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Tata Steel Masters Tournament

Magnus Carlsen9/13(+5 -0 =8)[games]
Fabiano Caruana8/13(+5 -2 =6)[games]
Ding Liren8/13(+4 -1 =8)[games]
Wesley So7/13(+1 -0 =12)[games]
Anish Giri7/13(+2 -1 =10)[games]
Pavel Eljanov7/13(+4 -3 =6)[games]
Wei Yi6.5/13(+1 -1 =11)[games]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov6.5/13(+2 -2 =9)[games]
Sergey Karjakin6/13(+1 -2 =10)[games]
David Navara5.5/13(+1 -3 =9)[games]
Evgeny Tomashevsky5.5/13(+1 -3 =9)[games]
Yifan Hou5/13(+1 -4 =8)[games]
Michael Adams5/13(+1 -4 =8)[games]
Loek van Wely5/13(+1 -4 =8)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Tata Steel Masters (2016)


This category 20 event (average rating = 2748) was the 78th annual incarnation of the tournament. It was first staged in 1938 in Beverwijk, which is geographically adjacent to and slightly inland from the coastal village of Wijk aan Zee where the tournament is now held, and has been held annually since. (1)


Eleven rounds were staged in De Moriaan in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands. Round five was staged in the Science Center NEMO in Amsterdam and round ten in the Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht.


This year it took place between January 16 and January 31, 2016. Rest days were on January 20, 25 and 28.

Time control

100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves. Then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.


The event was a round robin tournament featuring fourteen players, and therefore thirteen rounds of play.


1st € 10,000
2nd € 6,500
3rd € 3,000
4th € 2,500
5th € 2,000
6th € 1,000
7th € 500

About the winner

This was World Champion Magnus Carlsen's fifth win at this event, equalling the record set by Anand in 2006.


Carlsen kicked off with his traditional slow start, drawing his first four games. However he picked up the pace winning three successive games in rounds five, six and seven at which point he was joint leader with Caruana. He led outright from round eight, securing two more wins in the last five rounds. As the tournament drew to a close, Caruana and Ding Liren strongly challenged for the lead with first prize up for grabs between Carlsen and these two players.

Going into the last round and leading by half a point from Caruana and a point from Ding Liren, Carlsen drew with Ding Liren (2) while Caruana lost to Tomashevsky, giving Carlsen an outright win in this event for the fourth time and a fifth win overall. (3)

Official site and source Crosstable ( :

Elo 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 1 Carlsen 2844 * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 9 2 Caruana 2787 ½ * 1 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 8 3 Ding Liren 2766 ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 8 4 So 2773 ½ ½ ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 7 5 Giri 2798 ½ ½ ½ 0 * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 7 6 Eljanov 2760 0 0 0 ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 7 7 Wei Yi 2706 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 6½ 8 Mamedyarov 2747 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 6½ 9 Karjakin 2769 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 6 10 Navara 2730 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ * ½ 0 ½ ½ 5½ 11 Tomashevsky 2728 0 1 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ * ½ ½ ½ 5½ 12 Yifan Hou 2673 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ * ½ 0 5 13 Adams 2744 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½ * ½ 5 14 Van Wely 2640 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ * 5

(1); (2) Carlsen vs Ding Liren, 2016; (3) (Tomashevsky vs Caruana, 2016)

Previous: Tata Steel Masters (2015). Next: Tata Steel Masters (2017). See also Tata Steel Challengers (2016)

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 91  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Navara vs Carlsen ½-½312016Tata Steel MastersD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
2. So vs Giri 1-0372016Tata Steel MastersA36 English
3. Y Hou vs Karjakin ½-½402016Tata Steel MastersA07 King's Indian Attack
4. Caruana vs Eljanov 1-0382016Tata Steel MastersD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
5. Wei Yi vs Tomashevsky  ½-½232016Tata Steel MastersC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
6. Ding Liren vs Adams 1-0612016Tata Steel MastersA20 English
7. Mamedyarov vs Van Wely ½-½762016Tata Steel MastersD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
8. Adams vs Navara  ½-½312016Tata Steel MastersB12 Caro-Kann Defense
9. Y Hou vs So ½-½542016Tata Steel MastersC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
10. Eljanov vs Wei Yi  ½-½362016Tata Steel MastersE60 King's Indian Defense
11. Tomashevsky vs Mamedyarov  ½-½332016Tata Steel MastersD06 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. Karjakin vs Van Wely ½-½202016Tata Steel MastersB79 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 12.h4
13. Giri vs Ding Liren  ½-½332016Tata Steel MastersD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Carlsen vs Caruana ½-½322016Tata Steel MastersA07 King's Indian Attack
15. Caruana vs Adams 1-0642016Tata Steel MastersE21 Nimzo-Indian, Three Knights
16. Wei Yi vs Carlsen ½-½602016Tata Steel MastersC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
17. Van Wely vs Tomashevsky  ½-½302016Tata Steel MastersE17 Queen's Indian
18. Mamedyarov vs Eljanov 0-1382016Tata Steel MastersD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
19. Navara vs Giri ½-½422016Tata Steel MastersD97 Grunfeld, Russian
20. Ding Liren vs Y Hou ½-½372016Tata Steel MastersD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
21. So vs Karjakin ½-½442016Tata Steel MastersE10 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Carlsen vs Mamedyarov ½-½362016Tata Steel MastersE60 King's Indian Defense
23. Adams vs Wei Yi ½-½522016Tata Steel MastersA37 English, Symmetrical
24. Karjakin vs Tomashevsky 1-0362016Tata Steel MastersC50 Giuoco Piano
25. Eljanov vs Van Wely 1-0382016Tata Steel MastersD11 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 91  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Sally S...."..and everyone is getting fat 'cept Mama Cass.">

