As usual, the chess year starts big, with the traditional Tata Steel super-tournament in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands.
GM Daniel King & GM Max Dlugy recap Round 10 at the end of the LIVE broadcast
An interesting round today, with three decisive games: Vachier-Lagrave won vs. World Champion Hou Yifan; Ivanchuk, in a rather incredible end of the game, beat Jobava and Caruana, playing an instructive and quite exciting game - especially for the time scramble - won against the Chinese GM Ding Liren.
HERE the video recap by GM Miguel Illescas
Caruana wins again, and in a very convincing way. Today's victim was GM Saric, from Croatia. Fabiano opted for a Spanish, and Saric avoided the Berlin, knowing that Caruana is an expert of that variation of the Ruy Lopez. But it didn't help the Croatian, who was outplayed by the American-Italian ace. Magnus Carlsen drew his game with the raising star - now American - Wesley So. In the all-China battle, Ding Liren prevailed over the Women World Champion Hou Yifan. Van Wely had a totally won game in the ending, but unfortunately (for him) he could not finalize the whole point, and had to settle for a draw. This is a very long tournament, therefore it's early to make previsions, but the question comes natural: is Fabiano Caruana going to do a "Caruana" again?
Standings After Round 2
HERE the video recap by GM Daniel King
What a round! Chess fans could not ask for more, after today's rollercoaster at the Tata Steel tournament. The World Champion lost to Wojtasez, and Levon Aronian was defeated by the new - in the life rating list - American number one Wesley So. Caruana had to use all his patience and strenght to draw Giri, after 7 hours of struggle. Ding Liren won with Jobava, and the oldest in the field, GM Vasily Ivanchuk, won his game with local hero Loek Van Wely to take the lead, joining Fabiano at the top of the standings.
Standings after Round 3
HERE the video recap by GM Larry Christiansen
GM Lars Bo Hansen recaps Round 4. The Benjamin's Bump hits again! It's traditon that when Joel is on the air, there is almost never a dull round and today, with 4 decisive games, the round has been more than just interesting. First off, we need to mention that the old wolf is in the sole lead now, with 3.5 out of 4: Vasily Ivanchuk is a player that can beat anyone, when he's in good form. Today he played a great game against the young French GM Vachier-Lagrave. Magnus Carlsen is back in gear, with a convincing win against Loek Van Wely. The strong Chinese Ding Liren beat Radjabov, and now shares second place with Fabiano Caruana - who drew Wesley So - half a point behind Ivanchuk. The lowest rated player in Group A, GM Saric, won with Jobava, and now is in the 50% group with Magnus Carlsen, Giri and Vachier-Lagrave. The tournament so far has been incredibly lively, with great games - and great blunders! - and if it keeps this trend, there will be fun for everyone!
HERE the video recap by GM Lars Bo Hansen
GM Joel Benjamin recaps Round 5. Again four decisive games in this 5th round. There are interesting cues that comes out checking what happened today: Magnus Carlsen beat Aronian and is back in the tournament, at +1 now; Aronian is out of form, at least in these first rounds; Wojtaszek is the top-guys killa, having beated both Carlsen and Caruana in the first half of the tournament; Jobava keeps playing challenging chess, and losing; Hou Yifan today showed that she can hold her male foes. Ivanchuk today drew his games with Ding Liren, to keep the sole lead with 4/5. Wojtaszek joined Ding Liren in second, half a point behind. Magnus, Fabiano, Anish and Wesley are the chasing pack of howling young wolves, with 3 out of 5. The next rounds will be extremely interesting; will the great Ivanchuk be able to defend first place?
