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Tata Steel Tournament

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov5.5/8(+4 -1 =3)[games]
Anish Giri5.5/8(+3 -0 =5)[games]
Magnus Carlsen5.5/8(+3 -0 =5)[games]
Vladimir Kramnik5/8(+3 -1 =4)[games]
Wesley So5/8(+2 -0 =6)[games]
Viswanathan Anand4.5/8(+2 -1 =5)[games]
Sergey Karjakin4.5/8(+1 -0 =7)[games]
Peter Svidler4/8(+1 -1 =6)[games]
Maxim Matlakov4/8(+1 -1 =6)[games]
Gawain Jones3.5/8(+1 -2 =5)[games]
Wei Yi3/8(+1 -3 =4)[games]
Fabiano Caruana3/8(+1 -3 =4)[games]
Baskaran Adhiban2/8(+0 -4 =4)[games]
Yifan Hou1/8(+0 -6 =2)[games] Chess Event Description
Tata Steel (2018)

The great traditional tournament at Wijk aan Zee features Carlsen, Caruana, Giri, Hou Yifan, Jones, Karjakin, Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Matlakov, So, Svidler, Wei Yi, Adhiban, and Anand.

COMPLETE SCHEDULE ē All pairings, dates, rest days, etc.

LIVE CHESS BROADCAST ē Come watch and discuss games at our Live Broadcast Page, 7:30am USA/Eastern.

Official site:

ChessBookie Action:
Tata Steel Round 9: Anand - Carlsen
Tata Steel Round 9: Mamedyarov - Kramnik
Tata Steel Round 9: So - Svidler
Tata Steel Round 9: Matlakov - Giri
Tata Steel Round 9: Pick Three

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 57  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G Jones vs Karjakin  ½-½362018Tata SteelC54 Giuoco Piano
2. A Giri vs Yifan Hou 1-0632018Tata SteelC42 Petrov Defense
3. Kramnik vs Wei Yi 1-0552018Tata SteelD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
4. Anand vs M Matlakov 1-0532018Tata SteelC77 Ruy Lopez
5. Svidler vs B Adhiban  ½-½332018Tata SteelB12 Caro-Kann Defense
6. W So vs Mamedyarov ½-½292018Tata SteelB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
7. Carlsen vs Caruana ½-½412018Tata SteelC42 Petrov Defense
8. Wei Yi vs Svidler ½-½1242018Tata SteelD80 Grunfeld
9. Caruana vs G Jones ½-½692018Tata SteelE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
10. B Adhiban vs Carlsen 0-1362018Tata SteelC47 Four Knights
11. A Giri vs Kramnik 1-0352018Tata SteelA13 English
12. Yifan Hou vs Mamedyarov 0-1482018Tata SteelC01 French, Exchange
13. Karjakin vs Anand ½-½312018Tata SteelA06 Reti Opening
14. M Matlakov vs W So  ½-½302018Tata SteelE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
15. G Jones vs B Adhiban 1-0552018Tata SteelC07 French, Tarrasch
16. Kramnik vs Yifan Hou ½-½322018Tata SteelA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
17. Mamedyarov vs M Matlakov  ½-½252018Tata SteelD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
18. W So vs Karjakin ½-½462018Tata SteelD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
19. Anand vs Caruana 1-0422018Tata SteelC42 Petrov Defense
20. Carlsen vs Wei Yi ½-½462018Tata SteelE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
21. Svidler vs A Giri ½-½212018Tata SteelC48 Four Knights
22. Caruana vs W So ½-½482018Tata SteelE46 Nimzo-Indian
23. A Giri vs Carlsen ½-½312018Tata SteelC18 French, Winawer
24. B Adhiban vs Anand ½-½382018Tata SteelA09 Reti Opening
25. Karjakin vs Mamedyarov  ½-½352018Tata SteelC42 Petrov Defense
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 57  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 20 OF 20 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-22-18  Everett: How was Judit doing at Yifans age?

