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Tata Steel 09: India holds fort against China and Russia!

by Sagar Shah - 25/01/2017

Both the Indian players had their backs against the wall. Adhiban was going down against his Chinese opponent Wei Yi, while Harikrishna had been pinned down by the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi. By means of staunch defence and making opponent's task of winning as difficult as possible, both Adhiban and Hari managed to save a draw! It was a great result for all the Indian fans. In this report you will find in depth analysis of both the games along with Julio Sadorra's explanation of the crazy Andreikin-Eljanov duel.

Pictures by Alina L'Ami

Masters tournament

Round 9 - Tuesday, January 24
So, W.
Aronian, L.
Wojtaszek, R.
Karjakin, S.
Andreikin, D.
Eljanov, P.
Wei, Y.
Adhiban, B.
Nepomniachtchi, I.
Harikrishna, P.
Carlsen, M.
Van Wely, L.
Giri, A.
Rapport, R.

These two youngsters have overperformed at the Tata Steel Masters 2017. In the ninth round Wei Yi had the white pieces against B. Adhiban.

This time Adhiban had enough with his opening experiments and went for the tried and test King's Indian Defense. His position out of the opening was quite bad and it kept deteriorating. The Chinese grandmaster could have finished off the game with simple moves, instead he always tried to find some tactical ideas and this helped the Indian to find counterplay. Soon the game transposed into a rook + knight vs rook + knight endgame where Wei Yi had an extra pawn. This was already a great achievement for Adhiban who was on the brink of defeat right in the middlegame itself. The Chennai grandmaster shifted to fight back mode and made Wei Yi's task of winning as difficult as possible.

Adhiban's fighting qualities are well known and he made Wei Yi sweat really hard

In the end by means of staunch defence, Adhiban was able to salvage the half point! This was a fantastic result. One of Adhiban's supporters rightly compared his defensive efforts to that of Vishy Anand.

