Tal Memorial 09: Ivanchuk wins by a full point

8/27/2008 – Ivanchuk-Shirov: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 c5 5.Bxc4 e6 6.0-0 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Ne5 Ke7 10.Be2 Bd7 11.Bf3 Nc6 12.Nxc6+ draw. That was it, Vassily Ivanchuk won the 2008 Tal Memorial a full point ahead of his nearest rivals (Morozevich, Gelfand, Ponomariov and Kramnik). His performance of 2861 took Ivanchuk to number two in the live world rankings. Final report.

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Tal Memorial in Moscow

The Tal Memorial took place from August 17th to 31st 2008 in the Exhibition Hall of GUM mall, located directly on the Red Square. Time controls were two hours for the first 40 moves, one hour for the next 20 moves and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move after move 61.

There will be a blitz tournament on August 29th-30th, with a qualifier two days earlier. Magnus Carlsen and Antoly Karpov are seeded invitees.

Round nine report

Round 9: Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov
Gata Kamsky 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Shak. Mamedyarov 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik

Games of the day

We start with the pro forma games which would have caused Misha to raise an eyebrow.

Ivanchuk,V (2781) - Shirov,A (2741) [D27]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 27.08.2008
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 c5 5.Bxc4 e6 6.0-0 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Ne5 Ke7 10.Be2 Bd7 11.Bf3 Nc6 12.Nxc6+ draw. What you gonna do, an American would say. Ivanchuk clinched first by a full point, did not lose a single game, produced an overall performace of 2861, and installed himself as number two in the world live rankings. Alexei Shirov was not interested in a Big Fight in the last round with the black pieces against the superbly in-form tournament leader. So no surprise in this game.

Gelfand,B (2720) - Morozevich,A (2788) [A04]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 27.08.2008
1.Nf3 g6 2.e4 d6 3.c4 Bg4 4.d4 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 Bg7 6.Qd1 c6 7.Nc3 Qb6 8.Be3 Qxb2 9.Na4 Qb4+ 10.Bd2 Qa3 11.Bc1 Qb4+ 12.Bd2 Qa3 13.Bc1 draw. One move longer. Actually the game is quite exciting, in a bizarre sort of way. Alexander Morozevich used an entirely insane opening against Gelfand, trying to find a way to play for a win with black. Out of book on move four, then back, then out to stay at move six. Gelfand spent over an hour before forcing the repetition. Amazingly, with all that thinking he missed 11.h4! (or after the first repetition) and Black is very close to losing on the spot. He has to scramble to save his queen or grovel with knight and rook for queen. Lots of amazing lines Fritz can merrily churn out. Maybe Gelfand saw it and chickened out (we will have to ask him about it the next time we meet). In any case he was glad to land on equal second to fifth and gain a few valuable Elo points in the process.

Mamedyarov,S (2742) - Kramnik,V (2788) [E15]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 27.08.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.Bc3 d5 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Nd2 0-0 12.0-0 Rc8 13.e4 c5 14.exd5 exd5 15.dxc5 dxc4 16.cxb6 Nxb6 17.Re1 cxb3 18.Qxb3 Nd7 19.Ne4 Nc5 20.Nxc5. Topalov,Veselin (2783) - Aronian,Levon (2744), 24th Morelia/Linares (14), 10.03.2007 ended here in a draw agreement. In today's Tal Memorial game we saw two extra moves. 20...Bxc5N 21.Rad1 Qb6 22.Qxb6 draw. Kramnik finished on plus one, did not lose more than a couple of rating points and is equal 2-5th on the cross table. Not bad for a warm-up tournament.

Alekseev,Evgeny (2708) - Leko,P (2741) [C53]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 27.08.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.e5 d5 7.Bb5 Ne4 8.cxd4 Bb6 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Be3 Bg4 11.Qc2 Bf5 12.Qb3 Be6 13.0-0 f5 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.Ne5 Nd6 17.Nxc6 Nc4 18.Rae1 Kh8 19.Nb4 Qf7 20.Na4 Qg6 21.Kh1 Ba5 22.a3 Bh3

The heart-stopper in this game: if 23.gxh3 Black can draw with 23...Qe4+ 24.Kg1 Qg6+ 25.Kh1 Qe4+ 26.Kg1 (26.f3 Rxf3 27.Rxf3 Qxf3+ 28.Kg1 is also a draw). So: 23.Rg1 Bg4 24.Nc5 c6 25.f4 Rab8 draw.


It was left to Gata Kamsky, USA, former World Championship candidate and FIDE world championship finalist, and Ruslan Ponomariov, Ukraine, 2002 FIDE world champion, to provide the excitement in the last round of the 2008 Tal Memorial in Moscow – all of the excitement.

