Vladimir Kramnik wins the Tal Memorial with a round to spare

by ChessBase
11/18/2007 – Former world champion wrapped up this event in impressive style, beating Shakhriyar Mamedyrov in the penultimate round and taking a 1.5 point lead over his closest opponent. Kramnik has not lost a game and won four of his five white games. His rating performance so far: 2920. In second place is Alexei Shirov with three wins and two losses. Games, results 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 eight summary

Round 8: Sunday, November 18th, 2007
Vladimir Kramnik 
 Shak. Mamedyarov
Alexei Shirov 
 Boris Gelfand
Peter Leko 
 Magnus Carlsen
Gata Kamsky 
 Vassily Ivanchuk
Evgeny Alekseev 
 Dmitry Jakovenko

Vladimir Kramnik wrapped up the Tal Memorial with a round to spare, scoring his fourth win in five white games (no wins or losses with black): Against Mamedyarov's unconventional opening and obviously aggressive intentions the former world champion kept his cool, sacrificed a pawn and reached a slightly better ending. He then began to harass his opponent's exposed king, giving the Azerbaijani GM opportunities to go astray. Which he promptly did, throwing the game away in just three moves.

Vladimir Kramnik vs Shakhriyar Mamedyrov [Photo Europe Echecs]

Kramnik,V (2785) - Mamedyarov,S (2752) [A40]
Tal Mem Moscow RUS (8), 18.11.2007
1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 e5 5.Nge2 exd4 6.Nxd4 Nc6 7.Be3 Nge7 8.h4 f5 9.h5 fxe4 10.hxg6 hxg6 11.Rxh8+ Bxh8 12.Nxe4 d5 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.Bd4 Bg4 15.Qxg4 Bxd4 16.cxd5 Bxb2 17.Rd1 cxd5 18.Bb5+ Kf8 19.Qe6 Kg7 20.Bc6 Nxc6 21.Qxc6 d4 22.Kf1 Rb8 23.Ng5 Qd6 24.Qc4 Qd7 25.Kg1 c6 26.Ne6+ Kf6 27.Nc5 Qe7 28.Rb1 Rb6 29.Nd3 Qe4 30.Re1 Qd5 31.Qa4 Bc3 32.Qxa7 Bxe1 33.Qxb6 Bc3 34.a4 Qe4 35.Qd8+ Kf7 36.Qc7+ Kf6 37.Qd6+ Qe6 38.Qf8+ Qf7 39.Qh8+

39...Ke7? 40.a5 Qa2 41.Qg7+ Kd8?? 42.Ne5 1-0.

Final phase of the game Kramnik-Mamedyarov

This video (©Europe Echecs) shows the development of the games starting from the move 26.Ne6+ and running up to 40...Qa2. We can see at the end of the sequence that Mamedyarov has understood that he is losing.

Vassily Ivanchuk speaks with Robert Fontaine of Europe Echecs

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