Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

Tal Memorial 2009 (1)

All draws on day 1

World Champion Viswanathan Anand's draw against Vassily Ivanchuk and Magnus Carlsen's draw against Vladimir Kramnik were the closest we got to highlights on a well fought but fairly low key day one.

Express Report by Mark Crowther

Tal Memorial Moscow (RUS), 5-15 xi 2009 cat. XXI (2764)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2786 * . . . . . . . . ½ ½ 2754
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2788 . * . . ½ . . . . . ½ 2739
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2801 . . * . . ½ . . . . ½ 2772
4. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2758 . . . * . . . . ½ . ½ 2739
5. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2739 . ½ . . * . . . . . ½ 2788
6. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2772 . . ½ . . * . . . . ½ 2801
7. Leko, Peter g HUN 2752 . . . . . . * ½ . . ½ 2750
8. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2750 . . . . . . ½ * . . ½ 2752
9. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2739 . . . ½ . . . . * . ½ 2758
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2754 ½ . . . . . . . . * ½ 2786

Round 1 (November 5, 2009)
Aronian, Levon - Svidler, Peter ½-½ 37 D80 Gruenfeld 4.Bg5
Carlsen, Magnus - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 58 E32 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2
Gelfand, Boris - Ponomariov, Ruslan ½-½ 29 E10 Blumenfeld Counter Gambit
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 44 D94 Gruenfeld Closed
Morozevich, Alexander - Leko, Peter ½-½ 39 C45 Scotch Game

The first round of the Tal Memorial tournament saw five well played draws.

The most anticipated game of the day was between Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik.

After his win in the Pearl Spring tournament in China great things are expected of Carlsen in Moscow. A small gain in rating points should take the Norwegian to the world number one spot in January. As it was it was Kramnik who took the initiative with black. In a Nimzo-Indian Classical Kramnik 9...Nc6 following the game Karpov-Anand from three days before and with his subsequent 11...g5 and 12...g4 at least equalised.

19.Qd2 was probably not a very good move but perhaps Kramnik didn't take best advantage. The game was a double rook ending with bishops of opposite colours so the position had some drawish elements to it. Kramnik maintained a small advantage after the first time control and made an interesting attempt to win with the exchange sacrifice on move 46. This proved to be testing for Carlsen but he proved up to the task.

Carlsen could have drawn more or less on the spot by playing 49. Rhh8 but this didn't make a great deal of difference as he found another way to attack Kramnik's king and force the draw.

Carlsen,M (2801) - Kramnik,V (2772) [E32]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (1), 05.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d5 7.cxd5 Ne4 8.Qc2 exd5 9.Bf4 Nc6

[9...Bf5 0-1 Zhu Chen (2488)-Xu Yuhua (2485)/Nanjing CHN 2009/The Week in Chess 779 (40)]

10.e3 Re8

(10... g5 11. Bg3 f5 12. O-O-O f4 13. f3 Nd6 14. exf4 gxf4 15. Bf2 Bf5 16. Qc5 Ne7 17. Ne2 Bg6 18. Qc3 Qd7 19. g3 fxg3 20. Nxg3 Nb5 21. Qb3 a6 22. Rd2 Nc6 23. h4 Na5 24. Qb4 Qc6+ 25. Kd1 Nc4 26. Bxc4 dxc4 27. d5 Qf6 28. Qxc4 Qxf3+ 29. Kc1 Rf4 30. Qa2 Nd6 31. b3 Qc3+ 32. Kd1 Rxf2 { 0-1 Karpov,A (2619)-Anand,V (2788)/Corsica FRA 2009/The Week in Chess 782})

11.Nf3 g5 12.Bg3 g4 13.Ne5 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 c5 15.Bd3 Bf5 16.Qe2 f6 17.Bxe4 Bxe4 18.Bg3 Qa5+ 19.Qd2?! Qxd2+ 20.Kxd2

The bishops of opposite colour make the draw the most likely result. However Kramnik could grab a pawn here.


