Tata Steel Rd1: Caruana, Ivanchuk and MVL win

1/10/2015 – The start of the first elite event of the year did not disappoint, and the Masters group saw a violent series of games with a nervy start. Carlsen and Giri had a balanced game and drew, while Caruana, Ivanchuk and Vachier-Lagrave won their respective games. The last game of the day was a wild affair between So and Wojtaszek in which either could have won, but drew. Round one report.

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The Tata Steel Chess Tournament has two main tournaments. They are played according to the 'round robin' system, whereby each competitor plays in turn against every other during the tournament. The Tata Steel Masters has 14 participants and the Tata Steel Challengers has 14 participants. Both groups start on January 10th 2015. All rounds in Wijk aan Zee begin at 13.30 hours, except for the last round on January 25th, which begins at 12.00 hours.

Admission to the playing hall in Wijk aan Zee, Rotterdam and The Hague is free of charge.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony was primarily done to welcome the players and for the drawing of lots, the classical system in which each player randomly chooses a number which will determine the pairing order of his/her opponents.

The Challengers section was done during a quick dinner:

Anish Giri with his girlfriend Sopiko Guramashvili

Can you count the amount of titled players in the picture?

Sam Shankland anxiously awaiting his turn to pick a number

Anne Haast is playing the Challengers section, but will have a
tough time against much higher rated opposition!

David Navara enjoying the ceremony

Superstars and dancers unite

A dance performance...

With of course Black to complement White

The players "picked" a dancer and they revealed what number was assigned to them.
Hou Yifan starts with 12, more Blacks than Whites.

The two reigning World Champions!

Masters Section

Round 1 - Saturday Jan. 10
Radjabov, T. - Van Wely, L.
½-½
Ivanchuk, V. - Jobava, B.
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave - Hou, Y.
1-0
Ding, L. - Caruana, F.
0-1
Saric, I. - Aronian, L.
½-½
Giri, A. - Carlsen, M.
½-½
So, W. - Wojtaszek, R.
½-½

Daniel King shows the highlights of round 1

The traditional gong to ring the start of the game was rung by Nick Schilder, a famous Dutch singer-songwriter

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Van Wely, Loek
The Pirc Defense is not exactly the most common guest in top-level chess, however Van Wely is never afraid to risk! It paid off very well today as Radjabov's handling of it was quite dubious and Black obtained a playable position from the opening. Black's central mass compensated for his somewhat weakened kingside. After both players got into time trouble some exchanges happened and the game fizzled into a draw.

Ivanchuk, Vassily 1-0 Jobava, Baadur
What a blunder! After Jobava outplayed Ivanchuk it was clear that Black was in the driver's seat and putting pressure. A slight mistake cost him most of his advantage, but the endgame was surely drawn. Not checking things properly the following disaster happened:

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Ivanchuk, V."] [Black "Jobava, Ba"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B32"] [WhiteElo "2715"] [BlackElo "2727"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/5p1p/1k4p1/pp1K1P2/2r1P1P1/R1P5/7P/8 w - - 0 42"] [PlyCount "3"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] 42. e5 {A very double edged endgame! After squandering his advantage Jobava is still trying to push a position that maybe he should be trying to draw.} Ra4 $4 {Jobava must have forgotten to check the resulting pawn endgame.} (42... gxf5 43. gxf5 Rf4 44. f6 $1 Rf3 $1 {Is still sharp, but probably a draw.}) 43. Rxa4 (43. Rxa4 bxa4 44. Kc4 Kc6 45. Kd3 {wins easily.} Kd5 (45... a3 46. Kc2 { doesn't help Black's position.}) 46. e6 $1 fxe6 47. f6 Kd6 {otherwise the pawn queens.} 48. c4 $1 {Black can defend against f6, but not against c4 and f6 at the same time. His pawns are not close to being fast enough either.} a3 49. c5+ Kd7 50. Kc2 e5 51. c6+ Ke6 52. c7 Kd7 53. f7 $18) 1-0

Vachier Lagrave, Maxime 1-0 Hou Yifan
MVL's opening choice was somewhat questionable as Hou Yifan easily equalized in a French, Alekhine-Chatard Attack. However somewhere in the middle game the women's World Champion lost her grip on the game and it spiraled out of control. She lost a very unpleasant endgame rather quickly after a blunder and that was the end of the game.

