Senaste schacknyheterna från omvärlden

The Week in Chess

  • Magnus Carlsen wins Tata Steel Masters 2015 – 13
    Magnus Carlsen won the 77th Tata Steel Masters with 9/11 half a point clear of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Wesley So and Liren Ding.

    Magnus Carlsen secured a draw in his final round game against Ivan Saric that proved enough for him to take first place alone in the 2015 Tata Steel Masters. Carlsen was not happy with the quality of the final round game where he ”just blundered a pawn” he was unhappy with his play even after this but eventually the game swapped down to a dead draw. This is Carlsen’s 4th victory in the Wijk aan Zee top group. The 78th Tata Steel Chess takes place 15th to 31st January 2016. Carlsen didn’t guarantee a return but thought it ”not unlikely”.

    There were some pluses which Carlsen outlined on twitter as ”First tournament win since April, first gain of rating since February, and my longest winning streak ever.”

    Anish Giri could have caught Carlsen with a final round win over Radoslaw Wojtaszek but instead a complex Gruenfeld traded off to a dull draw. Giri thought at various points he may have had chances but the tactics led to an equal position. Giri has moved to 2797 and 6 in the world and his progress is obvious.

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played perhaps the most impressive game of the day to also share second place. He defeated Fabiano Caruana with a creative pawn sacrifice that almost immediately led to consessions by white. Vachier-Lagrave finished the game with a very nice mating flourish too.

    Liren Ding defeated Levon Aronian in a very strange King’s Indian. Aronian must have forgotten his preparation because he thought for 15 minutes over 16.g5 which is just losing after 16…Ne8! Aronian extended the game for a very long time but he never came close to recovering.

    Wesley So defeated Loek van Wely in a Benoni. It didn’t look like Van Wely had much patience to defend and once his aggression finished white simply broke through in the centre.

    Baadur Jobava at least finished a catastrophic event for him with a win. It was a very odd game which started as a King’s Indian and went into Benko style play. Rajdabov missed the winning sacrifice 20.Nxf3+! and the game looked to be heading for a draw. 46.Rb4? was a bad error (46.Rb3+ first saves the game) and then was practically losing. However Jobava gave Radjabov at least some hope with the crude 50.Nxb2 giving up a piece (50.Nd2 is wining) but 51….Ke7? (51.Bxe5 and if white is still winning it is tricky) led to a white win.

    Hou Yifan was better against Vassily Ivanchuk out of the opening but they locked the position up after which a draw was the natural result.

    Final Round 13 Standings: 1 Carlsen 9pts, 2-5 Vachier-Lagrave, Giri, So, Ding Liren 8.5pts, 6 Ivanchuk 7.5pts, 7 Caruana 7pts, 8 Radjabov 6pts, 9-10 Wojtaszek, Aronian 5.5pts, 11 Hou Yifan 5pts, 12 Saric 4.5pts, 13 Van Wely 4pts, 14 Jobava 3pts.

    In the Challengers group Yi Wei won with 10.5/13 half a point clear of David Navara. Yi Wei has earned a place in the Masters next year.

    Next events: Gibraltar Masters 27th Jan to 5th Feb 2015. Topalov, Nakamura, Svidler, Vitiugov, Jakovenko etc

    GRENKEChess in Baden-Baden 2nd-9th February 2015. Carlsen, Caruana, Anand, Aronian, Adams, Bacrot, Naiditsch, Baramidze

  • Carlsen leads going into Tata Steel Masters final round, Giri beats So – 12
    Magnus Carlsen survived some nervous moments to remain in the lead of the Tata Steel Masters going into the final round. Carlsen played black against Liren Ding and was put under severe pressure. The game required precise calculation and Carlsen’s 22…a5 which took Ding by surprise seems to lead to a liquidation and a draw.

    The longest battle of the day took 111 moves and seven and a quarter hours. It ended Wesley So’s undefeated run going back to April 2014 which was also more than 50 games. So’s problems went back to opening he was already under a lot of pressure after the nice 18.Rb5. They entered a Queen and Pawn ending where Giri had an extra a-pawn on move 36. Giri could have finished things much faster but he probably wanted to make sure and So stayed tough. In the end So couldn’t escape his fate. This results means that it is Giri who is half a point off the leader Carlsen rather than So going into the final round.

    The other decisive game saw Ivan Saric defeated Radoslaw Wojtaszek after a long struggle. Levon Aronian’s desperate event saw yet another disappointment as he missed a win against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Loek van Wely and Baadur Jobava probably want the event to just end and agreed a quick draw. Teimour Radjabov vs Hou Yifan and Vasil Ivanchuk vs Fabiano Caruana also finished in draws.

