2015 Tata Steel Masters: Round #7

2015 Tata Steel Chess

Round #7 – Saturday 17 January 2015

Masters

Ivan Saric – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 0-1
Ding Liren – Loek van Wely, 1-0
Radaslaw Wojtaszek – Baadur Jobova, 0-1
Magnus Carlsen – Hou Yifan, 1-0
Anish Giri – Vassily Ivanchuk, ½-½
Wesley So – Teimour Radjabov, ½-½
Levon Aronian – Fabiano Caruana, ½-½

Lots of exciting games today. This tournament has had a lot of variety in the games spanning practically the breadth and width of the openings. In Saric-Vachier-Lagrave game, absolutely wild Najdorf was on the board and a classical battle ensued. In the dizzying complications, black got the initiative and after 26.Rc1 Qb3 the game had dynamic equality, but white had to be careful. After 30…Rb8, things look very dire for white, but the computer eval is still 0.00 after 31.Qc1, but Saric erred with 31.Rd2?? leading to a mate in four after 31…axb2+ 32.Kb1 Qa2+! 33.Kxa2 b1(Q) 34.Ka3 Qb3#. MVL describes the fascinating game below.

Ding Liren got a gift after Loek Van Wely missed a crushing continuation and allowed the Chinese to turn the tide with 38…Nxd3! 39.exd3 Rxc3 40.Bxc3 Rxd3 and black has a decisive advantage. In Wojtaszek-Jobava, there was a nice hedgehog battle with a typical theme of …b5 and …d5. After a tense middlegame, the Pole was hit with a nice tactic 28…Nxh2! giving the winning initiative.

One of the most anticipated games was between the two World Champions, Magnus Carlsen and Hou Yifan. In this game, Carlsen slowly but surely outplayed Hou’s Kalishnikov. Out of nowhere, white gained momentum and his pieces started showing up around the black king. Black was unable to withstand the attack and went down.

Video by Daniel King.

Standings after Round #7 (Masters)

1st-2nd: V. Ivanchuk, M. Carlsen, 5; 3rd-5th: W. So, M. Vachier-Lagrave, L. Ding, 4½; 6th-7th: R. Wojtaszek, A. Giri, 4; 8th-9th: F. Caruana, T. Radjabov, 3½; 10th-11th: L. Aronian, I. Saric, 2½; 12th-13th: Y. Hou, L. Van Wely, 2; 14th: B. Jobava, 1½.

Challengers

Jan Timman – Wei Yi, 1-0
Valentina Guinina – Erwin L’Ami, 1-0
Salem Saleh – Samuel Shankland, ½-½
Vladimir Potkin – Anna Haast, ½-½
Bart-Michiels – Ari Dale, 1-0
Samuel Sevian – David Klein, 1-0
Robin Van Kampen – David Navara, 0-1

Standings after Round #7 (Challengers)

1st-2nd: Y. Wei, D. Navara, 5½; 3rd: S. Shankland, 4½; 4th-6th: E. L’Ami, V. Potkin, R. Van Kampen, 4; 7th-8th: S. Sevian, B. Michiels, 3½; 9th-10th: S. Salem, D. Klein, 3; 11th-12th: V. Guinina, J. Timman, 3½; 13th: A. Haast, 2; 14th: A. Dale, 1½.

Official Site: https://www.tatasteelchess.com/
Tata Steel (YouTube Channel): https://www.youtube.com/
Drum Coverage: https://www.thechessdrum.net/blog/2015/01/04/2015-tata-steel-chess-wijk-aan-zee/

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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