Giri, Anish ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
Definitely some interesting chess could have been developed from the strange version of the King's Indian that Carlsen chose, developing his knight on h6 instead of the usual f6. Giri found a way to keep a little bit of pressure but it might not have been the most accurate continuation. Carlsen neutralized this pressure and with an open d-file all of the major pieces came off, leading to a drawn pawn endgame.

Giri-Carlsen was the highest rated game of the day, but not the most exciting

Ding Liren 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano

[Event "77th Tata Steel Chess Masters"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D78"] [WhiteElo "2732"] [BlackElo "2820"] [PlyCount "80"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "NED"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. b3 dxc4 8. bxc4 c5 9. Bb2 Qb6 10. Qc1 cxd4 11. Nxd4 Nc6 (11... Bd7 {was interestingly seen today as well in the Shankland-Wei Yi game.}) 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Nd2 {Despite this natural move being played rather quickly, Caruana took a relatively long think here.} Bf5 14. Nb3 Rac8 $6 {Perhaps not the best, but more practical tests are needed in this line.} 15. e4 $1 Be6 (15... Nxe4 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. g4 $18 {loses a piece for Black.}) (15... Bxe4 16. Bxf6 Bxg2 17. Bxg7 Bxf1 18. Bxf8 $18 {is no better.}) 16. e5 Nd7 17. Re1 $6 (17. c5 $1 {Would have kept some pressure on the board.}) 17... c5 $1 {Now Black has good counterplay against c4.} 18. Nd2 Qa6 19. Re3 Rb8 20. Ra3 Qb6 21. Rb3 Qc7 22. f4 Nb6 23. Rb1 Rbd8 24. Bc3 $6 {A careless move.} Qd7 25. Bf1 $6 {And this just starts to be too passive.} Bf5 26. Ra1 {White has completed his anti-development and, of course, it is now time for Black to strike to punish the awkward position of White's pieces.} f6 $1 27. exf6 exf6 28. Rb5 Na4 $1 {A nice move. The pawn on c5 is defended and the c3 bishop has to go to an awkward square.} 29. Nb3 (29. Ba5 Rde8 $15) 29... Nxc3 30. Qxc3 Be4 $1 {Clinching down on the position. The threat is f5 and neither capture on c5 is satisfactory.} 31. f5 $6 (31. Nxc5 Qc6 32. Nxe4 f5 $19 {White loses the exchange.}) 31... Qxf5 $1 32. Re1 (32. Rxc5 Qd7 {and White's position is defenseless against the power of the pair of bishops.}) 32... Rfe8 $1 33. Rxc5 Qd7 (33... Qxc5+ $1 34. Nxc5 f5 {would have won the exchange and probably forced Ding Liren to resign, but Caruana had less than 30 seconds for the previous moves, living on the increment.}) 34. Qc1 f5 35. Qf4 Re7 {Simple.} 36. h4 a5 $1 {Nicely calculated. a4 is a serious threat as the knight must guard d4.} 37. Rxa5 Bc3 {The fork is now deadly. The rest is easy, even in time pressure.} 38. Rd5 Qa7+ $1 39. Kh2 Rxd5 40. cxd5 Bxe1 0-1

Saric, Ivan ½-½ Aronian, Levon
A huge missed opportunity! Saric was outplaying Aronian when he let him off the hook:

