Tal-Mem R7: Grischuk and Gelfand win

11/14/2006 – Round seven of the Tal Memorial was exciting and memorable. The games were pretty good, but more relevantly Garry Kasparov had remembered that the event was taking place just around the corner from where he lives. So he dropped by, much to the delight of the players, chess fans and commentators. Big pictorial 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 seven

Report and pictures by Misha Savinov

Round 7 – 14.11.2006 (Tuesday)
Carlsen
½-½
Leko
Ponomariov
½-½
Aronian
Grischuk
1-0
Shirov
Gelfand
1-0
Svidler
Morozevich
½-½
Mamedyarov
Games – Report

The seventh round of the Tal Memorial was attended by Garry Kasparov, who lives very close to the Central Chess Club – about ten minutes of relaxed walk. A few days earlier he was unexpectedly greeted by Leko near his house, and could not figure out what’s going on. Only when he met Grischuk at the same street, Garry finally recalled that the 20th category tournament was being held around the corner.


Garry Kasparov arrives and greets the famous arbiters Vera Tikhomirova and Yury Averbakh

Kasparov appeared at around 6:30 p.m., when the games were approaching the first time control. One game was already over – the leaders, Ponomariov and Aronian, drew an entertaining Ruy Lopez, which involved a pawn sacrifice and two exchange sacrifices.

Ponomariov,R (2703) - Aronian,L (2741) [C88]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7), 14.11.2006
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 b4 9.a5 d5 10.exd5 e4 11.dxc6 exf3 12.d3 fxg2 13.Qf3 Rb8 14.Bc4 Ne8 15.Bf4 Bf6 16.Nd2 Bxb2 17.Rab1 Bc3 18.Bg5 Bf6 19.Rxe8 Rxe8 20.Ne4

20...Rxe4. Take a look at the alternative: 20...Bxg5 21.Qxf7+ Kh8 22.Nxg5 Qe7 23.Qxe8+ (23.Qxe7 Rxe7 24.Nf7+ Kg8 25.Ng5+ Kh8=) 23...Qxe8 24.Nf7+ Kg8 25.Nd6+ Be6 26.Nxe8 Rxe8 27.Rxb4 and White is doing fine. 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Qxf6 gxf6 23.dxe4 Kf8 24.Kxg2 Ke7 25.Rd1 ½-½.


Kasparov being greeted by organiser Alexander Bakh (left)

The 13th World Champion was warmly greeted by Alexander Bakh and Alexander Roshal. He visited the playing hall and players’ relaxation area, and then moved to the technical room, where match commentator Alexander Motylev was working on his online annotations. Motylev immediately offered Kasparov his seat. Everybody gathered around the grandmasters to catch every word of the retired champion.


Kasparov with match commentator GM Alexander Motylev


The two discussed the critical games

Kasparov, who was accompanied by two alarmed-looking bodyguards, was extremely relaxed, and enjoyed every minute of his improvised commentary. He didn’t pay much attention to Ponomariov-Aronian, focusing on more exciting Carlsen-Leko and Grischuk-Shirov games. As for Gelfand-Svidler, Kasparov said that White’s extra pawn and dominating position makes it very uninteresting, and called Svidler’s play in this tournament "lazy". Soon Peter resigned, and Boris Gelfand also came to the technical room and spent about 20 minutes there.


Boris Gelfand (right) drops by to analyse with Kasparov and Motylev

Meanwhile, Peter Leko’s domination against Carlsen had reached its peak. On the move 35 Kasparov spotted 35…Rxf3!?, winning two pawns for an exchange with excellent winning chances. He was very disappointed when Leko overlooked this possibility. After the control, the Hungarian’s advantage evaporated, and the game was drawn.


Garry Kasparov following the games of round seven of the Tal Memorial

Carlsen,M (2698) - Leko,P (2741) [E20]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7), 14.11.2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 c5 5.Nf3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 0-0 7.Bg2 d5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Qb3 Qa5 10.Bd2 Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.0-0 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Ba6 14.Rfd1 Qc5 15.e4 Bc4 16.Qc2 Nb6 17.Bf4 e5 18.Be3 Qa3 19.Bh3 Rab8 20.Qc1 Qxc1 21.Rdxc1 Bd3 22.f3 Rb7 23.Rd1 Bc2 24.Rdc1 Bd3 25.Rd1 Bc2 26.Re1 Nc4 27.Bc5 Rd8 28.Bf1 Nd2 29.Bg2 a5 30.Re2 Bb1 31.Re1 Bc2 32.Re2 Bb1 33.Re1 h6 34.Ba3 Rd3 35.Rc1

Kasparov picked up 35...Rxf3 36.Bxf3 Nxf3+ 37.Kf2 Bxe4 with good winning chances for Black. But to his disappointment Leko went for a different line 35...Rd8 36.Re1 Bc2 37.Bc1 Nb1 38.c4 Rd4 39.c5 a4 40.Bf1 a3 41.Re3 Ra7 42.Re2 Bd3 43.Re3 Bxf1 44.Rxb1 Rd1 45.Kf2 Bd3 46.Rb8+ Kh7 47.Re1 Rxe1 48.Kxe1 Bc4 49.Rd8 Ra5 50.Rd2 f6 51.Rc2 Be6 52.Kd2 g5 53.Rc3 Kg6 54.Rxa3 Rxa3 55.Bxa3 Bxa2 ½-½.

