Tata Steel Chess R4: Carlsen Beats Giri's Drawing Streak
Carlsen drew again, this time against Kramnik. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess R4: Carlsen Beats Giri's Drawing Streak

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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62 | Chess Event Coverage

Anish Giri and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi were the only winners in the fourth round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. With his fourth straight draw, Magnus Carlsen has now drawn 21 straight classical games, one more than Giri's longest streak.

It was once again Norwegian reporter Tarjei Svensen who provided the chess world with some interesting statistics. Since the second round of the European Club Cup in October 2018, Carlsen hasn't won or lost a classical game, and that includes the 12 battles with Fabiano Caruana in London.

It is the longest draw streak Carlsen has had in his career, and now it is also one game more than Giri ever did. The latter drew all of his 14 games in the 2016 Candidates' Tournament and has a drawish reputation since (also upheld by himself on Twitter!).

Magnus Carlsen Tata Steel Chess 2019Four draws for Carlsen in Wijk aan Zee and 21 in a row. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

In Carlsen's case, it's not strange that he hasn't lost for a while, but the fact that he's not been able to win games for so long is remarkable. Sadly, we couldn't hear his comment on this, or on his game with Vladimir Kramnik, or another reference to Giri—the world champ declined an interview after another tiring battle.

Always motivated for a game with Carlsen, it seems Kramnik found back some of his form just in time.

About his desire to play all games till the end, Kramnik said: "I'm an old man you know, I just want to enjoy chess! I know I'm risking too much, but that's the way I want to play."


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

Carlsen-Kramnik Tata Steel Chess 2019Carlsen-Kramnik. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Speaking of Giri, the Dutchman is now also half a point ahead of Carlsen. After starting with a loss, he scored 2.5/3, winning his second game on Wednesday. Together with three others, Giri is half a point behind the leader.

His victim on Tuesday was Richard Rapport, whose "Neo-Veresov" or Jobava System only gave him equality. The Hungarian player then played tactically on the queenside, pushed his g-pawn and did all that with a draw offer. Giri decided that he was already better there, and proved it.

"When nobody has any idea what to do, I assume it's equal," said Giri about the early middlegame. He revealed that Rapport had offered a draw along with his aggressive g2-g4, and called that "a recipe for disaster."


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

Giri Tata Steel Chess 2019Anish Giri. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi is also one of the players on plus one. After three draws he scored his first win vs the luckless Jorden van Foreest, who again failed to hold a bishop endgame that was probably drawn.

According to Vidit, the draw was "very simple" as Black just needs to put his bishop on d1 and attack White's pawns from behind—in fact a fairly standard technique in opposite-colored bishop endings.

That was after Van Foreest had shown good prep. Vidit: "At some point I was playing against his computer because he was just blitzing out all the moves!"


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

Vidit Tata Steel Chess 2019Yes, Vidit is a tall guy! | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Otherwise it was a fairly quiet fourth round, with calm draws in Ding-Fedoseev, Anand-Radjabov, Mamedyarov-Nepomniachtchi and Duda-Shankland. The latter followed a lot of theory:

Duda-Shankland Tata Steel Chess 2019Giri, Kovalev, Nepomniachtchi, Anand and Maghsoodloo watching the end of Duda-Shankland. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess Masters | Round 4 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pts SB
1 Nepomniachtchi 2763 2996 1 ½ ½ 1 3.0 / 4 5.5
2 Vidit 2695 2845 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5 / 4 4.25
3 Ding Liren 2813 2812 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5 / 4 4
4 Anand 2773 2800 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5 / 4 3.75
5 Giri 2783 2867 0 ½ 1 1 2.5 / 4 3.5
6 Mamedyarov 2817 2757 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0 / 4 4.75
7 Carlsen 2835 2762 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0 / 4 4.5
8 Shankland 2725 2765 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0 / 4 4
9 Duda 2738 2689 ½ ½ 1 0 2.0 / 4 3.75
10 Radjabov 2757 2775 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0 / 4 3.5
11 Fedoseev 2724 2677 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1.5 / 4 3.25
12 Rapport 2731 2660 0 ½ ½ ½ 1.5 / 4 2.75
13 Kramnik 2777 2592 0 0 ½ ½ 1.0 / 4 2
14 J.Van Foreest 2612 2562 0 0 0 1 1.0 / 4 2

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

The six-way tie in the challengers group is still there as six of the seven games in round four ended in draws. It wasn't a good day for the Van Foreest family as Lucas also lost a drawn endgame in what was the longest game on the podium. As a result, the Belarusian player Vladislav Kovalev kicked out his opponent from the leaders group and joined it himself.

Kovalev Tata Steel Chess 2019Kovalev, now among the leaders. | Photo: Alina l'Ami/Tata Steel Chess.

Tata Steel Chess Challengers | Round 4 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pts SB
1 Esipenko 2584 2722 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5 / 4 5.75
2 Kovalev 2687 2652 ½ ½ 1 ½ 2.5 / 4 5.25
3 Korobov 2699 2656 1 ½ ½ ½ 2.5 / 4 5
4 Chigaev 2604 2708 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5 / 4 5
5 L'Ami 2643 2644 ½ ½ ½ 1 2.5 / 4 3.75
6 Maghsoodloo 2679 2653 ½ 0 1 1 2.5 / 4 3.25
7 Gledura 2615 2581 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0 / 4 4
8 Bareev 2650 2565 ½ ½ 0 1 2.0 / 4 3.75
9 L.Van Foreest 2502 2606 0 ½ 1 ½ 2.0 / 4 3.75
10 Keymer 2500 2518 0 ½ ½ 1 2.0 / 4 2
11 Praggnanandhaa  2539 2533 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1.5 / 4 3.5
12 Saduakassova 2472 2518 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1.5 / 4 3.25
13 Paehtz 2477 2500 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1.5 / 4 2.5
14 Kuipers 2470 2253 0 0 0 ½ 0.5 / 4 0.75

Pairings for round five: Kuipers-Korobov, Esipenko-Paehtz, Praggnanandhaa-Maghsoodloo, Chigaev-Keymer, Van Foreest-l'Ami, Gledura-Kovalev, Saduakassova-Bareev.


Replay the live broadcast of the fourth round.

The official video broadcast is "proudly powered" by Chess.com, which you can watch on both tatasteelchess.com and Chess.com/TV. All rounds start at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. New York, 4:30 Pacific) in Wijk aan Zee, except for three rounds:

  • On January 16 (Alkmaar) the rounds starts half an hour later, at 2 p.m.
  • On January 23 (Leiden) the rounds starts half an hour later, at 2 p.m.
  • The final round, on Sunday January 27, starts 1.5 hours earlier, at noon local time.

Commentary will be provided by IMs Anna Rudolf and Lawrence Trent during the first week, and GM Robert Hess and IM Sopiko Guramishvili during the second week.


Previous reports:

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