Carlsen still holds lead at Tata ’13

2013 Tata Steel Chess

Magnus Carlsen still holds the lead.
Photo by tatasteelchess.com.

Magnus Carlsen maintains the lead at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament after eight rounds with +4. His combination of resourcefulness and determination leaves him undefeated, but he has many challenges forthcoming. Viswanathan Anand is a half-point out with 5½/8 with Levon Aronian and Hikaru Nakamura in joint third with 5/8 or +2. All of these players have had timely wins including Carlsen’s win over Sergey Karjakin, Anand’s two brilliancies and Aronian’s 3½/4 after the first rest day. Nakamura has cobbled together a solid performance beating both Chinese players.

One of the amazing stories of Wijk aan Zee is the performance of Jan Timman, the 61-year old chess legend. Timman is on +3 and shares the lead in the “B” group with Richard Rapport and Sergei Movesesian. He has surprised many with the sharpness of his play. In the “C” a very fierce battle is brewing between Sabino Brunello and Fernando Peralta. Both have scored an incredible five wins and are currently locked into joint first on +5. Brunello has the easier field in the last five rounds.

Highlight from Round #5

Harikrishna-Van Wely, white built up a strong attacking position and after 35.Bd5 was threatening demolition. After 37…Kh7 it appears as if black is wiggling away (diagram #1), but white squashed hopes of survivial with 38.Rf7+! Nxf7 39.Qxg6+! (diagram #2) It’s mate after 39…Kxg6 40.Be4#. Very nice!

Standings after Round #8 (Group A)

1st: M. Carlsen, 6; 2nd: V. Anand, 5½; 3rd-4th: L. Aronian, H. Nakamura, 5; 5th-6th: P. Harikrishna, S. Karjakin, 4½; 7th-8th: P. Leko, F. Caruana, 4; 9th-10th: L. van Wely, H. Wang, 3½; 11th: A. Giri, 3; 12th-14th: I. Sokolov, E. L’Ami, Y. Hou, 2½.

Standings after Round #8 (Group B)

1st-3rd: R. Rapport, S. Movesesian, J. Timman, 5½; 4th: A. Naiditsch, 5; 5th-6th: D. Dubov, J. Smeets, 4½; 7th-9th: R. Edouard, S. Tiviakov, M. Turov, 4; 10th: R. van Kampen, 3½; 11th-12th: N. Grandelius, P. Nikolic, 2½; 13th-14th: A. Ipatov, S. Ernst, 2.

Standings after Round #8 (Group C)

1st-2nd: S. Brunello, F. Peralta, 6½; 3rd: D. Klein, 5½; 4th-5th: R. Swinkels, A. Kovchan, 4½; 6th-8th: K. Mekhitarian, H. Gretarsson, T.Burg, 4; 9th: O. Romanishin, 3½; 10th-11th: I. Bitensky, A. Goryachkina, 3; 12th-13th: M. van der Werf, M. Admiraal, 2½; 14th: L. Schut, 2.

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Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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