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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:

 No comments    254   8 h   Tata Steel

Pools For the First Leg of the FIDE Grand Prix Are Announced

In just two weeks, Berlin will host the first round of the FIDE Grand Prix Series 2022, organized by World Chess. From February 3 to 17 sixteen elite chess players, including Grandmaster Harikrishna, who replaced the drop-out Wei Yi, will compete for the chance to win the last two spots in the Candidates tournament to be held later this year as well as for a EUR150,000 prize fund.

The drawing of lots ceremony determined the pools for the first leg of the Series. The ceremony, held over Zoom, was chaired by the Chief Arbiter Ivan Surovy and CEO of World Chess Ilya Merenzon and attended by the Grand Prix participants.

Before the drawing, the players were divided into 4 baskets according to January standard rating:

Basket 1:

  1. Ding Liren (China), 2799
  2. Levon Aronian (USA), 2772
  3. Wesley So (USA), 2772
  4. Alexander Grischuk (Russia), 2764

Basket 2:

  1. Richard Rapport (Hungary), 2763
  2. Leinier Dominguez (USA), 2752
  3. Hikaru Nakamura, (USA), 2736
  4. Vidit Gujrathi (India), 2727

Basket 3:

  1. Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), 2724
  2. Daniil Dubov (Russia), 2720
  3. Pentala Harikrishna (India), 2717
  4. Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia), 2704

Basket 4:

  1. Alexei Shirov (Spain), 2704
  2. Grigoriy Oparin (Russia), 2681
  3. Vincent Keymer (Germany), 2664
  4. Etienne Bacrot (France), 2642

Chief Arbiter allocated the players to 4 different pools via randomized selection procedure. The group stage promises exciting games, with the pairings to be determined at the Opening Ceremony:

Pool A:

  1. Alexander Grischuk (Russia), 2764
  2. Hikaru Nakamura, (USA), 2736
  3. Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), 2724
  4. Etienne Bacrot (France), 2642

Pool B:

  1. Ding Liren (China), 2799
  2. Richard Rapport (Hungary), 2763
  3. Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia), 2704
  4. Grigoriy Oparin (Russia), 2681

Pool C:

  1. Levon Aronian (USA), 2772
  2. Vidit Gujrathi (India), 2727
  3. Daniil Dubov (Russia), 2720
  4. Vincent Keymer, 2664

Pool D:

  1. Wesley So (USA), 2772
  2. Leinier Dominguez (USA), 2752
  3. Pentala Harikrishna (India), 2717
  4. Alexei Shirov (Spain), 2704

The first leg of the FIDE Grand Prix will take place in the city center at Unter den Linden 26-30 from February 4 to 17. The rounds start at 3PM Berlin time.

The games will be broadcast live at

 No comments    312   11 h   Grand Prix 2022   Main feature

Tata Steel 2022 Round 4: Vidit remains the sole leader, Carlsen missed a win

Day 4 of the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament came like a storm before the rest day. GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi remains the sole leader after his draw with GM Andrey Esipenko, while the World Champion lost his chance to win against the reigning Tata Steel Champion, Jorden Van Foreest.

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

Two decisive games and three Grünfelds in Round 4 of the Masters. Caruana, Vidit, Karjakin, and Shankland calmy drew against Dubov, Esipenko, Giri, and Rapport respectively.

Carlsen also drew against Van Foreest, but it was a draw that we are going to remember for a long time. The Dutch GM sacrificed a pawn and created a very exciting position. After some unusual tactics, Jordan sacrificed another pawn, but they turned out to be too, giving Magnus the opportunity to win. The World Champion lost his chance though and the game ended in a draw.

Another incredible game was Mamedyarov against Duda. The Azerbaijani GM gave a hard fight after losing a piece, but totally outplayed Duda in the endgame with is exceptional technique.

The last game of the day was Rameshbabu’s first win in the Tournament against GM Nils Grandelius. After almost six hours, Pragg managed to make use of his positional strength and win the point!

