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Metro
07-01-2021, 08:03 PM
The 2021 Tata Steel Masters is a 14-player single round-robin taking place from 16-31 January. Magnus Carlsen again heads the field, which includes Caruana and MVL.
The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment per move from move 1. If there is a tie for first place the top two after tiebreaks then play a 2-game blitz (5+3) playoff and, if still tied, an Armageddon game.

1 Carlsen, Magnus 2862
2 Caruana, Fabiano 2823
3 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2784
4 Giri, Anish 2764
5 Firouzja, Alireza 2749
6 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2743
7 Harikrishna, Pentala 2732
8 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2705
9 Dubov, Daniil 2702
10 Esipenko, Andrey 2686
11 Anton Guijarro, David 2675
12 Van Foreest, Jorden 2671
13 Grandelius, Nils 2663
14 Tari, Aryan 2618

www.tatasteelchess.com
https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/tata-steel-masters-2021/1/1/1

MichaelBaron
08-01-2021, 01:16 AM
The 2021 Tata Steel Masters is a 14-player single round-robin taking place from 16-31 January. Magnus Carlsen again heads the field, which includes Caruana and MVL.
The time control is 100 minutes for 40 moves followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment per move from move 1. If there is a tie for first place the top two after tiebreaks then play a 2-game blitz (5+3) playoff and, if still tied, an Armageddon game.

1 Carlsen, Magnus 2862
2 Caruana, Fabiano 2823
3 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2784
4 Giri, Anish 2764
5 Firouzja, Alireza 2749
6 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2743
7 Harikrishna, Pentala 2732
8 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2705
9 Dubov, Daniil 2702
10 Esipenko, Andrey 2686
11 Anton Guijarro, David 2675
12 Van Foreest, Jorden 2671
13 Grandelius, Nils 2663
14 Tari, Aryan 2618

www.tatasteelchess.com
https://chess24.com/en/watch/live-tournaments/tata-steel-masters-2021/1/1/1

quite a mixed field this year with only 3 of the participants belonging to top 10.

Desmond
08-01-2021, 10:26 AM
Must be one of the (relatively) weakest fields for quite a while.

MichaelBaron
08-01-2021, 11:07 AM
Must be one of the (relatively) weakest fields for quite a while.

Yep, and one of the reasons is, several players (Nepo, Raja etc.) initially accepted but then cancelled their participation.

Metro
10-01-2021, 09:08 PM
Yep, and one of the reasons is, several players (Nepo, Raja etc.) initially accepted but then cancelled their participation.
Radja said Wijk aan Zee is his favourite tournament but I don't see a reason for not playing.He talks about a FOMO (fear of missing out).I think he will be acting as Giri's second.

https://twitter.com/rajachess

MichaelBaron
10-01-2021, 09:33 PM
Radja said Wijk aan Zee is his favourite tournament but I don't see a reason for not playing.He talks about a FOMO (fear of missing out).I think he will be acting as Giri's second.

https://twitter.com/rajachess

Well most refuse due to Covid. for someone like Abdusattorov (who withdrew) - it would be a golden opportunity otherwise!

Desmond
11-01-2021, 10:39 AM
Radja also withdrew from the Cadidates 2020 due to covid concerns of course, which arguably was vindicated when the tournament was not completed.

MichaelBaron
16-01-2021, 10:49 AM
And Dubov is out as well!

Scott Colliver
16-01-2021, 12:06 PM
And Dubov is replaced by Alexander Donchenko.

When Bobby Cheng won the under 12 world championship in 2009 Donchenko finished 30th but was the only player to beat Cheng.

MichaelBaron
17-01-2021, 10:48 AM
And Dubov is replaced by Alexander Donchenko.

When Bobby Cheng won the under 12 world championship in 2009 Donchenko finished 30th but was the only player to beat Cheng.

Donchenko happens to be the son of Anatoly Donchenko - well known Russian chess master/trainer.

MichaelBaron
17-01-2021, 10:50 AM
I can certainly see the PROs of having such a mixed field.

Some very exciting games played last night. Magnus was in trouble but turned things around in a fascinating game.

