Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 18, 2021. Today was another great day for chess thanks to the exceptional chess on display in Wijk aan Zee. Of note, were the important changes at both ends of the standings with the tournament leader, Nils Grandelius, being issued his first loss and the last place Alexander Donchenko ending his losing streak with a draw. When the dust cleared, there were a total of two decisive games in round 3 and is our habit, we will take a quick look at some key moments from them.

So after three rounds Pentala Harikrishna, Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, Fabiano Caruana and Nils Grandelius are all tied for first place with 2/3. Round four looks to be very exciting so be sure to tune into the Daily Chess Musings show tomorrow evening for a recap. As always, I recommend visiting the official tournament site TataSteelChess.com for more details, interviews of the participants and live broadcasts.

All the pictures of played games and the pairings and standings are from the Tata Steel Chess Website: https://tatasteelchess.com/

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[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.18”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Carlsen,M”]
[Black “Tari,A”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2625”]
[ECO “D41”]
[EventDate “2021.01.15”]
[WhiteElo “2862”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 cxd4 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.e4 dxe4 8.Qxd8+
Kxd8 9.Ng5 Be6 10.Nxe6+ fxe6 11.Bg5 Nc6 12.O-O-O+ Ke8 13.Bb5 Rc8 14.Kb1 Bb4
15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.Nxe4 f5 17.Ng5 Ke7 18.a3 Ba5 19.f4 h6 20.Nf3 Rhd8 21.Rxd8
Nxd8 22.Rd1 Rc7 23.Ne5 a6 24.Be2 Bb6 25.Ng6+ Ke8 26.Bh5 Nc6 27.g4 fxg4 28.Rd6
Kf7 29.f5 Kf6 30.fxe6 Kg5 31.Rd5+ Kf6 32.Nf4 Be3 33.Ng2 Bg5 34.Bxg4 Ne5
35.Bh3 h5 36.Ka2 Re7 37.Ne1 Bf4 38.Nf3 Nxf3 39.Rf5+ Kg6 40.Rxf4 Nxh2 41.Kb3
Ng4 42.Bxg4 hxg4 43.Rxg4+ Kf5 44.Rb4 Kxe6 45.Rb6+ Kf7 46.Kb4 Ke8 47.Rd6 Rd7
48.Kc5 Rxd6 49.Kxd6 Kd8 50.b4 Kc8 51.a4 Kd8 52.b5 axb5 53.axb5 Kc8 54.b6 Kb8
55.Kd7 Ka8 56.Kc7 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.18”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Giri,A”]
[Black “Donchenko,Alexa”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2668”]
[ECO “E21”]
[EventDate “2021.01.15”]
[WhiteElo “2764”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 O-O 5.Bd2 b6 6.e3 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 Ne4 8.Rc1 Bb7
9.Bd3 d6 10.O-O Nxc3 11.Rxc3 Nd7 12.d5 e5 13.e4 a5 14.Bc2 Nc5 15.g3 c6
16.dxc6 Bxc6 17.Qe2 Qe7 18.Qe3 g6 19.Re1 Rae8 20.b3 Kh8 21.Nh4 Rb8 22.a3 Ne6
23.b4 axb4 24.axb4 Nd4 25.Bd1 Ba8 26.Nf3 Ne6 27.Ra3 f5 28.exf5 Rxf5 29.Nd2
Rf7 30.f4 Nd4 31.fxe5 dxe5 32.Qxe5+ Qxe5 33.Rxe5 Nc6 34.Re1 Nxb4 35.Nf3 Bxf3
36.Rxf3 Rxf3 37.Bxf3 b5 38.cxb5 Rxb5 39.Rb1 Rb8 40.Rd1 Rf8 41.Be4 Na6 42.Rc1
Rf7 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.18”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Wojtaszek,R”]
[Black “Van Foreest,Jorden”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2671”]
[ECO “D41”]
[EventDate “2021.01.15”]
[WhiteElo “2705”]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 cxd4 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Bg5 Be7 8.e3 O-O
9.Rd1 Be6 10.Bd3 h6 11.Bh4 Nc6 12.Qa4 Qb6 13.Rd2 Rfd8 14.O-O Rac8 15.h3 a6
16.Rc1 Kf8 17.Bb1 Na5 18.Qd4 Qxd4 19.Nxd4 Nc4 20.Rdc2 b5 21.Nce2 Bd7 22.b3
Ne5 23.Rxc8 Rxc8 24.Rxc8+ Bxc8 25.Bg3 Ng6 26.f3 Bc5 27.Kf2 Ne7 28.Nc1 Ba3
29.Nd3 Nf5 30.Nc2 Nxg3 31.Nxa3 Nh1+ 32.Ke1 Ng3 33.Nc2 Ke7 34.Nd4 Nf5 35.Nf4
