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Tata Steel 08: Adhi – the unstoppable force!

by Sagar Shah - 24/01/2017

Adhiban qualified to the Masters section by winning the Tata Steel Challengers in 2016. The Indian GM is showing no signs of being a qualifier! He is beating these top guys right, left and center. In the last four rounds he has scored 3.5/4 against an average opposition of 2770! In the eighth round, he beat Dmitry Andreikin with 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3!? Harikrishna drew his game against Wei Yi. World Champion Magnus Carlsen lost to the Hungarian super talent Richard Rapport. Illustrated round eight report.

Pictures by Alina L'Ami

22nd of January was a Sunday and there was a great turnout of spectators at the event

Masters tournament

Round 8 - Sunday, January 22
Aronian, L.
1-0
Giri, A.
Rapport, R.
1-0
Carlsen, M.
Van Wely, L.
½-½
Nepomniachtchi, I.
Harikrishna, P.
½-½
Wei, Y.
Adhiban, B.
1-0
Andreikin, D.
Eljanov, P.
½-½
Wojtaszek, R.
Karjakin, S.
½-½
So, W.

Adhiban dispelled any doubts whether he would fit in in the Masters category or not, by beating Dmitry Andreikin in simple tactical fashion

Adhiban now has scored 3.5 points in the last four rounds of the Tata Steel Masters. His strategy has been pretty straightforward: play unknown openings, get the opponents into unexplored territory and then beat them on brute chess force. But this method doesn't really make sense, right? Adhiban with a rating of 2653 should clearly play weaker chess than these 2750+ opponents. Apparently this is not the case. What Adhiban's results shows us is that these top guys are really amazing opening experts. Throw open the game and just about anything can happen. This also means that when it comes to pure chess skills and understanding, Adhiban is much stronger than what his current rating suggests!

 

Against Andreikin, the grandmaster from Chennai played the Vienna Game 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3!? After a relatively equal opening, Adhiban played a move that his quite reminiscent of Anatoly Karpov:

The undeveloping Nb1 was a pretty cool move. The idea is to kick the knight away from c3 and also to get the knight on an interesting journey from b1-d2-f3-g5! So why do we try to compare Adhiban's play with Karpov? Haven't you seen the game Karpov-Spassky? Well, it's a classic that you mustn't forget.

 

Karpov - Spassky, Candidates Semi Final 1979, game 9

Karpov played the extremely strong 24.Nb1! His idea was same as Adhiban, to get the knight from b1-d2-f3 and also to kick away the black knight from b4 with c3.

 

Coming back to Adhiban-Andreikin, d6-d5 was a clear mistake.

Adhiban's knight jumped to d2, then to e4 and before the Russian could know it, he was already in big trouble.

How do you finish off the game as White?

With so many pieces controlling f5, it is difficult to understand with which piece should one take on f5. Adhiban showed that Rxf5 is the correct move. The idea is that Black cannot take back with the bishop because Ng5 simply wins. On the other hand after ...Nxf5 another rook is sacrificed on f5 because after ...Bxf5 Nxf5! the mate on g7 gives Black no time for Rxe4 counter sacrifice. If this explanation is too complicated to understand, here's the entire game in the replayable format:

