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2021 TATA STEEL CHESS TOURNAMENT: Round 1 Recap

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 16, 2021.

Today was a great day for chess! For the first time, in a very long time, we are finally able to treated to classical chess of the  highest level. And round 1 of the 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament didn’t disappoint. There were three decisive games out of the seven total and when the smoke cleared, Carlsen, Giri and Grandelius emerged as the early leaders. Let’s take a quick look at some key moments from the today’s action.

Despite playing well, Alexander Donchenko lost in his Wijk Ann Zee debut against Nils Grandelius. Let’s examine the critical point in their battle.

Now let’s turn our attention to the game between Anish Giri and Aryan Tari. Aryan Tari created a lot of pressure with his kingside pawn march but Giri remained calm and prevailed with superior logic. The final blow from Anish Giri was quite attractive so let’s take a moment to appreciate it.

Finally, let’s check in on Magnus Carlsen’s victory over the talented young Iranian, Alireza Firouzja. Magnus, who during the post game interview expressed that he wasn’t “especially happy” with his play during the first round capitalized nicely on his opponents blunder late in the game. Let’s take a look.

So after the opening round, move to the top of the standings. Here are the pairings for round 2.

As always, I recommend visiting the official tournament website, TataSteelChess.com. 

[Event “Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands”]
[Date “2021.01.16”]
[Round “1.1”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus”]
[Black “Firouzja, Alireza”]
[Result “1-0”]
[TimeControl “01:40:30”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 { [%clk 01:41:21] } 2…e6 { [%clk 01:41:16] } 3.Nf3 { [%clk 01:41:46] } 3…d5 { [%clk 01:41:35] } 4.Nc3 { [%clk 01:42:10] } 4…Nbd7 { [%clk 01:41:35] } 5.Bg5 { [%clk 01:38:26] } 5…h6 { [%clk 01:40:59] } 6.Bh4 { [%clk 01:35:46] } 6…Be7 { [%clk 01:41:20] } 7.cxd5 { [%clk 01:29:03] } 7…Nxd5 { [%clk 01:29:28] } 8.Bxe7 { [%clk 01:29:10] } 8…Qxe7 { [%emt 00:16:30] } 9.e4 { [%emt 00:05:38] } 9…Nxc3 { [%clk 01:21:29] [%emt 00:00:04] } 10.bxc3 { [%emt 00:08:11] } 10…O-O { [%emt 00:01:10] } 11.Bd3 { [%emt 00:13:09] } 11…c5 { [%emt 00:00:24] } 12.O-O { [%emt 00:15:35] } 12…cxd4 { [%clk 00:46:01] [%emt 00:00:06] } 13.cxd4 { [%emt 00:00:39] } 13…b6 { [%emt 00:06:24] } 14.a4 { [%emt 00:04:09] } 14…Bb7 { [%emt 00:03:08] } 15.a5 { [%emt 00:01:37] } 15…bxa5 { [%emt 00:00:19] } 16.Rxa5 { [%emt 00:02:30] } 16…Nf6 { [%emt 00:02:31] } 17.Re1 { [%emt 00:10:17] } 17…Rfd8 { [%emt 00:01:31] } 18.Qa1 { [%emt 00:04:01] } 18…Qc7 { [%emt 00:05:12] } 19.h3 { [%emt 00:01:41] } 19…a6 { [%emt 00:05:17] } 20.Rc5 { [%emt 00:04:13] } 20…Qf4 { [%emt 00:19:22] } 21.Re5 { [%emt 00:02:33] } 21…Nd7 { [%emt 00:00:15] } 22.Ra5 { [%emt 00:01:54] } 22…Nf6 { [%emt 00:07:03] } 23.d5 { [%emt 00:00:59] } 23…exd5 { [%emt 00:00:15] } 24.e5 { [%emt 00:00:19] } 24…Ne4 { [%emt 00:01:20] } 25.Qd4 { [%emt 00:03:17] } 25…Rdc8 { [%emt 00:01:11] } 26.Raa1 { [%emt 00:02:21] } 26…a5 { [%emt 00:04:55] } 27.Rab1 { [%emt 00:01:10] } 27…Bc6 { [%emt 00:07:41] } 28.e6 { [%emt 00:03:03] } 28…fxe6 { [%emt 00:00:10] } 29.Ne5 { [%emt 00:02:34] } 29…Qf6 { [%emt 00:00:48] } 30.f3 { [%emt 00:01:25] } 30…Ng5 { [%emt 00:04:55] } 31.Rb6 { [%emt 00:01:17] } 31…Be8 { [%emt 00:01:08] } 32.Qe3 { [%emt 00:03:59] } 32…a4 { [%emt 00:00:46] } 33.Ng4 { [%emt 00:01:32] } 33…Qd8 { [%emt 00:00:18] } 34.Rxe6 { [%emt 00:01:15] } 34…Nxe6 { [%clk 00:00:36] [%emt 00:00:03] } 35.Qxe6+ { [%emt 00:00:24] Firouzja has two choices, to move the king or block the check.One door leads toward a draw and the other loses. } 35…Bf7 $2 { [%emt 00:00:20] and he chose poorly. The better choice was kh8. What is white’s best move? I will give you 30 seconds. } ( 35…Kh8 36.Qf5 { white thretens mate. } 36…Qb6+ { but black has a check to save the day. } 37.Kh1 Bg6 38.Qxg6 Qxg6 39.Bxg6 { and Firouzja would have been fine and even slightly better because of his dangerous passed pawns. } ) 36.Nxh6+ { [%clk 00:01:32] [%emt 00:00:01] Bam! } 36…gxh6 { [%emt 00:00:11] } 37.Qxh6 { [%clk 00:01:44] [%emt 00:00:40] } 37…Qc7 { and now it’s, white to move and mate in 6. I will give you 3 minutes. If you see the whole line sooner, go ahead and fast forward past where the clock is on screen. } 38.Qh7+ { [%emt 00:00:43] } 38…Kf8 { [%emt 00:00:03] } 39.Qh8+ { [%emt 00:00:14] } 39…Bg8 { [%emt 00:00:06] } 40.Qh6+ { Alireza Firouzja resigns here but the final three moves of the mate in 6 were: [%emt 00:00:07] } 40…Kf7 41.Bg6+ Kf6 42.Bh5+ ( 42.Be8+ Kf5 43.g4# ) 42…Kf5 43.Bg4# 1-0

[Event “Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands”]
[Date “2021.01.16”]
[Round “1.2”]
[White “Wojtaszek, Radoslaw”]
[Black “Anton Guijarro, David”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[TimeControl “01:40:30”]

