Tata 02: Three quality wins

by Alejandro Ramirez
1/12/2014 – As opposed to yesterday's games, today's decisive results were characterized by quality and interesting chess. Aronian played a great game and never gave Caruana a chance to show his chess prowess. Giri went for Naiditsch's throat and the German was mated on f4, while Rapport exploited Gelfand's weaknesses and convincingly won with Black in a... Budapest Gambit!

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The 76th edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament takes place from 10 to 26 January 2014. The top players will compete in two groups (previously there were three), with twelve players in each, instead of fourteen. The structure of the amateur tournaments remains unchanged. Both groups start on January 11th 2014, with all rounds starting at 13:30h (1:30 p.m.) local time, except for the last round on January 26th, which begins at 12:00h. Two rounds will be played in Amsterdam and Eindhoven and will start at 14:00. The time controls are 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.

Today was Karjakin's birthday!

Harikrishna was not as nice as the organizers, however, and held birthday-boy to a draw

Round Two

Group A: Round 2 - Sunday Jan. 12
Anish Giri - Arkadij Naiditsch
Wesley So - Hikaru Nakamura
Boris Gelfand - Richard Rapport
Levon Aronian - Fabiano Caruana
Sergey Karjakin - Pentala Harikrishna
Leinier Dominguez - Loek van Wely

Giri played an exciting game and, though it was not the most exact game ever played,
did manage to mate his opponent's king on f4!

Giri, Anish 1-0 Naiditsch, Arkadij
The Dutch player chose a topical line against the Bogo-Indian. White does not worry so much about development as much as he worries about launching a quick kingside attack to weaken his opponent's structure. This paid off as even though Naiditsch was able to halt his opponent's attack by exchanging queens, his structure was ruined and White's knight and rooks still applied strong pressure to the enemy king. In a difficult position Naiditsch exposed his king too much, and it was mated in the middle of the board.

Daniel King analyses Giri vs Naiditsch

Nakamura sits comfortably at 1.5/2

So, Wesley ½-½ Nakamura, Hikaru
Nakamura's solid choice of opening left him battling against his opponent's pair of bishops. However So was never able to find a good plan and even though he might have tried to push his pair of bishop advantage a little further, even in the last position, Nakamura was clearly never in any danger and a draw is a solid result for both players.

So is also at 1.5/2, not bad for someone that flew from America hours before the event started

Gelfand has started the event with two losses

Gelfand, Boris 0-1 Rapport, Richard
Gelfand certainly does not begin this event as he had planned to. Rapport exploited some of the weaknesses of Gelfand's play and his idea to take him out of book as early as possible paid of handsomely.

