Tal Round 5: Anand roars back

by Alejandro Ramirez
10/1/2016 – A relatively quiet day in Moscow, as we had been spoiled with about three decisive games per day in the Tal Memorial. The only win today was by Vishy Anand against the completely luckless Boris Gelfand. It was an interesting affair in a Rossolimo Sicilian, but White with good preparation always had the edge. Priyadarshan Banjan brings a full transcript of Anand's post-game interview.

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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 Five

Young spectators today in Moscow

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili

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

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
Kramnik almost got a taste of his own medicine. Aronian employed a symmetrical pawn structure that kept the pressure up on the top Russian player. Slowly but surely White made slight progress, until Kramnik saw that his best option was to sacrifice a pawn to reach a rook endgame. Aronian was unable to create real winning chances in it, though it seems that the move 50.Rd5 would have been winning. Some light annotations in the game comments, but look for the full analysis of the endgame in ChessBase Magazine.

Some suffering for Big Vlad today

Levon is a lover of the arts. (Photo by V. Barsky)

Giri, Anish ½-½ Nepomniachtchi, Ian
This topical line of Grunfeld is both quite long and considered to be very drawish. Giri emerged up a pawn, but Nepo wasn't afraid of the ensuing endgame as every russian schoolboy knows how to draw 3v3 on the kingside with a passed a-pawn for the attacking side. Ian made it look easy at the end.

Anish tried to refute a main line of the Grunfeld, but it's just too solid

Nepo keeps his good form

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ Svidler, Peter
Mamedyarov always goes for the crazy variations, but this time it almost backfired. Despite White's powerful knight on e6, Black's pieces were creating more threats on White's king than White was on Black's. The powerful rooks on the a-file were dangerous, but Svidler exchanged them a bit too quickly. Mamedyarov was able to wiggle himself out of any real trouble, and the resulting opposite colored bishop endgame saw him down a pawn, but not in any danger whatsoever.

The Azerbaijani's federation vice-president Mahir Mammadov visited the playing hall today

Li Chao ½-½ Tomashevsky, Evgeny
The closed nature of the position didn't allow either side to take advantage of their trumps. White's space advantage was irrelevant since so many minor pieces were traded, while Black's pressure on the a-file was literally the only thing he had going in terms of threats.

Anand, Vishy 1-0 Gelfand, Boris
Anand roars back to +1

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.10.01"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2776"] [BlackElo "2743"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "115"] [EventDate "2016.09.26"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 {Gelfand's been using the Sveshnikov as a solid defense against 1.e4 for a while.} 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 (4... dxc6 {is the older continuation, though I'm not sure there was any good reason it fell out of fashion.}) 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 Nh6 7. c3 O-O 8. h3 d5 9. d3 c4 10. dxc4 dxe4 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. Rxe4 e5 13. Re1 f6 14. Nbd2 Nf7 {Gelfand played this twice against Inarkiev in their match, winning the second game. Hraczek also repeated it during the Olympiad, but no one had essayed Anand's next move yet.} 15. Ne4 {The fact that it's the computers main choice surely means that both Anand and Gelfand have looked at it.} f5 16. Neg5 e4 17. Nxf7 Kxf7 18. Bg5 Rd3 19. Nd4 Ba6 (19... Bxd4 20. cxd4 Rxd4 21. Rad1 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Be6 23. b3 { is still a bit annoying for Black as the rook on d6 cannot be removed and it creates a permanent threat against the queenside pawns.}) 20. b3 c5 21. Ne2 h6 22. Be3 Rc8 23. h4 {Black cannot regain his pawn, so White emerges up material. } Bf6 (23... Bxc3 24. Nxc3 Rxc3 25. Bxh6) 24. Nf4 $6 (24. Bxh6 Bxh4 25. Nf4 Rdd8 26. Nd5 {was the superior move order, transposing into the game.}) 24... Rdd8 25. Nd5 Bxh4 $2 (25... Rxd5 26. cxd5 Bxc3 27. Bxh6 c4 {was the king of opposite colored bishop endgame Black should strive for. Down a pawn but close to a draw.}) 26. Bxh6 Bb7 27. g3 Bf6 (27... Bxd5 28. gxh4 (28. cxd5 Bf6 { is very bad for white.}) 28... Be6 {looks like an improved version of the game. }) 28. Nxf6 Kxf6 29. Be3 Rd3 30. Kf1 g5 31. Ke2 Rxc3 32. Rac1 {maybe a bit rushed.} (32. Kd2 Rd3+ 33. Kc2 {puts the king in a better square first.}) 32... Rxc1 33. Rxc1 {Black has recovered the pawn, but c5 will not be around for much longer.} Rd8 $1 34. Bxc5 f4 $1 {A good practical decision - to create counterplay.} 35. gxf4 gxf4 36. Bxa7 e3 37. Bxe3 $5 (37. fxe3 f3+ 38. Ke1 (38. Kf2 Rd2+ 39. Kg3 Kf5 $13) 38... Kf5 39. e4+ Kxe4 {is not easy to win by any means. Black's pieces are just too active.}) 37... fxe3 38. Kxe3 {White has four passed pawns for the bishop, and even though with perfect play I'm sure this is a draw, it is hard to play with the black pieces. Further analysis in ChessBase Magazine will reveal which one was the decisive mistake.} Bc8 39. Rc2 Bf5 40. Rd2 Ra8 41. Kd4 Ke6 42. Kc3 Ke5 43. a4 Be4 44. Kb4 Rb8+ 45. Ka3 Rf8 46. a5 Rf3 47. Kb4 Bb7 48. Rd8 {The game should be winning now for White. The rook and king are too active for Black's pieces.} Rxf2 49. Kc5 Rf6 50. Re8+ Kf4 51. b4 Rc6+ 52. Kd4 Rd6+ 53. Kc5 Rc6+ 54. Kb5 Rf6 55. Re7 Ba6+ 56. Kc5 Rf5+ 57. Kd4 Kf3 58. b5 1-0