1.d4 { [%clk 01:40:57] } 1…Nf6 { [%clk 01:40:48] } 2.c4 { [%clk 01:41:23] } 2…e6 { [%clk 01:41:05] } 3.Nf3 { [%clk 01:41:48] } 3…d5 { [%clk 01:41:19] } 4.g3 { [%clk 01:42:11] } 4…Bb4+ { [%clk 01:40:50] } 5.Bd2 { [%clk 01:42:34] } 5…Be7 { [%clk 01:41:08] } 6.Bg2 { [%clk 01:42:55] } 6…Nbd7 { [%clk 01:40:48] } 7.Qc2 { [%clk 01:42:38] } 7…c6 { [%clk 01:39:56] } 8.O-O { [%clk 01:42:57] } 8…b6 { [%clk 01:39:17] } 9.Rd1 { [%clk 01:41:32] } 9…Ba6 { [%clk 01:38:30] } 10.b3 { [%clk 01:41:43] } 10…O-O { [%clk 01:37:45] } 11.a4 { [%clk 01:42:07] } 11…h6 { [%clk 01:37:19] } 12.a5 { [%clk 01:32:25] } 12…Qc8 { [%clk 01:30:11] } 13.Na3 { [%emt 00:15:48] } 13…c5 { [%emt 00:05:17] } 14.Qb2 { [%emt 00:12:34] } 14…bxa5 { [%emt 00:06:03] } 15.Bxa5 { [%emt 00:01:12] } 15…Rb8 { [%emt 00:01:34] } 16.Qa2 { [%emt 00:04:53] } 16…dxc4 { [%emt 00:13:55] } 17.Nxc4 { [%emt 00:02:10] } 17…Bb7 { [%emt 00:09:57] } 18.Rdc1 { [%emt 00:04:11] } 18…Bd5 { [%emt 00:00:13] } 19.Bd2 { [%emt 00:20:36] } 19…Ne4 { [%emt 00:02:01] } 20.Bf4 { [%emt 00:01:54] } 20…Rb7 { [%emt 00:07:27] } 21.Nfd2 { [%emt 00:02:54] } 21…Nxd2 { [%emt 00:01:51] } 22.Bxd5 { [%clk 00:43:23] [%emt 00:00:03] } 22…exd5 { [%clk 00:23:29] [%emt 00:00:06] } 23.Nxd2 { [%emt 00:01:04] } 23…Qd8 { [%emt 00:03:57] } 24.Qa6 { [%emt 00:02:28] } 24…Qb6 { [%emt 00:00:12] } 25.Be3 { [%emt 00:04:07] } 25…Rfb8 { [%emt 00:12:18] } 26.Qd3 { [%emt 00:05:57] } 26…cxd4 { [%emt 00:00:04] } 27.Bxd4 { [%emt 00:00:51] } 27…Bc5 { [%emt 00:17:25] } 28.Bxc5 { [%emt 00:00:04] } 28…Nxc5 { [%emt 00:00:27] } 29.Qxd5 { [%emt 00:06:51] } 29…Nxb3 { [%emt 00:00:12] } 30.Nxb3 { [%emt 00:00:05] } 30…Qxb3 { [%clk 00:05:58] [%emt 00:00:03] } 31.Qxb3 { [%emt 00:00:07] } 31…Rxb3 { [%clk 00:06:22] [%emt 00:00:02] } 32.Rxa7 { [%emt 00:00:10] } 32…Rb1 { [%emt 00:00:03] } 33.Rxb1 { [%clk 00:14:04] [%emt 00:00:02] } 33…Rxb1+ { [%clk 00:07:11] [%emt 00:00:03] } 34.Kg2 { [%clk 00:14:30] [%emt 00:00:04] } 34…h5 { [%emt 00:00:48] } 35.Kf3 { [%emt 00:00:21] } 35…g6 { [%emt 00:00:17] } 36.h4 { [%clk 00:14:27] [%emt 00:00:02] } 36…Kg7 { [%emt 00:00:09] } 37.e4 { [%emt 00:00:35] } 37…Rb3+ { [%clk 00:08:02] [%emt 00:00:06] } 38.Kf4 { [%emt 00:00:05] } 38…Rb2 { [%clk 00:08:25] [%emt 00:00:07] } 39.f3 { [%emt 00:00:53] } 39…Rb4 { [%emt 00:02:09] } 40.Ra5 { [%emt 00:01:30] } 40…Kf6 { [%emt 00:00:16] } 41.g4 { [%clk 01:04:02] [%emt 00:00:03] } 41…hxg4 { [%emt 00:00:11] } 42.Kxg4 { [%emt 00:00:33] } 42…Rb1 { [%emt 00:00:29] } 43.h5 { [%emt 00:00:33] } 43…Rg1+ { [%clk 00:57:31] [%emt 00:00:03] } 44.Kf4 { [%emt 00:00:52] } 44…gxh5 { [%emt 00:00:42] } 45.Rxh5 { [%emt 00:00:43] } 45…Ra1 { [%clk 00:56:31] [%emt 00:00:43] } 46.Rh6+ { [%emt 00:01:53] } 46…Kg7 { [%emt 00:00:06] } 47.Rd6 { [%emt 00:00:15] } 47…Ra3 { [%emt 00:00:22] } 48.e5 { [%emt 00:02:55] } 48…Ra4+ { [%emt 00:00:20] } 49.Kf5 { [%emt 00:03:06] } 49…Ra3 { [%emt 00:00:22] } 50.f4 { [%emt 00:00:54] } 50…Ra5 { [%emt 00:00:14] } 51.Kg5 { [%emt 00:01:02] } 51…Rb5 { [%emt 00:00:45] } 52.Rd7 { [%emt 00:00:20] } 52…Ra5 { [%emt 00:00:14] } 53.Kg4 { [%emt 00:00:44] } 53…Kf8 { [%clk 00:49:32] [%emt 00:00:17] } 54.Kf5 { [%clk 01:06:02] [%emt 00:00:07] } 54…Kg7 { [%clk 00:49:55] [%emt 00:00:08] } 55.Ke4 { [%emt 00:07:01] } 55…Kf8 { [%emt 00:00:58] } 56.f5 { [%emt 00:00:45] } 56…Ke8 { [%emt 00:07:25] } 57.Rc7 { [%emt 00:01:42] } 57…Ra1 { [%emt 00:00:43] } 58.Kf4 { [%emt 00:01:06] } 58…Rg1 { [%emt 00:00:55] } 59.Rb7 { [%emt 00:17:50] } 59…f6 { [%emt 00:08:55] } 60.Rb8+ { [%emt 00:00:05] } 60…Ke7 { [%emt 00:00:36] } 61.Rb7+ { [%clk 01:05:47] } 61…Ke8 { [%emt 00:05:41] } 62.e6 { [%clk 01:00:32] [%emt 00:00:09] } 62…Rf1+ { [%emt 00:00:11] } 63.Ke4 { [%emt 00:00:04] } 63…Re1+ { [%clk 00:39:47] [%emt 00:00:05] } 64.Kd5 { [%clk 01:01:24] [%emt 00:00:04] } 64…Rd1+ { [%clk 00:40:07] [%emt 00:00:10] } 65.Kc4 { [%emt 00:00:14] } 65…Rc1+ { [%clk 00:40:29] } 66.Kd3 { [%clk 01:02:14] [%emt 00:00:03] } 66…Rd1+ { [%emt 00:00:51] } 67.Kc4 { [%clk 01:02:08] [%emt 00:00:02] } 67…Rc1+ { [%emt 00:00:06] } 1/2-1/2

[Event “Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands”]
[Date “2021.01.16”]
[Round “1.3”]
[White “Harikrishna, Pentala”]
[Black “Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[TimeControl “01:40:30”]

