2015 Tata Steel Masters: Round #9

2015 Tata Steel Chess

Round #9 – Tuesday 20 January 2015

Masters

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

Magnus Carlsen won his sixth in a row today. According to a previous interview, he had not won more than five in a row before. This streak is remarkable in that he has done it in various ways. He has a chance to do a “Caruana” tomorrow if he wins against Vassily Ivanchuk.

Levon Aronian won a brilliant game, but there is a lot of discussion about his standing in the world elite. Photo by Nadja Wittmann. (ChessBase).

Today he won with a nice attacking game against Teimour Radjabov where the Azeri made some questionable decisions. It appeared that 19…c5 was rendered the black bishop to a prison life since he did not follow with …a4. That bishop would not move again after 15…Bb6. As it were, white attacked mercilessly and had all the positional trumps to offer a shattering sacrifice with 31.Nxg7! winning a pawn. Even if black trade queens, the position is untenable.

Anish Giri ground down Ding Liren’s King’s Indian in a very exciting encounter while Levon Aronian crunched Baadur Jobava. The attacking wave was a gem! This may be a relief for the Armenian who has been floundering at the bottom of the table.

In a post-game interview, he was asked if he knew why he was in such bad form and he responded, “I wish I had.” There has been a lot of buzzing about Aronian and his fall from the #2 position. Much is being made of his genial nature and that this is the reason he doesn’t have the edge to play well in the candidate’s tournament. He now sits at #7.

Video by Tata Steel Chess.

Video by Daniel King.

Standings after Round #9 (Masters)

1st: M. Carlsen, 7; 2nd-3rd: W. So, M. Vachier-Lagrave, 6; 4th-5th: V. Ivanchuk, L. Ding, 5½; 6th-7th: A. Giri, F. Caruana, 5; 8th-9th: R. Wojtaszek, T. Radjabov, 4½; 10th: L. Aronian, 4; 11th-12th: Y. Hou, I. Saric, 3; 13th: L. Van Wely, 2½; 14th: B. Jobava, 1½.

Challengers

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

David Navara broke out ahead of Wei Yi with another black win. That is 5/5 with the black pieces. Perhaps the white advantage is overstated! Wei and Robin Van Kampen drew keeping first place in their sights. The only other decisive game was the Samuel Sevian winning over Anna Haast who was coming off of her second win. The tournament is turning out to be almost as expected in terms of the standings.

Standings after Round #9 (Challengers)

1st: D. Navara, 7½; 2nd: Y. Wei, 7; 3rd-4th: S. Shankland, R. Van Kampen, 5½; 5th-7th: E. L’Ami, S. Sevian, V. Potkin, 5; 8th-9th: S. Salem, B. Michiels, 4; 10th: D. Klein, 3½; 11th-13th: V. Guinina, J. Timman, A. Haast, 3; 14th: A. Dale, 2.

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/

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