[Event "76th Tata Steel Chess"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2014.01.12"] [Round "2"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A52"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [BlackElo "2691"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "NED"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 {Not one to shy away from unusual openings, and one not dismayed by his unsucessful 1.b3 yesterday against So, Rapport decides to spice things up with a Budapest Gambit - a gambit that is not all that bad, but certainly does not enjoy top-tier reputation.} 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 (4. Bf4 { is sharper and scores better} g5 5. Bg3 Bg7 6. Nf3 Nc6 {with a very complex game, though White does score significantly better than Black.}) 4... Bc5 5. e3 Nc6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. Be2 Ngxe5 8. Nxe5 Nxe5 9. O-O a5 {This move was supposed to be inexact.} (9... Re8 {is the usual preference of the Budapest's main exhibitor - Mamedyarov. The move is useful and it gives the bishop a nice retreat on f8.}) 10. Kh1 $6 {A hard move to explain. White will follow up with f4, its the only idea of Kh1, but that is not necessarily good as it will leave the e-pawn as a permanent weakness.} (10. Na4 $1 {Is supposed to be the correct response. The point of 9...a5 is to sometimes swing the rook from a8 to a6 and then to the kingside, creating threats on that flank. This move poses the question to the bishop on where it wants to go - a question that is not so easily answered as it is rather awkward on e7.}) 10... d6 11. f4 Nc6 12. b3 Re8 13. Rf3 Bf5 {White's position is already slightly uncomfortable. His weakness on e3 ties him down - he cannot play Bb2 as he would like to.} 14. Rg3 Re6 $1 {Swinging the rook to the kingside allows Black to stop any shenanigans on that side, not to mention that it allows for the possibility of doubling on the e-file and improving the pressure on the e-pawn.} 15. Bd3 Bxd3 16. Qxd3 Nb4 17. Qd2 Qe7 18. e4 Qh4 $1 {With a nasty threat.} 19. Rf3 $6 (19. Bb2 $4 Qxg3 $1 ) (19. f5 $1 Qxg3 20. hxg3 Rh6+ 21. Qxh6 gxh6 22. Bxh6 Bd4 23. Bd2 a4 {And Black's activity and threats outweigh White's extra pawn - but White should be ok with good defense.}) 19... Nc2 (19... f5 $1 {Was even stronger, also taking advantage of the weak back rank but now putting pressure on e4. Rapport's sequence is good enough for a slight edge.}) 20. Rb1 Qe1+ 21. Qxe1 Nxe1 22. Rg3 $6 (22. Rh3 {was better, the trade of rooks does not favor White as the rook on h3 is currently preventing the Black knight from reaching d3.}) 22... Rg6 23. Nd5 $6 (23. Rxg6 hxg6 24. Bd2 Nd3 25. g3 {was not too bad for White.}) 23... Rxg3 24. hxg3 c6 $1 25. Be3 (25. Nc3 Nd3 {is now difficult for White as the king cannot quickly go to f3, therefore the e4 pawn is running out of defenders.}) 25... Nd3 26. Bxc5 cxd5 27. Bxd6 dxe4 {Black's powerful knight on d3 and his passed pawn on e4 guarantee him an advantage. White must be careful so as to not lose immediately.} 28. Kg1 f5 29. Kf1 Ra6 30. Bc7 Kf7 31. g4 Rc6 $1 32. Bxa5 Ra6 $1 {A nice maneuver trying to activate the rook.} 33. Bc3 $2 { Letting the rook into the game is suicide.} (33. b4 b6 34. gxf5 bxa5 35. b5 { Gave White hope to retain a half point thanks to his counterplay with the pawns.}) 33... Rxa2 34. gxf5 e3 35. g3 Rc2 36. Be1 Kf6 {White is simply too passive. Black is threatening to waddle his king all the way to f3 and claim the victory. Gelfand stops this, but only temporarily.} 37. g4 h5 38. Bh4+ Kf7 39. gxh5 Rh2 $2 {Missing a much easier win.} (39... e2+ $1 40. Kg1 Rd2 {And White loses a full rook.}) 40. Be1 Kf6 41. Kg1 Re2 42. Bc3+ Kxf5 43. Bxg7 Kxf4 44. Bh6+ Kg3 {Black is still winning.} 45. Bxe3 Rxe3 {If White can eliminate the b7 pawn he should hold the draw, but with his king being so weak and his rook being so passive this is nothing but a dream. Rapport finishes off with good technique.} 46. Kf1 Kf4 47. Ra1 Rf3+ 48. Kg1 Rg3+ 49. Kf1 Rf3+ 50. Kg1 Kg4 51. h6 Nf4 52. h7 Rh3 53. Kf2 Kf5 54. b4 Nd3+ 55. Ke2 Ke4 56. Ra8 Rh2+ 57. Kd1 Rxh7 58. Kd2 Nxb4 {The extra pawn has been stabilized and Gelfand has nothing left but to resign.} 59. Kc3 Nc6 60. Re8+ Re7 {A nice bounce-back from the Hungarian prodigy.} 0-1

Jobava and Fressinet (right, Rapport's second) figure out how many ways the young Hungarian could have finished his game faster

Dinner was delayed a bit, but a full point is a full point!