1.e4 { [%clk 01:40:56] } 1…c5 { [%clk 01:40:54] } 2.Nf3 { [%clk 01:41:20] } 2…d6 { [%clk 01:41:19] } 3.d4 cxd4 { [%clk 01:41:44] } 4.Nxd4 { [%clk 01:42:04] } 4…Nf6 { [%clk 01:42:08] } 5.Nc3 { [%clk 01:42:26] } 5…a6 { [%clk 01:42:33] } 6.Be3 { [%clk 01:42:49] } 6…e5 { [%clk 01:40:31] } 7.Nf3 { [%clk 01:43:10] } 7…Be7 { [%clk 01:39:51] } 8.Bc4 { [%clk 01:43:01] } 8…O-O { [%clk 01:40:10] } 9.O-O { [%clk 01:41:01] } 9…Be6 { [%clk 01:40:09] } 10.Bb3 { [%clk 01:34:26] } 10…b5 { [%clk 01:39:30] } 11.Re1 { [%clk 01:28:45] } 11…Qc7 { [%clk 01:34:41] } 12.Nh4 { [%clk 01:14:50] [%emt 00:00:48] } 12…Nbd7 13.Nf5 { [%clk 01:15:07] [%emt 00:14:34] } 13…Bxf5 14.exf5 { [%emt 00:06:01] } 14…b4 { [%emt 00:01:38] } 15.Nd5 { [%clk 01:13:56] [%emt 00:00:18] } 15…Nxd5 16.Bxd5 { [%emt 00:01:06] } 16…Rab8 { [%emt 00:03:26] } 17.Bb3 { [%clk 01:08:18] [%emt 00:07:26] } 17…a5 18.Qf3 { [%emt 00:11:11] } 18…Nb6 { [%emt 00:17:00] } 19.Rad1 { [%emt 00:01:51] } 19…Bf6 { [%emt 00:13:03] } 20.Bxb6 { [%emt 00:00:35] } 20…Rxb6 { [%emt 00:00:48] } 21.Rd5 { [%emt 00:08:44] } 21…Rc6 { [%emt 00:06:24] } 22.Red1 { [%emt 00:06:07] } 22…h6 { [%emt 00:05:19] } 23.Ba4 { [%emt 00:04:03] } 23…Rc4 { [%emt 00:01:42] } 24.Rxd6 { [%emt 00:01:38] } 24…Rf4 { [%emt 00:07:07] } 25.Qe2 { [%clk 00:19:22] [%emt 00:04:39] } 25…Rxf5 26.g3 { [%emt 00:01:59] } 26…e4 { [%emt 00:00:40] } 27.Qxe4 { [%clk 00:15:53] [%emt 00:00:07] } 27…Qc5 28.Qe2 { [%clk 00:12:05] [%emt 00:06:38] } 28…Bxb2 29.Bb3 { [%emt 00:07:28] } 29…Bc3 { [%clk 00:33:54] [%emt 00:01:50] } 30.R1d5 Rxd5 { [%emt 00:00:41] } 31.Rxd5 { [%clk 00:08:02] [%emt 00:03:10] } 31…Qa7 32.Qd3 { [%emt 00:12:12] } 32…Be1 { [%emt 00:03:38] } 33.Qe2 { [%clk 00:03:49] [%emt 00:00:20] } 33…Bc3 34.Qd3 { [%clk 00:02:51] [%emt 00:03:28] } 34…Be1 35.Qe3 { [%emt 00:02:39] } 35…Qxe3 { [%emt 00:00:03] } 36.fxe3 { [%clk 00:03:25] [%emt 00:02:18] } 36…Re8 37.Rxa5 { [%clk 00:01:07] [%emt 00:01:23] } 37…Kf8 38.Rf5 { [%clk 00:01:33] [%emt 00:04:55] } 38…f6 39.Rf3 { [%clk 00:50:55] [%emt 00:03:06] } 39…Bc3 40.h3 { [%clk 00:50:26] [%emt 00:05:12] } 40…Be5 41.Kg2 { [%clk 00:50:22] [%emt 00:04:13] } 41…Rd8 42.Rf2 { [%clk 00:48:17] [%emt 00:00:48] } 42…Ke7 43.g4 { [%clk 00:43:10] [%emt 00:08:57] } 43…Rd1 { [%clk 00:53:19] } 44.c3 { [%clk 00:43:24] [%emt 00:05:46] } 44…Rd3 { [%clk 00:53:45] } 45.cxb4 { [%clk 00:41:11] } 45…Rxe3 46.Rf3 { [%clk 00:41:35] [%emt 00:00:16] } 46…Rxf3 { [%clk 00:54:24] } 47.Kxf3 { [%emt 00:00:26] } 47…Bc3 { [%emt 00:01:51] } 48.a3 { [%emt 00:00:17] } 48…Bb2 { [%emt 00:00:10] } 49.a4 { [%clk 00:40:15] [%emt 00:00:05] } 49…Bc3 { [%emt 00:00:29] } 50.b5 { [%emt 00:00:07] } 50…Kd6 { [%emt 00:01:33] } 51.Ke4 { [%emt 00:02:03] } 51…Kc5 { [%emt 00:00:20] } 52.Kf5 { [%emt 00:00:09] } 52…g5 { [%emt 00:00:14] } 53.Kg6 { [%emt 00:00:06] } 53…Kb6 { [%emt 00:00:04] } 54.Kxh6 { [%clk 00:40:01] [%emt 00:00:04] } 54…Bb2 { [%emt 00:00:20] } 55.Kg6 { [%emt 00:00:19] } 55…Bc3 { [%clk 00:55:19] [%emt 00:00:12] } 56.Kf5 Bd4 { [%emt 00:00:31] } 57.Bc2 { [%emt 00:00:35] } 57…Bb2 { [%clk 00:55:09] [%emt 00:00:07] } 58.Ke6 { [%clk 00:41:32] [%emt 00:00:29] } 58…Bc3 59.Kd5 { [%clk 00:56:31] [%emt 00:00:48] } 59…Bd2 60.Bd3 { [%emt 00:00:51] } 60…Bc3 { [%emt 00:00:10] } 61.Ke6 { [%clk 00:56:42] [%emt 00:00:15] } 61…Bb2 62.Kd5 { [%emt 00:00:40] } 62…Bc3 { [%clk 01:11:12] [%emt 00:00:05] } 63.Be2 { [%emt 00:00:09] } 63…Bd2 { [%clk 01:11:34] [%emt 00:00:02] } 64.Ke4 { [%emt 00:00:16] } 1/2-1/2

[Event “Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands”]
[Date “2021.01.16”]
[Round “1.4”]
[White “Esipenko, Andrey”]
[Black “Duda, Jan-Krzysztof”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2743”]
[ECO “C42”]
[TimeControl “01:40:30”]
[WhiteElo “2677”]
[ePGN “0.1;DGT LiveChess/2.2.5”]

