After losing their games in the first round, Dutch GMs Anish Giri and Jorden van Foreest bounced back with wins in the second round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
A disappointing first day was followed by a much better second day for the local fans in Wijk aan Zee. The hundreds of spectators, most of them playing themselves in the traditional Weekender, saw both Giri and Van Foreest play (and win!) excellent games.
The stage with the 28 players of the two groups. | Photo: Alina l’Ami/Tata Steel Chess.
In the case of 19-year-old Van Foreest, the oldest of four chess playing siblings, just about every win can be called an upset—especially with the black pieces. It must be a wonderful feeling for the lowest seed in the tournament to have gotten rid of the zero on the scoreboard this early.
For the second day in a row involved in an Exchange Caro-Kann, Van Foreest found good counterplay on the kingside against Duda’s aggressive intentions elsewhere. At some point the knights of both players seemed in danger, and it was the Polish GM who went wrong when the time was running low.
“Somehow I survived, I don’t know what happened exactly,” Van Foreest said. “After the timetrouble was over I was much better if not winning.”
Van Foreest interviewed after the game.
A tough loss against the lowest seed for Duda. | Photo: Alina l’Ami/Tata Steel Chess.
Giri played a fine game as well, against his former nemesis Vladimir Kramnik. Over his career the Dutchman started with seven classical losses to the 14th world champ, but has now won the last three. The fact that Kramnik had to play the game without his glasses, which are broken and will be fixed on Monday, might have played a role.
With less sight, Kramnik was actually playing a good game, and if he had played 19.g3 instead of 19.e5, Giri would have been under serious pressure. As it went, Giri could counter strongly with an exchange sac that Kramnik didn’t dare to take, but as it went he was without a chance anyway.
“I was very happy when he played 19.e5, because I already saw the contours of this Petrosian exchange sacrifice but I thought I would lose anyway,” said Giri. “I said to myself: yesterday I played like a drunk Tal, today I play like a drink Petrosian! That was a great way to find joy after losing two games, but then I didn’t lose it.”
Giri interviewed after the game.
That was Giri’s third straight win in classical games vs Kramnik. | Photo: Alina l’Ami/Tata Steel Chess.
Magnus Carlsen also drew his second game. He went for a Saemisch Benoni/King’s Indian which Ian Nepomniachtchi had used in the same playing hall to draw with Levon Aronian two years ago. It seems Nepomniachtchi was better prepared anyway; his 13…c4 quickly led to a queenless middlegame where Black looks a bit worse, but it’s actually “more or less playable,” as Nepomniachtchi put it.
[embedded content]Nepomniachtchi interviewed after the game.
The Russian GM had to start with two black games against the two players who finished on plus five last year, but survived: “Ding had his own record of 100 games unbeaten and this year I already have my record of two games unbeaten!”
“Frankly speaking I didn’t remember that much, apart from that the exchange sac was supposed to be playable but like yesterday it was brief but exciting,” said Carlsen. “He probably knew more than I did; I was probably bluffing just a tad.”
Carlsen interviewed after the game.
Nepomniachtchi and Carlsen chatting after the game. | Photo: Alina l’Ami/Tata Steel Chess.
The world champ continued his running gag of pretending he’s playing Giri in each round, saying: “He surprised me with the opening, maybe because he had lost the first round and wanted to get revenge this time.”
This quote was edited out from the interview on the Tata Steel Chess YouTube channel, but of course it reached the interwebs anyway and Giri was quick to join the fun:
— Tarjei J. Svensen ( @TarjeiJS) January 13, 2019
— Anish Giri ( @anishgiri) January 13, 2019
Sam Shankland was outplaying Richard Rapport with the black pieces until he reached a winning knight endgame. Over the board it was extremely difficult though, especially when nobody can whisper in your ear that it is in fact winning.
If the U.S. Champion had been given the position after 74.Nf8 with the remark “Black to move and win,” he would probably have found 74…h6! there…
Richard Rapport escaped in round two. | Photo: Alina l’Ami/Tata Steel Chess.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov expectedly drew without much of a fight and Vishy Anand couldn’t get much against Vladimir Fedoseev‘s Petroff.
Ding Liren‘s remarkable novelty on move six in an English game vs Vidit Santosh Gujrathi didn’t do much either, although this was definitely the most interesting of the draws:
Vidit interviewed after the game.
Tata Steel Chess Masters | Round 2 Standings
Also in the challengers group there’s no player left with a perfect score after two days of play. There were just two winners, and the first was IM Vincent Keymer, GM Peter Leko‘s 14-year-old protege. (Leko is joining the live broadcast every day and discusses his training methods as well as his invaluable insights in top level chess—don’t miss that!)
Peter Leko pictured in the press room. | Photo: Alina l’Ami/Tata Steel Chess.
It took a while for Keymer to gain the advantage against Dutch IM Stefan Kuipers, but when it was there, it was suddenly over:
Vincent Keymer got his first win early. | Photo: Alina l’Ami/Tata Steel Chess.
Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo defeated IM Elisabeth Paehtz as he first got a positional advantage and then decided the game with a petite combinaison:
The Kazakh IM Dinara Saduakassova had to suffer a blow that hopefully won’t influence her following games too much. She reached a completely winning position against GM Lucas van Foreest but failed to convert, and then had to defend a slightly worse endgame:
Tata Steel Chess Challengers | Round 2 Standings
Replay the live broadcast of the second round.
Just like in previous years, the official video broadcast is “proudly powered” by Chess.com, which you can watch on both tatasteelchess.com and Chess.com/TV. All rounds start at 1:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. New York, 4:30 Pacific) in Wijk aan Zee, except for three rounds:
- On January 16 (Alkmaar) the rounds starts half an hour later, at 2 p.m.
- On January 23 (Leiden) the rounds starts half an hour later, at 2 p.m.
- The final round, on Sunday January 27, starts 1.5 hours earlier, at noon local time.
Commentary will be provided by IMs Anna Rudolf and Lawrence Trent during the first week, and GM Robert Hess and IM Sopiko Guramishvili during the second week.