Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 19, 2021.

Today was a great day chess in Wijk aan Zee. The Tata Steel Masters’ fourth round saw all the games between the elite grandmasters end in draws. That’s not to say they were meant to, there were, in fact, several exciting games that should have resulted in players scoring full points.

For instance, GM Nils Grandelius had a great opportunity to retake sole first spot at the 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament. 

But as he put it, “In time trouble, I played very poorly,” Grandelius said, describing his faulty strategy in which he believed he could repeat moves to buy time until reaching the next time control before playing for the win. Instead, Grandelius ended up playing substandard chess and agreeing to a draw with Andrey Esipenko. Let’s take a quick look at the key moment in the game and I will let you see if you can spot the improvement.

Aryan Tari described his round 4 battle with  Alireza Firouzja as, “An insane game, mental torture from the start.” The insanity began when Tari chose to play a risky g4 pawn thrust on move 11. After lots of spicy play, their game suddenly ceased before the position resolved itself when the time troubled Tari offered a draw that Firouzja accepted on move 30.

“Maybe I should have played on, but I thought it could really go both ways,” Tari admitted. “He had one minute and I had two minutes. I was not sure what was going on. The main reason was that I thought I was just lost three moves before, so I was just so happy to get half a point.”

Let’s take a look at the final moments before the draw and see if you can spot a winning line for Alireza Firouzja. 

So after several missed opportunities during round 4, the standings in 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament remained unchanged as every player earned just 1/2 point more for their efforts. 

Tomorrow is a rest day for the players, but, not to worry, my Daily Chess Musings will continue uninterrupted. So be sure to tune in for a special surprise in tomorrow’s show.  In the meantime, I recommend visiting the official tournament page at TataSteelChess.com

Photos from © Jurriaan Hoefsmit – Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

