Tata Steel Rd. 1: Three wins, four draws

by Johannes Fischer
1/16/2016 – The first round of the Tata Steel Tournament 2016 in Wijk aan Zee saw interesting games and three wins in the Masters group: Wesley So outplayed Anish Giri, Ding Liren showed good opening knowledge, inspired ideas in the middlegame, and technical skills in the endgame to win against Michael Adams. Fabiano Caruana won a fine attacking game against Pavel Eljanov. The other four games were drawn. The players in the Challengers were less peaceful - they did not play a single draw.

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The 78th Tata Steel Chess Tournament takes place from January 15 to 31, 2016, in the coastal village of Wijk aan Zee, North Holland. It is one of the most prestigious events in the international chess calendar. The "Wimbledon of Chess" attracts the very best chess grandmasters in the world, along with thousands of amateur players, live event visitors and online visitors from around the world. The tournament has two main player groups, each with 14 players. They are known as the Tata Steel Masters and the Tata Steel Challengers. You will find the schedule, starting times, pairings and results at the bottom of the page.

Tata Steel 2016

Watch it live on Playchess!

Masters

Round 1 - Saturday the 16th
Hou, Y. - Karjakin, S. ½-½
So, W. - Giri, A. 1-0
Ding, L. - Adams, M. 1-0
Navara, D. - Carlsen, M. ½-½
Caruana, F. - Eljanov, P. 1-0
Wei, Y. - Tomashevsky, E. ½-½
Mamedyarov, S. - Van Wely, L. ½-½

The first game to end was the encounter between David Navara and Magnus Carlsen. In a game in which the most interesting lines remained hidden below the surface Navara had no problem to draw against the World Champion. With a mix of solid and aggressive play Navara gave Carlsen no a chance to get an advantage and in the end it was Carlsen who forced a repetition of moves.

 

Handshake before the game.

"I think it was an interesting game. ... But dangerous," was Carlsen post-game summary.

Anish Giri is considered to be one of the most solid players of the world's elite and it is no coincidence that he was the only player on the Grand Chess Tour who did not lose one single game. But in his game against Wesley So in the first round of Wijk aan Zee 2016 he had a bad day. So played with white and opted for the Botvinnik Variation of the English Opening, explaining after the game that "Anish is basically unbeatable in the opening and I thought I go for an opening that is not so theoretical." A successful choice. After about 20 moves it became apparent that all three minor pieces of Black had landed on bad positions standing badly. Giri tried to drum up some counterplay by pushing his pawns on the kingside and the queenside but this weakened both his position and his pawns. So gradually started to pick the weak pawns of Giri but carefully avoided to give Giri any chances. After 37 moves Giri resigned in a hopeless position.

 

Wesley So was not keen on a theoretical duel with Anish Giri.

Fabiano Caruana played a fine attacking game against Pavel Eljanov. After being surprised by Eljanov's opening choice Caruana decided to gambit a pawn to get attacking chances in an isolated queen's pawn position. White had compensation for the pawn but not more. However, the position was difficult to play for Black and after defending very precisely for most of the time Eljanov finally cracked, allowing White's attack to become overwhelming.

 

Caruana did not always like his position but he definitely
liked the end and the result of the game.

Ding Liren played a fine game against Michael Adams. The Chinese number one played an enterprising English Opening in which he sacrificed his a-pawn to shatter Black's queenside structure and to settle Black with doubled a-pawns. After an exchange of queens Ding Liren managed to win both a-pawns and emerged in an endgame rook, knight and four pawns on the kingside against rook, knight and three pawns on the kingside that he managed to win.

 

China's number one playing against England's number one.

Wei Yi and Evgeny Tomashevsky decided to play it safe in the first round and managed to quickly find a repetition of moves in an ueventful Closed Spanish. The result was a draw in 23 moves.

 

A safe start: Wei Yi playing against Evgeny Tomashevsky

Hou Yifan, the world's number one on the women's ranking list, hold herself easily against World Cup winner Sergey Karjakin. In fact, after a quiet opening seized the initiative in the middlegame to get the better chances. However, with time-trouble looming she spoiled any hopes for a serious advantage but instead found herself in a dead-drawn double rook ending. After reaching the time-control on move 40 the players agreed to a draw.

 

Eyeing the opponent: Hou Yifan and Sergey Karjakin at the start of their game.

"Bend or break", that sometimes seems to be the the motto of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Against Loek van Wely he definitely went for broke by playing a double-edged pawn sacrifice in the opening. This could have led to a quick defeat had Loek van Wely seen a winning tactical shot in a complicated position. However, van Wely missed this opportunity but still had the better position. Eventually an endgame arose, in which Van Wely had a knight against two pawns but found no way to win and after 76 moves agreed to a draw.

