Reports | January 23, 2014 11:56

Tata Challengers: Jobava Joins Saric Again, Timman Clear Third

The fight for promotion to the 2015 Tata Steel tournament's Masters Group in Wijk aan Zee continues. Baadur Jobava re-joined Ivan Saric in first place on Wednesday by beating GM-elect Benjamin Bok, while Saric drew quickly with Anna Muzychuk. Dutch legend Jan Timman beat Etienne Goudriaan and is now in clear third place behind the two leaders.

The Challengers Group has been a back-and-forth between Baadur Jobava and Ivan Saric, and with three rounds to go it will be exciting to see who will eventually win. Besides the first prize, it's of course all about promoting to the Masters Group of the 2015 edition.

In Wednesday's 10th round Jobava recovered from his unnecessary loss in round 9 against Sabino Brunello. He beat Benjamin Bok, who followed the unwritten rule that the first game after clinching an IM or GM title is usually lost! Meanwhile, Jobava is turning into a modern-day Mikhail Tal, winning with amazing sacrifices that computers don't like. But, as Boris Gelfand said earlier in the tournament, who cares about computers?

PGN string

Baadur Jobava - it's hard not to root for this guy by now!
Former world #2 and World Championship contender Jan Timman moved up to clear third place by beating tail-ender Etienne Goudriaan. This was one of the most fascinating games played so far in the tournament with Timman showing his amazing calculating and defensive skills!
It's not going to be easy for the 62-year-old Dutchman though; besides Merijn van Delft he still has to play against Radek Wojtaszek and Baadur Jobava...
IM Merijn van Delft suffered to tough losses in a row, both in endings. In round 9 he went down in a difficult bishop ending:
The next day it went wrong in a rook ending:

Challengers Group, round 9 standings



The Tata Steel tournament runs 11-26 January and is held in Wijk aan Zee, Amsterdam and Eindhoven. You can find the official website here and the live games here. The live streaming commentary can also be found here on


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


Bonnerjee's picture

"Jobava is turning into a modern-day Mikhail Tal, winning with amazing sacrifices that computers don't like. But, as Boris Gelfand said earlier in the tournament, who cares about computers?"

Excellent, Peter! I love it!

Tom's picture

Looking at the standings, it seems Boris should care a bit about what computers say?

Anonymous's picture

Gelfand certainly hasn't cared much about playing moves considered to be good by computers in this event.

Bonnerjee's picture

Looks a bit like you are capable to give creative advice to Big Boris... what a pity that you didn´t teached me some chess :D

RS's picture

Jobava should be in the candidates and in Zurich. Who cares about ratings?

setikiki tilapongo's picture

:D :D ...maybe Anonymous

china kung fu academy's picture

Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!

Very helpful information specially the last part :) I care for such
information much. I was looking for this particular
information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

Surfdude's picture

'Van Delft suffered to tough losses in a row', ends your article. You mean, of course: TWO tough losses.
Keep up the good work!

Kostas's picture

The article features a photo of Grandmaster Jobava. Baldness excluded, he is almost a perfect match of young World Champion M. Tal !

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