Tata Steel Chess: Van Foreest wins in Armageddon

by ChessBase
1/31/2021 – The Tata Steel Chess Tournament took place on January 16-31 as an over-the-board 14-player single round robin. Jorden van Foreest defeated Nils Grandelius in round 13 to catch up with Anish Giri, who managed to hold a draw from a worse position against David Anton. In the all-Dutch finale, Van Foreest won the Armageddon decider to clinch the title. | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit

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The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is taking place on January 16-31 as an over-the-board competition. It is a 14-player single round robin.

Games are played with a time control of 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30-second increments per move. 

Previous reports: R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11 | R12

Live games and commentary

Round 13




Commentary by GM Robert Hess and IM Sopiko Guramishvili

Round 13 results


Final standings



  • Playing days: Saturday 16 January (Round 1) to Sunday 31 January (Round 13)
  • Rest days: Wednesday 20 January, Monday 25 January and Wednesday 28 January


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Pemoe6 Pemoe6 2/1/2021 09:41
@malfa: You also can see it as distortion of competition. Blundering his game im move 60 by Firouza was clearly a result of this untimely disturbance. It cost him a substantial amount of prize money. Shared first place vs. 4th.
malfa malfa 2/1/2021 10:55
@Rambus, the Chief Arbiter was the Czech IA Pavel Votruba, who holds his title since 1994, so it is not difficult to figure out his competence, whereas the same cannot be said about certain readers here...
kaapski kaapski 2/1/2021 09:09
@ Mr Toad: Giri did not lose on time; the missing moves were 59.Rxa6 g3 60.Ra7?? (60.Ra8+ wins) g2 61.Ra8+ Kd7 62.Td8+ Ke7 resigns.
totoripov totoripov 2/1/2021 07:12
Impredecible el triunfo de Van Foreest una grata sorpresa porque eso demuestra que la nueva sangre está llegando a reclamar los primeros lugares en torneos de élite, ojalá y en los siguientes torneos veamos más triunfos de los jóvenes talentos.
Rambus Rambus 2/1/2021 04:40
Finally a great OTB tournament during Covid-19 lockdown, other than the arbiter's F-up asking Firouzja & Wojtaszek to move to another table! Can't whine about the tiebreak rules - everyone knew this upfront. I do not expect to see the chief arbiter officiate in any tournaments again after his scandalous performance! Anyone know his name?
gonda gonda 2/1/2021 02:52
very good tournament. the finish could've been better, smoother. in this particular case, they should've "gone dutch" with the prizes. good chance, and makes for good content :)
Mr Toad Mr Toad 2/1/2021 01:45
I was unable to watch the tourney. The YT comments included complaints that (a) Firouzja had to move to a different table which may have affected his game and (b) that Giri's clock was faulty (I did see the end of his game and he appeared to have 12 seconds left when he lost on time).