Aronian played a very clean game today

Aronian, Levon 1-0 Caruana, Fabiano
Aronian played a technically fantastic game. He converted his slight structural advantage into a slight initiative, which netted him an extra pawn that was rather weak. He slowly but surely made his pawn stronger and stronger until he forced the exchange of his isolated pawn on the d-file for an a-pawn, granting him a passed pawn on that flank. He then secured his kingside gainst any onslaught and won a very clean game.

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Harikrishna, Pentala
This game was clearlyr headed for a draw when the position became completely symmetrical and Karjakin's only advantage was that his bishop was technically better than his opponent's. However this was a far cry from putting his opponent in any danger and the game was eventually drawn.

Two young spectators happily look at the masters play, while a worried wife
(WIM Lorena Zepeda) tries to figure out what her husband, Van Wely, is doing.

Dominguez Perez, Leinier ½-½ Van Wely, Loek
Van Wely's hyper-accelerated dragon was a good choice today as Dominguez didn't really exploit it in the best way. Van Wely's position was acceptable after thet opening and the game was drawn in a strange way.

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Challenger Section

Group B: Round 2 - Sunday Jan. 12
Zhao Xue - Sabino Brunello
Benjamin Bok - Yu Yangyi
Jan Timman - Ivan Saric
Dimitri Reinderman - Anna Muzychuk
Kayden Troff - Radek Wojtaszek
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Merijn van Delft
Etienne Goudriaan - Baadur Jobava

Some spectators have an easier time watching the games than others

The young Polish player, Duda, is in the big pack of leaders with 1.5/2

Bok, who recently got his third but not final grandmaster norm, simply demolished Yu Yangyi's Kan Sicilian. The game is worthy of study and it exemplifies how quick action on the kingside can be dangerous for Black even in the lines where White plays an early c4.

Predicting what Jobava will play in the opening is never easy

Jobava, true to his style, played a very bizarre opening against Goudriaan. However this was ok as the young player with the White pieces was unable to creat any threats and slowly but surely he saw himself outplayed by Jobava.

Kayden Troff (right), the American fifteen year old, somehow messed up the opening against Wojtaszek, but he was able to salvage a draw by exploiting some inaccuracies from the Polish player.