We asked Garry Kimovich for his opinion on Carlsen. He said he had conducted one training session with the Norwegian, and thinks that "everything will be alright with this guy". He noted Carlsen’s solid approach to chess and his remarkable resistant capacity. "Of course, he sees tactics brilliantly, but this is applicable to all modern players."

My question to Mr. Kasparov: Do you think it was wise for Carlsen to participate in such a strong tournament so early in his career? His reply: "Well, my opinion is that he plays too much, but it seems their choice is to get experience from playing, and maybe such approach also has the right to exist…"


Peter Leko's father-in-law and trainer Arshak Petrosian (middle)
analyses with the improvised commentary team

Grischuk-Shirov was another interesting game. Grischuk sacrificed a piece in the opening, collected a few pawns and readily transposed to an endgame in which his queenside pawns soon became irresistible. Kasparov praised his early play, but was of the opinion that Grischuk’s technique was not without flaws.

Another reminder of Kasparov’s still acute tactical vision came in Morozevich-Mamedyarov. He didn’t have to think for long to sacrifice another man’s material: 43.Nb7 Nxd1 44.a5! This would quickly transpose to a technical ending won for White. Morozevich, however, moved in another direction. This did not change the evaluation, but the Muscovite kept losing ground, and after seven hours of play the game was drawn…

Morozevich,A (2747) - Mamedyarov,S (2728) [C95]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7), 14.11.2006
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 exd4 16.cxd4 c5 17.d5 Bg7 18.Rb1 a5 19.Bf4 Qc7 20.Bd3 Ba6 21.a4 c4 22.bxc4 bxc4 23.Bc2 c3 24.Re3 Nb6 25.Nd4 Nfd7 26.Ndf5 Be5 27.Nh6+ Kf8 28.Bxe5 Nxe5 29.Qd4 Nbc4 30.Rxc3 Qa7 31.Qxa7 Rxa7 32.Ng4 Nd7 33.f3 h5 34.Nf2 Rc8 35.Ne2 Na3 36.Rxc8+ Bxc8 37.Rc1 Rc7 38.Bd1 Rxc1 39.Nxc1 Nb1 40.Nb3 Nc3 41.Nxa5 Nb6 42.h4 Bd7

Here Kasparov was rooting for 43.Nb7 Nxd1 44.a5!, but the players didn't pick up any telepathic signals: 43.Nc6 Nbxa4 44.Bxa4 Nxa4 45.Nd3 Nb6 46.Kf2 Nc4 47.Nd4 Ke7 48.Nc2 Na5 49.Na3 Nb3 50.Ke3 Be8 51.Nb4 Na5 52.Kd4 Nb3+ 53.Kc3 Nc5 54.Nd3 Nd7 55.Nc4 f6 56.f4 Nb8 57.e5 fxe5 58.fxe5 dxe5 59.Ndxe5 Kf6 60.Nf3 Bb5 61.Nd6 Bf1 62.Ne4+ Ke7 63.Ne1 Nd7 64.Kd4 Kf7 65.g3 Ke7 66.Nc2 Bg2 67.Nc5 Nxc5 68.Kxc5 Kf6 69.Ne3 Bh3 70.d6 Bd7 71.Kb6 Ke6 72.Kc7 Ba4 73.Nc2 Ke5 74.Nb4 Be8 75.Kd8 Ba4 76.Ke7 g5 77.Nd3+ Kf5 78.Nc5 Bb5 79.Ne6 gxh4 80.Nd4+ Kg4 81.Nxb5 h3 82.Nc3 Kxg3 83.Ne4+ Kg2 84.d7 h2 85.d8Q h1Q 86.Qd5 Qh4+ 87.Kf7 Qf4+ 88.Kg6 Qg4+ 89.Kh6 Qf4+ 90.Kxh5 Qf3+ 91.Kg5 Qe3+ 92.Kf5 Qf3+ 93.Ke5 Qe3 94.Qa2+ Kg1 95.Qb1+ Kg2 96.Qc2+ Kg1 97.Qd1+ Kg2 98.Qg4+ Kh2 99.Qh4+ Kg2 100.Qh5 Kg1 101.Kf5 Qh3+ 102.Qxh3 ½-½.

The organizers made an attempt to lure Garry back to chess, however, he ruled out the offered opportunity to take part in the blitz tournament: "It would be a lose-lose situation for me. If I played badly, I’d be very disappointed. And if I won you guys would write that Kasparov has returned to chess." He is not going to visit the event as a spectator, saying that blitz must be played, not observed.


Kasparov with chess fans


One gets to have her picture taken with the Great Chess Player

Garry spent more than two hours at the Central Chess Club, leaving around 9 p.m. On the next day he travels to Kaliningrad – his political life is as active as ever.

Standings

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
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
GamesReport
Round 6 – 12.11.2006 (Sunday)
Leko
1-0
Morozevich
Mamedyarov
½-½
Gelfand
Svidler
0-1
Grischuk
Shirov
½-½
Ponomariov
Aronian
1-0
Carlsen
GamesReport
Round 7 – 14.11.2006 (Tuesday)
Carlsen
½-½
Leko
Ponomariov
½-½
Aronian
Grischuk
1-0
Shirov
Gelfand
1-0
Svidler
Morozevich
½-½
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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