[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.22"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Adhiban, Baskaran"]
[Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B25"]
[WhiteElo "2653"]
[BlackElo "2736"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:20/3000+30:900+30"]
1. e4 {0} e5 {11} 2. Nc3 $5 {0 Who wants to waste time studying the Berlin and
the Ruy Lopez!} Nc6 {95} 3. g3 {0} g6 {129} 4. Bg2 {1} Bg7 {30} 5. d3 {6} d6 {
18 It's all symmetrical until now.} 6. f4 {4} Nge7 {948 Played after 15
minutes of thought.} (6... f5 $5 {Black could have maintained the symmetry.
But not for long.} 7. exf5 Bxf5 8. fxe5 Nxe5 9. Bxb7 Rb8 10. Bg2 Bg4 11. Nge2
Nf3+ $44) 7. Nf3 {3} Nd4 {254} 8. O-O {594} Bg4 {121 Adhiban found this plan
to be slightly irritating as it is not so easy to break the pin.} 9. Be3 {200}
c5 {889} 10. Qd2 {69} O-O {23} 11. Nh4 {384} exf4 {250} 12. Bxf4 {95} Qd7 {233}
13. Rf2 {693 White has natural play, but overall Black cannot be worse here as
he has developed all his pieces and is clearly well co-ordinated.} Rae8 {98}
14. Bh6 {762} Bxh6 {141} 15. Qxh6 {2} b5 {8} 16. h3 $5 {408} Be6 {109} (16...
Bxh3 17. Nf3 $1 Nxf3+ 18. Bxf3 $18 {The rook is coming to h2 and Black is lost!
}) 17. Raf1 {50} Qd8 {592} (17... d5 $5 {This should have been given some
thought by Andreikin.} 18. exd5 Bxd5 $1 (18... Nxd5 $2 19. Ne4 $16) 19. Nxd5
Nxd5 $11 {And although the bishop is gone Black is very well co-ordinated.})
18. Nb1 {711} (18. Nd1 {with the idea of Ne3 was even stronger.}) 18... d5 $2 {
221 A very bad move because it helps the knight to come to the e4 square.} (
18... Bxa2 $5 19. Nd2 f6 $5 (19... Be6 $6 20. c3 $1 Nb3 21. Nxb3 Bxb3 22. Rf6 {
Nf3-g5 would be terminal.}) 20. b3 $13 (20. Rxf6 Rxf6 21. Rxf6 Rf8 22. Rxf8+
Qxf8 $11)) 19. Nd2 $1 {500} dxe4 $2 {15 This is just suicide by Andreikin.
Letting the knight come to e4 means that all the dark squares around the black
king would be in danger.} 20. Nxe4 {47} Nef5 {7} (20... Nd5 21. Ng5 $18) 21.
Rxf5 $1 {45 The reason why this move works and Nxf5 is not very strong is
because the last piece to take on f5 should be a knight. This would mean that
there is a mate on g7 and Black has no time for Rxe4. Quite a simple tactic,
but things can become complex when too many pieces are vying the same square.}
(21. Nxf5 Nxf5 22. Rxf5 Bxf5 23. Rxf5 {This seems very strong, but Black has}
Rxe4 $1 24. Bxe4 gxf5 25. Bxf5 Qd4+ 26. Kg2 Qg7 $17 {When the attack is
repelled and Black is clearly better.}) 21... Nxf5 {32} (21... Bxf5 22. Ng5 $18
) 22. Rxf5 $1 {7} Qd4+ {78} (22... Bxf5 23. Nxf5 $1 gxf5 24. Nf6+ Qxf6 25. Qxf6
$18) 23. Rf2 $1 {195 White simply has two pieces for a rook and Black is
utterly lost.} f5 {6} 24. Ng5 {97} (24. Nxg6 $1 hxg6 25. Qxg6+ Qg7 (25... Kh8
26. Ng5 Qg7 27. Qh5+ Kg8 28. Nxe6 Rxe6 29. Bd5 $18) 26. Nf6+ $1 Rxf6 27. Qxe8+
$18) 24... Qg7 {37} 25. Qxg7+ {23} Kxg7 {4} 26. Bc6 {13} h6 {7} (26... Re7 27.
Re2 Kf6 28. Rxe6+ Rxe6 29. Nxh7+ Kg7 30. Nxf8 Kxf8 31. Bxb5 $18) 27. Nxe6+ {106
} Rxe6 {6} 28. Bxb5 {1 The rest as they is just a matter of technique. Adhiban
mopped up the game pretty quickly.} Rb8 {45} 29. a4 {202} a6 {6} 30. Bc4 {6}
Re1+ {4} 31. Kg2 {158} Rxb2 {6} 32. Bxa6 {9} Rc1 {173} 33. Bc4 {140} Rcxc2 {46}
34. Rxc2 {7} Rxc2+ {3} 35. Kf3 {19} Kf6 {4} 36. a5 {53} g5 {15} 37. a6 {7} Rc1
{23} 38. Ng2 {34} Ke5 {6} 39. Ne3 {286} h5 {7} 40. Nc2 $1 {0 The final touch.}
g4+ {29} 41. Ke3 {519} gxh3 {115} 42. a7 {147} h2 {5} 43. a8=Q {38} h1=Q {7}
44. Qb8+ {21} Kf6 {10} 45. Qf8+ {9} Kg6 {12} 46. Bf7+ {14} 1-0

The only way to unleash one's full potential is to take risks!

I am looking forward to the next rest day so that I can score 3.5/4 once again!

