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Tata Steel Chess 2022 R10: Black Is OK
Praggnanandhaa and Grandelius were two of the players to win as Black today. Photo: Lennart Ootes/TataSteelChess.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 R10: Black Is OK

PeterDoggers
| 64 | Chess.com News

GM Magnus Carlsen maintained his half-point lead at the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament with three rounds to go. The world champion drew in just 20 minutes with GM Sergey Karjakin and then saw GM Anish Giri splitting the point with GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda as well. The round eventually saw four decisive games, including three wins for the black pieces.

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It was a disappointing start of the round to see Carlsen and Karjakin drawing their 47th classical game so quickly. However, the remaining six games offered so much excitement that by the end of the round, it seemed ages ago that this had happened.

At 14:00 local time, the arbiter started the clock because both players hadn't arrived yet. Karjakin sat down a few seconds after that,  got to shake hands with the world champion about 45 seconds later, and then another handshake followed 16 theoretical moves later.

"It's quite alright considering the tournament standings; I'm still gonna be at least in the shared lead after this and I've got a couple of white games," said Carlsen. "I didn't really know what to expect today. I thought he would probably be relatively satisfied with the way the last few rounds had gone and maybe not risk much, but on the other hand, he could have almost caught up with the lead if he'd won, so I expected him to at least try a little bit."

Karjakin Carlsen Tata 2022
Carlsen didn't mind the quick draw. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

The consensus in such cases is that the white player is more to blame than the black player, and perhaps that's why Karjakin felt the need to tweet about it. First, the Russian GM tried a bit of humor...

...and then pointed out that Carlsen himself had drawn three times with exactly the same moves:

Of course, the circumstances were completely different, as e.g. GM Romain Edouard pointed out. An anonymous tweeter coined the phrase "The Minister of Defensiveness" for Karjakin a few hours after the game was over.

This draw gave Giri the chance to catch Carlsen in the lead, but the Dutchman never really had a chance to do so. He didn't get anything out of the opening (the Mikenas variation of the English) and if anyone was more comfortable early in the endgame, it was Duda. However, the balance was never really disturbed and, at some point, lots of trades sent the game straight to the draw.

Anish Giri Tata 2022
Giri missed his chance to catch Carlsen. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

GM Fabiano Caruana's first two moves invited GM Richard Rapport to enter the Mikenas as well, but the Hungarian went for something more adventurous. With 3...c5!?, the second most popular move in the position, he didn't mind having to play his king's knight back to its starting square as early as move four, but that's all theory and the database has 1,400 games with it.

Caruana played an idea from GM Daniil Dubov in this line but didn't get much, and after 20 moves the position was about equal. But then, the American number-one suddenly had a huge oversight, not as big as his blunder against Giri earlier but definitely something that would normally never happen to Caruana.

Richard Rapport Caruana Tata 2022
An excellent win for Richard Rapport. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Although the game was not even halfway finished if counting the number of moves, this was the moment where Caruana lost the game. Do have a look at the end, where Rapport played another beautiful rook move, similar to the one against GM Nils Grandelius earlier in the tournament.

It was Rapport's first win ever vs. Caruana, having lost three (with two draws) before. "This is a new feeling. He's an extremely strong player but also a very nice guy," said Rapport, who added that he won "with a bit of luck."

Grandelius scored his first win in the tournament vs. Dubov, and what a game it was! Our commentators GM Daniel Naroditsky and WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni agreed that it was one of the most intense games they had ever commented on. Dubov showed heroic defense, but with an hour more on the clock, he was one move away from the draw when he missed the tricky 76...Nh8!. Six moves later, the Russian GM resigned with a smile.

Nils Grandelius Tata 2022
A hard-fought first win for Grandelius. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Grandelius: "The first two hours I was basically playing as bad as on all the other days and I don't know if it's lost, but it's very bad for me, I think. But then he gave me some counter-chances, and in a very few moves it already turned."

The Swedish GM suspected that he had something better than the safe option he went for: a promising endgame that he evaluated somewhere between a draw and a win. "I think I changed evaluation maybe five, six times during the endgame!"

