Netherlands18-year-old chess player Andrey Esipenko defeated Magnus Carlsen at the first encounter, the eighth game of Tata Steel Masters 2021 on the evening of January 24.
Esipenko (Elo 2.677) took the white army, used a variant of the expedition against Carlsen (2,862), with a good push of g4 against the Sicilian Defense. You are good, to open the half-column g, make an active attack. To defend the g-column, Carlsen must push g7-g6 well, leading to a large diagonal opening a1-h8. Esipenko exploited this weakness with beautiful water.
Realizing the weak and passive position, Carlsen tried to play well, then experimented to find ways to attack successfully. But, Esipenko did not rush to capture the black code, but went to the proposed countries of computers, to defend. It was only until Black was sure that there was no chance to counterattack, did the Russian flag catch the code and push it down to the seventh row of threats. Carlsen asked to lose after 38 moves.
Esipenko has become the youngest player to win against Carlsen in a standard game, since he became Chess in 2013.. This game was also the biggest surprise at the Tata Steel Super League, since 16-year-old Anish Giri defeated Carlsen in 2011 after just 22 moves. The youngest chess player ever to win the current Chess king still belongs to Teimour Radjabov at the age of 16 to win against Garry Kasparov in 2003.
Esipenko was cold, showing no emotion in the game. It was only when he was sure of victory that the Russian chess player hugged his face, seemingly in disbelief. After the game, he lingered on his chair, sighing and smiling while talking to the referee.
Esipenko used to win U16 Europe and the world in 2017. A year later, he was promoted to Grandmaster. Before this award, Esipenko said that his idol was Carlsen. He was eager to fight his wits with his idol, but maybe he didn’t expect to win. “I am happy and can not speak any more,” said the 18-year-old. “Today was one of the happiest days of my life”.
Esipenko excelled, but Carlsen also had a forgotten day. Since his unbeaten 125-game streak was stopped by Jan-Krzysztof Duda on October 10, 2020, Carlsen has lost two more games. The Norwegian chess king fell to eighth of the 14 players at Tata Steel. He still writes up Twitter after the game, in self-sarcastic style: “I had a bad experience in the game room today. I felt a cotton swab stuffed into my nose, pushed deep into my brain, very painful. The Covid-19 test result after the match was not that bad. “
On the day of youth to take the throne at Tata Steel, 17-year-old player Alireza Firouzja (2,749) also won Pentala Harikrishna (2,732) to monopolize the top of the table with 5.5 points. And Esipenko is fourth with five points.
Tata Steel 2021 took place at Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands from January 15 to January 31. 14 players with Elo averaging 2,725 playing 13 standard games, round one round. This is the second invited super tournament since Covid-19 broke out, after Norway Chess in October 2020 – when Carlsen won the championship. With four points in eight Tata Steel games, Carlsen’s chance to win the championship is no longer there. He will meet another player Elo under 2,700 in game nine – Nils Grandelius (2663)
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