    Round 12 Standings: 1 Carlsen 8.5pts/12, 2 Giri 8pts 3 Vachier-Lagrave, Wesley So, Liren Ding 7.5pts 6-7 Ivanchuk, Caruana 7pts, 8 Radjabov 6pts 9 Aronian 5.5pts 10 Wojtaszek 5pts 11 Hou Yifan 4.5pts 12-13 Van Wely, Saric 4pts 14 Jobava 2pts

    I will be hosting ICC’s commentary for the final round with GM Varuzhan Akobian which I’m looking forward to very much. Please join us.

    Round 13 Pairings: Round starts 90 minutes earlier at 11am GMT 12pm CET:

    So-Van Wely, Wojtaszek-Giri, Carlsen-Saric, Aronian- Liren Ding, Caruana-Vachier-Lagrave, Hou Yifan-Ivanchuk, Jobava-Radjabov.

  • Carlsen leads, Wesley So half a point behind after Tata Steel Round 11 – 11
    Magnus Carlsen expressed disappointment that he couldn’t make more of his extra pawn in a typical Gruenfeld endgame against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. It isn’t clear how real Carlsen’s chances were in this endgame but 33.g4?! seemed to be the end of any chances he might have had.

    Wesley So again demonstrated his relentless tactical style in beating Ivan Saric. So set problem after problem but was objective enough to say that he didn’t know how he would have progressed against 23…Kh7. Instead Saric’s 23…Bd5 just lost material. This win moved So into clear second place on 7.5/11 half a point behind Carlsen.

    Anish Giri beat Loek van Wely but only after a long struggle, all be it from a position where he was pushing for most of the game. Liren Ding joined Vachier-Lagrave and Giri on 7 points after a long win against Radoslaw Wojtaszek. Wojtaszek seemed to be pressing on the run up to move 60 but then he had to be careful. There was a fine breakthrough available for black which suddenly just won for him.

    Fabiano Caruana played a creative Queen exchange which seemed to wreck his pawn structure against Teimour Radjabov. It left him a tiny bit better but not enough to win. Hou Yifan was the latest beneficiary of Baadur Jobava’s self-destructive streak. Hou was pressing but there was no reason at all to give up a piece for no compensation. Levon Aronian got quite a significant advantage against Vassily Ivanchuk but suddenly an inaccurate move led to a draw being agreed.

    Round 11 Standings: 1 Carlsen 8pts, 2 So 7.5pts, 3-5 Vachier-Lagrave, Giri, Ding Liren 7pts, 6-7 Ivanchuk, Caruana 6.5pts, 8 Radjabov 5.5pts, 9-10 Wojtaszek, Aronian 5pts, 11 Hou Yifan 4pts, 12 Van Wely 3.5pts, 13 Saric 3pts, 14 Jobava 1.5pts.

    Round 12 pairings – Sat 24th Jan 2015: 12:30pm Van Wely-Jobava, Radjabov-Hou Yifan, Ivanchuk-Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave-Aronian, Ding, Liren-Carlsen, Saric-Wojtaszek, Giri-So

  • Carlsen winning run halted by Ivanchuk in Tata Steel Round 10 – 10
    The Tata Steel Masters moved to Den Haag for its second and final awayday from Wijk aan Zee. The players had a photo opportunity in the Mauritshuis art museum before moving on to the venue. The round saw quite a lot of theory played and perhaps wasn’t one of the better ones this year. There were still three decisive games.

    Magnus Carlsen said he wasn’t that disappointed that his winning run was brought to an end by Vasil Ivanchuk who played fairly directly for a draw with the white pieces. Carlsen then spent quite some time in the commentary box talking about the games, chess in general, his rivals etc.

    Carlsen maintained his one point lead over the field as his closest rivals Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Wesley So both drew in theory heavy forcing variations against Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Liren Ding.

    Anish Giri defeated Ivan Saric in a Sicilian and Fabiano Caruana beat the tail-ender Baadur Jobava. Caruana built up a big advantage in a sharp position, then lost most of it before Jobava suddenly collapsed and lost again.

    Loek van Wely decided a couple of years ago that 1.e4 was the best approach against women’s world champion Hou Yifan and he played it again. He simply knew more about the Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian than she did.

    Teimour Radjabov and Levon Aronian blasted straight into a well known endgame. Radjabov pressed for a while but Aronian drew in the end.

    Round 10 Standings: 1 Carlsen 7.5pts/10, 2-3 So, Vachier-Lagrave 6.5pts 4-7 Ivanchuk, Giri, Caruana, Ding Liren 6.0pts 8-9 Wojtaszek, Radjabov 5.0pts 10 Aronian 4.5pts 11 Van Wely 3.5pts 12-13 Hou Yifan, Saric 3.0pts 14 Jobava 1.5pts

    Rest day Thursday 22nd Jan.

