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Tata Steel Chess R11: Carlsen Misses Win, Dubov Tests Positive
Van Foreest (right) playing Giri, with Carlsen looking. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess R11: Carlsen Misses Win, Dubov Tests Positive

PeterDoggers
| 43 | Chess.com News

GM Magnus Carlsen continues to lead the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament despite missing a win in his game with GM Vidit Gujrathi in round 11. GM Richard Rapport is half a point behind after getting a forfeit win vs. GM Daniil Dubov, who dropped out of the tournament because of a positive Covid test.

GM Anish Giri fell behind as he lost to his compatriot GM Jorden van Foreest, who had success with a positional exchange sacrifice. Meanwhile, GM Fabiano Caruana defeated GM Praggnanandhaa R. with the black pieces.

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Two and a half hours before the start of the round, the Tata Steel organizers sent out a press release with the news that Dubov had to leave the tournament after testing positive for the coronavirus in a PCR test on Thursday. Tournament director Jeroen van den Berg was quoted: "I feel sad for Daniil that he now has to leave our tournament. The whole organization of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament feels for him, wishes him all the best in these trying times and hopes that the remainder of the year will bring him sporting success."

The news was perhaps not a big surprise taking into account that someone close to Dubov had tested positive earlier this week. The Russian GM was then requested to wear a face mask for his next game, which he refused out of principle. He lost the game, vs. Giri, without playing. Negative tests then made it possible for Dubov to return to normality and play without a mask as before, until a test on Thursday came out positive.

A forfeit win for Rapport vs. Dubov Tata 2022
A forfeit win for Rapport vs. Dubov. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Dubov dropping out beyond the halfway point means that the results of his previous games will stand and that he will forfeit the games against the opponents he was to face in the last three rounds. They are Rapport today, Praggnanandhaa R. on Saturday, and in the final round on Sunday, Carlsen. Therefore, the chances for the world champion to win his eighth title in Wijk aan Zee have only increased.

The situation could have been even better for Carlsen, who today spoiled a winning advantage in a rook endgame—something very rare for the Norwegian GM, whom many consider to be the best endgame player in the history of the game. It must be said that the win was far from trivial.

Carlsen Vidit Tata 2022 press room
Carlsen and Vidit checking the engine lines of their rook endgame in the press room. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

"It wasn't very obvious. I guess that was the moment I should have taken more time to think, but it wasn't easy," Carlsen said, after seeing the engine line on a computer screen in the press room. "I'm still trying to wrap my head around it a little bit."

Initially, the game was expected to end in a draw quicker as Vidit played extremely well for quite a while and the players reached a very drawish endgame. However, in slight time-trouble, the Indian player went for an unfavorable liquidation into a rook endgame where he was actually lost for a few moves.

Carlsen Vidit Tata 2022
Carlsen and Vidit in their incredibly complicated rook endgame. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Carlsen, however, made the "hasty" move 36.d7, after which the evaluation of the engines dropped to 0.00 again. Vidit made no more mistakes and held, meaning he is still unbeaten in classical chess against Carlsen, having drawn all three of their games.

He had prepared some funny lines to start his interview. "I could make an easier draw, but you know, what's the point in that?" Vidit said. "First of all, many people are making agreed draws, so you have to put on something for a show. I was playing extra long on that behalf. And then, Magnus is also not playing on the last day, so he would miss playing, so I thought, OK, let's make it more interesting."

Vidit Gujrathi Tata Steel Chess 2022
Vidit: "I could make an easier draw, but you know, what's the point in that?" Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Van Foreest beat Giri for the first time in a classical game, thereby leveling the score between the two Dutch GMs. Their previous three games had ended in draws while Giri won their first encounter, in 2017 in Reykjavik.

It's also the second year in a row that Van Foreest is getting in the way of Giri's dreams of tournament victory, after the youngest of the two Dutchmen surprisingly won the playoff for first place last year.

Giri Van Foreest Tata 2022
The handshake before the game. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

In what was a classic Nimzo-Indian, Giri focused his play on the queenside, pressuring White's doubled c-pawn. As it turned out, he had abandoned his king too much as Van Foreest got the chance to play a promising exchange sacrifice.

The position where Van Foreest played 16.Rxf6!

Giri had to change plans and switch to defending his king, but he didn't find the most tenacious defense and was overrun on the kingside.

"I am very happy and pleased with the game," said Van Foreest. "I wanted to go for a fight today after my loss two days ago, so I thought, let's give it a try. I played a very risky line, but I thought it might give White good chances for a good fight as well."

