Tal Memorial R5 – All games drawn, with firework displays

11/20/2011 – For some time it seemed that the black pieces would again dominate a round. Nepomniatchtchi, Aronian and Carlsen all had a significant edge. However they were all unable to best their opponents. The five draws again do not betray the fireworks that occurred during the round. And speaking of fireworks, the only "short" draw of the round, Karjakin-Svidler, had enough of those to light up a stadium.

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Sixth Tal Memorial in Moscow

This event is a ten-player round robin event, is taking place from November 16th to 25th in Moscow, Russia. Time control: 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

Results

Round 5: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Vassily Ivanchuk
½ ½
Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand
½ ½
Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura
½ ½
Levon Aronian
Boris Gelfand
½ ½
Ian Nepomniachtchi
Sergey Karjakin
½ ½
Peter Svidler

Round five


US GM Hikaru Nakamura facing Levon Aronian (right World Champion Vishy Anand)


Levon, the world's number three player, ponders alone in a later phase of the game

Nakamura-Aronian: Hikaru launched an immediate king-side expansion in this increasingly popular variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined. But, as many times happens when you push too many pawns, a sacrifice designed to evaporate the pawns and leave behind the weaknesses created by their advance proved to be rather dangerous. Nakamura saw himself again with an extra exchange, like he did against Svidler, but again he was faced with a powerful initiative. His king felt unsafe and his position was overall unstable. Aronian saw himself with the more pleasant game, but the American defended well and a timely return of the exchange sealed the draw.


Fresh talent with a difficult name: GM Ian Nepomniachtchi

Addendum: Ebbe Frederiksen of Svendborg, Denmark, explains:

The name has nine russian letters, which gives nepom ja shj i j, where the two groups stand for a single russian letter. If you want to pronounce it, you have to know which is the stressed syllable. Here it is the second. So written as it is pronounced the name becomes: NipOmjishjij, where the "j"s are consonantal "i"s, the sound English gives as "y" or "i" as the wind blows. And the "i"s are real as in kick. As you see, not a single difficult sound anywhere. The only not English sound is "shj", which is a long, palatal english "sh".

We stand corrected: very difficult name. Incidentally our Russian expert Steve Giddins tells us to say "Ne-POM-nya-shy" and says it means "not remembering". Giddins: "It goes back to Tsarist times, when illiterate peasants wanted to stay off the radar screen, and when the censor asked their name, they would claim they didn't remember. The exasperated censor put them down as 'doesn't remember', hence Nepomniachtchi."

Gelfand-Nepomniachtchi: In what can only be described as another Gruenfeld resurrection, the tournament saw this defense yet again. Despite playing quite logically, Gelfand quickly found himself in an uncomfortable spot. When Nepo successfully destroyed the center, the power of his bishops and better coordinated pieces was apparent, even though some of his pieces hadn't left their initial posts. Gelfand at some point sacrifices the exchange to quench the initiative. This paid off as Black was left with threats that were easily parried, and a weak king which provided lots of counterplay. The game was eventually drawn when material ran low and White's queen was too much of an annoyance.


Israeli GM and 2012 World Championship challenger Boris Gelfand

Kramnik-Anand: It seems that there are repeating patterns. Four wildly interesting games and one dull one is certainly not a bad ratio. Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand were the ones responsible this time to provide the game that was the least striking. Kramnik managed to almost equalize out of the opening without too many difficulties. At some point Anand decided he really didn't have anything, and instead of risking the pair of bishops slowly growing into monsters, he traded pieces off and an opposite colored bishop endgame arose, which was very obviously drawn.


Anand and Kramnik analyse after their game, with GM Maxim Dlugy in the middle

All games from this round – select from the dropdown menu on the right above the JavaScript board.

Here are the two most exciting games of the round annotated by GM Alejandro Ramírez.


Sergey Karjakin, former Ukrainian child prodigy (today Russian, grown up and married)


On the move: Peter Svidler, super-grandmaster from St Petersburg


Ivanchuk-Carlsen – do they have a cameraman dangling from the ceiling?


No, it's a remote controlled camera on a book, visible on the right of the picture


The game nears it's end, and Magnus makes his stalemate draw offer (note that
the embedded board in these pictures does not always match the current postion)


Ivanchuk captures the bishop and stalemates his smiling opponent

You can relive the entire round, or follow the next, in high definition in this extraordinary broadcast page provided by the Russian Chess Federation. All the pictures above are screen grabs from this video. A note to the players: you can be seen all over the world in full screen clarity. Refrain from bouncing around or picking your nose, and do not attempt to swipe one of your opponent's pieces. You will get caught!

Standings after five rounds

Remaining Playchess commentator schedule

Date
Commentator
21.11.2011
Free day
22.11.2011
Daniel King
23.11.2011
Robert Ris
24.11.2011
Dejan Bojkov
25.11.2011
Daniel King

Schedule and Results

Round 1: Wednesday November 16, 2011
Levon Aronian
½ ½
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
0-1
Ian Nepomniachtchi  
Vassily Ivanchuk
1-0
Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand
½ ½
Sergey Karjakin
Hikaru Nakamura
½ ½
Boris Gelfand
Round 2: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Boris Gelfand
Sergey Karjakin
½ ½
Hikaru Nakamura
Peter Svidler
½ ½
Vishy Anand
Ian Nepomniachtchi
½ ½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian
½ ½
Vladimir Kramnik
Round 3: Friday, November 18, 2011
Vladimir Kramnik
½ ½
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
0-1
Levon Aronian
Vishy Anand
½ ½
Ian Nepomniachtchi
Hikaru Nakamura
0-1
Peter Svidler
Boris Gelfand
0-1
Sergey Karjakin
Round 4: Saturday, November 19, 2011
Magnus Carlsen
½ ½
Sergey Karjakin
Peter Svidler
½ ½
Boris Gelfand
Ian Nepomniachtchi
½ ½
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
½ ½
Vishy Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
½ ½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Round 5: Sunday, November 20, 2011
Vassily Ivanchuk
½ ½
Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand
½ ½
Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura
½ ½
Levon Aronian
Boris Gelfand
½ ½
Ian Nepomniachtchi
Sergey Karjakin
½ ½
Peter Svidler
Round 6: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Magnus Carlsen
  Peter Svidler
Ian Nepomniachtchi
  Sergey Karjakin
Levon Aronian
  Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik
  Hikaru Nakamura
Vassily Ivanchuk
  Vishy Anand
Round 7: Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Vishy Anand
  Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
  Vassily Ivanchuk
Boris Gelfand
  Vladimir Kramnik
Sergey Karjakin
  Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler
  Ian Nepomniachtchi
Round 8: Thursday, November 24, 2011
Magnus Carlsen
  Ian Nepomniachtchi
Levon Aronian
  Peter Svidler
Vladimir Kramnik
  Sergey Karjakin
Vassily Ivanchuk
  Boris Gelfand
Vishy Anand
  Hikaru Nakamura
Round 9: Friday, November 25, 2011
Hikaru Nakamura
  Magnus Carlsen
Boris Gelfand
  Vishy Anand
Sergey Karjakin
  Vassily Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler
  Vladimir Kramnik
Ian Nepomniachtchi
  Levon Aronian

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 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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