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Tata Steel Masters 2024: Gukesh And Abdusattorov Forge Ahead

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-01-25      Origin: Site

Gukesh D defeated Alexander Donchenko with the black pieces in Round 10 of Tata Steel Masters 2024 and grabbed the lead. Closer to the end of the day, Nodirbek Abdusattorov joined the Indian on the top after prevailing over Max Warmerdam in a long, topsy-turvy game. Praggnanandhaa and Giri drew with Black against Vidit and Firouzja respectively, while Ian Nepominachtchi reached the +1 mark after beating his old rival and the current World Champion Ding Liren. Gukesh and Abusattorov are going to the last rest day as the joint leaders on 6.5/10 with Praggnanandhaa and Giri trailing by a half point.

Alexander Donchenko – Gukesh D | 0-1, 57 moves

Playing on the white side of the Rubinstein Nimzo-Indian, Alexander Donchenko used the idea of his namesake Alexander Predke 12.h4, introduced at the end of 2021. Gukesh reaction to Kd7-b6-c4 to this plan was somewhat sluggish, and by advancing his kingside pawns, White grabbed the initiative. However, at this point, it was Alexander’s turn to err.

In case of natural 15. O-O-O cxd4 16. Nxd4 White is clearly better, but Alexander played a tempting but overambitious 15.d5, which was a serious mistake as after 15... Rb8 16. h5 b5 17. g5 Nd7 18. f4 Bf8 19. h6 g6 Black was ready to attack the opponent’s overstretched position. The players traded inaccuracies over the next several moves, but Alexander’s 22.Ne4, followed by Ng3, was the last straw.

Most likely, he missed a temporary exchange sacrifice 23…Rxe4! and after 24. Nxe4 Qe7 25. Nf6+ Qxf6 26. e4 Qd4+ 27. Kf3 Qxd5 Black got an overwhelming position. Gukesh’s conversion was far from ideal, but he eventually came out victorious.

Max Warmerdam – Nodirbek Abdusattorov | 0-1, 71 moves

The opponents “joined efforts” and created a very complex position out of the QGA in which Black gradually took control over the proceedings and struck on the kingside with a powerful 24…f4!

After 25. exf4 Nd3 26. Rc3 Nxb2 27. Qd2 Nxa4 28. bxa4 Bb4 29. g4 Nxg4 30. hxg4 Bxg4 31. Ng3 Nodirbek could have obtained a sizable advantage with 31…Qh6 whereas 31…Bf5, played by the Uzbek GM, turned the tables. After 32. Qe3 Bxc3 33. Nxc3 Bc2 34. Nce4 Bxe4 White could have got the better hand with 35.Bxe4, whereas 35. Nxe4, played by Max, lead to an equal position again.

At this point, the game took a new twist as Abdusttorov made several questionable moves and found himself on the verge of defeat.

Here, Max had three squares for the knight to retreat, followed by advancing his a-passer, and he chose the wrong one. After 42. Nc7 Rxf4 43. Qe5 Rfxd4 44. a6 Rd1 45. a7 Rd8 46. a8=Q, his a-pawn would have cost Black a rook. The Dutchman snatched the b-pawn with 42.Nxb4!? and after 42…Rxf4 committed a more serious error 43.Qb1? (instead of 43.Qe5) Rdxd4 43.Nd3 (43.Nxc6 fails to 43…Rxf2+!). According to chess engines, the position is in balance, but White should proceed with caution.

After protracted maneuvering, White overextended his defensive line and sent the king to the queenside, but the position remained roughly equal up to move 67 when Warmerdam cracked.

After 67.Qd5, chess engines show =, but Max played 67.Bc4?? Nodirbek did not miss an opportunity to pounce on White’s king and after 67...Qf6+ 68. Ka3 (68. Kc2 Rxf2+ 69. Nxf2 Qxf2+ 70. Re2 Rxe2+ 71. Bxe2 Qxe2+) 68... Ra1+ 69. Kb4 Rb8+ 70. Bb5 Qd4+ 71. Qc4 Rb1+ Max resigned, facing an imminent checkmate.

Ian Nepomniachtchi – Ding Liren | 1-0, 36 moves

Despite opting for a calm line of Ruy Lopez, Ian manifested his aggressive intentions with early g2-g4 followed by opening the g-file for his rooks. The World Champion confidently held his ground, but a dubious rook maneuver at the critical point cost him the game.

Two moves ago, Black played 29…Rb6. Here, instead of 29…Фd5, which offered many defensive options, Ding retreated his rook with 31…Rb8? and after 32. Qc5! Rd8 33. Ne4 Qe6 34. Rh4 Rd5 35. Qa3 g6 36. Nfg5, the Chinese GM resigned, being unable to dodge numerous threats.

Ju Wenjun – Parham Maghsoodloo | ½-½, 54 moves

Parham comfortably equalized with Black in the Vienna Variation of QGA but somewhat prematurely advanced his central pawns and ended up down a pawn. Still, Black had some compensation, and after a couple of inaccuracies by the Women’s World Champion, Maghsoodloo held a draw in a rook and knight endgame.

Vidit Gujrathi – Praggnanandhaa R | ½-½, 37 moves

Another Indian derby saw a popular line of the Bogo-Indian in which Vidit made a new move 13.Rab1, but then played the thematic c4-c5 anyway. White had a slight advantage, but after massive exchanges and mutual annihilation of pawn weakness, the opponents called it a day in a dead-drawn minor piece endgame.

Alireza Firouzja – Anish Giri | ½-½, 51 moves

In the reversed QGA, the players quickly stepped onto uncharted territory, but the subsequent play revolved around Black’s isolated pawn, which is a recurrent theme in such positions. Trying to create one more weakness in Black’s camp, Alireza advanced his kingside pawns and sacrificed a pawn, but Anish timely returned the gift to activate his pieces. After trading the rooks and removing all the pawns, the players agreed upon a draw on move 51.

Jorden Van Foreest – Wei Yi | ½-½, 36 moves

The opponents tested a rare line of Trompovsky and followed a recent game Nakamura – Caruana (2023) up to move 16. Jorden deviated with 16.Rb1, but just like Hikaru, did not achieve much. In the subsequent play, White sent his queen to the kingside, while Black infiltrated the opposite wing with his strongest piece and advanced his central pawns. After a tactical melee, the players went for a forced line in which Jorden won a pawn, but Wei was just in time to activate his heavy pieces and deliver perpetual.

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