Looking back at Tata Steel Chess 2019
I was in shared lead before the last two rounds with home favorite Anish Giri. In the 12thround I got an objectively big advantage from the opening against young Duda, but it was surprisingly difficult to make any progress without allowing significant counterplay or seriously compromising my king safety. I allowed much of my advantage to disappear without necessarily making it easier for Duda to defend. I liked the plan with 45.Kc1 and Bc2, and after a lot of maneuvering (and moves) I managed to win an important victory securing sole lead before the last round against runner-up Giri.
In R13 Giri didn’t make much progress in the Sveshnikov variation as white, and he tried a more than dubious exchange sacrifice that wasn’t too hard to refute. As black I was better in a complicated position, and decided to simplify to a drawn position to secure sole victory!
As usual the organizers did a great job, and I continue to feel comfortable and happy about spending most of January on the Dutch coast 🙂
I would have preferred to play again quite soon after the encouraging Tata Steel Chess experience, but the elite tournament program is curiously skewed this year. After a two months break, the plan is to play a lot more than in previous years from late March throughout the year.
Yesterday I played a short blitz exhibition match on chess24.com against Peter Svidler and won comfortably 5.5-0.5.
My next event with my longtime main sponsor Simonsen Vogt Wiig is in Nice March 12th!