Tata Steel Chess: Giri, Carlsen Lead After Shankland Resigns In Drawn Position
Giri leads with Carlsen with two rounds to go. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess: Giri, Carlsen Lead After Shankland Resigns In Drawn Position

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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56 | Chess Event Coverage

A fortunate Anish Giri won his game in round 11 of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament thanks to his opponent Sam Shankland resigning in a drawn position. As a result, Giri caught Magnus Carlsen in first place as the latter drew his game with Teimour Radjabov.

Vladimir Kramnik finally won his first game in Wijk aan Zee, against Jorden van Foreest. Other winners in this round were Ian Nepomniachtchi (vs Vladimir Fedoseev) and Vidit Gujrathi (vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov).

It's not the ultimate blunder (which is resigning in a winning position), but what happened to Shankland was still pretty devastating. The U.S. champion thought he was lost and offered his hand to Giri, who was quick to explain to him that it was in fact a fortress!

"I realized it was a draw so it was very difficult for me to behave," said Giri. "On the one hand I wanted to think about the position, trying to figure out if there is still a chance without going 45.b6; on the other hand I realized there's probably none. And I thought after 45.b6 he thinks he's lost, so I decided to give it a shot and with a stone cold face I went 45.b6, and then he extends his hand. OK, I shake it and to be sure I ask: 'Did you resign?' and he says 'yes'...OK."


Giri was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Sam Shankland Tata Steel Chess 2019A "hallucination" by Sam Shankland, as his opponent called it. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Carlsen is still sticking to the Sveshnikov repertoire that he employed in his world championship match in November, but it has one downside that almost all black openings have: if White plays very solid and doesn't mind a draw, then it's hard to play for a win.

It seems that this was Radjabov's approach for today's game, and indeed after not much happened the point was split on move 25.

"It seems to be a theme by now that not much is happening in my black games," said Carlsen. "Today if I had any opportunity to play actively it was with ...f5 but I didn't see what exactly it would give me and I chose to play solidly instead. He could of course have played on instead of taking the repetition but I think it's pretty equal anyway."

Carlsen Tata Steel Chess arbiter 2019Carlsen helping the arbiter to set the pieces back up again. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.


Carlsen was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Carlsen also commented on the release today of the book Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI by Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan. 

Game Changer AlphaZero"I skimmed through the book yesterday, and it was quite inspirational," said Carlsen. "I was thinking at several points during the game: how would AlphaZero have approached this? Then I thought AlphaZero would have played ...f5, f4, and then very slowly tried to go ...g6, ...h5 and then I realized I'm not AlphaZero and I made a draw!"

Ian Nepomniachtchi is still much in contention as well, being the only player to trail the leaders Giri and Carlsen by half a point. Today the 28-year-old bounced back from his unexpected loss in Leiden by defeating his compatriot Vladimir Fedoseev. He nicely outplayed his opponent, who was only slightly worse due to his pawn structure but failed to deal properly with his opponent's active queen.

"My play was very far from, let's say, excellent," said Nepomniachtchi. "But somehow it was enough."

Nepomniachtchi was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Vidit won his second game in a row, and it was another impressive one today. As Black, he defeated Mamedyarov, who dropped below 2800 and also from world #3 to #5 in the live ratings. 

"I feel great," Vidit started his interview, pointing out that he had lost all three games with this opponent at the Tata Steel Chess India rapid and blitz event in November. As for the game, he felt Mamedyarov shouldn't have taken the pawn on b5.


Vidit was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

Fans of Kramnik—and there are many!—could breathe a sigh of relief as the 14th world champion finally won a game in this tournament. 

It was quite an interesting game for especially King's Indian players, because it was basically that opening that came on the board, with reversed colors. Whereas Kramnik fought many battles from the white side against the KID earlier in his career, he obviously knew all the "black" ideas as well, including getting a knight to g3 (or, here, g6).

That maneuver could have had a devastating effect if he had combined it with a famous idea from his old rival Garry Kasparov. Does the move Ng3-h1 against Jeroen Piket ring a bell?

