Tata Steel Rd12: Giri claims clear second

It wasn’t the prettiest of games, and it should have finished hours before it did, but Giri was able to best So after 111 moves! This win puts Giri half a point behind Carlsen, who drew Ding Liren with some minor problems. Wojtaszek seemed lost on what to do in his defeat against Saric. Meanwhile, in the Challengers, Wei Yi needs but a draw to qualify for next year’s Masters. Alejandro Ramirez reports.

Round twelve – Masters

Round 12 – Saturday Jan. 24
Van Wely, L. – Jobava, B.
½-½
Radjabov, T. – Hou, Y.
½-½
Ivanchuk, V. – Caruana, F.
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave – Aronian, L.
½-½
Ding, L. – Carlsen, M.
½-½
Saric, I. – Wojtaszek, R.
1-0
Giri, A. – So, W.
1-0

The great winners of the past overlooking the Amateur Tournament

Some players are more amateur than others; IM Sopiko Guramashvili hardly fits in that category

Van Wely, Loek ½-½ Jobava, Baadur
The players were able to find a repetition around move 19 and the draw suited both sides.

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Hou Yifan
Radjabov seems to really enjoy positions with symmetrical structure in which he holds the tiniest of pressures. This is what happened today in his Catalan against Hou Yifan, but his initiative quickly dissolved into nothing in a rook endgame that was promptly drawn.

Hou Yifan held the pressure without problems and drew comfortably

Ivanchuk, Vasil ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
A complex Grunfeld saw a few fireworks near the end:

Ivanchuk, V.2715Caruana, F.2820½–½D9177th Tata Steel GpA1224.01.2015

18.c4 Black has some problems with development and Nxg6 is now a threat. if he is forced to play e6, there is no doubt he would be worse, but he has a nifty resource at hand. xd4! 19.c7 19.exd4 xd4 20.xg6 e4+! 20…xc4 21.xe7+ f8 22.xc4 xa1 23.xc8 does not work. 21.e3 xa1 22.d5 xe3+ 23.fxe3 f6 And Black has no problems, to say the least. 19…d7 20.exd4 xd4 Both the bishop on c4 and the knight on h4 are hanging! This is the tactical point. 21.xg6 e4+! 21…xc4 22.xc4 xa1 23.xe7+ h7 24.h4 22.f1 xa1 23.d5 f5 23…e6 was also good enough, but the solution that Caruana chose is more natural. 24.xe4 xe4 25.xe7+ f8 26.xa1 d3+ necessary to avoid the pin on the e-file. 27.g1 xe7 28.e1+ Sadly, at the end of everything we reached and endgame that is very clearly drawn. f6 29.g3 c8 30.h4+ g7 31.e3 g6 32.g3 c4 33.f3 f5 34.e7 e6 35.xb7 a4 36.b5 g6 37.e1 xa2 38.a5 ½–½

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Aronian, Levon
MVL achieved nothing in this Catalan that slowly steered towards a draw.

Ding Liren ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
Carlsen had a few issues equalizing with his QGD. He even thought his position was “suspicious”. He seemed to come out of it ok, and some tactics at the end were simple for the World Champion to calculate. The game fizzled into a drawn opposite colored bishop endgame.

Had Ding Liren won the game the tournament would have blown wide open, but he had no chances to do so

Magnus Carlsen finds himself in a relatively comfortable position; half a point ahead of second place and playing the lowest rated player in the tournament with white to finish. That being said, Ivan Saric did beat him the last time they played…

Giri, Anish 1-0 So, Wesley
Talk about making your own life difficult! This game was reminiscent of Giri’s duel against Ding Liren – again the Dutch number one (actually, World number five according to the live ratings!) had a great start to the game. It landed them in a queen endgame where White had an extra passed pawn on the a-file, ready to roll forward.

Giri, somehow, again, managed to not find the correct path. He missed several opportunities to help his pawn forward until he messed up the endgame so badly that it was a tablebase draw. That being said, these kinds of queen endgames are almost impossible for a human to play precisely. So was unable to find the exact continuation to draw the game and eventually Giri was managed to promote his pawn.

This is Wesley So’s first defeat since April of last year and it puts Giri in a great position in the tournament – with the correct results he could come out as the winner of 2015 Wijk aan Zee!

“Still talking about chess? When are we having dinner…?!” Giri’s girlfriend IM Sopiko Guramashvili and his coach GM Vladimir Tukmakov waited patiently until the marathon game was over.