Yasser Seirawan and B. Adhiban have a fun time in the commentary room

Harikrishna gave some problems to Wei Yi out of the opening, but they were not enough to gain a decisive advantage
[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.22"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Wei, Yi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C43"]
[WhiteElo "2766"]
[BlackElo "2706"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "54"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:20/3000+30:900+30"]
1. e4 {0} e5 {7} 2. Nf3 {0} Nf6 {10} 3. d4 {0} Nxe4 {12} 4. dxe5 {0} d5 {11} 5.
Nbd2 {0} Nc5 {75} 6. Be2 {0} Be7 {485} 7. O-O {9} O-O {410} 8. Re1 {4} Nc6 {424
} 9. Nf1 {830} f6 {229} 10. exf6 {383} Bxf6 {244} 11. Ng3 {159} Qd6 {612} 12.
c3 {498} Be6 {252} 13. Ng5 {361} Bd7 {1305} 14. Bf3 {1142} Ne7 {43} 15. Be3 {
231} Ne6 {445} 16. Nxe6 {485} Bxe6 {10} 17. Qe2 {592} Bf7 {127} 18. Rad1 {85}
Rfe8 {320} 19. Qb5 $6 {740} (19. Qd2 {with the threat of Bf4 is quite strong.}
Be5 20. Bg4 c6 (20... Kh8 21. f4 Bf6 22. Nh5 $14) 21. f4 Bf6 22. Ne4 $18) 19...
a6 $1 {22} 20. Qa4 {20} b5 {135} 21. Qc2 {44} Qc6 {105} 22. Nh5 {32} Be5 {41}
23. Nf4 {27} Rad8 {39} 24. Nd3 {98} Bf6 {23} 25. Bf4 $6 {16} (25. Qd2 $14 {
Would have maintained the slight edge for White in this position.} Ng6 26. Nb4
$1 Qb7 27. Nxd5 $16) (25. Nb4 $14 {was also a good move.}) 25... Ng6 $1 {
137 Black is able to unravel now and get an easy game. It was important to
keep the pressure on d5.} 26. Bg3 {116} Rxe1+ {88} 27. Rxe1 {32} Qb6 {60} (
27... Qb6 28. Nb4 c5 $15) 1/2-1/2

Levon Aronian taught, not only Anish Giri but all the spectators, a thing or two in the Closed Catalan with white. Check out this beautiful game:

You have to be either a complete beginner or a genius to find a novelty in a position that has been played well over 3,000 times! 8.Na3!? is a new move in this well known position. According to Levon, he just wanted to place his rook quickly on c1 in order to prevent b6-Bb7.

This exchange sacrifice is completely natural for a player of Levon's calibre! So, what does White gain is the natural question. The following diagram should be able to answer that:

