A friendly dinner
As usual, it started with two opening ceremonies. I do enjoy those quite a lot. The sphere is very relaxed, with lots of people you already met and those you still haven't. It is nice to get some social doze before fully diving into the world of Anand's and Carlsen's and their opening repertoires.
At first there was the opening of the group-C. I remember two years ago it was of a more importance to me, as I was a participant myself, yet I was there again, as all the players, also from the top group, usually do attend the evening. The friendly dinner followed by the drawing of lots pulled us all into the 'tournament modus', not even talking about the participants of the C-group, who already knew who their opponents in the first round will be and were probably already dreaming of going back to room and start preparing...
Garry's lucky number
The next day there was the opening ceremony, for us, the players of A and B group. A cup of tea was followed by the simple traditional procedure of pushing on the red button. It isn't the most complicated way to decided the colours, but I guess to have 42 chess players doing something complicated, must inevitably lead to some trouble (may chess players forgive me some irony?), so the red-button is more than understandable.
|Pushing the button|
The pairing is in fact, probably of a lesser importance than it feels right after the opening ceremony. I had mixed feelings about my 'Dutch start' (my first two opponents were Erwin and Jan) and my feelings about 7 blacks, among which were those against Anand, Kramnik and Carlsen, were a bit less mixed, to put it mildly. Yet, I was happy with the tournament getting closer and closer and my fighting mood was only getting better and better with every minute. The opening ceremony wasn't very eventful for me, besides the official, drawing of lots part. Or well, it maybe was. Unlike my previous experience, when it was all very quiet, peaceful and friendly, this time I was travelling through the 'tent' (place where the opening ceremony took place. Not to be confused with the one you take to the camping, also being the one from the Sherlock Holmes joke *hyperlink*.), from one interviewer to another, getting wet in between, with no jacket on, because a newspaper photographer (obviously not Fred Lucas), told me 'the lighting was beautiful outside' ...Anyway, it was an unusual 'media' experience and as Dutch people like to put it 'naja, dat hoort er ook bij', what would mean something like 'well, it's also a part of it'. And that's right.
Well, as I said I was more than waiting for the tournament to start and the feeling of something big and special to come was in the air.
The first round, however, quickly put me back to Earth...
Erwin l'Ami - Anish Giri
|Erwin l'Ami - Anish Giri (½-½)|
My second game, the one against Jan Smeets, with white by the way (after more or less10 moves of that game, I forgot who was white and who was black...), was really a tough one...
Anish Giri - Jan Smeets
|Photo courtesy of Chessvibes|
Closing CeremonyFirst 'Johan van Hulst prize' for Anish
The organizers of TATA Steel Chess Tournament created a special prize for the "Best Youth Achievement", called the 'Johan van Hulst Prize' named for Professor Johan van Hulst. Anish received this prize for his impressive performance in this strong tournament.
Round 13Last round and final press conference
All games of last round in Group A were drawn. Anish had a draw against Ruslan Ponoma- ryov of Ukraine.
There was a press conference with winner Hikaru Nakamura and Anish after the final round. Here is the video provided by
Round 12A nice game against World Champion
"I thought I was winning during a large part of the game, but hadn't found a straight win...It wasn't that simple."
We bring you the English version of GM Sergey Shipov's interesting live commentary at Crestbook (translated by Chess in Translation ).
"Today Anish Giri played the game of his life, but he couldn't bring it to its logical conclusion. He sprung an unexpectedly early surprise on his opponent in the opening, skillfully beat off White's attack, switched to counterattack, and then in a complex struggle achieved a big advantage, but didn't have the energy to convert it. He's still a little wet behind the ears? But fans of Giri (and himself) have no need to get incredibly upset. With play like that at 16 years of age (and the World Champion barely managing to escape as White) you can face the future boldly. This guy will go far?".
|The rest day fun!|
|Thanks to Fred Lucas||
Round 11Another draw in round 11 against Aleksey Shirov
|3rd rest day...|
|Photo impression ( Chessvibes )||
Round 10A draw against Levon Aronian
Anish had one more draw, this time against World No. 3 Levon Aronian from Armenia.