[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.24"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Wei, Yi"]
[Black "Adhiban, Baskaran"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E90"]
[WhiteElo "2706"]
[BlackElo "2653"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "170"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 O-O 5. e4 d6 {Adhiban uses the King's
Indian when he would like to play for a win. And more often than not he has
been successful with this opening.} 6. h3 Na6 (6... e5 {is by far the main
move in the position.}) 7. Be3 c6 8. Rc1 Nc7 ({This is how the game between
Wei Yi and Zhao Jun went in 2016. Adhiban must have based his preparations
based on this game.} 8... Qa5 9. Nd2 e5 10. d5 Nc5 11. a3 cxd5 12. exd5 Qd8 13.
b4 Ncd7 14. c5 Nh5 15. c6 bxc6 16. dxc6 Ndf6 17. Nde4 Nxe4 18. Nxe4 d5 19. c7
Qd7 20. Bc5 dxe4 21. Bxf8 Kxf8 22. Qxd7 Bxd7 23. Ba6 Nf4 24. O-O Rc8 25. Rfd1
Nd3 26. Bxc8 Bxc8 27. Rc5 Ke7 28. Rd5 Bd7 29. Rd2 Ke6 30. Ra5 Bh6 31. Rc2 Bc8
32. Rxa7 e3 33. Ra8 Kd7 34. Kf1 exf2 35. Ra5 Kd6 36. Ra8 Kd7 37. Ra5 Kd6 38. b5
Be3 39. Ra6+ Ke7 40. Rac6 e4 41. b6 Nf4 42. b7 Bxb7 43. c8=Q Bxc8 44. Rxc8 Nh5
45. Rxf2 Ng3+ 46. Ke1 Bxf2+ 47. Kxf2 Nf5 48. a4 Kd7 49. Rc1 {1-0 (49) Wei,Y
(2700)-Zhao,J (2634) Xinghua 2016}) 9. Be2 {Overall White's position looks
much more harmonious than Black's.} b5 (9... e5 10. d5 $14) 10. e5 (10. cxb5
cxb5 11. Bd3 Bb7 12. O-O b4 13. Ne2 Nxe4 14. Qc2 $18) 10... dxe5 11. dxe5 Nd7
12. cxb5 cxb5 13. O-O (13. Nxb5 Nxb5 14. Bxb5 Qa5+ $19) 13... Bb7 (13... b4 14.
Nd5 $16) 14. Nxb5 Nd5 $6 (14... Nxb5 15. Bxb5 Nxe5 16. Nxe5 Bxe5 $11 {Would
have given Adhiban equal chances. I am not sure why he rejected this.}) 15. e6
$1 {I think this is the move that Adhiban missed.} fxe6 (15... Nxe3 16. fxe3
Nb6 (16... fxe6 17. Nc7 $18) 17. exf7+ Rxf7 18. Nc7 Rc8 19. Qxd8+ Rxd8 20. Ne6
