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Tata Steel Chess 2022 R9: Carlsen Regains Sole Lead With Giri Trailing
Magnus Carlsen tops the standings alone again. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess 2022 R9: Carlsen Regains Sole Lead With Giri Trailing

PeterDoggers
| 51 | Chess.com News

GM Magnus Carlsen defeated co-leader GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov on Tuesday to regain the sole lead at the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament. GM Anish Giri is the only player trailing the world champion by half a point after scoring his fourth full point in a row. GM Arjun Erigaisi, who also won again, pushed his performance rating over 2900 and now leads by two points in the Challengers.

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After the second rest day, we once again saw quite an exciting round with four decisive games. Like in 2018 and 2019, the main contenders at this point are Carlsen and Giri—a scenario the local organizers cannot complain about.

Giri said about this (with Carlsen talking to Norwegian TV in the background): "So far it's like in the good old days, when I had those races with Magnus. I had them twice in a row. I'm definitely happy where I am and somehow, from what I remember, when Magnus plays so well, even though he is interrupting my interview now, it does motivate me to do really my best and that's when I play my best chess, so I am looking forward to the end of the tournament and to the next games."

Giri was the first to win today, in what was only his second classical game with GM Sam Shankland. Many fans will still remember their first encounter in 2019 when the American GM resigned in a drawn position.

The Dutch GM played what was like a Pirc with colors reversed and got a tiny edge out of the opening when the queens were already gone. "I think I was slightly better after his operation where he traded bishops and gave up his bishop," explained Giri. "I see where he's coming from: I do have a bad bishop, but I could also keep the pair of knights on the board. I mean, I have some pressure, somehow his knight on c6 is misplaced, just like in the Italian, the pawn on c3 dominates that knight on c6. So that's a bit of an issue for him, I think."

Shankland ended up with a passive knight and rook, and his pawn sacrifice on move 21 made sense, according to his opponent: "I think it was actually a pretty good try at that point because I was really wondering what his idea was so far. If he doesn't follow up with 21…d5 I am much better, I thought."

The decisive mistake for Shankland was 24...b6, after which he didn't have enough time to set up a good defense anymore. Another excellent win for Giri, who can once again dream about tournament victory on home soil.

Giri Shankland Tata 2022
A focused Giri vs. Shankland with GM Erwin l'Ami looking. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Just minutes later, Mamedyarov resigned what was his 28th classical game with Carlsen. They first met in 2005 in the Wijk aan Zee B group, when the main sponsor was still called Corus. Today, Carlsen improved his score to 7-2 (with 19 draws).

From the black side of a Catalan, Mamedyarov played an interesting exchange sacrifice for which he got the bishop pair and a pawn majority on the queenside. It was playable but also risky.

"The exchange sacrifice was quite expected; it was also his style 100 percent, but maybe in hindsight there were other options there," said Carlsen. "It was very understandable that he chose to sort of be on the active side there, sacrificing material. To be fair, he had already offered the exchange once there which I didn't take. I think after that, he had reasonable compensation, but he probably went wrong pretty early."

Carlsen Mamedyarov Tata 2022
Carlsen and Mamedyarov , the two tournament leaders, clashed in round nine. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

According to the engine, 18...h6 was too slow. Carlsen: "I thought that when I managed to establish the rooks on the a-file, the queen back to d1, I had very good coordination. 21.b3 was nice; 21...c3 was, I think, capitulation."

Lennart Ootes, who impressively combines photography and interviews (as the organizers are forced to work with a smaller crew than intended), noted that, so far, Carlsen hasn't won yet with any of his trademark endgame grinds. According to the world champion, that's probably because he is profiting from his world championship match preparation:

"It's a bit back to what was working really well for me in 2019 in that, after the match, I got very interesting positions from the opening and I could sort of win in a dynamic style, so it's really something that I've missed and, yeah, it's going well."

