Tata Steel Chess R2: Carlsen and Giri catch up

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
1/16/2023 – Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri joined Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Ding Liren in the lead of the Tata Steel Masters tournament after winning their second-round games. Giri sacrificed material to get a remarkable victory over Gukesh, while Carlsen showed great technique to take down Vincent Keymer. In the Challengers, Eline Roebers, Alexander Donchenko and Amin Tabatabaei grabbed full points in round 2. | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

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Wins of different nature

In two battles between prodigious teenagers and vetted grandmasters, it was the more experienced players who prevailed in round 2 of the Tata Steel Masters. Magnus Carlsen, the 8-time champion in Wijk aan Zee, defeated Vincent Keymer, while local hero Anish Giri got the better of Dommaraju Gukesh.

Carlsen’s victory was one full of instructive positional decisions, as the world champion showed precise play throughout to slowly increase his advantage while marshalling the black pieces. Giri’s win, on the other hand, was a dashing, direct attack with white lasting no more than 27 moves.

The two winners of Sunday’s round thus joined Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Ding Liren in the lead of the standings. Carlsen’s win also upped the ante for round 3, when he will play white against Ding, the second seed in the field.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Mangus Carlsen

Co-leaders — Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Magnus Carlsen | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Giri 1 - 0 Gukesh

 

Anish Giri

Calculating? Anish Giri playing white against Gukesh | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Keymer 0 - 1 Carlsen

 

Vincent Keymer

Vincent Keymer | Photo: Lennart Ootes / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Endgame analysis by GM Müller: Ding ½ - ½ Maghsoodloo

 

Standings after round 2 - Masters

 

All games - Masters

 
 

Tabatabaei’s adventures against the King’s Gambit

The most attractive game of round 2 in the Challengers was, doubtlessly, the battle between Jergus Pechac and Amin Tabatabaei. Pechac, who lost in the first round, opted for the exciting King’s Gambit playing white. Tabatabaei was understandably surprised and mixed the move order in the very first moves of the game, giving up a piece as early as on move 9. Pechac, likely shocked by such a gift, failed to play the most trying continuation in the very next move and eventually lost what turned out to be a spunky 45-move game.

Two more decisive results were seen in this section, as Eline Roebers bounced back from her loss on Saturday by beating her compatriot Erwin l’Ami, and Alexander Donchenko got the better of Vaishali Rameshbabu.

Going into round 3, four players are sharing the lead, much like in the Masters, with Donchenko and Tabatabaei joining Max Warmerdam and 13-year-old Abhimanyu Mishra atop the standings.

Amin Tabatabaei

Right after the blunder — Amin Tabatabaei | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Amin Tabatabaei

Time to fight back! | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit / Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2023

Standings after round 2 - Challengers

 

All games - Challengers

 
 

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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.
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