1.e4 { [%clk 01:40:54] } 1…e5 { [%clk 01:40:39] } 2.Nf3 { [%clk 01:41:08] } 2…Nf6 { [%clk 01:41:03] } 3.Nxe5 { [%clk 01:41:06] } 3…d6 { [%clk 01:41:27] } 4.Nf3 { [%clk 01:41:25] } 4…Nxe4 { [%clk 01:41:50] } 5.d4 { [%clk 01:41:39] } 5…d5 { [%clk 01:42:07] } 6.Bd3 { [%clk 01:41:55] } 6…Bf5 { [%clk 01:42:29] } 7.O-O { [%clk 01:41:01] } 7…Be7 { [%clk 01:42:54] } 8.Re1 { [%clk 01:41:02] } 8…O-O { [%clk 01:43:15] } 9.Nbd2 { [%clk 01:40:01] } 9…Nd6 { [%clk 01:43:19] } 10.Nf1 { [%clk 01:40:07] } 10…c6 { [%clk 01:41:15] } 11.Bf4 { [%clk 01:39:34] } 11…Bxd3 { [%clk 01:41:13] } 12.Qxd3 { [%clk 01:39:58] } 12…Nd7 { [%clk 01:36:34] } 13.Qb3 { [%clk 01:36:40] } 13…Nb6 { [%clk 01:29:59] } 14.a4 { [%clk 01:31:34] } 14…Nbc4 { [%clk 01:28:35] } 15.Ne5 { [%emt 00:03:25] } 15…Nxe5 { [%emt 00:15:02] } 16.dxe5 { [%clk 01:08:06] [%emt 00:00:39] } 16…Ne4 { [%clk 01:20:06] } 17.Ng3 Nxg3 { [%clk 01:20:15] [%emt 00:09:42] } 18.Qxg3 Re8 { [%clk 01:18:10] [%emt 00:06:54] } 19.Rad1 { [%clk 00:56:02] } 19…Qd7 20.c4 { [%clk 00:44:01] [%emt 00:23:02] } 20…Bb4 { [%clk 01:04:17] } 21.Bh6 Bf8 { [%emt 00:15:17] } 22.Be3 { [%emt 00:05:45] } 22…Qf5 { [%clk 00:58:33] [%emt 00:04:31] } 23.cxd5 Rxe5 { [%emt 00:04:56] } 24.dxc6 { [%clk 00:33:31] [%emt 00:00:10] } 24…bxc6 25.Rc1 { [%emt 00:14:53] } 25…Rae8 { [%emt 00:08:38] } 26.Red1 { [%clk 00:20:43] [%emt 00:05:18] } 26…Qe4 27.Qf4 { [%clk 00:21:09] [%emt 00:06:15] } 27…Qxf4 28.Bxf4 { [%emt 00:00:20] } 28…Re4 { [%emt 00:05:05] } 29.Be3 { [%emt 00:00:25] } 29…Rxa4 { [%clk 00:40:50] [%emt 00:00:08] } 30.Rxc6 Rb4 { [%emt 00:01:54] } 1/2-1/2

[Event “Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands”]
[Date “2021.01.16”]
[Round “1.5”]
[White “Grandelius, Nils”]
[Black “Donchenko, Alexander”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2668”]
[ECO “C50”]
[TimeControl “01:40:30”]
[WhiteElo “2663”]
[ePGN “0.1;DGT LiveChess/2.2.5”]

1.e4 { [%clk 01:40:50] } 1…e5 { [%clk 01:40:30] } 2.Nf3 { [%clk 01:40:38] } 2…Nc6 { [%clk 01:40:20] } 3.Bc4 { [%clk 01:39:52] } 3…Nf6 { [%clk 01:40:13] } 4.d3 { [%clk 01:39:28] } 4…Bc5 { [%clk 01:40:10] } 5.O-O { [%clk 01:37:45] } 5…d6 { [%clk 01:40:00] } 6.c3 { [%clk 01:37:52] } 6…a6 { [%clk 01:39:50] } 7.Re1 { [%clk 01:37:36] } 7…Ba7 { [%clk 01:38:21] } 8.Nbd2 { [%clk 01:36:47] } 8…O-O { [%clk 01:34:48] } 9.Nf1 { [%clk 01:34:54] } 9…Na5 { [%clk 01:30:59] } 10.Bb3 { [%clk 01:34:53] } 10…Nxb3 { [%clk 01:31:05] } 11.axb3 { [%clk 01:35:12] } 11…c6 { [%emt 00:04:26] } 12.Ng3 { [%emt 00:03:21] } 12…h6 { [%emt 00:03:49] } 13.h3 { [%emt 00:06:35] } 13…Be6 { [%emt 00:13:17] } 14.d4 { [%emt 00:16:32] } 14…Re8 { [%emt 00:15:02] } 15.Be3 { [%emt 00:10:49] } 15…d5 { [%emt 00:12:05] } 16.exd5 { [%emt 00:01:19] } 16…exd4 { [%emt 00:00:31] } 17.Bxd4 { [%emt 00:05:58] } 17…Qxd5 { [%emt 00:03:53] } 18.Bxf6 { [%emt 00:05:31] } 18…Qxd1 { [%emt 00:11:24] } 19.Raxd1 { [%emt 00:01:26] } 19…gxf6 { [%emt 00:09:34] } 20.b4 { [%emt 00:06:42] } 20…Red8 { [%emt 00:05:11] } 21.Ne4 { [%emt 00:03:04] } 21…Kg7 { [%emt 00:02:05] } 22.Nc5 { [%emt 00:02:59] } 22…Bxc5 { [%clk 00:19:36] [%emt 00:00:01] } 23.bxc5 { [%emt 00:00:49] } 23…f5 { [%emt 00:04:09] } 24.Nd4 { [%emt 00:00:35] } 24…Kf6 { [%emt 00:02:41] } 25.Ra1 { [%emt 00:04:03] } 25…a5 { [%emt 00:01:41] } 26.Ra4 { [%emt 00:01:03] } 26…Rd5 { [%emt 00:01:03] } 27.b4 { [%emt 00:00:33] } 27…Ra6 { [%emt 00:04:20] } 28.Nxe6 { [%emt 00:00:06] } 28…fxe6 { [%emt 00:00:07] } 29.Rea1 { [%emt 00:07:25] } 29…Ke5 { [%emt 00:00:22] } 30.Re1+ { [%clk 00:05:54] [%emt 00:00:15] } 30…Kf6 { [%clk 00:08:43] [%emt 00:00:03] } 31.Rea1 { [%clk 00:06:19] [%emt 00:00:05] } 31…Ke5 { [%emt 00:01:43] } 32.Rxa5 { [%emt 00:00:21] } 32…Rxa5 { [%clk 00:09:19] } 33.Rxa5 { [%emt 00:01:55] } 33…Ke4 { [%emt 00:01:17] } 34.Ra7 { [%emt 00:02:18] } 34…Rd1+ { [%clk 00:06:09] [%emt 00:00:11] } 35.Kh2 { [%emt 00:00:08] } 35…Rd7 { [%emt 00:01:59] } 36.Ra1 { [%emt 00:03:17] Black may be down a pawn but has reasonable compensation in the form of an actively placed king. } 36…Rd2 { [%emt 00:02:34] And this seemingly innocent move is Donchenko’s undoing. Black needed to play f4 here to keep white’s king from becoming mobile. } 37.Re1+ { [%emt 00:01:54] Now after this check, another check and then f4, white’s king will emerge to wreak havoc. } 37…Kd3 { [%emt 00:00:55] } 38.Re3+ { [%clk 00:01:22] [%emt 00:00:02] and donchenko’s king must leave the area. } 38…Kc4 { [%emt 00:01:02] } 39.f4 { [%emt 00:02:08] Now white plays f4 which spells serious trouble for black. } 39…h5 { [%emt 00:00:42] } 40.Kg3 { [%csl Ge6,Gh5]with white’s king now active, black has no compensation for being down the pawn and worse, no good way of defending the weak pawns on e6 and h5. [%emt 00:00:47] } 40…Rd3 { [%emt 00:07:56] } 41.Rxd3 { [%clk 00:43:18] } 41…Kxd3 { [%emt 00:01:29] } 42.Kh4 { [%emt 00:06:46] } 42…Ke3 { [%emt 00:13:59] } 43.g3 { [%emt 00:03:18] } 43…Kf2 { [%emt 00:02:07] } 44.g4 { [%emt 00:00:48] } 44…hxg4 { [%clk 00:41:57] [%emt 00:00:09] } 45.hxg4 { [%emt 00:00:35] } 45…fxg4 { [%emt 00:00:05] } 46.Kxg4 { [%emt 00:00:11] } 46…Ke3 { [%emt 00:00:40] } 47.Kg5 { [%emt 00:00:46] black resigns here because: } 47…Ke4 48.Kf6 Kxf4 49.Kxe6 Ke4 50.Kd6 Kd3 51.Kc7 Kxc3 52.Kxb7 Kxb4 53.Kxc6 1-0