[20...cxd4 21.exd4 Bxg2]

21.f3 gxf3 22.gxf3 Bg6 23.h4 Bh5 24.Ke2 Re6 25.Be1 Kf7 26.Kf2 Rae8 27.Bd2 Rb6 28.Bc3 Rb3 29.a4 b6 30.Rhe1 Bg6 31.e4 dxe4 32.d5 a6 33.fxe4 Bxe4 34.d6 f5 35.Rg1 Ke6 36.Rg7 Kxd6 37.Rxh7 Bd3 38.Kf3 Re4 39.h5 Rh4 40.Rg1 Be4+ 41.Ke3 Rh3+ 42.Kf4 Rf3+ 43.Kg5 b5 44.axb5 axb5 45.Kf6

Vladimir Kramnik


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 45.Kf6


Setting Carlsen the most problems without changing the assessment of a draw being the most likely result.

46.bxc3 Rxc3 47. Rg8 Rh3 48. Rc8 c3 49. Rhc7

49. Rhh8 with the threat of Rhd8 mate is the calmest route to the draw.

49...c2 50. Kg5 Rh2 51. Rc3 Ke6 52. Re8+ Kf7 53. Rb8 Rg2+ 54. Kf4 Ke6 55. Re8+ Kd7 56. Rb8 Ke6 57. Re8+ Kf6 58. Rf8+ Ke6 1/2-1/2

World Champion Viswanathan Anand took on Vassily Ivanchuk in a rather rare Gruenfeld come Semi-Slav. At first it seemed that Ivanchuk had a nice position but it was clear Anand was better by move 30 and perhaps here with 30...Nb5 he missed his best chance for an advantage. Just after first time control the players reached a technical rook and pawn ending where Anand was a pawn up but with no winning chances against a player such as Ivanchuk.

Ivanchuk,V (2739) - Anand,V (2788) [D94]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (1), 05.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.e3 0-0 6.Bd2 c6 7.Qb3 e6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.0-0 Qe7

[9...Kh8 10.Rfe1 Ng4 11.h3 Nh6 12.e4 dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nf5 14.Bb4 Nxd4 15.Nxd4 Bxd4 16.Bxf8 Qxf8 17.Rad1 e5 18.Bf1 f5 19.Ng5 Qc5 20.Rxd4 Qxd4 21.Nf3 Qd6 22.Qc3 Qf6 23.Nxe5 Nc5 24.Nxg6+ Kg7 25.Re7+ Kxg6 26.Qg3+ Kh6 27.Qf4+ Kg6 28.Qg3+ Kh6 29.Qe3+ Kg6 30.Qxc5 Be6 31.Qd6 Bf7 32.Qg3+ Kh6 33.Rxb7 Re8 34.Qf4+ Kg6 35.Bd3 1-0 Mikhalevski,A-Godes,D/Tel Aviv ISR 1994]

10.Na4 Re8 11.Bb4 Qd8 12.Bd6 dxc4 13.Qxc4 Nb8 14.Qc5 b5 15.Nc3 Bb7 16.Rac1

[16.Ne4; 16.a4 Na6 17.Qa3 c5 18.Bxc5 Nd7]

16...a5 17.Bg3


17...Nbd7 18.Qd6 Bf8 19.Qc7 Qxc7 20.Bxc7 Rec8 21.Be5 b4 22.Na4 Nd5 23.Nc5 Nxc5 24.dxc5 f6 25.Bg3 e5 26.Rfd1 Ba6 27.Bxa6 Rxa6 28.Nd2 a4 29.e4 Nc7 30.f3

Viswanathan Anand


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 30.f3


[30...Nb5 31.Nb1 Nd4 32.Kf1 b3 33.axb3 Nxb3 34.Rc4 Bxc5]

31.Rb1 a3

[31...Be3+ 32.Bf2 Bxf2+ 33.Kxf2]

32.Nc4 Nb5 33.Be1 axb2 34.Rxb2 Rca8 35.Bxb4 Rxa2 36.Rxa2 Rxa2 37.Kf1 Bf8 38.Nd6 Nd4 39.Be1 Rc2 40.Bf2 Nb3 41.Nb7 Nxc5 42.Nxc5 Bxc5 43.Bxc5 Rxc5 44.Rd8+

White's activity make a draw inevitable.


