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Tata Steel 2022 Round 5: Mamedyarov and Rapport join Vidit in the lead

Round 5 of the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament ended with Mamedyarov and Rapport winning Van Foreest and Rameshbabu respectively and joining Vidit in the lead. All the other games ended in a draw but with the utmost excitement.

Photos: © Lennart Ootes and Jurriaan Hoefsmit – Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2022

The first games to finish in a draw on R5 were Anish-Vidit and Dubov-Shankland. The Dutch ambassador of the tournament met his Indian best friend for an over-the-board fight and the result came smoothly. ‘I played a little bit too casually in the endgame’ Vidit confessed after the game.

A not-so-smooth draw was Carlsen’s against Grandelius. Both players sacrificed a piece in an extremely sharp Sicilian and tried everything to beat one another. The exhilaration of the game brought smiles to their faces and shook hands in a cheerful spirit. “Mainly I am quite lucky to have survived that game,” Grandelius said afterward.

Another wild game was Duda’s against Karjakin, which eventually ended in a draw. Karjakin was better for most of the game, but Duda managed to create enough counterplay on the kingside, which brought him to a winning position right when he decided to repeat moves and make a draw.

In the meantime, GM Andrey Esipenko suffered against GM Fabiano Caruana after a rare continuation in the Shirov-Shabalov Gambit. Caruana as black pushed hard to squeeze the win, but the game ended with two bare kings! “I felt like I was close to winning in the endgame. Somewhere he got a huge amount of counterplay.” Caruana admitted.

The two decisive games of Round 5 showed why Mamedyarov and Rapport are in the world’s elite.

Rapport had his third victory in four match days, proving how can someone bounce-back from a loss, and claim the title of the tournament. The Hungarian GM faced the Indian prodigy Rameshbabu for the first time and the game didn’t disappoint anyone. After a sharp Nimzo-Indian, Rapport was a pawn up but Pragg had a huge counterplay. Some smart knight maneuvers allowed Rapport to gain more control of the position and drag Pragg to a fatal mistake.

Mamedyarov on the other hand didn’t force Van Foreest into a lost position, because the Dutch GM was already too ambitious about his middlegame plans. The reigning Tata Steel Champion gave an exchange, but even if it sounds small, Mamedyarov has a technical win right in front of him! After his second win in a row, Mamedyarov said: “Maybe I am not right, maybe I am wrong... position looks very good... why not play... for a win?

Watch R6 with us, on Friday the 21st, at 13:00 UTC:

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