Metro
17-01-2021, 03:45 PM
Carlsen-Firouzja1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. e4 Nxc3 10. bxc3 O-O 11. Bd3 c5 12. O-O cxd4 13. cxd4 b6 14. a4 Bb7 15. a5 bxa5 16. Rxa5 Nf6 17. Re1 Rfd8 18. Qa1 Qc7 19. h3 a6 20. Rc5 Qf4 21. Re5 Nd7 22. Ra5 Nf6 23. d5 exd5 24. e5 Ne4 25. Qd4 Rdc8 26. Raa1 a5 27. Rab1 Bc6 28. e6 fxe6 29. Ne5 Qf6 30. f3 Ng5 31. Rb6 Be8 32. Qe3 a4 33. Ng4 Qd8 34. Rxe6 Nxe6 35. Qxe6+ Bf7 36. Nxh6+ gxh6 37. Qxh6 Qc7 38. Qh7+ Kf8 39. Qh8+ Bg8 40. Qh6+ 1-0

Desmond
17-01-2021, 07:20 PM
I can certainly see the PROs of having such a mixed field.

Some very exciting games played last night. Magnus was in trouble but turned things around in a fascinating game.

Of course it is very unfortunate to have Magnus-Alireza happen to occur in round 1, when this matchup could lead to more intrigue later in the event.

It's great to see the top tier players smashing tier 2 or 3, but hopefully not at the expense of fighting games with each other.

MichaelBaron
17-01-2021, 08:16 PM
Carlsen-Firouzja1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 Be7 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. e4 Nxc3 10. bxc3 O-O 11. Bd3 c5 12. O-O cxd4 13. cxd4 b6 14. a4 Bb7 15. a5 bxa5 16. Rxa5 Nf6 17. Re1 Rfd8 18. Qa1 Qc7 19. h3 a6 20. Rc5 Qf4 21. Re5 Nd7 22. Ra5 Nf6 23. d5 exd5 24. e5 Ne4 25. Qd4 Rdc8 26. Raa1 a5 27. Rab1 Bc6 28. e6 fxe6 29. Ne5 Qf6 30. f3 Ng5 31. Rb6 Be8 32. Qe3 a4 33. Ng4 Qd8 34. Rxe6 Nxe6 35. Qxe6+ Bf7 36. Nxh6+ gxh6 37. Qxh6 Qc7 38. Qh7+ Kf8 39. Qh8+ Bg8 40. Qh6+ 1-0

Black rushed with 32...a4

Desmond
17-01-2021, 10:06 PM
Black rushed with 32...a4

32...a4 perhaps a dubious move, but black could hang on if 35... Kh8 instead of the game continuation.

MichaelBaron
18-01-2021, 12:29 AM
Nice easy to follow annotation to Carlsen and Giri games from rd 1.
https://chessbase.in/news/Tata-Steel-Masters-2021-Day-1?fbclid=IwAR2nFOYpQ2_C1UUgXhVRZdFpUo4Wd-93w6Jo0w3jubw_toyap8SpQnIvgr0

MichaelBaron
18-01-2021, 08:56 AM
against Anton, Carlsen was close to another victory. Unfortunately he did not spot 57...Ra1.

Desmond
18-01-2021, 05:59 PM
Nils takes an early lead with 2/2. :)

MichaelBaron
19-01-2021, 02:39 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/03-Carlsen_Magnus-Tari_Aryan

Magnus may have failed to win...but at very least managed to stalemate his opponent.

MichaelBaron
19-01-2021, 02:43 AM
Nils takes an early lead with 2/2. :)

https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/03-Grandelius_Nils-Harikrishna_Pentala
His sole lead has not lasted for long though :).

Desmond
19-01-2021, 11:54 AM
Very nice game from Fabi, though Duda was able to salvage the draw in an exchange down endgame.

MichaelBaron
20-01-2021, 08:51 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/04-Van_Foreest_Jorden-Carlsen_Magnus

Carlsen was pressing once again but Van Foreest managed to salvage the desired draw.

Desmond
20-01-2021, 11:51 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/04-Van_Foreest_Jorden-Carlsen_Magnus

Carlsen was pressing once again but Van Foreest managed to salvage the desired draw.

Yes I imagine Magnus won't be too thrilled with 3 draws from those 3 games where he had some chances, especially with the rating differences. +1 still good enough for =1st at the moment, won't stay that way though obvsly. Caruana will be ruing his missed opportunities as well I'm sure.

Metro
22-01-2021, 08:09 AM
Grandelius has outright lead on 3.5/5.So far so good but he still has Fabi and Magnus to come.

https://youtu.be/4xf3EyjvPdE

MichaelBaron
22-01-2021, 09:24 AM
Magnus once again not able to convert some advantage:
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/05-Carlsen_Magnus-Donchenko_Alexander

MichaelBaron
22-01-2021, 09:24 AM
Grandelius has outright lead on 3.5/5.So far so good but he still has Fabi and Magnus to come.

https://youtu.be/4xf3EyjvPdE

Rd 5 he caught his biggest fish so far - MVL. So far, the non-elite players are holding their own against the elite ones!