Zhao Xue, from China, starts with a good 1.5/2

Yu Yangyi, from China, starts with a not so good 0.0/2

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Photos by Alina l'Ami

Schedule and results

Group A: Round 1 - Saturday Jan. 11
Leinier Dominguez - Anish Giri
Loek van Wely - Sergey Karjakin
Pentala Harikrishna - Levon Aronian
Fabiano Caruana - Boris Gelfand
Richard Rapport - Wesley So
Hikaru Nakamura - Arkadij Naiditsch
Group A: Round 2 - Sunday Jan. 12
Anish Giri - Arkadij Naiditsch
Wesley So - Hikaru Nakamura
Boris Gelfand - Richard Rapport
Levon Aronian - Fabiano Caruana
Sergey Karjakin - Pentala Harikrishna
Leinier Dominguez - Loek van Wely
Group A: Round 3 - Monday Jan. 13
Loek van Wely - Anish Giri  
Pentala Harikrishna - Leinier Dominguez  
Fabiano Caruana - Sergey Karjakin  
Richard Rapport - Levon Aronian  
Hikaru Nakamura - Boris Gelfand  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Wesley So  
Group A: Round 4 - Wednesday Jan. 15
Anish Giri - Wesley So  
Boris Gelfand - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Levon Aronian - Hikaru Nakamura  
Sergey Karjakin - Richard Rapport  
Leinier Dominguez - Fabiano Caruana  
Loek van Wely - Pentala Harikrishna  
Group A: Round 5 - Friday Jan. 17
Pentala Harikrishna - Anish Giri  
Fabiano Caruana - Loek van Wely  
Richard Rapport - Leinier Dominguez  
Hikaru Nakamura - Sergey Karjakin  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Levon Aronian  
Wesley So - Boris Gelfand  
Group A: Round 6 - Saturday Jan. 18
Anish Giri - Boris Gelfand  
Levon Aronian - Wesley So  
Sergey Karjakin - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Leinier Dominguez - Hikaru Nakamura  
Loek van Wely - Richard Rapport  
Pentala Harikrishna - Fabiano Caruana  
Group A: Round 7 - Sunday Jan. 19
Fabiano Caruana - Anish Giri  
Richard Rapport - Pentala Harikrishna  
Hikaru Nakamura - Loek van Wely  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Leinier Dominguez  
Wesley So - Sergey Karjakin  
Boris Gelfand - Levon Aronian  
Group A: Round 8 - Tuesday Jan. 21
Anish Giri - Levon Aronian  
Sergey Karjakin - Boris Gelfand  
Leinier Dominguez - Wesley So  
Loek van Wely - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Pentala Harikrishna - Hikaru Nakamura  
Fabiano Caruana - Richard Rapport  
Group A: Round 9 - Thursday Jan. 23
Richard Rapport - Anish Giri  
Hikaru Nakamura - Fabiano Caruana  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Pentala Harikrishna  
Boris Gelfand - Leinier Dominguez  
Wesley So - Loek van Wely  
Levon Aronian - Sergey Karjakin  
Group A: Round 10 - Saturday Jan. 25
Anish Giri - Sergey Karjakin  
Leinier Dominguez - Levon Aronian  
Loek van Wely - Boris Gelfand  
Pentala Harikrishna - Wesley So  
Fabiano Caruana - Arkadij Naiditsch  
Richard Rapport - Hikaru Nakamura  
Group A: Round 11 - Sunday Jan. 26
Hikaru Nakamura - Anish Giri  
Arkadij Naiditsch - Richard Rapport  
Wesley So - Fabiano Caruana  
Boris Gelfand - Pentala Harikrishna  
Levon Aronian - Loek van Wely  
Sergey Karjakin - Leinier Dominguez  