Each one of White's pieces is better than the opponent's! Levon had no difficulty in winning this.
[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.22"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Aronian, Levon"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2780"]
[BlackElo "2773"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:20/3000+30:900+30"]
1. d4 {0} Nf6 {5} 2. c4 {0} e6 {5} 3. Nf3 {0} d5 {6} 4. g3 {0} Bb4+ {7} 5. Bd2
{0} Be7 {3} 6. Bg2 {0} O-O {6} 7. O-O {4} c6 {4 This position has been reached
in nearly 3000 games and Levon Aronian unleashes a move which has been never
played before by White.} 8. Na3 $5 {4 The idea is to put the rook quickly on
c1.} Nbd7 {368} 9. Rc1 {24} Ne4 {137} (9... b6 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Qb3 Ba6 12.
Nb5 Ne4 13. Bf4 $14) 10. Be3 {6} Bxa3 {681} 11. bxa3 {5 It's true White has
doubled a-pawns. However, is it worth giving up the dark squared bishop?} Nd6 {
11} 12. c5 {391} Nc4 {567} 13. Rxc4 $1 {14 An excellent exchange sacrifice.
White already has an inferior pawn structure. Now he even gives up material.
What is his compensation for this? Well, it's the activity of the pieces!} dxc4
{3} 14. Qc2 {7} h6 {403} (14... b5 $6 15. Ng5 Nf6 16. Bxc6 $14) 15. Qxc4 {353}
b6 {83} (15... e5 $5 16. dxe5 Qe7 17. Bd4 Re8 18. Qc3 $44 {Keeps control.}) 16.
Bf4 {47} Re8 {706} 17. Bd6 {51 The dark squared bishop moves around the black
position like a mouse through the swiss cheese.} Bb7 {462} 18. Ne5 {217} bxc5 {
411} 19. dxc5 {17} Nxe5 {333} 20. Bxe5 {14 The difference in the quality of
the bishops on the board is clear.} a5 {639} (20... Qa5 21. Qg4 f6 22. Bxf6 $18
) 21. Rb1 {151} Ra7 {21} (21... Ba6 22. Qg4 f6 23. Bd6 $16) 22. Qc3 {105} f6 {
75} 23. Bd6 {23} Ba8 {49} 24. Be4 {92} f5 {92} 25. Bc2 {300} Rb7 {47} 26. Rd1 {
77 All of White's pieces are in play, while the bishop on a8 looks horrible.
White is just winning. Such positions where opponent has no counterplay is
easy for guys like Levon to play.} Rd7 {42} 27. e4 {18} Qf6 {146} 28. Qc4 {383}
Kh8 {101} 29. Re1 {72} Qf7 {95} (29... f4 30. e5 Qg5 31. Qe4 $16) 30. Qd3 {282}
f4 {77} 31. gxf4 {532} (31. e5 g5 32. g4 $16) 31... e5 {2} 32. Qh3 {24} (32. f5
$16) 32... Rxd6 {134} 33. cxd6 {65} Qg6+ {1} 34. Qg3 {94} Qxd6 {9} 35. Rd1 {17}
Qc5 {31} 36. Rd7 {64} Rg8 {151} 37. Bb3 $18 {80} exf4 {29} 38. Qg6 {125} f3 {42
} 39. h4 {4} Qc3 {230} 40. Bxg8 {0} Qe1+ {5} 41. Kh2 {21} Qxf2+ {3} 42. Kh3 {4}
Qf1+ {5} 43. Kg4 {4 A great game by Levon Aronian.} 1-0

One day you play excellent chess and one day you wake up and realize that you cannot play anymore!

Pavel Eljanov was very close to beating Radoslaw Wojtaszek

It is very important to be prophylactic in chess! White to play what would you do?

Eljanov forgot for a move what his opponent's threat was. He played the move 39.b6? but was immediately punished with 39...e4! The point was that after 40.Qxe4 f3! 41. Qxf3 Black could pick up the bishop with ...Rxd5. and now Qe5+ is a threat. Instead, in the above diagram 39.Qf3! would have finished the game in White's favour.

[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.22"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B92"]
[WhiteElo "2755"]
[BlackElo "2750"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "92"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:20/3000+30:900+30"]
1. e4 {0} c5 {6} 2. Nf3 {2} d6 {3} 3. d4 {7} cxd4 {3} 4. Nxd4 {4} Nf6 {3} 5.
Nc3 {6} a6 {4} 6. Be2 {4} e5 {6} 7. Nb3 {7} Be7 {7} 8. Be3 {17} Be6 {47} 9. Nd5
{39} Nbd7 {202} 10. Qd3 {45} Bxd5 {50} 11. exd5 {6} O-O {4} 12. a4 {99} Rc8 {
935} 13. a5 {23} Ne8 {13} 14. O-O {180} Bg5 {53} 15. c4 {198} f5 {238} 16. f3 {
470} Bxe3+ {318} 17. Qxe3 {4} f4 {60} 18. Qf2 {139} g5 {157} 19. Nd2 {132} Ndf6
{324} 20. b4 {540} Ng7 {131} 21. Ne4 {443} Nxe4 {297} 22. fxe4 {17} g4 {9} 23.
c5 {849} Qg5 {51} 24. c6 {262} bxc6 {434} 25. Bxa6 {137} g3 {439} 26. Qf3 {475}
Rc7 {137} 27. dxc6 {250} gxh2+ {53} 28. Kxh2 {83} d5 {310} 29. exd5 {843} Nf5 {
10} 30. d6 {141} Qh6+ {493} 31. Qh3 {387} Qxd6 {5} 32. Bc4+ {309} Kh8 {17} 33.
b5 {101} Rg7 {301} 34. Rad1 {56} Nd4 {7} 35. Rxd4 {305} Qxd4 {303} 36. Qd3 {52}
Qc5 {208} 37. Rf3 {323} Qe7 {192} 38. Bd5 {41} Qg5 {866} 39. Rh3 {50} Rd8 {158}
40. b6 $2 {0} (40. Qf3 $1 $18 {Prophylaxis against e4! White is just winning
now.}) 40... e4 {180} 41. Qxe4 {511} f3 {114} (41... Rxd5 42. c7 $18) 42. Qxf3
{160} Rxd5 {776} 43. c7 {1313} Qe5+ {340} 44. Rg3 {116} Rxg3 {18} 45. Qxg3 {5}
Qh5+ {8} 46. Qh3 {3} Qe5+ {5 Wojtazek escapes narrowly!} 1/2-1/2

Richard Rapport beating Magnus Carlsen was the biggest upset of the eighth round

Magnus Carlsen couldn't get to grips with what was going on as....

