Round 3 of the Tata Steel tournament in the Netherlands produced a shocking result as Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the world’s top-ranked player, lost in 22 moves to Anish Giri, a 16-year-old Dutch grandmaster. Carlsen had White.
Carlsen played very oddly and soon had a difficult position. He then blundered and resigned a few moves later. Afterward, he posted a message on his Twitter account: â€œAlways nice to confirm that I’m still capable of blundering a piece in one move!â€
Giri now has 2 points and is tied for second with Viswanathan Anand of India, the world champion, and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. They all trail Hikaru Nakamura of the United States, who has 2.5 points.
Nakamura also won on Monday, beating Alexei Shirov of Spain in a long game that was a masterful display of technique as Nakamura gained an edge in the opening, nursed it through the middlegame and converted his advantage into a victory in the endgame.
Carlsen’s meltdown on Monday was not his first in recent months. He performed very badly at last year’s Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, including losing in 25 moves to Sanan Sjugirov, a 17-year-old Russian grandmaster.
But, questions keep arising about Carlsen’s focus when it comes to chess. Though it undoubtedly has been good publicity for the game and for himself, his modeling career has definitely been a distraction.
Garry Kasparov, the former world champion, who coached Carlsen for much of 2009, has also been somewhat critical of Carlsen’s work ethic and dedication. In a recent interview that was translated by the Web site Chess in Translation, Kasparov said about Carlsen’s recent performances, â€œHe’s not doing the intensive work he needs to. For me, that’s the only explanation. Working means constantly being involved with chess and maintaining his sharpness. The way he lost to Anand in London was terrible. He should have lost to Kramnik as well.â€ He did add, â€œNevertheless, he won the tournament, which shows that he can play better. At the board he’s phenomenal. If he also works intensively enough then he’ll dominate.â€
In the B section, Luke McShane of England stayed perfect, winning his third game in a row. He is the only player in the event not to have yielded even a draw and leads by a full point over Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia, David Navara of the Czech Republic and Zahar Efimenko of Ukraine.
The C group includes two women, and they are both doing well. Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine, a grandmaster who is ranked No. 11 among women, is tied for the lead with Daniele Vocaturo of Italy, each with 2.5 points.
Lahno beat Roeland Pruijssers, a Dutch international master, on Monday with a nice mating attack, while Vocaturo upended Murtas Kazhgaleyev of Kazakhstan, the section’s top seed.
Tania Sachdev of India, an international master and the lowest-ranked player in the tournament, is tied for third in the section after she beat Dariusz Swiercz, a Polish grandmaster, on Monday.
All of the games are available on the tournament Web site.