Nxd4 36.exd4 b4 37.g4 a5 38.Bd3 Kd6 39.h4 Bd7 40.Kd2 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.18”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Caruana,F”]
[Black “Duda,J”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2743”]
[ECO “C42”]
[EventDate “2021.01.15”]
[WhiteElo “2823”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Nxc3 6.dxc3 Be7 7.Be3 Nd7 8.Qd2
O-O 9.O-O-O Nf6 10.Bd3 c5 11.Rhg1 b5 12.g4 Bb7 13.Qe2 c4 14.Bf5 Re8 15.Nd4
Nd5 16.Ne6 Qa5 17.Qf3 Bf6 18.g5 Bxc3 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.g6+ fxg6 21.Ng5+ Kh8
22.Bd4 Bxd4 23.Rxd4 Nf6 24.Qxb7 Rab8 25.Qf7 Re1+ 26.Rd1 Rxg1 27.Rxg1 Re8
28.Ne6 Rxe6 29.Qxe6 Qxa2 30.Qh3+ Kg8 31.Qe6+ Kh7 32.Qh3+ Kg8 33.Qa3 Qxa3
34.bxa3 Kf7 35.Kd2 a6 36.Ke3 Nd5+ 37.Kd4 Ne7 38.Re1 Ke8 39.a4 Kd7 40.axb5
axb5 41.Rg1 Kc6 42.h4 Nf5+ 43.Kc3 Nxh4 44.Kb4 Nf3 45.Rxg6 Nd4 46.c3 Ne2
47.Rxg7 Nf4 48.Ka5 Ne2 49.Kb4 Nf4 50.Ka5 Ne2 51.Kb4 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.18”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Grandelius,N”]
[Black “Harikrishna,P”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “2732”]
[ECO “C02”]
[EventDate “2021.01.15”]
[WhiteElo “2663”]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bb5 8.O-O Bxe2
9.Qxe2 Nc6 10.Nc3 Nge7 11.Qd3 Rc8 12.Rd1 h6 13.Bd2 Ng6 14.h4 Bb4 15.Na4
{ a nice anitiative grabbing move. } 15…Qc7 16.h5 { and another } 16…Nge7
17.Bf4 $2
{ and this is perhaps where things start to go wrong for Grandelius. Nils
seem to be planning to play a3 and then b4. } 17…Qa5
{ but Harikrishna immediately puts a stop to Grandelius’s idea as now white
will have to defend the knight on a4 rather than advancing with a3. } 18.b3
{ [%csl Ga3,Gc3]and he does defend the knight with b3 but now black has the initiative and white has weak squares on a3 and d3. }
18…b5 { keeping the initiative and pushing the Knight to b2. } 19.Nb2 Ba3
{ and then taking advantage of the weak a3 square by placing the bishop
there in yet another move in which black forces white to defend. } 20.Qe2 O-O
{ and now three moves after white played 17. Bf4, black is clearly better.
another example of how just one small mistake can completely change the
flow of a chess game. } 21.Rab1
{ [%cal Gb2d3,Gb3b4,Gd3c5]Grandelius is preparing to play Nd3, b4 and then Nc5. }
21…Rc7 22.Nd3 Qb6
{ [%cal Gb3b4,Ga7a5]Harikrishna sees what’s coming and wisely moves the queen out of the way so that he can respond to with’s b4 with pawn to a5. }
23.b4 a5 24.bxa5 Nxa5
{ [%cal Ga5c4]Harikrishna gladly recaptures with his knight which is enroute to the outpost on c4. }
25.Bc1 { white makes a second innacuracy with the same bishop. better was: }
( 25.Nde1 { clearing the way for Rd3. } 25…Nc4 26.Rd3 Nc6 27.Nc2
{ [%cal Gd3a3,Gc2a3]with the rook on d3 and knight on c2, the bishop on a3 is attacked twice and must leave. }
27…Be7 28.a3
{ [%csl Gb4]to stop black’s piece incursions while also preparing Nb4. Things seem very equal. }
) 25…Bxc1 26.Rdxc1 Rxc1+
{ [%cal Gb1c1,Gd3c1]both recaptures for white are possible but black will still have an advatage either way. }
27.Nxc1 { Grandelius chose to capture with the knight. } 27…Nc4
{ a beautiful outpost for the knight. } 28.Nb3 Ra8
{ and a nice file for the rook. } 29.Rc1 Nc6 30.g3 Ra3 31.Kg2 Qa7
{ Harikrishna forms a battery onto the weak a2 pawn. } 32.Rc2 Nb4
{ [%cal Gb4a2,Gb4c2,Ga3a2,Ga7a2,Gc4b2,Gc4d2]black is really piling on the force. }
33.Rc3 Nxa2 { The a-pawn falls and with that a passed pawn is created. }
34.Rd3 Rxb3 35.Rxb3 Nc1 { [%cal Gc1b3,Gc1e2]Beautiful fork. } 36.Qc2 Nxb3
37.Qxb3 Qa4 38.Qb1 b4
{ and Grandelius has had enough and resigns. Harikrishna really put on a
clinic on precise punishments for small innacuracies. This game is
definately worthy of deep study. } 0-1

