Chess24 Jan London

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

Magnus Carlsen recovered from a lousy position to beat Pavel Eljanov for the fifth time without reply. Photo ©

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)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. So, Wesley g USA 2808 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ . 1 1 1 8 2870
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2840 ½ * ½ 1 ½ . 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 2835
3. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2780 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 0 1 ½ 1 . ½ ½ 1 1 2845
4. Wei, Yi g CHN 2706 ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 . 1 1 2850
5. Adhiban, Baskaran g IND 2653 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 . ½ 2792
6. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2785 ½ . 1 0 0 * ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 2769
7. Eljanov, Pavel g UKR 2755 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 ½ * ½ . ½ ½ ½ 1 1 2778
8. Harikrishna, Pentala g IND 2766 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ . 6 2754
9. Giri, Anish g NED 2773 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ . ½ * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 6 2749
10. Andreikin, Dmitry g RUS 2736 ½ ½ . ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 5 2693
11. Nepomniachtchi, Ian g RUS 2767 . ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ ½ ½ 5 2688
12. Wojtaszek, Radoslaw g POL 2750 0 0 ½ . 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 5 2698
13. Rapport, Richard g HUN 2702 0 1 0 0 . ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 2676
14. Van Wely, Loek g NED 2695 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 . ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * 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)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
1. Ragger, Markus g AUT 2697 * 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ . ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 2741
2. Jones, Gawain C B g ENG 2665 1 * 0 0 . 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 2743
3. Smirin, Ilia g ISR 2667 ½ 1 * 0 1 . 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 8 2710
4. Xiong, Jeffery g USA 2667 0 1 1 * ½ 0 0 ½ 1 . 1 1 1 1 8 2710
5. Lu, Shanglei g CHN 2612 ½ . 0 ½ * 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 2680
6. Hansen, Eric g CAN 2603 0 0 . 1 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 7 2642
7. Tari, Aryan g NOR 2584 ½ 0 1 1 0 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ . 1 2632
8. L'Ami, Erwin g NED 2605 . ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ 0 1 1 2612
9. Grandelius, Nils g SWE 2642 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 . 1 1 2616
10. Bok, Benjamin g NED 2608 ½ 0 0 . 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 5 2528
11. Dobrov, Vladimir g RUS 2499 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 1 * 0 1 . 2461
12. Van Foreest, Jorden g NED 2612 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 . ½ 1 * 0 ½ 2429
13. Lei, Tingjie wg CHN 2467 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ . 0 0 0 0 1 * 1 2445
14. Guramishvili, Sopiko m GEO 2370 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 . ½ 0 * 2297
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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