Tal Memorial 2009 – impressions from Moscow

by ChessBase
11/15/2009 – We received a number of baffled letters asking us why we did not, as is usually our habit, include large numbers of pictures in our daily reports on the Tal Memorial. Well, our usual photographers unfortunately took ill, and it was only in the final round that WGM Yana Melnikova arrived at the venue and sent us a bunch of photos from the end of the tournament. Here is her report.

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Tal Memorial 2009

The Tal Memorial, a ten-player round robin with classical time controls – 40 moves in two hours, then 20 moves in one hour and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with 30 seconds increment per move in this phase –, took place from November 4th to 19th in Moscow. It was the strongest tournament of the year, and at category 21 (average Elo 2764) one of the strongest of all time. It was staged in the National Hotel (Mokhovaya Street D15), with the last five rounds being played in the mall GUM (Red Square 3).

Pictorial impressions from round nine

By WGM Yana Melnikova

Before we proceed to the photographic report here the results of the final round and of the Tal Memorial 2009. It was won convincingly by Vladimir Kramnik, who scored 6.0/9 points ("plus three") and apart from some very exciting games displayed an overall 2883 performance, which earned him 13.7 for the next FIDE rating list.

Round 9: Saturday, November 14, 2009
Vassily Ivanchuk 
 Vladimir Kramnik
Vishy Anand 
 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler 
 Boris Gelfand
Ruslan Ponomariov 
 Alex. Morozevich
Peter Leko 
 Magnus Carlsen

Final standings (after nine rounds)

We will admit that there actually were images coming out of Moscow – four web cam images broadcasting live, with Russian commentary. Informative, but not visually too exciting.

This is what the image on the live broadcast page looked like

And this is what it was like for spectators in Moscow

Levon Aronian commenting on his game for the public on webcam

The winner of the tournament, Vladimir Kramnik, doing the same

The same situation captured with a digital camera (Panasonic DMC-G1)

The second half venue: the department store "Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin" or GUM in Moscow

The central plaza of GUM (pronounced "goom"), as viewed from the top level

The GUM fountain is a favourite spot for bridal photos

The playing area, with projection screens displaying the positions on the boards

The winner, Vladimir Kramnik, during his final round game against Vassily Ivanchuk,
with Boris Gelfand and Magnus Carlsen in the background

Vassily Ivanchuk playing without a mask in round nine (Levon Aronian in the background)

Magnus Carlsen, who finished the event as (inofficial) number one in the world

Peter Leko, who lost to Carlsen in the final round and had a terrible minus three tournament

World Champion Vishy Anand suffered a surprise defeat in round nine at the hands of...

Armenian GM Levon Aronian, who won the game in 25 moves, with the black pieces

Alexander Morozevich (with Peter Svidler and Magnus Carlsen in the background)

Former FIDE world chamion Ruslan Ponomariov scored his only win in the final round

Boris Gelfand playing Peter Svidler with black (in the background Carlsen vs Leko)

About the photographer

WGM Yana Melnikova, Russia, is:

  • a graduate of the N. Bauman Moscow State Technical University, management faculty;
  • an organizers of chess events for the Moscow Chess Federation;
  • a member of German chess club Bad Konigshofen;
  • a Woman Grandmaster since 2005.

Video reports by Europe Echecs

For French-speaking visitors here is the final report of the chess magazine Europe Echecs.


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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