Desmond
22-01-2021, 05:13 PM
Very instructive mutual blunder in Anton - Tari. The ending was equal until:

52.Kf4?? [52.Kd2 =] 52...c3 53.g5+ Kf7 54.Ke3 c2?? [54. ...Bb5 and black is winning. White's king is in zugzwang, and has no move to stay within the square of the c3-pawn. White can only make pawn moves, and those pawns will quickly be lost. Black can wait with the bishop Eg between a6-c4 as much as needed.] 55.Kd2 and a draw quickly followed.

MichaelBaron
23-01-2021, 09:33 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/06-Duda_Jan_Krzysztof-Carlsen_Magnus
Magnus' killer instinct appears to be still on quarantine. Another great position where opponent escaped.

Metro
24-01-2021, 05:37 AM
Leaders after 7 rounds:

1 Van Foreest, Jorden 4 2671
2 Giri, Anish 4 2764
3 Caruana, Fabiano 4 2823
4 Firouzja, Alireza 4 2749

If I had to pick one now it would be Fabiano to win.


https://youtu.be/CpkPT7b4op8
Esipenko is +1 and is playing Carlsen (his favourite player) in round 8..Esipenko was in the Rest of the world team v USA in 2017 in St.Louis,along with Anton Smirnov.

ER
24-01-2021, 06:28 AM
With another six rounds to go, Magnus will recover from his blank round slump and win this event with some additional hard work.

well! :D Still 5 rounds to go though!



I wouldn't write off Firouzja although his scheduled remaining games aren't exactly a piece of cake.

some hope there!

MichaelBaron
24-01-2021, 08:49 AM
Magnus' struggles continue. However, he is only half point off the lead.

MichaelBaron
25-01-2021, 03:00 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/08-Esipenko_Andrey-Carlsen_Magnus
shocking play by magnus

Metro
25-01-2021, 06:45 AM
Esipenko defeats Carlsen.Carlsen out-of-form.It may be that he needs a break.


https://youtu.be/12uoY08ZjAo

Young guns Firouzja (17) play Esipenko (18) next round.

MichaelBaron
25-01-2021, 10:42 AM
Esipenko defeats Carlsen.Carlsen out-of-form.It may be that he needs a break.


https://youtu.be/12uoY08ZjAo

Young guns Firouzja (17) play Esipenko (18) next round.

Magnus gone off his rails with Qh4

Desmond
25-01-2021, 12:08 PM
Very impressive by Alireza, sole leader after round 8 despite losing in Rd1 to Magnus.

ER
25-01-2021, 04:27 PM
4754

Times they are a-changin'

MichaelBaron
25-01-2021, 04:52 PM
4754

Times they are a-changin'

Times are not changing - Carlsen is not well. Esipenko is still far from being anywhere near the world championship contencion.

ER
26-01-2021, 12:59 AM
Times are not changing - Carlsen is not well. Esipenko is still far from being anywhere near the world championship contencion.

Correct, I kept the original heading referring to the result of one game not wanting to apply censorship.
On the other hand, "Times they are a-Changing" as in Bob Dylan's prophetic masterpiece, can be applied to other concepts
i.e. age and in this case mainly Episkenko's physical appearance! Magnus hasn't changed much apart from that on and off beard growing.

Also, I had to be very careful and include chess and chess players to stick to my signature's statement.

machomortensen
26-01-2021, 07:52 AM
And a local touch ...

https://en.chessbase.com/post/wijk-aan-zee-storytellers-3-ian-rogers

ER
26-01-2021, 08:27 AM
And a local touch ...

https://en.chessbase.com/post/wijk-aan-zee-storytellers-3-ian-rogers

Marvelous stuff Henrik, thanks! I have a feeling Michael Baron would be tempted to tear this game apart! :D BTW I am borrowing this post and thanks in advance! :)

MichaelBaron
26-01-2021, 10:37 AM
Marvelous stuff Henrik, thanks! I have a feeling Michael Baron would be tempted to tear this game apart! :D BTW I am borrowing this post and thanks in advance! :)

Its not a bad game ...but certainly not the best game ever. I can recall many other amazing struggles by top notch players that have been played in WJK

Frank
26-01-2021, 01:36 PM
And a local touch ...

https://en.chessbase.com/post/wijk-aan-zee-storytellers-3-ian-rogers



Thanks, machomortensen!