Postmortem of the game!
Levon surprised Anish in the opening. "I decided not to take risk and play solid and safe" he said after the game. "18. f4 or 18. Bh3 were possible but 18. e3 - which I played - was safer."
Anish thought 23.. Nc5 and 25 .. Nc5 were not that good moves by Aronian. "23 ..Nf6 was better and I had seen that. I did not have that much time left and decided to go for the move repetition. Maybe, with 24. Bf1 or 26. Bf1, I could try to play for a win."
Round 9A draw against Grischuk in round 9
Anish's game with World's no. 7 ranked player Aleksander Grischuk from Russia turned out to be pretty interesting.
In the beginning, white captured the space, but he was in time trouble; while black managed to develop the pieces. The initiative alternately changed from one to another. Anish missed a wining opportunity (38...Qxe6 39.Qxf4+ Kg6! 40.Be4+ Kg7 41.Rc7+ Bd7 with a piece up; see diagram below), and had to settle for a draw.
We bring here the game analysis by Elshan Moradiabadi for Chessbase:
2nd rest day...
Interesting video report...
Round 8A win against Wang Hao in round 8
"It was a smooth win. My opponent made some mistakes ? well, quite a few mistakes, actually, and I had the best of play throughout. I may have missed the best continuation here or there, but on the whole, I am very satisfied."
"It's a relief not to have to think about the defeats I suffered in the two previous rounds. Of course, I realized I wouldn't remain unbeaten making my debut in the tournament's top group, but I don't think I've ever lost two games in a row, although my coach claims he once beat me twice at blitz."
Official video report:
|Pondering over the surprising move 7.Qa4 by Kramnik...|
Round 7Second loss in a row!
Anish suffered his second loss, this time against former World Champion and No. 4 World ranking Russia's Vladimir Kramnik.
We bring you here a part of the official video report, where you can see the brief comments of both players right after the game...
Round 6Ian upset Anish
We bring you the English version of Sergey Shipov's interesting live com- mentary at Crestbook (translated by Chess in Translation ):
After the debacle on the black side of the Grunfeld in Round 4, Ian Nepom- niachtchi bounced back today in style against Anish Giri. Sergey Shipov memorably described the opening phase, where Giri bravely refused to take a draw, with reference to Gandalf combatting a ferocious monster.
GM Sergey Shipov's live commentary on:
Tata Steel Chess 2011, Rd 6
Anish Giri - Ian Nepomniachtchi
【 ギリ 対 ネポニシチ 戦 】
Round 5A draw against Vachier-Lagrave
Anish Giri was sort of relieved after his game with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the fifth round of the Tata Steel Tournament. The Frenchman surprised him in the opening: 9.Ng5 in a well known line of the Petroff Defence. After that move Anish thought for a long time not managing to find a clear path to equality however. 'I had checked the line with 9. Ng5, of course', Anish said. 'It was only behind the board that it dawned to me how strong the move really was. I realised that both 9.. Bxg5 and 9.. Bf5 were both not completely satisfying.'
A little later in the game another awkward moment for Anish. 'I had planned 14.. b5 but when the moment arrived to play the move, again, I could not make it work', Anish said. 'After 14..Rfd8 I was worse and had only little time for the rest of the game.'
During the final phase of the game Anish said he was lucky to find 33..Qc6 covering all the weak squares in his position in one move. 'I had underestimated the kingside attack Maxime started with 31.g5!', Anish stated. 'In some lines I was calculating, my king was in a lot of danger. I do not know if he (Vachier-Lagrave) missed a win but if so I would not be surprised.'
1st rest day in Wijk aan ZeeHow does Dutch GM John van der Wiel see the condition and the chances of each player in A-group. We bring you the video with his comments (video courtesy of the tournament organizer):
The media fever: 'Our New Young Hero!'Dutch chess arena has been witnessing the massive media coverage on the latest event associated with two youngsters - Anish Giri and Magnus Carlsen. The Dutch mainstream media has highlighted Anish's victory over World no. 1 in the forefront. This would definitely be an added value for the popularity of this mind game in the Netherlands. We will try to come up with an overview on this over the coming days.
