Tal Round 3: Three wins!

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/29/2016 – A relatively bloody day in Moscow, as three white victories significantly change the standings. All of them came in very different ways: Mamedyarov annihilated Gelfand with a powerful attack, Nepomniachtchi was able to defeat Kramnik with excellent positional maneuvers while Giri ground down Tomashevsky in an extremely long endgame. Report, GM commentary and even a transcript of Vishy's analysis!

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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 Three

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili

Round 3 - Sept. 29 - 14h CET
1
2
2740
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
1-0
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon
½-½
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
3
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish
1-0
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
4
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
5
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B
½-½
GM
Anand Viswanathan
2776
7

It's hard to see, but White is in serious trouble

Nepomniachtchi, Ian 1-0 Kramnik, Vladimir
A superb game by Nepo. Pay special attention to his knight maneuvers.

Ian is on fire, playing some excellent chess in Moscow

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.09.29"] [Round "3"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, I."] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A30"] [WhiteElo "2740"] [BlackElo "2808"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 c5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. O-O Be7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Qxd4 O-O 9. Rd1 d6 10. Bg5 Nc6 11. Qf4 Qb8 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Rxd6 Na5 (13... Nd4 $6 {Nakamura-Gurevich, D, 2015.}) 14. Rad1 Qc7 {A new move, and an improvement over Rc8 which had been played twice before.} 15. Rd7 Qxf4 16. gxf4 Bc6 17. Ng5 Bxd7 18. Bxa8 Bxc3 19. Rxd7 Bxb2 20. Be4 h6 21. Nf3 Nxc4 22. Rxa7 {An endgame that has arisen basically by force. The opposite colored bishops have drawish tendencies, but since White has a slight initiatve with the more powerful rook and some temporary back rank problems, it is Black that has to be precise in order to fully equalize.} Rc8 23. Kg2 Bf6 24. Bd3 g5 25. f5 g4 26. Ne1 $1 e5 27. Nc2 h5 28. Nb4 Kg7 29. Nd5 {The transfer of the knight was slow, but it is clear that on d5 it pressures both sides of the board and it is quite annoying. } Bh4 (29... Nd2 {is some computer suggestion I would never have come up with.} 30. Nxb6 Rc1 {with apparent counterplay (?)}) 30. h3 $1 {More precision from Nepo.} Rc5 (30... gxh3+ 31. Kxh3 Bxf2 $2 (31... Bg5 32. e3 $1 {and Black's position is certainly unpleasant. Be2 is a threat, among others.}) 32. f6+ Kf8 33. Ne7 {Black's king is in some trouble and White has a big initiative. It's possible he is already winning.} Rd8 34. Nf5 $1 (34. Bxc4 $1 b5 {is a miraculous defense for Black, but it also loses.} 35. Ng6+ $1 fxg6 36. Rf7+ Ke8 37. Re7+ Kf8 38. Rh7 $1 $18)) 31. hxg4 hxg4 32. Nc7 $1 Kh6 33. Ne8 $1 {Again with the knight maneuvers!} Nb2 34. Be4 Nd1 $1 {A counter maneuver, making some threats on the kingside.} 35. Nd6 $1 Kg5 36. Rxf7 (36. e3 Ra5 $1 {is still not so clear.}) 36... Bxf2 $2 {The decisive mistake in time pressure.} ( 36... Nxf2 $1 {Holds the position, for example:} 37. Rh7 Kf4 $1 {A tough move to find, but its enough for a draw. Further variations and proof of this will be found in a future ChessBase Magazine!}) 37. Rg7+ Kf4 38. e3+ $1 {The tactical coup de grace.} (38. f6 Bh4 {White has real problems with his king, which is what e3 solves.}) 38... Kxe3 (38... Nxe3+ 39. Kxf2 {obviously loses.}) (38... Bxe3 39. f6 {and the pawn is running down the board.}) 39. Rxg4 Kd2 40. Bf3 Ne3+ 41. Kxf2 Nxg4+ 42. Bxg4 {The rook is no match for the pieces and it cannot hold down the passed pawn.} Rd5 43. Ne4+ Kd3 44. f6 Ra5 (44... Kxe4 45. Bf3+ Kf5 46. Bxd5 Kxf6 {and the a-pawn is the correct color.}) 45. Be2+ Kd4 ( 45... Kxe4 46. f7 Ra8 47. Bf3+) 46. f7 Ra8 47. Ng5 {The culminating move is by Nepo's wonderful traveling knight. A great game!} 1-0

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Svidler, Peter
A sharp game in a topical anti-Grunfeld. Aronian came up with the new move 17.h4, possibly an improvmeent over Carlsen-Caruana from 2014. The Armenian cleanly sacrificed a pawn, but his monster knight on e4 and the pressure exerted by his rook on h1, coupled with the relatively open black king, gave at the very least sufficient compensation. In time pressure Svidler kept defending resourcefully, but Aronian had a chance to play the computer-like 37.Ng5! to gain an advantage. Missing this shot, the resulting endgame was only marginally better for White, and a draw was agreed.