A marvellous podcast interview by Eric van Reem of ChessBase at Wijk aan Zee with GM Ian Rogers, who is presently confined to Sydney away from the harsh North Sea winter by the Covid-19 ban on travelling), reminiscing on his first (in 1977 at the age of 16) of numerous visits, nominating as spectacular the game of Bellon versus Jamieson in the B Group tournament, and replete with telling anecdotes about masters like Kasparov and Korchnoi. Wishing that there be a journalist who would harvest these stories in writing as James Boswell did for Samuel Johnson.

Scott Colliver
27-01-2021, 05:33 AM
Carleen defeats Grandelius to bounce back from his loss but probably needs to win every match now to have any chance of winning the tournament.

Caruana and Giro also win to join Firouzja in the lead

MichaelBaron
27-01-2021, 07:23 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/09-Carlsen_Magnus-Grandelius_Nils
A Fresh idea (at least at this level) 6.Qd3!?

MichaelBaron
27-01-2021, 08:08 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/09-Wojtaszek_Radoslaw-Caruana_Fabiano
Typical Caruana!
13...Bxc3 looks like a positional mistake ...but is first like Stockfish!

Ian Rout
27-01-2021, 01:33 PM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/09-Carlsen_Magnus-Grandelius_Nils
A Fresh idea (at least at this level) 6.Qd3!?Not entirely. In my database Caruana has played it twice and it's also been played by Vitiugov, Harikrishna, Fedoseev, Najer, Anton and several others. Vallejo Pons seems to be the biggest fan, dating back to 2013 but there is a prior appearance in the 2008 Belgian championship.

Metro
27-01-2021, 02:35 PM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/09-Carlsen_Magnus-Grandelius_Nils
A Fresh idea (at least at this level) 6.Qd3!?

I thought 6.Qd3 looks new at this level.I don't think Carlsen will be too concerned about winning the event at this stage.He should be happy with 8 points.

Desmond
27-01-2021, 03:40 PM
I thought 6.Qd3 looks new at this level.I don't think Carlsen will be too concerned about winning the event at this stage.He should be happy with 8 points.

Carlsen is still yet to play 2 of the 3 leaders (Giri and Caruana). So if he does wins some more games there's a good chance the leaders won't be on a huge + score.
Coupled with Carlsen being still yet to play MVL, you could say Carlsen has one of the hardest finishes to the event, MVL's results to date notwithstanding.

MichaelBaron
28-01-2021, 09:49 AM
Carlsen vs the leader (Giri) with white pieces in the next round.

Scott Colliver
28-01-2021, 10:31 AM
Carlsen vs the leader (Giri) with white pieces in the next round.

Also Firouzja is white against Caruana. Episenko has black against Tari.

Desmond
28-01-2021, 10:39 AM
Carlsen vs the leader (Giri) with white pieces in the next round.
Yes Giri was the only one of the leaders to score the full point.

Esipenko might be in with a decent shot too, just half a point behind Giri and with a softish draw to finish (Van Foreest, Tari, and Donchenko).

Desmond
30-01-2021, 04:12 PM
Giri held Magnus to a pretty comfortable draw and keeps his outright lead by a half point.
Alireza drew Fabi, but must be kicking himself as had some strong chances from the time trouble onwards, but only managed the better side of a drawn ending.
Esipenko bombed out and lost to Tari.
Jorden seemingly gifted the point by Hari with a BN for R sac that seemed to lead nowhere, and joins Fabi and Alireza on =2nd.

All eyes on Giri - Firouzja tonight. :)

Scott Colliver
31-01-2021, 08:17 AM
Firouzja escaped with a draw and Caruana could only draw with Anton so Giri maintains his half point lead going into the final round.

MichaelBaron
31-01-2021, 09:07 AM
Firouzja escaped with a draw and Caruana could only draw with Anton so Giri maintains his half point lead going into the final round.

Indeed. Was not an easy win for Giri though. Van Forrest almost caught up.

Desmond
31-01-2021, 12:23 PM
Firouzja plays the French against Giri! I was very interested to see what Giri plays against his own course, but Firouzja sadly avoided the Winawer.

Metro
31-01-2021, 06:29 PM
Last round starts 2200 AEDT.

1 Giri, Anish 8 / 12
2 Van Foreest, Jorden 7.5
3 Firouzja, Alireza 7.5
4 Caruana, Fabiano 7.5

Desmond
31-01-2021, 06:55 PM
Last round starts 2200 AEDT.

