Tata Steel 2016 has started today in Wijk Aan Zee with the Masters and Challengers groups capturing the attention of the chess fans all around the world. Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, and Ding Liren will be smiling after today’s games, as they won their encounters in the Masters group.
Wesley So played a brilliant game against the local hero Anish Giri. The match started as an English opening (1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 c5 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. a3) and continued with a symmetrical structure at the center. In a positional battle Giri made the first slip, exchanging his bishop with 16…Bxd5, leaving his knight blocked on a7. The Dutch GM tried to react immediatelly by opening up the kingside with 18…f5 and 19…f4, but that proved to be another strategic mistake. Wesley So explored perfectly the weaknesses of his opponent and closed the game in style in just 37 moves. (replay)
Fabiano Caruana waited for his moment against World Cup finalist Pavel Eljanov, and his patience was rewarded. Eljanov committed a positional and a tactical mistake that costed him the game – first he opted for 31…b6 instead of the blocking 31… Qe6, and later 33.. g5 led to queen exchange, leaving a position impossible to defend. (replay)
Liren Ding was the last player to score a full point today. He slowly “cooked” Michael Adams, with R+N+4p vs R+N+3p. Trying different approaches, the Chinese forced a decisive mistake by Adams 54…Nd8, after which there were no chances for black. (replay)
With Caruana, Wesley So, and Ding Liren victorious, the tournament started right as our mini previews (here and here) have predicted. In the Corus/Tata Steel chess series Wesley So has competed only twice, but he finished very strong in both events – in 2014, he was third, while in 2015 he came second. Only the gold is missing from his collection. The same is the situation with Caruana. Although he has participated in more events, his best performances are a second and a third. Ding Liren is the third player in this situation – one shared silver medal in 2015 and looking for his gold. Today was a good start for the three players and they are on the right track, but let’s not forget that the race is long and there are no easy opponents.
Replay the Tata Steel 2016 live daily with triple engine analysis by Komodo, Stockfish, and Houdini and via GM commentary in pgn and pdf by GM Kuljasevic, GM Grigorov, IM Videnova, and GM Arnaudov through Chess Insider (January) and Modern Chess (January) magazines. Here are all results of the day:
All results of Tata Steel Masters round 1
David Navara vs Magnus Carlsen [1/2-1/2]
Wesley So vs Anish Giri [1-0]
Yifan Hou vs Sergey Karjakin [1/2-1/2]
Liren Ding vs Michael Adams [1-0]
Fabiano Caruana vs Pavel Eljanov [1-0]
Yi Wei vs Evgeny Tomashevsky [1/2-1/2]
Shakhryar Mamedyarov vs Loek Van Wely [1/2-1/2]
Schedule for round 2
Karjakin, S. – Van Wely, L.
Tomashevsky, E. – Mamedyarov, S.
Eljanov, P. – Wei, Y.
Carlsen, M. – Caruana, F.
Adams, M. – Navara, D.
Giri, A. – Ding, L.
Hou, Y. – So, W.
Excitement in Tata Steel Challengers
Amazing start for the Tata Steel Challengers as the audience witnessed a purely decisive day. In general, the higher ELO was a predicament for victory today, as most favorites scored a full point. One of the notable exceptions is the good game by WGM Ju Wenjun who defeated with black GM Mikhail Antipov.
Anne Haast vs Jorden van Foreest [0-1]
Mikhail Antipov vs Wenjun Ju [0-1]
Alexey Dreev vs Benjamin Bok [1-0]
Erwin l’Ami vs Miguoel Admiraal [1-0]
Adhiban Baskaran vs Nijat Abasov [1-0]
Eltaj Safarli vs Samuel Sevian [1-0]
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu vs Nino Batsiashvili [1-0]
Schedule for round 2
van Foreest, J. – Batsiashvili, N.
Sevian, S. – Nisipeanu, L.
Abasov, N. – Safarli, E.
Admiraal, M. – Baskaran, A.
Bok, B. – l’Ami, E.
Ju, W. – Dreev, A.
Haast, A. – Antipov, M.