Wesley So still leads the Tata Steel Masters after securing a draw when Adhiban challenged him in the most romantic of all chess openings – the King’s Gambit. The big story of the day, though, was Anish Giri finally ending a sequence of 14 draws by defeating Ian Nepomniachtchi in a game where the Russian grandmaster managed to blunder not just Bxh6 but Bxa6! The only other decisive result was a spectacular win for Wei Yi over Richard Rapport, featuring a fearless king march on a board full of menace.
It seems that in the World Championship match Magnus moved away from the approach he was famous for of playing every position for a win and instead grew to like forcing draws with Black with sharp but solid preparation. In Wijk aan Zee he’s now drawn in 33, 27, 28 and 30 moves with the black pieces, while winning his two games with White. The bad news for the rest of the field, of course, is that Magnus will have White more often in the games to come!
Standings after round 6:
The tournament finally crosses the halfway mark in Round 7 with Carlsen-Giri one of those grudge games that no-one wants to miss. Magnus is a secret fan. In general the favourites have the white pieces, meaning we could expect decisive results even if we didn’t have exciting pairings such as Wei Yi-Van Wely and Nepomniachtchi-Rapport!
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