Also, always wondered how a womenís menstrual cycle may affect competitive focus. Couldnít find anything re: Judit in this regard. She would likely never admit to such a concern, I imagine.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: < Gregor Fenrir: <ChessHigherCat: The big mystery to me in this tournament is where are MVL and Aronian and Nepo?> Aronian and MVL will play in Tradewise Gibraltar Masters 2018 tournament. Starts on 23th January.>

Thanks, I'm looking forward to it.

< Everett: How was Judit doing at Yifans age? Also, always wondered how a womenís menstrual cycle may affect competitive focus. Couldnít find anything re: Judit in this regard. She would likely never admit to such a concern, I imagine.>

You're walking a mine field there! I'd erase the message while there's still time or sign up for the FBI Federal Witness Protection program.

Jan-22-18  tessathedog: < Everett: How was Judit doing at Yifans age? Also, always wondered how a womenís menstrual cycle may affect competitive focus. Couldnít find anything re: Judit in this regard. She would likely never admit to such a concern, I imagine.> I've wondered about that myself! It would be really interesting to hear from a female player as to whether it affects their OTB performance, or if they are able to put up with the discomfort without it affecting their play. I'd much rather some female posted clarification here, rather than having to ask one face to face and risk having my tail stomped on.
Jan-22-18  belgradegambit: How come no coverage of the Challengers tournament? Always covered in previous years.
Premium Chessgames Member
  botvinnik64: Girl seems to have the "softer" opposition for the last five rounds; still, it looks wide open, even So or Vlad could make a run at the end...Should be bloody.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Everett>

<How was Judit doing at Yifans age?>

A lot better. Here is Polgar's chessmetrics graph, which you can't use for ratings but you can use for rankings, at least approximately.

Hou is 23 years old. Polgar was born in 1976, so she turned 23 in 1999. Polgar reached the top 20 in the mid-90s, and then after stagnating for a while she ascended higher starting in 2003, remaining in the top ten for at least a year and peaking at #5. Chessmetrics ends in 2005, unfortunately, and I can't access her graph on FIDE.

In her early teens, she was one of the strongest players in her age group ever.

Hou (2680) is currently #64 on the FIDE rating list, though her current live rating (2660.8) puts her in danger of dropping out of the top 100. As far as I know, she's never cracked the top 50.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Thank, <keypusher>, for the fine summary on Polgar/Hou.

Although I am big fan of the young Chinese, there is no doubt that she has a long and winding road ahead of her before a comparison with the magnificent Judit Polgar makes sense. Judit was a phenomenon in her heydays - a spiritual player with an agressive and highly entertaining style. Perhaps we shall never see the likes of her again. Her upbringing was certainly very unique.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ChessHigherCat: Who says chessplayers don't have groupies?:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Hou is about comparable to Vera Menchik. All in all, if one looks at best female players in the context of their time, this this order emerges for the top five:

(1) Judit Polgar ('by a mile')
(2) Vera Mechik
(3) Hou Yifan (relatively close behind Vera)
(4) Zsuza Polgar
(5) Nona Gaprindaschvili (relatively close behind Zsuza)






Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: <ChessHigherCat: Who says chessplayers don't have groupies?: ...>

Thats when I would give up chess.

Jan-22-18  stst: <..young Chinese, there is no doubt that she has a long and winding road ahead of her ..>

This road could be shortened, if not for Oxford. Now, it's certainly much lengthened, or even leading to a dead-end. Yes, mills (short for millenlials, pardon) are often distracted by good stuff... to good to refuse. But nature is fair, except for very exceptional geniuses, lack of concentration will short-wired some developments. Often, to gain it all... might actually mean to lose almost all....Alas