    Round 11 Friday 23rd Jan 2015 12:30GMT Giri-Van Wely, So-Saric, Wojtaszek-Ding Liren, Carlsen-Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian-Ivanchuk, Caruana-Radjabov, Hou Yifan-Jobava

  • Carlsen scores sixth win in a row to extend lead Tata Steel Masters after 9 rounds – 9
    Carlsen scores sixth win in a row to extend lead Tata Steel Masters after 9 rounds Magnus Carlsen scored his sixth win in a row in beating Teimour Radjabov in the ninth round of the Tata Steel Masters. Carlsen exploited Radjabov’s time trouble and poorly placed bishop on b6 to launch a kingside attack. Radjabov didn’t defend the best and his position collapsed quickly. Carlsen now faces Vasil Ivanchuk in Round 10 to go for a seventh win in a row.

    Wesley So played a variation of the Gruenfeld as white first played by Levon Aronian. So got some advantage against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave although his Na3 was very poorly placed. A miscalculation with 28.Re7? left So struggling for a draw and put in danger an undefeated record of over 50 games since April last year. Vachier-Lagrave may have missed a chance to push his a-pawn and after he lost it he simply traded to a draw.

    Levon Aronian won his first game of the event taking advantage of some very creative play from Baadur Jobava. The computers thought things were balanced for some time but Aronian thought his Nb4 was very badly placed. 20…Qh4 was a very bad mistake after which Aronian quickly launched a decisive attack.

    Anish Giri and Liren Ding played a sharp King’s Indian. 26.g4 was a brilliant move that gave Giri a huge advantage which he turned into a Bishop, Knight and Pawn vs Rook ending (three more pawns each) which looked winning but proved more tricky than it looked. Giri eventually found the right plan which was giving up the c and h-pawns to break through. Even then it was not so simple but in the end the defensive task was too much for Liren Ding and Giri won.

    Fabiano Caruana missed a win with 39.a6 in time trouble against Hou Yifan but this was generally against the run of play and it was the women’s world champion who seemed to be pressing. In the end Hou Yifan forced a draw by perpetual check.

    Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Vasil Ivanchuk drew in 36 moves in a complicated position, no doubt both were quite happy to draw after losses in the previous round.

    Ivan Saric had a huge advantage against Loek van Wely but lost it all in a few moves and the game ended in a draw.

    Round 9 Standings: 1 Carlsen 7pts/9 2-3 So, Vachier-Lagrave 6, 4-5 Ivanchuk, Ding Liren 5.5, 6-7 Giri, Caruana 5, 8-9 Wojtaszek, Radjabov 4.5, 10 Aronian 4, 11.Hou Yifan, Saric 3, 13 Van Wely 2.5, 14 Jobava 1.5

    Round 10 Pairings 21st Jan 2015 in Den Haag 1pm (half an hour later) GMT: Van Wely-Hou Yifan, Jobava-Caruana, Radjabov-Aronian, Ivanchuk-Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave-Wojtaszek, Ding Liren-So, Saric-Giri.

  • Carlsen leads Tata Steel Masters alone after 8 rounds – 8
    Magnus Carlsen leads the Tata Steel Masters going into the second rest day after defeating Baadur Jobava for his fifth consecutive victory. Jobava has proved a difficult opponent for Carlsen in the past and it proved so today again, at least in patches. Jobava’s 4.Nc3 impressed no-one but did cause Carlsen to somewhat overestimate his position and Jobava then played the next phase very well leaving Carlsen with a light squared bishop with few prospects. Carlsen set about equalising which he felt he had done on move 29, he also felt the h3 pawn could give him chances later if allowed. Jobava’s move 38.f4 was unnecessary as he had a fortress and his move 39.g4 was a terrible mistake after which there was no fixing his position.

    Joint leader Vassily Ivanchuk went down to a loss with very little fight against Wesley So. Ivanchuk just walked into a line that is known to be bad for white and whilst he had some drawing chances after 13…Nf4 he didn’t find the best and was in desparate trouble. However So did commit one inaccuracy with 21…Qd7 (21…Qd6!) and 22.Qe4 might have allowed Ivanchuk to escape with a draw. Ivanchuk didn’t find it and he quickly came under a decisive attack.

    Vachier-Lagrave was another winner with a lightening attack following an inaccuracy from Anish Giri. 15…exd4 rather than 15…Be6 suddenly gave white the advantage with 17.Bf4 and 18.Be5 and Giri couldn’t defend a nasty attack without ruining his position.

    Liren Ding was another winner after beating Ivan Saric in a Slav Defence. Saric bet his position on an attack on the kingside and it turned out that Ding could allow him to win his h3 pawn as he had a counter-combination picking up his rook after which he was lost.