<Creeque Alley> is a droll account of the group's early trials and tribulations.

Feb-17-16  Everyone: <"..and everyone is getting fat 'cept Mama Cass."> No, yo mama is so fat ....
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Keyser Soze> For him Elo rating measures the volume of activity (feeding frenzy) of pampered goldfishes inside of an Aquarium. Therefore it doesn't apply for the Barracudas.>

Thank you. I had considered most of the items on your list but I had forgotten about the barracudas.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <<Absentee> You're talking to a tolengoy sock.>

Oh, I'm quite aware of that, they're quite easy to spot. I was baiting him since he (once again) dug a hole for himself and I was trying to see how much deeper he could get into it. I don't expect to hear from him again but, if he does respond, I look forward to being amused by another banality.

I suggested to <> that, in an effort to reduce the number of sock puppets, that they have a middle membership account between Regular members and Premium members. A Regular member account would be free and able to read what was posted but not post. A Posting member account, for a very nominal yearly fee (say US $ 5.00), would be able to post in addition to read. And Premium member accounts would have the same privileges as they have today.

This would not, of course, discourage determined and well-heeled sock puppets but it would at least give pause to those who indiscriminately create accounts for the purpose of trolling. Unfortunately (I think) <> did not agree with the concept. Oh well.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Sally Simpson> Well, I understand your bias against draws but to be fair, achieving a draw with the Black pieces against a higher rated opponent is an achievement and should be rewarded just like achieving a win with the Black pieces against a higher rated opponent, except obviously not as much. And if there is a 300 point rating differential between opponents and the much higher rated opponent has the Black pieces, then defeating the much lower rated opponent is not that much of an achievement, and I don't think that it deserves a bonus. But then again, De Gustibus Non Disputandum Est.

Perhaps draws could be discouraged if the 3-1-0 scoring system was more widely accepted. Do you know of any databases that compare the percentage of draws in tournaments with the 3-1-0 scoring system with the percentage of tournaments with the 1-½-0 scoring system? I don't remember any database where the scoring system in use for a tournament was one of the database fields. It would be interesting to know the difference, if any, between the two.

Feb-17-16  frogbert: <AylerKupp> You present your theory about rating inflation as a hypthesis. What I wonder is what it takes to falsify your hypothesis. And then I think of your specific hypothesis of what has driven the suggested inflation.

Since you're using a definition of inflation <that can not be proven> - simply because there's no agreed upon way to measure "intrinsic strength" - don't you think that you also have some bootstrapping issue? In short you have a hypothesis to explain some phenomenon that you can't show exists, given your definition of inflation. To me this would've been a slight problem... :)

I guess you see why I've taken the approach I did.

PS! A final comment: testing whether Elo-based ratings do or do not map "intrinsic playing strength" appears a slightly strange endeavour, since Elo-based systems make no claim to being capable of making such a mapping. Elo-systems measure relative success within a given pool of players.

Feb-17-16  frogbert: If you feel like moving this discussion to your forum, that's perfectly fine, of course. :)
Feb-17-16  morfishine: <frogbert: If you feel like moving this discussion to your forum, that's perfectly fine, of course. :)> Nice discussion, but <AlyerKupp> rarely digresses or adheres to suggestions like this where elongated or massive or continuously humongous posts which are off-topic or out-of-place or simply in the wrong forum and needs to be elsewhere and clearly needs to be placed in there appropriate location

Good luck with that one


Feb-17-16  Eyal: Carlsen in the closing ceremony: "There are a lot of people to be thanked – organizers, sponsors, volunteers, you all do a wonderful job. But as last year, there's one person who deserves a special thanks – it's Loek van Wely. In time of need, he's a friend who is there to give me an extra point." (

[Thinking about it, Van Wely is indeed sort of Carlsen's lucky charm in Wijk aan Zee; whenever he beats him, he wins the tournament – 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016. On the other hand, in 2007, 2009 & 2012 they drew and in 2011 Van Wely didn't participate.]