Jan-22-18  stst: Mamed's 32 loss to Giri is shockingly too quick!! I view him as quite a solid contender in the Candidates, might just be under Aron & Karjack.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Gypsy> Thanks for that. It's good to see Gaprindashvili on your list, who I think gets neglected a little bit. To me she represents the first quantum leap in women's chess after Menchik. She won the world title via a +7-0=4 match win over Bykova and held the title for 16 years, so there is an argument for listing her higher.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Thanks, <Gypsy>. I tend to agree with you, but there is always some serious reservations connected with diachronical comparisons. How, for instance, could we compare the opponents of Menchik, whose heydays were in the 1930s, with those sit opposite to Yifan today? There are x times as many strong opponents today as in the 1930s. IMO Vera Menchik was above all a forerunner for women chess, the first woman who proved that women could compete with men - at a time when that was regarded as unthinkable. A pioneer she was, and a great one.
Jan-22-18  Olavi: Chiburdanidze reached a higher official ELO as well as Chessmetrics rank than Yifan, Z. Polgar or Gaprindashvili.
Jan-22-18  Boomie: <Everett: How was Judit doing at Yifans age? >

Curiously, their ratings were almost identical as Judit was rated around 2680 at age 23. However, in 1999, that put her in the top 20 whereas today, 2680 is 64th. She had an epiphany a couple of years later and her rating climbed to 2740 or so, topping out at #5. So Hou is close to the same track but still needs to improve to get close to Judit's record. She will need 2 or 3 epiphanies to get to that level.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Elo would not compare a 1999 rating to one in 2018.
Jan-22-18  not not: Carlsbard 1929: Menchik came last, with 2 wins, 2 draws, and 17 lost games

She's got a worthy successor in Hou who accordingly should get a win and a draw every 8-9 lost games

Premium Chessgames Member
  john barleycorn: < not not: Carlsbard 1929: Menchik came last, with 2 wins, 2 draws, and 17 lost games

She's got a worthy successor in Hou ...>

Hou looks a 100 times better than Vera Menchik. ok, this is not the Miss World contest ...

Jan-22-18  not not: Giri wins killed my creative spirit. How cruel!
Jan-22-18  not not: Would Paris Hilton fetch better, that is the question in regards to Tata Steel 2018
Jan-23-18  jphamlore: Judit Polgar was the victim of the worst opening repertoire ever for a modern player of her talent. Compare and contrast her approach to Anand's. Anand over the years has played many things and learned to open 1. d4 when it was right against certain opponents. Anand playing Black developed his lethal Semi-Slav with which he defeated Kramnik twice! in their match.

Judit Polgar on the other hand just got fixated on the King's Indian until even she could see that a defense with too many losses simply would never win in a world championship cycle event. Then she switched to the Nimzo-Indian and Queen's Indian, but one could see in how she'd bring back the King's Indian in blitz and rapid what she really wanted to play.

Chiburdanidze learned to open 1. d4 and played for quite a long time. Polgar never cared to and retired quite early. I do not think that is a coincidence.

Jan-23-18  SandyJames: I wonder where is Sally Simpson? I've not seen him around.
Jan-23-18  siamesedream: <Magnus Carlsen's blog

Even for January in Wijk aan Zee the storm was quite heavy this morning. The planned basketball match in Ijmuiden was cancelled due to an authority red alert related to traffic dangers, falling trees etc. Early afternoon it calmed down a bit and we enjoyed a walk on the beach and a late afternoon basketball session at the local Heliomare, before playing the first online Proleague match of the year for the Norway Gnomes. Todays opponents were aptly named the (Gorky) Stormbringers. We won convincingly.

I did well with the black pieces in the King Salman Rapid & Blitz World Championship three weeks ago, and much better than with white. So far the trend has continued in Tata Steel Chess. In round 2 Baskaran Adhiban, India got a small but pleasant edge in the opening as white against me. Maybe he was too eager to draw the game and his attempt at simplifying resulted in an equal position with still some play left. I gave him a difficult choice with Bf5 and as expected he hesitated to play c3 and enter the complications after my d4-push. After two inaccuracies from him I had two passed pawns against his one and the rest was technique. 0-1.