Saric, Ivan 1-0 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
This was a rather strange game. The players followed the Caruana-Gelfand game from a couple of years ago, but very oddly they did not seem familiar with it at all. The excellent annotations of that game by Pavlovic can be found on your Megabase and indicate that White’s 26th move is bad, and specifically gives the refutation.

Ivan Saric didn’t have to do anything special, simply wait for Radoslaw Wojtaszek to make bad moves

Either way, Wojtaszek managed to get an acceptable position, but he kept making strange decisions; first trading his knight for the bishop on c4 and then not taking the free pawn on h4 when he had a chance. Slowly he self-destructed and Saric simply marched his king and pawns up the board.

Radjabov, T.2734Hou Yifan2673½–½E0677th Tata Steel GpA1224.01.2015

1.d4 f6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.g2 e7 5.f3 0-0 6.c3 dxc4 7.e5 c5 8.dxc5 xd1+ 9.xd1 xc5 10.xc4 d8 11.e3 b4+ 12.c3 c6 13.c1 d5 14.d2 xc3 15.xc3 xc3 16.xc3 d7 17.f4 f8 18.f2 e7 19.hc1 f6 20.a3 ab8 21.d2 d4 22.b3 xb3 23.xb3 dc8 24.xc8 xc8 25.g4 h6 26.h4 b6 27.c3 d6 28.d3+ c7 29.g5 hxg5 30.hxg5 b7 31.xb7 xb7 32.e4 fxg5 33.fxg5 c6 34.e3 ½–½

Masters standings after twelve rounds

Round twelve – Challengers

Round 12 – Saturday Jan. 24
Wei, Y. – Haast, A.
1-0
Shankland, S. – l’ Ami, E.
1-0
Dale, A. – Klein, D.
½-½
Navara, D. – Sevian, S.
½-½
Timman, J. – Gunina, V.
0-1
Van Kampen, R. – Potkin, V.
1-0
Michiels, B. – Saleh, S.
0-1

Another exciting round, but again it is Wei Yi grabs the headlines. His demolition of Anne Haast was fantastic. Notice how quickly fashion is assimilated! The game followed one of the Masters games that was played only a few days before:

Wei Yi2675Haast, A.23521–0B4877th Tata Steel GpB1224.01.2015

1.e4 c5 2.f3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.xd4 c6 5.c3 c7 6.e3 a6 7.f3 e5 8.g3 h5 9.0-0-0 h4 10.h3 b5 11.f4 c4 12.xc4 xc4 13.f5 b7 14.hf1 e5 15.b3 c7 So far we have been following the game Saric-Giri, played but a few days ago in the same room these two players are battling. Saric continued Bg5, Kb1 seems to be Wei Yi’s novelty. 16.b1 16.f6 xf6 17.xf6 gxf6 18.b6 h6+ is a very, very important check. Now there is no mate on d7 and the queen can take the bishop on b6. When telling my students how to analyze openigs, sometimes it is not so important to memorize your lines – but understand WHY these moves are being played. 16.Kb1 had the threat of f6! 16…c8? One move played on her own, and already a decisive mistake! This is not necessarily any fault of hers, but the character of the positoin is incredibly sharp. 16…f6 17.d5 xd5 18.exd5 c8 is simply complicated. 17.f6 xf6 18.xf6 gxf6 19.b6 Now it is all over. The queen has no good places to go to. c6 20.a5 e6 21.xb7 all this is forced, and White is ahead in material. The two pieces will dominate the rook in any endgame, so Black tries to keep the queens at least. b8 21…xh3 22.gxh3 b8 23.d6+ xd6 24.xd6+- 22.d5! xb7 23.c3! However, Wei Yi continues to onslaught. c6 24.xf6+ e7 25.d8+ e6 25…xd8 26.xc6 is a nasty pin. 26.h3# Oops! Checkmate on the board! 1–0

Robin Van Kampen also had a very nice victory crushing Vladimir Potkin. In a battle of some of the highest rated players in the event Sam Shankland continues his excellent streak by defeating Erwin l’Ami.