 

Loek van Wely missed a good opportunity.

Challengers

Round 1 - Saturday the 16th
Haast, A. - van Foreest, J. 0-1
Antipov, M. - Ju, W. 0-1
Dreev, A. - Bok, B. 1-0
l'Ami, E. - Admiraal, M. 1-0
Baskaran, A. - Abasov, N. 1-0
Safarli, E. - Sevian, S. 1-0
Nisipeanu, L. - Batsiashvili, N. 1-0

Top seed Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu from Germany won
his first round game against Nino Batsiashvili from Georgia.

Nino Batsiashvili

Ju Wenjun played a wild tactical and messy game against Antipov

Maybe the stormy sea inspired the players - but maybe it's just
the general chess fever in Wijk aan Zee that inspires players to give their best.

The venue of the open tournament.

Previous winners in Wijk aan Zee

The secret of successful chess? For Magnus Carlsen
points obviously count more than beauty.

Pictures: Joachim Schulze

Playing schedule + Playchess commentary

The two main tournaments are round robins. Both groups start on the 16th of January 2016 in Wijk aan Zee. The Masters move to Amsterdam on January 21, and to Utrecht on January 27. All rounds in Wijk aan Zee begin at 1.30 p.m., except for the last round on 31 January 2016, which begins at 12.00 p.m. Round five will take place in the Science Center NEMO in Amsterdam, and round ten in the Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht. Both these external rounds start at 2.00 p.m.

Round
Date English commentary German commentary
1
Saturday, 16 Jan GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff
2
Sunday, 17 Jan GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
3
Monday, 18 Jan GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
4
Tuesday, 19 Jan GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
Free
Wednesday, 20 Jan    
5
Thursday, 21 Jan GM Daniel King GM Sebastian Siebrecht
6
Friday, 22 Jan GM Yannick Pelletier GM Sebastian Siebrecht
7
Saturday, 23 Jan GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff
8
Sunday, 24 Jan GM Yannick Pelletier GM Klaus Bischoff
Free
Monday, 25 Jan    
9
Tuesday, 26 Jan GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff
10
Wednesday, 27 Jan GM Yannick Pelletier GM Sebastian Siebrecht
Free
Thursday, 28 Jan    
11
Friday, 29 Jan GM Adrian Mikhalchishin GM Sebastian Siebrecht
12
Saturday, 30 Jan GM Karsten Müller GM Klaus Bischoff
13
Sunday, 31 Jan GM Karsten Müller GM Klaus Bischoff

