Three rounds have been played at the 76th Tata Steel chess tournament currently on in the Netherlands. GMs Levon Aronian, Wesley So, Pentala Harikrishna, Fabiano Caurana, Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri are leading Group ‘A’ with 2 points each.
Fourth-seeded Boris Gelfand of Israel has had a disastrous start losing both his first two games and managing to draw a third round game versus American Nakamura in a very tight end game where Gelfand was up by two pawns and Nakamura under immense time pressure!
In Group ‘B’ (Challengers), IM Benjamin Bok of Netherlands and GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia lead the standings with 2.5 points each.
Dutch GM Dimitri Reinderman, who visited Nairobi in July-August 2011 for a series of events, is playing in the Challengers group and is currently placed sixth with 1.5 points. Known for his offbeat sense of style, he is playing in the tournament with his hair dyed a bright purple (maybe this is his strategy to shock opponents into losing)!
In local news, the country’s national chess federation— Chess Kenya—are yet to release the calendar of events for 2014 as their website and social media channels remain dormant since last October. The Executive Committee has seen a string of resignations in the past 4 months leading one to suspect all is not well.
I wish to end this article by informing readers that this will be my last ‘In Black & White’ column as I take time off to focus on health issues that have been plaguing me for quite some time. It has been a fun ride and I thank the management of The Star for giving me this opportunity.
Puzzle solution: 20. Bxe7 Nxe7 21. g4 (in the game, GM Giri missed this move and played 20. g4 instead. Fortunately for him, a forced 5-move checkmate at move 30 secured