Dale, Ari2291Klein, Da2517½–½E7077th Tata Steel GpB1224.01.2015

1.d4 f6 2.c4 g6 3.c3 g7 4.e4 0-0 5.f3 c6 6.e2 d5 7.exd5 cxd5 8.0-0 c6 9.h3 dxc4 10.xc4 b6 11.e5 b7 12.xc6 xc6 13.d5 b7 14.e1 a6 15.a4 d6 16.g5 h6 17.h4 f4 18.xf6 exf6 19.b3 f5 20.e7 b5 21.axb5 axb5 22.xa8 xa8 23.xb5 c1+ 24.h2 f4+ 25.g1 xc3 26.bxc3 c1+ 27.h2 f4+ 28.g1 c1+ 29.h2 f4+ 30.g1 a6 31.c6 c1+ 32.h2 f4+ 33.g1 c1+ 34.h2 f4+ 35.g1 c1+ 36.h2 ½–½

Challengers standings after twelve rounds

Photos by Alina l’Ami for 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.
½-½
Carlsen, M. – So, W.
½-½
Aronian, L. – Giri, A.
½-½
Caruana, F. – Saric, I.
1-0
Hou, Y. – Ding, L.
0-1
Jobava, B. – Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Radjabov, T. – Ivanchuk, V.
½-½
Round 3 – Monday Jan. 12
Ivanchuk, V. – Van Wely, L.
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave – Radjabov, T.
½-½
Ding, L. – Jobava, B.
1-0
Saric, I. – Hou, Y.
½-½
Giri, A. – Caruana, F.
½-½
So, W. – Aronian, L.
1-0
Wojtaszek, R. – Carlsen, M.
1-0
Round 4 – Tuesday Jan. 13
Van Wely, L. – Carlsen, M.
0-1
Aronian, L. – Wojtaszek, R.
½-½
Caruana, F. – So, W.
½-½
Hou, Y. – Giri, A.
½-½
Jobava, B. – Saric, I.
0-1
Radjabov, T. – Ding, L.
0-1
Ivanchuk, V. – Vachier-Lagrave
1-0
Round 5 – Thursday Jan. 15
Vachier-Lagrave – Van Wely, L.
½-½
Ding, L. – Ivanchuk, V.
½-½
Saric, I. – Radjabov, T.
0-1
Giri, A. – Jobava, B.
1-0
So, W. – Hou, Y.
½-½
Wojtaszek, R. – Caruana, F.
1-0
Carlsen, M. – Aronian, L.
1-0
Round 6 – Friday Jan. 16
Van Wely, L. – Aronian, L.
½-½
Caruana, F. – Carlsen, M.
0-1
Hou, Y. – Wojtaszek, R.
½-½
Jobava, B. – So, W.
0-1
Radjabov, T. – Giri, A.
½-½
Ivanchuk, V. – Saric, I.
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave – Ding, L.
1-0
Round 7 – Saturday Jan. 17
Ding, L. – Van Wely, L.
1-0
Saric, I. – Vachier-Lagrave
0-1
Giri, A. – Ivanchuk, V.
½-½
So, W. – Radjabov, T.
½-½
Wojtaszek, R. – Jobava, B.
0-1
Carlsen, M. – Hou, Y.
1-0
Aronian, L. – Caruana, F.
½-½
Round 8 – Sunday Jan. 18
Van Wely, L. – Caruana, F.
0-1
Hou, Y. – Aronian, L.
½-½
Jobava, B. – Carlsen, M.
0-1
Radjabov, T. – Wojtaszek, R.
1-0
Ivanchuk, V. – So, W.
0-1
Vachier-Lagrave – Giri, A.
1-0
Ding, L. – Saric, I.
1-0
Round 9 – Tuesday Jan. 20
Saric, I. – Van Wely, L.
½-½
Giri, A. – Ding, L.
1-0
So, W. – Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Wojtaszek, R. – Ivanchuk, V.
½-½
Carlsen, M. – Radjabov, T.
1-0
Aronian, L. – Jobava, B.
1-0
Caruana, F. – Hou, Y.
½-½
Round 10 – Wednesday Jan. 21
Van Wely, L. – Hou, Y.
1-0
Jobava, B. – Caruana, F.
0-1
Radjabov, T. – Aronian, L.
½-½
Ivanchuk, V. – Carlsen, M.
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave – Wojtaszek
½-½
Ding, L. – So, W.
½-½
Saric, I. – Giri, A.
0-1
Round 11 – Friday Jan. 23
Giri, A. – Van Wely, L.
1-0
So, W. – Saric, I.
1-0
Wojtaszek, R. – Ding, L.
0-1
Carlsen, M. – Vachier-Lagrave
½-½
Aronian, L. – Ivanchuk, V.
½-½
Caruana, F. – Radjabov, T.
½-½
Hou, Y. – Jobava, B.
1-0
Round 12 – Saturday Jan. 24
Van Wely, L. – Jobava, B.
½-½
Radjabov, T. – Hou, Y.
½-½
Ivanchuk, V. – Caruana, F.
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave – Aronian, L.
