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80th Tata Steel Masters 2018 (1)

Anand, Kramnik and Giri win on day one of the Tata Steel Masters 2018

Viswanathan Anand (first played here in 1989) vs Wijk aan Zee debutant Maxim Matlakov in Round 1. Photo © Michiel Abeln.

Viswanathan Anand (first played here in 1989) vs Wijk aan Zee debutant Maxim Matlakov in Round 1. Photo © Michiel Abeln. | www.tatasteelchess.com/

Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Anish Giri share the lead after the first day of the 80th Tata Steel Masters, these wins were the longest games of the day too. World Champion Magnus Carlsen drew against Fabiano Caruana who was glad to get him in round 1 where he has struggled to be at his best in recent years. Carlsen has won just a single classical game in 20 tries in the first round of closed events since 2014 (beating Harikrishna in Norway 2016).

In the B-Group Anton Korobov, Jorden Van Foreest (over his brother Lucas) and Dmitry Gordievsky were all winners.

Round 2 pairings Sunday 13th Jan 2018: Hou Yifan-Mamedyarov, Matlakov-So, Karjakin-Anand, Caruana-Jones, Adhiban-Carlsen, Wei Yi-Svidler, Giri-Kramnik

Anand was a bit worse out of the opening against debutant Maxim Matlakov but it was never so very much (perhaps 24...Kf8) and a few moves later Anand was better, then quite a bit better (after 29...Nxf5?!) but Matlakov looked like he might save the draw, 50...Qd8 (50...Qd6 and the game continues) was the decisive error. Can Anand add to his total of five wins (a record shared with Carlsen) since his own debut in Wijk aan Zee way back in 1989?

Vladimir Kramnik ground out a win against Wei Yi. The position was pretty much equal about move 22 but in the kind of position that Kramnik excels and he was pushing his opponent around for much of the rest of the game. Nevertheless 50...Rd2 would have probably drawn, instead after 50...Ne4 and 51...Kd4 Wei Yi's resistance collapsed.

Anish Giri seemed to have even less hope of beating Hou Yifan in a position that remained pretty equal for a very long time with only a safer king in a queen endgame to call an edge. 50...Kc8 gave Giri a chance to trade to an endgame where Hou had a single route to equality in a King and Pawn endgame. 55...Kd6 was equal, 55...Kc6 lost in a couple of ways.

As mentioned before Carlsen only drew against Caruana. Some comments to Michiel Abeln:

"Caruana: happy to play Magnus in first round, it happens more often in recent tournaments, I wasn't unhappy when I saw the pairings. Petroff is a solid choice, let Magnus show how he wants to break it, what he played is not very ambitious. I could force a draw earlier, but my position was ok so I decided to play on, there was no need to force it."

Peter Svidler and last year's surprise package Baskaran Adhiban drew an interesting game.

"Svidler: Such a confusing game, positionally black is doing great, but his pieces are on not active (except for the wonderful knight on f5) and his king is stuck in the middle, so throughout the game the question is what is going on and on top of that lots of small tactical tricks you need to calculate. His move Rc7 and my move Bf6 may have been imprecise.

Adhiban: yes once he playes Bd3 I can play g4 and h5, I could not take on d4 (after white played Ra3) because then after Bxh7 Rxc1 Qa4+ Rc6 Bd3 white is a bit better. In the game I was worried at certain points but seems it was always ok for black."

Wesley So faced a Sicilian Defense: Nimzowitsch Variation against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and the game traded to a draw. Gawain Jones drew with Sergey Karjakin in a Giuoco Piano.

80th Tata Steel GpA Wijk aan Zee (NED), 12-28 i 2018 cat. XX (2750)
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4  
1. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2787 * . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . 1  
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2767 . * . . . . . . . . . . 1 . 1  
3. Giri, Anish g NED 2752 . . * . . . . . . . . . . 1 1  
4. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2834 . . . * ½ . . . . . . . . . ½ 2811
5. Caruana, Fabiano g USA 2811 . . . ½ * . . . . . . . . . ½ 2834
6. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2804 . . . . . * ½ . . . . . . . ½ 2792
7. So, Wesley g USA 2792 . . . . . ½ * . . . . . . . ½ 2804
8. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2768 . . . . . . . * . ½ . . . . ½ 2655
9. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2753 . . . . . . . . * . ½ . . . ½ 2640
10. Adhiban, Baskaran g IND 2655 . . . . . . . ½ . * . . . . ½ 2768
11. Jones, Gawain C B g ENG 2640 . . . . . . . . ½ . * . . . ½ 2753
12. Wei, Yi g CHN 2743 0 . . . . . . . . . . * . . 0  
13. Matlakov, Maxim g RUS 2718 . 0 . . . . . . . . . . * . 0  
14. Hou, Yifan g CHN 2680 . . 0 . . . . . . . . . . * 0  
Round 1 (January 13, 2018)
Kramnik, Vladimir - Wei, Yi 1-0 55 D77 Gruenfeld 3.g3
Anand, Viswanathan - Matlakov, Maxim 1-0 53 C77 Ruy Lopez Anderssen
Giri, Anish - Hou, Yifan 1-0 63 C42 Petroff's Defence
Carlsen, Magnus - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 41 C42 Petroff's Defence
So, Wesley - Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ 29 B29 Sicilian Defence
Svidler, Peter - Adhiban, Baskaran ½-½ 33 B12 Caro Kann Advanced
Jones, Gawain C B - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 36 C54 Giuoco Piano
80th Tata Steel GpB Wijk aan Zee (NED), 12-28 i 2018 cat. XV (2612)
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4  
1. Korobov, Anton g UKR 2652 * . . . . . . . . . . 1 . . 1  
2. Van Foreest, Jorden g NED 2629 . * . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1  
3. Gordievsky, Dmitry g RUS 2622 . . * . . . . . . . . . 1 . 1  
4. Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi g IND 2718 . . . * . . . . . ½ . . . . ½ 2599
5. Amin, Bassem g EGY 2693 . . . . * . . . . . ½ . . . ½ 2497
6. Krasenkow, Michal g POL 2671 . . . . . * ½ . . . . . . . ½ 2634
7. L'Ami, Erwin g NED 2634 . . . . . ½ * . . . . . . . ½ 2671
8. Xiong, Jeffery g USA 2634 . . . . . . . * ½ . . . . . ½ 2607
9. Bok, Benjamin g NED 2607 . . . . . . . ½ * . . . . . ½ 2634
10. Tari, Aryan g NOR 2599 . . . ½ . . . . . * . . . . ½ 2718
11. Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2497 . . . . ½ . . . . . * . . . ½ 2693
12. Bluebaum, Matthias g GER 2640 0 . . . . . . . . . . * . . 0  
13. Girya, Olga wg RUS 2489 . . 0 . . . . . . . . . * . 0  
14. Van Foreest, Lucas m NED 2481 . 0 . . . . . . . . . . . * 0  
Round 1 (January 13, 2018)
Korobov, Anton - Bluebaum, Matthias 1-0 41 D02 Queen's Pawn Game
Van Foreest, Jorden - Van Foreest, Lucas 1-0 62 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Amin, Bassem - Harika, Dronavalli ½-½ 30 A07 Barcza System
Krasenkow, Michal - L'Ami, Erwin ½-½ 43 D02 Queen's Pawn Game
Xiong, Jeffery - Bok, Benjamin ½-½ 44 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Tari, Aryan - Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi ½-½ 37 C92 Ruy Lopez Chigorin
Girya, Olga - Gordievsky, Dmitry 0-1 50 E91 King's Indian Classical

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