Grandmaster Group B

Group B: Round 1 - Saturday Jan. 11
Etienne Goudriaan - Zhao Xue
Baadur Jobava - Jan-Krzysztof Duda
Merijn van Delft - Kayden Troff
Radek Wojtaszek - Dimitri Reinderman
Anna Muzychuk - Jan Timman
Ivan Saric - Benjamin Bok
Yu Yangyi - Sabino Brunello
Group B: Round 2 - Sunday Jan. 12
Zhao Xue - Sabino Brunello
Benjamin Bok - Yu Yangyi
Jan Timman - Ivan Saric
Dimitri Reinderman - Anna Muzychuk
Kayden Troff - Radek Wojtaszek
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Merijn van Delft
Etienne Goudriaan - Baadur Jobava
Group B: Round 3 - Monday Jan. 13
Baadur Jobava - Zhao Xue  
Merijn van Delft - Etienne Goudriaan  
Radek Wojtaszek - Jan-Krzysztof Duda  
Anna Muzychuk - Kayden Troff  
Ivan Saric - Dimitri Reinderman  
Yu Yangyi - Jan Timman  
Sabino Brunello - Benjamin Bok  
Group B: Round 4 - Tuesday Jan. 14
Zhao Xue - Benjamin Bok  
Jan Timman - Sabino Brunello  
Dimitri Reinderman - Yu Yangyi  
Kayden Troff - Ivan Saric  
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Anna Muzychuk  
Etienne Goudriaan - Radek Wojtaszek  
Baadur Jobava - Merijn van Delft  
Wednesday, Jan. 15 – Free day
Group B: Round 5 - Thursday Jan. 16
Merijn van Delft - Zhao Xue  
Radek Wojtaszek - Baadur Jobava  
Anna Muzychuk - Etienne Goudriaan  
Ivan Saric - Jan-Krzysztof Duda  
Yu Yangyi - Kayden Troff  
Sabino Brunello - Dimitri Reinderman  
Benjamin Bok - Jan Timman  
Group B: Round 6 - Friday Jan. 17
Zhao Xue - Jan Timman  
Dimitri Reinderman - Benjamin Bok  
Kayden Troff - Sabino Brunello  
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Yu Yangyi  
Etienne Goudriaan - Ivan Saric  
Baadur Jobava - Anna Muzychuk  
Merijn van Delft - Radek Wojtaszek  
Group B: Round 7 - Saturday Jan. 18
Radek Wojtaszek - Zhao Xue  
Anna Muzychuk - Merijn van Delft  
Ivan Saric - Baadur Jobava  
Yu Yangyi - Etienne Goudriaan  
Sabino Brunello - Jan-Krzysztof Duda  
Benjamin Bok - Kayden Troff  
Jan Timman - Dimitri Reinderman  
Group B: Round 8 - Sunday Jan. 19
Zhao Xue - Dimitri Reinderman  
Kayden Troff - Jan Timman  
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Benjamin Bok  
Etienne Goudriaan - Sabino Brunello  
Baadur Jobava - Yu Yangyi  
Merijn van Delft - Ivan Saric  
Radek Wojtaszek - Anna Muzychuk  
Monday, Jan. 20 – Free day
Group B: Round 9 - Tuesday Jan. 21
Anna Muzychuk - Zhao Xue  
Ivan Saric - Radek Wojtaszek  
Yu Yangyi - Merijn van Delft  
Sabino Brunello - Baadur Jobava  
Benjamin Bok - Etienne Goudriaan  
Jan Timman - Jan-Krzysztof Duda  
Dimitri Reinderman - Kayden Troff  
Group B: Round 10 - Wednesday Jan. 22
Zhao Xue - Kayden Troff  
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Dimitri Reinderman  
Etienne Goudriaan - Jan Timman  
Baadur Jobava - Benjamin Bok  
Merijn van Delft - Sabino Brunello  
Radek Wojtaszek - Yu Yangyi  
Anna Muzychuk - Ivan Saric  
Thursday, Jan. 23 – Free day
Group B: Round 11 - Friday Jan. 24
Ivan Saric - Zhao Xue  
Yu Yangyi - Anna Muzychuk  
Sabino Brunello - Radek Wojtaszek  
Benjamin Bok - Merijn van Delft  
Jan Timman - Baadur Jobava  
Dimitri Reinderman - Etienne Goudriaan  
Kayden Troff - Jan-Krzysztof Duda  
Group B: Round 12 - Saturday Jan. 25
Zhao Xue - Jan-Krzysztof Duda  
Etienne Goudriaan - Kayden Troff  
Baadur Jobava - Dimitri Reinderman  
Merijn van Delft - Jan Timman  
Radek Wojtaszek - Benjamin Bok  
Anna Muzychuk - Sabino Brunello  
Ivan Saric - Yu Yangyi  
Group B: Round 13 - Sunday Jan. 26
Yu Yangyi - Zhao Xue  
Sabino Brunello - Ivan Saric  
Benjamin Bok - Anna Muzychuk  
Jan Timman - Radek Wojtaszek  
Dimitri Reinderman - Merijn van Delft  
Kayden Troff - Baadur Jobava  
Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Etienne Goudriaan  

Commentary schedule on Playchess

Day Date Round English German
Monday January 13 Round 3 Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
Tuesday January 14 Free    
Wednesday January 15 Round 4 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
Thursday January 16 Free    
Friday January 17 Round 5 Simon Williams Oliver Reeh
Saturday January 18 Round 6 Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
Sunday January 19 Round 7 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
Monday January 20 Free    
Tuesday January 21 Round 8 Lawrence Trent Klaus Bischoff
Wednesday January 22 Free    
Thursday January 23 Round 9 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
Friday January 24 Free    
Saturday January 25 Round 10 Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
Sunday January 26 Round 11 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff


The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.


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