Giri chess knight Tata 2022
Giri holding a white knight while thinking. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

During the Chess.com broadcast, the conclusion was that the exchange sacrifice might have been even stronger a move earlier. Van Foreest did look at that but reasoned: "I thought, with his pawn on c5, I get this nice bind with all the pawns in the middle of the board. Whereas if his pawn is on c7, he can often, for example, quickly transfer his knight from b7 to c5. So I didn't think it was so clear there; I wasn't even sure how clear it was in the game, but as it turns out, it was probably very good for White always."

Giri Van Foreest Wijk aan Zee press room
Giri and Van Foreest also checked their game in the press room. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

In a twist of fate, two of his seconds in the world championship match helped Carlsen today: Dubov by ensuring him a free point on Sunday, and Van Foreest by beating his main rival in the tournament.

Carlsen complimented Van Foreest: "I gotta say, he played a very good game as far as I could see. It goes to show his top level is very high. He can play some awesome games, and I am happy for him."

He can play some awesome games, and I am happy for him.
—Magnus Carlsen

In what was their first ever encounter, Caruana was slightly worse out of the opening but eventually defeated Praggnanandhaa in a pretty good game. Especially the final phase was nice, described by co-commentator WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni as "a masterpiece."

As Caruana pointed out, Pragg's big mistake was 23.Nd4 when White got into trouble surprisingly quickly. "The endgame, I think, is losing; although it's a little bit close, it's kind of concrete," said Caruana, who ended up catching his opponent's king in a mating net.

Carlsen has just one more game left, but it's a big one: as Black against Caruana, tomorrow. Runner-up Rapport is Black against GM Andrey Esipenko. If the world champion manages to keep his half-point lead, that would clinch the tournament as he is certain of a full point on Sunday.

"I'm more concerned about my own performance, to be honest," Carlsen said about the situation. "Today wasn't great. But yeah, obviously I got very lucky with the circumstances that were out of my control. I just hope that Daniil is doing fine. It seemed this morning that he was feeling OK and I really hope he can make it to Berlin for the Grand Prix. The tournament was kind of ruined for him anyway, but that's I think his biggest priority–as well as, obviously, staying relatively healthy."

Round 11 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 2855 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7.5/11
2 Rapport 2763 2830 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 7.0/11
3 Giri 2772 2801 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 6.5/11 33.5
4 Mamedyarov 2767 2793 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 6.5/11 32.5
5 Esipenko 2714 2779 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 6.0/11 32.75
6 Karjakin 2743 2771 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 6.0/11 31.75
7 Vidit 2727 2766 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 0 6.0/11 30.5
8 Caruana 2792 2750 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 6.0/11 27.75
9 Van Foreest 2702 2740 ½ 0 1 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 5.5/11
10 Duda 2760 2713 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 5.0/11
11 Shankland 2708 2679 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/11
12 Dubov 2720 2606 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 3.5/11 19.75
13 Grandelius 2672 2606 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 0 3.5/11 18.75
14 Praggnanandhaa 2612 2619 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 0 ½ ½ 1 3.5/11 17.5

GM Arjun Erigaisi drew his game in round 11 fairly quickly, but isn't there yet. Both GM Thai Dai Van Nguyen and GM Jonas Buhl Bjerre won their games today and are one and a half points behind, and Nguyen plays Erigaisi tomorrow. It remains to be seen how much this game will be affected by the fact that the Czech GM needed almost seven hours today to beat the German IM Roven Vogel:

Nguyen Vogel Wijk aan Zee 2022
Nguyen vs. Vogel. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess.

Bjerre won again today, but not without some fortune:

Bjerre vs. Murzin Tata 2022
Bjerre vs. Murzin. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess.

Round 11 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 2816 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 9.0/11
2 Bjerre 2586 2702 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 7.5/11 38
3 Nguyen 2613 2676 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 7.5/11 36.25
4 Jumabayev 2631 2618 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 6.5/11
5 Warmerdam 2607 2596 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 6.0/11
6 Van Foreest 2539 2575 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 5.5/11 31.5
7 Murzin 2519 2568 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 5.5/11 27.25
8 L'Ami 2622 2544 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5.5/11 26.75
9 Gangul 2627 2545 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 5.5/11 22.75
10 Dardha 2532 2498 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 4.5/11
11 Maurizzi 2502 2473 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 1 0 0 4.0/11 21.75
12 Shuvalova 2516 2460 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 4.0/11 19.5
13 Vogel 2452 2409 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 3.0/11 16
14 Zhu 2478 2400 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 0 1 3.0/11 13

All games round 11




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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