Tata Steel Chess: Anand Moves Closer To Leading Trio
Ian and Cathy Rogers catch Vishy Anand after his win. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Tata Steel Chess: Anand Moves Closer To Leading Trio

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 26, 2018, 3:18 PM |
14 | Chess Event Coverage

The 11th round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament saw three decisive games, but the leaders are still Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Thanks to his win today, Vishy Anand is only half a point behind this trio, with two rounds to go. 

Little changed atop the standings of the challengers group.

After returning to Wijk aan Zee and enjoying their last rest day, the players were back on stage in The Moriaan for three more, all-decisive rounds. The final weekend will determine the eventual winner because on Friday the changes in the standings were minimal.

Not only Magnus Carlsen but also Vishy Anand won Wijk aan Zee five times in his career. After today, the Indian player can still hope for a sixth title as he reached plus-three. His win against Hou Yifan was largely based on preparation, as he explained in the studio afterward with Eric Hansen. Our commentator Dejan Bojkov included Anand's annotations:

Dejan Bojkov's Game of the Day

Anand beats Hou Yifan, Wijk aan Zee 2018

Anand is fully back in contention whereas Hou is suffering. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Another former world champion saw his chances for tournament victory drop to a minimum. In a Russian derby, Vladimir Kramnik lost to Sergey Karjakin, who showed versatility in his repertoire by going 1.c4. To some extent, he was playing in the style of his opponent, which can be a good strategy. In fact, the first nine moves were the same as in Kramnik(!)-Nakamura, Leuven 2016.

Karjakin kept his slight edge until the endgame with rooks and opposite-colored bishops and won this with splendid technique.

"It was a very important game for me because we are both playing in the Candidates' and it was psychologically important for me to win," said Karjakin, who noted that the only other player he beat was Fabiano Caruana, another opponent for him in Berlin in March!

Sergey Karjakin, Wijk aan Zee 2018

Sergey Karjakin seems fully ready for the Candidates' in March. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The third winner of the day was Wesley So, who beat Gawain Jones. The 2017 qualifier was still on 50 percent after seven rounds, but then made 0.5/3 over the next few days. So, who won the tournament last year, is back on a decent plus-two score after today.

Jones found a rather ingenious way to "solve" his opening problems, where a long and seemingly forced variation resulted in an endgame with White an exchange up, but Black had an extra pawn and it was 4-vs-5 on the kingside. Jones thought it should have been a draw if he hadn't blundered a pawn on move 40.

So vs Jones, Wijk aan Zee 2018

Wesley So doesn't take the spotlights this year, but his tournament isn't so bad at all. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The top clash between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Magnus Carlsen was basically a damp squib, as Nigel Short likes to call it. Playing it safe, Carlsen equalized rather comfortably in a Nimzo-Indian, following a recent Karjakin game.

Unhappy about how things went, Mamedyarov quickly left the playing hall. Carlsen did speak: "Obviously it's a decent result but I'm not really satisfied with the way it went early on because I knew that we had solved this line, this whole thing starting with Ne5 and then for some reason I didn't check it today and I just couldn't recall it. (...) Probably he didn't play in the most inaccurate way."

Photographers at Carlsen vs Mamedaryarov, Wijk aan Zee 2018

That was not the most exciting encounter between two of the tournament leaders. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

2018 Tata Steel Masters | Round 11 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score
1 Giri 2752 2892 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 7.5 / 11
2 Carlsen 2834 2878 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.5 / 11
3 Mamedyarov 2804 2887 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 7.5 / 11
4 Anand 2767 2842 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 7.0 / 11
5 Kramnik 2787 2815 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 6.5 / 11
6 Karjakin 2753 2806 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 6.5 / 11
7 So 2792 2816 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 6.5 / 11
8 Svidler 2768 2707 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0 / 11
9 Wei Yi 2743 2692 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.5 / 11
10 Caruana 2811 2675 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5 / 11
11 Matlakov 2718 2691 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5 / 11
12 Jones 2640 2656 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 4.0 / 11
13 Adhiban 2655 2622 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 3.5 / 11
14 Hou Yifan 2680 2492 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 2.0 / 11

Games via TWIC.

The challengers saw a similar scenario as the tournament leaders are still Korobov and Vidit, but Jorden van Foreest is now a point behind after beating Harika Dronavalli today.

2018 Tata Steel Challengers | Round 11 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score
1 Vidit 2718 2745 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 7.5 / 11
2 Korobov 2652 2752 ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 7.5 / 11
3 J. van Foreest 2629 2664 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 6.5 / 11
4 Amin 2693 2636 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 6.0 / 11
5 Bluebaum 2640 2644 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 0 6.0 / 11
6 Xiong 2634 2642 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 6.0 / 11
7 Gordievsky 2622 2641 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 6.0 / 11
8 l'Ami 2634 2573 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.0 / 11
9 Tari 2599 2585 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 5.0 / 11
10 Krasenkow 2671 2574 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.0 / 11
11 Bok 2607 2566 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.0 / 11
12 L. van Foreest 2481 2529 ½ 0 1 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 4.0 / 11
13 Harika 2497 2516 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0 / 11
14 Girya 2489 2492 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 3.5 / 11

Games via TWIC.

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