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "Saric, Iv"] [Black "Aronian, L."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2666"] [BlackElo "2797"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3r1k2/1ppr1ppp/p2nb3/P7/1PP1PB2/8/6PP/3RRBK1 w - - 0 23"] [PlyCount "19"] [EventDate "2015.01.09"] 23. c5 $1 Nb5 24. Rxd7 $2 {The temptation to assign two question marks is high, especially with the speed this move was played.} (24. c6 $1 {Was completely crushing.} bxc6 (24... Rxd1 25. Rxd1 Rxd1 26. cxb7 {and the pawns are clearly unstoppable. Black would have the chance to hold the endgame after} Bc4 (26... Rd8 27. Bxb5 axb5 28. a6 {is simply losing for Black.}) 27. b8=Q+ Ke7 28. Kf2 Rxf1+ 29. Kg3 {but this is a lot of suffering, especially compared to the game continuation.}) 25. Rc1 Nd4 (25... Ke8 26. Rxc6 $16 (26. Be5 $1 f6 27. Rxc6 $1 $18)) 26. Bxa6 $18) 24... Bxd7 25. Rd1 Ke8 {Now Black has nothing to worry about.} 26. Bc4 Be6 27. Rxd8+ Kxd8 28. Bxb5 axb5 29. c6 bxc6 30. Be3 Kc8 {The lightsquared bishop will hold the kingside by himself. All Black needs to do is make sure his king is on b7 and nothing bad will ever happen.} 31. Bc5 Kb7 32. Kf2 1/2-1/2

So, Wesley ½-½ Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
A very topsy-turvy game. Wojtaszek's king was always prancing around the middle of the board, but White's rooks and knight just couldn't coordinate to deliver a fatal blow. Slowly Black's pawns crept down the middle of the board and in severe mutual time pressure Wojtaszek missed the following tactic:

[Event "77th Tata Steel Chess Masters"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee"] [Date "2015.01.10"] [Round "1"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2762"] [BlackElo "2744"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/8/3k3r/2rN1R2/p1n3P1/P3p2P/5pK1/1R6 w - - 0 65"] [PlyCount "11"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "NED"] 65. Rb8 Re6 (65... Rxd5 $1 66. Rd8+ Ke7 67. Rdxd5 Re6 $1 {Black's pawns are unstoppable.} 68. Rxf2 exf2 (68... e2 $1) 69. Kxf2 {should be winning, but there is still a lot of work to be done.}) 66. Rd8+ {White miraculously has a perpetual check to save the day.} Kc6 67. Rc8+ Kd6 (67... Kd7 68. Rxc5 e2 69. Rxc4 e1=Q 70. Rxf2 {doesn't give Black any advantage.}) (67... Kb5 $4 68. Nc7+ Kb6 69. Rxc5 $18) 68. Rd8+ Kc6 69. Rc8+ Kd6 70. Rd8+ 1/2-1/2

Replay Masters Games

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Challengers Section

Round 1 - Saturday Jan. 10
Shankland, S. - Wei, Y.
½-½
Dale, A. - Haast, A.
½-½
Navara, D. - l' Ami, E.
½-½
Timman, J. - Klein, D.
½-½
Van Kampen, R. - Sevian, S.
1-0
Michiels, B. - Gunina, V.
½-½
Saleh, S. - Potkin, V.
½-½

Erwin l'Ami obtained a draw against top-rated David Navara

Vladimir Potkin picking out his pairing number

The only decisive result today in the Challengers section was the very clean victory of Robin Van Kampen over Samuel Sevian. Ari Darle missed a huge chance of crushing Anne Haast and with dreadful technique he had to settle for a draw from an exchange up position. The rest of the games were tense fights, Sagar Shah brings us the highlights:

Replay Challengers Games

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Photos by Alina l'Ami from the official website

