76th Tata Steel Tournament 2014 (1)
Tata Steel starts with sadness and four decisive games
Mark Crowther - Saturday 11th January 2014
Hikaru Nakamura during round 1. Photo © | http://www.tatasteelchess.com/
The first day of the 76th Tata Steel Chess tournament was over-shadowed by news in the morning that Vugar Gashimov had died in Germany at the tragically early age of 27. Gashimov played his final tournament in Wijk aan Zee two years before and I'm sure the minutes silence would have been particularly poignant for his collegues all of whom would have known him.
This year was a relaunch of the Tata Steel tournament with many changes behind the scenes, a reduced budget and new ideas, we'll have to see how they go but the fourth round in the Rijksmuseum looks particularly inspired and today's commentary whilst no longer in the huge tent was well attended in the local school with veteran and Dutch legend IM Hans Bouwmeester as a special guest.
There were four decisive games in the renamed Masters group with some players displaying rust. For me favourites for the event should be Aronian, Nakamura and Caruana and all showed intent in the first round.
Aronian had black against Pentala Harikrishna in an old fashioned Giuoco Piano and took a sharp route, in the end he allowed a repetition.
Hikaru Nakamura seems to play more like Magnus Carlsen every day squeezing out a win against Arkadij Naiditsch who got a bit too clever sacrificing a piece for running pawns that didn't end up running (Nakamura said the sacrifice should lose immediately with 42.Kf2 but he played 42.Ke2 instead).
Fabiano Caruana had white against Boris Gelfand who has played very well recently, there was a sharp struggle 28...Nd7? was apparently a decisive blunder allowing a winning attack for Caruana.
Loek van Wely got a more or less equal position with white against Sergey Karjakin but got careless and a lost rook and pawn ending. Karjakin seemed to get very careless and Van Wely had good drawing chances but in the end he collapsed again and lost.
Richard Rapport is a very talented GM but playing the Nimzo-Larsen 1.b3 regularly isn't how it's done at this level and even though Wesley So only arrived in the morning of the round after an extremely trying journey he ground out a win.
This event is in my view very important for Anish Giri whose first half year as a professional has been not as good as I expected. Giri started with a comfortable draw with black against Leinier Dominguez Perez in the Berlin Defence.
In the Challengers there were wins for Kaydon Troff, Dmitry Reinderman, Sabino Brunello and Zhao Xue (I wouldn't have liked to have been the man to explain to his opponent Etienne Goudriaan that 21.Nxg5 was immediately crushing).
Round 2 Sun 12th Jan 2014 12:30pm: Giri-Naiditsch, So-Nakamura, Gelfand-Rapport, Aronian-Caruana, Karjakin-Harikrishna, Dominguez-Van Wely.
|76th Tata Steel Masters Wijk aan Zee (NED), 11-26 i 2014||cat. XX (2743)|
|6.||Dominguez Perez, Leinier||g||CUB||2754||.||.||.||.||.||*||½||.||.||.||.||.||½||2734|
|12.||Van Wely, Loek||g||NED||2672||.||.||0||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||*||0|
|Round 1 (January 11, 2014)|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||- Naiditsch, Arkadij||1-0||65||E32||Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2|
|Caruana, Fabiano||- Gelfand, Boris||1-0||30||B90||Sicilian Najdorf Variation|
|Dominguez Perez, Leinier||- Giri, Anish||½-½||31||C67||Ruy Lopez Berlin|
|Harikrishna, Pentala||- Aronian, Levon||½-½||30||C54||Giuoco Piano|
|Rapport, Richard||- So, Wesley||0-1||56||A01||Larsen Opening|
|Van Wely, Loek||- Karjakin, Sergey||0-1||60||E06||Catalan|
|Tata Steel Challengers Wijk aan Zee (NED), 11-26 i 2014||cat. XIV (2579)|
|4.||Troff, Kayden W||m||USA||2457||.||.||.||*||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||1||1|
|7.||Timman, Jan H||g||NED||2607||.||.||.||.||.||.||*||½||.||.||.||.||.||.||½||2566|
|14.||Van Delft, Merijn||m||NED||2430||.||.||.||0||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||.||*||0|
|Round 1 (January 11, 2014)|
|Jobava, Baadur||- Duda, Jan-Krzysztof||½-½||84||B23||Sicilian Closed|
|Saric, Ivan||- Bok, Benjamin||½-½||49||A05||Various|
|Muzychuk, Anna||- Timman, Jan H||½-½||43||C91||Ruy Lopez|
|Wojtaszek, Radoslaw||- Reinderman, Dimitri||0-1||71||A40||Unusual Replies to 1.d4|
|Yu, Yangyi||- Brunello, Sabino||0-1||60||B12||Caro Kann Advanced|
|Goudriaan, Etienne||- Zhao, Xue||0-1||62||E21||Nimzo Indian 4.Nf3|
|Van Delft, Merijn||- Troff, Kayden W||0-1||76||B52||Sicilian Rossolimo|
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