Kramnik missed (or underestimated) it, played it too safely and saw all his advantage slip away. Van Foreest defended well for a long time to hold the balance, but after many hours he cracked anyway.

Kramnik denied that he was relieved. "I don't think about result anymore, I just play chess."


Kramnik was interviewed after the game. | Video: Tata Steel Chess.

With draws in Anand-Duda and Rapport-Ding, we now have Carlsen and Giri on 7.5 points, Nepomniachtchi on 7 and Anand and Ding on 6.5. There are two more rounds to go, and the nice thing is that the current leaders will be facing each other in the final round!

Tata Steel Chess Masters | Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Carlsen 2835 2877 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 7.5 / 11 38.25
2 Giri 2783 2876 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 1 7.5 / 11 36
3 Nepomniachtchi 2763 2856 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 7.0 / 11 38.75
4 Ding Liren 2813 2812 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 6.5 / 11 33.75
5 Anand 2773 2816 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5 / 11 31
6 Vidit 2695 2795 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.0 / 11 29.25
7 Radjabov 2757 2749 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.5 / 11 29.25
8 Rapport 2731 2737 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.0 / 11 26
9 Duda 2738 2706 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 5.0 / 11 24.75
10 Fedoseev 2724 2683 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 0 4.5 / 11 25.75
11 Shankland 2725 2688 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 4.5 / 11 23.75
12 J. van Foreest 2612 2660 0 ½ 1 0 0 0 ½ 1 1 0 0 4.0 / 11 23
13 Mamedyarov 2817 2661 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0 / 11 22.25
14 Kramnik 2777 2623 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 3.5 / 11 18.25

Pairings for round 12 (Saturday): Carlsen-Duda, Ding-Anand, Vidit-Rapport, Van Foreest-Mamedyarov, Fedoseev-Kramnik, Shankland-Nepomniachtchi, Radjabov-Giri.

Nothing is decided either in the challengers group, where Vladislav Kovalev scored the only win to catch Maksim Chigaev in first place. Kovalev managed to remain just slightly more active throughout the game against Parham Maghsoodloo, who seemed to go wrong only after the time control.

Vladislav Kovalev Tata Steel Chess 2019Vladislav Kovalev, back as a co-leader in the challengers. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess 2019.

Tata Steel Chess Challengers | Standings

# Fed Name Rating TPR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Score SB
1 Kovalev 2687 2765 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 8.0 / 11 44
2 Chigaev 2604 2757 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 8.0 / 11 38.75
3 Esipenko 2584 2716 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 7.5 / 11 41
4 Gledura 2615 2643 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 6.5 / 11 32.25
5 L'Ami 2643 2611 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.0 / 11 31.5
6 Korobov 2699 2620 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 6.0 / 11 31.25
7 Maghsoodloo 2679 2609 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.0 / 11 26.25
8 Bareev 2650 2547 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 5.0 / 11 26
9 L. van Foreest 2502 2538 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 5.0 / 11 24
10 Keymer 2500 2532 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.0 / 11 22
11 Praggnanandhaa 2539 2525 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5 / 11 22.75
12 Paehtz 2477 2441 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 11 17
13 Kuipers 2470 2399 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ ½ 3.0 / 11 15.25
14 Saduakassova 2472 2418 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 3.0 / 11 15

Pairings for round 12 (Saturday): Korobov-Keymer, Maghsoodloo-L'Ami, Paehtz-Kovalev, Kuipers-Bareev, Esipenko-Saduakassova, Praggnanandhaa-Gledura, Chigaev-Van Foreest.


Replay the live broadcast of the 11th round.

The official video broadcast is "proudly powered" by Chess.com, which you can watch on both tatasteelchess.com and Chess.com/TV. The remaining two rounds start at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. New York, 4:30 Pacific) in Wijk aan Zee with commentary by GM Robert Hess and IM Sopiko Guramishvili.


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