    Fabiano Caruana set up a Hedgehog structure against Loek van Wely and nothing much happened until move 25.Qd2 (which leads to the loss of material), nothing much except van Wely used most of his time up. Caruana was winning at first time control but then even though he was 3 pawns up some technical difficulties appeared as the opposite coloured bishop ending looked tricky and maybe even not winning. Caruana chose the Queen ending which was also tricky but ultimately winning for him.

    Teimour Radjabov won a long grind against Radoslaw Wojtaszek which was not without interest. It looked like Wojtaszek might hold the bishops of opposite colours ending a pawn down but Radjabov launched a late attack on his king that proved decisive.

    Hou Yifan played quite conservatively against Levon Aronian and was rewarded with some winning chances after Aronian suddenly got into trouble just before first time control. With best play Hou had some serious chances a pawn up but she didn’t find the very best and the game was drawn.

    Round 8 Standings 1 Carlsen 6pts, 2-4 So, Vachier-Lagrave, Ding 5.5pts, 5 Ivanchuk 5pts 6-7 Radjabov, Caruana 4.5pts, 8-9 Wojtaszek, Giri 4pts, 10 Aronian 3pts 11-12 Hou Yifan, Saric 2.5pts 13 Van Wely 2pts 14 Jobava 1.5pts

    Monday 19th January rest day.

    Tuesday 20th January 12:30 GMT: Saric-Van Wely, Giri-Ding Liren, So-Vachier-Lagrave, Wojtaszek-Ivanchuk, Carlsen-Radjabov, Aronian-Jobava, Caruana-Hou Yifan

  • Carlsen and Ivanchuk share the lead in the Tata Steel Masters after 7 rounds – 7
    Magnus Carlsen was not really impressed with his own play in beating women’s world champion Hou Yifan in the seventh round of the Tata Steel Masters tournament. Carlsen thought she played too passively initially but then had chances to hold. ”If she had taken with the queen instead of the knight on e4, I’m not sure if I would’ve won.” said Carlsen but he won in the end in 54 moves.

    Leader Vassily Ivanchuk had much the better of the opening against Anish Giri but lost this advantage and then started to play quite poorly. Giri said he didn’t believe in his winning chances in the Queen and two pawns vs Queen and one pawn ending but Ivanchuk gave him a chance which he didn’t take (89.Qf4 or 90.Qd6+ were the computer suggestions).

    In a poor day for the Dutch players Loek van Wely turned a winning into a lost one in the space of a few moves after move 50 in what must have been a pretty upsetting loss to Liren Ding.

    Ivan Saric and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played a sharp Sicilian which ended suddenly after 31.Rd2? (31.Qc1) allowing Vachier-Lagrave to mate him.

    Finally Baadur Jobova’s risky and creative play paid off when he won against surprise package Radoslaw Wojtaszek in 37 moves.

    Wesley So was held to a draw by Teimour Radjabov and Fabiano Caruana was substantially better against a struggling Levon Aronian but that too was drawn.

    Round 7 Standings: 1-2 Ivanchuk, Carlsen 5/7pts, 3-5 So, Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren 4.5, 6-7 Wojtaszek, Giri 4pts, 8-9 Caruana, Radjabov 3.5pts, 10-11 Aronian, Saric 2.5pts, 12-13 Hou Yifan, Van Wely 2pts, 14 Jobava 1.5pts

    Round 8 Pairings: Sunday 18th Jan 12:30 GMT. I will host commentary on ICC with GM John Fedorowicz please join us if you can. Van Wely-Caruana, Hou, Yifan-Aronian, Jobava-Carlsen, Radjabov-Wojtaszek, Ivanchuk-So, Vachier-Lagrave-Giri, Ding Liren-Saric.

  • Ivanchuk still leads Tata Steel after 6 rounds as Carlsen and So move into contention – 6
    World Champion Magnus Carlsen beat world number 2 Fabiano Caruana with an aggressive display with black in one of the games of the day. Carlsen played the Sicilian and in response to the Rossolimo Variation he played the unusual 8…e5. Caruana played the cautious 9.0-0 which seems to be new and then Carlsen attacked on the Kingside whilst Caruana broke through on the Queenside. Computers liked white for a long time but it can’t have been easy for white and he eventually traded to a roughly balanced endgame. 29.Bxf4 seems to have been inaccurate and 31.Kf1 was the losing move after 31.Rf4! Carlsen quickly won after that.

    Wesley So joined Carlsen on 4/6 after beating Baadur Jobava on the black side of a Giuoco Piano. The game was tremendously sharp, So was glad to grab the two bishops early on and he got some attacking chances. The key moments were 25.Qxc7 which came as a surprise to So and the computers show can be refuted by 25.Bf5! 25.Bb5 allows 25…Qc3 when both So and computers say the position is unclear or equal. Instead 26…Qxd6 was bad even though the position was still difficult for both sides So got things under control in a few moves and Jobava resigned.

