Reports | January 24, 2014 21:31

Tata Challengers: Jobava Survives Against Timman, Saric in Sole Lead

After 11 rounds, Ivan Saric is the sole leader of the Tata Steel tournament's Challengers Group. On Friday the Croatian grandmaster won against Zhao Xue of China, while Baadur Jobava drew his game against Jan Timman, who had a winning ending but eventully failed to convert it. 

While the players of the Masters Group were enjoying their fifth and last rest day, the Challengers produced another very interesting round in Wijk aan Zee today. The key game was Timman-Jobava, and some of the older local fans must have been reminded of the 70s, 80s and 90s when the now 62-year-old Dutch grandmaster belonged to the world's elite, and played so many wonderful tournaments. Against Jobava, Timman slowly built up an advantage, the way he likes it, and reached a winning endgame. However, whereas he had won several nice endings earlier in the tournament, this time he failed. Needless to say, the lines below can easily be found with an engine but at the board such an ending is just incredibly difficult, even for an endgame specialist!

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Hours before this game ended, Ivan Saric had already beaten (in fact completely outplayed) Zhao Xue and so the Croatian GM is the new leader with two rounds to go.

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The game between Troff and Duda was spectacular, but not without mistakes. But that's part of the game!

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Challengers Group, round 11 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.


suri's picture

Great game of Duda with his american peer!

Frits Fritschy's picture

Can't say it broke my heart - too much tape already there. But I really had high hopes for Jan; it would have been an unexpected pleasure to see this 'Buddha of suburbia' back in the city centre next year. I've had the same experience a few times: completely outplaying a young upstart to find out he had just that extra bit of stamina from youth - like we did ourselves. I would be pretty sick - maybe his five years extra (and a tiny bit more talent) will give him the composure to take his last chance tomorrow. I feel a bit awkward doing this, but still I would say: Go, Jan, go!

Anonymous's picture

I had high hopes with mister T 30 years ago.

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