Tal Round 4: Giri on fire, two other wins

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/30/2016 – With his third straight victory it is Anish Giri that is stealing the show in Moscow. He leads with 3.5/4, half a point ahead of Ian Nepomniachtchi who drew against Levon Aronian. Two other games were decisive: Vladimir Kramnik returns to 50% by defeating Vishy Anand, while Li Chao came with strong preparation and beat a luckless Gelfand with the black pieces. Report of round four.

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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.

Round Four

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili

Round 4 - Sept. 30 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
1-0
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
2
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris
0-1
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
3
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
½-½
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
4
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter
0-1
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
5
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
½-½
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3

Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 Anand, Viswanathan
A few lost tempi by Anand's bishop was enough for Big Vlad to apply serious pressure.

Vladimir is back to 50% and drags Vishy down to 50% with him

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.09.30"] [Round "4"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Anand, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2808"] [BlackElo "2776"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. h3 d6 7. c3 a6 8. Re1 Ba7 9. Bb3 h6 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. Nf1 Be6 12. Bc2 d5 13. exd5 Bxd5 14. Ng3 Bc5 { This maneuver is rather hated by the computers, and personally I think it simply wastes too much time.} (14... Nd7 $5) (14... a5 $5) 15. b4 Bf8 16. a4 g6 17. Bb2 b5 18. Ne4 Rb8 19. Bc1 Nd7 20. Bb3 Bxb3 21. Qxb3 {Upon close inspection, it is clear that Black's position is simply bad. The knight on e4 is very powerful, White's structure is better, the rook on the a-file can penetrate... also, White has nothing to worry about: there is little in the way of counterplay.} Re6 22. axb5 axb5 23. Be3 Nf6 24. Rad1 Nxe4 25. dxe4 Qe8 26. Rd5 {The symmetrical structure alleviates the position somewhat, but White continues with the initiative.} Nd8 27. Ra1 Nb7 28. Ra7 c6 29. Rd1 Nd6 30. Nd2 Ra8 31. Rda1 Rxa7 32. Rxa7 Re7 33. Ra6 Rc7 34. Qa2 Kg7 35. Bb6 Rb7 36. Bc5 Be7 37. Ra8 Rb8 38. Ra7 Rd8 39. Bb6 Rc8 40. Bc7 Qd7 41. Bb6 Qe8 42. g3 Bg5 43. Bc7 Bxd2 (43... Be7 {was perhaps the best move, but it is rather passive.}) 44. Bxd6 Bxc3 45. Re7 {Black has won a pawn, but now his pieces will be tied up dangerous to the f7 pawn.} Qg8 $6 {natural but incorrect.} (45... Qf8 {White doesn't have an immediate win here based on a discovery.} 46. Qe6 Ra8 {is similar to the game, but up a tempo for Black.}) 46. Qe6 Qf8 (46... Ra8 47. Bxe5+ Bxe5 48. Qxe5+ Kh7 49. Qf6 {cannot be held.}) 47. Kg2 {It's hard to come up with a move here for Vishy.} (47. Rc7 Rxc7 48. Bxf8+ Kxf8 49. Qd6+ Re7 50. Kg2 Bd4 51. f4 {is probably winning. Black is getting Zugzwanged, and will have to play Ke8, dropping both c6 and b5 soon.}) (47. Bxe5+ $2 Bxe5 48. Qxe5+ Kg8 {is not clear at all.}) 47... Rd8 (47... Ra8 48. Qd7 {and the simple h4-h5 is hard to deal with.} Bd4 49. h4 (49. Qxc6 Ra2 $11) 49... h5 50. Qxc6 Ra2 51. Re8 $18) 48. Bc5 Bd4 49. Qxc6 Kg8 (49... Bxc5 50. Qxc5 {is not a lot of fun either.}) 50. Qxb5 Rb8 51. Rxf7 $1 (51. Rxf7 Rxb5 52. Rxf8+ Kg7 53. Rc8 Bc3 54. Bf8+ $18) (51. Rxf7 Kxf7 52. Qd7+ Kg8 53. Bxf8) (51. Rxf7 Qxf7 52. Qxb8+) 1-0

Talk about an old rivalry...

Gelfand, Boris 0-1 Li Chao
Gelfand continues to have a rough time this tournament, going down to -3. Li Chao's novelty was quite good, but Gelfand shouldn't have found himself in such trouble so quickly.