...Richie Rapport scored an emphatic victory (photo by Amruta Mokal)
[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.22"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Rapport, Richard"]
[Black "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A12"]
[WhiteElo "2702"]
[BlackElo "2840"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[SourceTitle "playchess.com"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceQuality "1"]
[TimeControl "40/6000+30:20/3000+30:900+30"]
1. Nf3 {0} d5 {56} 2. b3 {15} Bf5 {172} 3. Bb2 {75} e6 {23} 4. d3 {68} h6 {61}
5. Nbd2 {23} Nf6 {11} 6. c4 {274} c6 {35} 7. g3 {483} Be7 {91} 8. Bg2 {36} O-O
{13} 9. O-O {172} Nbd7 {24} 10. a3 {90} a5 {39} 11. Qb1 {318} Bh7 {571} 12. b4
$1 {298} axb4 {774} 13. axb4 {31} Qb6 {16} 14. Bc3 {835} Rxa1 {359} 15. Qxa1 {
16} Bxb4 {11} 16. Bxb4 {23} Qxb4 {2} 17. Rb1 {10} Qd6 {9} 18. Rxb7 {11 White
has a small edge here, but still nothing substantial.} e5 {1} 19. d4 $1 {
11 This is a thoroughly disruptive move. Only a player who understands
dynamics well can make this move as it spoils the pawn structure for White.}
exd4 {182} (19... e4 20. Ne5 $14) 20. Nxd4 {1359} c5 {56} 21. N4b3 {679} d4 {
289} 22. Bh3 {262} d3 $6 {1928 Magnus never really forces the play in a manner
where his position is worsened. Here he loses his sense of danger.} 23. e3 $1 {
292 The knights blockade the d3 pawn very well and it becomes more of a
weakness than a strength. Also the queen is ready to break in to a7.} Ne5 {68}
24. Bg2 {49} Rc8 {728} 25. f4 $1 {209} Neg4 {297} 26. e4 {25 Tactics do not
work for Black here.} Re8 {297} (26... Nd7 27. Bf3 h5 28. Qa7 Rd8 29. Rc7 $18)
27. e5 {56} Nxe5 {61} 28. fxe5 {12} Rxe5 {2} 29. Rb6 {24} (29. Qa7 Re2 30. Qxc5
Qxc5+ 31. Nxc5 $18) 29... Qe7 {18} (29... Qc7 $16) 30. Rb8+ {72} Ne8 {4} 31.
Bc6 $1 {24 Tactically, Black is completely lost.} Re1+ {35} 32. Qxe1 {5} Qxe1+
{9} 33. Nf1 {2 The last quiet move and it's all over. You will either lose the
queen or the king!} 1-0

The only message for Magnus is that he has off days!

Wesley So is the leader with 5.5/8 followed by Pavel Eljanov and Wei Yi!

Challengers tournament

Round 8 - Sunday, January 22
Grandelius, N.
½-½
Hansen, E.
Dobrov, V.
1-0
Tingjie, L.
Lu, S.
½-½
Xiong, J.
Jones, G.
½-½
l'Ami, E.
Guramishvili, S.
½-½
van Foreest, J.
Smirin, I
½-½
Ragger, M.
Tari, A.
½-½
Bok, B.

Aryan Tari and Benjamin Bok drew their game against each other

Erwin L'Ami is currently on 50% with 4.0/8

The only decisive game of round eight was Chinese Lei Tingje...

...losing to Vladimir Dobrov

Sopiko Guramishvili halted her string of six losses with a draw against Jorden van Foreest

Praggnanandhaa with his mother Nagalakshmi. The youngest IM in the world is currently playing in the amateur event and is currently on 1.5/3. You can find the standings and round pairings here.

 

Just imagine the impact such a grand event would have on these young minds! A future champion lies in there!

Who said watching chess was boring!