2 In A Row For Magnus Carlsen

2 In A Row For Magnus Carlsen

| 16 | News

After a surprisingly quick win against Evgeny Tomashevsky, Magnus Carlsen can be found at the top of the leaderboard at the Tata Steel Masters. The world champion caught Ding Liren and Fabiano Caruana in first place.

Confirming his reputation as a slow starter once again, Magnus Carlsen won two games in a row after starting with four draws. Back in Wijk aan Zee (after a one-day trip to Amsterdam) the Norwegian defeated Evgeny Tomashesky in 30 moves.

The London System is gaining in popularity at top level and got yet another sign of approval as it was played by the world champ today. He put his bishop on f4 only on the third move though, avoiding certain systems for Black.

Tomashevsky seemed caught off guard. He spent a lot of time on the clock almost right from the start, and played a few dubious moves on the kingside. 

Especially his 15...g5 was asking for it. Carlsen couldn't resist the temptation to simply go all in for the attack, and why not. 

Somehow the world champ always seems to attract the most photographers! | Photo Alina l'Ami.

The Russian GM tried his luck in a variation where the queens were traded, but that led to a very bad endgame. However, at the moment when Tomashevsky resigned not everyone agreed that Black was completely lost already.


In the post-game interview with IM Robert Ris, Carlsen made one last remark about his fortunate win against Van Wely: “Of course it could have gone differently yesterday, but fortunately I didn't see the opportunities he had so...ignorance is bliss!”

Not only the top seed won today. The only other decisive game was also the first win for second seed Anish Giri, who beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The Dutchman's explanation: "In Russian there's a saying: Once a year even a stick shoots. That was the case today I think."

The win was a very straightforward one: Mamedyarov shouldn't have allowed the white c-pawn to advance so early on. He must have missed 14.Nb3, said Giri.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

Of the five draws, a very interesting one was the all-Chinese clash between Hou Yifan and Wei Yi. The top-rated woman is playing quite impressively in Wijk aan Zee so far; yet again this was a draw where she was the one who could also have scored a full point.


Hou Yifan, | Photo Alina l'Ami.

With seven rounds to go Carlsen, Caruana and Ding are tied for first place.  

2016 Tata Steel Masters | Round 6 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Caruana,Fabiano 2787 2885 4.0/6 12.00
2 Ding,Liren 2766 2868 4.0/6 10.75
3 Carlsen,Magnus 2844 2844 4.0/6 10.00
4 So,Wesley 2773 2812 3.5/6 11.50
5 Hou,Yifan 2673 2813 3.5/6 11.25
6 Eljanov,Pavel 2760 2787 3.5/6 8.50
7 Giri,Anish 2798 2752 3.0/6 9.25
8 Wei,Yi 2706 2757 3.0/6 8.75
9 Karjakin,Sergey 2769 2724 3.0/6 8.25
10 Navara,David 2730 2708 2.5/6 8.00
11 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2747 2694 2.5/6 5.50
12 Tomashevsky,Evgeny 2728 2624 2.0/6 5.50
13 Van Wely,Loek 2640 2644 2.0/6 4.50
14 Adams,Michael 2744 2539 1.5/6  


Two rounds have been played in the challengers since we left them. Alexey Dreev still tops the standings, but now has to share the lead with Baskaran Adhiban.

In round five Dreev drew quickly with Jorden van Foreest. The next day he was White again, and drew with another Dutch player: Reykjavik Open winner Erwin l'Ami.

Adhiban drew with Antipov today, and scored a win against Anne Haast on Wednesday. Poor Haast has scored 0 out of 6 so far. Something's wrong, because she can really do better than this:


Baskaran Adhiban moved up to shared first. | Photo Alina l'Ami.

On Tuesday Sam Sevian was crushed in a Sicilian, and today he suffered another debacle in the same opening. Is it time to switch to something else for the youngest GM in the world?

Miguoel Admiraal played a similar f4-f5 & Rf1xf5 as David Navara had done against Anish Giri. Sevian again had to give up his queen, and again it didn't help.


2016 Tata Steel Challengers | Round 6 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf Pts SB
1 Dreev,Aleksey 2644 2826 5.0/6 11.25
2 Adhiban,Baskaran 2653 2797 5.0/6 9.50
3 Safarli,Eltaj 2653 2711 4.5/6  
4 Nisipeanu,Liviu-Dieter 2679 2595 3.5/6 9.25
5 Antipov,Mikhail Al 2567 2625 3.5/6 8.00
6 Batsiashvili,Nino 2485 2625 3.5/6 7.75
7 L'Ami,Erwin 2627 2533 3.0/6  
8 Bok,Benjamin 2607 2566 2.5/6 9.00
9 Ju,Wenjun 2548 2578 2.5/6 9.00
10 Sevian,Samuel 2578 2501 2.5/6 7.25
11 Van Foreest,Jorden 2541 2479 2.5/6 5.00
12 Abasov,Nijat 2556 2478 2.0/6 6.50
13 Admiraal,Miguoel 2441 2492 2.0/6 6.50
14 Haast,Anne 2391 1815 0.0/6  


The Tata Steel Chess Tournament takes place in Wijk aan Zee, Amsterdam and Utrecht January 16-31. You can watch live streaming commentary daily at with GM Yasser Seirawan and guests.

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