Round 11 - Giri joins Carlsen in the lead after last-minute hallucination

26-01-2019

It was yet another outstanding day of chess in Wijk aan Zee, with particularly a lot of late drama. The main story of the day is of course Anish Giri’s win over Sam Shankland, as the American grandmaster resigned in a drawn endgame. 

As Anish explained afterwards, Sam had suffered some sort of hallucination as he simply forgot the ending would be a draw with his king on c8 (and not just on a8) once White has pushed his pawn to b6. Much earlier in the day Magnus Carlsen had drawn his game against Radjabov, meaning that the World Champion and Giri are tied on 7.5/11 entering the penultimate round. Nepomniachtchi beat his compatriot Fedoseev to remain within striking distance on 7/11. Elsewhere Kramnik scored his first win of the event after taking advantage of a late blunder by Jorden Van Foreest, while Vidit scored a big black win over Mamedyarov.

In the Challengers there was only one decisive result (a very rare occurrence!), but it was a relevant game to the tournament standings as it was a victory by Vladislav Kovalev which allows him to tie Chigaev for first place on 8/11. It promises to be a very exciting finish as the players battle it out for the coveted spot in the 2020 Masters tournament!