The Chinese player clearly came well prepared in his Grunfeld

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.09.30"] [Round "4"] [White "Gelfand, B."] [Black "Li, Chao b"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D97"] [WhiteElo "2743"] [BlackElo "2746"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "118"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Na6 8. Be2 c5 9. d5 e6 10. O-O exd5 11. exd5 Nb4 12. Rd1 Nc2 (12... b6 {was played in the ten year old game between Bareev and Svidler. Bareev won that game, and Li Chao must have prepared this improvement.}) 13. Rb1 Nd4 {A truly fascinating idea. Black sacrifices a pawn simply to discoordinate White's pieces.} 14. Nxd4 cxd4 15. Rxd4 (15. Qxd4 Bf5 16. Ra1 Ne4 17. Qb4 Re8 {gives Black ample compensation.}) 15... Bf5 16. Ra1 Ne8 17. Bf4 $5 {Sacrificing the exchange, though in reality the rook is untouchable.} (17. Rd1 {must be critical, but after} Bc2 $1 18. Rd2 (18. Re1 $5) 18... Nd6 19. Qf4 Bf5 {again Black has compensation, it is awkward to develop White's pieces.}) 17... Nd6 (17... Bxd4 18. Qxd4 {and the dark squares are simply too weak.}) 18. Qc5 Re8 {The rook is not hanging, true, but it is uncomfortable to always have to think about it. White's pieces are all under attack by Black's, and it is uncomfortable to move anything. The next move, however, seems to be a mistake.} 19. Bb5 (19. Rad1 Bxd4 $5 (19... Rc8 20. Qxd6 Qxd6 21. Bxd6 Bxd4 22. Rxd4 Rxc3 23. bxc3 Rxe2 {gives White real winning chances.} 24. g4 Bd7 25. a3 $14) 20. Qxd4 g5 { with an unclear position.}) 19... Nxb5 20. Nxb5 Rc8 $5 21. Qxa7 {no other move makes sense.} (21. Qb4 Qb6 {looks bad for White.}) 21... Ra8 22. Qc5 Rxa2 { a simple back rank trick.} 23. Rad1 $6 (23. Rf1 Bxd4 24. Qxd4 Re4 25. Qd2 Qb6 26. Nd6 {is now possible, which makes White's task of surviving realistic.} Rd4 $2 27. Qe3 {and Black's the one getting mated.}) 23... Bxd4 24. Qxd4 Re4 25. Qd2 Qb6 26. Nc3 (26. Nd6 Rd4 {and again the back rank trick, this time it is completely decisive.}) 26... Rxb2 27. Nxe4 Rxd2 28. Nxd2 Qd4 29. Be3 Qxd5 { Li Chao emerges up a lot of material. The rest of the game is not so interesting to annotate. Gelfand attempted to create a fortress, but there never was a real chance to do so.} 30. Rc1 b5 31. Rc5 Qd7 32. h3 b4 33. Rc4 Qd6 34. g4 Be6 35. Rd4 Qf8 36. Ne4 b3 37. Rd2 f5 38. Nc5 Qb8 39. Nxe6 b2 40. Rxb2 Qxb2 41. g5 Qb1+ 42. Kh2 Qe4 43. Nf4 Qf3 44. Ng2 Kf7 45. Nh4 Qd1 46. Bf4 Ke6 47. Kg3 Kd5 48. Nf3 Ke4 49. Nd2+ Kd3 50. Kg2 Ke2 51. Be3 Qa4 52. Kg3 Qb4 53. Bf4 Qc5 54. Be3 Qd6+ 55. Bf4 Qd4 56. Be3 f4+ 57. Bxf4 Qxf2+ 58. Kg4 Qg1+ 59. Kh4 Qg2 0-1

Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
For the second day in a row Tomashevsky's game is by far the longest. His advantage of knight and bishop against rook in the endgame was close to a decisive edge, but it was still a tough technical task. Tomashevsky's trade of the h-pawn for the c-pawn simplified the position too much, and it became very hard to win. After 83 moves, Mamedyarov finally earned his draw.

No stone left unturned: Tomashevsky in another six hour game

Svidler, Peter 0-1 Giri, Anish
En fuego! Giri's hat-trick propels him to being tournament leader after an unfortunate queen venture by Svidler. Important to not that Giri has won two of his three games with black.