Schedule and results - Masters group

Round 1 - Saturday Jan. 10
Radjabov, T. - Van Wely, L.
½-½
Ivanchuk, V. - Jobava, B.
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave - Hou, Y.
1-0
Ding, L. - Caruana, F.
0-1
Saric, I. - Aronian, L.
½-½
Giri, A. - Carlsen, M.
½-½
So, W. - Wojtaszek, R.
½-½
Round 2 - Sunday Jan. 11
Van Wely, L. - Wojtaszek, R.  
Carlsen, M. - So, W.  
Aronian, L. - Giri, A.  
Caruana, F. - Saric, I.  
Hou, Y. - Ding, L.  
Jobava, B. - Vachier-Lagrave  
Radjabov, T. - Ivanchuk, V.  
Round 3 - Monday Jan. 12
Ivanchuk, V. - Van Wely, L.  
Vachier-Lagrave - Radjabov, T.  
Ding, L. - Jobava, B.  
Saric, I. - Hou, Y.  
Giri, A. - Caruana, F.  
So, W. - Aronian, L.  
Wojtaszek, R. - Carlsen, M.  
Round 4 - Tuesday Jan. 13
Van Wely, L. - Carlsen, M.  
Aronian, L. - Wojtaszek, R.  
Caruana, F. - So, W.  
Hou, Y. - Giri, A.  
Jobava, B. - Saric, I.  
Radjabov, T. - Ding, L.  
Ivanchuk, V. - Vachier-Lagrave  
Round 5 - Thursday Jan. 15
Vachier-Lagrave - Van Wely, L.  
Ding, L. - Ivanchuk, V.  
Saric, I. - Radjabov, T.  
Giri, A. - Jobava, B.  
So, W. - Hou, Y.  
Wojtaszek, R. - Caruana, F.  
Carlsen, M. - Aronian, L.  
Round 6 - Friday Jan. 16
Van Wely, L. - Aronian, L.  
Caruana, F. - Carlsen, M.  
Hou, Y. - Wojtaszek, R.  
Jobava, B. - So, W.  
Radjabov, T. - Giri, A.  
Ivanchuk, V. - Saric, I.  
Vachier-Lagrave - Ding, L.  
Round 7 - Saturday Jan. 17
Ding, L. - Van Wely, L.  
Saric, I. - Vachier-Lagrave  
Giri, A. - Ivanchuk, V.  
So, W. - Radjabov, T.  
Wojtaszek, R. - Jobava, B.  
Carlsen, M. - Hou, Y.  
Aronian, L. - Caruana, F.  
Round 8 - Sunday Jan. 18
Van Wely, L. - Caruana, F.  
Hou, Y. - Aronian, L.  
Jobava, B. - Carlsen, M.  
Radjabov, T. - Wojtaszek, R.  
Ivanchuk, V. - So, W.  
Vachier-Lagrave - Giri, A.  
Ding, L. - Saric, I.  
Round 9 - Tuesday Jan. 20
Saric, I. - Van Wely, L.  
Giri, A. - Ding, L.  
So, W. - Vachier-Lagrave  
Wojtaszek, R. - Ivanchuk, V.  
Carlsen, M. - Radjabov, T.  
Aronian, L. - Jobava, B.  
Caruana, F. - Hou, Y.  
Round 10 - Wednesday Jan. 21
Van Wely, L. - Hou, Y.  
Jobava, B. - Caruana, F.  
Radjabov, T. - Aronian, L.  
Ivanchuk, V. - Carlsen, M.  
Vachier-Lagrave - Wojtaszek  
Ding, L. - So, W.  
Saric, I. - Giri, A.  
Round 11 - Friday Jan. 23
Giri, A. - Van Wely, L.  
So, W. - Saric, I.  
Wojtaszek, R. - Ding, L.  
Carlsen, M. - Vachier-Lagrave  
Aronian, L. - Ivanchuk, V.  
Caruana, F. - Radjabov, T.  
Hou, Y. - Jobava, B.  
Round 12 - Saturday Jan. 24
Van Wely, L. - Jobava, B.  
Radjabov, T. - Hou, Y.  
Ivanchuk, V. - Caruana, F.  
Vachier-Lagrave - Aronian, L.  
Ding, L. - Carlsen, M.  
Saric, I. - Wojtaszek, R.  
Giri, A. - So, W.  
Round 13 - Sunday Jan. 25
So, W. - Van Wely, L.  
Wojtaszek, R. - Giri, A.  
Carlsen, M. - Saric, I.  
Aronian, L. - Ding, L.  
Caruana, F. - Vachier-Lagrave  
Hou, Y. - Ivanchuk, V.  
Jobava, B. - Radjabov, T.  