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.18”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Esipenko,Andrey”]
[Black “Vachier Lagrave,M”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2784”]
[ECO “B53”]
[EventDate “2021.01.15”]
[WhiteElo “2677”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qe3 Nf6 6.Be2 g6 7.O-O Bg7 8.Rd1 O-O
9.Nc3 Be6 10.Nd5 Rc8 11.c3 Re8 12.Qf4 Qa5 13.Qh4 Nxd5 14.exd5 Bxd5 15.b4 Bxf3
16.bxa5 Bxe2 17.Rd5 Bxc3 18.Rb1 Nb4 19.Rd4 Bxd4 20.Qxd4 Nc6 21.Qd5 Ba6 22.Bg5
Ne5 23.Be3 Rc3 24.Rb3 Rc2 25.Rb1 Rc3 26.Rb3 Rc2 27.Rb1 Rec8 28.h3 R2c3 29.Rb3
Rc2 30.Rb4 R2c3 31.Rb3 Rc2 32.Rb4 R2c3 33.Rb3 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.18”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Firouzja,Alireza”]
[Black “Anton Guijarro,D”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2679”]
[ECO “D02”]
[EventDate “2021.01.15”]
[WhiteElo “2749”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bf4 c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.Nbd2 cxd4 6.exd4 Bf5 7.Bb5 Rc8 8.c3 e6
9.Qe2 Nd7 10.h4 a6 11.Bd3 Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Be7 13.Kf1 Qb6 14.Rb1 Qb5 15.Qxb5 axb5
16.a3 h5 17.Nb3 f6 18.Re1 Kf7 19.Nc1 Nf8 20.Nd3 Ng6 21.Bg3 Na5 22.Kg1 Nc4
23.Re2 Rhe8 24.Kh2 Bf8 25.Rhe1 b6 26.Kg1 Ra8 27.Bf4 Rac8 28.g3 Rc6 29.Kg2 Be7
30.Ng1 Bf8 31.Nh3 Be7 32.Ng1 Bf8 33.Nf3 Be7 34.Kh3 Ra8 35.Bc1 Re8 36.g4 hxg4+
37.Kxg4 Rh8 38.h5 Nf8 39.Nf4 Bd8 40.Rh1 Rg8 41.Nh4 Bc7 42.Nfg6 Nd7 43.Rhe1
Re8 44.Bf4 Bxf4 45.Nxf4 Rd6 46.Kh3 Nf8 47.Nfg6 Nh7 48.f4 Rdd8 49.Rg1 Nd6
50.Reg2 Rg8 51.Ne7 Ng5+ 52.fxg5 Kxe7 53.gxf6+ Kxf6 54.Rg6+ Kf7 55.Nf3 Rdf8
56.Ne5+ Ke7 57.Rxg7+ Rxg7 58.Rxg7+ Kf6 59.h6 Rh8 60.Kg4 Rxh6
{ white to move and win. I will give you 1 minute. } 61.Rd7
{ if black’s knight moves anywhere, white checkmates with a rook to f7 hook
mate. } 61…Ne8 62.Rf7# 1-0

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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