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Tata Steel Masters R11: Giri is still in the sole lead

by Shahid Ahmed - 30/01/2021

Anish Giri continues his fantastic run in the 83rd Tata Steel Chess Masters 2021 as he held Carlsen to a solid draw. With this draw, Giri maintained his sole lead at 7.5/11. Firouzja-Caruana had an exciting draw as both sides had decent chances but neither seized them. They are joined by Jorden Van Foreest at the shared second spot with 7.0/11. Dutch no.2 Jorden beat Harikrishna after the latter misplayed in the opening. With two rounds to go, Giri is definitely looking to be the favorite to clinch the championship. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Jorden Van Foreest joins Caruana and Firouzja in the pursuit

Anish Giri played solid and held world champion Carlsen to a draw. Firouzja-Caruana also ended up in a draw. Although the game was an exciting one as Caruana had some chances early in the middlegame but after 50 minutes of thought, he thought that he didn't have enough. Later Firouzja got a decent chance in the endgame which he did not take either. Dutch no.2 Jorden Van Foreest beat Harikrishna to jump to the shared second spot. Tari scored an upset victory over Esipenko and almost dashed his hope of a podium finish in his debut.

Giri is just two games away from winning the event | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Carlsen - Giri 0.5-0.5

Carlsen-Giri had a solid draw. Their last five online encounters also ended up in draws. The last decisive classical game in an over-the-board tournament was in Zagreb Grand Chess Tour in June 2019.

Position after 7...d5

Giri was determined to do something in the game. The move 7...d5 speaks for itself but of course world champion did not make any mistake.

Anish Giri talks about his game and more | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Carlsen made eight draws so far, one more than Giri | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Firouzja - Caruana 0.5-0.5

Firouzja made a tactical inaccuracy which Caruana thought for 50 minutes but couldn't make anything out of it, so he opted not to go for it.

Position after 19.Bc4

19.Bc4 creates some chances for black. What is it?

Position after 20.Ng3

It wouldn't have been as effective for black as in the previous diagram but black could still destroy white's kingside after 20.Ng3. How? The game went on with 20...Nd5

Position after 31.Rg4

Black had another opportunity after 31.Rg4. This time things could have completely turned into black's favor without taking much of a risk. What did he miss?

Position after 35...Kg7

White has a decisive advantage in thie position after 35...Kg7. How should white continue?

Firouzja talks about the misses by both sides in the game | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament
Caruna talks about spending 50 minutes calculating Ng2 | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Firouzja-Caruana had an exciting game where both sides had decent chances | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Jorden Van Foreest - Harikrishna 1-0

Harikrishna went wrong early in the opening against Jorden Van Foreest.

Position after 13...d3

There is just no way for black to make further damage after 13...d3 as white gets enough time to consolidate. To continue the attack, black had to play 13...fxg4. After 14.Bxd3 black had zero compensation and it was completely lost.

Jorden talks about why the sacrifice doesn't work in the position he had and more | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

With this win, Jorden is now at shared second position with 7.0/11 | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

British legend Nigel Short tweeted on witnessing too many Italian games in Round 11

Tari - Esipenko 1-0

Tari made a short work of Esipenko in just 33 moves as the latter made a positional mistake which completely turned things into the Norwegian's favor.

Position after 24.axb4

What should black do here? Take the rook at a1 or do something else? Esipenko made an incorrect decision which slowly spiraled things out of his control.

Tari scored an upset victory over Esipenko | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Tata Steel Masters 2021 Round 11 Live Commentary by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay all games from Round 11

Round 11 results

Only two decisive games and once again white won them both | Photo: Official site

Standings after Round 11

Giri maintains his sole lead | Photo: Official site


Starting from Saturday 16th January, all round starts at 6:30 p.m. IST, only Sunday 31st January, the final round will start at 5:30 p.m. IST. Rest days are - 20th, 25th and 28th January.

Time Control

100 Minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds cumulative increment for each move starting from the first move.


Tata Steel Chess official site

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