76th Tata Steel Chess Round 1: Caruana, Karjakin, Nakamura, So begin with Wins
The first round of the Tata Steel Challengers was an exciting one, with four out of six games ending with a victor. Fabiano Caruana scored the first win in this tournament against Boris Gelfand. In a Sicilian Najdorf white quickly got a comfortable game and Gelfand had to defend carefully. With 28. …Nd7 (see diagram) Gelfand blundered and with29.Rxg6 Rg8 30.Ng5 Caruana clinched victory.
Sergey Karjakin was victorious as well against Loek van Wely. In a Catalan the Dutch GM sacrificed a pawn, but the resulting endgame looked promising for black. Karjakin pushed his passed pawns on the queenside, and a slip-up by Van Wely with (see diagram) 52.g6, where 52.Ra8 would have been more tenacious, enabled Karjakin to round up that pawn and bring home the win.
The third player to score a win was Hikaru Nakamura (see picture). In a Nimzo-Indian the game was about equal, but then Naiditsch “tried to get creative” according to Nakamura, with a piece sacrifice. He got three pawns for the knight, but Nakamura stated that “it should be losing”. After Naiditsch lost the b6 pawn Nakamura slowly but surely kept eating pawns. Naiditsch was forced to resign.
Not all games started at the beginning of the round. Wesley So (see picture) only arrived this morning, so after consultation with his opponent Richard Rapport they decided to start the match with a one hour delay. So stated that he “was defending for most of the game, but my opponent probably overstretched” and grabbed the chances given to him.
The two other games ended in a draw. Leinier Dominguez and Anish Giri played a solid Berlin Wall. After several pieces were exchanged both players didn’t see the point in continuing the game and a draw was agreed. The encounter between Pentala Harikrishna and Levon Aronian ended in a draw as well. It was “a strange game” according to Aronian. He felt he should not push his position too much and both players agreed to a repetition of moves.
The Tata Steel Challengers group counted four victories as well, and all with the black pieces. Dimitri Reinderman was victorious over top-seed Radek Wojtaszek, while Sabino Brunello managed to beat Yangyi Yu. Xue Zhao defeated Etienne Goudriaan, who missed a good chance to score a victory himself and the young Kayden Troff defeated Merijn van Delft. (Official website)
Giri, A. - Naiditsch, A.
So, W. - Nakamura, H.
Gelfand, B. - Rapport, R.
Aronian, L. - Caruana, F.
Karjakin, S. - Harikrishna, P.
Dominguez, L. - Van Wely, L.
Labels: 76th tata steel chess 2014