Rd6 21. Nxg7 Kxg7 22. Rfd1 $16) 16. Qb3 Ne5 17. Nxe5 Bxe5 18. Bg4 $1 $16 {
The position has gone downhill really quick for Adhiban.} Kh8 19. Bd4 Bf6 20.
Bxf6+ (20. Bxe6 $2 Nf4 $1 $15) (20. Rfd1 $16 {Just keeping the status was much
better.}) 20... Rxf6 21. Nc7 Rb8 (21... Nxc7 22. Qxb7 Nd5 23. Rfe1 $16) 22.
Nxe6 Qg8 23. Nc5 Ba6 24. Be6 Rxb3 (24... Rxe6 25. Qxd5 $16) 25. Bxg8 Kxg8 26.
Nxb3 Bxf1 27. Kxf1 {In a nutshell, White is a pawn up and Black has a long and
tiring defensive task ahead.} Nb4 28. Rc7 Nd3 29. Ke2 Nf4+ 30. Kf1 Nd3 31. Rd7
Nxb2 32. Rxa7 Nd3 33. f3 Re6 34. Kg1 Nf4 35. Rd7 Ne2+ (35... Re2 36. Rd2 $16)
36. Kf2 Nc3 37. Rd2 Ra6 38. Nc1 Kf7 {Somehow Black has managed to tie up
White's forces.} 39. Ke3 Ke6 $6 (39... Ra4 $1 $14) 40. Kd4 $1 Nb5+ 41. Kc5 Nd6
42. Nb3 {White is once again very active.} Kd7 43. Kb4 Rb6+ 44. Kc3 Rc6+ 45.
Kb2 Kc7 46. Nd4 $1 Rb6+ (46... Nc4+ 47. Kc3 Nxd2+ 48. Nxc6 $18) 47. Kc3 e5 48.
Ne6+ Kc6 49. Kd3 Ra6 50. Rc2+ Kb6 51. Nd8 Kb5 52. Rb2+ Kc5 53. Ne6+ Kc6 54.
Rc2+ Kb6 55. Kc3 Ra3+ 56. Kb4 Rd3 57. Nf8 Rd4+ 58. Kb3 Nf5 59. Kc3 Ne3 60. Re2
Nd5+ 61. Kc2 Rc4+ 62. Kb3 Rc3+ 63. Kb2 Rc7 64. Rd2 Rb7 65. Ne6 Kc6+ 66. Kc1 Ra7
67. Ng5 Nf6 68. Re2 Kd5 69. Kb2 Rb7+ 70. Kc2 Ra7 71. Kb2 Rb7+ 72. Ka1 Rb4 73.
a3 Rd4 74. Kb2 Rd3 75. a4 h6 76. Nf7 e4 77. fxe4+ (77. a5 e3 78. a6 Nd7 79. a7
Nb6 80. Rc2 Rd4 $14) 77... Nxe4 78. Nxh6 Rd4 79. a5 Ra4 80. Ng8 Kd4 $1 81. Ne7
Kd3 82. Rc2 (82. Re1 Rxa5 83. Nxg6 Rb5+ 84. Kc1 Rc5+ 85. Kb2 Rb5+ $11) 82...
Rxa5 83. Nxg6 Ra2+ $1 84. Kxa2 Kxc2 85. h4 Nf6 {The black king and the knight
will easily mop up the pawns as the white king is stranded on the other wing.}


Wei Yi missed his chance of winning the game and becoming the joint leader in the Masters section

Adhiban's support team: his father and his second Vishnu Prasanna are relieved that the game ended in a draw!

