And so Anish Giri has a 3-1 lead over Alexei Shirov and Baadur Jobava a 2.5-1.5 lead against Jan Timman in their showcase six-game matches at the Unive chess tournament.
Entries in Jan Timman (7)
Both Alexei Shirov and Jan Timman were pressing today against Anish Giri and Baadur Jobava, respectively, but in the end both games were drawn. Giri leads 2.5-.5 and Jobava leads 2-1 going into the rest day. Three rounds remain in these sub-events of the Unive chess tournament.
This fun event (the Unive chess tournament), comprising a pair of six-game classical matches, began Sunday in the Dutch city of Hoogeveen. The marquee match is between Dutch prodigy Anish Giri and Latvian superstar Alexei Shirov of "fire on board" fame. If Shirov were playing at his best the match would be a toss-up, but his results have been declining the last couple of years and in the last few months his results have been awful. Indeed, Giri leads 2-0 so far, and if this keeps up he might bridge the 14-15-point gap separating him from the top 6 in the world.
The second match is between top Georgian grandmaster Baadur Jobava and Dutch legend Jan Timman. Their first game was drawn, but Timman lost the second game after a couple of blunders. (He had been under some pressure, but objectively the position was fine.)
One of the sub-events in Groningen over the Christmas holiday was a 4-game match between former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov and Dutch great Jan Timman. The match commemorated their FIDE World Championship match 20 years prior, and finished with the same result: Karpov won. The first three games were drawn, but Karpov won a nice technical game to close out the match - have a look.
According to the Zurich Christmas Open website, Viktor Korchnoi had to cancel his participation in the tournament due to health reasons. Here's the Google Translate version:
Unfortunately, Viktor Korchnoi can not fulfill his wish of participating in the traditional tournament. Health reasons force him to stay at home. We wish him a speedy recovery and all the best in the coming year.
For those of you looking to get your fix of old-timey chess players, Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman are playing a four-game rapid (40' + 30") match. Game 1 was played earlier today and was drawn in a fairly dull game, thanks to Karpov's unfortunate but understandable continued advocacy of the Scandinavian with 3...Qd8.
ChessVibes has a nice interview with Dutch GM Jan Timman, a former world championship finalist. Timman is playing in the B-group in Wijk aan Zee starting Saturday, and I appreciate his attitude about his chances there. He's realistic about where he is now, at 60 and some years separated from his time at the top, but this realism isn't a depressed fatalism. He is confident about his ability to play good games and doesn't rule out the possibility a successful result. I hope he has one!
Jan Timman was one of the world's absolute elite players from the late 1970s through at least the middle of the 1990s. At one time he was rated #2 in the world, and made it as far as a world championship match with Anatoly Karpov in the era of divided titles. He's also a terrific endgame composer, and putting it all together let me suggest that readers check out this brief summary of Timman's career, which also takes note of a new biography of the man.
Unfortunately for most of us, it's in Dutch, but as a consolation there's a new book by Timman himself entitled The Art of the Endgame: My Journeys in the Magical World of Endgame Studies. If you're a study fan, you'll want to get this, while even if you're not you still might (unless you're resolutely opposed to studies - not to be confused with problems). I have the book and have been enjoying it thus far.
Anyway, happy (slightly belated) 60th birthday, Grandmaster Jan Timman!