Tal Memorial Rd3 – A black day for white

11/18/2011 – In a day and age when the advantage of White has been compared by Valery Salov as being greater than being on serve in tennis, it is remarkable that with the very best players in the world, three out of five games ended in a win for Black, and even Carlsen's draw as Black against Kramnik was probably won in the final position. Illustrated report with annotations by GM GM Alejandro Ramirez.

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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 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 three


Live on the video broadcast, were commentators Ilya Levitov, president of the Russian
Chess Federation, GM Evgeny Bareev, and author (non-chess) Shenderevich.

It was as bloody a round as one could hope for, with three of the five games ending in a decisive result, and one of the draws actually ending in a decisive position, but more on that later.


Both Nepomniachtchi and Anand were visibly nervous during their game...


... and both fidgeted and looked about more than usual.

The first game to end was the draw between Anand and Nepomniachtchi. They played a Gruenfeld in which the Russian soon equalized. When offered the chance to repeat the position, he chose not to wake the lion and drew without a fuss.


Gelfand chose to take the fight to his opponent

World championship challenger, Boris Gelfand, was feeling a bit more optimistic, or excessively so possibly, as he gambled with gusto on his initiative. As is often the case when attacking without the proper positional justification, the weaknesses he created ended up biting him in the rear and, and cost him the game when he was unable to make Karjakin buckle.


Svidler and Nakamura

Peter Svidler took advantage of an error in judgement by Hikaru Nakamura, after the American went after some material that turned out to be bitterly poisoned. When he attempted to return it, it was insufficient and the Russian converted his advantage.


Ivanchuk lost his share of the lead when he lost patience


Aronian is creeping up the Elo ladder and is poised to overtake Anand

Ivanchuk was perhaps not happy to see Aronian equalize with such ease with the Berlin, and despite not being worse (nor better) chose to try and force the issue some. This quickly proved to be a mistake, and the Armenian showed great technique in converting the point.

The final and most dramatic game of the round, was between Carlsen and Kramnik. Carlsen played very originally, and baited Kramnik into pushing forward for an attack. The ex-world champion went for it, and gained great space on all fronts, also meaning empty spaces around his own king. His threats were real though, and the complications forced both players to calculate an inordinate number of variations.


It may seem as if Magnus is looking down upon his opponent, but he was actually
peering past Kramnik's empty seat at the next board.


Kramnik has had great trouble against Carlsen, but their games are never boring


Another battle of generations

The young Norwegian did well, but at the very end, with very little time, and sacrificial possibilities around his king, he nervously claimed a repetition precisely when he was winning according to the engines. To be fair, Kramnik also did not see it, and even in the post-mortem neither found a conclusive continuation.

The end of the game between Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik: the latter plays his final move, 41.Qa6+, and the exhausted Carlsen sinks into disconsolate thought. He then writes down his own move, 41...Kc8, as the arbiter approaches. Carlsen tells him it is a repetition, and the arbiter places the two kings in the middle of the board, to signify a draw. Carlsen tells him to do inform Kramnik, who has left the stage to the left. When the two return Kramnik immediately nods and stretches out his hand to accept the draw.

In the press conference after the match the two players go through the critical position at the end of the game. Both sort of agree that Black cannot win, even after 41.Qa6 Kb8. In the end Russian Chess Federation President Ilya Levitov quickly saves the analysis in the ChessBase program the players have been using.

Standings after three rounds

Remaining Playchess commentator schedule

Date
Commentator
19.11.2011
Lawrence Trent
20.11.2011
Sam Collins
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

 


GM Daniel King provides commentary on Kramnik-Nepomniachtchi on Playchess

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