Harikrishna was almost lost against Ian Nepomniachtchi, but just like Adhiban, he too hung in there and did not let the Russian get the full point!

Ian's opening play had been excellent and here he has a chance to finish off his opponent. Can you find the winning move?
[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.24"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"]
[Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A17"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2766"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "157"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e3 e6 6. Nxd5 exd5 7. b4 $5 {
This was played in the game between Anton Guijarro and Salem Saleh at the Lake
Sevan 2016.} c4 (7... cxb4 8. Bb2 $44 {And White gets an excellent diagonal
and compensation for his bishop.}) 8. Bb2 Bxb4 9. Bxg7 {While b4 wasn't the
most important of pawns, g7 definitely is.} Rg8 10. Be5 {Nepomniachtchi would
like to relocate his bishop to g3 so that the g2 pawn would not be hanging
when the f1 bishop moves.} (10. Bb2 $14) 10... Nc6 11. Bg3 Bf5 (11... c3 12. a3
Ba5 13. Bd3 cxd2+ 14. Nxd2 $14) 12. Be2 Be7 13. O-O h5 14. d3 h4 15. Bf4 d4 $1
{Harikrishna immediately liquidates everything in the centre so that he is not
left with any weaknesses.} (15... Bh3 16. Ne1 $14) 16. exd4 Nxd4 $2 (16... Bh3
$5 17. Ne1 Nxd4 $15) 17. dxc4 $1 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 {White has won a pawn. Black
is going to win back an exchange. But that is not going to help because his
king is in the center.} Bd3 19. Qe5 Bxf1 20. Rxf1 {Excellent positional
assessment by Ian Nepomniachtchi. He clearly understands that at the cost of a
pawn, he has got excellent co-ordination and chances to launch a huge attack
against the Black king.} Rc8 21. Re1 Rc6 22. Nd4 {Stopping Re6.} Rcg6 23. g3
hxg3 $6 (23... Kf8 24. Rd1 Qd7 25. Rd2 Bb4 26. Nf5 Qe8 27. Qd4 Qe1+ 28. Kg2 h3+
$1 {This is the deep point why the pawn on h4 should exist!} 29. Kf3 Qh1+ 30.
Ke2 Re6+ 31. Be3 Qc6 $11) 24. hxg3 Kf8 25. Rd1 Qd7 26. Rd2 Rf6 (26... Bb4 $2
27. Nf5 Qe8 28. Qd4 Qe1+ 29. Kg2 $18 {And now there is no h3 check! We can see
now why 23...hxg3 was a mistake.}) 27. Qh5 ({White had a killer blow at his
disposal.} 27. Nf5 $3 Rxf5 (27... Qe8 28. Re2 $18 {and the pin is fatal,
though Bh6+ was also good enough.} (28. Bh6+ $18)) (27... Qxf5 28. Bh6+ Rxh6 (
28... Ke8 29. Qb8+ {is mate}) (28... Rg7 29. Qb8+ $18) 29. Qxf5 $18) (27... Re6
28. Bh6+ Ke8 29. Qb8+ $18) 28. Bh6+ Ke8 29. Qb8+ {picks up the queen and the
game} Qd8 30. Rxd8+ Bxd8 31. Qxb7 $18 {This should be pretty easy to win.})
27... a6 28. Bg5 Rd6 29. Bh6+ Ke8 30. Qe5 b6 31. a4 (31. Bf4 $16) 31... Qb7 32.
Bf4 Rd7 33. Nf5 $1 Rxd2 34. Bxd2 Rg6 35. Bb4 Re6 36. Ng7+ Kd7 37. Qd4+ Rd6 38.
Bxd6 Bxd6 39. Nf5 $6 (39. Qf6 $1 {and Black can't defend the f7 pawn, this
should be good enough to win.} Qc6 40. Qxf7+ $18) 39... Qc6 40. Qf6 Bc5 $1 41.
Qxf7+ Kc8 {The bishop now has a fixed point on c5. The a-pawn is ready to fall.
As we all know that when there is a race, bishops are better because they can
look in both the directions. Here, Black is definitely worse, but all these
factors are helping him to put up a strong fight.} 42. Qg8+ Kb7 43. Qg7+ Kc8
44. Qh8+ Kb7 45. Qh7+ Kb8 46. g4 Qxa4 47. Qh2+ Kb7 48. Qf4 a5 $1 {Black's
a-pawn is very fast.} 49. g5 Qc6 50. Nd4 Qg6 (50... Bxd4 51. Qxd4 a4 {was an
easier way to make a draw.}) 51. Nb5 Qg7 $4 (51... Ka6 $11) 52. Kg2 $6 (52.
Qf3+ $1 Kb8 53. Qg3+ Kb7 54. g6 a4 55. Kg2 a3 56. Nxa3 Bxa3 57. Qf3+ $1 {
There is absolutely no good square for the black king.} Kc7 (57... Kc8 58. Qa8+
) 58. Qxa3 Qxg6+ 59. Qg3+ $18) 52... a4 53. Qf3+ Kb8 54. Qg3+ Kc8 55. g6 a3 56.
Nd6+ (56. Nxa3 Bxa3 57. Qxa3 Qxg6+ {Now this doesn't work. Black is fine.})
56... Kd7 57. Nf5 Qg8 58. g7 a2 59. Qg4 a1=Q $1 60. Nh6+ Qe6 (60... Kc7 61.
Nxg8 Qa8+ 62. Qf3 Qxg8 $11) 61. Qxe6+ Kxe6 62. g8=Q+ Kd7 {The worse is over
for Black and Harikrishna wriggles out with a draw.} 63. Qf7+ Kc6 64. Ng4 Qd4
65. Qf5 Bd6 66. Ne3 Qg7+ 67. Kf1 Bc5 68. Qc8+ Qc7 69. Qe6+ Kb7 70. Qe4+ Qc6 71.
Nd5 b5 72. Qh7+ Ka6 73. Qe4 Ka7 74. Qh7+ Ka6 75. Nc7+ Ka5 76. Nxb5 Qf3 77. Qc2
Kb4 78. Qd2+ Kxc4 79. Qe2+ 1/2-1/2


