Congratulations to Wesley So who has added victory in the Tata Steel Masters to his success at London and the Chess Grand Tour. Over fifty games unbeaten – where will it end? Well, Broadstairs’ favourite grandmaster, Wei Yi, had a good go yesterday in the penultimate round where victory would have put him in the driving seat. After an interesting start where Wei Yi had a slight advantage but with isolated pawns, the game evened out and a draw was agreed. This followed victory for Wei Yi on Friday in only 31 moves against the World Championship runner-up, Sergey Karjakin. There was an amusing finish to this game for those following online where the result was initially given as a draw with Wei Yi in a clearly won position. Presumably, the chap pressing the button misunderstood the handshake between the two players and had not seen the position. Sadly, Wei Yi lost his last game today – only his second defeat in the tournament – but his final position of joint third was a tremendous result against some of the best in the world for a player who is still only seventeen.
Meanwhile, attention now turns to the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters which, according to the Financial Times is “the strongest and best-organised event of its kind in the world”. Certainly, most of the world’s top players who were not at Wijk aan Zee are taking part in the 250-player ten-round Open which has just completed its sixth round. Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and MVL (Maxime Vachier Lagrave) are all competing for the £23,000 first prize and Hou Yifan is hoping to win the £15,000 for the top woman. British interest rests on the shoulders of Michael Adams, David Howell and Nigel Short. With four rounds to go, Adams shares the lead with Nakamura and David Anton Guijarro of Spain. However, Short is only half a point behind after a terrific win today against Caruana, the world number three, that must have brought back memories of his battles with Kasparov all those years ago.
White: Nigel Short (2684) Black: Fabiano Caruana (2816)
Tradewise Gibraltar Masters 2017