[Event “Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands”]
[Date “2021.01.16”]
[Round “1.6”]
[White “Caruana, Fabiano”]
[Black “Van Foreest, Jorden”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2671”]
[ECO “D32”]
[TimeControl “01:40:30”]
[WhiteElo “2823”]
[ePGN “0.1;DGT LiveChess/2.2.5”]

1.c4 { [%clk 01:40:21] [%emt 03:08:58] } 1…e6 { [%clk 01:40:48] } 2.Nc3 { [%clk 01:40:40] } 2…d5 { [%clk 01:41:04] } 3.d4 { [%clk 01:40:52] } 3…c5 { [%clk 01:41:07] } 4.e3 { [%clk 01:37:54] } 4…Nf6 { [%clk 01:41:02] } 5.Nf3 { [%clk 01:37:52] } 5…a6 { [%clk 01:40:56] } 6.cxd5 { [%clk 01:34:03] } 6…exd5 { [%clk 01:41:15] } 7.g3 { [%clk 01:32:58] } 7…c4 { [%clk 01:37:31] } 8.Bg2 { [%clk 01:29:46] } 8…Bb4 { [%clk 01:36:46] } 9.Bd2 { [%clk 01:25:03] } 9…O-O { [%clk 01:33:20] } 10.b3 { [%clk 01:19:22] } 10…Bf5 { [%clk 01:26:32] [%emt 00:03:35] } 11.O-O { [%clk 01:09:17] [%emt 00:10:35] } 11…Bd3 { [%clk 01:11:17] [%emt 00:15:45] } 12.Re1 { [%clk 01:09:05] [%emt 00:00:42] } 12…Nc6 { [%emt 00:04:13] } 13.Ne5 { [%clk 00:39:46] [%emt 00:29:03] } 13…Nxe5 { [%clk 00:53:50] [%emt 00:15:00] } 14.dxe5 { [%clk 00:40:12] [%emt 00:00:04] } 14…Bxc3 { [%clk 00:53:39] [%emt 00:00:41] } 15.Bxc3 { [%clk 00:40:36] [%emt 00:00:06] } 15…Ne4 { [%clk 00:53:59] [%emt 00:00:10] } 16.Bb4 { [%clk 00:38:20] [%emt 00:02:47] } 16…Re8 { [%clk 00:53:47] [%emt 00:00:41] } 17.f3 { [%clk 00:38:08] [%emt 00:00:42] } 17…a5 { [%clk 00:40:45] [%emt 00:13:33] } 18.Ba3 { [%clk 00:37:48] [%emt 00:00:49] } 18…Nc3 { [%clk 00:40:06] [%emt 00:01:09] } 19.Qd2 { [%clk 00:38:10] [%emt 00:00:08] } 19…Nb5 { [%clk 00:39:51] [%emt 00:00:46] } 20.Bb2 { [%clk 00:38:13] [%emt 00:00:27] } 20…a4 { [%clk 00:37:13] [%emt 00:03:08] } 21.f4 { [%clk 00:30:05] [%emt 00:08:38] } 21…a3 { [%clk 00:37:38] [%emt 00:00:05] } 22.Bc3 { [%clk 00:30:30] [%emt 00:00:05] } 22…Qb6 { [%clk 00:32:48] [%emt 00:05:20] } 23.Bb4 { [%clk 00:24:41] [%emt 00:06:19] } 23…Red8 { [%clk 00:32:09] [%emt 00:01:09] } 24.Rac1 { [%clk 00:24:26] [%emt 00:00:45] } 24…Be4 { [%clk 00:27:18] [%emt 00:05:21] } 25.Be7 { [%clk 00:09:04] [%emt 00:15:51] } 25…Re8 { [%clk 00:25:43] [%emt 00:02:05] } 26.Bxe4 { [%clk 00:07:53] [%emt 00:01:41] } 26…dxe4 { [%clk 00:24:44] [%emt 00:01:28] } 27.bxc4 { [%clk 00:07:29] [%emt 00:00:54] } 27…Rxe7 { [%clk 00:25:09] [%emt 00:00:05] } 28.Qb4 { [%clk 00:04:34] [%emt 00:03:26] } 28…Rc7 { [%clk 00:22:47] [%emt 00:02:52] } 29.Qxb5 { [%clk 00:04:52] [%emt 00:00:12] } 29…Qxb5 { [%clk 00:23:04] [%emt 00:00:13] } 30.cxb5 { [%clk 00:05:17] [%emt 00:00:05] } 30…Rac8 { [%clk 00:23:28] [%emt 00:00:06] } 31.Rxc7 { [%clk 00:04:22] [%emt 00:01:25] } 31…Rxc7 { [%clk 00:23:51] [%emt 00:00:06] } 32.Rd1 { [%clk 00:04:03] [%emt 00:00:49] } 32…g5 { [%clk 00:19:00] [%emt 00:05:20] } 33.b6 { [%clk 00:02:13] [%emt 00:02:21] } 33…Rc6 { [%clk 00:17:37] [%emt 00:01:53] } 34.Rd8+ { [%clk 00:00:52] [%emt 00:01:51] } 34…Kg7 { [%clk 00:18:00] [%emt 00:00:06] } 35.Ra8 { [%clk 00:01:00] [%emt 00:00:22] } 35…Rc1+ { [%clk 00:14:34] [%emt 00:03:56] } 36.Kg2 { [%clk 00:01:27] [%emt 00:00:04] } 36…Rc2+ { [%clk 00:12:46] [%emt 00:02:18] } 37.Kh3 { [%clk 00:01:52] [%emt 00:00:04] } 37…gxf4 { [%clk 00:12:11] [%emt 00:01:06] } 38.gxf4 { [%clk 00:01:58] [%emt 00:00:24] } 38…Rxa2 { [%clk 00:10:13] [%emt 00:02:29] } 39.Kg4 { [%clk 00:01:07] [%emt 00:01:21] } 39…Rxh2 { [%clk 00:08:54] [%emt 00:01:48] } 40.Rxa3 { [%clk 00:51:23] [%emt 00:00:14] } 40…Rb2 { [%clk 00:59:17] [%emt 00:00:06] } 41.f5 { [%emt 00:20:11] } 41…Rg2+ { [%clk 00:32:47] [%emt 00:19:26] } 42.Kf4 { [%clk 00:39:13] [%emt 00:00:33] } 42…h5 { [%clk 00:33:12] [%emt 00:00:05] } 43.Kxe4 { [%clk 00:36:16] [%emt 00:03:28] } 43…h4 { [%clk 00:32:20] [%emt 00:01:21] } 44.Ra1 { [%clk 00:16:46] [%emt 00:20:00] } 44…h3 { [%clk 00:29:26] [%emt 00:03:23] } 45.Kf3 { [%clk 00:13:58] [%emt 00:03:19] } 45…Rb2 { [%clk 00:28:54] [%emt 00:01:02] } 46.Rh1 { [%clk 00:10:44] [%emt 00:03:44] } 46…h2 { [%clk 00:29:03] [%emt 00:00:21] } 47.Kg3 { [%clk 00:11:05] [%emt 00:00:09] } 47…Rb5 { [%clk 00:25:46] [%emt 00:03:47] } 48.Kf4 { [%clk 00:10:18] [%emt 00:01:17] } 48…Rb2 { [%clk 00:26:03] [%emt 00:00:13] } 49.Kf3 { [%clk 00:10:08] [%emt 00:00:41] } 49…Kh6 { [%clk 00:24:55] [%emt 00:01:38] } 50.Kf4 { [%clk 00:10:15] [%emt 00:00:23] } 50…Rf2+ { [%clk 00:22:43] [%emt 00:02:42] } 51.Kg4 { [%clk 00:09:44] [%emt 00:01:01] } 51…Re2 { [%clk 00:23:08] [%emt 00:00:05] } 52.Kf3 { [%clk 00:08:15] [%emt 00:02:00] } 52…Rb2 { [%clk 00:23:31] [%emt 00:00:06] } 53.Kg3 { [%clk 00:06:54] [%emt 00:01:50] } 53…Kg5 { [%clk 00:22:59] [%emt 00:01:01] } 54.e6 { [%clk 00:06:34] [%emt 00:00:51] } 54…fxe6 { [%clk 00:23:23] [%emt 00:00:07] } 55.fxe6 { [%clk 00:07:01] [%emt 00:00:03] } 55…Rxb6 { [%clk 00:23:46] [%emt 00:00:06] } 56.Rxh2 { [%clk 00:07:27] [%emt 00:00:04] } 56…Rxe6 { [%clk 00:24:10] [%emt 00:00:06] } 1/2-1/2