Schedule and results - Challengers group

Round 1 - Saturday Jan. 10
Shankland, S. - Wei, Y.
½-½
Dale, A. - Haast, A.
½-½
Navara, D. - l' Ami, E.
½-½
Timman, J. - Klein, D.
½-½
Van Kampen, R. - Sevian, S.
1-0
Michiels, B. - Gunina, V.
½-½
Saleh, S. - Potkin, V.
½-½
Round 2 - Sunday Jan. 11
Wei, Y. - Potkin, V.  
Gunina, V. - Saleh, S.  
Sevian, S. - Michiels, B.  
Klein, D. - Van Kampen, R.  
l' Ami, E. - Timman, J.  
Haast, A. - Navara, D.  
Shankland, S. - Dale, A.  
Round 3 - Monday Jan. 12
Dale, A. - Wei, Y.  
Navara, D. - Shankland, S.  
Timman, J. - Haast, A.  
Van Kampen, R. - l' Ami, E.  
Michiels, B. - Klein, D.  
Saleh, S. - Sevian, S.  
Potkin, V. - Gunina, V.  
Round 4 - Tuesday Jan. 13
Wei, Y. - Gunina, V.  
Sevian, S. - Potkin, V.  
Klein, D. - Saleh, S.  
l' Ami, E. - Michiels, B.  
Haast, A. - Van Kampen, R.  
Shankland, S. - Timman, J.  
Dale, A. - Navara, D.  
Round 5 - Thursday Jan. 15
Navara, D. - Wei, Y.  
Timman, J. - Dale, A.  
Van Kampen - Shankland, S.  
Michiels, B. - Haast, A.  
Saleh, S. - l' Ami, E.  
Potkin, V. - Klein, D.  
Gunina, V. - Sevian, S.  
Round 6 - Friday Jan. 16
Wei, Y. - Sevian, S.  
Klein, D. - Gunina, V.  
l' Ami, E. - Potkin, V.  
Haast, A. - Saleh, S.  
Shankland, S. - Michiels, B.  
Dale, A. - Van Kampen, R.  
Navara, D. - Timman, J.  
Round 7 - Saturday Jan. 17
Timman, J. - Wei, Y.  
Van Kampen, R. - Navara, D.  
Michiels, B. - Dale, A.  
Saleh, S. - Shankland, S.  
Potkin, V. - Haast, A.  
Gunina, V. - l' Ami, E.  
Sevian, S. - Klein, D.  
Round 8 - Sunday Jan. 18
Wei, Y. - Klein, D.  
l' Ami, E. - Sevian, S.  
Haast, A. - Gunina, V.  
Shankland, S. - Potkin, V.  
Dale, A. - Saleh, S.  
Navara, D. - Michiels, B.  
Timman, J. - Van Kampen, R.  
Round 9 - Tuesday Jan. 20
Van Kampen, R. - Wei, Y.  
Michiels, B. - Timman, J.  
Saleh, S. - Navara, D.  
Potkin, V. - Dale, A.  
Gunina, V. - Shankland, S.  
Sevian, S. - Haast, A.  
Klein, D. - l' Ami, E.  
Round 10 - Wednesday Jan. 21
Wei, Y. - l' Ami, E.  
Haast, A. - Klein, D.  
Shankland, S. - Sevian, S.  
Dale, A. - Gunina, V.  
Navara, D. - Potkin, V.  
Timman, J. - Saleh, S.  
Van Kampen, R. - Michiels, B.  
Round 11 - Friday Jan. 23
Michiels, B. - Wei, Y.  
Saleh, S. - Van Kampen, R.  
Potkin, V. - Timman, J.  
Gunina, V. - Navara, D.  
Sevian, S. - Dale, A.  
Klein, D. - Shankland, S.  
l' Ami, E. - Haast, A.  
Round 12 - Saturday Jan. 24
Wei, Y. - Haast, A.  
Shankland, S. - l' Ami, E.  
Dale, A. - Klein, D.  
Navara, D. - Sevian, S.  
Timman, J. - Gunina, V.  
Van Kampen, R. - Potkin, V.  
Michiels, B. - Saleh, S.  
Round 13 - Sunday Jan. 25
Saleh, S. - Wei, Y.  
Potkin, V. - Michiels, B.  
Gunina, V. - Van Kampen, R.  
Sevian, S. - Timman, J.  
Klein, D. - Navara, D.  
l' Ami, E. - Dale, A.  
Haast, A. - Shankland, S.  

