Carlsen Wins Tata Steel Chess 2015; Wesley So tied for 2nd place
By Jose "joeyj" Jereos Jr.
Tue, 27 Jan 2015
The 77th edition of Tata Steel Chess Tournament also popularly known as Wijk aan Zee in chess that took place in 3-locations for the Master’s Group (A-Group): Wijk aan Zee (R1-R4,R6-R9,R11-R13), Rotterdam (R5 ) and The Hague (R10 ) from 10-25 January 2015 was won as expected by the reigning World Champion(WC) Magnus Carlsen of Norway. But it was not a walk in the park for the World Champion as he has to at least draw his final round (R13) to win the championship which he did after some tense moments against his 2014 Olympiad tormentor GM Ivan Saric of Croatia. WC Carlsen completed a clear first with 9.0/13 score from his 6-wins, 6-draws & 1-loss record, a half point lead to four others who tied for 2nd place namely GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave(FRA), Anish Giri(NED), Wesley So(USA) and Liren Ding(CHN) who all scored 8.5/13.
Carlsen had a slow start, drawing with Giri(R1) & So(R2). He lost to Wojtaszek in R3. But starting R4 he made a fantastic 6-win streak until R9 against Van Wely, Aronian, Caruana, Hou, Jobava & Radjabov respectively. He had drawn the last 4 rounds (R10-R13) versus Ivanchuk, Vachier-Lagrave, Ding and finally Saric to score +6=6-1 equivalent to 9/13 points with a Tournament Performance Rating (TPR) of 2878 and had gained +3.2 in FIDE rating points to bring his Live Rating to 2865.2 or 2865 come Feb 2014 FIDE rating publication.
It was the 4th time that Carlsen won “A-Group” in Wijk aan Zee. The other three were in 2013, 2010 and 2008 (tied with Aronian).
The 14-Participants @ Tata Steel Chess 2015 ‘Masters’ (Grp-A)
The average rating of the 14 participants @ Tata Steel Chess 2015 ‘Masters’ (Grp-A) based on FIDE-ratings of January 2015 was 2746 (Category 20). The Top 11 seed players had ratings of 2800+/2700+.
Wesley So tied for 2nd place (4th overall).
Filipino GM Wesley So who now represents U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) since 28 October 2014, a second timer in this prestigious, strong Category 20 (2726–2750 ELO/rating range)] tournament, this time submitted a very much improved results than last year with his +5win=7draw-1loss (+5=7-1) scoring 8.5/13 points had a 4-way tie for 2nd place but after tiebreak GMs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave(FRA) @ 2nd place, Anish Giri(NED) @ 3rd place, Wesley So(USA) @ 4th place and Liren Ding(CHN) @ 5th place overall. As for the prizes the four shared the 2nd-5th prizes equally.
Wesley So’s Tournament Performance Rating (TPR) was 2854, and had gained a +16.8 in rating points. Summing this up with his Total ELO gained a +8.7 rating points @ North American Open 2014: resulted to a Live Rating of 2787.5 that propelled him to #7 in the World Chess rating list. Come February 2015 FIDE ratings his rating in Standard/Classical would be 2788 just 1.7 points shy of Bobby Fischer’s highest rating of 2789.7 (4 August 1972) and 12 points away from breaching the 2800 mark. He will also be listed as USCF #1 player ahead of GM Nakamura.
GM Wesley So Tata Steel 2015 ‘Masters Grp’ Results:
In R11, Wesley So registered his highest ever Live Rating of 2788.5 (Jan 23, 2015) when he defeated 2014 Tata Steel Chess challenger(“B-Group”) champion GM Ivan Saric in the 28th move,
- R11: 23-Jan: So, Wesley (2762) – Saric, Ivan (2666): 1-0.
Wesley So started on a high note on the earlier rounds (R1-R4), when in R2 he drew with black pieces with the top seed & World Champion Magnus Carlsen(2862). In R2, he surprised everyone by defeating the Nr-3 seed & defending champion GM Levon Aronian(2797). R4 was another high profile draw with the Nr-2 seed Fabiano Caruana(2820). After only 4 rounds, Wesley So registered an amazing TPR of 2901.
- R2: Carlsen-So ½-½ R3: So-Aronian 1-0 R4: Caruana-So: ½-½
His R8 win versus Vasily Ivanchuk produced another milestone when he registered a live rating of 2785.3 that ranked #6 in the World’s Live Rating List on 18-19 January 2015.
- R8: Ivanchuk – So: 0-1 R12: Giri-So: 1-0
Wesley So's only loss in the tournament was at the hands of his nemesis GM Anish Giri in the penultimate round (R12), in 111 moves that practically denied his shot for the title. It also ended his streak of 54 No-Loss record in Standard or Classical chess that started in R4 @ 2014 Bill Wright St. Louis Open dtd 13 April 2014 until R11 @ 77th Tata Steel Chess dtd 23 January 2015.
Overall, it was a very successful event for HGM Wesley So and a BIG START for CY-2015.. His goal for 2015 of reaching 2800+ is just a few blocks away. With more invites in elite tournaments in the coming days & months … that goal shall come to pass !
Next stop for GM Wesley So
1. Bunratty Chess Festival
Bunratty Weekender 2015
20th. to 22nd. February 2015
2. US Chess Championships
March 31 – April 14
St. Louis Chess Club, USA
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