Magnus Spanked; Nakamura Leads in Wijk aan Zee

With the first few rounds of Tata (formerly Corus) behind us, there are some unexpected outcomes already in Wijk aan Zee. Love him or hate him, Nakamura is putting up an incredible performance against the world’s elite and leads after the third round with 2.5/3. Today, he managed a win against Shirov in a sharp Ruy Lopez with Bc5. The story of the day though is Anish Giri’s absolute spanking of the wunderkind Magnus. Giri produced a miniature against the world number 1 in fewer than 25 moves with the black pieces. The game was a Grunfeld, in which Carlsen deviated early as he has been doing lately, likely to avoid theory, trying the move 11.Qd2 to sidestep well known forcing lines. The result was a better position for black and the world number 1 toppling his king on move 22. It’s hard to resist the opportunity to take some kind of jab at him concerning his priorities lately, so I will hold my tongue for the moment and see how he does against the rest of the field as the tournament unfolds. An interesting question the FEB guys pondered was whether he would rather win the tournament but lose when he faces Anand, or beat Anand but lose the tournament overall. From the looks of his game today, he will have to work considerable harder to accomplish either. Below, find the three decisive games of the day.