chessbase india logo

Tata Steel Chess: Carlsen and Anand lead after round 8

by Aditya Pai - 21/01/2019

Out of the five tournament leaders, only Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand retained their lead at the conclusion of the eighth round in the Masters' segment of Tata Steel Chess. Anand, as white, came up with a counter-intuitive opening novelty in the Caro-Kann Defence and went on to win a fine tactical game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in only 29 moves! Carlsen, who was playing GM Richard Rapport with the white pieces, thoroughly outplayed his Hungarian opponent in a Sicilian Taimanov to reach 5.5/8. Maksim Chigaev continued his fine form in the Challengers and took sole lead in the tournament after his third straight win. Andrey Esipenko also climbed up to the second place on the leaderboard after defeating the Indian chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa.

And then there were two

After eight rounds, Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand have remained at the top of the leaderboard in the Masters’ segment of Tata Steel Chess. In round 8, which witnessed four decisive games – the most in a single round, thus far – Anand scored his second straight win by defeating Shakhriyar Mamedyarov while Magnus Carlsen settled scores with Richard Rapport.


Anand was really seen in his element in his eighth round game against Mamedyarov. In a Caro-Kann Defence game, the Indian ace came up with a counter-intuitive novelty, giving up his light-squared bishop for the black knight on move 11 and stunned his opponent very soon with a tactical wonder.

Position after 19.h3

The computer evaluates the position to be equal, suggesting that black should immediately gang up on white’s backward c2 pawn with 19…Qc7. Mamedyarov, however, did not sense the danger ahead. He went for 19...b6, perhaps fearing 20.Qd2 which forked the g5 and a5 pawns. In response, Anand whipped out 20.c4, paying no heed to how many black pieces cover that square.


Taking with the pawn, of course, allows white to gobble a full piece with 21.Rxd7. Mamedyarov, instead, went for 20…Rxc4, when 21.Rxd5 exploited another tactical idea. There followed 21…Rf7 22.Rd3 g4, after which white was much better. Now under pressure, Mamedyarov made another critical tactical error, allowing Anand to exploit the weakness on d5 one more time.

Position after 26…Rf4

Black’s last move has once again opened the a2-g8 diagonal, leaving the king vulnerable to a potential check. Anand exploited this immediately with 27.Nc2 Rbe4 and, once again, 28.Rxd5! After 28…exd5 29.Qxd5+ Mamedyarov resigned as 29…Kf8 leads to the loss of the d7 bishop after 30.Rd1. If black goes 30…Ke8, defending the bishop, 31.Ng6 delivers the knock-out punch.

Anand talks about his win over Mamedyarov | Tata Steel Chess

GM Richard Rapport was one of the few players who had a better score against Magnus Carlsen – until yesterday, that is. Carlsen pointed out after the game that the last time he had played Rapport, which also happened to be in the eighth round of Tata Steel two years ago, the Hungarian Grandmaster had come out on top. This time, the colours were reversed. Magnus was playing with white, Rapport had the blacks.


Like he had done against Radjabov in round three, Rapport put his faith once again in the Sicilian Taimanov. Carlsen played in his trademark style with the 6.g3 variation, adopting a solid positional approach. His 14.Qe1 won him the praise of all pundits as he sought to undermine Black’s pawn centre.

Position after 14.Qe1

White’s intent is to push forward with e5 while also keeping an eye on the c3 square, from where the queen could, eventually, threaten checkmate and, thereby distract the e7 bishop off the defence of d6. There followed 14…Nd7 15.Rd1 Bb7 16.Qc3 Bf6 17.Qd2 and soon black decided to body block the e5 square by going 20…e5 himself and leaving the d5 square for the taking.  

Position after 30…Bf8

As can be seen, Carlsen had, soon, firmly planted a knight on the conceded outpost. But the importance of the diagrammed position is not because the knight’s firm establishment on d5 but due to its sudden retreat from there. Carlsen went 31.Ne3! in the position, vacating the d5 square to carry out a rook lift. Once the last white piece had joined the attack, it did not take too long for Carlsen to finish the game off in style.