Venues

The tournament has a slight change this year. Most of the rounds will be played in the traditional De Moriaan Community Centre in Wijk Aan Zee, but two of the rounds will be played elsewhere. Last year the tournament traveled to the National Museum in Amsterdam and the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.

This year the fifth round will be held in De Rotterdam. De Rotterdam is a building on the Wilhelminapier in Rotterdam, designed by Rem Koolhaas in 1998.

Rotterdam is ready to host Tata Steel!

The tenth round will be played in the International Press Cnetre Niewuspoort in the Hague. Councillor Karsten Klein of The Hague had this to say: "The Hague is honored to be able to host the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2015 at the heart of the Dutch parliamentary democracy. Our city has a long history of international chess tournaments, a tradition which is continued in this manner. "

Commentary on Playchess

This being the first major event of the year, it is clear that we will be bringing you live commentary on our server www.playchess.com!

Day Date Round English
Sunday January 11 Round 2 GM Alejandro Ramirez
Monday January 12 Round 3 GM Alejandro Ramirez
Tuesday January 13 Round 4 GM Daniel King
Wednesday January 14 Free  
Thursday January 15 Round 5 GM Daniel King
Friday January 16 Round 6 GM Simon Williams
Saturday January 17 Round 7 GM Nicholas Pert
Sunday January 18 Round 8 GM Simon Williams
Monday January 19 Free  
Tuesday January 20 Round 9 GM Daniel King
Wednesday January 21 Round 10 GM Simon Williams
Thursday January 22 Free  
Friday January 23 Round 11 GM Daniel King 
Saturday January 24 Round 12 GM Simon Williams
Sunday January 25 Round 13 GM Daniel King

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess 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 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics: tata steel 2015
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craniotomy craniotomy 1/15/2015 04:12
The caption for the second photo should read, "Can you count the number of titled players in the picture?" rather than, "Can you count the amount of titled players in the picture?"
craniotomy craniotomy 1/15/2015 04:11
The caption for the second photo should read, "Can you count the number of titled players in the picture?" rather than, "Can you count the amount of titled players in the picture?"
johnmk johnmk 1/11/2015 04:20
There is an element of gaga in this reporting, like some of the reporters are just blinded by the light. Do we need all the photos? But it's nice that Europe idolizes its chess players. So unlike the States. Imagine a place where chess is respected....
wowbagger wowbagger 1/11/2015 12:19
The commentator easily surely completely miraculously had a look at the computer lines before he tried to evaluate the positions on his own. The games were complicated. A bit less hyperbole, a bit more insight would have been welcome.
iSeeThis iSeeThis 1/11/2015 08:01
Alas, the Chinese girl has a boyfriend. It won't happen that two chess world champions are a couple.
Bertman Bertman 1/11/2015 04:05
Ding Liren - Caruana: "White has completed his anti-development"... LOL!
jhoravi jhoravi 1/11/2015 02:07
Looks like Carlsen and YiFan are holding each others hands on the picture! Two world champs... a perfect couple. Make it happen Carlsen!
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