Eljanov still undefeated in Wijk aan Zee

17-01-2017

Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So are doing everything they can in Wijk aan Zee.

Both the world champion from Norway and the world number four from the United Stated scored convincing victories in round four of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament but they still did not manage to out-perform Ukranian Pavel Eljanov, this year’s surprise of the tournament.

Eljanov said after his matchup with Adhiban Baskaran from India that the outcome of that game remained unclear for a long time. And: ‘We both kept the pressure on so everything was possible.’ It was only in the resulting bishop ending that it became clear that Eljanov - although a pawn down - would score his third victory in four days and would stay in the lead with 3,5 points. True, he did not encounter the toughest possible opposition in the Masters yet but on the other hand his opponents so far were no clutzes either.

Carlsen and So share second place with 3 points.

Carlsen beat Chinese prodigy Wei Yi who missed – according to some spectators - a not so obvious tactical threat in a drawish endgame position. The world champion from Norway did not hesitate and his first serious blow in the game caused an immediate knock out.

So was too strong for Loek van Wely, who has not showed his best form in the first part of the tournament. With the white pieces the Dutch grandmaster only managed a slightly worse position out of the opening. According to the engines somewhere in the remainder of the game there was an escape route for Van Wely but when he did not take that So did not show any remorse anymore.

Tomorrow Van Wely can take some revenge in IJmuiden where the grandmasters will face the challenge of a soccer match against Telstar a Dutch second division team.