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Tata Steel 2024 R8: Firouzja fabulous against Ding Liren, joins the lead with Gukesh and Giri

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/01/2024

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) scored a fantastic win against Ding Liren (CHN) in Round 8 of 86th Tata Steel Masters 2024. The world no.6 sacrificed an exchange after which the world champion blundered. His opponent proclaimed that it is a dangerous line for Black and he had to know a lot to defend. Ian Nepomniachtchi scored the only other win in the Masters against Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB). R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh and Vidit Gujrathi drew against Max Warmerdam (NED), Wenjun Ju (CHN) and Alexander Donchenko (GER) respectively. Gukesh, Anish Giri (NED) and Alireza Firouzja (FRA) are currently the three leaders at 5/8 each. Leon Luke Mendonca swindled Anton Korobov (UKR) to move to 5/8. Marc' Andria Maurizzi (FRA) is the new sole leader 5.5/8 after he defeated the previous one - Salem Saleh (UAE). Today is a rest day. Round 9 starts tomorrow Tuesday 23rd January at 2 p.m. local time, 6:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024

Leon and Divya win, Harika draws

"Yeah, for sure. I played him in Romania after his (World Championship) Match and I also beat him there. I think I have decent score against him but he beat previously in World Cup (2019). Yeah it was a very interesting game." - Alireza Firouzja after winning against the world champion, Ding Liren. "I risked a lot myself. Yesterday, he didn't even do anything special. I blundered very immediately. I just missed Kd3. That was it. I was very upset, but what can you do? I have a lot of experience after losing on how you should come back." Firouzja on how he deals with losses and makes a comeback.

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) is back in the championship picture after his win against the world champion - Ding Liren (CHN) | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024

Firouzja - Ding Liren: 1-0

Alireza Firouzja (FRA, 2759) has never lost a Classical rated game against the world champion - Ding Liren (CHN, 2780). In fact, Firouzja won their last Classical encounter last year after Liren became world champion.

Position after 16...g6

Sacrificing a pawn 11.d5 was part of White's preparation. He was trying to recollect it. "This is a very dangerous line for Black. He has to know a lot to defend." - Firouzja. White went for an interesting exchange sacrifice 17.Rxe7 Nxe7 18.Rxd4 Qc7?? White figured out that Qc7 was a mistake. It surprised him. Afterwards, it was easy for him to convert his advantage into a full point.

Alireza Firouzja beats World Champion Ding Liren | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Ian Nepomniachtchi - Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB): 1-0 | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024

D Gukesh drew against the reigning Women's World Champion - Wenjun Ju (CHN)

Korobov - Leon

Position after 27...Rh8

GM Anton Korobov (UKR, 2663) was winning for the better part of the game against GM Leon Luke Mendonca (2608). He could have won the game even in the above position if he went 28.dxc6 Rgxh7 29.Rd2. Instead, White went 28.Nh2? Qg3 29.Rb3?? Qxe5 and Black went on to win the game.

Leon Luke Mendonca on his win against Anton Korobov | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP) - GM Harika Dronavalli: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024

GM Marc' Andria Maurizzi (FRA) defeated the sole leader GM Salem Saleh (UAE) to gain become the new sole leader | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024

Divya - Eline

Position after 22.f5!

IM Divya Deshmukh (2420) decided to go for 22.f5! as she could not find a way for her opponent to defend the attack after 21...Nb8. 22....gxf5 23.Nxf5 exf5 24.Qxf5 Rg7 25.e6 and it was over for Black.

IM Divya Deshmukh on her win against IM Eline Roebers | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

IM Divya Deshmukh defeated IM Eline Roebers (NED) convincingly

Replay live stream

Tata Steel Chess 2024 Round 8 Live Commentary by Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 8 Masters games

Replay Round 8 Challengers games

Round 8 results

White scores two wins in Round 8 of the Masters section | Photo: Tata Steel Chess

Once again four decisive games in Round 8 Challengers section | Photo: Tata Steel Chess

Standings after Round 8

Alireza Firouzja joins D Gukesh and Anish Giri in the lead | Photo: Tata Steel Chess

Marc' Andria Maurizzi becomes the new sole leader 5.5/8 | Photo: Tata Steel Chess

Round 9 pairings

Round 9 Masters pairings | Source: Official site

Round 9 Challengers pairings | Source: Official site


Starting from Saturday 13th to 27th January, all round starts at 2 p.m. local time, 6:30 p.m. IST. Only Sunday 28th January, the final round will start at 12 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. Rest days are same for both Masters and Challengers section - 17th, 22nd and 25th January 2024.

Time Control

100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds increment for each move starting from the first move.


Official site

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