Tal-Mem R5: All games drawn

11/11/2006 – Sound boring, but there were a number of interesting moments in round five of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. We did some statistics: of the 25 games played so far 68% were drawn, the shortest in 23 moves. Only about four were unfought. Mamedyarov-Ponomariov was the longest game and had the longest header so far. Illustrated report including golden sponsors of the event.

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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 five

Round 5 – 11.11.2006 (Saturday)
Aronian
½-½
Leko
Carlsen
½-½
Shirov
Ponomariov
½-½
Svidler
Grischuk
½-½
Mamedyarov
Gelfand
½-½
Morozevich
Games – Report

Aronian-Leko was a Queen's Indian that followed Rodshtein-Pashikian, Yerevan 2006, 1-0 in 34 for 10 moves, when Peter Leko deviated. The game ended in after 27 moves in a draw by repetition, but there were some cool tactics involved.

Aronian,L (2741) - Leko,P (2741) [E15]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 11.11.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 c5 6.d5 exd5 7.cxd5 Bb7 8.Bg2 Nxd5 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rd1 Nc6 [Rodshtein,M (2517)-Pashikian,A (2527), Yerevan 2006 continued 10...Qc8 11.a3 Nf6 12.Nc3 d5 13.Bg5 d4 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Ne4 0-0 16.Rac1 Qe6 17.Nh4 Bc6 18.Nd2 Bxg2 19.Nxg2 Bd6 20.Nf3 Nc6 21.e3 Ne5 22.Nfh4 Rac8 23.Nf4 Qg4 24.h3 Qd7 25.Nh5 Qxh3 26.Qf5 Qxf5 27.Nxf5 Rfd8 28.exd4 Nf3+ 29.Kg2 Nxd4 30.Nxf6+ Kf8 31.Nxh7+ Kg8 32.Nf6+ Kf8 33.Rxd4 cxd4 34.Rh11-0] 11.Qf5 Nf6 12.e4 g6 13.Qf4 0-0 14.e5 Nh5 15.Qh6 Nd4 16.Nxd4 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 cxd4 18.g4

18...Rc8 19.Rxd4 [after 19.gxh5 g5 with the threat of 20...Rc6, trapping the white queen, Black would have the advantage.] 19...Ng7 20.Nc3 f5 21.Qd2 Bc5 22.Rxd7 Qh4 23.Nd5 Qxg4+ 24.Kf1 Qh3+ 25.Kg1 Qg4+ 26.Kf1 Qh3+ 27.Kg1 Qg4+ ½-½.

Carlsen-Shirov was one of the two Petroffs we have seen in this tournament so far, and ended on move 30 in a repetition. This game too contains points of tactical interest.

Ponomariov-Svidler, and Exchange Grünfeld, was less noteworthy and ended after a flurry of exchanges in a draw on move 30.

Grischuk-Mamedyarov was the third Breyer in this tournament, the second with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov playing black. It followed Shirov-Mamedyarov from round one up to move 23 and ended in a similar kind of draw on move 34 (the round one game had also been a 34-move draw).

Grischuk,A (2710) - Mamedyarov,S (2728) [C95]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 11.11.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.b3 d5 16.Bg5 h6 17.Bh4 g5 18.Nxg5 hxg5 19.Bxg5 exd4 20.e5 Rxe5 21.Rxe5 Nxe5 22.cxd4 Nc6 23.Qd3 [23.Nh5 Be7 24.Bxf6 Bxf6 25.Qd3 Kf8 26.Qh7 Bxd4 27.Qh6+ Ke8 28.Re1+ Ne5 29.Bf5 Qd6 30.Qg5 c5 31.Nf6+ Kd8 32.Nxd5+ Ke8 33.Nf6+ Kd8 34.Nd5+ 1/2-1/2 Shirov,A (2720)-Mamedyarov,S (2728)/Moscow RUS 2006] 23...Nb4 24.Qf3 Be7 25.Bb1 Bc8 26.Qf4 Ne4 27.Bxe7 Qxe7 28.a3 Nc6

Here Grischuk could have played for a win: 29.Nxe4 dxe4 30.Bxe4 Nxd4 31.Qg3+ Kf8 32.Qe3 Nf5 33.Qf4 Rb8 34.Bxf5 Qd6 35.Qh4 Qe5 (35...Bxf5 36.Qh8+ Ke7 37.Qxb8) 36.Qd8+ Kg7 37.Rd1 Qxf5 38.Qxc7 Ra8 39.Rd8 Qf6 40.Qg3+ (40.Rxc8 Rxc8 41.Qxc8 Qa1+ 42.Kh2 Qxa3 43.Qc3+) 40...Kh7 41.Rg8. But the young Muscovite played 29.Bxe4 and the game was soon drawn: 29...dxe4 30.Nh5 Qd6 31.Nf6+ Kf8 32.Qh6+ Ke7 33.Ng8+ Ke8 34.Nf6+ Ke7 ½-½.

Gelfand-Morozevich was a Semi-Slav and the longest game of the day: draw in 43 moves. It was 18 moves of theory and then a bit of maneuvering, but nothing to open that bottle of single malt for.

Statistics

Of the 25 games played in the first five rounds at the Tal Memorial in Moscow 68% were drawn.

The average length of all games was 41 moves, the shortest being Gelfand-Ponomariov in round 2 (23 moves, ½-½) and the longest (80 moves, ½-½) Mamedyarov-Ponomariov in round 4. The latter had the longest header so far, but will be caught, we believe, by Morozevich-Mamedyarov in round seven. Naturally it will never reach the immortal Chiburdanidze-Gaprindashvili.

We can call four games at most unfought draws, and in spite of the 68% overall drawing average there has been plenty of excitement. So it is not appropriate for us to ask for our money back

Standings

Links

Photographic impressions

Provided by Misha Savinov


Leaving the Metro station for the Central Chess House


Autumn in Moscow, cold and drizzly


Art displayed and sold at the streetside


Landscapes in blue, to take your mind off the winter that is approaching


The front desk of the Tal Memorial tournament


In the office you see former FIDE president Florencio Campomanes (right) hard at work


Chess fans – or to be more precise: future WGMs from St. Petersburg


Just arrived: GM Vadim Zvjaginsev


Former world chess champion Vassily Smyslov and his wife (left)


Free coffee supplied by co-sponsor Nescafé


And the other popular sponsor: Golden Lipton Tea

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
GamesReport
Round 5 – 11.11.2006 (Saturday)
Aronian
½-½
Leko
Carlsen
½-½
Shirov
Ponomariov
½-½
Svidler
Grischuk
½-½
Mamedyarov
Gelfand
½-½
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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