1 Giri, Anish 8 / 12
2 Van Foreest, Jorden 7.5
3 Firouzja, Alireza 7.5
4 Caruana, Fabiano 7.5

Oh nice thanks! Friendlier start time for us.

Scott Colliver
31-01-2021, 06:57 PM
Girl has the challenge of beating Anton with black to ensure outright first. Will he do it?

Desmond
31-01-2021, 07:05 PM
Girl has the challenge of beating Anton with black to ensure outright first. Will he do it?I think it will be a very interesting final round.
3 of the 4 top places are big rating favourites to win, with the exception of van Foreest. Of course if Anish does manage to, then the rest is academic.

Scott Colliver
31-01-2021, 08:56 PM
I expect Firouzja to win his game

Kevin Bonham
31-01-2021, 11:35 PM
This position from Giri - Firouzja is fascinating

r7/P5R1/2k5/8/1P3n1P/K7/6P1/8 w - - 0 1

60.Ka4! (missed) wins, everything else draws.

Kevin Bonham
31-01-2021, 11:43 PM
Giri's position tonight is gruesome. Van Foreest might win the tournament!

Kevin Bonham
01-02-2021, 12:46 AM
Giri has dug in; might tie for first in which case there could be a playoff at 4 am AEDST.

Or if Giri loses but Firouzja wins then Firouzja makes the playoff.

MichaelBaron
01-02-2021, 02:07 AM
https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/2021-tata-steel-masters/13-Carlsen_Magnus-Vachier_Lagrave_Maxime
Magnus finds form....a bit too late :(.

MichaelBaron
01-02-2021, 02:33 AM
Giri has dug in; might tie for first in which case there could be a playoff at 4 am AEDST.

Or if Giri loses but Firouzja wins then Firouzja makes the playoff.

2 Dutch players tying for the first place; Greatest ever result by the Dutch players since the tournament commenced many years ago!

Scott Colliver
01-02-2021, 04:07 AM
Girl manages to lose the armageddon game on time as white with a winning position so Jordan van Forrest wins the tournament. Well done Jorden

iSage
01-02-2021, 09:39 AM
What were the arbiters thinking moving Firouzja while his game was in progress?

Kevin Bonham
01-02-2021, 10:19 AM
What were the arbiters thinking moving Firouzja while his game was in progress?

Just seen the video of this - not good at all. For those who haven't seen it, seems they decided they had to move the game so the playoff between Giri and van Foreest could be played there (Firoujza was in contention for equal first but not for the playoff), and compounded it by initially distracting Firoujza with a few minutes on his clock rather than after the time control. Should have been anticipated at this level.

Scott Colliver
01-02-2021, 01:40 PM
Games should not be interrupted unless there is no other option, certainly not just for the convince of the organisers

Desmond
01-02-2021, 04:14 PM
Just seen the video of this - not good at all. For those who haven't seen it, seems they decided they had to move the game so the playoff between Giri and van Foreest could be played there (Firoujza was in contention for equal first but not for the playoff), and compounded it by initially distracting Firoujza with a few minutes on his clock rather than after the time control. Should have been anticipated at this level.

See it here around 6:07. Totally ridiculous.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2umj9SgdFU

Kevin Bonham
02-02-2021, 10:31 AM
Organisers have made a statement about the disturbance:

https://twitter.com/tatasteelchess/status/1356357694656012291

Desmond
02-02-2021, 10:39 AM
They didn't even stop his clock while disturbing / arguing with him. Total amateur hour.

Metro
02-02-2021, 02:33 PM
Nakamura is "mad" about it.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/JusticeforAlireza?src=hashtag_click

Scott Colliver
04-02-2021, 04:00 PM
The decision the arbiters made to interrupt the game is fundamentally against the principles of arbiting that its chess equivalent would be playing 1.Bb5

Patrick Byrom
05-02-2021, 01:52 PM
They didn't even stop his clock while disturbing / arguing with him. Total amateur hour.Sometimes interruptions are unavoidable, but not stopping the clocks is unforgivable. There is a detailed report on the tournament (https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/feb/04/jorden-van-foreest-shocks-favourites-amid-controversy-at-chess-wimbledon) (including the incident) in Leonard Barden's column in today's Guardian online.

Desmond
06-02-2021, 08:45 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m2juKfx6AA

Scott Colliver
06-02-2021, 09:59 AM
A very mature response.