"It was nice to get revenge" - Magnus Carlsen | Tata Steel Chess
GM Daniel King analyzes Carlsen vs Rapport | PowerPlayChess

After his loss in the previous round, GM Vidit Gujrathi was paired against Anish Giri. The two signed peace after 36 moves in a Queen’s Gambit. | Photo: Alina L’ami

All games


1Carlsen, Magnus5.5 / 82835288318.25  ½½  ½ ½ 111½
2Anand, Viswanathan5.5 / 82773288618.25  ½ ½½  ½½1 11
3Nepomniachtchi, Ian5.0 / 82763287820½½ ½1  ½  ½½ 1
4Ding, Liren5.0 / 82813283219.75½ ½ ½½½ ½1  1 
5Giri, Anish5.0 / 82783285817.75 ½0½  ½1  ½1 1
6Radjabov, Teimour4.5 / 82757278816.5 ½ ½  1½  ½½½½
7Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi4.0 / 82695274815.75½  ½½0 ½½½  1 
8Duda, Jan-Krzysztof4.0 / 82738273014  ½ 0½½ 1½  01
9Fedoseev, Vladimir3.5 / 82724269715½½ ½  ½0 1 ½0 
10Shankland, Samuel3.5 / 82725269512.25 ½ 0  ½½0 ½½1 
11Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar3.0 / 82817268111.500½ ½½   ½ ½ ½
12Rapport, Richard3.0 / 82731268610.750 ½ 0½  ½½½  ½
13Van Foreest, Jorden2.5 / 8261226179.7500 0 ½0110    
14Kramnik, Vladimir2.0 / 8277725828½00 0½ 0  ½½  


Russian GM Maksim Chigaev continued his fine form in the Challengers’ group. In the eighth round, he scored his second straight win, this time defeating tail-ender, Stefan Kuipers in a very sharp Italian Opening.

Position after 15…Bxd4

Kuipers gave up an exchange here with 16.Nd3, hoping to exploit black’s weak queenside. There followed 16…0-0-0 17.Nf4 Qf6 and eventually black managed to hold his position together and make his extra material count.

GM Andrey Esipenko defeated R Praggnanandhaa to join Vladislav Kovalev in second place at 5.5/8 | Photo: Alina L’ami

All games


1Chigaev, Maksim6.0 / 82604276518.5 ½   ½ ½1½ 111
2Kovalev, Vladislav5.5 / 82687272422.75½ ½11 ½½  ½ 1 
3Esipenko, Andrey5.5 / 82584272820.75 ½   ½1 ½11½ ½
4Gledura, Benjamin4.5 / 82615264718 0  ½1½½½1  ½ 
5Van Foreest, Lucas4.5 / 82502263316 0 ½ ½ 1½½ 1½ 
6L'Ami, Erwin4.5 / 82643259815.75½ ½0½  1  ½ ½1
7Korobov, Anton4.5 / 82699262214.25 ½0½   ½1  ½½1
8Bareev, Evgeny4.0 / 82650259515.75½½ ½00½   1 1 
9Maghsoodloo, Parham4.0 / 82679256112.50 ½½½ 0   ½1 1
10Keymer, Vincent4.0 / 82500253311.25½ 00½     ½½11
11Praggnanandhaa R3.5 / 82539254311.25 ½0  ½ 0½½ ½ 1
12Paehtz, Elisabeth2.5 / 8247724319.250 ½ 0 ½ 0½½  ½
13Saduakassova, Dinara2.0 / 824722420900 ½½½½0 0    
14Kuipers, Stefan1.0 / 82470226940 ½  00 000½  

Related news:
टाटा स्टील मास्टर्स R4 : हरिकृष्णा विश्व टॉप 20 में पहुंचे

@ 20/01/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
टाटा स्टील मास्टर्स 3 : हरिकृष्णा नें दी निल्स को मात

@ 19/01/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
टाटा स्टील मास्टर्स R 2 - निल्स की लगातार दूसरी जीत

@ 18/01/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
टाटा स्टील R1 : कार्लसन ,अनीश नें किया जीत से आरंभ

@ 17/01/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
टाटा स्टील : सबसे पहले एमवीएल से खेलेंगे हरिकृष्णा

@ 15/01/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
शतरंज का विम्बलडन :टाटा स्टील 2021: 3 दिन बाकी

