Tal-Mem R4: Leko, Morozevich, Aronian win

11/10/2006 – Peter Leko ground down Boris Gelfand in 79 moves, Alexander Morozevich profited from a mysterious exchange sacrifice by Alexander Grischuk, and Levon Aronian calmly refuted an ambitious winning attempt by Alexei Shirov to take the full point. Now all three are just half a point behind the leading Ponomariov, who has a 2900+ performance. Big illustrated report.

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The Tal Memorial chess festival is being held in Moscow from November 5th to 19th, 2006. It is a round-robin super-tournament of Category 20, with participants from seven countries. The rating favorite is Peter Svidler, 2750, Russia, the dark horse is 15-year-old Magnus Carlsen of Norway, at 2698 the only participant rated below 2700. All games start at 15:00h Moscow time (= 13:00h CET, 12:00 noon London, 7 a.m. New York). There is live broadcast on the official site and on Playchess.com.

Round four

Round 4 – 10.11.2006 (Friday)
Leko
1-0
Gelfand
Morozevich
1-0
Grischuk
Mamedyarov
½-½
Ponomariov
Svidler
½-½
Carlsen
Shirov
0-1
Aronian
Games – Report


Round four of the Tal Memorial under way

Leko-Gelfand was a Slav with the players staying in theory until move 14. Peter Leko deviated with 15.Qf5, offering the exchange of queens, which Boris Gelfand gladly accepted.

Leko,P (2741) - Gelfand,B (2733) [D19]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (4), 10.11.2006
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Qe2 Bg4 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Qxf3 0-0 12.Rd1 Rc8 13.e4 e5 14.Be3 Qa5 15.Qf5 exd4 16.Qxa5 Bxa5 17.Bxd4 Rfe8 18.f3 a6 19.Kf2 Ne5 20.Be2 Rcd8 21.Be3 h5 22.g4 hxg4 23.hxg4 Ng6 24.Rxd8 Rxd8 25.Kg3 Re8 26.Rd1 Bc7+ 27.Kf2 Re7 28.Bf1 Nf4 29.g5 Nh7.

30.Bxf4. One wonders if Peter Leko saw 30.e5 Bxe5 31.Rd8+ Nf8 32.Bc5 and perhaps rejected it because of the defence 30...Ne6. 30...Bxf4 31.Rd8+ Nf8 32.g6 b5 33.Bh3 fxg6 34.Ra8 bxa4 35.Bf1 Kf7 36.Bc4+ Ne6 37.Ne2 Bd6 38.f4 Kf6 39.e5+ Bxe5 40.fxe5+ Kxe5 41.Bxe6 Kxe6 42.Rxa6 Rb7 43.Nf4+ Ke5 44.Ke3 c5 45.Nd3+ Kd5 46.Ra5 Kd6 47.Rxa4 Kd5 48.Ra5 Kd6 49.Ra4 Kd5 50.Kd2. White is wisely hanging on to his b-pawn, the only one he has left on the board. 50...c4 51.Nb4+ Ke4 52.Kc3 g5 53.Nc6 g4 54.Rxc4+ Kf5 55.Nd4+ Kf4 56.Nc6+ Kf5 57.Nb4 g3 58.Nd5 Ke5 59.Ne3 Rf7 60.Rg4 Rc7+ 61.Nc4+ Kf5 62.Rxg3 g5 63.Rf3+ Ke4 64.Rf7 Rc8 65.Rg7 Kf4 66.Kd3 Rd8+ 67.Ke2 Re8+ 68.Kf2 Rb8 69.Rf7+ Ke4 70.Rd7 g4 71.b3 Rb4 72.Nd2+ Kf4 73.Rd3 Kf5 74.Kg3 Ke5 75.Nc4+ Ke4 76.Re3+ Kd4 77.Kxg4 Rb8 78.Kf3 Rh8 79.Ke2 1-0. Nice endgame play by the former world championship challenger.


