Tal Round 2: Anand, Giri show power

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/27/2016 – Anand fended off a sacrificial attack by Mamedyarov to emerge up a piece in a winning endgame, despite Black's three passed pawns as compensation. A study-like finish gave a nice win to the Indian former World Champion. Meanwhile, with the black pieces, Anish Giri played a dynamic and cool game in a King's Indian, sacrificing first a pawn and then an exchange to win with a crushing attack.

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X Jubilee Tal Memorial is taking place from 25 September to 6 October 2016 in the Moscow Museum of Russian Impressionism. The tournament will be a continuation of the program "Chess in Museums", which is being implemented by the Russian Chess Federation together with the Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchenko. The General Partner of the Russian Chess Federation for the X Tal Memorial is the state company "Russian Highways" ("Avtodor").

The prize fund for the event is 200 thousand USD.

The tournament is a round-robin over nine rounds played at 100 minutes for 40 moves plus 50 minutes for 20 moves and 15 minutes until the end of the game with 30 seconds for each move starting from the first. The chief arbiter is International Arbiter Anatoly Bykhovsky.

Round Two

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili

Round 2 - Sept. 27 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
2
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
3
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris
0-1 
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
4
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
½-½
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
5
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter
½-½
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2

Chess wasn't the only activity in the museum today. These girls are learning Russian Impressionism.

Two victories marked a very, very long round.

Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ Li Chao
When Vladimir Kramnik plays a symmetrical structure, especially with white, you can be guaranteed that he is not trying for any sort of draw. Indeed, the Russian kept pushing an insignificant advantage against Li Chao, who had to sit down and suffer a draw for the duration of all the time controls. Eventually, though, the Chinese player held. As commentator Daniil Dubov pointed out, either of Kramnik's games in this year's Tal Memorial have lasted longer than Nepomniachtchi's two games put together.

"+0.11? I will be here for seven more hours!"
Defending against Kramnik even a small disadvantage is no joke.

Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
Perhaps the inclusion of a dubious a4 break was mistake enough for the Tiger of Madras to bring home a great point, culminating with a study-like finish.

Anand puts a little more distance between himself and Harikrishna! India's number two crossed into the top-10 in the live ratings today after beating Cheparinov. Anand is still 15 points ahead after today's win.

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.09.27"] [Round "2"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C92"] [WhiteElo "2776"] [BlackElo "2761"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Bb7 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 exd4 12. cxd4 Nd7 13. Nf1 Na5 14. Bc2 Bf6 15. Rb1 c5 16. d5 Nc4 17. b3 Nce5 18. N3h2 Ng6 {As Svidler mentioned on commentary, this is all following the game between Giri-Svidler, a crucial victory for the Russian in the World Cup last year!} 19. Ne3 (19. Ng3 Bc8 (19... Bc3 $5 { Was perhaps an improvement by Bu against Hou Yifan in July.}) 20. Rf1 { Giri-Svidler, 2015.}) 19... Bc8 (19... Bc3 {was played in Macieja-Berczes, 2015. The Hungarian player, Berczes, won at the end.}) 20. Bd2 b4 21. Nhg4 a5 22. Nxf6+ Qxf6 23. g3 a4 {Anand didn't understand this move. He was happy to see a4.} (23... Nde5 24. f4 (24. Nf5 $5) 24... Nxf4 25. gxf4 Qxf4 26. Nf1 Qh4 27. Re3 Bxh3 {is similar to the game, but without the a4 pawn sacrifice. More analysis will be needed to determine the differences.}) 24. bxa4 Nde5 25. f4 { It is clear that after this move Black must sacrifice his piece. Anand considers this version to be better for White than without the a4 break. Thorough analysis will be found in a future ChessBase Magazine edition, but for now it seems that the former World Champion is correct.} Nxf4 26. gxf4 Qxf4 27. Nf1 Qh4 28. Re3 Bxh3 {Vishy thought it was hard to collect a4 in this position.} 29. Qe2 Qg4+ {A surprising decision, to exchange queens in this material balance.} (29... h5 30. a3 $1 {Is a nice break that activates White's pieces.}) 30. Qxg4 Bxg4 31. a3 Nf3+ 32. Kf2 Nd4 33. Rb2 bxa3 34. Rxa3 Nxc2 35. Rxc2 Rxe4 36. a5 {Even though Black has three pawns for the pieces, the combination of the power of the passed a pawn and the possibility for White's pieces to activate give him an almost winning advantage.} Bc8 37. Re3 {Based on a miscalculation.} (37. Rb2 $1 {was easier.}) 37... Rf4+ 38. Rf3 (38. Kg3 Rg4+ 39. Kf3 h5 40. Re8+ Kh7 $16 {is not that clear just yet.}) 38... Re4 39. Rb2 Ba6 40. Bc3 h5 41. Ng3 Rh4 42. Rb6 Rh2+ 43. Kg1 Rc2 44. Nf5 Bc4 45. Re3 $1 Kh7 46. Rxd6 $1 {The start of a study-like win.} Rb8 47. Rb6 Rxb6 48. axb6 Bxd5 49. Nxg7 Rg2+ (49... h4 50. Nh5 Kh6 51. Nf4 Bc6 52. Bf6 {and Black is in an annoying mating net.}) 50. Kf1 Rg6 51. Nxh5 Bc4+ 52. Kf2 Rxb6 53. Nf6+ { The point of the combination. Both king moves lose to different things.} Kh6 ( 53... Kg6 54. Nd7 {and Black cannot defend the rook and check on e5, taking the bishop, which incidentally also cannot be defended.}) 54. Rg3 {Nothing to to against impeding mate but sacrifice the rook, so Mamedyarov called it quits. } (54. Rg3 Rd6 55. Be5 Rd2+ 56. Ke1 Re2+ 57. Kd1 Rxe5 58. Ng4+ Kg5 59. Nxe5+ Kf4 60. Rg4+ $18) 1-0