Feb-17-16  frogbert: <morfishine> Not sure if I get your drift. <AylerKupp> knows that I'm among the few that have a very solid background and knowledge about the topic being discussed. Why wouldn't he be interested in my input?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <frogbert> I have many issues, bootstrapping being just one of them. But what I am trying to explain by my bottom feeder hypothesis is the reason for the increase in ratings, not "rating inflation". And, by my definition, they are not the same. I don't know if there is such a thing as ratings inflation the way I've defined, but I think that most of us, except the truly devoted climate change deniers, will agree that ratings have increased over at the last the last 30 years for the top players, and the data that I've collected shows that (a) they have increased for lower rated players even longer than that and (b) that for the lower and mid-rated players the increase has either flattened or reversed itself. Why? Well, all I have is a hypothesis and the most that I can claim is that it's not inconsistent with the data. But that's certainly not proof and I never would claim that it was..

And I agree that Elo-based systems do not attempt to measure the concept I call "intrinsic strength" and that they've never claimed that they do so. I also know and agree that they only measure only measure relative strength in a given pool of players. That's why not only can players from different eras cannot be compared but chess engine ratings can't be compared with human player ratings since, except in very rare occasions, humans and computers don't play each other in rated games at classical time controls; i.e. they are in different pools.

This is probably a subject that's worth recurring discussion, but I don't know a suitable forum for it. My forum is fine, yours is fine also (if you're willing, of course), but best of all would be a Ratings page. And this Tata Steel page is clearly not an appropriate place to continue it but you know how these threads gets started; someone makes a point about an interesting subject, others respond to it, and suddenly there are a lot of posts addressing the technically off-topic subject for that page.

Which is shame since a lot of interesting and valuable information is then disseminated across various pages and it's hard to keep track of the whole picture. I will ask <> if they are willing to create one or maybe point us to a suitable page on that subject or a related subject that might already exist without our knowledge. It would be a location where we can all learn a lot.

And, yes, of course I'm interested in your input as well as that of anyone else that's knowledgeable or even just interested in learning about the subject.

Feb-17-16  schweigzwang: Could be taken here, I suppose:

Arpad Elo

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Agree 100% <schweig> and I almost made the same post. This is off the rails ridiculous. This isn't an otherwise unused page.
Feb-17-16  frogbert: <AylerKupp: but I think that most of us, except the truly devoted climate change deniers, will agree that ratings have increased over at the last the last 30 years for the top players>

Yes, the phenomenon I refer to as <systemic inflation> can be demonstrated quite easily, even over the entire pool. (Pointing out "inflation" over some random X number of top players, is - in my opinion - a misunderstood concept in the first place, because it ignores the natural consequences of a (huge) increase of players in the pool.)

<shcweigzwang> The player page of Arpad Elo only makes moderate sense, I think - simply because FIDE's implemlentation of an Elo-based system has deviated quite a bit from Arpad Elo's original implementation of it. Based on what I currently know, the USCF implementation is even further away from Elo's original formulas, and regardless, it's still FIDE's ratings that most people care about these days. (USCF's rating floors is an obvious inflation-driving factor - but I don't know the original motivation for introducing rating floors in USCF, even though my initial reaction when I first learned about them, was that I couldn't fathom why they would do such a thing ...)

Feb-17-16  frogbert: <OhioChessFan> You know how it is. Sometimes a topic shows up in a discussion, and while I completely agree that it's got nothing in particular to do with the recent Tata Steel Chess tournament, any debate about that tournament is over now, and has been for quite some time. I suggest moving the discussion about rating systems to <AylerKupp>'s forum - if he's fine with that. Arpad Elo's page is also fine with me.

The sad thing about these rating systems (FIDE's system being the most important one), is that "people" don't get it. And FIDE is the prime example of an organisation that doesn't "understand" what its rating system can and cannot do.

Let me quote from the FIDE Handbook:

The rating scale is arbitrary and open ended. Thus only differences in ratings have any statistical significance in terms of probability. Thus if the composition of the FIDE Rating pool were to change, the rating scale could drift with respect to the true proficiency of the players. It is a major objective to ensure the integrity of the system so that ratings of the same value from year to year represent the same proficiency of play.

Part of the responsibilities of the Rating System Administrator is to detect any drift in the rating scale."