I'm not trying to be controversial, just asking for enlightenment. Thanks.
twamers twamers 2/1/2021 12:44
Great to see classical chess again with a tournament that I liked and enjoyed a lot. Many hard fought and very complex games with excellent positions to study - thanks to all the players. Congratulations of course to Van Foreest and Giri for finishing at the top of the table. They both played an excellent tournament. As for deciding the overall winner with blitz/rapid/armageddon - well that's not for me - I don't like to see that. But that is the modern way.
malfa malfa 1/31/2021 10:48
@MauvaisFou, I see no lack of respect in starting the final stage of the tournament without waiting for the end of a game, the result of which counted for nothing but for the allocation of prizes next to the second place.
MauvaisFou MauvaisFou 1/31/2021 10:37
Anything is better than Armageddon to decide the winner of such a prestigious tournament (not to mention the World Championship !!).
Besides, it would have been more respectful to wait for the end of the game Firouzja-Wojtaszek.
A very disappointing end.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 1/31/2021 08:39
@abdekker i agree totally with you. The finish of all the great chess tournaments is always a downer nowadays.
How are u there in Suid Afrika? With the corona ? Must be terrible nowadays, i heard of this South African variant.
abdekker abdekker 1/31/2021 08:22
Wow, congrats to Giri and van Foreest and Esipenko and Firouzja! Veel geluk van Suid Afrika! Ending such a great tournament on a blunderful Armageddon is a shame, though. Giri was winning all three of the tiebreak games. Perhaps there should be a little more respect given to such a great tournament? Something like 2 rapids, then 4 blitz, and only then an Armaggedon. Its only an extra ~45 minutes.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 1/31/2021 08:14
@Masquer they should invent another way to decide a winner when it's a tie. Perhaps a blind chess game with long time controls? or a Fischer Random game? or by a flip of a coin?
Masquer Masquer 1/31/2021 03:43
Sorry, this tournament is 13 rounds not 14. The 13th round is the final round.
ramirad ramirad 1/31/2021 04:10
@retspan. I agree with you. It was very exciting game and for sure congrats to Firouzja!
adbennet adbennet 1/31/2021 02:30
@Michael Jones - Excellent Covid points; the problem is a toxic level of self-reliance has made some people impervious to expert argument. "I can think for myself and nobody is smarter than me so blah, blah, blah ..." Any rational point is met by further blah, blah, blah ... They will only shut up when they become one of the 2 or 3% fatalities.
retspan retspan 1/30/2021 09:02
Congratulations to Firouzja for surviving a very interesting rook + four pawns vs rook + knight endgame. Even though Stockfish (12 and 11) was, at various stages, giving evaluations of +3 or +4 for White, it turned out to be very difficult for a human to realize the win. Now we are almost assured of an exciting last round, with at least 4 players having a chance of winning the tournament. Both Giri and Caruana will have the Black pieces, so Firouzja might just win this one!
Michael Jones Michael Jones 1/30/2021 06:20
As to the Tata Steel Chess Tournament (which, believe it or not, is supposed to be the subject of this series of articles) things looking seriously good for Giri against Firouzja right now. If he can convert that, probably the only thing which can stop him winning the title is if Caruana wins both his last two, which is a tall order.
Michael Jones Michael Jones 1/30/2021 06:13
Re the Covid comments, all those who repeat the survival rate like a mantra, as if that in itself is a reason not to take the disease seriously, are missing what should be an obvious point. The total number of deaths from a disease depends on a combination of two factors: how many people catch it in the first place (infection rate) and how many of those die of it (fatality rate). Covid's fatality rate is indeed fairly low, but its infection rate is extraordinarily high: when there have been over 100 million cases worldwide, even if 98% of those who catch it survive, some fairly simple arithmetic shows that's still over 2 million deaths. And as SunriseK points out, the high likelihood of survival isn't a reason to avoid taking precautions against getting it, since many of those who do survive only do so after enduring an extremely unpleasant experience for several weeks and in some cases "long Covid" for much later than that. Yes, it is true that lengthy lockdowns have an adverse economic impact, but the best way of avoiding lockdowns lasting longer than necessary is to impose them early and make them strict. To take an example of one of the countries which has handled the pandemic worst and consequently suffered one of the highest death tolls, the UK was late in imposing lockdowns and has allowed various exceptions to them (in particular, the second one in the autumn saw schools remain open) - so the number of human-to-human contacts, and thus opportunities to transmit Covid, has not been brought down anywhere near as much as it could have been.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 1/30/2021 04:33
Fabi has easiest pairings in last two rounds. He's got a good shot.
Aighearach Aighearach 1/30/2021 12:21
Looking at the pairings with two rounds to go, Caruana is half a point behind Giri, but he could easily win this?

Most likely outcome might be Caruana and Giri tied for first, with Caruana winning the tiebreak.

