CHENNAI: Swedish Grandmaster Nils Grandelius regained the sole lead at the Tata Steel Masters after Round 5 in Wijk aan Zee on Thursday. Nils got the better of Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to be placed on 3.5 points. P Harikrishna, Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri were in the second spot with 3 points each.
“It’s really nice and didn’t expect it to go this way,” Nils said after the match. Despite the win, Nils wasn’t too pleased with his time management during the game. “While my conversion in the game was fine but my time management was awful. I spent almost an hour on just two moves after I won a pawn and that’s just unacceptable,” Nils rued.
Young gun Alireza Firouzja drew with Jorden Van Foreest and the Duda Jan-Krzysztof-Radoslaw Wojtaszek too met with the same result. Among the six draws in the round Aryan Tari was the one who came close to scoring a full point. Against David Anton Guijarro, Aryan hung in there and had an opportunity but couldn’t capitalise on it. “I mean, the whole game I was worse and begging for a draw so it was insane that I had 54…Bb5. That’s just a huge shock for me,” he said.
The Anish-Harikrishna ended in a draw after 26 moves. “After I made a move [24.Rad1] I realized I missed a huge opportunity [24.Nd2] and then it was very annoying to sit there. After he made a move, I made another move I was unhappy with and finally, I decided to just send out a draw offer before I make one more move which I’ll regret,” Anish said.
Meanwhile, Carlsen had his moments against GM Alexander Donchenko but failed to land the sucker punch. Donchenko felt he got better as the match progressed. “I think for the first 30 moves, let’s say, I think I played quite well. Then, when time started to get short, I probably got into a little bit of trouble and had to find probably what I did after the time control. I’m not sure if it was necessary but I think I made life a little harder than necessary for myself but in the end, it worked out,” he said.
Defending champion Caruana too drew with Andrey Esipenko.