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🏆 Tata Steel Masters (2019)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ding Liren, Teimour Radjabov, Anish Giri, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Richard Rapport, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Vladimir Fedoseev, Samuel Shankland, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Jorden van Foreest Chess Event Description
Tata Steel Masters (2019)

The 2019 Tata Steel Masters is a 14-player single round-robin, taking place from 12-27 January. For its 81st edition, the tournament boasts six Top 10 players, including World Champion Magnus Carlsen and former champions Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand. As well as the traditional venue in Wijk aan Zee, rounds will be played in Alkmaar (16 January) and in Leiden (23 January).

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 two or more players tie for first place then a 2-game blitz (5+3) playoff and, if still tied, an Armageddon game will be held 15 minutes after all the games in the Masters and Challengers have finished, though the monetary prizes will be shared evenly. (1)

Official site:

Challengers section: Tata Steel Challengers (2019)

Previous edition: Tata Steel (2018)

(1) Chess24: Tata Steel Masters

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 70  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Ding Liren vs Carlsen ½-½322019Tata Steel MastersA05 Reti Opening
2. Radjabov vs Kramnik ½-½432019Tata Steel MastersC50 Giuoco Piano
3. J van Foreest vs Anand 0-1282019Tata Steel MastersB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
4. V S Gujrathi vs J K Duda  ½-½782019Tata Steel MastersD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
5. V Fedoseev vs R Rapport  ½-½392019Tata Steel MastersE12 Queen's Indian
6. A Giri vs I Nepomniachtchi 0-1262019Tata Steel MastersB07 Pirc
7. S Shankland vs Mamedyarov ½-½542019Tata Steel MastersC42 Petrov Defense
8. Ding Liren vs V S Gujrathi  ½-½332019Tata Steel MastersA36 English
9. R Rapport vs S Shankland ½-½942019Tata Steel MastersA07 King's Indian Attack
10. Mamedyarov vs Radjabov ½-½322019Tata Steel MastersD76 Neo-Grunfeld, Nxd5, 7.O-O Nb6
11. Kramnik vs A Giri 0-1422019Tata Steel MastersA28 English
12. Anand vs V Fedoseev ½-½342019Tata Steel MastersC42 Petrov Defense
13. Carlsen vs I Nepomniachtchi ½-½322019Tata Steel MastersD70 Neo-Grunfeld Defense
14. J K Duda vs J van Foreest 0-1502019Tata Steel MastersB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
15. J van Foreest vs Ding Liren  0-1502019Tata Steel MastersC53 Giuoco Piano
16. Radjabov vs R Rapport  ½-½322019Tata Steel MastersB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
17. S Shankland vs Anand ½-½352019Tata Steel MastersD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. A Giri vs Mamedyarov  ½-½312019Tata Steel MastersD97 Grunfeld, Russian
19. V S Gujrathi vs Carlsen ½-½1312019Tata Steel MastersA00 Uncommon Opening
20. V Fedoseev vs J K Duda 0-1362019Tata Steel MastersE03 Catalan, Open
21. I Nepomniachtchi vs Kramnik 1-0362019Tata Steel MastersC67 Ruy Lopez
22. Mamedyarov vs I Nepomniachtchi ½-½322019Tata Steel MastersE60 King's Indian Defense
23. V S Gujrathi vs J van Foreest 1-0512019Tata Steel MastersE04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
24. J K Duda vs S Shankland  ½-½312019Tata Steel MastersB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
25. Anand vs Radjabov  ½-½302019Tata Steel MastersC67 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 70  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 15 OF 15 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jan-23-19  kappertjes: <AylerKupp> Denying the WC the advantage of being seeded directly into the WCC title match is the proposed solution. The gain then is that is would be 'fairer'. Fair is relative, since MC had to do the same once upon a time. The proposed solution would sure increase everyone's odds of becoming a WC.

