Tal Memorial R5: Kramnik beats Shirov, takes lead

11/15/2007 – Four draws and one decided game – but tremendous fighting chess: A slugfest between Jakovenko and Leko which ended after 61 moves in a tense draw; a 93-move draw between Ivanchuk and Carlsen in which when the world's number two could not overcome the teenager's resistance; and a grudge game in which Kramnik ground down Shirov in a trade-mark Catalan. Results, games and videos.

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The second Mikhail Tal Memorial Tournament is being held in Moscow from November 9 to 23, 2007 at the historic Moscow Central Chess Club, with ten players in the main event (average Elo 2740, Category 20). Play starts each day at 15.00h Moscow time (13.00 European time). Games are being broadcast live on Playchess.com.

Round five summary


Video of the start of the round [by Europe Echecs]

Vladimir Kramnik took sole lead after round five of the 2007 Tal Memorial. He was the only winner, on another day of tremendous fighting chess.

Round 5: Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
Vladimir Kramnik 
1-0
 Alexei Shirov
Shak. Mamedyarov 
½-½
 Boris Gelfand
Evgeny Alekseev 
½-½
 Gata Kamsky
Dmitry Jakovenko 
½-½
 Peter Leko
Vassily Ivanchuk 
½-½
 Magnus Carlsen

Kramnik gave yet another demonstration of his endgame prowess to grind down Shirov. Just like Leko two rounds earlier, Shirov never quite equalized against the Catalan, and even after achieving the thematic c5-break, was always suffering in the ending. He must presumably have been holding at various points, but in the end, it slipped away, as so often in such positions.

Kramnik,V (2785) - Shirov,A (2739) [E05]
Tal Mem Moscow RUS (5), 14.11.2007
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.Qc2 dxc4 7.Qxc4 a6 8.Bf4 Bd6 9.0-0 b5 10.Qc2 Bb7 11.Nbd2 Nbd7 12.Nb3 Be4 13.Qd2 Qe7 14.Rfc1 Rfc8 15.Bxd6 cxd6 16.Qa5 Rcb8 17.Nbd2 Bd5 18.Rc2 Qd8 19.Qxd8+ Rxd8 20.Rac1 Nb6

21.Ne1 Rac8 22.Nd3 Rxc2 23.Rxc2 Rc8 24.Rxc8+ Nxc8 25.Nb4 Bxg2 26.Kxg2 a5 27.Nc6 a4 28.e4 Ne8 29.Kf3 Kf8 30.Ke3 Nc7 31.Kd3 Ke8 32.Kc3 Na6 33.Nb4 Nc7 34.Nf1 Kd7 35.Ne3 Ne7 36.g4 g5 37.Nd3 f6 38.f4 gxf4 39.Nxf4 e5 40.dxe5 fxe5

41.Nfd5 Ncxd5+ 42.exd5 Kc7 43.g5 Kb6 44.b4 axb3 45.axb3 Ka5 46.h4 Ng6 47.h5 Nf4 48.g6 hxg6 49.h6 g5 50.h7 Ng6 51.Kd3 1-0. [Click to replay]


End of the game Kramnik-Shirov [Video by Europe Echecs]

The slugfest of the day was between Jakovenko and Leko. The former unleashed a long line of sharp opening preparation, offering a piece for an attack on the enemy king. Leko, the king of the defenders, found a way out, but Jakovenko declined a draw by repetition and pressed on. This may objectively have been the wrong decision, as he eventually found himself in a very unpleasant endgame. However, Jakovenko's reputation as an endgame player is almost as great as Leko's as a defender, and by dint of some highly imaginative defence, he eventually hung on for a draw.