As white against Wei Yi I played the Catalan. Already when he played Na6 I envisioned the resulting endgame and pawn structure and it didnít offer much for white. I tried, but he kept the balance without too much difficulty.

Taking on the early leader Anish Giri with black in round 4 I went for a theoretical line in the Winawer French. Black has some compensation for the pawn and the position is quite interesting and dynamic with his vulnerable king offsetting the outside passed h-pawn. After a long think he went for Ne4 forcing Rxc2+ and the simplifications lead to a drawn ending.

Yesterday we visited Hilversum east of Amsterdam for round 5. In retrospect the highlight for me was maybe the Sesame Street pictures and game with Bert:-)

Well, to be fair, Iím very happy with the endgame. The variation Kramnik chose in the Ruy Lopez is supposed to be slightly dubious for black, but I couldnít find a really promising continuation after his d5-push. I tried to complicate things with Ng3, exd5 and Be3 despite expecting Kramnik to find the principled and best response. He did. He captured on d5 with the Knight and took the pawn on d3. The resulting rook and knight ending was balanced. I mistakenly tried to play for an advantage with b5(?) and after Ne5 black was better. In the three against two pawn rook ending, I went for g4 to reach a known drawn, albeit tricky, ending rather than risk keeping the pawn and having to cope with numerous somewhat difficult decisions. I did hold the rook endgame against his two g-pawns despite his active king. The main point is to stop his king from coming to h3. Draw.

I would not be entirely happy with the situation in a short event, but with eight rounds to go, +1, half a point behind leaders Anand, Mamedyarov and Giri, is just fine for now.

Friday 19th 1:30 pm local time Iím black against Peter Svidler.

Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, Holland, January 18th 2018>

Jan-23-18  siamesedream: <Magnus Carlsen's blog

We played rounds 6 to 8 this weekend, and while the individual results cannot be considered particularly unexpected, the many comebacks from lost positions are exceptional. Friday it was Mamedyarovís and Soís turn, and by winning Mamedyarov took the sole lead ahead of Anand and Giri.

I planned a non-theoretical, highly interesting and chaotic draw against Peter Svidler, were I unfortunately forced him to play the kind of dynamic chess he is so good at. Both of us felt we lost control, and it was a bit surprising to find out that the game was actually well-played.

Saturday I got a much needed endgame victory as white against Hou Yifan where I had been better and even clearly better only to let her escape into a probably drawn albeit tricky endgame with rook and three pawns against my knight and five pawns. I tried to pose as many problems as possible, and she seemed to think it was lost all around. Maybe that contributed to her decisive mistake at move 50. After h5? my advanced b- and d-pawn decided the game.

Mamedyarov used the chance to pull ahead with his third victory in a row.

Next I played Gawain Jones with the white pieces. As admitted in an interview immediately after the game Sunday, I disliked both the trend and frankly also my position, and in that situation discovering that I had blundered badly with 17.g4?? was partly a relief. It couldnít get any worse, and despite the extra piece black does not have an obvious plan. Trying to exchange queens was a mistake and after g5! I was at least close to being back in the game. The position after Qa3 and b3 was fascinating and inspiring because it didnít resemble anything Iíve seen before. Black is a piece up, white has no direct threats, but it is far from obvious that black is better. He continued to go astray and even material down it soon became apparent that I was winning.

Meanwhile the leader Mamedyarov lost without much resistance to Anish Giri.

Going into the final week, Iíve achieved what I had been hoping for this weekend Ė an exciting finish ahead. Giri, Mamedyarov and I are at +3, Kramnik and So at +2, Anand and Karjakin at +1.

Monday is a restday and Tuesday Iím playing Anand with the black pieces.

Magnus Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee, Holland, January 21st 2018>

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