Round 4A draw against Hikaru Nakamura
Despite achieving some advantage out of the opening, Anish was unable to realize a complicated endgame, so had to be satisfied with a draw. We bring you a video report of Round 4 (courtesy of official tournament site):
Round 3Anish upset Magnus in Round 3!
Anish Giri upset Magnus Carlsen in the third round of the 73rd Tata Steel Chess Tournament. The young Dutchman only needed 22 moves and little more than an hour to beat the world number one with black. Second time did Carlsen lose to a player younger than himself. Carlsen is twenty years old, Giri sixteen.
Vladimir Chuchelov was one of the first to realize what was happening. 'I once checked the line myself for white and it decided that is was very bad', the Belgian coach of Giri said.
In the meantime, Giri almost could not believe his eyes in De Moriaan. 'It was so easy', he said, 'the quality of the game was not very high'. After he resigned Carlsen in a single gesture showed his disappointment about his performance, and said 'I just missed 20?e3, it's as simple as that.'
'The line of the Grunfeld Defence he played was definitely no home preparation', Giri told the press. 'At some point he played an unusual move, probably to get me out of my preparation. But as it turned out, it was not a very good move.'
In the Chess Pavilion – where the games are followed closely every day – the audience went wild, of course. At some point it became clear to them that Carlsen had no more tricks up his sleeve and was about to resign.
Here is the video, kindly provided to us by Chessvibes, in which Anish shows his win against Magnus:
Round 2Game of the day: a 'nice' escape against Jan Smeets
Following yesterday's a quick win against Alexei Shirov (thanks to a nice preperation), Jan Smeets was about to repeat his home-cooked taste. As Jan expressed, he had prepared even deeper for today. Anish had to work hard over the board, and eventually was able to hold the game demonstrating nice defence ability.
This game won the prize of best game of the day. We bring you here the videos, provided by Chessvibes, with game analysis by both players:
Round 1A draw against Erwin l'Ami (2624)
|Picture courtesy: Alina L'Ami|
The resulting endgame looked better for Giri but things weren't so easy. 'Probably I should not have exchanged rooks', he thought after the game. I should have tried a plan involving ..a6 instead. After the rooks went off I think I was actually worse.'
L'Ami returned the favour in the final stage of the game. 'I thought I was winning. I totally missed the move 54.. Kd5! Then again, the position might be drawish anyway. After 53. Ka5 he can play 53.. Nd4.
Giri was not satisfied with his first performance on the main stage in Wijk aan Zee. 'The quality of this game was probably not good enough for the A-group. I will have to improve very quickly'.
|1 - Anand, Viswanathan||½||½||½||½||½||½||½||½||1||1||1||½||1|
|2 - Aronian, Levon||½||½||½||1||½||½||½||1||½||1||½||½||½|
|3 - Carlsen, Magnus||½||½||0||½||1||1||1||0||½||½||1||½||1|
|4 - Giri, Anish||½||½||1||½||0||½||½||0||½||½||½||½||1|
|5 - Grischuk, Alexander||½||0||½||½||½||½||0||½||0||0||1||½||0|
|6 - Kramnik, Vladimir||½||½||0||1||½||1||½||½||½||1||½||½||0|
|7 - L`Ami, Erwin||½||½||0||½||½||0||0||½||½||½||½||½||0|
|8 - Nakamura, Hikaru||½||½||0||½||1||½||1||1||½||1||1||1||½|
|9 - Nepomniachtchi, Ian||½||0||1||1||½||½||½||0||½||½||0||0||1|
|10 - Ponomariov, Ruslan||0||½||½||½||1||½||½||½||½||½||1||½||0|
|11 - Shirov, Alexei||0||0||½||½||1||0||½||0||½||½||0||0||½|
|12 - Smeets, Jan||0||½||0||½||0||½||½||0||1||0||1||0||½|
|13 - Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime||½||½||½||½||½||½||½||0||1||½||1||1||½|
|14 - Wang, Hao||0||½||0||0||1||0||1||½||0||1||½||½||½|