Watch R5 with us, on Thursday the 20th, at 13:00 UTC:

4 decisive games on R3 of the 2022 Tata Steel Tournament, Vidit the sole leader

Day 3 of the 2022 Tata Steel Tournament is over, and GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi is leading with half a point after a fascinating match against GM Daniil Dubov. Esipenko, Van Foreest, and Rapport the other winners of Round 3.

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

What a game between the Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi, and the Russian GM Daniil Dubov today. Dubov as white sacrificed his central pawn (again!), and aroused a very dangerous position for Black. After many tactical threats, Vidit had to find the only moves in order not to lose, until Dubov lost control of the position and Vidit got the win.

Less interesting was Giri’s game against Mamedyarov, which was the first game to finish in R3 of the Masters. Anish was a pawn up and his position looked promising, but Shakh found an easy way to equalize and achieve a draw.

Rapport on the other hand won his second consecutive game with the brilliant move ...29. Rh1!!, where the white queen cannot capture the rook or black’s queen!

Meanwhile on the fifth board, the World Champion came across a familiar opening, the Anti-Marshall, against GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda. After a quite conservative game, the two GMs agreed to a draw.

After the match, Carlsen was asked if his next game with the reigning Tata Steel Champion is special for him, and the Norwegian GM responded: “I can’t wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve!

For Round 3 though, Van Foreest had an excellent plan on his sleeves against GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandha. The Dutch GM gave away a pawn to create a very bad pawn structure for his opponent, and with his exceptional technique he managed to bounce back from his R2 loss and win with style!

The 4th decisive game of the day was a Russian story. GM Andrey Esipenko faced GM Sergey Karjakin, and even though the second is well known for his defensive skills, Esipenko dominated the game and forced Karjakin to resign.

The last game of Round 3, Caruana – Shankland ended in a hard-fought draw. Shankland was playing for the win in an objectively equal position, due to his extra pawn, but after 6 hours the game ended in a draw.

Watch R4 with us, on Tuesday the 18th, at 13:00 UTC:

 No comments    819   3 d   Main feature   Tata Steel

Carlsen and Rapport the winners of R2 of the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Day 2 of the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament finished in a glorious way for the World Champion and the Hungarian GM Richard Rapport, who won GM Anish Giri, and the defending Tata Steel Champion GM Jorden van Foreest respectively.

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

GM Anish Giri has won the World Champion in the World Blitz Championship, so Carlsen took his revenge on Day 2 of the Tata Steel with an impressive win. This result gave Carlsen 4 rating points, and brought him closer to his 2900 dream!

The other winner of the day, GM Richard Rapport bounced back from his yesterday loss against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Rapport found a great way to take advantage of the small issues in Van Foreest’s position in the middlegame, and absolutely milked each tiny chance he had in the endgame. Right before the end and due to time-trouble, the reigning Tata Steel Champion made a fatal mistake and resigned a few moves later.

The highlight of the day was definitely Mamedyarov against Esipenko, with the Azerbaijani GM playing 3.g4!? and GM Peter Svidler going crazy: “What? What? What? Say what one more time... But seriously, what?”. Eventually this whole adventure ended in a draw.

16-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa drew again today, this time against Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who tweets his game progress everyday now!

Sam Shakland and Nils Grandelius had an interesting game with the American GM pressing until the end to squeeze a win, but in the end he compromised with a draw, evidently dissatisfied.

Daniil Dubov on the other hand didn’t feel any pressure against his compatriot Sergey Karjakin. Dubov ended the game with more time on the clock than he began and the game was indifferent for fans and commentators.

Fabiano Caruana shares all of the chess experts trust when it comes to deep analysis of openings, this is why nobody was surprised that his ostensibly inferior position against Vidit Santosh Gujrathi ended in a draw.

Watch the next game with us, on Monday the 17th, at 13:00 UTC:

 No comments    903   5 d   Main feature   Tata Steel
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