Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Pawns For Open Files
This post is a collaboration with Mr Andrew Crosby who is an expert in chess gambits.
Andrew usually plays them in his games with great success. He is also member of our virtual Chess.com club and takes active part in our online tournaments and matches.
Chess fans have no doubt been pleased to see Carlsen in action again soon after his fifth World Championship win.
He took part in the prestigious Tata tournament in January in Wijk aan Zee.
This tournament is an annual chess event taking place since 1938 and many World Champions have played in it.
The Tata Steel 2022 was the 84th edition and was eagerly anticipated for the following reasons.
Firstly because Carlsen’s opponents included Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana. They were two very strong previous challengers for the World Championship.
Secondly because some players from the “new generation” took part in the event. That is especially remarkable because immediately after the World Championship, Carlsen claimed he would only defend his title against players from the “next generation”. He implicitly referred to the rising star GM Alireza Firouzja (18 years old). Firouzja didn’t play in Tata-2022 but the youngsters Russian GM Andrey Esipenko (19), Dutch GM Jorden Van Foreest (22), Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda (23) and Indian prodigy GM Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu (16) did.
Thirdly because two players taking part in the event assisted Carlsen in his World Championship: Daniil Dubov and Jorden Van Foreest. The second was even the winner of last year’s Tata tournament. It was most intriguing to observe how the level of these two players has improved following their collaboration with Carlsen.
And Jorden didn’t disappoint his local chess fans when he confidently and energetically played against Carlsen in round 4.
Despite his weak 36th move, Jorden Van Foreest proved to be a tough opponent for the World Champion.
His play showed that he had taken full advantage of the opportunity to be a member of Carlsen’s support team at the World Chess Championship.
Carlsen went on to win the Tata tournament for the eighth time, a record! Viswanathan Anand, the next best, won in five editions.
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