    The other game to finish decisively was a mind boggling game between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ding Liren. This was an advanced Caro-Kann where Ding played very quickly into a position that possibly can only be understood with deep computer preparation. He at least equalised at one stage but 27…Qd5 was an error (27…Qc2 was better) as 29.Rd6 getting behind his passed pawn came with tempo. Vachier-Lagrave won a pawn and with the more active pieces also the game.

    Leader Vassily Ivanchuk was held to a draw by Ivan Saric who traded down to a draw in what looked like an accurate game. Hou Yifan and Radoslaw Wojtsazek drew a Sicilian where Hou could have forced a draw at one stage but decided to play on but it didn’t change the balanced assessement of the position. Levon Aronian played very creatively against Loek van Wely’s Trompowsky Attack and the game was drawn by perpetual attack on Van Wely’s Queen. Van Wely said he thought Aronian was in bad shape but still tricky and he felt he maybe missed a chance. Teimour Radjabov sacrificed two rooks to open up Anish Giri’s King in a Taimanov Sicilian and with Giri threatening mate in one had to take a perpetual check.

    Round 6 Standings: 1 Ivanchuk 4.5pts 2-4 Wojtaszek, Carlsen, So 4pts 5-7 Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren, Giri 3.5pts 8-9 Caruana, Radjabov 3pts 10 Saric 2.5pts 11-14 Hou Yifan, Van Wely, Aronian 2pts 14 Jobava 0.5pts

    Round 7 pairings: Sat 17th Jan 12:30 GMT Ding Liren-Van Wely, Saric-Vachier-Lagrave, Giri-Ivanchuk, So-Radjabov, Wojtaszek-Jobava, Carlsen-Hou Yifan, Aronian-Caruana

  • Carlsen wins, Caruana loses and Ivanchuk leads after Tata Steel Round 5 – 5
    The fifth round of the Tata Steel Masters took place in Rotterdam and produced four decisive games. At the end Vassily Ivanchuk remained in the lead with 4/5 half a point clear of his opponent Ding Liren and the ACP qualifier Radoslaw Wojtaszek

    The leader Vassily Ivanchuk played one of his closest rivals Liren Ding with black and the game finished in a quick draw.

    World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen faced long time number two Levon Aronian and produced a fine positional display to win in 47 moves. Carlsen said this was his best game of the event so far. Carlsen established some static pawn weaknesses on c7 and d5 against Aronian’s Ragozin Defence and Aronian struggled to find the proper placement of his pieces in a passive position. Carlsen broke through tactically and won the d5 pawn after which Aronian’s whole position collapsed.

    Radoslaw Wojtaszek moved into joint second place with a second win against the Leningrad Dutch. He has now beaten the top two players in the world Carlsen in Round 3 and today Fabiano Caruana in Round 5 in this opening. Maybe he won’t get too many volunteers to play it against him in the future. Wojtaszek again won a pawn and was pressing for the win. Caruana’s 39…d3 giving up a pawn seems to have been the decisive mistake.

    Anish Giri defeated Baadur Jobava in what was the game of the day. Jobava chose a very sharp King’s Indian which was theoretically much better for white but in practice very frightening for white to face. 22.Nc3 seems to be an error, Giri missed the fantastic response 22…Nh4!! after this play was balanced. Jobava could have more or less forced a draw but his 33…Bg4, trying to win, turned out to be a terrible tactical error and Giri won a few moves later.

    Ivan Saric had a rather depressing day being worse as white shortly after the opening in a Berlin against Teimour Radjabov and was ground down, Radjabov even missed a one move with with 32…Qf6 but converted the endgame all the same. Wesley So tried long and hard against Hou Yifan in the final game to finish but the Women’s World Champion held the endgame rather impressively. Loek van Wely has never been afraid to play the Sicilian against the best in the world and today he had the better of a draw against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

    Round 5 Standings: 1 Ivanchuk 4/5pts 2-3 Wojtaszek, Ding 3.5pts 4-7 Caruana, So, Carlsen, Giri 3pts 8-9 Radjabov, Vachier-Lagrave 2.5pts 10 Saric 2pts 11-13 Aronian, Van Wely, Hou Yifan 1.5pts 14 Jobava 0.5pts

    Round 6 Pairings 16th Jan 2015 12:30 GMT: Van Wely-Aronian, Caruana-Carlsen, Hou Yifan-Wojtaszek, Jobava-So, Radjabov-Giri, Ivanchuk-Saric, Vachier-Lagrave-Ding Liren

  • Ivanchuk leads Tata Steel Masters alone on 3.5/4 – 4
    Vassily Ivanchuk won a fine game against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in a complex Sicilian to take the sole lead of the Tata Steel Masters on 3.5/4 going into the first rest day. Ivanchuk steadily outplayed his opponent and then suddenly won after his opponent overlooked a tactic in an admittedly very difficult position. There is a rest day on Wednesday and the event has an away day in Rotterdam on Thursday with the start time being pushed back half an hour.

