Tal Memorial Blitz won by Mamedyarov

by Albert Silver
9/25/2016 – The first day of the X Tal Memorial opened with a favorite of fans all over: a blitz tournament. There is nothing quite like spending a Sunday watching the elite go crazy in blitz games all day to fight for the right to an extra white in the event to follow. It was Mamedyarov’s party as he crushed the field, with live video commentary in both Russian and English. Here is the report with some fun positions to test your skills!

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X Jubilee Tal Memorial is taking place from 25 September to 6 October 2016 in the Moscow Museum of Russian Impressionism. The tournament will be a continuation of the program "Chess in Museums", which is being implemented by the Russian Chess Federation together with the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko. The General Partner of the Russian Chess Federation for the X Tal Memorial is the state company "Russian Highways" ("Avtodor").

The prize fund for the event is 200 thousand USD.

The tournament is a round-robin over nine rounds played at 100 minutes for 40 moves plus 50 minutes for 20 moves and 15 minutes until the end of the game with 30 seconds for each move starting from the first. The chief arbiter is International Arbiter Anatoly Bykhovsky.

Opening and Blitz

The opening ceremony was a fairly simple affair with the press greeting the organizers together with both Boris Gelfand and Vishy Anand. Not everyone had arrived and Vladimir Kramnik’s flight had run into delays that threw a spanner into the works.

Vishy was asked to say a few words on Tal, who he had known and played. “Even though Mikhail Tal was only world champion for one year, I think he won more fans in that year than many others in their lifetime. He is obviously one of the most popular world champions ever, and I have a personal connection as well, in that I grew up in the Mihkail Tal Chess Club in Chennai.”

After a 30-minute delay to the start, Vladimir Kramnik arrived, apologized, and was the example of smiles and sportsmanship for his colleagues and spectators.

The tournament was held in front of a small audience of press and spectators

Giri - Gelfand

White saw the idea but mistepped in the execution, can you do better? White to play and win.

27. Rxd6! is the winner and forces Black's hand. (27. Nxd6? Close, but not quite! This allowed Black to avoid the recapture with h4 28. Bh2 cxb3 29. axb3 Rd8 30. Nf5 Rxd1+ 31. Qxd1 Qc8) 27... exd6 28. Bxd6+ Kg8 29. Bxb8 and White is winning.

 

Each and every table had an arbiter seated to ensure a smooth event

In such a short tournament with blitz games, there is a considerable amount of luck involved as much as chess, and this day was Mamedyarov's as he combined opportunism with skill to take clear first.

Mamedyarov - Nepomniachtchi

A cute little shot that decides the game. White to play and win.

19. Bxf7+! Kf8 (19... Kxf7 20. Nc4 Qd5 21. Nxb2 Nb4) 20. Nc4 Rb4 21. Nxd6 Rxa4 22. Nxf5 Kxf7 23. Nxg7 Kxg7 and White is winning.

 

At stake was more than just first prize, but also the number of whites. The players in the top half would enjoy five whites and four blacks, while the rest would have four white and five blacks.

Gelfand - Mamedyarov

The Azeri player missed this spectacular tactic, but quite forgivably considering the subtle point that makes it work. He did wn the game nonetheless. Black to play and win... and be sure you see it to the end!

28... Rbxb3! 29. axb3 Bd4+ 30. Kg2 (30. Kh1 Bh5! Key to the mating patterns. 31. h4 Bf3+ 32. Kh2 Rd2+ 33. Kh3 Bg4 mate!) 30... Rd2+ 31. Kh3 Bh5!! and mate to follow.

 

Peter Svidler won a nice game against Vladimir Kramnik. Check out the tactic he found to put the last nail in the coffin.

Peter Svidler - Vladimir Kramnik

The position above was the final position between Nepomniachtchi (white) and Anand (black). Nepo had understood that capturing the black pawn would mean an instant draw due to the wrong bishop combined with the advancing h-pawn, and had tried to zugzwang Anand into being forced into advancing his g-pawn, allowing hxg4 and winning. Vishy did not look a bit perturbed as this played out, and when Nepo finally got his dream position above, he understood why: After 1. Bf5 Black would indeed have no choice but to play 1...g4, but the problem is that after 2.hxg4 Black is stalemated! And if 2.Bxg4 then the wrong bishop and h-pawn ending are left. Seeing this, he smiled ruefully, and stuck out his hand for the draw.

GM Evgeny Miroschenko is providing the English language commentary, much as he did at the Baku Olympiad, but an interesting surprise co-commentator is 20-year-old GM Daniil Dubov, who will also be present throughout the Tal Memorial

 

A sample of the English commentary. Be sure to check it out at the official video channel!

Replay all the blitz games

Select games from the list below the board

Final blitz standings

Schedule and pairings

Round 1 - Sept. 26 - 14h CET
Bo.
No.
Rtg
 
Name
Result
 
Name
Rtg
No.
1
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
3
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
4
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
5
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
Round 2 - Sept. 27 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
2
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan  
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
3
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris  
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
4
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny  
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
5
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
Rest day
Round 3 - Sept. 29 - 14h CET
1
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
3
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
4
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
5
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
Round 4 - Sept. 30 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
2
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
3
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny  
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
4
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
5
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
Round 5 - Oct. 1 - 14h CET
1
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
3
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
4
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
5
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
Round 6 - Oct. 2 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
2
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
3
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
4
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
5
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
Rest day
Round 7 - Oct. 4 - 14h CET
1
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
3
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B  
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
4
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan  
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
5
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
Round 8 - Oct. 5 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
2
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
3
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
4
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
5
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
Round 9 - Oct 6 - 12h CET
1
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
 
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B
 
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
3
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan
 
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
4
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris
 
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
5
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
 
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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ngn ngn 9/27/2016 10:59
Anthe, I was wondering whether it's only me and whether it's because of my computer's settings. But obviously no. This is very annoying indeed, the messages keep popping up every 30 seconds or so and you have to click them twice to get rid of them. Plus that they don't seem to serve any purpose. "Cloud server is in maintenance, please wait a few minutes" - for what exactly? Chessbase.com, this is otherwise a great site, so please do something to fix this problem.
fightingchess fightingchess 9/26/2016 11:17
I 'm wondering is there an obligation to invite Giri to each and every big tournament?
Anthe Anthe 9/26/2016 09:29
Nerving, with the new board interface there two major annoying things 1. MsgBox telling: "Sorry, cloud server is currently in maintenance, please wait ... 2. The "AutoPlay - feature" on the last board is not configurable
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