player on 2.5/3. Magnus Carlsen blundered and lost against Anish Giri. In the B group Luke McShane from England won this third game.

General info

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is held from Friday, January 14th till Sunday, January 30th, 2011 in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Besides many amateur events there are three Grandmaster Groups (A, B and C), all 14-player round-robins. All rounds begin at 13.30 CET, except for the last which begins at 12.00 hours. There are three rest days: on January 19th, 24th, and 27th. The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds increment for each move starting from the first move. More info here.

Round 3

The third round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament started with a bang. Theoretically it might be impossible, but it was a reality between human beings: the world's highest rated player lost in just 22 moves to the player who promoted from the B group last year. But, we're not talking about just a player, we're talking about one of most talented grandmasters on the planet: Anish Giri from The Netherlands. Still, a decisive result after such a short game needed something more: a big blunder from Magnus Carlsen.

Tata R3: Carlsen-Giri

Giri had reacted well to Carlsen's funny 11th move, and in the following position Black is already clearly better.

Carlsen-Giri Wijk aan Zee 2011 Carlsen-Giri

White should give a pawn with 20.Nd4 Qxd5 21.Qe2 and hope for the best. The game was immediately decided after 20.Ng5?? e3! and the knight on g5 hangs. The game continued 21.Qb2 (attacking the other knight) and now Giri's second Vladimir Chuchelov immediately spotted 21...Na4! watching the game on a TV screen in the press room: "It's completely over!" When Giri played 21...Qxg5 he quickly assured himself with an engine at one of the present laptops that his pupil was still winning - in fact Giri had found the 'human' way of keeping the extra piece. His idea was to win pretty after 22.Qxb6 with
Carlsen-Giri 22...e2! 23.Re1 Qxc1! 24.Rxc1 e1Q+ 25.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 26.Bf1 Bh3 and, a queen up, White gets mated.

In the game Carlsen resigned after 22.Bxe3 Qg4! attacking the rook on d1. His short comment after the game: "I just missed 20...e3. It's as simple as that." Later he would tweet: "Always nice to confirm that I'm still capable of blundering a piece in one move!"

Giri was asked to do the press conference, which we filmed and will publish later today in a separate post. (You can watch it here already.)

Tata R3: Anish Giri

Anish Giri: a welcome gift from the world's highest rated player

But this wouldn't be the only big story of the day. Many hours later Hikaru Nakamura from the USA won his second game. He beat Alexei Shirov and thus grabbed the sole lead in the standings.

Tata R3: Nakamura-Shirov

"I was probably winning after the opening but instead of winning in a couple of hours, I misplayed it and won after seven hours." Still, at the start of the 4th round the American will receive the daily 500-euro “Piet Zwart Prize” for the best game of the round, named after the former Hoogovens tournament director.

Nakamura-Shirov Wijk aan Zee 2011 Nakamura-Shirov

Thanks to a nice tactic Shirov managed to prolong the game: 42...Bxd5! winning back a pawn because after 43.exd5? Rxe3 44.Kf1 Kg6 White cannot move anything and might even be lost! In the end this didn't save the game for Shirov.

The other winner of the day was Ruslan Ponomariov. He surprised Jan Smeets with a rare line of the Winawer, to get his opponent out of his - already famous - preparation. It worked out well, because Smeets had spent an hour on the clock already at move 11. Still, the Dutchman felt his loss had been "stupid", as he "just dropped a pawn". That was 14.c4 of course, allowing quite a simple trick indeed. Here's Ponomariov's comment afterwards:


Tata R3: Smeets-Ponomariov

The draws between Vachier-Lagrave and Aronian, and Nepomniachtchi and Grischuk were rather uneventful. Playing White, last seeded player Erwin l'Ami did surprisingly well against World Champion Vishy Anand. He got a promising position, but at some point his advantage vanished. Still, an excellent result for l'Ami, who is making is debut in the A group. Here's his comment after the game:


In the B group the 250-euro day prize was awarded to Poland’s Radek Wojtaszek. He inflicted another loss upon China's Li Chao, in aggressive style. Luke McShane increased his lead to a full point with a third consecutive win against Vlad Tkatchiev.

Tata R3: Luke McShane

The best possible start for Luke McShane in group B

Daniele Vocaturo from Italy won the the 100-euro day prize in Group C for his win against top seed Murtas Kazhgaleyev (Kazakhstan). Vocturo shares first place in the group with Katherina Lahno of the Ukraine.

Tata R3: Vocaturo

The C group's day prize went to Daniele Vocaturo

Games Group A

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Tata 2011 | Schedule & results Grandmaster Group A

Tata 2011 | Round 3 Standings Grandmaster Group A

Games Group B

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Tata 2011 | Schedule & results Grandmaster Group B

Tata 2011 | Round 3 Standings Grandmaster Group B

Games Group C

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Tata 2011 | Schedule & results Grandmaster Group C

Tata 2011 | Round 3 Standings Grandmaster Group C


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