Tal Memorial Rd4 – The one that got away

11/19/2011 – The fourth round was marked by draws on all boards. However, not all draws are equal. To be fair, considering the way the games unfolded, it is quite surprising that there were not a few decisive results. The most distinct game was one that was reminiscent of the classic Botvinnik-Fischer (1962), as Nepomniachtchi escaped from Nakamura in similar fashion. Full report with GM commentary.

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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 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 four

Carlsen-Karjakin: In a game that was incredibly positional, Carlsen slowly outplayed Karjakin. Although it looked very dangerous for the Russian, truth was that he was always in an okay situation. The endgame was visually more dangerous than it really was, and with some good technique he was able to secure the draw. It is hard to say exactly where Magnus went wrong, or if he did, as I am unable to pinpoint a position in which he could have greatly improved on his play.


Sergey Karjakin in the middlegame against his fellow prodigy Magnus Carlsen


Magnus working Sergey in the endgame


Peter Svidler glances over at his friend Vladimir Kramnik playing Vassily Ivanchuk


Vassily Ivanchuk glances up at his opponent Vladimir Kramnik in their game

Kramnik-Ivanchuk: This game saw a viciously aggressive Kramnik try to punish Ivanchuk for his lack of development. Although this meant that Ivanchuk would have a passed pawn on c3 for many, many moves! The gamble payed off, and Kramnik emerged with a significant advantage from the opening. A combination of control over the open files and control over key squares meant that Black was reduced to absolute passivity. However, just when it all looked hopeless, Ivanchuk struck back by sacrificing an exchange to create some serious practical problems. Eventually the game withered into an endgame where Kramnik was an exchange for a pawn ahead, but it was insufficient as his structure was bad and the pawn count very reduced.


Anand kibitzing (left) while Aronian (middle) thinks

Aronian-Anand: This game saw the current World Champion suffer for another draw. Although White's opening looked rather meek, it clearly contained more poison than it let show. Anand quickly saw himself down a pawn from the opening, although for it he had obtained a strong blockade and immense pressure against the isolated, but extra, c-pawn. At one point Anand decides it's time to transpose into an endgame, which he must have been very confident about drawing. To us mere mortals it seemed that Aronian had a lot of winning chances, but again it is hard to say where he could have finished of the Indian Super-GM.


Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian in the press conference after the game (with the
position after move 43 on the board, and Fritz showing its planned continuation)

Addendum: Originally we had written "Fritz showing it's planned continuation" but corrected our hideous mistake after receiving the following message from "André Philidor of Lyons, FR." who wrote:

Heavens! To think that the most erudite minds should partake of such an ignorant error! If these minds apply the carelessness of their diction to their chess, they must be bad players indeed. Any schoolboy knows that "it's" is a contraction of "it is",- the apostrophe replacing the missing letter-, and that "its" is a third person personal pronoun singular possessive neuter. This mistake might be overlooked in a high school newspaper; but in such a prestigious and powerful periodical as ChessBase it is nauseous.

It is depressing to note what errors can be committed by an overworked journalist, who will naturally be taken to the town square and horsewhipped. And ChessBase will of course bear the cost of getting "André", who reads our publications so meticulously, a life. It is something he desperately needs.


Peter Svidler in the middlegame against WCh Challenger Boris Gelfand

Svidler-Gelfand: Probably the only actually dull game of the day. A quick liquidation of the queen-side resulted in a game where Gelfand had some minor pressure, but further piece liquidation boiled the game down into a draw, a direction where it was obviously heading from the start.

All games from round four – select from the dropdown menu on the right above the JavaScript board. Note that the attached PGN file contains the time taken for each move (visible in ChessBase or Fritz).

Nepomniachtchi-Nakamura


Magnus Carlsen watching the tense blitz phase of Nepomniachtchi-Nakamura


One of the most dramatic games of round four, annotated below by GM Ramírez


Ian Nepomniachtchi and Hikaru Nakamura in the press conference after the game

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.

Standings after four rounds

Remaining Playchess commentator schedule

Date
Commentator
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

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
  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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