Tata Steel Chess: Double-Dutch Day

by Johannes Fischer
1/19/2019 – Anish Giri continued his strong run in the Tata Steel Chess Masters: he won with black against Jan-Krzysztof and extends his black winning streak to three games. The other Dutch player in the group scored as well — Jorden van Foreest even turned in a minor brilliancy. GM DANIEL FERNANDEZ looks at that plus all the games. Magnus Carlsen clinched his second successive win, beating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a long endgame — Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi, Giri and Ding Liren now share the lead with 4 out of 6 points each. | Photo: Alina l'Ami, Tata Steel Chess

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Carlsen reaches the top of the standings

On Thursday, the first rest day in Wijk aan Zee, several of the players decided to get some exercise indoors, rather than brave a cold January day at a football pitch. Fortunately, there were some folks with cameras tagging along for the ride.

Keep your day jobs fellas!

Back at the board on Friday, both Magnus Carlsen and Jorden van Foreest scored their second wins of the week. The latter turned in a flashy but necessary move shortly before the time control at move 40:


"I wasn't even sure if it was a good move. I just played it because I didn't see anything else", van Foreest remarked after the game.

GM Daniel Fernandez looks at this and all the highlights of the day below.

Round 6 results


Click or tap any result to jump to that game at live.chessbase.com

Carlsen's win against van Foreest in round five broke Magnus' streak of 21 draws in a row (in classical games) and seems to have inspired him to press for a win against the world number four (in the live ratings list), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. He did get a little help from his opponent, it should be said. First of all, Carlsen arrived at the board about 11 minutes late, reportedly to avoid an annoying photographer. But after Carlsen made his first move with White, Mamedyarov deliberately waited a similar amount of time, equalising the clocks! An interesting, albeit bizarre, footnote to this game.

More critical to the outcome was what happened on the board. In a largely balanced game, Carlsen had two pieces for a rook in the ending but probably could not have won with accurate play. But Mamedyarov faltered, and Carlsen converted without difficulty.


With this victory, Carlsen also strengthened his position as number one in the live world rankings, which had been in danger. Now at 2837.9 points, he is almost ten points ahead of Fabiano Caruana, who is on the sidelines with 2828. At the same time, he moved to the top of the standings, now sharing the lead with Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Anish Giri.

Nepomniachtchi's game against Vishy Anand was over quickly. After 22 moves the draw was signed.


Ding Liren was slightly better with White the whole game against Teimour Radjabov and tried tenaciously to develop this advantage. But Radjabov was able to even things out and after 75 moves a draw was agreed.


Anish Giri's victory in Round 6 is already his third (he lost in the first round to Nepomniachtchi) and remarkably all three wins have come with the black pieces. Duda went astray as early as the opening phase and underestimated the danger. After less than twenty moves, he had practically reached a lost position. The game continued for a while but Giri was eventually able to close the deal.


Tactically and strategically rich was the game between Richard Rapport and Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik took over the initiative quickly after the opening and had a promising position, but Rapport imaginatively defended himself. After numerous twists that lasted until the endgame, Kramnik finally tested Rapport in a king and rook against king and knight ending for 30 moves, forcing the Hungarian to demonstrate the correct defence. After 94 moves, Kramnik — who would badly like to score his first win of the tournament — nevertheless abandoned his attempts.


Jorden van Foreest versus Vladimir Fedoseev was the true highlight of the day. Fedoseev was aiming for a fraught game with Black judging from the opening and was within a few precise moves of a win in the middlegame. But Van Foreest hung tough and at a key moment, with little time left on the clock to boot, he found the strong tactical resource mentioned at the start that gave him an edge and, soon after, his second victory.


Vidit, who had two long and exhausting games against Carlsen and Fedoseev made it a short day against Sam Shankland, who also suffered a devastating defeat against Ding in Round 5. Just 18 moves were played in their draw.


Current standings - Masters


Round 6 round-up

IM Merijn van Delft covers the Round 6 highlights

All Roundup shows

All games and commentary


Commentary by Anna Rudolf and Lawrence Trent


In the Challengers, Vladislav Kovalev took over the sole lead with a win against Dinara Saduakassova. Now on 4½ out of 6, Kovalev is half a point ahead of Anton Korobov, who played to a draw with Evgeny Bareev. Tied with Korobov is Maksim Chigaev who converted a pawn-up endgame against Parham Maghsoodloo for his second win of the tournament.

Current standings - Challengers


All games - Challengers


Translation from German and additional reporting: Macauley Peterson


Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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