Caruana plays 2 <2700s, Giri plays Firouzja and Wojtaszek. It seems equally likely that Caruana gets 2 wins as for Giri to get a win and a draw, and more likely for both would be Caruana with a win and a draw and Giri with 2 draws. Both these scenarios Caruana wins the tiebreak.
adbennet adbennet 1/29/2021 11:22
@SunriseK - Thanks for the effort, I fear it is wasted.
lwquig lwquig 1/26/2021 06:24
Fabi wins the game of the round to tie for first and the commentary completely ignores it........
retspan retspan 1/24/2021 06:02
Sigh. Another bad day at the office for the Najdorf.
keithbc6472 keithbc6472 1/24/2021 10:59
re earlier comments of covid - stay safe and do what you need to. Do not dismiss the evidence that this is real! some people do not want to know the truth about it but are in denial - hope your denial helps !
keithbc6472 keithbc6472 1/24/2021 10:58
yes. it is good to see 'proper' tournament conditions at this event. Refreshing indeed.
SunriseK SunriseK 1/23/2021 08:07
4) even if you survive from Covid-19, you will very probably get permanent diseases in your lungs, in your heart or even (and most importantly) in your brain (unlike flu!): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic#Prognosis
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/08/warning-of-serious-brain-disorders-in-people-with-mild-covid-symptoms?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/143/10/3104/5868408
5) because so many people (100 millions) are getting ill at the same time, hospitals worldwide are about to be overwhelmed (so if you will need to be hospitalized for other reasons, you will have problems too!): https://www.bbc.com/news/52760992?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB
6) please, don't spread fake news and unbased conspiracy theories; they surely will cause big problems worldwide!
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/what-are-we-doing-doctors-are-fed-conspiracies-ravaging-ers-n1201446?utm_source=pocket-newtab-global-en-GB https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/covidiots-of-all-ages-are-giving-two-fingers-to-everyone-1.4375833
Thanks in advance!
Vidmar Vidmar 1/23/2021 06:54
Fabiano is playing at an all-time great level. Just hope he can win the Candidates...
chessgod0 chessgod0 1/23/2021 06:16
Carlsen needs to make these guys work harder to draw.
SunriseK SunriseK 1/23/2021 12:23
@lajosarpad: thanks for your wise comments.
@jfrendek & Ruteger007: apart someone already noticed you are completely off topic, but... how can you be so misinformed? And how can you dare to share your fake disinformation without prior check it out if they are true or not? In fact they are all false!
Today is not so difficult to find correct infos on internet.
1) Covid-19 is NOT a flu: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus_disease
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_viruses (flu virus is not even a coronavirus!)
2) flu can cause 3 - 5 million cases and up to 650'000 deaths per year, while covid-19 is about to reach 100 million cases (!) and it has already more than 2.1 million deaths https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ (thus more than 3 times those from flu!) and counting! By the way, recovery rate is about 97% (not 98%) worldwide, but much bad than that in many countries (for example: around just 94% in UK, just 88.5% in Mexico and, more concerning, just 66% in France!).
3) Hitler (and Stalin and some other well known mad criminals in the history) caused millions of deaths, but during many many years; now we are instead talking about more than 2 million deaths in 1 year! Recently has been calculated that (only in USA) Covid-19 in just 1 year has caused more casualties than the WW2 in 6 years!!

(to be continued)
lajosarpad lajosarpad 1/22/2021 10:39
@greenp while I am not absolutely sure, I would calculate the weighted error by adding the difference of the evaluation of actual moves and the evaluations of suggested moves and when I have a cumulative sum of this, I would divide it with the number of plies, i.e., half-moves. I guess it is calculated this way, but, again, I'm not sure.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 1/22/2021 10:36
@jfrendek @Ruteger007 if you are young and healthy, then the coronavirus will most probably not kill you, although there are exceptions. However, if you have loved ones who are older or less healthy, then you need to protect them, because they might get into a serious condition. This virus has a high survival rate, maybe 97%, but, as far as I know, from those who contracted it 20% have a really bad experience. So, while we shouldn't overdramatize it, it's still a dangerous condition and virtually everyone has older or ill friends or relatives. So, the responsible approach in my opinion is to be cautious and to know that it's not only we that we need to protect from it, but loved ones as well.
greenp greenp 1/21/2021 08:15
Weighted Error Value? What is it and what does it mean?
Portlyotter Portlyotter 1/19/2021 05:56
Thank goodness for a proper chess tournament and not just the usual suspects carving up the prize money at online blitz
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 1/18/2021 08:12
chess is reviving again? no more bullet chess or rapid speed clicking champion for a moment... a relief. I guess everyone is tested alot on corona and vodka prior to the game!
tom_70 tom_70 1/18/2021 02:34
I don't even leave the house without a flame thrower and a hazmat suit.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 1/17/2021 10:46
What do these comments have to do with the Tata Steel chess tournament? It seems some ppl stumbled onto the wrong page.
Ruteger007 Ruteger007 1/17/2021 10:32
"jfrendek 1/16/2021 08:46
It's about time we stop throwing the baby away with the bath water and face this glorified flu like men."

Agreed. Sad to see so many cowardly men for a flu variant with a 98% survival rate in which you have to get tested even before you know you have it. It's not about health - it's about control and conditioning.
jfrendek jfrendek 1/16/2021 08:46
It's about time we stop throwing the baby away with the bath water and face this glorified flu like men.