[Event “Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands”]
[Date “2021.01.16”]
[Round “1.7”]
[White “Giri, Anish”]
[Black “Tari, Aryan”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “2625”]
[ECO “C65”]
[TimeControl “01:40:30”]
[WhiteElo “2764”]
[ePGN “0.1;DGT LiveChess/2.2.5”]

1.e4 { [%clk 01:40:56] [%emt 03:08:58] } 1…e5 { [%clk 01:40:39] } 2.Nf3 { [%clk 01:41:19] } 2…Nc6 { [%clk 01:41:03] } 3.Bb5 { [%clk 01:41:44] } 3…Nf6 { [%clk 01:41:24] } 4.d3 { [%clk 01:39:58] } 4…Bc5 { [%clk 01:41:31] } 5.Bxc6 { [%clk 01:37:01] } 5…dxc6 { [%clk 01:41:52] } 6.O-O { [%clk 01:37:02] } 6…Bg4 { [%clk 01:41:21] } 7.h3 { [%clk 01:26:04] } 7…Bh5 { [%clk 01:41:43] } 8.g4 { [%clk 01:26:23] } 8…Nxg4 { [%clk 01:41:56] } 9.hxg4 { [%clk 01:26:49] } 9…Bxg4 { [%clk 01:42:20] } 10.Be3 { [%clk 01:27:00] } 10…Be7 { [%clk 01:41:12] } 11.Kg2 { [%clk 01:26:25] } 11…f5 { [%clk 01:37:42] } 12.Qe1 { [%clk 01:26:08] } 12…Bxf3+ { [%clk 01:36:03] } 13.Kxf3 { [%clk 01:25:16] } 13…f4 { [%clk 01:35:04] } 14.Bd2 { [%clk 01:25:40] } 14…g5 { [%clk 01:32:51] } 15.Bc3 { [%emt 00:06:15] } 15…Bf6 { [%emt 00:11:24] } 16.Nd2 { [%emt 00:09:49] } 16…Qe7 { [%clk 01:16:17] [%emt 00:02:27] } 17.Rh1 { [%clk 01:07:03] [%emt 00:02:44] } 17…h5 { [%clk 01:15:44] [%emt 00:01:03] } 18.Ke2 { [%emt 00:05:00] } 18…g4 { [%clk 01:09:18] [%emt 00:02:14] } 19.f3 { [%emt 00:07:57] } 19…g3 { [%emt 00:18:47] } 20.Kf1 { [%emt 00:08:51] } 20…h4 { [%emt 00:00:41] } 21.Rh3 { [%emt 00:12:42] } 21…a5 { [%emt 00:07:30] } 22.a4 { [%emt 00:03:13] } 22…b6 { [%emt 00:02:20] } 23.Kg2 { [%emt 00:02:38] } 23…c5 { [%clk 00:33:59] [%emt 00:04:28] } 24.Qb1 { [%clk 00:35:14] [%emt 00:03:41] } 24…Kf7 { [%emt 00:10:45] } 25.b3 { [%clk 00:30:05] [%emt 00:00:28] } 25…Rad8 { [%clk 00:25:06] [%emt 00:04:20] } 26.Nc4 { [%clk 00:29:22] [%emt 00:01:13] } 26…Kg6 { [%clk 00:23:58] [%emt 00:01:39] } 27.Qb2 { [%emt 00:02:07] } 27…Rh5 { [%clk 00:21:57] [%emt 00:01:09] } 28.Rah1 { [%clk 00:29:12] [%emt 00:00:25] } 28…Rdh8 { [%clk 00:21:38] [%emt 00:00:49] } 29.Qa1 { [%emt 00:03:07] } 29…Kg7 { [%emt 00:02:51] } 30.Bb2 { [%emt 00:02:13] } 30…Kg6 { [%emt 00:04:28] } 31.Qb1 { [%clk 00:14:19] [%emt 00:08:12] } 31…Rd8 { [%clk 00:16:37] [%emt 00:02:03] } 32.Qe1 { [%emt 00:03:37] } 32…Kg7 { [%emt 00:04:16] } 33.Qa1 { [%clk 00:10:15] [%emt 00:01:27] } 33…Rdh8 { [%clk 00:12:10] [%emt 00:01:12] } 34.Na3 { [%emt 00:01:35] } 34…Kg6 { [%clk 00:11:12] } 35.Nb5 { [%clk 00:10:32] [%emt 00:00:36] } 35…Bg7 { [%clk 00:09:23] [%emt 00:02:19] } 36.Nc3 { [%clk 00:10:42] [%emt 00:00:20] } 36…Qd8 { [%emt 00:03:51] } 37.Ne2 { [%emt 00:00:44] } 37…R8h7 { [%clk 00:07:35] [%emt 00:00:45] } 38.Qe1 { [%emt 00:04:40] } 38…Qd6 { [%clk 00:02:14] [%emt 00:01:29] } 39.Qc3 { [%emt 00:01:11] } 39…c6 { [%emt 00:02:06] } 40.Qc4 { [%clk 00:58:31] [%emt 00:00:02] } 40…Rh8 { [%emt 00:07:59] } 41.Ba3 { [%emt 00:08:48] } 41…Qf6 { [%emt 00:14:20] } 42.Qa6 { [%emt 00:03:27] } 42…Rb8 { [%emt 00:06:24] } 43.Bc1 { [%clk 00:29:11] [%emt 00:00:55] } 43…Bh6 { [%clk 00:38:15] [%emt 00:03:28] } 44.Qa7 { [%clk 00:27:25] [%emt 00:02:17] } 44…Qd8 { [%emt 00:01:37] } 45.Bb2 { [%emt 00:17:15] } 45…Qc8 { [%emt 00:06:36] } 46.Qe7 { [%clk 00:21:13] [%emt 00:00:25] } 46…Bf8 { [%emt 00:00:17] What is white’s best move. I’ll give you a hint, it kicksoff a mate in 7! You have 5 minutes. If you think you find the answer before time is up go ahead and fast forward to a moment past where the clock is present on the screen. Good luck. } 47.Nxf4+ { [%clk 00:21:30] [%emt 00:00:09]Is correct and black resigned. I will also give you partial credit if you spotted Rxg3+ and Rxh4 as they are also winning moves. But lets continue down the Anish Giri’s choice which is also the most precise. So play would have continued something like: } 47…exf4 ( 47…Kh6 48.Qf6+ Kh7 49.Bxe5 Qxh3+ 50.Rxh3 Rxe5 51.Rxh4+ Rh5 52.Qf7+ Kh8 53.Ng6# ) 48.Qf6+ Kh7 49.Rxh4 { and black can survive a little longer by: } 49…Qh3+ 50.R1xh3 Rh6 51.Qf7+ Bg7 52.Rxh6# 1-0

The Table is Set for Chess in Wijk aan Zee

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 15, 2021.