Schedule and results of Tata Steel Masters 2016

Round 1 - Saturday the 16th
Hou, Y. - Karjakin, S. ½-½
So, W. - Giri, A. 1-0
Ding, L. - Adams, M. 1-0
Navara, D. - Carlsen, M. ½-½
Caruana, F. - Eljanov, P. 1-0
Wei, Y. - Tomashevsky, E. ½-½
Mamedyarov, S. - Van Wely, L. ½-½
Round 2 - Sunday the 17th
Karjakin, S. - Van Wely, L.  
Tomashevsky, E. - Mamedyarov, S.  
Eljanov, P. - Wei, Y.  
Carlsen, M. - Caruana, F.  
Adams, M. - Navara, D.  
Giri, A. - Ding, L.  
Hou, Y. - So, W.  
Round 3 - Monday the 18th
So, W. - Karjakin, S.  
Ding, L. - Hou, Y.  
Navara, D. - Giri, A.  
Caruana, F. - Adams, M.  
Wei, Y. - Carlsen, M.  
Mamedyarov, S. - Eljanov, P.  
Van Wely, L. - Tomashevsky, E.  
Round 4 - Tuesday the 19th
Karjakin, S. - Tomashevsky, E.  
Eljanov, P. - Van Wely, L.  
Carlsen, M. - Mamedyarov, S.  
Adams, M. - Wei, Y.  
Giri, A. - Caruana, F.  
Hou, Y. - Navara, D.  
So, W. - Ding, L.  
Round 5 - Thursday the 21st
Ding, L. - Karjakin, S.  
Navara, D. - So, W.  
Caruana, F. - Hou, Y.  
Wei, Y. - Giri, A.  
Mamedyarov, S. - Adams, M.  
Van Wely, L. - Carlsen, M.  
Tomashevsky, E. - Eljanov, P.  
Round 6 - Friday the 22nd
Karjakin, S. - Eljanov, P.  
Carlsen, M. - Tomashevsky, E.  
Adams, M. - Van Wely, L.  
Giri, A. - Mamedyarov, S.  
Hou, Y. - Wei, Y.  
So, W. - Caruana, F.  
Ding, L. - Navara, D.  
Round 7 - Saturday the 23rd
Navara, D. - Karjakin, S.  
Caruana, F. - Ding, L.  
Wei, Y. - So, W.  
Mamedyarov, S. - Hou, Y.  
Van Wely, L. - Giri, A.  
Tomashevsky, E. - Adams, M.  
Eljanov, P. - Carlsen, M.  
Round 8 - Sunday the 24th
Karjakin, S. - Carlsen, M.  
Adams, M. - Eljanov, P.  
Giri, A. - Tomashevsky, E.  
Hou, Y. - Van Wely, L.  
So, W. - Mamedyarov, S.  
Ding, L. - Wei, Y.  
Navara, D. - Caruana, F.  
Round 9 - Tuesday the 26th
Caruana, F. - Karjakin, S.  
Wei, Y. - Navara, D.  
Mamedyarov, S. - Ding, L.  
Van Wely, L. - So, W.  
Tomashevsky, E. - Hou, Y.  
Eljanov, P. - Giri, A.  
Carlsen, M. - Adams, M.  
Round 10 - Wednesday the 27th
Karjakin, S. - Adams, M.  
Giri, A. - Carlsen, M.  
Hou, Y. - Eljanov, P.  
So, W. - Tomashevsky, E.  
Ding, L. - Van Wely, L.  
Navara, D. - Mamedyarov, S.  
Caruana, F. - Wei, Y.  
Round 11 - Friday the 29th
Wei, Y. - Karjakin, S.  
Mamedyarov, S. - Caruana, F.  
Van Wely, L. - Navara, D.  
Tomashevsky, E. - Ding, L.  
Eljanov, P. - So, W.  
Carlsen, M. - Hou, Y.  
Adams, M. - Giri, A.  
Round 12 - Saturday the 30th
Karjakin, S. - Giri, A.  
Hou, Y. - Adams, M.  
So, W. - Carlsen, M.  
Ding, L. - Eljanov, P.  
Navara, D. - Tomashevsky, E.  
Caruana, F. - Van Wely, L.  
Wei, Y. - Mamedyarov, S.  
Round 13 - Sunday the 31st
Mamedyarov, S. - Karjakin, S.  
Van Wely, L. - Wei, Y.  
Tomashevsky, E. - Caruana, F.  
Eljanov, P. - Navara, D.  
Carlsen, M. - Ding, L.  
Adams, M. - So, W.  
Giri, A. - Hou, Y.  
 

