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78th Tata Steel 2016 (1)

Lively start to Tata Steel chess tournament of 2016

Wesley So got off to the perfect start by beating Anish Giri. Photo ©

Wesley So got off to the perfect start by beating Anish Giri. Photo © | http://www.tatasteelchess.com/

The first round of the Tata Steel Masters saw three decisive games. Wesley So beat Anish Giri, Fabiano Caruana beat Pavel Eljanov and Ding Liren beat Michael Adams. World Champion Magnus Carlsen played the rare 8..g5 in the Queen's Gambit and drew fairly comfortably but said he was worried about some attacking chances that David Navara might have risked. Evgeny Tomashevsky was happy to draw against Wei Yi as black, Loek van Wely missed a winning continuation against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and couldn't convert the small advantage that remained, Hou Yifan drew against Sergey Karjakin. In the Challengers Group every single game was decisive.

Round 1 Standings: 1st-3rd Caruana, So, Ding Liren 1pt 4th-11th Carlsen, Karjakin, Mamedyarov, Navara, Tomashevsky, Wei Yi, Hou Yifan Van Wely 0.5pts 12th-14th Giri, Eljanov, Adams 0pts

Round 2 pairings Sun 17th Jan 2016 12:30pm GMT: Karjakin-Van Wely, Tomashevsky-Mamedyarov, Eljanov-Wei Yi, Carlsen-Caruana, Adams-Navara, Giri-Ding Liren, Hou Yifan-Wesley So.

Wesley So scored an emphatic victory against Anish Giri. So played the English Opening to try and avoid detailed theory as he rates So as the best prepared player in the world right now. Giri was close to equality but a couple of inaccurate moves (possibly starting with 16...Bxd5 and continuing with 17...Na7) left his position critical. Giri played for activity but his position collapsed with the excellent 24.Na1! from So threatening to win Giri's exposed pawn on f3. Soon So was two pawns up and resignation followed. Giri lost very few games in 2015 but nothing quite seemed to work for him today. So looks ready to resume his climb to the top after a mixed 2015 where he seemed to be affected by issues surrounding his move the the US.

Ding Liren ground out a long win against Michael Adams in a 4 pawns vs 3 on the Kingside but it looked that Adams might save it at some point,

Fabiano Caruana was caught by surprise by Pavel Eljanov's 4...dxc4 and played a pawn sacrifice he had looked at in detail about two years ago. Around 21.h4 Caruana really didn't like his position but was relieved to see 25...Rd5 after which he is probably equal with the easier position to play. 31...Qe6 should have been played instead after 31..b6 32.e6 Elajanov's position collapsed quickly.

Magnus Carlsen surprised David Navara with the rare 8...g5 in the Queen's Gambit an idea played by Denis Khismatullin three times last year. The game finished in a tame draw but Carlsen was worried by some unclear attacking ideas for white. Navara wasn't happy to stir things up against the world champion.

"I think he had very interesting attacking chances, but it was not clear at all. As to what happened in the game it pretty much petered out to a draw. I think it was an interesting game, very interesting, but it was dangerous for sure." Magnus Carlsen

Loek van Wely tried for a very long time to grind out an endgame against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov however he could have punished the optimistic 17.Nxb5? with 17...Ng4 which would have ended things abruptly for white.

Evgeny Tomashevsky was very happy to be in Wijk aan Zee having achieved one of his career ambitions to play in the event. He got a comfortable draw with black against Wei Yi who was reported to still be suffering with some jet-lag.

Hou Yifan and Sergey Karjakin played out a fairly calm draw in 40 moves.

78th Tata Steel GpA Wijk aan Zee (NED), 15-31 i 2016 cat. XX (2748)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. Caruana, Fabiano g USA 2787 * . . . . . . . . . . . 1 . 1
2. So, Wesley g USA 2773 . * . . . . . . . . . 1 . . 1
3. Ding, Liren g CHN 2766 . . * . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
4. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2844 . . . * . . ½ . . . . . . . ½ 2730
5. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2769 . . . . * . . . . ½ . . . . ½ 2673
6. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2747 . . . . . * . . . . ½ . . . ½ 2640
7. Navara, David g CZE 2730 . . . ½ . . * . . . . . . . ½ 2844
8. Tomashevsky, Evgeny g RUS 2728 . . . . . . . * ½ . . . . . ½ 2706
9. Wei, Yi g CHN 2706 . . . . . . . ½ * . . . . . ½ 2728
10. Hou, Yifan g CHN 2673 . . . . ½ . . . . * . . . . ½ 2769
11. Van Wely, Loek g NED 2640 . . . . . ½ . . . . * . . . ½ 2747
12. Giri, Anish g NED 2798 . 0 . . . . . . . . . * . . 0
13. Eljanov, Pavel g UKR 2760 0 . . . . . . . . . . . * . 0
14. Adams, Michael g ENG 2744 . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . * 0
Round 1 (January 16, 2016)
Caruana, Fabiano - Eljanov, Pavel 1-0 38 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
So, Wesley - Giri, Anish 1-0 37 A36 English Botvinnik
Ding, Liren - Adams, Michael 1-0 61 A20 English Opening
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar - Van Wely, Loek ½-½ 76 D11 Slav Defence
Navara, David - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 31 D37 QGD 5.Bf4
Wei, Yi - Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½ 23 C88 Ruy Lopez Closed
Hou, Yifan - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 40 A07 Barcza System
78th Tata Steel GpB Wijk aan Zee (NED), 15-31 i 2016 cat. XIII (2569)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter g GER 2679 * . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . 1
2. Adhiban, Baskaran g IND 2653 . * . . . . . . . . 1 . . . 1
3. Safarli, Eltaj g AZE 2653 . . * . . . . . 1 . . . . . 1
4. Dreev, Aleksey g RUS 2644 . . . * . . . 1 . . . . . . 1
5. L'Ami, Erwin g NED 2627 . . . . * . . . . . . . 1 . 1
6. Ju, Wenjun g CHN 2548 . . . . . * . . . 1 . . . . 1
7. Van Foreest, Jorden m NED 2541 . . . . . . * . . . . . . 1 1
8. Bok, Benjamin g NED 2607 . . . 0 . . . * . . . . . . 0
9. Sevian, Samuel g USA 2578 . . 0 . . . . . * . . . . . 0
10. Antipov, Mikhail Al. g RUS 2567 . . . . . 0 . . . * . . . . 0
11. Abasov, Nijat g AZE 2556 . 0 . . . . . . . . * . . . 0
12. Batsiashvili, Nino m GEO 2485 0 . . . . . . . . . . * . . 0
13. Admiraal, Miguoel m NED 2441 . . . . 0 . . . . . . . * . 0
14. Haast, Anne wg NED 2391 . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . * 0
Round 1 (January 16, 2016)
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter - Batsiashvili, Nino 1-0 49 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
Adhiban, Baskaran - Abasov, Nijat 1-0 35 E34 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2
Safarli, Eltaj - Sevian, Samuel 1-0 55 A15 English counter King's Fianchetto
Dreev, Aleksey - Bok, Benjamin 1-0 45 D83 Gruenfeld 4.Bf4
L'Ami, Erwin - Admiraal, Miguoel 1-0 34 D10 Slav Defence
Antipov, Mikhail Al. - Ju, Wenjun 0-1 37 B40 Sicilian Classical
Haast, Anne - Van Foreest, Jorden 0-1 37 B56 Sicilian Defence

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