½-½
Ding, L. – Carlsen, M.
½-½
Saric, I. – Wojtaszek, R.
1-0
Giri, A. – So, W.
1-0
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.
1-0
Gunina, V. – Saleh, S.
1-0
Sevian, S. – Michiels, B.
0-1
Klein, D. – Van Kampen, R.
½-½
l’ Ami, E. – Timman, J.
½-½
Haast, A. – Navara, D.
0-1
Shankland, S. – Dale, A.
½-½
Round 3 – Monday Jan. 12
Dale, A. – Wei, Y.
½-½
Navara, D. – Shankland, S.
½-½
Timman, J. – Haast, A.
0-1
Van Kampen, R. – l’ Ami, E.
½-½
Michiels, B. – Klein, D.
0-1
Saleh, S. – Sevian, S.
½-½
Potkin, V. – Gunina, V.
1-0
Round 4 – Tuesday Jan. 13
Wei, Y. – Gunina, V.
1-0
Sevian, S. – Potkin, V.
1-0
Klein, D. – Saleh, S.
0-1
l’ Ami, E. – Michiels, B.
1-0
Haast, A. – Van Kampen, R.
0-1
Shankland, S. – Timman, J.
½-½
Dale, A. – Navara, D.
0-1
Round 5 – Thursday Jan. 15
Navara, D. – Wei, Y.
½-½
Timman, J. – Dale, A.
1-0
Van Kampen – Shankland, S.
0-1
Michiels, B. – Haast, A.
1-0
Saleh, S. – l’ Ami, E.
0-1
Potkin, V. – Klein, D.
1-0
Gunina, V. – Sevian, S.
0-1
Round 6 – Friday Jan. 16
Wei, Y. – Sevian, S.
1-0
Klein, D. – Gunina, V.
1-0
l’ Ami, E. – Potkin, V.
½-½
Haast, A. – Saleh, S.
½-½
Shankland, S. – Michiels, B.
1-0
Dale, A. – Van Kampen, R.
0-1
Navara, D. – Timman, J.
1-0
Round 7 – Saturday Jan. 17
Timman, J. – Wei, Y.
0-1
Van Kampen, R. – Navara, D.
0-1
Michiels, B. – Dale, A.
1-0
Saleh, S. – Shankland, S.
½-½
Potkin, V. – Haast, A.
1-0
Gunina, V. – l’ Ami, E.
1-0
Sevian, S. – Klein, D.
1-0
Round 8 – Sunday Jan. 18
Wei, Y. – Klein, D.
1-0
l’ Ami, E. – Sevian, S.
½-½
Haast, A. – Gunina, V.
1-0
Shankland, S. – Potkin, V.
½-½
Dale, A. – Saleh, S.
0-1
Navara, D. – Michiels, B.
1-0
Timman, J. – Van Kampen, R.
0-1
Round 9 – Tuesday Jan. 20
Van Kampen, R. – Wei, Y.
½-½
Michiels, B. – Timman, J.
½-½
Saleh, S. – Navara, D.
0-1
Potkin, V. – Dale, A.
½-½
Gunina, V. – Shankland, S.
½-½
Sevian, S. – Haast, A.
1-0
Klein, D. – l’ Ami, E.
½-½
Round 10 – Wednesday Jan. 21
Wei, Y. – l’ Ami, E.
1-0
Haast, A. – Klein, D.
½-½
Shankland, S. – Sevian, S.
½-½
Dale, A. – Gunina, V.
½-½
Navara, D. – Potkin, V.
½-½
Timman, J. – Saleh, S.
0-1
Van Kampen, R. – Michiels, B.
1-0
Round 11 – Friday Jan. 23
Michiels, B. – Wei, Y.
0-1
Saleh, S. – Van Kampen, R.
1-0
Potkin, V. – Timman, J.
1-0
Gunina, V. – Navara, D.
½-½
Sevian, S. – Dale, A.
½-½
Klein, D. – Shankland, S.
0-1
l’ Ami, E. – Haast, A.
½-½
Round 12 – Saturday Jan. 24
Wei, Y. – Haast, A.
1-0
Shankland, S. – l’ Ami, E.
1-0
Dale, A. – Klein, D.
½-½
Navara, D. – Sevian, S.
½-½
Timman, J. – Gunina, V.
0-1
Van Kampen, R. – Potkin, V.
1-0
Michiels, B. – Saleh, S.
0-1
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.
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Education through Chess. A proven intervention to unlock the potential of SA's children. Moves for Life unlocks the cognitive potential of South African children by structured implementation of chess education where essential aspects of the game are actively linked with math, science and lifeskill concepts. Learning fundamental concepts are made fun and exciting for the child.
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