Priyadarshan Banjan, editor for ChessBase India took the task to transcribed Vishy's press conference:

[Event "10th Tal Memorial 2016"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2016.10.01"] [Round "?"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Gelfand, Boris"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "2776"] [BlackElo "2743"] [Annotator "Viswanathan Anand"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 Nh6 {This particular line is all the rage now. ...Nh6 is just exploding. To be honest, I had not been following the Rossolimo much but I noticed that Inarkiev played this against Gelfand. I was amazed that this had been bubbling underneath and it is hot now.} 7. c3 O-O 8. h3 d5 9. d3 c4 10. dxc4 dxe4 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. Rxe4 e5 13. Re1 f6 14. Nbd2 Nf7 {I decided to go for this endgame. The only difference is that we had prepared, instead of 15.Nb3 as in the Inarkiev-Gelfand match,} 15. Ne4 {this move.} f5 16. Neg5 {The whole idea is to get opposite-coloured bishops.} e4 17. Nxf7 {So I exchange everything and try to get that ending.} Kxf7 18. Bg5 Rd3 19. Nd4 Ba6 {to the extent of playing } 20. b3 c5 ({Basically, what I mean is} 20... Bxd4 21. cxd4 Rxd4 22. Rad1 $18 {because Black is missing all the dark squares here and White can even bring his king up the board and so on.}) {Of couse, he didn't give me the dark squared bishop.} 21. Ne2 h6 22. Be3 Rc8 {Here, I have to play} 23. h4 $1 { because otherwise, he can play ...g5, and ...f4 and get compensation for his dark squares.} Bf6 ({We were discussing} 23... Bb7 {to stop White's knight establishing itself on d5.}) 24. Nf4 Rdd8 25. Nd5 Bxh4 {It is very important that I bring his bishop to h4 before I take} 26. Bxh6 Bb7 27. g3 Bf6 ({Now, if he takes} 27... Bxd5 {Then I get the opposite-coloured bishops that I want.} 28. gxh4 (28. cxd5 Bf6 {maybe I can sac the exchange and try this as well, but that's speculative.}) 28... Be6 {Basically, the idea is to use the queenside pawn structure as a wall against the black bishop.} 29. Rad1 {Now the thing to remember is that if he goes} Rd3 30. Rxd3 exd3 31. Bg5 {I just take away the d8 square and he wil lose the d3 pawn for nothing. If he tries with ...Rc6, I will just play Bf4, f3, and win the bishop and pawn ending.}) 28. Nxf6 Kxf6 29. Be3 {Anyway I get the wall} Rd3 30. Kf1 {Why did I play Kf1?} ({Because suddenly I wasn't sure about} 30. Rac1 Rh8 31. Kf1 {looks winning, but surprisingly} Rxe3 32. fxe3 (32. Rxe3 Rh1+ $19) 32... Rh2 {It is difficult to get back the second rank and Black has some counterplay with Kg5, Kg4, etc. Somwhere, his counterplay can get out of hand, so I thought it would be irresponsible to allow that.}) 30... g5 {But here it is not that trivial because he is threatening to generate counterplay..} 31. Ke2 Rxc3 32. Rac1 { perhaps this is not ideal.} ({I could have tried} 32. Kd2 Rd3+ {to put it on c2 } 33. Kc2 {The point is that now that I am secure on e3, I can go to the h-file. With two rooks he cannot stop me from entering. With one rook it is possible to stop it with ...Kg6, and that is what he did in the game.