Anish Giri defeats Field, wins Tata Steel

By Carter Roos, Staff Writer

With world champion Magnus Carlsen’s relinquishment announced and the 2023 world chess championship quickly approaching, the chess community has concluded its first major tournament of the year, Tata Steel, with the final results of the prestigious Masters section surprising many fans.

The 85th Tata Steel Tournament began on Friday, Jan. 13 and concluded late last Sunday. The Masters category was the focus of much attention over the weeks as it featured some of the biggest names in chess, including reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, as well as a competitor for this year’s title, Ding Liren.

Going into the tournament, Magnus Carlsen was the clear favorite to take home the trophy. Being the highest rated player in chess history, expectations were high for Carlsen at the beginning of the week. However, the Norwegian Grandmaster resigned after a rough endgame against the Dutch champion and fifth-rated player worldwide, Anish Giri early on in the tournament. In his next game Carlsen would lose again, defeated by chess prodigy Nodirbek Abdusattorov. The loss would dropCarlsen to 13 out of 16 in tournament standings and mark the first time he had lost two consecutive games of classical chess in over 7 years.

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Dutch Grandmaster Anish Giri took home the 2023 Tata Steel tournament title, defeating several formidable opponents along the way. Giri won games against the number one and two players in the world.

Fans and analysts also projected a stellar performance from Chinese Grandmaster Ding Liren, who is currently the second-highest rated player in the world and slated to compete for the title of World Chess Champion later this year. Liren started the tournament with a victory over Indian prodigy and Grandmaster Gukesh Dommaraju. Liren, however, would not be able to replicate his round one victory. While disciplined play led Liren to an impressive 9 draws, his inability to close out more games led to an unexpected 12th place finish.

After a heartbreaking loss in a final tiebreaker during Tata Steel 2021 and a relatively uneventful year in 2022, Dutch Grandmaster Anish Giri returned to Amsterdam this year with a vengeance and claimed first place. Giri played ruthlessly, as nine highly disciplined games ended in draws.  He seemed to see every mistake his opponents made in his other four games, leading him to defeat the first and second ranked players in the world, in addition to  two respectiveGrandmasters, allowing him to finish the tournament without a single loss.

Rounding out the podium was rising star Nodirbek Abdusattorov, who led the tables into the final round of play during the tournament. However, a difficult loss to Dutch Grandmaster Jorden Van Foreest would cause the Uzbek Grandmaster to fall to second place. While it was his only loss, his eight draws caused him to finish tied for second with Magnus Carlsen, who had accrued two more wins than Abdusattorov.