<If Carlsen or any other defending champion gets dethroned after qualifying for the Candidates Tournament by whatever means they do that as a result of two other players outscoring him in the Candidates Tournament, what would be wrong with that?>

If MC ended this Wijk 1/2 a point behind say Nepo and Giri, I would find that weak proof of the superiority of Nepo/Giri for the title match. The same goes for that candidate tournament. Rating lists would probably be superior, but then why even bother playing the match? Rating 1 eoy = WCC.

<Why would you feel cheated?> It would be anti-climactic to end championships with a bad tournament. This is merely me repeating my previous statement ofc, but it is hard to explain. Perhaps in the end I feel the duel is essential in chess and Kings should go out with a duel. The proposal is too much like having a prime minister and everyone getting their turn to be one. I'm all for representation, but let the martial element reign supreme. Besides, the easier it is to become WCC, the less prestigious it will be.

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: <ohn barleycorn: Amazing to find Giri among those who still could win as he never seemed to be that close to win anything. But then ... I have my doubts about that brat ...>

Tata Steel (2018)

Jan-23-19  john barleycorn: sorry, <rogge>, I forgot this one.
Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: No worries, you are right, in principle ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: < rogge: No worries, you are right, in principle ;)>

The absolute worst way to be wrong!

Premium Chessgames Member
  rogge: Ha ha, true dat :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Afternoon: Carlsen 7.0, Giri 6.5 according to the official website. They play each other in the last round. Can. Not. Wait.
Jan-23-19  SueursFroides: Jorden plays some very interesting attacking games!
Jan-23-19  SometimesGood: Excepted more from P.R. he was winning today and missed simple tactics. today it was a marvelous day with nice tactics. Masadogloo, Rapport, Vidit. only Magnus was boring and magnificent. oh yes, Anish game was marvelous.
Jan-23-19  john barleycorn: if only CG could honour this event with a correct tournament standing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Diademas: < john barleycorn: if only CG could honour this event with a correct tournament standing>

You are surely living in a make believe world!

Jan-23-19  nok: <the easier it is to become WCC, the less prestigious it will be.>

So we put hurdles in the others' way so that the incumbent can repeat? That's fake prestige.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: People seem to have different definitions of fairness. Does "memoryless" equate to "fair"?

For example, there are players who got the GM title a long time ago and now have lower ratings than some non-GM's. Does anyone think that is unfair? Should GM's be required to re-earn their norms every 10 years?

Jan-23-19  310metaltrader: Is there a reason that the score table is not correct?
Jan-23-19  nok: <there are players who got the GM title a long time ago and now have lower ratings than some non-GM's. Does anyone think that is unfair?>

If it prevented others from getting it, yes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: <310metaltrader: Is there a reason that the score table is not correct?>

Yes. There was an erroneous move in the PGN file for one of the games. Correcting it resulted in the proper crosstable computation.

<john barleycorn: if only CG could honour this event with a correct tournament standing.>

If only the PGN files we rely on from TWIC never contained errors. Garbage in, garbage out.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <nok>
Can you list the players who you think could have been world champion if the rules had been more fair, in your opinion?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Live ratings of top 15 after round 10 (Source:

1 Carlsen 2842.6 +7.6
2 Caruana 2828.0 0.0
3 Ding Liren 2814.4 +1.4
4 Mamedyarov 2800.3 -16.7
5 Giri 2792.8 +9.8
6 Anand 2780.3 +7.3
7 Vachier-Lagrave 2778.0 -2.0
8 Nepomniachtchi 2772.5 +9.5
9 Grischuk 2771.0 0.0
10 So 2768.0 +3.0
11 Aronian 2765.1 -1.9
12 Yu Yangyi 2755.9 -8.1
13 Radjabov 2754.7 -2.3
14 Karjakin 2753.0 0.0
15 Kramnik 2751.2 -25.8

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Standings table looks right now.

TWIC is very routine these days, and has errors. I suggested to Daniel to use the pgn's from chess24. His answer, see chessforum (kibitz #27734)

Jan-24-19  john barleycorn: <Sargon: ...