Harikrishna is currently on 50% score with 4.5/9 and has chances of a strong finish. In the tenth round he faces Magnus Carlsen.

Aronian showed some fine opening preparation and drew his game against Wesley So

Aronian's fiancee Arianne Caoili

Magnus beating Loek van Wely was the only decisive game of round nine

The game between Andreikin and Eljanov has content that would make any chess student happy. We let GM Julio Sadorra explain to you the intricacies:
[Event "79th Tata Steel Chess 2017-Masters"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2017.01.24"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A45"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2755"]
[Annotator "Sadorra, Julio"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 {This shouldn't be a surprise from Andreikin as he's known to
play London and Torre Attack structures both in short and long time-control
games.} e6 3. Nd2 ({The other popular move here is} 3. e4 {leading to
imbalanced middlegames after} h6 ({or} 3... c5 $5 4. e5 h6) 4. Bxf6 Qxf6 5. c3
d6 $11 {where both sides have advantages and disadvantages.}) 3... h6 4. Bh4 d5
5. e3 c5 6. c3 {We're now officially in the land of Torre Attack :-)} Nc6 7.
Bd3 {Andeikin's handling of the Torre System, delaying his king's knight
development, is intriguing as he leaves himself the option of switching to a
favorable Stonewall game after the move f2-f4 (his dark-squared bishop is
outside of the pawn chain instead of being passive on c1)!} Qb6 {Controlling
the important b5-square with tempo.} 8. Rb1 {and now Eljanov doesn't allow
Andrekin to achieve his desired Stonewall set-up with} e5 $1 9. Ne2 $5 {
Placing the knight on e2 is another option availed by Andreikin's move-order.}
({Black has no problems after} 9. dxe5 Nxe5 {Do you see now why it's important
to control b5? :-)} 10. Bc2 (10. Be2 $2 Bf5 $17) 10... Be7 {safe and solid.} (
10... Qa6 $6 {A nice idea but a little too ambitious because White can take
over the initiative with accurate play after} 11. Ndf3 $1 (11. Ngf3 Nd3+ 12.
Bxd3 Qxd3 {with the bishop pair advantage.}) (11. Ba4+ $2 {only helps Black's
cause} Bd7 12. Bxd7+ Nfxd7 $17) 11... Nxf3+ 12. Nxf3 Be7 $5 {sac-ing a pawn
may be the best practical choice} (12... Be6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Bd3 Qb6 15. O-O
O-O-O 16. b4 $1 $40) 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Qxd5 Be6 15. Qe4 $1 (15. Qxc5 $6 Rc8 16.
Qb4 Rc4 {White's queen is in trouble giving Black at least enough compensation
for the pawns!}) 15... Qxa2 16. O-O (16. Qxb7 O-O $13) 16... Qd5 17. Ra1 $1 $36
{It is clear that White has good pressure, but Black still has chances for a
successful defense.}) 11. Ngf3 Nxf3+ 12. Nxf3 Be6 $11) 9... cxd4 10. exd4 e4
11. Bc2 g5 12. Bg3 Bg7 13. O-O O-O {the opening was a success for Black as not
only did he manage to equalize but also achieved better chances in the ensuing
middlegame struggle due to the simple plan of pushing down his pawns on the
kingside.} 14. b4 {starting counterplay on the queenside with ideas of kicking
back the c6-knight, but it's also positionally risky as it weakens many
squares.} Nh5 15. Bd6 Rd8 16. Bc5 Qc7 17. f3 e3 18. b5 ({Black is also better
after} 18. Nb3 b6 19. b5 Ne5 $1 {a nice small tactic} 20. Bb4 (20. Ba3 Nc4)
20... Nc4 {transposes to the line above} 21. Qd3 f5 $17 {Black has great space
advantage well-controlled by stable pieces.}) 18... b6 ({I think the simple
move} 18... Na5 {also works, but Eljanov was probably concerned about White