The pairings are up in Wijk aan Zee. Of note is the absence of fan favorite Daniil Dubov. After someone in is bubble tested positive for COVID-19, Daniil Dubov was scratched from the field and replaced by the German Grandmaster Alexander Donchenko. Donchenko is the only player listed who will be making his Tata Steel Tournament debut in round 1. 

Now that we know who the players are, let’s take a look at the format. The tournament is scheduled for 13 rounds to be played between January 16th and January 31st. The time controls are 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds added for each move. 

As always, I recommend visiting the official tournament website, TataSteelChess.com. Also, be sure to check out Daily Chess Musings Facebook page, follow me on Twitter @torreschess, join our Daily Chess Musings Club on chess.com, and peruse through all of our free chess lessons at DailyChessMusings.com. 

The picture used in our thumbnail was from the TataSteelChess Twitter page.

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Email: DailyChessMusings@gmail.com

Wijk ann Zee Hors D’Oeuvre

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 14, 2021.

For nearly 12 months, chess devotees have needed to manage without traditional chess competitions. The 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, which officially begins tomorrow, will not only fulfill our desire to watch the best chess players play over the board chess again but should be viewed as a large step in the   direction toward normalcy. 

To celebrate this historic achievement, I will be providing daily updates of the 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament with my Daily Chess Musings. And tonight, to whet your appetite, I am sharing a position from round 10 of the 2014 Tata Steel Masters between Fabiano Caruana and Arkadij Naiditsch. We join the game right after Fabiano Caruana plays 37. Rxb7 as white. Can you spot Arkadij Naiditsch’s beautiful combination to win with the black pieces?

Mark your calendars because round 1 of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament commence on January 16th at 14:00 local time in Wijk aan Zee. Be sure to visit TataSteelChess.com for more information and feel free to visit the Daily Chess Musings YouTube channel to see recaps of the day’s excitement in my daily chess musings. 

Images:

The match pictured between Fabiano Caruana and Arkadij Naiditsch is from GRENKE Chess Classic (2013), Baden-Baden GER

The Coronavirus Chess Image is from Shutterstock Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 1698537736

https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

Website: https://dailychessmusings.com/

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Chess.com Daily Chess Musings Club on Chess.com: https://www.chess.com/club/daily-chess-musings/join

Email: DailyChessMusings@gmail.com

[Event “Tata Steel Masters”]

[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]

[Date “2014.01.25”]

[EventDate “2014.01.11”]

[Round “10”]

[Result “0-1”]

[White “Fabiano Caruana”]

[Black “Arkadij Naiditsch”]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 g6 4. c4 dxc4 5. Na3 Bg7 6. Nxc4 c5

7. Nfe5 O-O 8. d3 Nd5 9. Qb3 e6 10. O-O Qc7 11. f4 Nd7 12. Bd2

b6 13. Nf3 Bb7 14. e4 Nb4 15. Bc3 b5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qc3+ f6

18. Ncd2 Qd6 19. a3 Nc6 20. Nb3 Rac8 21. Rac1 Ne7 22. e5 Qb6

23. exf6+ Rxf6 24. Kh1 Nd5 25. Qd2 c4 26. dxc4 bxc4 27. Nbd4

Nc5 28. Rc2 Nd3 29. b3 Nb2 30. Ne5 c3 31. Qf2 Rd8 32. Re1 Nxf4

33. gxf4 Rxd4 34. Rxc3 Nd1 35. Rc7+ Kg8 36. Qc2 Rdxf4 37. Rxb7

Nf2+ 38. Kg1 Nh3+ 39. Kh1 Rf1+ 0-1

Wijk aan Zee Apéritif

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 13, 2021. With the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee now just two days away, I thought that it would be nice to share a fascinating puzzle from the same event a couple of years ago that is definitely worthy of study. So for today’s daily chess musing, I have selected to show you an endgame position played between Baskaran Adhiban and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in which Mamedyarov uses a very nice endgame motif in order to secure a victory in round 6 of the 2018 Tata Steel Masters Chess Tournament. We join this game at move 85 for black. What is Mamedyarov winning plan for black? Did you spot it?

Remember, the 2021 edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will all start play on January 16th at 14:00 local time in Wijk aan Zee. Be sure to visit TataSteelChess.com for more information and feel free to visit the Daily Chess Musings YouTube channel to see recaps of the days excitement in my daily chess musings.

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[Event “Tata Steel Masters”]

[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]

[Date “2018.01.19”]

[EventDate “2018.01.14”]

[Round “6”]

[Result “0-1”]

[White “Baskaran Adhiban”]

[Black “Shakhriyar Mamedyarov”]

[ECO “A33”]

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.a3 Bc5 7.Be3 Nxd4 8.Bxd4 b6 9.e4 Bb7 10.b4 Be7 11.Bd3 d6 12.O-O O-O 13.Qe2 Nd7 14.Rfd1 Rc8 15.Rac1 Qc7 16.Nb5 Qb8 17.Qg4 Nf6 18.Qe2 Nd7 19.Qg4 Ne5 20.Qg3 Ng6 21.f3 Rfd8 22.Bf1 Bh4 23.Qg4 h6 24.Be3 Bf6 25.Nd4 Re8 26.Nb5 Rcd8 27.a4 Bc6 28.Qg3 Bh4 29.Qg4 Re7 30.Bd3 Bf6 31.f4 Qa8 32.Re1 Rdd7 33.Bf2 a5 34.Bxb6 axb4 35.a5 b3 36.Kh1 e5 37.f5 Nf4 38.Bb1 d5 39.exd5 Bxb5 40.cxb5 Qxd5 41.Be4 Qd2 42.a6 b2 43.Rb1 Qb4 44.Bc6 Rd3 45.Be3 Ra3 46.a7 Rexa7 47.Bxa7 Rxa7 48.Qd1 Ra3 49.Be4 Qxb5 50.Qd2 Rb3 51.g3 Nh3 52.Bg2 Ng5 53.h4 Nf3 54.Bxf3 Rxf3 55.Rxb2 Qa4 56.Re3 e4 57.Rb8+ Kh7 58.Kg2 Qc6 59.Rxf3 exf3+ 60.Kf2 Be7 61.Qd3 Bc5+ 62.Kf1 Ba7 63.Rb1 Qc5 64.Ke1 Qf2+ 65.Kd1 f6 66.Rb3 Qg1+ 67.Kc2 Qg2+ 68.Kc3 Qxg3 69.h5 Qe5+ 70.Kb4 Qf4+ 71.Kb5 f2 72.Rb1 Qg4 73.Ra1 Bd4 74.Rf1 Qg2 75.Kc4 Bb6 76.Kb5 Be3 77.Ka4 Bd2 78.Kb5 Be1 79.Kc5 Qg4 80.Kd6 Qxh5 81.Ke7 Qh2 82.Qd8 Qh3 83.Qc8 Bb4+ 84.Ke8 Qh5+ 85.Kd8 Qe2 86.Qc1 Be1 0-1

It’s Almost Chess Time in Wijk ann Zee

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 12, 2021.