If only the PGN files we rely on from TWIC never contained errors. Garbage in, garbage out.>

A bad carpenter always blames his hammer, my grandmother used to say.

Good management makes things happen, not finding excuses.

Jan-24-19  mckmac: <John Barleycorn> Perhaps you might give the man a break. I would like to thank <Sargon> for managing to keep the show on the road.
Jan-24-19  fabelhaft: The way Kramnik is playing is just so strange. Now he was totally lost against Vidit a few moves after theory ended. His by far worst tournament result is -3 in Tal Memorial 2013, and that was in the at the time strongest field ever. Here he is -5 in a weaker field, but was also dead lost against Radjabov, was fortunate that Rapport didn't play the winning f5 instead of fxg5, and then Ding Liren uncharacteristically blundered into a draw just when Svidler and Gustafsson pronounced that he would win that game.

GM Yermolinsky meant that no one believes Kramnik's stating that he doesn't care about the result but only wants to have fun, even if part of the explanation has to be that Kramnik does care less about results than before. But it isn't much fun to just lose almost straight out of the opening against below 2700s, or make repeated mistakes like against Anand, who sounded embarrassed about the game.

And how exciting is it to play out that endgame against Rapport? A big Kramnik fan as Denis Monokroussos wrote "the last 30 were utterly pointless as Kramnik "tried" to win rook vs. knight. He wouldn't manage to defeat me in such an ending - it's a trivial task for the weaker side to hold - so his playing it out against Rapport was slightly insulting, or at least absurd. Maybe Kramnik had a fight with his wife and didn't want to resume the argument, or maybe he was thinking about variations for the press conference where his opponent survived by a "miracle". Whatever the case, playing out the ending for 30 moves was somewhere between pointless and dumb, especially since Rapport had tons of time on the clock"

Kramnik has played fun chess for a decade, but with very stable results, in spite of not winning any tournaments. The last time he won an event of any sort was 6 years ago, and that was a minimatch knockout where he didn't face anyone in the top 20. His last victory in a classical round robin was 8 years ago. But his overall results have been so stable that he was one game off being #1 on the live rating list as late as in the summer 2017.

He played great chess in the Candidates up until missing the win against Caruana. After that he seemed to lose all objectivity. In game after game he made mistakes, and in the post game interviews his assessments were off the mark. Mamedyarov wasn't the only opponent to be annoyed after Kramnik pronounced himself as having great winning chances in a lost position. Mamedyarov pointed out the refutation, upon which Kramnik proclaimed that maybe Mamedyarov could escape with a draw.

I don't recall any other ex-World Champion, recent Candidates favourite (only ten months ago all betting sites had him with lower odds than Caruana!) and #1 live rating challenger playing like this. Maybe he is having fun, but it doesn't look much fun.

Premium Chessgames Member
  morfishine: <john barleycorn:...A bad carpenter always blames his hammer, my grandmother used to say. Good management makes things happen, not finding excuses> And non-premium members that complain all the time are little more than dead weight around here. Oh my boy, where I work, complaints must be accompanied by solutions. Tell that to your grandmother
Jan-24-19  JimNorCal: As <Tabanus> says above the score table looks good now. Thanks!
Jan-24-19  frogbert: <Oh my boy, where I work, complaints must be accompanied by solutions.>

The solution here is pretty straightforward: simply check that everything looks alright after uploading the pgn-file. If it's supposed to contain complete results after 10 rounds, then every player should be listed with 10 games each.

An even better solution is to write a little script that parses the pgn and outputs it in a format that one knows will work correctly. If there are errors in the file that one cannot automatically fix, it needs manual intervention.

The latter isn't hard to do - due to all tools already out there, I wouldn't spend more than a couple hours to make a script that made sure that for instance a round robin with x players after n rounds contained x/2*n complete and correctly validated games.

Of course, there are other scenarios too, but this is by far the most common for high-profile events. Also, as a programmer I know very well that any system I work on can't trust input data on face value; they must be validated and sometimes cleaned up.

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