Kamsky,G (2723) - Ponomariov,R (2718) [C65]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 27.08.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.0-0 d6 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.h3 0-0 8.Nc3 Bb6 9.Re1 h6 10.Na4 c5 11.Nh2 Bd7 12.Nc3 Nh7 13.a4 Ba5 14.g4 Qe8 15.Re3 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Bxa4 17.Rg3 a5 18.c4 Bd7 19.f4 exf4 20.Bxf4 Qe7 21.Bd2 a4 22.Bc3 c6 23.Nf1 f6 24.h4 Be6 25.Ne3 Qd7 26.Qf3 a3 27.Ra2 Qb7 28.Kf2

Ponomariov has managed to equalise easily in this game and then go on the offensive. Now he ties Kamsky up in an interesting fashion: 28...Qb1 29.Ra1 a2 30.Qh1 Qxh1 31.Rxh1 Rfb8. This position must be winning for Black. But Gata Kamsky has been known since early infancy for world-class defensive skills. 32.Rgg1 Ra3 33.Ba1 Ra7 34.Bc3 Nf8 35.g5 fxg5 36.hxg5 hxg5 37.Rxg5 Rb1 38.Rhg1 Rxg1 39.Rxg1 g6 40.Ba1 Kf7 41.Nd1 d5 42.cxd5 cxd5 43.exd5 Bxd5 44.Nc3 Bc6 45.Bb2 Bd7 46.Ke3 Ra6 47.Kd2 Bf5 48.Ra1 Be6 49.Ne4 c4 50.Ng5+ Ke7 51.Nxe6 Nxe6 52.dxc4 g5 53.Be5 Nf4 54.Kc3 Ke6 55.Bc7 Kf5 56.Kb2 g4 57.Rxa2. At last – it took 28 moves to get rid of that thorn. 57...Rxa2+ 58.Kxa2

Now comes an interesting endgame with the advanced black g-pawn and knight trying to win. 58...g3 59.Bb6 g2 60.Bg1 Nh3 61.Bh2 Ng5 62.Bg1 Nf3 63.Bf2 Ke4 64.c5 Nd4 65.Ka3 Nxc2+ 66.Ka4 Nd4 67.Ka5 Ne6 68.c6 Kd3 69.Kb6 Ke2 70.Bg1 Kf1 71.Bh2

71...g1B+. Yes, he actually took a bishop! 72.Bxg1 Kxg1 73.c7 Nxc7 74.Kxc7. Yes, they actually played down to bare kings. Draw.


Final standings

The one-point victory and the 2861 performance have put Vassily Ivanchuk in the number two spot in the Live Rankings, ten points behind the leader Vishy Anand. Magnus Carlsen is back in place three, seven tenths of a point behind Ivanchuk. Alexander Morozevich, who three days ago was number one in this list, has now dropped to fourth, a tenth of a point behind Carlsen. Kramnik has shed 16 points (his July rating was 2788) by virtue of his results in Dortmund and Moscow.

Rank
Player
live rating
change
games
events
born
01
Anand
2798.0
0
0
0
1969
02
Ivanchuk
2787.8
+6.8
40
4
1969
03
Carlsen
2787.1
+12.1
21
2
1990
04
Morozevich
2787.0
-1
9
1
1977
05
Topalov
2777.0
0
0
0
1975
06
Kramnik
2771.9
-16.1
16
2
1975
07
Radjabov
2752.3
+8.3
13
1
1987
08
Aronian
2751.6
+14.6
13
1
1982
09
Leko
2746.6
+5.6
16
2
1979
10
Adams
2735.9
+0.9
11
1
1971


Europe Echecs videos reports

These reports are provided by Europe Echecs.com, which is doing extensive coverage of the Tal Memorial Tournament

Schedule and results

Round 1: Monday, August 18, 2008
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Alex. Morozevich 
1-0
 Evgeny Alekseev
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Gata Kamsky
Round 2: Tuesday, August 19, 2008
 Alexei Shirov 
0-1
 Gata Kamsky
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Shak. Mamedyarov 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Round 3: Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Peter Leko 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Alex. Morozevich 
1-0
 Vladimir Kramnik
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Evgeny Alekseev
Gata Kamsky 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Round 4: Thursday, August 21, 2008
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Gata Kamsky
Shak. Mamedyarov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Round 5: Friday, August 22, 2008
Alex. Morozevich 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Peter Leko
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Gata Kamsky 
0-1
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Evgeny Alekseev
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Free day
Round 6: Sunday, August 24, 2008
Alexei Shirov 
½-½
 Evgeny Alekseev
Shak. Mamedyarov 
0-1
 Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik 
½-½
 Gata Kamsky
Peter Leko 
0-1
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Alex. Morozevich 
1-0
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Round 7: Monday, August 25, 2008
Ruslan Ponomariov 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Vassily Ivanchuk 
1-0
 Alex. Morozevich
Gata Kamsky 
0-1
 Peter Leko
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik
Evgeny Alekseev 
1-0
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Round 8: Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Alexei Shirov 
1-0
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Evgeny Alekseev
Peter Leko 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Alex. Morozevich 
0-1
 Gata Kamsky
Ruslan Ponomariov 
½-½
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Round 9: Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Alexei Shirov
Gata Kamsky 
½-½
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Boris Gelfand 
½-½
 Alex. Morozevich
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Shak. Mamedyarov 
½-½
 Vladimir Kramnik

Links

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