Monday 21 January 2019

Very Smooth

There were at least two outstanding games in Round 8 of the 2019 Tata Steel Tournament, both played by the current tournament leaders Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. If I had to choose between the two, I'd slightly prefer Carlsen's win over Rapport, although Anand's win over Mamedyarov is also worth playing through.
Carlsen outplayed Rapport in 'classical' style. Both players chose what would be considered a 'normal' opening line, but Carlsen quickly made control of the d file the main issue for the game. He was able to use this pressure to get Rapport to create a hole on d5, after which his knight, then rook used the square on the way to attacking Rapport's kingside. The game ended in a nice little combination, reminiscent of how Capablanca would cash in an advantage.

Carlsen,M (2835) - Rapport,R (2731) [B47]
81st Tata Steel GpA Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 20.01.2019

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