Tata Steel Chess 2022: Magnus Carlsen lifts the trophy with a round to spare after an emphatic victory over Fabiano Caruana. For the final round, the absence of Dubov guarantees him another full point.
This is his eighth time winning at Wijk aan Zee more than anyone else in history. Behind him is Vishwanath Anand with five Tata Steel titles. While GMs Max Euwe, Levon Aronian, Viktor Korchnoi, and Lajos Portisch all won four times.
Magnus Carlsen: “I’m very happy to get back to winning ways here and I also now got back to winning more than 50 percent of my A groups here, which is something that I was kind of thinking of a bit the last year. I didn’t want to dip below. If I do the same thing the next few years, I have great chances.”
Although the last round was ineffective to the overall tournament result but still was an interesting one. There were two games that were drawn quickly. Rapport and Giri repeated the move in Grunfeld while Mamedyarov and Caruana agreed in a very quiet Queen’s Gambit.
A four knights game between Sergey Karjakin and Vidit Gujrathi went to the wire but eventually White succeeded to penetrate to take the win. Sergey Karjakin: “I went to the line where Black needs to play a few precise moves to make a draw,” he said. “He offered me a draw already on move 10 or something, but I thought: OK, if you want a draw, just show me the line! If you just offer, it’s not so nice.”
However, Vidit “mixed it up” with 20…Re5 (a big inaccuracy according to Karjakin) and got some problems, which started to become bigger and bigger. Karjakin thought Black could have gotten close to equality but wasn’t sure how. After Vidit missed White’s idea of 27.c4 and 28.Ra5, it was virtually over.
The defending champion, who was not playing for tournament victory, had an amazing game against Sam Shankland. A positional plus in a London System led to an extra pawn, but the drawing margin was always very high.
Jorden Van Foreest: “I didn’t expect I would win at all because his position was very solid, but I just kept on trying because I have an extra pawn,” said Van Foreest. “Overall I’m very satisfied. Ending on a high like this is very nice.”
And the last game which was decisive was an amazing performance from the Indian youngster, Praggnanandhaa. He finishes joint 11th place with 5.5 points out of 13.
Praggnanandhaa defeated GM Andrey Esipenko in an interesting clash of the new generation. “I think I played well until move 40 and then I think my technique wasn’t that good,” said Pragg. “I think I should have finished much earlier.”
The Nimzo-Indian Defense with 3…Bb4. An exchange sacrifice on the 28th move by Esipenko was a little bit too much as his King was weak and open inviting trouble.
Nils Grandelius and Jan-Krzysztof Duda played a very interesting game that saw an old line of the Rauzer Sicilian. For 15 moves, they followed a game that was played over 50 years ago. Their own game could have seen all three results and, in the end, a draw was perhaps the best of the three.
Nils Grandelius: “We had more fun than some of the others at least, that’s for sure,” said Grandelius. “To be honest, I had just missed this idea that he can just play 24…f6 and let me take his bishop on g5. After this, I felt I should be doing quite badly, so it was a very easy decision to go for 27.Bxg7.”
Erigaisi finished his tournament in style, winning his last game and setting his performance rating just over 2800. That confirmed one more time that he is ready for the Masters in 2023.
While he had shown great play with the bishop pair in his game with GM Surya Ganguly, in this last game Erigaisi knew his way with a knight as well, as the greatest of all Indian players.