Magnus Carlsen sitting
It's going well for Magnus Carlsen. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Carlsen also commented about Giri being his main rival again, sort of suggesting that Giri had declined an offer to play his game with GM Daniil Dubov on the rest day. (In reality, this is not what happened. Although it could have been an elegant solution, the organizers never seriously considered this option.)

"He's playing really, really well, the last few days," Carlsen started nicely, but then continued, smiling: "He's also showing a tremendous will to win, picking up free points instead of playing games on free days, for instance, which shows that he really, really wants to win the tournament!"

GM Nils Grandelius and GM Fabiano Caruana played their seventh classical game today, with the American GM improving his plus score even further, to 4-0 (with three draws). Caruana's choice of playing the French was interesting, but he should probably double-check this line in the Advance variation. What was a reasonably normal middlegame position was evaluated quite positively for White after 16 moves, where Grandelius should have gone full attacking mode with moves like g4, h5, and Kh1 in any particular order.

Instead, he went for a knight maneuver that is known from the King's Indian Attack but which turned out too slow here. Caruana slowly but surely took over and outplayed his opponent in the remainder, although not flawlessly; there was one moment where Grandelius could have drawn the game tactically.

Grandelius Caruana Tata 2022
Grandelius vs. Caruana. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

The fourth winner was GM Sergey Karjakin, who fought himself toward a plus score for the first time in the tournament, in what was his first classical game with GM Praggnanandhaa R. The young Indian GM played the opening quite interestingly, showing that the London System doesn't always need to be boring.

Pragg soon sacrificed an exchange and held sufficient compensation until deep into the endgame, which became more and more complicated. It was tough luck for him that he had to make the key decision of this game on move 40.

"I had no idea what was going on in this game," said Karjakin. "It was a completely crazy game."

Of the three draws, we're picking out the clash between GM Richard Rapport and GM Vidit Gujrathi, who defended impressively and instructively after being slightly worse throughout the game.

Vidit Gurjathi close-up
Great defense by Vidit Gurjathi. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Round 9 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 2884 1 1 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.5/9
2 Giri 2772 2859 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 6.0/9
3 Mamedyarov 2767 2809 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 5.5/9 21.5
4 Vidit 2727 2812 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 5.5/9 21.25
5 Karjakin 2743 2761 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 5.0/9 19.75
6 Caruana 2792 2763 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5.0/9 19.25
7 Rapport 2763 2767 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 5.0/9 18.75
8 Esipenko 2714 2761 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/9 21.75
9 Van Foreest 2702 2740 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 4.5/9 17.5
10 Duda 2760 2707 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 4.0/9
11 Dubov 2720 2665 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/9 16
12 Shankland 2708 2659 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/9 14.5
13 Praggnanandhaa 2612 2585 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 2.5/9
14 Grandelius 2672 2525 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 2.0/9


With the risk of sounding like a broken record, we can report that Erigaisi... won another game. The Indian grandmaster now leads by two full points and is almost certain of promoting to the Masters group next year.

Arjun Erigaisi closeup
What a tournament for Arjun Erigaisi! Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess.

Round 9 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 2913 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 8.0/9
2 Jumabayev 2631 2678 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 6.0/9 27
3 Nguyen 2613 2675 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 6.0/9 24.5
4 Bjerre 2586 2648 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 5.5/9
5 Warmerdam 2607 2611 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 5.0/9 19.75
6 Murzin 2519 2608 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 5.0/9 19.75
7 Van Foreest 2539 39 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 4.5/9 20.5
8 L'Ami 2622 2578 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 4.5/9 16.75
9 Ganguly 2627 2544 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 4.0/9 14.25
10 Dardha 2532 2517 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 4.0/9 13.75
11 Shuvalova 2516 2524 ½ 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 3.0/9
12 Maurizzi 2502 2421 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 0 2.5/9 12.25
13 Vogel 2452 2404 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 2.5/9 11.5
14 Zhu 2478 2392 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 1 2.5/9 7.25

All games round 9


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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