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Tata Steel Masters 2024: Abdusattorov forges into the lead

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-01-31      Origin: Site

Nodirbek Abusattorov scored a crucial victory over Ju Wenjun in Round 11 of Tata Steel Masters and grabbed the lead. Gukesh D had a chance to keep up with the Uzbek GM but missed a couple of chances in the game with Alireza Firouzja and had to settle for a draw. Wei Yi and Vidit Gujrathi pulled off wins against Max Warmerdam and Parham Maghsoodloo, respectively, and joined Praggnanadhaa R and Giri, trailing the leader by a full point.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov – Ju Venjun | 1-0, 34 moves

In Giocco Piano Nodirbek surprised the Women's World Champion with unusual 7.c4!? blocking his light-squared bishop and it worked out for him as instead of natural 8…Bg4 (a typical move in such positions) Ju carried out somewhat sluggish maneuvers with her knight. White expanded on the queenside and, after taking control over the a-file, delivered a nice blow.

23. Nxf7! Kxf7 At this point, the opponents traded serious mistakes, but Ju made the last one.

24. Qa2?! (24. dxe4 Rd8 25. Nd5 Qc6 26. Qe2 Ke8 27. Nxf6+ Bxf6 28. Bxe6 Qxe6 29. Rxb7 was much stronger, but it was not easy to calculate all the lines). Here, in the case of 24... Rd8! 25. Bxe6+ Kf8 26. Bd5 Nxd5 27. Nxd5 Bxd5 28. Qxd5 Rxd5 29. Rxc7 exd3 30. Bd2 Rd4 White has to work for a draw. The Women's World Champion, however, played 24…Qc6? and after 25. Rxb7 Qxb7 26. Bxe6+ Ke8 27. dxe4 Qxe4 28. Nd5 Bd8 29. h3! Black had no arguments against the coordinated attack of White's pieces. Nodirbek conducted the final portion of the game in a clinical fashion and scored a full point.

Parham Maghsoodloo – Vidit Gujrathi | 0-1, 37 moves

The game saw a sharp tactical melee in the QGD, from which White emerged with an extra pawn, but his king got stuck in the center. Unluckily for Parham, choosing between aggressive and more solid continuations, he stayed true to himself and went for an active but erroneous move.

Instead of 20. Be3 with a slightly better position, the Iranian played 20.Bxh6? but it failed to 20…Qxc5! 21. Rxf6 Qe7! 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. Rf5 Rd8 24. h4 (better was 24. g3 Bxf5 25. Qxf5 Rac8) 24... Bxf5 25. Qxf5 Rd4 and Black won an exchange. The rest was a smooth sail for Vidit, who swiftly converted his material advantage.

Ding Liren – Jorden Van Foreest | ½-½, 25 moves

The game saw a popular line of English Opening in which Black sacrifices a pawn and trades the queens but builds a defensive line on dark squares. On move sixteen, Ding could have undertaken some activity in the center, but he preferred a more reserved approach. After some maneuvering in an equal position, a draw by repetition was agreed on move 25.

Gukesh D – Firouzja | ½-½, 38 moves

Alireza achieved a promising position on the black side of the Gruenfeld and put pressure on White's d5-pawn. Gukesh, in his turn, sacrificed it but pushed f4-f5 and got sufficient compensation in the form of weakening the opponent's kingside. Just a couple of moves down the road, the opponents reached the critical position of the entire game.

Here after 25…Nd5-f4? White had a very strong queen sacrifice 26.Rxd7! and after 26. Rxd7 Nxe6 27. fxe6 Black is doomed to an uphill battle with little chance of escape. Gukesh preferred to trade his queen for two rooks with 26.Qxd7 and got an edge anyway as Alireza erred with the very next move. However, on move 31, the young Indian missed another chance to obtain a considerable advantage, and the game ended in a draw by repetition.

Praggnanandhaa R – Alexander Doncheko | ½-½, 56 moves

Praggnanandhaa had an initiative throughout the game that saw the QGA, but his advantage never became decisive as Alexander found the best defensive moves at critical moments. White eventually won a pawn, but it was just another case of "all rook endgames are drawn" as Black comfortably held a draw.

Wei Yi – Max Warmerdam | 1-0, 27 moves

The most exciting game of the round started as the Bishop Opening, but after White played f2-f4 early on, it quickly took shape the King's Gambit. The opponents played the most principled moves, with White sacrificing a rook and Black accepting the challenge, but the evaluation of an erratic position surprisingly hovered about equal. Both demonstrated precise calculation up to a certain point, but Max's first mistake became fatal.

Black could have maintained equality with the precise 16... a5 17. Bxf8 Rxf8 18. Kb1 Qf6 19. d4 b5 20. Bd3 Bxf3 21. gxf3 Qxd6. Warmerdam, however, played 16…Bxf3? and after 17. gxf3 Ne5 18. Kb1 Qd4 19. Rxh1 Nxc4 20. dxc4 Qb6+ 21. Kc1 Rxf7 22. Rd1 Rff8 23. d7 White's d-passer decided the game in his favor.

Amish Giri – Ian Nepomniachtchi | ½-½, 54 moves

Ian equalized on the black side of the Dutch-Peruvian Gambit (a variation of the QGD), but his decision to keep more minor pieces on the board backfired as Anish gradually turned a slight edge into a sizable advantage. However, at the game's turning point, Giri was tempted by snatching a pawn but underestimated Black's counterplay.

After 26. Rce1 Rxe5 27. Rxe5 Qc6 28. Qb3 Kf8 29. h4 White could have exerted long-lasting pressure, with Black being doomed to passive defence. Anish captured the d-pawn with 26.Rxd5, but after 26... Bc6 27. Re1 Rcc8 28. Rde5 Rxe5 29. dxe5 Qe6 Ian got a serious counterplay against White's weak pawns. Giri quickly realized that the tide had changed and soon offered a draw, which was accepted.

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