HERE the video recap by GM Joel Benjamin
The clash at the top - of the rating list - has seen Numero Uno Magnus Carlsen affirm his superiority, in a fantastic game that the Norwegian won in a convincing way. With today's win, Magnus is back in warzone, ready to put on the table all his powerful strenght. This is the third win in a row for the World Champion, who seems to have got back his legendary prowess. The old wolf Ivanchuk resists on top, with a draw against Saric. Vasily leads with 4.5/6, followed by the amazing trio: Carlsen, So and the top-guys killa Wojtaszek. Wesley So is having a terrific tournament so far, and today he managed to beat Baadur Jobava, who is in the middle of a nightmare, with 0.5 points out of 6, at -5. At 3.5 we find MVL, Giri and Ding Liren, then Fabiano Caruana and Radjabov with 3 points. With 7 rounds to go nothing is decided yet, but looking at how Carlsen reacted after his first not-so-good games, it's even too easy to see him as the favorite for the final success.
HERE the video recap by GM Ronen Har-Zvi
The two World Champions played an interesting game today, with Carlsen emerging victorious after some struggle. Now the Norwegian talent has joined Ivanchuk at the top of the standings. Vasily indeed drew with Giri, after a 102 move and 7 hour marathon. Jobava finally interrupted his negative series winning a quite incredible game against Wojtaszek. MVL defeated Saric and Ding Liren won over van Wely. After 7 rounds, and with 6 rounds to go, Ivanchuk and Carlsen lead with 5 points; half a point behind So, MVL and Ding Liren. With 4 points Wojtaszek and Giri.
HERE the video recap by GM Ronen Har-Zvi
An amazing 8th round in Wijk aan Zee! Strange openings, blunders and brilliancies: all the best a tournament can offer to chess fans. Carlsen shift into his usual incredible gear and wins the 5th game in a row, to take the sole lead with 6/8. Ivanchuk falls into a tricky and rare variants of the Spanish opening, and lose in 26 moves to Wesley So, who is having the tournament of his life so far. Caruana needs 82 moves to regulate van Wely, trying to stay up there, though 1.5 points behind the leader. Radjabov beats Wojtaszek who, after defeating the two super guys, is now struggling. Ding Liren defeats Saric in 34 moves. Only one draw in this incredible round: Hou Yifan vs. Aronian. After 8 rounds, Magnus Carlsen leads solo, with three young wolves howling in the hunt half a point behind: MVL, Welsey So and Ding Liren. Ivanchuk stands alone in 5th, with 5/8, then with 4.5/8 Caruana and Radjabov. Tomorrow is a rest day in Wijk aan Zee. Tuesday round 9, starting at 8AM EST.
HERE is the video recap by GM John Fedorowicz
It's 6 in a row for the World Champion! Magnus defeated Radjabov today, and now leads by a full point. None of his pursuers was able to keep his amazing pace: Wesley So and MVL drew, and Ding Liren lost to Giri. Hou Yifan unleashed a very brave attack playing Fabiano Caruana, but the Italian ace managed to survive and eventually the game was drawn. After 9 rounds, and with 4 rounds to go, Magnus - with an impressive +5 - leads alone with 7/9. One full point behind Wesley So and MVL, then with 5.5 Ivanchuk and Ding Liren. The tournament his causing a lot of changes in the live rating list, with Carlsen gaining 10.9 points and moving up to 2872.9, Wesly So gaining 23.2 poiints and now number 7 in the list, and Jobava losing 26 points, on the brink to falling below 2700.
HERE is the vdeo recap by GM Jon Speelman
Round 10 was, in a way, a quiet one. Carlsen and Ivanchuk agreed on a GM draw, half an hour into the game, in a little more than 30 minutes. Ding Liren and Welsey so drew quite rapidly as well. MVL drew with Wojtaszek in 32 moves. Nothing changed on top of the standings, with the World Champion still leading by a full point over So and MVL. The real interesting fact of the day is the game Jobava-Caruana. Jobava came out of the opening with some problems to solve, but Caruana, after a complicated middle game, got in time trouble and missed some opportunity to get a good advantage. After time control, they got into the endgame with Caruana i nadvantage, but Jobava had the chance to force the Italian to a draw. Only, Baadur blundered horribly and lost almost on the spot. Tiredness, maybe a bit of demoralization due to the poor results Jobava has had so far, probably played an important role in this game. Caruana now shares 4th, with 6/10 together with Giri - who today beat Saric - Ivanchuk and Ding Liren.