@ 12/01/2021 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
टाटा स्टील मास्टर्स - भारत से हरिकृष्णा करेंगे शिरकत

@ 23/12/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz 2020 cancelled owing to Covid-19 pandemic

@ 19/11/2020 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Fabiano's fabulous finale

@ 27/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Caruana conquers the Wimbledon of Chess

@ 26/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Alireza yet to scale the ultimate height

@ 23/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Tata Steel R10: A pretty easy day for Magnus

@ 22/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Tata Steel R08: Fabi joins Alireza in the lead

@ 20/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Tata Steel R07: The grind of a future World Champion

@ 19/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Tata Steel R06: A dastardly Dubov onslaught

@ 18/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
A valiant Vishy in Eindhoven

@ 17/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Ganguly's Catalan masterclass, Nihal's robust endgame play

@ 15/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Alireza Firouzja leads Tata Steel Masters

@ 14/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Vishy's vexation in the Italian

@ 13/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
How a 2700+ prodigy punishes an opening mess-up

@ 12/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is all set to begin in Wijk Aan Zee

@ 11/01/2020 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
A thrilling experience at the Tata Steel Chess India 2019

@ 09/12/2019 by Lokesh Natoo (en)
Final words of the two chess greats before they bade adieu to the city of joy

@ 02/12/2019 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Wesley So on becoming the first Fischer Random World Champion

@ 01/12/2019 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
10 things that made the Tata Steel Chess India 2019 special

@ 30/11/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Vishy on Vishy gems!

@ 29/11/2019 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Aronyak Ghosh wins Tata Steel Chess Festival 2019 Open Rapid

@ 27/11/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Carlsen is the winner of Tata Steel Chess India 2019

@ 26/11/2019 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)
Scandinavian, cheap tricks, brilliant tactics at Tata Steel Chess India blitz

@ 25/11/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Carlsen performs at an astronomical 3027 at the Tata Steel India Rapid

@ 25/11/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praloy Sahoo wins a 'Dream Moment'

@ 25/11/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Somak Palit wins Tata Steel Chess Festival 2019 Open Blitz

@ 23/11/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Magnus Carlsen takes on the Vishy Anand best games quiz

@ 22/11/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
So, Ding, Nakamura, Giri and Hari take Kolkata by storm

@ 21/11/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Tata Steel Chess Rapid and Blitz 2019 Press Conference

@ 07/11/2019 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Anish Giri - The Indian connection

@ 05/02/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Anand on Wijk: "It's a bit like coming home"

@ 04/02/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess 2019: Carlsen wins his seventh title

@ 28/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess: Giri's win stands out among the rest

@ 26/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess: Vidit crushes Vladimir Kramnik in merely 29 moves!

@ 24/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess: Nepo joins Anand and Carlsen at the top

@ 23/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
टाटा स्टील 2019 - भारत के लिए आनंद ही आनंद !

@ 22/01/2019 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Tata Steel Chess: Anand beats Kramnik and joins the lead!

@ 20/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Vidit Gujrathi: "I, like everyone else, want to perform well"

@ 18/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess: Ding joins Nepo as tournament leader

@ 17/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess: Vidit Gujrathi, Anish Giri join Anand and Ding in second place

@ 16/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess: Vidit stands strong against Carlsen's trademark grind

@ 15/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess: Anand, Nepo retain lead after short but sharp draws

@ 14/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Tata Steel Chess 2019 Round 1: Anand and Nepomniachtchi open with wins

@ 13/01/2019 by Aditya Pai (en)
Vintage Vishy wins blitz and hearts in Kolkata

@ 16/11/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
What lies under the surface!

@ 13/11/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
6 major things that happened on the final day of Tata Steel Chess India Rapid 2018

@ 12/11/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
Tata Steel India Rapid Day 2: Nakamura sets the stage on fire!

@ 11/11/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
Tata Steel India Round 1-3: Harikrishna, Mamedyarov and Aronian lead with 2.0/3

@ 10/11/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
The opening ceremony of the first super tournament on Indian soil

@ 09/11/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)
Historical moment: Super tournament to be held in India for the first time ever!

@ 15/09/2018 by Sagar Shah (en)