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Tata Steel Masters R5: Grandelius takes sole lead, Harikrishna close on his heels

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/01/2021

Nils Grandelius scored his third victory of the tournament as he beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in his own domain Najdorf. Vachier-Lagrave went wrong with a novelty which Grandelius capitalized to pummel himself into the sole leader spot with 3.5/5 at the conclusion of Round 5. Giri made a move which he regretted immediately after making and made a draw with Harikrishna. Donchenko played solid and held the world champion Carlsen to a draw. Harikrishna, Carlsen, Giri and Caruana are at shared second spot with 3.0/5. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Grandelius scores the sole victory

Sweden no.1 Nils Grandelius beat World no.5 and Najdorf speacialist Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in his very own opening after the France no.1 made an inaccurate novelty. Grandelius admitted to spending almost an hour for the next two move but they were the right ones and eventually he converted his advantage into a victory. All other games ended up in draws, however Tari had a fantastic opportunity to beat Anton in the final parts of the endgame after fighting for a draw for the better part of the game.

Grandelius - Vachier-Lagrave 1-0

The Najdorf specialist Vachier-Lagrave made a novelty in the opening which was much less than perfect.

Position after 19...Qe6

19...Qe6 not only drops the valuable b7-pawn but also throws black off-balance. What do you think black should have done instead? The rest was just a matter of technique and Grandelius had no trouble in converting it into a victory.

Grandelius is having a fantastic event but Vachier-Lagrave is yet to score a victory in this event | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021
"Chess is important but it's not everything" - Grandelius | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Carlsen - Donchenko 0.5-0.5

Germany no.2 Donchenko might not be having the perfect debut but that makes up for the fact that he managed to hold the world champion to a draw with some solid play in the fifth round.

Position after 39.Ra2

The position is roughly equal but black has a weakness which white is looking for a way to exploit. Find out the best continuation for black after 39.Ra2.

Almost 2.5 years ago, Donchenko held Carlsen to a draw in their first encounter in European Cup | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021
"...The one I chose was actually quite dangerous" = Donchenko | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Firouzja - Van Foreest 0.5-0.5

Firouzja had an uneventful draw with Jordan Van Foreest.

Both Firouzja and Jordan were waiting for their opponent to make a mistake but neither made any | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Anton - Tari 0.5-0.5

Anton had a completely winning position in the endgame against Tari.

Position after 31...Rf5

Would you save a2 or go for h4? Eventually tables turned and it was Tari who had some winning chances.

Position after 54.Ke3

Find out the winning continuation for black after 54.Ke3.

Both Anton and Tari had their fair share of winning chances | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021
"I am still in shock" - Tari | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Giri - Harikrishna 0.5-0.5

Just when it seemed like things are getting interesting, the game ended up in a draw.

Position after 24...Rd8

The d3-pawn seems to have cramped up white's pieces. However in reality it's just the opposite, it is a weakness for black. Find out why.

The Giri-Hari encounter ended abruptly | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021
"After I made my move, I realized that I missed a huge opportunity" - Giri | Video: Tata Steel Chess Tournament

Caruana - Esipenko 0.5-0.5

The game between Caruana and Esipenko had an uneventful draw.

Caruana is very close behind the tournament leader | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021

Wojtaszek - Duda 0.5-0.5

The battle between Poland no.2 and 1 as expected turned out to be a draw.

The all-Poland battle did not yield a decisive result | Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit – Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2021
Tata Steel Masters 2021 Day 5 Commentary by Radja, Sagar, Amruta | Video: ChessBase India

Replay all games from Round 5

Standings after Round 5

Grandelius is in the sole lead, Harikrishna is in shared second along with Carlsen, Giri and Caruana | 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.


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