Play well, and push as much as you can, but only tie. Magnus Carlsen has failed to break the resistance of his rival – today, the Polish Jan Duda – for the 5th consecutive day. There were only two winners in the 6th: Iranian Alireza Firouzja (whom the Norwegian defeated in 1st) and Dutchman Jordan Van Foreest, who defeated German Alexander Donchenko and Spanish David Antón, respectively. The leader of the Tata tournament in Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) is still the Swede Nils Grandelius.
Carlsen, who has already lost 8.5 points on the world list, has not given the usual two-minute testimony to the tournament press officer for two days, which probably means that the drought of victories has begun to worry him. That did not happen even after the 4th round, when he downplayed the three consecutive draws he had at that time, which he attributed more to the good defense of his rivals (Antón, his compatriot Tari and Van Foreest; yesterday he drew with Donchenko) than to his lack of precision in the positions with small advantages. Today, Duda barely suffered to scratch half a point.
The defeat of Anton, who had beaten Jordan Van Foreest in a recent tournament, is probably connected with the accumulation of about 35 hours of play in six rounds; especially since a piece was left hanging when, in a clearly inferior position, it still had a reasonable chance of pulling off a tie. The Dutchman remains undefeated despite having faced very formidable rivals in the previous five rounds: Caruana, Giri, Wojtaszek, Carlsen and Firouzja.
The Iranian showed his high-risk side today, with the black pieces. The fight was resolved in mutual time trouble when Donchenko fell into a tactical error and was punished with brutal precision by the young Persian, fully recovered from his initial loss to Carlsen.
Grandelius maintains the leadership after resisting for almost six hours the strenuous attempts of the American Fabiano Caruana, 2nd in the world, to break his resistance. His next obstacle, with black, will be the Dutch Anish Giri.
Results (6th round): Vachier-Lagrave – Tari, tables; Van Foreest 1 – Anton 0; Donchenko 0 – Firouzja 1; Doubt – Carlsen, draw; Harikrishna – Wojtaszek, tables; Yesipenko – Giri, tables; Grandelius – Caruana, tables.
Pairings (7th round, Saturday): Caruana -Vachier Lagrave; Giri – Grandelius; Wojtaszek -Yesipenko; Carlsen – Harikrishna; Firouzja – Duda, Antón – Donchenko; Tari – Van Foreest.
Classification: 1º Grandelius 4; 2nd-7º Caruana, Carlsen, Firouzja, Giri, Harikrishna and J. Van Foreest 3.5; 8th-9th Wojtaszek, and Yesipenko 3; 10-12 Vachier-Lagrave, Duda and Tari 2,5; 13º Anton 2; 14th Donchenko 1.5.
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