complicating things with} 19. b6 $5 (19. Nb3 b6 20. Bb4 Nc4 {transposes to the
line above}) 19... Qc6 20. Nb3 {and now Black has to be careful} (20. Ba4 Qe6
21. Nb3 Nc4 $17) 20... Nc4 $1 (20... axb6 $2 21. Nxa5 bxa5 22. Rb6 Qc7 23. Qd3
{and White is suddenly better!}) 21. bxa7 Nf4 {and Black is still in control
of the advantage.}) 19. bxc6 bxc5 20. Nb3 c4 21. Nc5 Nf4 22. Re1 Bf8 $1 {
planning to remove White's most active piece while avoiding any counterplay.} (
{Taking the pawn right away, gives White chances to equalize after} 22... Qxc6
23. Qc1 $1 Qe8 (23... Re8 $4 24. Ba4 $18) 24. Ng3 {and the e-pawn is falling.})
23. Ba4 ({Now the previous idea doesn't work due to} 23. Qc1 Re8 $17 {and
things are under control.} 24. Ba4 $2 Nd3 $1 $19) 23... Bxc5 24. dxc5 $5 {
White is faced with a tough choice in a worse situation, in which Andreikin
makes a decision on practical grounds-- to be an exchange down with chances of
counterplay in an oddly complex position rather than be a pawn down in a
simpler position.} (24. Nxf4 gxf4 25. dxc5 Qa5 {this is the simple position
that Andreikin rejected playing which anyone will most likely lose against a
player of Eljanov's sytle and calibre.}) 24... Nd3 25. Nd4 Nxe1 26. Qxe1 Re8
27. h4 $5 {White will not go down without a fight! Instead of waiting for his
doom, Andreikin makes sure that the Black king will also be exposed, even
slightly, when his king gets attacked in the future!} Re7 28. hxg5 hxg5 29. Rb7
{a logical follow-up to his White's idea} Bxb7 30. cxb7 Rb8 {A good practical
choice. Eljanov only had 16 min left to make time-control and chooses to avoid
hazy positions that requires too much calculations.} ({Here's a few sample
lines of how tricky and hairy things can get:} 30... Qxb7 31. Bc6 Qb8 32. Bxd5
$1 {and Black will have more problems ahead of him to solve.} (32. Bxa8 $5 {
is also not that easy for Black to face otb with little time on the clock} Qxa8
33. Qg3 {and here Black has to reject the temptation to push the passed pawn
to win:} f6 (33... e2 $2 34. Qxg5+ Kf8 35. Qh6+ Ke8 36. Nxe2 $1 $13 (36. Qh8+ {
I know you were hoping for this!} Kd7 37. Qxa8 e1=Q+ 38. Kh2 Qh4+ 39. Kg1 Re1#)
) 34. Nf5 Re5 $1 $19 (34... Re6 $2 35. Qc7)) 32... e2 $2 33. Nc6 $16) 31. c6
Rbe8 32. Ne2 f6 ({Another good attacking move and probably better is} 32... Kg7
$1 33. Qd1 Rh8 34. Qd4+ (34. Qxd5 Qh2+ 35. Kf1 Qh1+ 36. Ng1 e2+ 37. Kf2 e1=Q#)
34... f6 35. g3 {and there are many ways to win from here e.g.} Qe5 $19) 33.
Qd1 $1 {With 7 minutes left on his clock, Andreikin finds the most problematic
moves. Eljanov either missed or underestimated this as it took him longer to
play his next move compared to the previous ones.} Rh7 $1 {the right direction
to the "puzzle solution"} 34. Qxd5+ Kg7 35. g3 {[#] With 4 minutes on the
clock, which will you choose a) Rd8 then Rdh8, or b) immediate
Rdh8?****************} Rd8 {After using most of his remaining time, Eljanov
chose the more logical move--to force the White queen to lose control of h1
before doubling rooks. As we will see in the game, Black unfortunately has no
concrete way to gain the advantage in this direction.} ({The correct solution
is:} 35... Reh8 $1 36. f4 Qf7 $3 {an important move to foresee in one's
analysis} 37. Qxf7+ Kxf7 38. Kg2 (38. g4 Ke6 $19 {and the passed pawns are
stopped.}) 38... g4 $19 {with mate coming next. What a position! If Eljanov
had more time, I have a good feeling Eljanov would have been able to figure it
out.}) 36. Qe6 Rdh8 37. f4 Rh1+ 38. Kg2 R1h2+ (38... R8h2+ {is risky as one of
