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GM Alex Yermolinsky’s Tata Steel 2021 SPECIAL - Video 4

Opening: D02: Queen's pawn game: 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3

Player(s): Firouzja, Duda

Finally, a good old-fashioned over-the-board tournament! The long-awaited 2021 Tata Steel did not disappoint local fans. For the first time in 25 years, a Dutchman emerged the victor.

Jorden Van Foreest played enterprising chess throughout the event, showing great opening preparation (his win over Nils Grandelius was particularly remarkable), combined with energetic middlegame play.

A good start of the tournament was instrumental in Jorden's success. In the first four rounds, he faced three of the top four rated opponents, and didn't lose a single game!

Video #1 is about the first-round game Caruana-Van Foreest. A new concept in the opening was followed by Black's aggressive play in the early middlegame. Even after Van Foreest made a mistake and ended up in a pawn-down rook endgame he didn't hang his head and managed to save a draw. A draw worth the wins that came later.

Video #2 showcases two of the participants of the upcoming Candidates' tournament. The co-leader of that event, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had a rough time in Wijk aan Zee, while Anish Giri successfully defended his home turf. The game is very interesting in all stages of the battle, but I will particularly point out a missed opportunity by MVL to put up a stiff resistance in the endgame.

Video # 3 is about a player who had his breakout tournament at the 2021 Tata Steel. The 18-year-old Russian Andrey Esipenko finished in a tie for third place, just half a point behind the winners, while scoring an important confidence booster in defeating World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Esipenko's style possesses some similarities with two of his great predecessors of Russian chess, Anatoly Karpov and Sergey Karjakin. It not just well-oiled openings, solid play, and impressive endgame technique, it's his mental toughness. The games I chose to show how Andrey reacted to different situations that occurred during the tournament. Against Caruana, he was faced with a novelty and had to deal with a difficult position right out of the opening, while the Wojtaszek game went Esipenko's way for the starting blocks, and he kept the pressure on to the endgame.

Teacher's library (571) D02 Firouzja Duda game analysis

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