The 83rd edition of the Tata Steel chess tournament is now just three days away. The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is an annual chess competition held in January that attracts the world’s greatest chess minds to Wijk aan Zee, in the Netherlands. Originally founded in 1938, it was named the Hoogovens tournament until the sponsor Hoogovens merged with British Steel in 1999 to create the Corus Company, after which the tournament was called the Corus chess tournament. Then in 2007, the Corus Company became Tata Steel Europe so the name changed to its current form. 

Over the years, many great chess players have travelled to the Netherlands to start off the year by taking a shot at winning this prestigious tournament. Some past winners, whose names you likely recognize include, Max Euwe, Bent Larsen, Tigran Petrosian, Paul Keres, Lajos Portisch, Boris Spassky, Mikhail Botvinnik, Mikhail Tal, Viktor Korchnoi, Jan Timman, Anatoly Karpov, Vassily Ivanchuk, Vladimir Kramnik, Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand, Veselin Topalov, Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin, and, of course,  Magnus Carlsen (whose seven titles is the most in history.) With so much prestige and history, The Tata Steel Chess Tournament closest analogue in sports is likely the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. 

The 2021 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, once again, has a very impressive field of competitors. Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Maxim Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Alireza Firouzja, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Pentala Harikrishna, Daniil Dubov, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, David Anton Guijarro, Andrey Esipenko, Jorden Van Foreest, Nils Grandelius and Aryan Tari will all start play on January 16th at 14:00 local time in Wijk aan Zee. I recommend visiting TataSteelChess.com for more information and live broadcasts of this year’s tournament. However, if you’re schedule doesn’t allow you to stay up all night watching the event live, I humbly advocate coming to this YouTube channel to see recaps of the days excitement in my daily chess musings. 

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Prize Winner: New Year’s Chess Blitz Extravaganza

  Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 11, 2021.

It’s always a pleasure to hear from fans who love playing in our events as much as I love running them. Recently, I was sent a video of Austin Tran opening the purchase he made with the gift card from American Chess Equipment he won during the New Years Eve Blitz Chess Extravaganza. 

(Video here)

I want to thank Austin Tran for sharing the fun of winning a chess prize with our Daily Chess Musings Community. It is players such as Austin Tran who have helped make the Daily Chess Musings club what we are today. In fact, I would love to keep featuring Daily Chess Musings club member created content on this series so if you have a short chess video, photo or artwork to share that you think would inspire our community, feel free to send it to DailyChessMusings@gmail.com.

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At Odds With My Student

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 9, 2021.

In chess, we call starting the game with a material handicap playing “at odds.” I enjoy playing my private students games at odds because it is both a simple and fun way to compensate for the difference in skill between a teacher and a student. After each student victory, I lower the odds given and in this way, my students are rewarded with a more challenging experience for each achievement.

Of course, I didn’t invent the idea of giving odds in chess but rather learned the practice by studying the games of the great 19th century masters. Any fan of Paul Morphy has also come across many of his attacking masterpieces played at odds. Another master of the 19th century, Howard Staunton was also a proponent for the practice of giving odds in chess. In fact, in his 1849 work, The Chess Players Companion, Staunton devoted more than half of the 510 pages to the art of giving odds. I still follow many of Staunton’s suggestions on odds giving to allow my students to have equal chances at winning. Sadly though, playing chess with fun handicaps began to fall out of fashion during the late 19th century and has now all but disappeared outside of lesson format. Perhaps, with so many advancements in computer chess engines, playing at odds will gain popularity in the near future by making man vs machine matches competitive again. Personally I hope so because, starting a game with a material deficit fundamentally changes the opening strategy and thus forces the odds giver to be more creative during the early going. 

[Event “** ?”]

[Site “?”]

[Date “2021.01.09”]

[Round “?”]

[White “Chris”]

[WhiteElo “”]

[Black “Student”]

[BlackElo “”]

[Result “0-1”]

[FEN “rnbqkbn1/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQq -“]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.dxe6 Bxe6 5.d4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 Ne4 7.Qb3 Qxd4 8.Qxb4

Qxf2+ 9.Kd1 Nxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nc6 11.Qxb7 Rd8+ 12.Bd3 Rxd3+ 13.Bd2 Qxd2#

0-1

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Knights: Worth More Than Their Weight in Queens

January 8, 2021

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 8, 2021.

Most avid chess players have received a beautiful chess set as a gift at some point. (Even if it was a gift for themselves). People will gladly pay anywhere from $50 to $650 for a quality wooden chess set. But have you ever asked yourself: “Why are chess sets so expensive?”

Well today Sophia June of the New York Times provided an answer. Knights are expensive.

Ms June explains:

“The knights alone can account for as much as 50 percent of the cost of a nice wooden set. While the rest of the pieces can be machine-made, the knights are carved by hand to resemble the head of a horse, a tedious process to make sure all four are exactly the same.”

So while the Queens are worth more during the game, during production Knights are worth more than their weight in Queens.

LINKS

Today’s Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/business/chess-sets-cost-queens-gambit.html

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https://www.wholesalechess.com/shop/chess-sets/wood-chess-sets/house-of-staunton-centurion-series-luxury-wood-chess-set-with-pieces-board-box

Today is Paul Keres’ Birthday

Happy birthday to Paul Keres, who was born on January 7, 1916. From 1935, when he debuted as a sensational nineteen-year-old at the Sixth World Chess Olympiad in Warsaw, Paul Keres was one of the top five players in the world before his untimely death from a heart attack on an international airplane flight from Vancouver to Helsinki in 1975. Perhaps his greatest achievement came at the age of 22, when he won one of the most powerful tournaments ever held: AVRO 1938, a double round-robin tournament to decide Alexander Alekhine challenger for the World Championship. The result granted Keres the right to play a World Chess Championship match with Alekhine, a match that I believe Keres would have won, but World War II intervened and the match was never played. For a few years after the war, Keres was arguably the strongest chess player alive but unfortunately, he was never granted another opportunity to play for the title of World Champion.

Here is a famous position that occurred in 1955 during round 4 of the Gothenburg Interzonal in which Paul Keres was paired against Boris Spassky. Spassky, who had the black pieces, had just played 29… N6d7. Can you spot Keres’ knockout punch?

White to move and win (Keres – Spassky, Gothenburg 1955).

Watch today’s Daily Chess Musing to see an explanation of the answer to this chess problem.

A Stubbs, 1926

January 5, 2021

Greetings Chess Players. My name is Chris Torres and this is my daily chess musing for January 5, 2021. 

Today’s chess musing comes to us via my friend and notable chess author, Cyrus Lakdawala who shared this chess puzzle on his Facebook page. One never knows when inspiration will appear and as soon as I saw this chess composition by A. Stubbs I was bedazzled. Since there are so few pieces on the board, I will give you one minute to attempt to find the correct answer. And now without further ado, I present a beautiful little puzzle from 1926 and ask, “How can white force mate?” Enjoy…

Thanks again to International Master Cyrus Lakdawala for sharing such a wonderful puzzle. If your looking to pick up a new chess book, I recommend checking out Capablanca Move by Move by Cyrus Lakdawala which is an inspiring book about the third world chess champion, Jose Raul Capablanca. 

Capablanca Move by Move by Cyrus Lakdawala: https://www.amazon.com/Capablanca-Move-Cyrus-Lakdawala/dp/1857446984

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