First defeat in round four: Boris Gelfand of Israel


Peter Leko explaining his victory over Gelfand


...and analysing with the official commentator Vlad Tkachiev

Morozevich-Grischuk was a Scheveningen that followed Anand-Topalov, Sofia 2006 (0-1 in 61 moves), up to move 14. Alexander Morozevich deviated with 15.Rc1 instead of Anand's 15.0-0, and went on to gain a comfortable advantage.

Morozevich,A (2747) - Grischuk,A (2710) [B80]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (4), 10.11.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e6 7.Be3 b5 8.Qd2 b4 9.Na4 Nbd7 10.c4 bxc3 11.Nxc3 Bb7 12.Be2 d5 13.exd5 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.Rc1 Qb8 16.a3 Bd6 17.Nf5 0-0 18.Nxd6 Qxd6 19.0-0 a5 20.a4 Rfd8 21.Bb5 h6 22.Rc3 Nf8 23.Rfc1 Ng6 24.Qf2 Rdb8 25.Rc7 Qb4 26.Qd2

26...Rxb5? One of the rules of the exchange sacrifice is you never do it if your opponent has a forced line to trade down to a simple exchange up. 27.axb5 Qxb5 28.Rc8+ Rxc8 29.Rxc8+ Kh7 30.Rc5 Qb7 31.Rxa5. White has exactly a rook for a knight and Black no tangible compensation, so the game is essentially over. 31...Ne5 32.Qc2+ Kg8 33.Rc5 Nc6 34.h3 f5 35.Qc3 1-0.


Alexander Morozevich with his good friend, chess publisher Amangeldy Ammanazarov


Alexander Grischuk, currently at the bottom of the table

Mamedyarov-Ponomariov was the longest game (by one move) of the day, a King's Indian with a strategically complex locked position. In ended after 80 moves in a draw.


Shak Mamedyarov in discussion with colleague Morozevich

Svidler-Carlsen was a Breyer, with Magnus Carlsen coming up with a novelty, 16...d5. White had no substantial winning chances and the game ended in a 29-move draw.


Peter Svidler vs Magnus Carlsen, about to start


... and ending in a relaxed analysis session

Shirov-Aronian was a Marshall Attack in the Closed Ruy Lopez, and followed the infamous Kramnik-Leko, Brissago 2004 (0-1 in 32 moves) up to move 18, and then Kurnosov-Azarov, Kusadasi 2006 (draw in 31) until move 20. With his novelty, 20...Qg6, Aronian got an equal game with rook for bishop and two pawns.


Arbiters Geurt Gijssen (left) and Eduard Dubov (right) discuss the operation
of the electronic chess clock with GM Genna Sosonko

Shirov,A (2720) - Aronian,L (2741) [C89]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (4), 10.11.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Re4 g5 16.Qf1 Qh5 17.Nd2 Bf5 18.f3 Nf6 19.a4 Nxe4 20.Nxe4 Qg6 21.Nxd6 Qxd6 22.Bxg5 Qg6 23.Qc1 Bd3 24.axb5 axb5 25.Rxa8 Rxa8 26.Kf2 Bc4 27.Bxc4 bxc4 28.g4 Re8 29.Bf4 Qd3 30.Kg3 Qe2 31.Qb1 Qe1+ 32.Qxe1 Rxe1 33.Bd6 Rg1+ 34.Kf2 Rb1 35.Ba3 Kg7 36.Kg3 Kg6 37.h3 h5 38.Kh4 Rg1 39.Bc5 Rg2 40.Ba3 f6 41.gxh5+ Kf5 42.f4 Rg8 43.Bd6 Ke6

White now has a bishop and three pawns for the black rook, but the position appears to he a draw. However Shirov is not happy to let his passed h-pawns go to waste and comes up with an attempted miracle win: 44.h6? An interesting piece sacrifice to get the black king as far from the h-file as possible, but there is a problem at the end of the line which Shirov apparently calculated: 44...Kxd6 45.Kh5 f5. "He's going to lose it with his b-pawn," the world strongest kibitzer said. "His what?" "The b-pawn, because of zugzwang". And so it came: 46.h7 Rh8 47.Kg6 Ke7 48.Kg7 Ke8!

