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Tata Steel Chess India: Nakamura Surges To The Top
A shot of the playing hall on day 2.

Tata Steel Chess India: Nakamura Surges To The Top

PeterDoggers
| 17 | Chess Event Coverage

With a perfect score of 3/3 on the second day, Hikaru Nakamura is now tied for first place at the Tata Steel Chess India tournament in Kolkata. Levon Aronian did fine as well with 2.5/3 and is the joint leader.

On the other end of the leaderboard Surya Shekhar Ganguly, who is from Kolkata, is suffering. Today the six-time Indian champion lost all his games. He's in last place, with 1/6. Rising star Nihal Sarin drew one more game today and is on 2/6 now.

Aronian-So Tata Steel Chess India 2018

Levon Aronian vs Wesley So in round four. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India 2018.

The first round started with an incredible oversight from Aronian and his opponent Wesley So. Both missed a simple tactic, although it seemed that the American player noticed White's possibility right after he let go of his bishop on e7.

Aronian spent a bit more than three minutes on the clock and, to the shock of commentators Tania Sachdev and Lawrence Trent, didn't go 27.Rc8. He won anyway.

Levon Aronian Tata Steel Chess India 2018

A rare oversight by Aronian, but it didn't matter. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India 2018.

The same round saw the clash between top seed Hikaru Nakamura and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. From a Bf4 Queen's Gambit Declined, the game was rather equal going into the endgame. Mamedyarov went for active play, but it was Nakamura who took over the initiative and soon reached a winning position.

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Hikaru Nakamura Tata Steel Chess India 2018

Hikaru Nakamura scored 3/3 today. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel India Chess.

So scored an excellent win against Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, who played the Sveshnikov as Black. Not everyone likes to allow 13.h4 (you can just go 12...Bg5 first before castling) but Vidit was doing OK thanks to a good pawn sacrifice. He must have missed 31.Nc6! though, after which it went downhill for him.

Wesley So Tata Steel Chess India 2018

Wesley So. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Tata Steel Chess India 2018.

The very next round Vidit bounced back with a great win over Sergey Karjakin. It's not often that the Minister of Defense gets outplayed this way. Vidit showed a very steady hand here.

Vidit Santosh Gujrathi Tata Steel Chess India 2018

Vidit with a stare to the opponent. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India 2018.

A struggling Ganguly lost to Nakamura in round five, as he missed a double attack. It must be said that Indian player missed one more chance to stay in the game.

Nakamura finished a perfect day with a win vs Nihal. It was a similar scenario as the previous games for the Indian boy: for quite a while he can keep up with the level of the top grandmaster on the other side of the board, but while the minutes are ticking away, at some point he might start to play inaccurately.

Nakamura-Nihal Tata Steel Chess India 2018

Nakamura vs Nihal. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess India 2018.

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Watch the day 2 broadcast with IMs Tania Sachdev and Lawrence Trent.


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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