Tal R05: Anand beats Leko, joins Kramnik in the lead

11/11/2009 – Almost exactly a year ago the two were playing for the title of World Champion. Now Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand are battling each other for the lead in the Tal Memorial in Moscow. Kramnik worked very hard in an 81-mover against Boris Gelfand, but had to concede a draw. Anand beat Peter Leko in a Semi-Slav and joined Kramnik in the lead. Round five report.

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Tal Memorial 2009

The Tal Memorial, which is taking place from November 4th to 19th, is the strongest tournament of the year, and at category 21 (average Elo 2764) one of the strongest of all time. It is a ten-player round robin with classical time controls – 40 moves in two hours, then 20 moves in one hour and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with 30 seconds increment per move in this phase. The first four games take place in the National Hotel (Mokhovaya Street D15), the last five in the mall GUM (Red Square 3). The games start at 15:00h local Moscow time, which is 13:00h EST (Berlin, Paris), 12:00h London, 7:00 a.m. New York, 5:30 p.m. New Delhi, 11:00 p.m. Sydney. You can find the exact starting time at your location here. The World Blitz Championship (see below) will be staged after the main event, from November 16-18 2009 in GUM.

Round five report

Round 5: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov

After the rest day, which incidentally fell on Mikhail Tal’s birthday, today the venue of the Tal Memorial had shifted from Hotel National to to the Department Store GUM on Red Square.


Venue of the second half of the Tal Memorial 2009 and the World Blitz Champion: the department store "Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin" or GUM (pronounced "goom") on the Red Square in Moscow [Photo Wikipedia]

Three games were drawn in 31 moves or less, but the remaining two were of great interest. Vladimir Kramik, on the black side of an Open Catalan against Boris Gelfand, gained a substantial advantage and may have missed a clear win on move 36. As it is the two players struggled to meet the first time control, after which the second half of the game could begin. Kramnik fought for 41 more moves for the full point, but the rook ending a pawn up was competently defended by Gelfand and the game was drawn.

Gelfand,B (2758) - Kramnik,V (2772) [E04]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Bg5 b5 9.Ne5 Ra6 10.a4 bxa4 11.Nxc4 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.0-0 Rd8 14.Qxa4 Bd7 15.Qd1 Be8 16.e3 c5 17.d5 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Rc1 Qf6 20.d6 a4 21.Qd3 Nc6 22.Nd2 Nb4 23.Qc4 Qb2 24.Ne4 Qb3 25.Qxc5 Nd5 26.Rb1 Qa2 27.Qd4 a3 28.Rfc1 Rc6 29.Re1 Qc4 30.Ra1 Qxd4 31.exd4 Ra8 32.h4 Rb6 33.Rec1 a2 34.Kh2 Rb2 35.Nc5 Bb5 36.Kg1

36...Ra7?! Did Kramnik miss a win with 36...Rd8! 37.Bf1 Bxf1 38.Kxf1 Rxd6, which is clearly much better for Black. 37.Bf1 Bxf1 38.Kxf1 Nf6 39.Nd3 Rd2 40.Ne5 Kh7 41.Rc7 Ra4 42.d7 Raxd4 43.Ra7 Rd1+ 44.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 45.Ke2 Rd5 46.Kf3

46...Nxd7 47.Nxd7 Rxd7 48.Rxa2. Black has a clear one-pawn advantage, but this endgame is difficult to win, especially with Boris Gelfand moving the white pieces. Kramnik tries for 35 more moves, but in vain. 46...Rd5 49.Ra7 Kg6 50.Ke3 Rb5 51.Ke2 Rb3 52.Re7 Ra3 53.Rb7 f5 54.Kf1 f4 55.gxf4 Rh3 56.Rb4 Kf5 57.Rb7 Rh1+ 58.Kg2 Rxh4 59.f3 Kf6 60.Kg3 Rh1 61.Ra7 h5 62.Ra5 g6 63.Ra7 Rg1+ 64.Kf2 Rd1 65.Kg3 Rd8 66.Rb7 Rh8 67.Ra7 Rg8 68.Kh4 Rd8 69.Kg3 Rd5 70.Ra8 g5 71.fxg5+ Rxg5+ 72.Kh4 Rf5 73.Kg3 Rb5 74.Rf8+ Kg7 75.Re8 Kf7 76.Rh8 Rf5 77.Rh6 Ke7 78.f4 Kd6 79.Kf3 Rb5 80.Ke4 Ke7 81.Kf3 Kf7 draw.

Anand-Leko was a Semi-Slav in which the World Champion pulled out a novel idea one move 22, one that was originally discovered by his trusted second Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Although the position was probably defensible it was very difficult for Leko to work out exactly how at the board and in real time. His position steadily deteriorated to the point of resignation at move 45.

Anand,V (2788) - Leko,P (2752) [D43]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2009
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 14.a4 e5 15.Bg4 exd4 16.e5 c5 17.Re1 Nxe5 18.Bxe5 0-0 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Ne2 f5 21.Bh5 f4

22.Nxd4! A bold new idea, which does not necessarily win or give White a decisive advantage. But it creates just enough problems for Black that are difficult to solve in real time, over the board. And that is how many games are won these days. 22... cxd4 23.Re6 Bc8 24.Rg6+ Kh7 25.axb5 Rf6 26.Rxf6 Qxf6 27.Qc2+ Bf5 28.Qxc4 Rc8 29.Qd5 axb5 30.h3 Kh8 31.Qxb5.

The tipping point. White has won his pawn back and has a dangerous attack against the vulnerable enemy king. 31...Rf8 32.Ra6 Qg7 33.Rd6 d3 34.Qb6 Qe5 35.Bg6 d2 36.Bxf5 Qxf5 37.Qd4+ Kh7 38.Qxd2. Now White is a pawn up and on the path to victory. 38...Rf7 39.f3 h5 40.Rd5 Qg6 41.Qa5 Rg7 42.h4 Qb1+ 43.Kh2 Qxb2 44.Rxg5 Rxg5 45.Qxg5

and Black could do nothing here but to resign. 1-0.

Standings after five rounds


Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, November 5, 2009
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Peter Svidler
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Round 2: Friday, November 6, 2009
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Round 3: Saturday, November 7, 2009
Alex. Morozevich 
0-1
 Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Peter Svidler
Round 4: Sunday, November 8, 2009
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Peter Svidler
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Vishy Anand
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen 
½-½
 Levon Aronian
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Monday, November 9, 2009 Free day
M T W T F S S
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 27 27 29 29
Round 5: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen
Vishy Anand 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Peter Svidler 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Round 6: Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Vladimir Kramnik 
-
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Peter Leko 
-
 Peter Svidler
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Vishy Anand
Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Boris Gelfand 
-
 Levon Aronian
Games – Report
Round 7: Thursday, November 12, 2009
Levon Aronian 
-
 Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Boris Gelfand
Vishy Anand 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
Peter Svidler 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Ruslan Ponomariov 
-
 Peter Leko
Games – Report
Round 8: Friday, November 13, 2009
Vladimir Kramnik 
-
 Peter Leko
Magnus Carlsen 
-
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Alex. Morozevich 
-
 Peter Svidler
Boris Gelfand 
-
 Vishy Anand
Levon Aronian 
-
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Games – Report
Round 9: Saturday, November 14, 2009
Vassily Ivanchuk 
-
 Vladimir Kramnik
Vishy Anand 
-
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
-
 Boris Gelfand
Ruslan Ponomariov 
-
 Alex. Morozevich
Peter Leko 
-
 Magnus Carlsen
Games – Report

Links

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