GM Ronen Har-Zvi commentates on Round 2
In sport, as in life, the best way to shut criticism down is to win. And Magnus today won his game against one of the strongest opponents: Anish Giri. It is the first time Carlsen defeats Giri in a classical game in Tata Steel history.
The Champion played a quasi-perfect game with a great exchange sacrifice, and Anish had to surrender.
Mamedyarov created a buzz over Twitter after playing an apparently wild opening with white: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g4!?
Esipenko appeared stunned, but after the initial wave of astonishment, Andrey found the counter-measures, and the game ended in a draw.
Photo credit Lennart Ootes Tata Steel Chess official website
The other decisive game of the day was an excellent bounce-back by Richard Rapport, who defeated last year's winner, Jorden Van Foreest.
Jorden was very close to securing a draw when he blundered playing 35... Nd7?. After white's Nxh7, the game is practically over.
Duda, one of the early leaders, drew his game with Praggnanandha. After the game, the strong Polish GM said,
"Draw with "youngster" - as myself a few years ago -Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa was a fair result as we were both well prepared for the opening and could not find a way to sharper the position."
Vidit and Caruana, in a QGD semi-slav, drew quietly in 27 moves, exchanging a lot of pieces. Karjakin and Dubov were even quicker: their QGD ended in a draw in 23 moves. Shankland and Grandelius drew, but their game was much more entertaining, with computer evaluation going up and down. After two rounds, we find Magnus, Duda, and Vidit with 1.5 points in the lead.
Then eight players with 1.0: Caruana, Mamedyarov, Rapport, Karjakin, Dubov, Esipenko, Van Foreest, and Praggananadhaa. With 0.5 Giri, Shankland and Grandeluis close the list.
Tomorrow Round 3 at 8 AM EST - 14:00 local.