Schedule and results of Tata Steel Challengers 2016

Round 1 - Saturday the 16th
Haast, A. - van Foreest, J. 0-1
Antipov, M. - Ju, W. 0-1
Dreev, A. - Bok, B. 1-0
l'Ami, E. - Admiraal, M. 1-0
Baskaran, A. - Abasov, N. 1-0
Safarli, E. - Sevian, S. 1-0
Nisipeanu, L. - Batsiashvili, N. 1-0
Round 2 - Sunday the 17th
van Foreest, J. - Batsiashvili, N.  
Sevian, S. - Nisipeanu, L.  
Abasov, N. - Safarli, E.  
Admiraal, M. - Baskaran, A.  
Bok, B. - l'Ami, E.  
Ju, W. - Dreev, A.  
Haast, A. - Antipov, M.  
Round 3 - Monday the 18th
Antipov, M. - van Foreest, J.  
Dreev, A. - Haast, A.  
l'Ami, E. - Ju, W.  
Baskaran, A. - Bok, B.  
Safarli, E. - Admiraal, M.  
Nisipeanu, L. - Abasov, N.  
Batsiashvili, N. - Sevian, S.  
Round 4 - Tuesday the 19th
van Foreest, J. - Sevian, S.  
Abasov, N. - Batsiashvili, N.  
Admiraal, M. - Nisipeanu, L.  
Bok, B. - Safarli, E.  
Ju, W. - Baskaran, A.  
Haast, A. - l'Ami, E.  
Antipov, M. - Dreev, A.  
Round 5 - Wednesday the 20th
Dreev, A. - van Foreest, J.  
l'Ami, E. - Antipov, M.  
Baskaran, A. - Haast, A.  
Safarli, E. - Ju, W.  
Nisipeanu, L. - Bok, B.  
Batsiashvili, N. - Admiraal, M.  
Sevian, S. - Abasov, N.  
Round 6 - Friday the 22nd
van Foreest, J. - Abasov, N.  
Admiraal, M. - Sevian, S.  
Bok, B. - Batsiashvili, N.  
Ju, W. - Nisipeanu, L.  
Haast, A. - Safarli, E.  
Antipov, M. - Baskaran, A.  
Dreev, A. - l'Ami, E.  
Round 7 - Saturday the 23rd
l'Ami, E. - van Foreest, J.  
Baskaran, A. - Dreev, A.  
Safarli, E. - Antipov, M.  
Nisipeanu, L. - Haast, A.  
Batsiashvili, N. - Ju, W.  
Sevian, S. - Bok, B.  
Abasov, N. - Admiraal, M.  
Round 8 - Sunday the 24th
van Foreest, J. - Admiraal, M.  
Bok, B. - Abasov, N.  
Ju, W. - Sevian, S.  
Haast, A. - Batsiashvili, N.  
Antipov, M. - Nisipeanu, L.  
Dreev, A. - Safarli, E.  
l'Ami, E. - Baskaran, A.  
Round 9 - Tuesday the 26th
Baskaran, A. - van Foreest, J.  
Safarli, E. - l'Ami, E.  
Nisipeanu, L. - Dreev, A.  
Batsiashvili, N. - Antipov, M.  
Sevian, S. - Haast, A.  
Abasov, N. - Ju, W.  
Admiraal, M. - Bok, B.  
Round 10 - Wednesday the 27th
van Foreest, J. - Bok, B.  
Ju, W. - Admiraal, M.  
Haast, A. - Abasov, N.  
Antipov, M. - Sevian, S.  
Dreev, A. - Batsiashvili, N.  
l'Ami, E. - Nisipeanu, L.  
Baskaran, A. - Safarli, E.  
Round 11 - Friday the 29th
Safarli, E. - van Foreest, J.  
Nisipeanu, L. - Baskaran, A.  
Batsiashvili, N. - l'Ami, E.  
Sevian, S. - Dreev, A.  
Abasov, N. - Antipov, M.  
Admiraal, M. - Haast, A.  
Bok, B. - Ju, W.  
Round 12 - Saturday the 30th
van Foreest, J. - Ju, W.  
Haast, A. - Bok, B.  
Antipov, M. - Admiraal, M.  
Dreev, A. - Abasov, N.  
l'Ami, E. - Sevian, S.  
Baskaran, A. - Batsiashvili, N.  
Safarli, E. - Nisipeanu, L.  
Round 13 - Sunday the 31st
Nisipeanu, L. - van Foreest, J.  
Batsiashvili, N. - Safarli, E.  
Sevian, S. - Baskaran, A.  
Abasov, N. - l'Ami, E.  
Admiraal, M. - Dreev, A.  
Bok, B. - Antipov, M.  
Ju, W. - Haast, A.  
 

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the 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 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 

 



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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disneychannel disneychannel 1/18/2016 06:38
X iLeon aka DMG 1/17/2016 05:27
I'm surprised in the Caruana Eljanov game that no one's commented on 7...Nxc3 8.bxN Bxc3 winning a second pawn for nothing! (as it's not like white has a crushing attack at the moment) AND of course, exchanging a pair of minors which can only favour the defending side (black) who also has less space! I even ran it through the engine in case I'd missed something. I'd like to see Caruana winning from such a deficit!

It is a well known line.Engines are not helpful in this.Check the database.Both Rb1 and Ba3 are very complicated.But that line is now outdated.Black is really bad in that position.
Regards,disneychannel.
bully_slayer bully_slayer 1/17/2016 07:44
Being merciless in chess is normal, your goal is to win and beat your opponent.
Don't give any chance. It's kill or b
e killed!
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 1/17/2016 05:27
I'm surprised in the Caruana Eljanov game that no one's commented on 7...Nxc3 8.bxN Bxc3 winning a second pawn for nothing! (as it's not like white has a crushing attack at the moment) AND of course, exchanging a pair of minors which can only favour the defending side (black) who also has less space! I even ran it through the engine in case I'd missed something. I'd like to see Caruana winning from such a deficit!
sedarpl sedarpl 1/17/2016 12:27
Player as level Van Wely, L, dosen't see simple 17...Ng4. Shock!
Snajdan Snajdan 1/17/2016 09:09
@nhanduyenhoahop: Which quotation you're referring to? I can't find it in the article above.
jhoravi jhoravi 1/17/2016 02:42
Wesley So is the luckiest in the Pairings. He has white against all the greats.
fightingchess fightingchess 1/16/2016 11:46
where is Sagar? i liked his commentary.
sranj sranj 1/16/2016 11:42
I think Magnus was referring to Anand.
nhanduyenhoahop nhanduyenhoahop 1/16/2016 11:04
I Like Magnus Carlsen's quotation. A real warrior!
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