}) 32... Rxc1 33. Rxc1 Rd8 ({What I am threatening is Rh1, and when he stops it with ... Kg6, I can go Rd1, and things should break down. There is this alternative} 33... Kg6 34. Rd1 Kh5 35. Rd7 Bc6 {Before he can play ...Kg4 and ...f4, I hammer it,} 36. Rg7 {so, it is difficult to execute this plan. The rook will loop around all over the place and it is difficult for his two pieces to control it.}) 34. Bxc5 {I don't see how to make progress without this. Now I find myself in a situation where I can't really enter...} f4 (34... Kg6 35. Be3 {and then go b4, b5. Already I can consider Rc2, d2 and the endgame.} (35. Bxa7 Ra8)) 35. gxf4 gxf4 36. Bxa7 e3 {I decided to go for this endgame with four pawns for the piece.} 37. Bxe3 ({It is important not to get distracted with} 37. fxe3 f3+ {And he can go Be4 which is just annoying as I will always be fighting against the f pawn. So, I decided that best is to just play the text.} ) 37... fxe3 38. Kxe3 Bc8 {I would most likely lose the f-pawn somewhere along the way, but the advantage for white is that in the meantime, if I build up the pawn strucure, let's say a6-c4, then I can just ditch the f-pawn.} 39. Rc2 Bf5 40. Rd2 Ra8 41. Kd4 Ke6 (41... Ra3 {is a good sameple line to understand this.} 42. Kc3 (42. Rb2 {I guess I don't want to do this, because he may use this chance to slide over to the queenside.}) 42... Bb1 {He is not threatening to take becauase of Kb2, but at the same time I cannot make progress. Then I found} 43. Kb4 Rxa2 44. Rxa2 Bxa2 45. Kc3 Bb1 46. Kd4 Ke6 47. b4 Kd6 48. b5 Bf5 49. f4 {he will never be able to stop both pawns. I was gonna double check this, but my hunch is this is just winning.}) 42. Kc3 Ke5 43. a4 Be4 {I think the important move in the ending was} 44. Kb4 (44. Re2 {was my original idea threatening f3..} Rf8 45. a5 Rf3+ 46. Kb4 Kd4 47. Rd2+ Bd3 48. a6 Rf8 {I was not sure about this.}) 44... Rb8+ {but here my rook is perfectly placed on d2.} 45. Ka3 {Now there is no going back for him. If he goes Ra8, I go b4-b5, and if he goes Rc8, I go a5. I guess it is just slowly winning.} Rf8 46. a5 Rf3 47. Kb4 Bb7 48. Rd8 Rxf2 49. Kc5 Rf6 50. Re8+ Kf4 51. b4 Rc6+ 52. Kd4 Rd6+ 53. Kc5 Rc6+ 54. Kb5 Rf6 55. Re7 Ba6+ 56. Kc5 Rf5+ 57. Kd4 Kf3 58. b5 Bxb5 {His king is cut off so far that I will get a Lucena anyway.} (58... Bxb5 59. cxb5 Rxb5 60. a6 Ra5 61. a7 Kf4 $18) 1-0

Replay today's games

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Standings after Round Five

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
½-½
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish
½-½
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
3
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
4
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B
½-½
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
5
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
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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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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libyantiger libyantiger 10/2/2016 03:31
happy carlsen-less tourment for all participant GMs
tom fox tom fox 10/2/2016 12:01
Fantastic to have Anand's anotations incorporated in the PGN. I am sure this would be appreciated in the future. Great idea!
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