Wei Yi Moves To Clear 2nd At Tata Steel

Wei Yi Moves To Clear 2nd At Tata Steel

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jan 27, 2017, 2:23 PM |
47 | Chess Event Coverage

Thanks to a win against Sergey Karjakin, Wei Yi is suddenly in clear second place at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. In the challengers, Jeffery Xiong defeated Ilia Smirin to grab clear first with two rounds to go.

Photo: Alina l'Ami.

His rise was rather quiet, and almost went unnoticed. All of a sudden, Wei Yi is in clear second place in Wijk aan Zee!

It's a bit of a surprise when taking into account that only two players in the masters have a lower rating. On the other hand, for a few years now, the Chinese grandmaster has been branded as one of the biggest rising stars in chess.

But... is he ready to win his first super tournament? We'll know more tomorrow, since he'll be facing tournament leader Wesley So!

Today's win against Sergey Karjakin was largely based on opening preparation. Wei was more familiar with this specific variation in the Berlin, which he had specially prepared.

Karjakin, who needed much time on the clock, mixed up things and then missed a tactic, as he later tweeted.

After yet another draw, it's now even less likely for Magnus Carlsen to win the tournament. Today he faced Baskaran Adhiban, the fans' favorite in Wijk aan Zee—both for playing off-beat openings, and holding his own in those! 

Today the Indian grandmaster went for the 2...Nf6 Scandinavian, also known as "Smerdon's Scandinavian" since the Australian grandmaster published an excellent book about it.

Carlsen has probably read at least parts of it (the world champ is known for reading almost any good chess book that comes out), but not this morning. His treatment was rather tame.

Holding the world champ to a draw isn't bad PR for Smerdon's Scandinavian. | Photo: Alina l'Ami.

Nonetheless, he won a pawn in the opening, but he had to weaken a lot of light squares for it. Adhiban countered with the excellent 20...b5 and really took over.

If he had found 34...Qg4! with the point 35.Re1 Re3!!, he could even have beaten the world champ, who is said to be not happy at all with his play in Wijk aan Zee.

Anish Giri missed an excellent chance to move to "plus one" today. He was playing a fantastic game, rather untypical for his style actually.

He went for the kill right from the start against Pentala Harikrishna, but at a crucial moment, he failed to find the key tactic. A real pity for the Dutchman.

All other games ended in draws as well. On Saturday, the pairings for round 12 are Aronian-Van Wely, Harikrishna-Rapport, Adhiban-Giri, Eljanov-Carlsen, Karjakin-Nepomniachtchi, So-Wei, and Wojtaszek-Andreikin.

Tata Steel Masters | Round 11 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 So 2808 2881 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.5/11
2 Wei Yi 2706 2847 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.0/11
3 Aronian 2780 2818 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6.5/11 36.75
4 Carlsen 2840 2804 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 6.5/11 34.00
5 Eljanov 2755 2804 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 6.5/11 32.25
6 Adhiban 2653 2794 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 6.0/11 32.25
7 Karjakin, 2785 2771 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 6.0/11 30.25
8 Harikrishna 2766 2760 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 5.5/11 31.75
9 Giri 2773 2758 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 5.5/11 28.50
10 Andreikin 2736 2687 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/11 24.75
11 Nepomniachtchi 2767 2678 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/11 23.25
12 Wojtaszek 2750 2693 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/11 21.75
13 Rapport 2702 2666 0 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/11
14 Van Wely 2695 2540 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 2.5/11

Games from TWIC.

Jeffery Xiong is a rising star of U.S. chess, and he is doing wonderfully in Wijk aan Zee. With two rounds to go, the 16-year-old is the sole leader of the challengers. He defeated co-leader Ilia Smirin in an excellent technical game and saw the other leader Markus Ragger draw his game.

Jeffery Xiong, now on 8/11 in the challengers. | Photo: Alina l'Ami.

The pairings for the penultimate round in the challengers are Grandelius-Lu, Jones-Dobrov, Guramishvili-Hansen, Smirin-Tingjie, Tari-Xiong, Bok-l'Ami, and Ragger-Van Foreest. 

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 Pts SB
1 Xiong 2667 2755 0 1 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 8.0/11
2 Ragger 2697 2712 1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 7.5/11 37.50
3 Jones 2665 2725 0 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 7.5/11 36.50
4 Smirin 2667 2693 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 7.0/11
5 Hansen 2603 2669 1 0 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 6.5/11 34.50
6 Grandelius 2642 2648 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5/11 30.25
7 Lu Shanglei 2612 2643 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 6.5/11 30.00
8 L'Ami 2605 2612 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 6.0/11
9 Tari 2584 2598 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5.5/11
10 Bok 2608 2520 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 4.5/11
11 Dobrov 2499 2483 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 0 1 3.5/11 17.25
12 Van Foreest 2612 2445 0 0 0 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 3.5/11 15.00
13 Lei Tingjie 2467 2466 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 1 3.5/11 14.75
14 Guramishvili 2370 2221 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 1.0/11

Games from TWIC.


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