    Magnus Carlsen returned to 50% with a win against Loek van Wely. The opening was a rather drawish Gruenfeld Defence but gradually Van Wely got into serious time pressure and after the poor 25.g5 giving up the b-pawn he didn’t seem to have any further chances.

    Ivan Saric admitted he got a bit lucky against Baadur Jobava. Jobava took huge risks in the opening to bring about early tactics and after 15 moves looked to have a huge advantage. 17.Ke3 was a poor move and 19.h4 was another one and after that whilst things remained complex he was winning and converted.

    Ding Liren moved into contention with another win this time defeating Teimour Radjabov on the black side of a King’s Indian, also a favourite of his opponent. A razer sharp game turned on one decision with 29.Qh6? being a losing move rather than 29.Qh5 with ideas of calming things down with a queen exchange.

    The remaining three games were drawn. Anish Giri has a poor record against Hou Yifan and whilst he tried hard to sharpen things with black the game ended in a repetition and a draw in an equal position. Levon Aronian played for nice pressure in a Catalan endgame but after Wojtaszek survived some tactical tricks a drawn queen endgame was reached. Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So drew a well played Ruy Lopez in 31 moves.

    Round 4 standings: 1 Ivanchuk 3.5/4, 2-3 Caruana, Ding Liren 3pts 4 So, Wojtaszek 2.5pts 6-9 Giri, Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave, Saric, Ivan 2pts 10-11 Aronian, Radjabov 1.5pts 12-13 Hou Yifan, Van Wely 1pt 14 Jobava 0.5pts

    Round 5 Pairings 1pm GMT Rotterdam: Vachier-Lagrave- Van Wely, Ding Liren-Ivanchuk, Ivan Saric-Radjabov, Giri-Jobava, So-Hou Yifan, Wojtaszek-Caruana, Carlsen-Aronian.

  • Caruana and Ivanchuk lead as Carlsen loses in Tata Steel Round 3 – 3
    Fabiano Caruana held on to draw his game with Anish Giri in the final game to finish. It wasn’t really clear that Giri had real chances to win but the game was a marathon 96 moves.

    Vassily Ivanchuk was the first player to reach 2.5/3 after beating Loek van Wely in a great attacking game in a Sicilian.

    Radoslaw Wojtaszek earned his place in the event through qualifying from ACP events. He is clearly enjoying the challenge even after two long games to start. He had his greatest win when he defeated Magnus Carlsen who chose the Leningrad Dutch as a surprise weapon. Wojtaszek is an opening theoretician and he considered the possibility of this precise move order and his 4.b4 may have surprised Carlsen. Carlsen said that that was nothing wrong with his opening choice, just his play. Carlsen gave up a pawn and then was forced to part with a piece on move 29. Carlsen kept some activity but once Wojtaszek forced queens off on move 40 he knew he would win.

    Wesley So defeated Levon Aronian in a strange Scotch Game where it seemed at first he had been outplayed. Most likely his pawn grab with 12.Qxa7 wasn’t the best, the players both thought 12.g3 was better after the game but the position remained extremely complicated and Aronian just blundered his position away with 20…Ng8 losing a piece. Aronian maintained some activity but Wesley So’s attitude seemed to be best shown by his reluctance to discuss the rest of the game, it being a piece up after all. It’s quite likely there were easier ways to finish things but So never let Aronian back into the game really.

    Liren Ding said that he had suffered a little from jet lag in the early rounds and was now caught up. He destroyed Baadur Jobava in a Modern Defence in only 22 moves. Ding wasn’t impressed with 7…c5 by his opponent and even less by 14…0-0-0 and he just broke the position open and won.

    Hou Yifan missed a major chance to get her tournament going when she got a decisive advantage against Ivan Saric whose 15.h4 followed by 16.a4? were really rather more than his position can take. 18…Rxa4 was the computer recommendation with a decisive advantage. Hou eventually chose to repeat after much of her advantage went away.

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Teimour Radjabov drew a theoretical Bf4 Queen’s Gambit.

    Round 3 Standings: 1-2 Caruana, Ivanchuk 2.5/3 3-6 So, Wojtaszek, Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren 2pts 7-8 Radjabov, Giri 1.5pts 9-12 Carlsen, Van Wely, Aronian, Saric 1pt 13-14 Jobava, Hou Yifan 0.5pts

    Round 4 Pairings: Tuesday 13th January 2015: Van Wely-Carlsen, Aronian-Wojtaszek, Caruana-So, Hou Yifan-Giri, Jobava-Saric, Radjabov-Ding, Ivanchuk-Vachier-Lagrave

  • Caruana starts Tata Steel Chess 2015 with two wins – 2
    Fabiano Caruana scored a second win in the 2015 Tata Steel tournament when he defeated Ivan Saric in the second round in a Breyer Ruy Lopez. Caruana was somewhat embarrassed to find that the move 14…a5, which took him by surprise had been played by his opponent before. Saric was doing fine until move 29 when he missed that he could play 29…Rxf5 because 30.Qg4 Rf6! works for black. Then he had to play 30…Bxe3 with a playable game. After 30…Qb7 Caruana quickly became active with 32.Qg4 and brought home the full point quickly.

