Tata Steel Challengers: Wei Yi Leads By 1-Point Margin Before Final Round; Timman Resigns Instead of Winning a Piece

Время публикации: 24.01.2015 21:46 | Последнее обновление: 24.01.2015 22:07

The field of the Tata Steel Challengers ('B-tournament') is being dominated by two rating favorites, David Navara and Wei Yi. In the latest two rounds, however, the 15 years old Chinese ultra-talent has got one point ahead of his rival, having defeated Bart Michiels yesterday and delivered a checkmate to Anne Haast today.

WEI YI - HAAST (round 11)

25.Bd8+! Ke6 26.Qh3#!

Both Navara and Wei Yi were having 8 points after 10 rounds, but then Navara drew his next 2 games, unlike Wei Yi who continued his impressive winning series. This means that the Chinese prodigy, who has now 10 points out of 12 (!), needs only a draw (with Black vs Salem Saleh) in the last round to secure the clear victory in the tournament. According to our source, the winner of the Challengers has been promised participation in the main group for 2016.

The ones to hold Navara back were Valentina Gunina and young American GM Samuel Sevian.

Valentina Gunina vs David Navara, round 10: a friendly start (see our pictorial report)

As for the Russian women's champion, her today's game was quite amusing. After a solid draw with White vs the Czech GM, she was facing Jan Timman who is having a very unsuccessful tournament. However, today the Dutch veteran had every chance for a win: White has got a strategically winning position right after the opening, and besides, Timman was much ahead on time. On move 33, Timman could just finish Black off, transposing into an absolutely winning ending by the simple combination: 33.Qxf5! exf5 34.Rxe8+ Ka7 35.Re7.

When it came closer to the first time control, the Dutch GM has lost part of his huge advantage, but the position was still in his favour. Gunina kept twisting the unpleasant position as much as she could, and finally she got her chance to deliver a blow which suddenly proved to be decisive:

TIMMAN - GUNINA (round 11)

40...Nxg3!? At first glance, this looks very serious, but had White played just 41.Kxg3 exf4+ 42.Kxf4 Rf8+ 43.Ke3 he would be simply a piece and a pawn up. There is no mate, even though the king isn't too comfortable at the center of the board. At that point, Timman had 48 minites on his clock.
However... 'I left the board for a while, and when I came back I saw he had already resigned', Valentina told us.

What was that - nerves? Disappointment? Tiredness? No one knows except Timman himself. Anyhow, this loss has brought the veteran down to the clear last place one round before the finish. Gunina has 5/12.

Tata Steel Challengers: crosstable, pairings, all the games, etc.

[Event "77th Tata Steel GpB"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.2"] [White "Timman, Jan"] [Black "Gunina, Valentina"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2593"] [BlackElo "2538"] [ECO "B12"] [Opening "Caro-Kann"] [Variation "advance variation"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O h6 7. Nbd2 Nd7 8. Nb3 Qc7 9. Bd2 g5 10. h4 Bg7 11. Bb4 g4 12. Ne1 h5 13. Bxe7 Kxe7 14. Bd3 Bg6 15. Qd2 Bh6 16. Qb4+ Ke8 17. f4 Qb6 18. Qc3 Be4 19. Bxe4 dxe4 20. Qe3 f5 21. exf6 Nxf6 22. Nd3 a5 23. a4 Kd8 24. Ndc5 Re8 25. g3 Kc7 26. Kh2 Rad8 27. Nxe4 Nd5 28. Qe2 Kb8 29. Nec5 Bg7 30. c3 Ne7 31. Rae1 Nf5 32. Qc2 Rd6 33. Ne4 Rd5 34. Ng5 c5 35. dxc5 Qc6 36. Re4 Qd7 37. Rf2 e5 38. Rd2 Rd8 39. Rxd5 Qxd5 40. Re2 Nxg3 0-1 [Event "77th Tata Steel GpB"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2015.01.24"] [Round "12.4"] [White "Wei Yi"] [Black "Haast, Anne"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2675"] [BlackElo "2352"] [ECO "B48"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Taimanov variation"] [EventDate "2015.01.10"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 a6 7. Qf3 Ne5 8. Qg3 h5 9. O-O-O h4 10. Qh3 b5 11. f4 Nc4 12. Bxc4 Qxc4 13. f5 Bb7 14. Rhf1 e5 15. Nb3 Qc7 16. Kb1 Rc8 17. f6 Nxf6 18. Rxf6 gxf6 19. Bb6 Qc6 20. Na5 Qe6 21. Nxb7 Rb8 22. Nd5 Rxb7 23. Qc3 Qc6 24. Nxf6+ Ke7 25. Bd8+ Ke6 26. Qh3# 1-0


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