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[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.19”]
[Round “4.1”]
[White “Van Foreest, Jorden”]
[Black “Carlsen, Magnus”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2862”]
[BlackFideId “1503014”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C84”]
[EventDate “2021.01.16”]
[Opening “Ruy Lopez”]
[Variation “Archangelsk (counterthrust) variation”]
[WhiteElo “2671”]
[WhiteFideId “1039784”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Bb7 7.d3 Be7 8.Nc3 O-O
9.a3 Nd4 10.Nxd4 exd4 11.Ne2 c5 12.Bg5 d5 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Bxd5 Bxd5 15.exd5
Qxd5 16.Ng3 c4 17.Re1 Rae8 18.a4 Rxe1+ 19.Qxe1 cxd3 20.cxd3 bxa4 21.Qd1 Qb5
22.Ne4 Be7 23.Qc2 Rb8 24.Rxa4 Qxb2 25.Qxb2 Rxb2 26.g4 Rb6 27.Rxd4 Kf8 28.Rd7
Rg6 29.Kf1 Rxg4 30.Ra7 f5 31.Ng3 g6 32.Rxa6 Rh4 33.Kg2 Rd4 34.Ne2 Rxd3 35.Ng1
Rd7 36.Nf3 Kg7 37.h3 Bf6 38.Kg3 Rb7 39.Kg2 Re7 40.Ra5 Rc7 41.Rd5 Ra7 42.Rb5
Be7 43.Nd4 Rd7 44.Nf3 Rd6 45.Rb7 Kf6 46.Ra7 h6 47.Nh4 Bd8 48.Rh7 Rd2 49.Rxh6
Kg7 50.Rxg6+ Kh7 51.Nf3 Rxf2+ 52.Kxf2 Kxg6 53.Kg2 Kh5 54.Nd4 f4 55.Ne6 Bg5
56.Nxg5 Kxg5 57.Kf3 Kh4 58.Kxf4 Kxh3 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.19”]
[Round “4.2”]
[White “Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime”]
[Black “Anton Guijarro, David”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2679”]
[BlackFideId “2285525”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C89”]
[EventDate “2021.01.16”]
[Opening “Ruy Lopez”]
[Variation “Marshall counter-attack, 11…c6”]
[WhiteElo “2784”]
[WhiteFideId “623539”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d5
9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.Re1 Bd6 13.d3 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Re4 Qf5
16.Nd2 Qg6 17.Nf3 Bg4 18.h3 Bxh3 19.Nh4 Qf6 20.Qh5 g6 21.Qe2 Qg7 22.Be3 Nxe3
23.Qxe3 Qf6 24.Re1 Kg7 25.g4 Qxh4 26.g5 Bf4 27.Qxf4 Qxf4 28.Rxf4 Bf5 29.Re7
c5 30.Bd5 Rae8 31.Rc7 Re5 32.c4 h6 33.gxh6+ Kxh6 34.Rf3 Re2 35.Rxc5 Rxb2
36.Rc6 Kg5 37.Rxa6 bxc4 38.Bxc4 Rb1+ 39.Kg2 Bc8 40.Ra5+ f5 41.Rg3+ Kf6 42.d4
Rc1 43.Be2 Re1 44.Ba6 f4 45.Rf3 Bf5 46.Rxf4 Ra8 47.d5 Ke5 48.Rfa4 Rb8 49.d6+
Kxd6 50.Bd3 Bxd3 51.Rd4+ Ke6 52.Rxd3 Rb6 53.Rg3 Kf6 54.Rf3+ Kg7 55.Ra7+ Kh6
56.Rh3+ Kg5 57.Rf7 Re2 58.Ra3 Rc2 59.Kg3 Rb1 60.Kg2 Rb6 61.Ra5+ Kh6 62.Ra8
Kg5 63.a4 Ra2 64.Ra5+ Kh6 65.Rf4 Rc6 66.Rh4+ Kg7 67.Kg3 Ra3+ 68.f3 Rd6
69.Ra7+ Kf6 70.Rb4 Kg5 71.Ra8 Rc6 72.a5 Kh6 73.Rh4+ Kg5 74.Rf4 Rd6 75.Rf7 Rc6
76.Rb8 Ra6 77.Rb6 R3xa5 78.f4+ Kh6 79.Rbb7 g5 80.Kg4 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.19”]
[Round “4.3”]
[White “Duda, Jan-Krzysztof”]
[Black “Giri, Anish”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2764”]
[BlackFideId “24116068”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “D87”]
[EventDate “2021.01.16”]
[Opening “Gruenfeld”]
[Variation “exchange, Spassky variation”]
[WhiteElo “2743”]
[WhiteFideId “1170546”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 O-O
9.O-O Nc6 10.Be3 b6 11.dxc5 Qc7 12.Nd4 Ne5 13.Nb5 Qb8 14.Be2 bxc5 15.Bxc5 a6
16.Na3 Qc7 17.Bd4 Rd8 18.Qc1 Ng4 19.Bxg4 Bxg4 20.Qe3 Rac8 21.e5 Qc6 22.Nc2
Bf5 23.Nb4 Qe4 24.Qxe4 Bxe4 25.Rfe1 Bb7 26.Rab1 e6 27.Nd3 Bd5 28.Nc5 Bf8
29.Nxa6 Bxa2 30.Rb6 Bc4 31.h3 Bxa6 32.Rxa6 Bc5 33.Ra4 Bxd4 34.cxd4 Rc2 35.g3
Rd2 36.Re4 Rd7 37.Kg2 Kg7 38.h4 h6 39.Kf3 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.19”]
[Round “4.4”]
[White “Esipenko, Andrey”]
[Black “Grandelius, Nils”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2663”]
[BlackFideId “1710400”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “B92”]
[EventDate “2021.01.16”]
[Opening “Sicilian”]
[Variation “Najdorf, Opovcensky variation”]
[WhiteElo “2677”]
[WhiteFideId “24175439”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f4 Be7
9.O-O O-O 10.Kh1 Re8 11.Qd3 b5 12.Nd5 Nc6 13.c3 exf4 14.Bxf4 Ne5 15.Nxe7+
Qxe7 16.Qc2 Qb7 17.Nd2 Rac8 18.Bg5 Nfd7 19.Rf2 d5 20.exd5 Bxd5 21.Rg1 Re6
22.Nf1 h6 23.Bf4 Nf6 24.Ne3 Be4 25.Qd1 Ng6 26.Bg3 Bc6 27.Nf5 Ne4 28.Rff1
Nxg3+ 29.hxg3 Qc7 30.Qd4 Re5 31.Bg4 Rd8 32.Qf2 Rdd5 33.Rd1 Qd8 34.Rgf1 Qg5
35.Rd4 f6 36.Bh3 Bd7 37.Rxd5 Rxd5 38.Qf3 Rd2 39.Qa8+ Kh7 40.Qe4 Kh8 $2 (
40…Rxb2 41.c4 ( 41.a3 Bxf5 42.Bxf5 Qxg3 43.a4 bxa4 44.c4 a3 45.c5 Rb5
46.Qc2 a2 47.c6 Ra5 48.Ra1 Re5
{ [%cal Ge5e1,Ge5f5]Repositioning the rook white can not take on a2 without regretting it. }
49.Bxg6+ ( 49.Rxa2 Re1# ) ( 49.Qxa2 Rxf5 ) 49…Qxg6 50.Qxg6+ Kxg6 51.Rxa2 a5
52.Rc2 Re8 53.Kh2 Kf7 54.c7 Rc8 { and black has reason to be happy. } )
41…Rxa2 42.cxb5 axb5 43.Rd1 Ra4 44.Qb1 Bxf5 45.Qxf5 Qxg3 46.Qxb5 Rh4
{ and black would have been firmly in control. } ) 41.Nh4 Ne5 42.Qa8+ Kh7
43.Qe4+ Kh8 44.Qa8+ Kh7 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.19”]
[Round “4.5”]
[White “Harikrishna, Pentala”]
[Black “Caruana, Fabiano”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2823”]
[BlackFideId “2020009”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “C78”]
[EventDate “2021.01.16”]
[Opening “Ruy Lopez”]
[Variation “5.O-O”]
[WhiteElo “2732”]
[WhiteFideId “5007003”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.a4 Rb8 8.c3 d6 9.d4
Bb6 10.a5 Ba7 11.h3 Bb7 12.Re1 O-O 13.Be3 exd4 14.cxd4 Ne7 15.Nbd2 Ng6 16.d5
Bxe3 17.Rxe3 c6 18.dxc6 Bxc6 19.Bc2 Re8 20.Re1 Bb7 21.b4 Nh5 22.Ra3 Nhf4
23.Nf1 Qf6 24.Ng3 Rbd8 25.Rae3 Ne5 26.Bb3 g6 27.Nh2 h5 28.Ne2 Nc4 29.Bxc4
bxc4 30.Nxf4 Qxf4 31.Qc2 d5 32.exd5 Rxe3 33.Rxe3 Bxd5 34.Nf3 Be6 35.Ne5 Qd4
36.Nxg6 Qd1+ 37.Qxd1 Rxd1+ 38.Kh2 c3 39.Rxc3 fxg6 40.Rc6 Kf7 41.Rxa6 Rd2
42.Kg1 Rd1+ 43.Kh2 Rd2 44.Kg1 Rd1+ 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.19”]
[Round “4.6”]
[White “Donchenko, Alexander”]
[Black “Wojtaszek, Radoslaw”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2705”]
[BlackFideId “1118358”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “B90”]
[EventDate “2021.01.16”]
[Opening “Sicilian”]
[Variation “Najdorf, Adams attack”]
[WhiteElo “2668”]
[WhiteFideId “24603295”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5 8.g3 Be7
9.Bg2 b5 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.Qxd5 Ra7 12.Be3 Rb7 13.g4 h4 14.f4 Nd7 15.f5 Nb6
16.Qc6+ Qd7 17.Qxd7+ Bxd7 18.b3 g5 19.O-O-O f6 20.Bd2 Bc6 21.Bb4 Rd7 22.Nc3
Kf7 23.Rd2 Ra8 24.Rhd1 a5 25.Bxd6 b4 26.Bxe7 Rxd2 27.Rxd2 Kxe7 28.Nd1 Rd8
29.Rxd8 Kxd8 30.Nf2 Ke7 31.Kb2 Kd6 32.a3 bxa3+ 33.Kxa3 Kc5 34.c3 Bb5 35.Nd1
Be2 36.Ne3 Bd3 37.Kb2 a4 38.Ka3 axb3 39.Kxb3 Nc4 40.Nxc4 Bxc4+ 41.Kc2 Kb5
42.Kd2 Ka4 43.Bf3 Kb3 44.Bd1+ Kb2 45.Bc2 Ka3 46.Bd3 Ba2 47.Bb5 Bb1 48.Bd3 Ba2
49.Bb5 Bb1 50.Bd3 1/2-1/2