The start of Chapter 10.2 is an improvement over previous versions of the Rating Regulations. This part is a good start: "The rating scale is arbitrary and open ended. Thus only differences in ratings have any statistical significance in terms of probability."

So far I'm completely onboard with FIDE. However, in the following they go wrong, by stating that they might obtain a consistent mapping between chess skills and ratings by ensuring the lack of "systemic inflation" in the system.

This isn't the case, because it's beyond what any Elo-based rating system might promise to do. One can hardly blame the chess fans for "misunderstanding" the rating system, when FIDE themselves seem to believe that it can do things it can't.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <frogbert....(USCF's rating floors is an obvious inflation-driving factor - but I don't know the original motivation for introducing rating floors in USCF, even though my initial reaction when I first learned about them, was that I couldn't fathom why they would do such a thing ...)>

The long and short of USCF implementing rating floors was this: Bill Goichberg, formerly a strong master, by the 1970s had turned his hand to directing events, beginning in the New York area, which expanded to such tournaments as the World Open (wherever the venue), with large prize funds.

Goichberg's motivation was to discourage sandbagging, particularly in his (relatively speaking) big-money events. He had plenty of juice with USCF--believe he may even have been involved with them in some fashion, come to ratings administration.

Feb-18-16  frogbert: <perfidious> So, would it be wrong to say that big money prizes based on too narrow rating categories was the "problem" that caused people to implement "solutions" that partly solved the sandbagging issue, at the expense of corrupting the rating system?

When one turns something that is (or at least - I think should be) a hobby into a means of earning money (through gambling, again IMHO), then anything might happen. I've seen that "people who can't play chess" - an arrogant way of describing 1300-1500 rated players - may win rather big money prizes in certain US events. With big money prizes I mean 4-digit sums in US dollars. Having such money prizes in lower rating categories obviously invites sandbagging - and people stop playing chess in order to improve their game, but instead are willing to lose rating points in order to be able to earn money among players that are in fact weaker than them.

Fixing this issue by tweaking the rating system is the wrong solution, in my opinion. What do you think, <perfidious>?

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <frogbert> and others. I have no problem using my forum for a discussion on ratings, but it wouldn't occur to anyone to look for it there. So I agree with <schweigzwang>. that Arpad Elo would be a better place, even though it might not be perfect. But since each time anyone mentions "ratings" or "ratings system" they probably think "Arpad Elo" (or at least Elo), it's probably acceptable. I'll post a link there indicating that there have been several ratings-related discussion on this page and a link to the first post on the subject in case anyone wants to look at what has been said.
Feb-18-16  frogbert: Excellent - thanks. :)
Feb-18-16  tuttifrutty: <<tuttifrutty> I haven't been able to find a generally agreed upon definition of elo rating inflation either .>

Coz' there isn't one. It's a fairy tsil, A mAke believe, keep it up and you will end up in the mental ward.

<But you were quite adamant (Tata Steel (2016) (kibitz #1661)) that there was no rating inflation. How can you categorically deny that there is no rating inflation unless you have at least a personal concept of what rating inflation is?>

I know that commodities has inflation and depletion rates due to supply and demand. Elo rating inflation does not exist, therefore, it can't be anything but a mirage.

< After all, just because there isn't a definition of "something" doesn't mean that this "something" doesn't exist.>

Yeah, book yourself a flight to rating inflation and see if someone can show you the way to your destination. You can't possibly reach a destination that does not exist. But yes, keep dreaming, it's free. Don't forget to hang your stinking socks, Santa might drop you a note that explains what elo inflation rating is.

<that Arpad Elo would be a better place>

hmmmm.....good, good riddance, you all may talk hot air balloon over there for all I care.


Feb-22-16  morfishine: <frogbert> Sorry, I was half sarcastic, but half serious. Of course, that topic needs to be discussed elsewhere and wasn't directed to you at all but at the other party who may or may not move off-topic discussions to their proper location, even when requested directly, thats all
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <tuttifrutty> I suppose that if it makes you feel better to keep shouting "THERE'S NO RATING INFLATION", so be it. I still don't understand how you can be so adamant in denying that it exists even though you can't define it or describe it. Oh well, there are many things in this world that I don't understand and you'll just have to be one of them.
Apr-07-16  Makavelli II: I'm expecting to see Liren challenge Carlsen for the title at some point in the next 3 years. He's a fabulous young player.
Jun-02-16  posoo: In DIS tornament, under da PSS, last place belongs UNUMBIGUOUSLY to:


Jul-30-16  The Chess Express: Hi <Touch of Knight>, you closed your forum, so I'll just let you know here that I'm around again. I hope all is going well with you.
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