Summary Round 8 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

24-01-2018

It doesn’t get any better in terms of chess excitement than what we witnessed during yesterday’s 8th round here in Wijk aan Zee – a total of eight decisive games and pure drama in one of them.

That is of course the game between Magnus Carlsen and Gawain Jones, in which the World Champion inexplicably blundered a piece with 17.g4, which was met by f4, when White cannot save both the bishop on e3 and the knight on g5. As Magnus explained in an interview afterwards he was lucky to even get any play at all after that and pinpointed Gawain allowing 22.h5 as the turning point. In fact just five moves later he was already winning and went on to duly convert his advantage into a full point. A bit earlier the result of the day had come in when Anish Giri convincingly beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov to join him in the lead on 5.5/8, together with Magnus Carlsen. These three players are followed by Kramnik and So on 5/8, after they drew there encounter. Elsewhere there were also draws in Svidler-Anand, in Adhiban-Karjakin and in Wei-Matlakov. In the last game of the day to end Fabiano Caruana managed to turn around what was a lost position at some stage to beat Hou Yifan. After today’s rest day we can look forward to a famous Anand-Carlsen clash, as well as to Mamedyarov-Kramnik and Matlakov-Giri.

 

It was hard to top the amount of action from the Masters, but the Challengers were up to the task as no less than five games ended decisively. In the most important game of the day tournament leader Anton Korobov spoilt a near-winning position against second seed Bassem Amin and eventually even lost, thus allowing Vidit to catch up with him as the Indian beat Gordievsky. Korobov and Vidit now share the lead on 6/8, a full two points clear of the rest of the field – incredibly seven players share 3rd place on 4/8. The other decisive results of the day were Jorden van Foreest getting the better of Aryan Tari, Benjamin Bok overcoming Lucas van Foreest and Michal Krasenkow defeating Olga Girya.