    Liren Ding beat Hou Yifan on the black side of a Caro-Kann. Hou sacrificed a pawn and got compensation but her 21.Ne5+ was probably a step in the wrong direction (21.f5!) and was ground down in an endgame.

    Levon Aronian hoped to surprise Anish Giri with his choice of the Russian System against the Gruenfeld but Giri was ready and they went into a long line first played by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. They reached an endgame with Rooks and Bishops of opposite colours where Giri was a couple of pawns down but the position was drawish due to his activity.

    Magnus Carlsen admitted to being outplayed by Wesley So in their first game together. This meant that Carlsen (as white) had to be careful and he had to more or less forced a draw before he got into problems.

    Baadur Jobava allowed Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to play 8…d5 in one go (without d6 first) in an Accelerated Dragon and they repeated in a drawn position.

    Teimour Radjabov and Vassily Ivanchuk drew a lengthy Reti which was more or less balanced throughout.

    In the final game to finish Loek van Wely allowed Radoslaw Wojtaszek to escape with a draw after having played a very nice attacking game to get a winning position. A couple of clean wins were 46.Qe2 and quite surprisingly the 53.Qxg4 taking queens off just wins for him too.

    David Navara, Wei Yi, Valentina Gunina, Robin van Kampen and Bart Michiels lead the B-Group on 1.5/2.

    Round 2 Standings: 1 Caruana, 2pts 2-3 Ivanchuk, Vachier-Lagrave 1.5pts 4-11 Radjabov, Carlsen, Giri, Wesley So, Wojtaszek, Van Wely, Aronian, Ding Liren 1pt, 12-13 Jobava, Saric, 0.5pts 14 Hou Yifan 0pts.

    Round 3 Pairings Monday 12th January 2015 12:30pm GMT. Ivanchuk-Van Wely, Vachier-Lagrave-Radjabov, Ding Liren-Jobava, Saric-Hou Yifan, Giri-Caruana, So-Aronian, Wojtaszek-Carlsen

  • Wins for Caruana, Ivanchuk and Vachier-Lagrave in Tata Steel Chess Round 1 – 1

    In the Challengers Group Robin van Kampen beat Sam Sevian in a Berlin in the only decisive game of the section.

    Fabiano Caruana was the first winner in the Masters section of the Tata Steel Chess tournament of 2015. Caruana outplayed Ding Liren in a Gruenfeld where he tempted forward white’s pawns and eventually these became weak and the whole position collapsed.

    Vassily Ivanchuk was pretty much gifted a win after a complete collapse by his opponent Baadur Jobava just after first time control. Ivanchuk thought his 20.c5 was too risky (20.Qb3 was more solid) and perhaps he should have tried to force a draw by repetition by attacking Jobava’s Queen with his knight. 25…b5 allowed Ivanchuk to liquidate into a more or less equal position. At first time control the position was balanced but Jobava needed to be careful as Ivanchuk had an active king. 42…Ra4? was a terrible error as 43.Rxa4 forced a winning ending which was ”not so difficult for a good Grandmaster” to calculate according to Ivanchuk. Jobava then realised he was losing and resigned. White will stop the a-pawns with his king and running c and f pawns will decide in his favour. (you can rewatch Ivanchuk’s interview).

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave beat Hou Yifan on the white side of a French Defence. Hou had a very reasonable opening but instead of taking queens off with 21…Qxc7 she went for complications which she did not evaluate correctly and was forced to ruin her king-side pawn structure only a few moves later with 24…Qf6. After that black’s position was close to lost.

    Van Wely felt he had a comfortable draw with black against Teimour Radjabov. He did mention that he missed a move in time trouble that fortunately, for him, didn’t cost the game.

    World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen’s comments on Giri’s ”cowardly” safety first play, no-matter how lighthearted he thought they were, added some tension to their round 1 clash. Carlsen chose a Modern System with 1…g6 against 1.d4 which may be a risky thing to repeat but worked very well as a one off against Giri who only had some vague general knowledge about the opening. 9.c5 looked like a major test of the formation but Carlsen’s very precise 9…dxc5 10.dxe5 Nxe5! seems to have pretty much equalised. This at least was the conclusion of the players after the game. The game was drawn on move 30 in a king and pawn ending.