Jakovenko,D (2710) - Leko,P (2755) [C88]
Tal Mem Moscow RUS (5), 14.11.2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.h3 Bb7 9.d3 Re8 10.Nc3 h6 11.a4 b4 12.Nd5 Na5 13.Nxe7+ Rxe7 14.Ba2 d5 15.Nh4 dxe4 16.Nf5 Rd7

17.Re3 b3 18.Rg3 g6 19.Nxh6+ Kg7 20.Nf5+ Kg8 21.Nh6+ Kg7 22.Nf5+ Kg8 23.cxb3 Rxd3 24.Rxd3 Qxd3 25.Ne7+ Kg7 26.Qd2 Qxd2 27.Bxd2 Re8 28.Nxg6 Nc6 29.Nh4 Nd4 30.Be3 Bc8

31.Rd1 Rh8 32.Bxd4 exd4 33.g3 Rd8 34.b4 Bxh3 35.Bc4 Bg4 36.f3 exf3 37.Rd3 f2+ 38.Kxf2 c5 39.Nf3 Bf5 40.Rd1 Bc2 41.Rc1 Ne4+ 42.Ke2 d3+ 43.Ke3 cxb4

44.Bxd3 Bxd3 45.Ne1 Bf1 46.Kxe4 Rd2 47.Rb1 Bc4 48.b3 Be6 49.Ke3 Rd8 50.Rb2 Rc8 51.a5 Bf5 52.g4 Re8+ 53.Kf4 Rxe1 54.gxf5 Ra1 55.Rg2+ Kf8 56.Rc2 Rxa5 57.f6 Kg8 58.Rg2+ Kf8 59.Rc2 Ke8 60.Re2+ Kf8 61.Ke4 ½-½. [Click to replay]


Leko analyses with Robert Fontaine [Video Europe Echecs]

The longest game of the day was the battle between Ivanchuk and Carlsen. The former won a pawn in the middlegame, but despite playing for 93 moves, could not overcome the teenager's resistance. 83.Bf3 looks to be winning, but Ivanchuk chose an ending with Q+2Ps v Q, only to find that he could not evade perpetual check without dropping one of the pawns, leaving a drawn ending.

Ivanchuk,V (2787) - Carlsen,M (2714) [B33]
Tal Mem Moscow RUS (5), 14.11.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bg5 12.Nc2 0-0 13.a4 bxa4 14.Rxa4 a5 15.Bc4 Kh8 16.0-0 Rb8 17.b3 f5 18.exf5 Bxf5 19.Qe2 Bg6 20.Rd1 e4 21.Nd4 Nxd4 22.Rxd4 Rb7 23.Qe1 Rbf7 24.Ra2 h5 25.Ne3 Rf4 26.Rd5 Bh6

27.Rdxa5 Rxf2 28.Rxf2 Rxf2 29.Qxf2 Bxe3 30.Rxh5+ Bxh5 31.Qxe3 d5 32.Bf1 Be8 33.b4 Qb8 34.Be2 Kg8 35.h3 Bb5 36.Bg4 Bc4 37.Be6+ Kh7 38.Qf2 Qd8 39.Qf7 Kh6 40.Qf4+ Kh7 41.Qe5 g6 42.Bg4 Qb6+ 43.Qd4 Qd6 44.Qa7+ Kh6 45.Qe3+ Kh7 46.h4 Kg7 47.h5 gxh5 48.Bxh5 Qe7 49.Bg4 Kg6 50.Bc8 Qc7 51.Be6 Qd6 52.Bh3 Qc7 53.Kf2 Qf7+ 54.Ke1 Qf1+ 55.Kd2 Kh7 56.Qa7+ Kg6 57.Qb6+ Kh7 58.Qe3 Bb3 59.Qg3 Bc4 60.Bg4 Qf6 61.Qe3 Qf1 62.Qh3+ Kg7 63.Qg3 Kf8 64.Bh5 Qf6 65.Qe3 Qf1 66.Qh6+ Kg8 67.Qg6+ Kf8 68.Ke3 d4+ 69.cxd4 Qd3+ 70.Kf4 Qxd4 71.Qe8+ Kg7 72.Qe7+ Kg8 73.Qg5+ Kh8 74.Qh6+ Kg8 75.Qg5+ Kh8 76.Qc5 Qd2+ 77.Kf5 Qh6 78.Qe5+ Kh7 79.Kxe4 Qc1 80.Qd6 Qc2+ 81.Kd4 Bf1 82.Qe7+ Kh6 83.Qf8+ Kxh5 84.Qxf1 Qb2+ 85.Kc4 Qa2+ 86.Kc5 Qa7+ 87.Kb5 Qd7+ 88.Kc4 Qe6+ 89.Kc3 Qe5+ 90.Kc2 Qe4+ 91.Kb3 Qe3+ 92.Kb2 Qd2+ 93.Ka3 ½-½. [Click to replay]

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