Giri, Anish 1-0 Tomashevsky, Evgeny
The longest game of the day, by far. Giri's slight edge came from the opening and endured the entire game. The endgame with Black's passive bishop was very unpleasant, and even though a machine can probably hold it, it is very difficult to defend in a practical game. Black was not up to the task, and in the end the combination of Giri's pressure and Tomashevsky's time ticking down, it was the Dutch player that took the full point.

Giri pressed, and pressed, and pressed, until eventually results were shown

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 1-0 Gelfand, Boris
Gelfand simply got blown off the board when he allowed White to play e6.

Mamedyarov won in his usual attacking and aggressive fashion

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2016.09.29"] [Round "3"] [White "Mamedyarov, S."] [Black "Gelfand, B."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2761"] [BlackElo "2743"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2016.09.25"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bxf6 {The Moscow is definitely quieter than the Anti-Moscow with 6.Bh4, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hold any dangers for Black.} Qxf6 7. g3 Nd7 8. Bg2 dxc4 9. O-O Be7 10. Ne4 Qf5 11. Ned2 e5 12. e4 Qh5 {A novelty that I do not think will be repeated any time soon, even if objectively the move is ok, it gives White unnecessary options.} (12... Qe6 {Had been played by Topalov earlier this year against Li Chao, but also by Anand a few years ago.}) 13. Nxc4 exd4 14. Qxd4 Qc5 $5 (14... O-O) 15. e5 (15. Qxg7 Bf6 {just drops the knight on c4.}) 15... O-O 16. Qe4 Nb6 17. Ne3 Qb4 18. Nd4 $1 {Clearly Mamedyarov is gearing for a Kingside attack, not caring about his pawn on b2. The position is objectively dangerous for Black, he must be very careful, though the computer's cold blood says that black is fine with accurate play.} Rd8 $6 (18... Bc5 $1 19. Rfd1 (19. Rad1 Qxb2 20. e6 Bxd4 21. exf7+ Rxf7 22. Rxd4 Bd7 $15) 19... Qxb2 20. a4 {trying to perpetual the queen.}) 19. Rad1 Qxb2 20. e6 {Black cannot get rid of the knight on d4 now, and he must find precise moves.} Bxe6 (20... Bf6 21. Nef5 $1 {With an initiative, was the best hope for black.}) 21. Nxe6 fxe6 22. Bh3 $1 { Simply put, Black's lightsquares are too weak. The rest is easy for an attacking prowess like Mamedyarov.} Kh8 23. Bxe6 g5 24. Ng4 Rxd1 25. Rxd1 Qg7 26. Ne5 $18 Qf6 27. Bb3 Kg7 28. Ng4 (28. Ng4 Qf8 29. Bc2 {with no defense against Qh7.}) 1-0

Li Chao ½-½ Anand, Vishy
A topical Nimzo-Indian led to a position in which Black was certainly not worse at any point. He had an extra pawn, but Li Chao got a bit of an initiative. Anand decided to diffuse it by giving it back and reaching a very equal endgame in which White was more or less forced to repeat moves. But why ask me? We have a full transcript of what Vishy said in the press conference thanks to Priyadarshan Banjan:

[Event "10th Tal Memorial 2016"] [Site "Moscow"] [Date "2016.09.29"] [Round "3"] [White "Li, Chao b"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2746"] [BlackElo "2776"] [Annotator "Viswanathan Anand"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "ChessBase"] [TimeControl "40/6000+30:20/3000+30:900+30"] 1. d4 {0} Nf6 {0} 2. c4 {0} e6 {0} 3. Nc3 {2} Bb4 {0} 4. Nf3 {9} b6 {7} 5. e3 { 38} Ne4 {76} 6. Qc2 {45} Bb7 {36} 7. Bd3 {14} Bxc3+ {11} 8. bxc3 {7} f5 {6} 9. O-O {73} O-O {35} 10. Nd2 {18} Nxd2 {303} 11. Bxd2 {117} Qh4 {12} 12. f3 {88} d6 {85} 13. a4 {I think it is an interesting move as it forces my knight to c6. } Nc6 {622} 14. g3 {This looks suspicious to me. I was really surprised.} (14. e4 {Li Chao was afraid of} f4 {but I am not so sure. With the knight on d7 in such a structure, I might play this,} (14... fxe4 15. Bxe4 Na5 {White gets the e4 square, but I can play this.}) {but here White has} 15. c5 $1 dxc5 16. dxc5 Ne5 17. Be2 {with the idea to play c4, and Bc3. Li Chao: I don't like the knight on e5. Anand: Yes, it is hard to say.}) 14... Qh5 {135} 15. e4 Na5 {712} ({Here, I was hesitating, because I can play} 15... fxe4 16. Bxe4 (16. fxe4 { can win a tempo for White, but Black has} e5 17. c5 exd4 18. cxd4 {with the idea Qc4+.}) 16... Na5 {I was not at all worried about my position.}) 16. Rae1 {I suspected I was better here.} (16. Bf4 {was suggested by Li Chao, but I don't need ...Ba6 here, and can play ...e5,...f4.} e5 17. Bd2 f4 $15) 16... fxe4 {169} ({Maybe I can try} 16... Ba6 17. exf5 exf5 18. Re7 c5 (18... Bxc4 19. Rxc7 d5 20. Bf4 Rf7 (20... Bxd3 21. Qxd3 Rf7 22. Qb5 Rxc7 23. Qxd5+ $18)) 19. Bf4 {with Qe2, is not as good as I had thought earlier.}) 17. fxe4 {945} Ba6 {54 I was beginning to think that I may be better, but he found the only move that does not make him worse.} 18. Bf4 $1 {768} Bxc4 {662} ({I could go} 18... e5 {but then} 19. Bc1 {and I didn't like that fact that he has Rf5. Li Chao suggested:} c5 20. Rf5 Qe8 21. Ref1 Qe6 {I thought here he could take the file with} 22. Qf2 {It is close to being better, but even if I take the pawn on c4, he has moves like Qa2. It is hard to keep the structure perfect and do everything. I would be annoyed if there is a simpler way to be better.}) 19. Bxc4 {142} Nxc4 {100} 20. Qb3 {27} d5 {43} 21. Qb5 {21 These moves are not incredibly difficult to find.} Rac8 {685} (21... Qe8 22. exd5 Qxb5 23. axb5 exd5 24. Re7 Rf7 25. Rxf7 Kxf7 26. Bxc7+ Ke6 27. Ra1 $1 {And I did not see how to make progress here, because I need ...Na3, and I actually saw here} g5 { trying to trap his bishop, but he goes} 28. g4 {and I couldn't see how to make improve. The rook is really passive. It is too much wishful thinking to bring the king to b7 to free the rook, but it is other-worldly. It won't work here because he just has Re1 in time. One idea would be to play} Na5 29. Re1+ Kd7 30. Bg3 Nc4 {but he has so many open files that he can go Rf1, etc. It was hard for me to control what was happening.}) 22. Qc6 {So this is okay, but it is my fault that I kept missing one tactic or the other...} Rfe8 {263} (22... Qe8 {will face the same problem as in the previous variation.} 23. exd5 Qxc6 24. dxc6 Rf6 {and now importantly} 25. Re4 (25. g4 Na5 26. g5 Rf5 27. Rxe6 Rcf8 28. Re4 Nxc6 29. Rf2 $11) 25... Na5 26. Rfe1 Kf7 27. g4 {looks very suspicious. It was difficult to find the correct set up.}) 23. Rf2 {It is at this point that I realized that I had missed something.} Na5 {523} 24. Qd7 {36} Qf7 { I just decided to make a draw here, because...} ({My original idea was to play } 24... dxe4 {because it is principled. But here,} 25. Bxc7 $16 {and I am paralysed. I can't move a muscle! Mainly because the bishop cuts my rooks off from each other.} (25. Be5 Qg6 {is excellent for me.}) 25... Qd5 26. Qf7+ Kh8 27. Be5 $16) 25. Qxf7+ {138} Kxf7 {17} 26. Bxc7+ {103} Kg8 {52} 27. Bf4 { No side can make progress here.} Nc4 {9} 28. Rfe2 {67} Kf7 {7} 29. Rf2 {106} Kg8 {7} 30. Rfe2 {6} Kf7 {11} 31. Rf2 {4} 1/2-1/2

Vishy had everything under control today

Replay today's games

Select games from the list below the board

Standings after Round Three

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
1-0
GM
Kramnik Vladimir
2808
10
2
3
2795
GM
Aronian Levon
½-½
GM
Svidler Peter
2745
1
3
4
2755
GM
Giri Anish
1-0
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2731
9
4
5
2761
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
GM
Gelfand Boris
2743
8
5
6
2746
GM
Li Chao B
½-½
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

Links

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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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sk 1006 sk 1006 10/1/2016 05:54
vary good
aryan7 aryan7 9/30/2016 05:13
good report!
Catastrophe Catastrophe 9/30/2016 01:47
Looks like you guys lost Giri's game. Chessdom has it.
1