GM Andrey Esipenko defeated last year's winner GM Jorden van Foreest in what was already their fifth classical game, and it was Esipenko's second win after he beat the Dutchman in the B group in 2019 as well.

It seems this was a game Van Foreest didn't need to lose, even though he had a rook hopelessly trapped by a knight on the kingside for much of the game. And, surprisingly, even in the endgame with heavy pieces, the engine points to a very tenacious defense.

The longest game was the epic, all-Indian fight between GM Vidit Gujrathi and GM Praggnanandhaa R., fittingly played on India's Republic Day. It was the younger of the two players emerging victoriously after six hours and 50 minutes, completing a rare three points scored with the black pieces in this round.

Praggnanandhaa R. Tata 2022
Praggnanandhaa won an amazing game vs. his compatriot. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Vidit initially followed how Rapport had played against Praggnandhaa in round five, but then he deviated on move nine, not shying away from a sharp middlegame with opposite castling. He initially had the better chances in this game, but the tables turned when Vidit made a big mistake on move 33.

Black had a winning attack according to the engines, but for humans it was extremely complicated, especially in time-trouble. Eventually, the 16-year-old Pragg liquidated to a pawn-up endgame where he showed good technique and strong nerves to score what was the second-biggest win of his career so far, after toppling GM Veselin Topalov in the 2020 Gibraltar Masters.

Round 10 Standings Masters

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Carlsen 2865 2868 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 7.0/10
2 Giri 2772 2848 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 6.5/10
3 Mamedyarov 2767 2799 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.0/10 26.75
4 Rapport 2763 2805 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 ½ 1 1 6.0/10 26.5
5 Esipenko 2714 2790 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.5/10 27.75
6 Karjakin 2743 2772 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 5.5/10 25.75
7 Vidit 2727 2756 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 0 1 5.5/10 24.25
8 Caruana 2792 2729 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0/10
9 Duda 2760 2713 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 4.5/10 24.5
10 Van Foreest 2702 2702 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 4.5/10 19.75
11 Shankland 2708 2670 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/10
12 Dubov 2720 2629 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 3.5/10 17.5
13 Praggnanandhaa 2612 2640 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 3.5/10 16
14 Grandelius 2672 2593 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 3.0/10

GM Arjun Erigaisi didn't win for a change, but with a draw, he did keep his two-point lead in the Challengers group. Asked about the Indian grandmaster's stunning results, Carlsen responded positively: "He's gonna be 2700 very soon and he's by far the best player in the B group, which we've seen for a while now both in rapid and blitz. I guess the only surprise is the score he's winning with. He really plays chess in a way that I enjoy. He has a good tactical eye and he can switch styles very easily."

...He really plays chess in a way that I enjoy. He has a good tactical eye and he can switch styles very easily.

—Magnus Carlsen

Instead, we're giving a game from yesterday by the 17-year-old Danish GM Jonas Buhl Bjerre, who is now in a tie for second place after winning two games in a row since his loss to Erigaisi. The game was picked by none other than Carlsen as his favorite of the tournament over the first nine rounds:

Bjerre Ganguly Tata 2022
Bjerre vs. Ganguly from yesterday. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess.

Round 10 Standings Challengers

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Erigaisi 2632 2850 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 8.5/10
2 Nguyen 2613 2660 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 6.5/10 29.5
3 Bjerre 2586 2683 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 6.5/10 29.5
4 Jumabayev 2631 2631 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 6.0/10
5 Murzin 2519 2601 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 5.5/10 24.75
6 Warmerdam 2607 2601 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5.5/10 23.5
7 Van Foreest 2539 2572 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 5.0/10 25.75
8 L'Ami 2622 2535 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5.0/10 20
9 Ganguly 2627 2548 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 5.0/10 18.75
10 Dardha 2532 2532 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 4.5/10
11 Shuvalova 2516 2443 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 3.5/10
12 Maurizzi 2502 2427 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 0 0 3.0/10 16
13 Vogel 2452 2428 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 3.0/10 15
14 Zhu 2478 2374 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 1 2.5/10

All games round 10


Previous reports:

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


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