    ”Yes, it was a little experiment in opening. Unfortunately it was not as exciting as some of us had hoped for, and it was a quite forced liquidation to a draw.” said Carlsen in an interview in Norwegian: Carlsen’s manager Espen Agdestein had already promised some opening experiments in the tournament.

    Wesley So and Radoslaw Wojtaszek drew a complex fluctuating struggle that saw an endgame where both missed strong continuations (57.Rf5! for white and 65…Rxd5 for black).

    Ivan Saric missed an opportunistic tactic with 24…c6! which would have caused Levon Aronian a lot of problems in an otherwise fairly dull Italian game.

    In the Challengers Group Robin van Kampen beat Sam Sevian in a Berlin in the only decisive game of the section.

    Round 1 Standings: 1-3 Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave, Ivanchuk 1pt, 4-11 Carlsen, Aronian, Giri, So, Wojtaszek, Radjabov, Van Wely, Saric 0.5pts, 12-14 Ding Liren, Jobava, Hou Yifan opts

    Round 2 Pairings: Sunday 11th Jan 2015 12:30 GMT Van Wely-Wojtaszek, Carlsen-So, Aronian-Giri, Caruana-Saric, Hou-Ding, Jobava-Vachier-Lagrave, Radjabov-Ivanchuk.

  • 77th Tata Steel Masters 2015 – Games and Results
    The 77th Tata Steel Tournament takes place 9th- 25th January 2015. The venue is the traditional De Moriaan building in Wijk aan Zee. However two rounds will take place in satellite venues. Round 5 of 15th January takes place in De Rotterdam, the recently opened eye-catching building at the waterfront of the river Meuse in Rotterdam, designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. Round 10 on 21st January takes place in the recently renovated press centre Nieuwspoort in The Hague.

    World Champion and World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen returns after a year’s break. Number two Fabiano Caruana and defending champion Levon Aronian returns. The Masters group also is back to 14 players and 13 rounds and two more players will be added to the list below.

    Masters Group players Carlsen (1), Caruana (2), Aronian (6), Giri (7), So (10), Vachier-Lagrave (13), Wojtaszek (15), Radjabov (20), Ding Liren (22), Jobava (26), Ivanchuk (33), Hou Yifan (70), Van Wely (81) and Saric (82).

    The B-Group is also very interesting with Navara, Wei Yi, Shankland, Van Kampen, Erwin l’ Ami, Potkin, Saleh Salem, Timman, Michiels, Gunina, Klein, Sevian, Haast and Ari Dale. This is a container page for stories. Full daily coverage.

  • 90th Hastings Congress 2014-15 – Games and Results
    The 90th Hastings Congress took place Mon 29th Dec 2014 – Tue 6th Jan 2015. :Leading players in the Masters group were: Maxim Rodshtein, Romain Edouard, Aleksander Mista, Alexandr Fier etc but it was Zhao Jun who dominated scoring 8/9 undefeated.
  • 44th Rilton Cup 2014-15 – Games and Results
    The 44th Rilton Cup took place Mon 29th Dec 2014Tue 6th Jan 2015. Leading players: Ilia Smirin, Jon Ludvig Hammer, Evgeny Romanov, Aleksey Goganov, Michal Krasenkow etc. Jon Ludvig Hammer edged out Tiger Hillarp Persson on tie-break after both scored 7/9.
  • Australian Open 2015 – Games and Results
    The Australian Open takes place Fri 2nd Jan 2015Sun 11th Jan 2015. Ni Hua, Kazhgaleyev, Zhao Zong-Yuan and David Smerdon are the top seeds.
  • 6th London Chess Classic 2014 – Games and Results
    The 6th London Chess Classic took place at Olympia 6th to 14th December 2014. There will be a rapid tournament followed by a five round classical event. The ”Super Six” will be Fabiano Caruana, Viswanathan Anand, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Vladimir Kramnik and Michael Adams. This is a container for stories, games and results. Viswanathan Anand won the main classic event.

  • Nutcracker Match of the Generations 2014 – Games and Results
    The Nutcracker Match of the Generations took place 20th to 25th December 2014 in Moscow. A Scheveningen chess tournament with a team of experienced ”Kings” (Leko, Shirov, Dreev and Morozevich) took on a team of younger players ”Princes” (Artemiev, Fedoseev, Dubov and Oparin). Started with 4 days of Classical games which was tied. There were then 8 rounds of rapid chess. The teams were tied going into the final round when Peter Leko won the only decisive game to win the match for the Kings team.
  • European Rapid and Blitz Championships 2014 – Games and Results
    The European Rapid and Blitz Championships took place in Wroclaw 19th to 21st December 2014. David Navara took the blitz title and Jan-Krzysztof Duda the rapid. Games and results now available.