Gelfand, Boris 0-1 Giri, Anish
The Dutch player showed some excellent feel for the initiative, first sacrificing a pawn and then an exchange. An attacking and powerful victory on the Black side of a King's Indian.

Gelfand technically flagged, but his position was already hopeless. A nice onslaught by Giri.

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.09.27"] [Round "2"] [White "Gelfand, B."] [Black "Giri, A."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2743"] [BlackElo "2755"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O $5 {Playing a King's Indian, as the next move protects d5. Giri is certainly more known for his Grunfeld.} 5. Nc3 Nc6 $5 {But actually this move almost transposes back to Grunfeld channels.} 6. e3 {Avoiding d5 at all cost! However e3 isn't considered a dangerous set up against the KID.} (6. Nf3 d5 {is the way MVL plays this variation, simply going back to his favorite opening. Of course, there is a chance that Giri would have played 6...d6, but we will never know.}) 6... d6 7. Nge2 e5 8. O-O exd4 9. exd4 Ne7 $5 {An unusual move in a well known position. Most of the time Black plays for a Bf5-Re7 plan, fighting for e4.} 10. Bf4 Nf5 11. Qc1 { Without the possibility of playing Bh6, at least not yet, this move baffles me a bit.} (11. h3 {with the potential idea of g4 might be better to do right away.}) 11... Re8 12. h3 c6 13. g4 Ne7 14. Bh6 d5 15. c5 {It seems foolish to play with an isolated pawn, so Gelfand grabs the space on the queenside.} b6 16. cxb6 (16. b4 {seems more natural to me, though after} a5 17. a3 axb4 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. axb4 Rxa1 20. Qxa1 h5 {Black shouldn't have real problems.}) 16... axb6 17. Re1 Bh8 18. Qf4 Nd7 19. Qd2 Nf8 20. Nf4 Ne6 21. Nce2 (21. Nxe6 Bxe6 22. b3 $11) 21... c5 $1 {It looks like this break can't be played, because it loses the d5 pawn, but Giri has decided that the activity is fully worth the pawn. An excellent decision.} 22. dxc5 bxc5 23. Nxd5 (23. Nc3 { was probably better, but it is hard to resist the pawn.} Ra6 $5 {Is a computer idea, with Rd6 coming up soon in certain variations.}) 23... Bb7 {The activity is based on the Benko-style pressure against the b and a pawns and the potential weakness of White's king.} 24. Nec3 Nxd5 25. Nxd5 Bd4 {Of course, having the d4 square for the bishop is also quite juicy.} 26. Nc3 (26. Nf4 $1 { was a better way of trying to hold everything together, though Black's initiative is still strong.}) 26... Bxg2 27. Kxg2 g5 $1 {Exploiting another one of White's problems: now the bishop on h6 is trapped!} 28. h4 (28. Rxe6 Rxe6 29. Bxg5 Qb6 {is very unpleasant for Gelfand.}) 28... gxh4 {The pawn on h4 is actually rather powerful, as it aids in the attack against White's king.} 29. Ne4 Qd5 30. f3 Rad8 $6 {The inclusion of Rd8 and Rd1 in most lines favors White. Kh8 immediately was better.} 31. Rad1 Kh8 32. Bg5 f5 $1 {An excellent move, keeping up the pressure.} 33. Bxd8 Rxd8 {Black has sacrificed a full exchange, but it is not easy to defend the knight on e4.} 34. gxf5 $2 {Losing instantly.} (34. Qh6 $1 fxe4 35. Rxe4 h3+ $1 {Is messy, but should favor Black. }) (34. Ng5 h3+ 35. Kh2 Be5+ 36. Kh1 Qxd2 37. Rxd2 Rxd2 38. Nxe6 Bg3 {looks like a very bad endgame for White, if not just lost.}) 34... Qxf5 35. Kh1 Rg8 { White is defenseless against Black's relatively simple threats.} 36. Rf1 Be5 { Covering h2, White cannot do anything against Qh3 and mate.} 0-1

Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½ Aronian, Levon
Tomashevsky and Aronian found a quick repetition in a known line of the Orthodox Queen's Gambit.

Svidler, Peter ½-½ Nepomniachtchi, Ian
Sometimes, it is difficult to play against your own pet opening. Svidler was unable to find much against Nepomniachtchi's Grunfeld, in which, in typical fashion for this defense, Black sacrificed a pawn for piece activity. White accepted a draw in an about even position.

Easy win with white, easy draw with black. Life is good for Nepo.

After Svidler's short game, he went to hang out with Miroshnichenko in the official commentary

Replay today's games

Select games from the list below the board

Standings after Round Two

Final blitz standings

Schedule and pairings

Round 1 - Sept. 26 - 14h CET
Bo.
No.
Rtg
 
Name
Result
 
Name
Rtg
No.
1
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter
½-½
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
1-0
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
3
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon
½-½ 
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
4
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish
½-½
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
5
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
Round 2 - Sept. 27 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
2
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
3
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris
0-1 
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
4
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
½-½
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
5
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter
½-½
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
Rest day
Round 3 - Sept. 29 - 14h CET
1
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
3
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
4
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
5
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
Round 4 - Sept. 30 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
2
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
3
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny  
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
4
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
5
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
Round 5 - Oct. 1 - 14h CET
1
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
3
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
4
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
5
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
Round 6 - Oct. 2 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
2
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
3
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
4
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
5
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
Rest day
Round 7 - Oct. 4 - 14h CET
1
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar  
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
3
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B  
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
4
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan  
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
5
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
Round 8 - Oct. 5 - 14h CET
1
10
2808
GM
Kramnik Vladimir  
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
2
1
2745
GM
Svidler Peter  
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
3
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7
4
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon  
GM
Li Chao B
2746
6
5
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish  
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2761
5
Round 9 - Oct 6 - 12h CET
1
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
 
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B
 
GM
Giri Anish
2755
4
3
7
2776
GM
Anand Viswanathan
 
GM
Aronian Levon
2795
3
4
8
2743
GM
Gelfand Boris
 
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2740
2
5
9
2731
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
 
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1

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Topics Tal Memorial

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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ex0 ex0 9/29/2016 11:25
These GIRLS are learning impressionism? There also seems to be a young boy in that picture who i'm guessing would be appalled to find out that he's been called a 'girl'.. I mean, it's bad enough that he's the only boy in the class, without being ignored or called a girl.. -_-
peterfrost peterfrost 9/28/2016 04:45
Hi vinniethepooh, in answer to your question, my point was that Nisarg is entitled to express his thoughts, which seem reasonable enough to me, without them being disparaged by blackdranzer 27.
Frederic Frederic 9/28/2016 03:02
Nisarg's point was: Anand's demolition of Mamedyarov was not a highlight. It ranks below the little girls.
vinniethepooh vinniethepooh 9/28/2016 02:10
@peterfrost and what is your point in asking what is his point in asking nisarg's point? lol. well, to be serious,seriously? that russian impressionsm doesnt look 'charming' to me
vernonh vernonh 9/28/2016 10:22
i wonder what the boy on the first picture is learning
peterfrost peterfrost 9/28/2016 07:25
blackdranzer 27, his point is that Giri's win was most impressive, and that the picture of the Russian kids painting at the playing venue was charming. I agree with Nisarg on both counts. What is your point in asking what was his point?
blackdranzer 27 blackdranzer 27 9/28/2016 06:39
What's your point? @nisarg
Nisarg Nisarg 9/27/2016 10:42
Highlights of the article to me: Giri's win, the little girls learning Russian impressionism.
1