Fabiano Caruana reflects on his performance at the 2016 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

LSC News

The Tata Steel chess tournament recently ended in the tiny coastal village of Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands. I finished in 2nd place with a score of 8 points out of 13 games, behind current World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

I started strong with wins in the first and third rounds and a draw against Carlsen in the second, and for a long time the tournament seemed to be going my way. Towards the end of the event Carlsen started to pull away with a series of strong victories, but going into the last round I was a mere half point behind him, and a win would most likely have given me a share of first place. Unfortunately, a risky opening strategy backfired on me and I lost any hope of tournament victory.

The tournament was long, difficult, physically and mentally demanding; perfect preparation for the upcoming (March) Candidates event, which will decide who will challenge Carlsen for the World Champion title this year. I was pleased to have won a number of attractive games and to have performed better than my Candidates rivals.

For the next month I will rest, prepare and accumulate energy for the Candidates, a 8-player double round-robin event, to be held in Moscow. The winner will qualify to take on Magnus Carlsen in a World Championship match later in the year.

Fabiano is Liberty Science Center’s Visiting Grandmaster in Residence. He is also the ambassador for our new Chess Works! program.

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