79th Tata Steel Masters 2017 (12)
Wesley So takes a half point lead over Wei Yi, Aronian and Carlsen going into the Tata Steel final round
Mark Crowther - Saturday 28th January 2017
Magnus Carlsen recovered from a lousy position to beat Pavel Eljanov for the fifth time without reply. Photo © | http://www.tatasteelchess.com/
Wesley So drew against his closest challenger Wei Yi in round 12 to ensure a lead going into the final round. So has the reputation of being fairly conservative and he played again quite solidly against his dangerous opponent with the white pieces. Whether he will regret this only tomorrow will tell but Wei Yi was joined by Levon Aronian and an extremely fortunate Magnus Carlsen in the chasing group only half a point behind. There will be a playoff if there is a tie at the top.
Magnus Carlsen took is lifetime score to 5-0 with no draws against Pavel Eljanov and one can't help wondering if this psychological advantage played a part in him winning today from a miserable if not entirely lost position.
"It's amazing considering how poorly I've played in the second half that I'm still in with a chance but I'm happy that I'm and I'll try my best." Carlsen
Levon Aronian played a restrained Saemisch setup against Loek van Wely's King's Indian and then the structure moved to more of a Benoni. Aronian then took advantage of a couple of inaccuracies to launch a mating attack and the game finished on move 34.
The remaining games were drawn. Baskaran Adhiban had a slightly worse endgame against Anish Giri but the fight seems to have gone out of the Dutchman and he allowed a quick draw. Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Dmitry Andreikin drew a Slav where it seemed like black was pressing. Sergey Karjakin got into slight trouble as white against Ian Nepomniachtchi but they both probably want to go home now and agreed a draw on move 21. Pentala Harikrishna has impressed a lot with his fighting play but not with his openings. He lost a pawn directly out of the opening to a simple tactic but his technique let him down badly and he was worse (45.Kb3 instead of the drawing 45.Rxb7?!). Maybe Harikrishna was relieved just to escape.
Leader Jeffery Xiong was beaten in the B-Group and lies tied for 3rd with Ilia Smirin. The leaders half a point in front are Markus Ragger and Gawain Jones. With Masters group qualification for the winner there is sure to be a tense final round.
Round 12 standings: 1st Wesley So 8pts, 2nd= Carlsen, Aronian, Wei Yi 7.5pts, 5th= Adhiban, Karjakin, Eljanov 6.5pts, 8th= Harikrishna, Giri 6pts, 10th= Andreikin, Nepomniachtchi, Wojtaszek 5pts, 13th Rapport 4.5pts 14th Van Wely 2.5pts
Round 13 pairings: Sunday 29th January 11am UK time: Andreikin-Aronian, Wei Yi-Wojtaszek, Nepomniachtchi-So, Carlsen-Karjakin, Giri-Eljanov, Rapport-Adhiban, Van Wely-Harikrishna.
Carlsen's miracle win
Carlsen played the Stonewall Dutch but it went completely wrong and it looked like Eljanov would just push the World Champion off the board. At the very least Eljanov could have grabbed an extra pawn and continued to press. Most likely Carlsen got caught between two thoughts about equalising and trying to keep winning chances. His 9...Bd7 (9...Nbd7) turned out to be very slow and 13.Qa3 a now standard positional idea made famous by Anand in a different variation proved to be extremely strong, although white didn't lack alternatives.
After 26...Ne4 Carlsen thought the worst was over but it was actually Eljanov's mistake 29.Bxe4? (29.Nd4) that got him back in it. In time trouble 37.d6 was probably the decisive error, the endgame was not that easy but Carlsen made it look so.
|79th Tata Steel GpA Wijk aan Zee (NED), 13-29 i 2017||cat. XXI (2751)|
|14.||Van Wely, Loek||g||NED||2695||0||0||0||0||½||0||0||.||½||½||½||0||½||*||2½||2524|
|Round 12 (January 28, 2017)|
|So, Wesley||- Wei, Yi||½-½||32||D41||Semi-Tarrasch Defence|
|Aronian, Levon||- Van Wely, Loek||1-0||34||E81||King's Indian Saemisch|
|Adhiban, Baskaran||- Giri, Anish||½-½||34||C24||Bishop's Opening|
|Karjakin, Sergey||- Nepomniachtchi, Ian||½-½||21||B91||Sicilian Najdorf with 6.g3|
|Eljanov, Pavel||- Carlsen, Magnus||0-1||60||A90||Dutch Classical|
|Harikrishna, Pentala||- Rapport, Richard||½-½||52||B12||Caro Kann Advanced|
|Wojtaszek, Radoslaw||- Andreikin, Dmitry||½-½||51||D15||Slav Defence|
|79th Tata Steel GpB Wijk aan Zee (NED), 13-29 i 2017||cat. XIV (2593)|
|2.||Jones, Gawain C B||g||ENG||2665||1||*||0||0||.||1||1||½||½||1||1||1||½||1||8½||2743|
|12.||Van Foreest, Jorden||g||NED||2612||0||0||0||0||0||0||½||1||.||½||1||*||0||½||3½||2429|
|Round 12 (January 28, 2017)|
|Ragger, Markus||- Van Foreest, Jorden||1-0||45||B12||Caro Kann Advanced|
|Jones, Gawain C B||- Dobrov, Vladimir||1-0||28||B40||Sicilian Classical|
|Smirin, Ilia||- Lei, Tingjie||1-0||50||B13||Caro Kann Exchange|
|Tari, Aryan||- Xiong, Jeffery||1-0||42||C42||Petroff's Defence|
|Grandelius, Nils||- Lu, Shanglei||0-1||40||B51||Sicilian Rossolimo|
|Bok, Benjamin||- L'Ami, Erwin||½-½||34||D37||QGD 5.Bf4|
|Guramishvili, Sopiko||- Hansen, Eric||½-½||32||D82||Gruenfeld 4.Bf4|
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