the rooks could end up being misplaced and come late to stop the White passes
pawns later.} 39. Kf3 Rf1+ 40. Kg4 {could lead to a force draw} (40. Ke4 $2
Rxe2 41. Qd7+ Qxd7 42. cxd7 Rd2 $3 43. b8=Q e2 $19) 40... Rh4+ (40... Rxe2 {
Now this doesn't work anymore} 41. Qd7+ Qxd7+ 42. cxd7 Rd2 43. b8=Q e2 44. d8=Q
Rxd8 45. Qc7+ $1 Kh6 46. Qxd8 e1=Q 47. Qf8+ Kg6 48. Bc2+ $18) 41. gxh4 Rxf4+
42. Nxf4 (42. Kh3 Rxh4+ 43. Kg2 Qh2+ 44. Kf3 Qf2#) 42... Qxf4+ 43. Kh3 Qf3+ 44.
Kh2 Qf2+ $11) 39. Kf3 {The beginning of another episode of the king marching
towards the center! (We saw it earlier in Rapport-Wei Yi)} Rf2+ 40. Kxe3 Rhh2 {
Fortunately for Andreikin, his critical moment arose after he makes the
time-control! Seeing that Eljanov has lost control of the situation, Andreikin
now uses all of his resources to keep himself out of trouble from here on.} 41.
Bd1 $1 {best defense.} ({All other moves lose:} 41. Nd4 gxf4+ 42. Ke4 Re2+ 43.
Kd5 Qa5+ 44. Kd6 Rxe6+ 45. Nxe6+ Kf7 46. b8=Q Qe5+ $19) (41. Qd7+ Qxd7 42. cxd7
Rxe2+ 43. Kf3 g4+ 44. Kxg4 Rh8 $19) 41... gxf4+ 42. Nxf4 Qb6+ {After a few
commercial breaks, we now resume the king's marching show!} 43. Ke4 Qb1+ $11 {
but they play on!} 44. Kd5 $1 {In this unclear complex stage, both players
still display great fighting spirits!} ({The game could end in a draw now with
} 44. Ke3 Qb6+ 45. Ke4 Qb1+ $11 {but they play on!}) 44... Qxd1+ 45. Kc5 Rxf4
46. Qe7+ {After trying and finding no way to play for more, Eljanov finally
settles for a perpetual.} ({Another way for the game to continue was} 46. gxf4
Qg1+ (46... Rh5+ $2 {This only misplaces the rook and loses coordination with
the queen.} 47. f5 Qd8 (47... Rh8 48. Qe7+ Kh6 49. Qxf6+ Kh7 50. Qxh8+ $18) 48.
Qd7+ Qxd7 49. cxd7 Rh8 50. Kd6 Kf7 51. Kc7 $18) 47. Kxc4 (47. Kd6 $2 Rd2+ 48.
Ke7 Qc5+ 49. Ke8 Qf8#) 47... Qf1+ 48. Kc5 {will most likely end in a perpetual
too.}) (46. b8=Q $4 Rh5+ $19 {and White is forced to give up both queens!})
46... Kg6 47. Qe8+ Kg7 {Andreikin, likewise, cannot find a way to escape
checks that's favorable for him. Thus, the game logically ends in a peace
treaty.} (47... Kf5 48. b8=Q $18 {now Black doesn't have a check along the 5th
rank!}) 48. Qe7+ Kh6 49. Qf8+ Kh7 50. Qf7+ Kh6 51. Qf8+ Kh7 52. Qf7+ Kh6 53.
Qf8+ Kh7 54. Qf7+ {This is a game with rich opening ideas, a tense middlegame
struggle in which White fights to keep control of his advantage against
Black's desperate attempts to create counterplay and break from the shackles
of passivity, and a nerves-testing time trouble situation that gave Eljanov
problems and allowed Andreikin to come back. Subsequently after time-control,
Andreikin even showed ambition to win with his queening pawns by bravely
walking his majesty to the middle of the board! In the end, Eljanov minimizes
the damage and successfully stops Andreikin's ambitions by creating mating
threats, forcing Andreikin to engage in an inescapable repetition of checks. A
truly epic battle! 1/2-1/2 (54) Andreikin,D (2736)-Eljanov,P (2755) 79th Tata
Steel Chess-Masters 2017 [Sadorra, Julio]} 1/2-1/2


Challengers Section

Round 9 - Tuesday, January 24
Bok, B. ½-½ Grandelius, N.
Ragger, M. ½-½ Tari, A.
van Foreest, J. 0-1 Smirin, I
l'Ami, E. 1-0 Guramishvili, S.
Xiong, J. 1-0 Jones, G.
Tingjie, L. ½-½ Lu, S.
Hansen, E. 1-0 Dobrov, V.

In the Challengers section Gawain Jones, who was one of the leaders, lost his game to Jeffery Xiong. But Ilya Smirin won his game against Jorden van Foreest. Ragger and Smirin now lead with 6.5/9. Jeffery Xiong and Gawain Jones are right on their heels with 6.0/9.