Magnus Carlsen can still avoid failure in his first tournament of 2023, the year he relinquishes the classical chess world title. The still champion has shown today why he is, squeezing all his resources to knock down the Iranian Parham Maghsoodloo in a very tough fight. When he gave up, the leader, the Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattórov, and the 2nd in the world, the Chinese Liren Ding, had signed a tableau impossible in any other sport a long time ago. The Norwegian is one point behind the Uzbek -and halfway behind the Dutchman Anish Giri, 2nd- at the Tata Festival in Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) with three rounds to go after the break on Thursday.
This tournament, the Roland Garros of chess, it is very hard due to the number of days, thirteen, and the very high level of the fourteen participants. The organizers do not prohibit quick ties, although they do warn that they can be a reason not to be invited anymore. The interpretation that some stars on the board make of that policy is that there will be no consequences if one signs a quick draw from time to time; for example, before a day of rest. So the duels So – Giri, Abdusattórov – Ding, Rapport – Aronián and Caruana – Erigaisi had an improper development in a professional sport of the highest level.
Before Carlsen exhausted Maghsoodloo, the rival who embittered him on Tuesday with a well-deserved draw, the Indian Dommaraju Gukesh, 16, defeated his compatriot Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, 18, in a fratricidal fight without shields and with great ups and downs. And much later, after almost seven hours of fighting, the German Vicent Keymer, 19, had to suffer for the second consecutive day the enormous frustration of drawing a winning position, this time against the Dutch Jorden van Foreest (and on the eve against Abdusattórov ).
The calendar is somewhat less demanding for Carlsen than for the leader, because the Norwegian’s rivals will be So, Praggnanandhaa – against both with white – and Erigaisi (with black). Abdusattórov will have to face Giri on Friday and So on Saturday -in both games with black- to close the tournament on Sunday with white against Van Foreest.
Tenth round: So – Giri, tables; Abdusattorov – Ding, draws; Van Foreest-Keymer, draws; Rapport – Aronian, draws; Caruana – Erigaisi, draws; Gukesh – Praggnanandhaa, 1-0; Maghsoodloo – Carlsen, 0-1.
Classification: 1st Abdusattorov 7; 2nd Giri 6.5; 3rd-4th Carlsen and So 6; 5th-6th Caruana and Aronian 5.5; 7th-8th Praggnanandhaa and Rapport 5; 9th Ding 4.5; 10-12 Maghsoodloo, Gukesh and Van Forest 4; 13th-14th Erigaisi and Keymer 3.5.
Eleventh round (Friday, 2:00 p.m.): Carlsen–So; Praggnanandhaa–Maghsoodloo; Erigaisi-Gukesh; Aronian-Caruana; Keymer-Rapport; Ding–Van Forest; Giri-Abdusattorov.
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