Carlsen Caruana chess: Giri rules and Yesipenko joins the fight | sports


Six players aspire to win the 2021 Tata tournament in Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands), something very rare in the Roland Garros chess. The Dutch Anish Giri (leader) the Iranian Alireza Firouzja, the American Fabiano Caruana and the Russian Andrei Yesipenko are the best placed. But the other local idol, Jorden Van Foreest, follows closely behind. And the world champion, Magnus Carlsen is not ruled out, after drawing today with Caruana, because he will play on Friday with Giri; this Thursday is a day of rest.

Carlsen finally spoke with the tournament’s press officer, Robert Moens, after several days of silence. He acknowledged his poor form during the tournament, without attributing it to any reason, but also underlined Yesipenko’s good play when he defeated him on Sunday. He was satisfied with the draw with Caruana and looked with some optimism towards the last three rounds: “I don’t have much illusions, but I will have interesting rivals [Giri, Wojtaszek y Vachier-Lagrave], and that will motivate me ”.

The tables between the two best in the world were signed after a fight of excellent technical quality. The American surprised the champion with the Catalan Opening and also introduced a new idea, which immediately translated into a spectacular combination and a pawn advantage. But Carlsen then brought out the best of himself to activate the pieces as only he knows how to do and thus compensate for his material deficit until the tie was signed.

Giri and Firouzja are antithetical. The 26-year-old Dutchman plays two outcomes, win or draw, hardly ever risking anything. Therefore, it ties a lot. But when he seizes a tiny long-term advantage, like today against Wojtaszek, whom he has also finished brilliantly, his danger is lethal.

Giri played in this position 49 Rxh7 !!, and Wojtaszek gave up


Giri played in this position 49 Rxh7 !!, and Wojtaszek gave up

The 17-year-old Iranian gives the impression – probably false – that learning every day and having fun in every game are more important goals than winning. He frequently wanders into gardens full of snakes – high-stakes, double-edged positions – as if to safely rule out that the outcome will be a boring draw. He leads his rival, whoever he is, into the biggest trouble under the pressure of the clock for both of them, and he rarely loses. Today he has done all that with the Swede Nils Grandelius, but he has not managed to break him. On Friday he will have a litmus test, against Caruana.

Yesipenko’s clear victory over Spaniard David Antón increases his price because the three rivals he will face do not include any of the stars: Tari, Van Foreest and Donchenko. The least likely from the arithmetic is that Carlsen will win the tournament despite everything, but it is not impossible if on Friday he knocks down Giri, with whom he has had a personal love-hate relationship for years.

Results (10th round): Vachier Lagrave-Donchenko; Doubt – Van Foreest, tables; Harikrishna – Tari, tables; Yesipenko 1 – Anton 0; Grandelius – Firouzja, tables; Caruana – Carlsen, tables; Giri 1 – Wojtaszek 0.

Pairings (11th round, Friday): Wojtaszek – Vachier Lagrave; Carlsen – Giri; Firouzja – Caruana; Antón – Grandelius; Tari – Yesipenko; Van Foreest – Harikrishna; Donchenko – Duda.

Classification: 1st Giri 7 points; 2nd-4th Firouzja, Caruana and Yesipenko 6.5 points; 5th Van Foreest 6; 6th Carlsen 5.5; 7th-8th Grandelius and Harikrishna 5; 9-11 Tari, Duda and Vachier-Lagrave 4; 12-13 Wojtaszek and Antón 3,5; 14th Donchenko 3.

Official portal (with live broadcast): https://tatasteelchess.com/

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