[Event “83rd Tata Steel Masters”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2021.01.19”]
[Round “4.7”]
[White “Tari, Aryan”]
[Black “Firouzja, Alireza”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2749”]
[BlackFideId “12573981”]
[BlackTitle “GM”]
[ECO “B12”]
[EventDate “2021.01.16”]
[Opening “Caro-Kann”]
[Variation “advance variation”]
[WhiteElo “2625”]
[WhiteFideId “1510045”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.c3 Ng6 7.O-O Nd7 8.Ne1 h5 9.Be3
Qb6 10.b3 f6 11.Bxh5 fxe5 12.g4 Rxh5 13.gxh5 Nf4 14.dxe5 Nh3+ 15.Kg2 c5 16.f4
Qc6 17.Nf3 O-O-O 18.Nbd2 Nb6 19.Qe1 Be7 20.Rc1 d4 21.cxd4 Nd5 22.Nc4 Ndxf4+
23.Bxf4 Nxf4+ 24.Kg1 Bg4 25.Rc3 Rxd4 26.Nd6+ Kb8 27.Qe3 Bg5 28.Rxc5 Qxc5
29.Nxg5 Ne2+ $2 ( 29…Be2 30.Re1 Rd1 { [%cal Gd1g1,Ge3c5] } 31.Qxc5 Rxe1+
32.Kf2 Nd3+ { [%cal Gd3f2,Gd3c5] } 33.Ke3 Nxc5 34.Kd2 Rg1 { [%cal Gg1g5] }
35.Nh3 { [%cal Gh3g1] } 35…Rg2 36.Nf4 { [%cal Gf4e2,Gf4g2] } 36…Rxh2
37.Nxe2 Rxh5 { is winning for black. } ) 30.Kg2
{ agreeing to a draw in such an exciting position seems very unsaisfactory.
} 1/2-1/2

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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