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.09.30"] [Round "4"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Giri, A."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A37"] [WhiteElo "2745"] [BlackElo "2755"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "118"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. c4 Bg7 5. Nc3 d6 6. O-O e5 7. a3 Nge7 8. d3 O-O 9. Rb1 a5 10. Bg5 f6 11. Bd2 Be6 12. Ne1 d5 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. Qb3 $6 { The start of a dangerous venture. Pawn grabbing will not be good for Svidler.} Nc7 (14... a4 $5 {Is even better, as Giri pointed out in the press conference and as was played in, for example, Valdes-Dominguez Perez, 2007.}) (14... Nd4 15. Bxd5 Nxb3 16. Bxe6+ Kh8 17. Bxb3 {is almost losing for Black.}) 15. Qb6 Nd4 (15... a4) 16. Nf3 $6 (16. f4 $5 {White had to create some activity by this point.}) 16... Ra6 $1 17. Qxb7 Nxe2+ $1 18. Kh1 (18. Nxe2 Bd5 {and the queen is trapped!}) 18... Nxc3 19. bxc3 Bd5 {Black is simply much better. He has a serious initiative against White's pieces and pawns.} 20. Qb2 Qa8 21. Ne1 Rd6 22. d4 Rfd8 23. Kg1 cxd4 24. cxd4 Bxg2 25. Nxg2 Rxd4 26. Bc3 R4d7 (26... Rd3 { Giri considered this to be more active, trying to prevent Nc4-b6.} 27. Ne3 h5 28. Rfc1 {"in the coming time trouble pieces are a bit shaky." - Giri}) 27. Ne3 Nd5 28. Nxd5 Rxd5 29. a4 h5 30. h4 Qc6 31. Qb3 Kh7 32. Rfc1 Qd7 33. Be1 e4 34. Qb7 Qxa4 35. Ra1 Qe8 36. Rc7 R5d7 37. Rxd7 Rxd7 38. Qb3 Rd3 39. Qc4 Qd7 40. Rxa5 f5 (40... e3 41. fxe3 Rxe3 42. Bf2 {might not lead anywhere.}) 41. Kg2 Rd1 {bishop is misplaced, uncomfortable to defend.} 42. Qe2 Rb1 43. Rc5 Qb7 (43... e3 $1 44. Qxe3 (44. fxe3 Qe7 $1 {is a computer win. The idea is that White can't avoid Qe4+ with upcoming coordination between the rook and the queen to attack the king.}) 44... Bd4 $19) 44. Kh2 f4 45. gxf4 Qe7 46. Rc4 Qxh4+ 47. Kg2 Qxf4 48. Qxe4 (48. Rxe4 $1 Qg5+ 49. Kh2 {still holds on.}) 48... Qg5+ 49. Kf3 (49. Kf1 Qb5 50. Qe2 Qd5 $1 $19) (49. Kh2 Be5+ 50. Kh1 Rb3 $19) 49... Rb5 50. Qd3 Qg1 51. Re4 Rb2 52. Qc4 Qh1+ 53. Kg3 Rb1 54. Qe2 Qg1+ 55. Kh3 Rb3+ 56. f3 g5 57. Bf2 g4+ 58. Kh4 Qh2+ 59. Kg5 Rxf3 0-1

With today's win, Anish scrapes back to the top-10 in the live rating list

Nepomniachtchi, Ian ½-½ Aronian, Levon
Despite Nepo's pair of bishops, Aronian's better structure and strong knights in the center probably gave him a slight advantage. It was difficult to make any realistic progress, though, as the pair of bishops were always a nuisance. With every trade on the board the game became more equal, until eventually a drawn endgame was reached.

Four straight draws for Levon, while Ian is happy on +2

Replay today's games

Select games from the list below the board

Standings after Round Four

Schedule and pairings

Round 1 - Sept. 26 - 14h CET
Bo.
No.
Rtg
 
Name
Result
 
Name
Rtg
No.
1
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter
½-½
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
1-0
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
3
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon
½-½ 
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
4
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish
½-½
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
5
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
Round 2 - Sept. 27 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
2
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
3
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris
0-1 
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
4
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
½-½
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
5
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter
½-½
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
Rest day
Round 3 - Sept. 29 - 14h CET
1
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
1-0
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon
½-½
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
3
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish
1-0
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
4
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
5
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B
½-½
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
Round 4 - Sept. 30 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
1-0
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
2
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris
0-1
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
3
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
½-½
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
4
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter
0-1
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
5
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
½-½
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

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Topics Tal Memorial

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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jarreth22 jarreth22 9/30/2016 11:14
finally Giri wins, and if he starts winning, since he is one of, if not THE the most solid top player, this can really hurt
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