Anish Giri wins Tata Steel Masters after late twist

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
1/30/2023 – In a late twist at the Tata Steel Masters, Anish Giri leapfrogged Nodirbek Abdusattorov on the final day of action to claim a first title in his home super-tournament. In round 13, Giri defeated Richard Rapport, while 2021 champion Jorden van Foreest got the better of long-time leader Abdusattorov. Meanwhile, Magnus Carlsen and Parham Maghsoodloo also ended the tournament with wins to their names. | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


A long time coming

Anish Giri first participated in a Wijk aan Zee tournament back in 2009. As a 14-year-old FIDE Master still representing Russia (he was born in Saint Petersburg), he scored 8½/13 points to finish in shared second place behind Filipino rising star Wesley So. After winning the ‘B group’ the very next year, he was ‘promoted’ to the main event in 2011, and has played in every single edition of the Masters since then. Five times he finished in second place, and now he has finally grabbed his first title — like in his debut, with an 8½/13 score.

Already a well-known name in the elite chess circuit, Giri is regarded as a veteran among the very best in the world. But he is only 28 years old, which means he is very likely to get more chances to fight for the World Championship title in the future. He participated in two out of the last three Candidates Tournaments, and had a strong performance at the 2020-2021 edition in Yekaterinburg.

In Wijk aan Zee this year, Giri finished undefeated with four wins to his name, and clinched the title thanks to a final-round win over Richard Rapport. On his way to tournament victory, the Dutchman beat the two highest-rated players in the field (and in the world), Magnus Carlsen and Ding Liren. Such a formidable performance gained him 15.4 rating points, which leaves him in fifth place in the world ranking, 20 points shy of the 2800-rating mark.

To finally win his home super-tournament after beating Rapport, Giri needed for long-time leader Nodirbek Abdusattorov not to beat Jorden van Foreest. And Van Foreest, who won the event in 2021 after beating Giri in playoffs, managed to inflict the first loss of the event on the 18-year-old. Thus, Giri, somewhat unexpectedly, got to win the tournament outright.

Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri

The world champion and 8-time tournament winner congratulating Anish Giri for his victory | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

The ever-eloquent Dutch number one was rather modest during his post-game interview, noting that had Abdusattorov beat Van Foreest he would have once again fallen short of winning the event. Giri mentioned that he began to work with Jan Gustafsson as a second in this tournament, and thanked other players, which he could not name publicly, for their help.

Giri thus presented his plan for this year:

There will be a lot of classical chess for me. [...] I’m not sure if I’ll be able to deliver such results as this one, but I’ll certainly take what I learned here and try to apply it. I’ll have many classical tournaments, and I hope that by the end of the year I’ll have a good rating to qualify to the Candidates, that’s what matters.

Indeed, given the level he has shown in the past two weeks, we are likely to see Giri near the top of the world ranking for quite a while!

Anish Giri

Anish Giri | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

The final round

Following the exciting penultimate round in what is a long and exhausting tournament by today’s standards, it would have not been very surprising to see the contenders for first place keeping it safe on the final day of action. But, to the contrary, imbalances were quickly created both in Abdusattorov v Van Foreest and Rapport v Giri.

Moreover, two other players who came from getting good results in the previous rounds also seemed resolute in their decision to look for winning chances in their final-round encounters. At the end of the day, both Magnus Carlsen and Parham Maghsoodloo were rewarded for their efforts with full points.

For the world champion, his victory over Arjun Erigaisi allowed him to catch Abdusattorov in the standings, getting shared second place despite losing back-to-back games in rounds 4 and 5, against Giri and Abdusattorov, coincidentally.

Maghsoodloo, in the meantime, inflicted Levon Aronian’s first loss of the event in what was his third consecutive victory. A late replacement of Jan-Krzysztof Duda, the Iranian grandmaster finished the event with 7/13 points and gained 9.3 ratings points to climb to number 23 in the live ratings list.

Aronian’s loss meant only Giri and Wesley So managed to end the tournament undefeated. So collected 2 wins and 11 draws for a 7½ score, which got him sole fourth place in the standings.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

Despite the final-round loss, Nodirbek Abdusattorov had an excellent performance in his debut at the Masters | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Giri 1 - 0 Rapport


Richard Rapport

Richard Rapport | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Abdusattorov 0 - 1 Van Foreest


Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Jorden van Foreest

Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Jorden van Foreest | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Final standings - Masters


All games - Masters


All decisive results in the Challengers

Even though Alexander Donchenko had already secured tournament victory with a round to spare in the Challengers, there was plenty of excitement on the last day of action. All seven games finished decisively, with the German champion grabbing yet another win — his fourth in a row — to end the event with a remarkable 10/13 score!

It was a case of players-who-had-done-well-throughout finishing with wins in the ‘B group’, as Mustafa Yilmaz (second place), Javokhir Sindarov (third) and Amin Tabatabaei (fourth) also grabbed full points on Sunday.

The top performers of the event were joined in the winners’ circle of the final round by Max Warmerdan, Erwin l’Ami and Luis Paulo Supi.

Alexander Donchenko

Alexander Donchenko will join the Masters next year! | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Donchenko 1 - 0 Ivic


Tata Steel Chess 2023

It has been yet another brilliantly organized, greatly entertaining edition of the traditional tournament in Wijk aan Zee | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Final standings - Challengers


All games - Challengers



Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.