Tata Steel Chess 2022, Round 7: Magnus Carlsen is on a run of his own with consecutive victories against Richard Rapport and now Praggnanandhaa. He is now 1/2 a point clear from Mamedyarov in the second place.
After that incident where Praggnanandhaa’s second was positive, Tata Steel Chess 2022 gets another COVID-19 incident. Daniil Dubov forfeited his game against Anish Giri as he refused to play with a mask on. Though it is not disclosed who has tested positive he is surely was in Dubov’s touch.
Not many games are played at the top level with Queen’s Gambit accepted but Carlsen dared to do so. Magnus got away in the opening with any issues and also got the advantage when White chose a slow and passive maneuvering plan.
Magnus Carlsen: “I think I really messed up towards the end, at least practically speaking. I mean, I allowed this Ng7 stuff. But maybe that was only one moment. I was struggling to find a way to sort of consolidate properly and then, I have to say, I didn’t really manage. I gave him way too many counter-chances there.”
The defending champion, Jorden van Foreest, beats Tata Steel Chess 2022 leader, Vidit Gujrathi. A Nimzo-Indian Defense game was pretty much equal until Vidit Gujrathi made a slight error with 35…Qe7. It opened the way for Bishop to land on h6. Rook was attacked and Vidit here blundered with Rc8.
It felt like Jorden was desperately waiting for that. The sequence after that blunder was played with absolute perfection by Jorden and on the 43rd move, Vidit resigned the game. Apart, from that rook blunder, the Indian No.2 was on point to a draw.
It was although not a clean game from the American GM as he did give Duda a chance to come back with 36…a5. The Polish GM worked his way back but a 42.Rhd1 blunder proved costly and gave Caruana the full point.
Of the three draws, GM Andrey Esipenko vs. GM Sam Shankland was the most interesting. It was a narrow escape for the American player who was walking on a tightrope after the opening (a sharp Taimanov Sicilian) but later defended quite well.
Andrey Esipenko: “Yeah, probably I’m happy, but I had some chances against Mamedyarov and Vidit as well, but the last two rounds I was completely losing against Caruana and Dubov, so, yeah, probably I’m happy!”
Meanwhile, the two tournament co-leaders Mamedyarov and Rapport played a draw too. A Sicilian Defense Taimanov Variation game where both castled opposite sides. A common plan was to attack the King’s side.
Mamedyarov was the first one to attack but Rapport didn’t hold back to enter the four rooks endgame after which they agreed to shake hands for a draw.