Tata Steel Chess 2022: Despite missing a win against Vidit Gujrathi, Magnus Carlsen still leads the tournament half a point clear. Unfortunately, Daniil Dubov‘s tournament is over after testing positive with COVID-19.
Tournament Director Jeroen van den Berg: “I feel sad for Daniil that he now has to leave our tournament. The whole organization of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament feels for him, wishes him all the best in these trying times, and hopes that the remainder of the year will bring him sporting success.”
His second was tested positive a week ago and Dubov was requested to wear a face mask which he refused out of principle. Then a negative test made it possible for Dubov to return to normality and play without a mask as before until he was found positive on Thursday.
Daniil Dubov will not feature in this tournament anymore and the remaining three games will be forfeited. Rapport, Praggnanandhaa, and Carlsen will benefit from a free point and will definitely increase the chance to win this tournament for Carlsen.
That will be afterward but he certainly missed a win against the Indian Gm, Vidit Gujrathi in a complex rook endgame, which is a rare case for the endgame master. It must be said that the win was far from trivial.
Magnus Carlsen: “It wasn’t very obvious. I guess that was the moment I should have taken more time to think, but it wasn’t easy,” Carlsen said, after seeing the engine line on a computer screen in the press room. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around it a little bit.”
The game was marked as drawish as both players were playing well. However, Vidit in time-trouble went for an unfavorable simplification into a rook endgame where Carlsen had the advantage.
But, it was short-lived as 36.d7 was a mistake by the world champion. The engine from there on showed a flat line at 0.00 and Vidit made no error from thereon.
Vidit Gujrathi: “I could make an easier draw, but you know, what’s the point in that?” Vidit said. “First of all, many people are making agreed draws, so you have to put on something for a show. I was playing extra long on that behalf. And then, Magnus is also not playing on the last day, so he would miss playing, so I thought, OK, let’s make it more interesting.”
The Dutch fight was underway and Van Foreest scores an upset on Anish Giri. It is his first time beating Giri in a classical game.
In what was a classic Nimzo-Indian, Giri focused his play on the queenside, pressuring White’s doubled c-pawn. As it turned out, he had abandoned his king too much as Van Foreest got the chance to play a promising exchange sacrifice.
Giri had to change plans and switch to defending his king, but he didn’t find the most tenacious defense and was overrun on the kingside.
Jorden Van Foreest: “I am very happy and pleased with the game,” said Van Foreest. “I wanted to go for a fight today after my loss two days ago, so I thought, let’s give it a try. I played a very risky line, but I thought it might give White good chances for a good fight as well.”
In what was their first-ever encounter, Caruana was slightly worse out of the opening but eventually defeated Praggnanandhaa in a pretty good game. Especially the final phase was nice, described by co-commentator WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni as “a masterpiece.”
As Caruana pointed out, Pragg’s big mistake was 23.Nd4 when White got into trouble surprisingly quickly. “The endgame, I think, is losing; although it’s a little bit close, it’s kind of concrete,” said Caruana, who ended up catching his opponent’s king in a mating net.