Added on 1/23/2022


The Tata Steel is proving to be an exciting tournament! Today Sam Shankland, playing an excellent game, held at bay the World Champion. Sam played a quasi-perfect game with the white pieces, giving no chances to the Norwegian. The two GMs agreed on a draw at move 35 when there was nothing more to try on the board. Photo credit Lennart Ootes

After the game, Shankland said, 

"The tournament so far has been frustrating for me, but I am still enjoying it. It's exciting to play all these strong guys."

Well, Sam, you're not weak, we'd say!


Mamedyarov won with Praggnanandha, joining Magnus on top of the standings. Photo credit Lennart Ootes It was quite a crazy game, especially in the opening, but Mamedyarov had a much better position already at move 15, with a sizeable advantage. In the post-game interview, a journalist asked Mamedyarov, the event veteran, if changing the approach when playing younger GMs was challenging. Shak replied, very pragmatically, that he doesn't alter his style; all he does is try to play good and exciting chess.


Vidit bounced back and won with Grandelius. It was the second time in this tournament we saw the early g4 played by white. Both times it paid off; will it be something we see more often? Vidit, with today's win, climbs up again to share second place with Anish Giri.


Talking of Giri, who yesterday won without playing for the notorious Dubov's mask quarrel,  he won over the board today, defeating the strong Russian Esipenko with the black pieces. In an Italian game, Anish sacrificed a piece on g4. A brilliant victory by Giri. A feat that brings the Dutch super-GM in second place.


The Game of the Day was Caruana vs. Van Foreest, the most recent tournament winners. Photo credit Lennart Ootes Fabiano and Jorden engaged in a sharp battle in the Open Spanish. Caruana had two pieces for a rook, but Van Foreest obtained two extra central pawns. A beautiful game!


The good news at the beginning of the day was that Dubov tested negative to the PCR and was allowed to get back at the board without wearing a mask. The two Du's - Dubov and Duda - drew a game characterized by many exchanges. Duda, in the endgame, had a fastidious "a" pawn, which reached the second, but it was impossible to promote.



Karjakin and Rapport had an early draw by repetition in 23 moves. Tomorrow is the second rest day. Play resumes on Tuesday, at 8 AM EST - 14:00 local (CET). Stay tuned for GM Benjamin's recap of rounds 4-8!