Now 49.Kxh8 doesn't work because of 49...Kf7 and mate to follow: 50.h4 Kf8 51.h5 Kf7 52.h6 Kf8 53.d5 cxd5 54.b4 – yes, the ill fated b-pawn, which regrettably has to move – 54...cxb3 55.c4 b2 56.cxd5 b1Q 57.d6 Qb2 mate. Shirov shuffled around a bit, but there was no way out of the terrible dilemma: 49.Kg6 Kf8 50.h4 Ke7 51.Kg7 Ke8 52.Kg6 Kf8 53.h5 Ke7 54.Kg7 Ke8 55.Kg6 Kf8 56.h6 Ke8 57.Kf6 Rxh7 58.Kg6 Rf7 and rather than repeat the procedure with the second h-pawn White resigned. 0-1.


Alexei Shirov (right) and his second GM Surya Ganguly of India

Photos by Misha Savinov

Standings

It is slowly becoming meaningful to include the performance ratings. We can see that Ruslan Ponomariov has so far played like someone rated 2920 would be expected to do. Svidler, Leko and Aronian are playing above their expectations, with performance of 2813, 2816 and 2824 respectively. Alexander Morozevich is seriously underperforming, despite today's win, and Alexander Grischuk needs a big boost to get back on track.

Links

Schedule and results

Round 1 – 06.11.2006 (Monday)
Svidler
½-½
Leko
Shirov
½-½
Mamedyarov
 Aronian
1-0
Morozevich
 Carlsen
0-1
Gelfand
 Ponomariov
1-0
Grischuk
GamesReport
Round 2 – 07.11.2006 (Tuesday)
Grischuk
½-½
Leko
Gelfand
½-½
Ponomariov
Morozevich
½-½
Carlsen
Mamedyarov
½-½
Aronian
Svidler
½-½
Shirov
GamesReport
Round 3 – 08.11.2006 (Wednesday)
Shirov
½-½
Leko
Aronian
0-1
Svidler
Carlsen
½-½
Mamedyarov
Ponomariov
1-0
Morozevich
Grischuk
½-½
Gelfand
GamesReport
Round 4 – 10.11.2006 (Friday)
Leko
1-0
Gelfand
Morozevich
1-0
Grischuk
Mamedyarov
½-½
Ponomariov
Svidler
½-½
Carlsen
Shirov
0-1
Aronian
Games – Report
Round 5 – 11.11.2006 (Saturday)
Aronian
 
Leko
Carlsen
 
Shirov
Ponomariov
 
Svidler
Grischuk
 
Mamedyarov
Gelfand
 
Morozevich
Games – Report
Round 6 – 12.11.2006 (Sunday)
Leko
 
Morozevich
Mamedyarov
 
Gelfand
Svidler
 
Grischuk
Shirov
 
Ponomariov
Aronian
 
Carlsen
Games – Report
Round 7 – 14.11.2006 (Tuesday)
Carlsen
 
Leko
Ponomariov
 
Aronian
Grischuk
 
Shirov
Gelfand
 
Svidler
Morozevich
 
Mamedyarov
Games – Report
Round 8 – 15.11.2006 (Wednesday)
Leko
 
Mamedyarov
Svidler
 
Morozevich
Shirov
 
Gelfand
Aronian
 
Grischuk
Carlsen
 
Ponomariov
Games – Report
Round 9 – 16.11.2006 (Thursday)
Ponomariov
 
Leko
Grischuk
 
Carlsen
Gelfand
 
Aronian
Morozevich
 
Shirov
Mamedyarov
 
Svidler
Games – Report
 


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