HERE is the video recap by GM Max Dlugy
Hou Yifan wins her first game in this tough tournament. This is good news, alas it was against Baadur Jobava, who's having a nightmarish journey in Week aan Zee. He is 1.5/11, and has slipped off the 2700 live rating list, losing some 30 points so far. At the top, Magnus drew a hard fought game with MVL, but Wesley So won convincingly with Ivan Saric, and now is alone in second place half a point behind Carlsen. At a full point form the leader, the small but menacing chasing pack with MVL, Ding Liren and Anish Giri, who won today an interesting battle with his fellow countryman Loek van Wely. Fabiano Caruana and Vasily Ivanchuk share 6th with 6.5/11. With two rounds to go, the tournament is still open to any result, though Carlsen is, by force, the favorite #1. Wesly So is having a terrific event, and in round 12 he will play Giri, while Carlsen faces Ding Liren. It'll be interesting to see how the next round will be decisive or not, with such important matchups.
HERE is the video recap by GM Larry Christiansen
One imprecision and you're done. This is modern chess, at the top level. Wesley So today wanted to win, to catch Magnus Carlsen up there, but he found himself in trouble against the top Hollander Anish Giri, and went on playing a lost Queen ending for 7 hours and 110 moves, until Giri found his way to push the extra pawn down to the 8th rank, forcing a disappointed Wesly to resignation. Carlsen drew with Ding Liren, and now Giri is in second alone, half a point behind the World Champion. Saric won his game with Wojtaszek, and the rest of the games ended in draw. A full point behing Magnus we find MVL, Wesley So and Ding Liren. Five players could still win the tournament, but tomorrow Magnus has white against Saric, and this is not the Olympiad! Last round starts at 6AM EST - 12:00 CET. Very early for the fans from the U.S., but it's worth the early bird wake.
HERE is the video recap by GM Lars Bo Hansen
Magnus, for the third time, wins the super-tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Congratulations to the World Champion for yet another great victory. The real news though is another: there are 4 musketeers, all of them younger than the World Champion - who is not exactly a decrepit man - who are surging prepotently to dominate the chess scene: MVL from France, Wesley So from Philippines (now playing for U.S.), Ding Liren form China and Anish Giri from the Netherlands. These 4 boys have had a fantastic tournament, and Magnus had to play well all the way through the end to win the event. The 5th musketeer is probably tired from playing just too much: Fabiano the fabulous Caruana didn't have a good tournament, and finished 7th, behind Ivanchuk. The first super-tournament of the year seems to indicate that chess at the top level is more and more dominated by fresh and young talents, that are able to sit at the board for 7 hours without getting tired. The 2015 Tata Steel tournament has been interesting and exciting to follow, with the main protagonists fighting hard to prevail. Caruana won the first two games and then disappeared from the top, replaced by an evergreen Ivanchuk, who held the helm for four rounds, until Magnus started his amazing 6-win streak, to get a firm grip on the title, which he managed not to let go in the last rounds.
HERE is the recap video by GM Var Akobian
Group A presents some of the strongest players in the world, with an average ELO of 2747, which makes the tournament a category 20.
Here is the list with the protagonists:
|Loek Van Wely||2667||
|GM Ronen Har-Zvi||GM Miguel Illescas|
|GM Daniel King||GM Varuzhan Akobian|
|GM Max Dlugy||GM Larry Christiansen|
|GM Joel Benjamin||GM Lars Bo Hansen|
|IM Christof Sielecki||GM Joel Benjamin|
|GM Daniel King||GM John Fedorowicz|
|GM Ronen Har-Zvi||GM Varuzhan Akobian|
|Mark Crowther||GM John Fedorowicz|
|GM Miguel Illescas||GM Jon Speelman|
|GM Daniel King||GM Max Dlugy|
|GM Jon Speelman||GM Larry Christiansen|
|GM Ronen Har-Zvi||GM Lars Bo Hansen|
|Mark Crowther||GM Varuzhan Akobian|