Alexander Morozevich looked on the verge of a big advantage against Peter Leko. Perhaps 28.Bc3 instead of 28.f5 as played was the way because shortly after Morozevich took a draw by repetition.

Morozevich,A (2750) - Leko,P (2752) [C45]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (1), 05.11.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 Qf6 6.Qf3 bxc6 7.Nc3 d6 8.Qg3 Qg6 9.Bd2

[9.Bd3 a5 10.e5 Qxg3 11.hxg3 dxe5 12.Rxh7 Rxh7 13.Bxh7 Nf6 14.Bd3 Be6 15.Ke2 Bd4 16.Ne4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 Bd5 18.f3 a4 19.c3 Bc5 20.Bc2 Ke7 21.Be3 Bxe3 22.Kxe3 c5 23.g4 Rb8 24.b3 axb3 25.axb3 Bxb3 26.Rb1 c4 27.Be4 Rd8 1/2-1/2 Tseshkovsky,V (2599)-Tomashevsky,E (2555)/Kazan RUS 2005/The Week in Chess 566]

9...Nf6 10.f3 0-0 11.0-0-0 Nd7 12.Qxg6 hxg6 13.h4 a5 14.h5 gxh5 15.Rxh5 g6 16.Rh2 Bg1 17.Rh1 Bd4 18.a4 Bg7 19.b3 Ne5 20.Be2 Ba6 21.Bxa6 Rxa6 22.Rh3 Re8 23.Rdh1 Nd7 24.g4 Raa8 25.g5 Nc5 26.Ne2 Ne6 27.f4 Nc5

Peter Leko


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 27...Nc5


[28.Bc3 Bxc3 29.Nxc3 Kf8 30.f5 Ke7 is probably the line.]

28...gxf5 29.exf5 Rxe2 30.f6 Rxd2! 31.Rh7 Rxc2+ 32.Kxc2 Ne6 33.fxg7 Ra7 34.R1h5 Rb7 35.Kc3 c5 36.Rh8+ Kxg7 37.R8h7+ Kg8 38.Rh8+ Kg7 39.R8h7+ 1/2-1/2

The Catalan between Boris Gelfand and Ruslan Ponomariov never deviated from being level.

Gelfand,B (2758) - Ponomariov,R (2739) [E10]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (1), 05.11.2009

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6 6.Bg2 c6 7.0-0 Nbd7 8.Nc3

[8.Qc2 0-0 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 Nxf6 11.Nbd2 b6 12.e4 Be7 13.e5 Ne8 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.h4 Ba6 16.Rfc1 Qd7 17.Qc6 Qxc6 18.Rxc6 g6 19.Bf1 Bxf1 20.Nxf1 Ng7 21.Rac1 Nf5 22.Ne3 Rfb8 23.Nxf5 gxf5 24.Ne1 Kf8 25.Ng2 Ke8 26.Kf1 Rb7 27.Rc8+ Rxc8 28.Rxc8+ Bd8 29.Nf4 Kd7 30.Rc2 Be7 31.Ke2 a5 32.Ke3 a4 33.Nd3 Rb8 34.f4 Rg8 35.Kf2 h5 36.Ne1 Rc8 37.Rxc8 Kxc8 38.Nf3 Kd7 39.Ke3 Kc6 40.Kd3 Kb5 41.a3 Ka5 42.Ng5 Bxg5 43.fxg5 Kb5 44.Kc3 Ka5 45.Kd3 Kb5 46.Kc3 Ka5 47.Kd3 Kb5 1/2-1/2 Enkhbat,T (2253)-Benjamin,J (2575)/ICC INT 2009/The Week in Chess 780]

8...dxc4 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Ne4 Qe7 12.Nfd2 Nb6 13.f4 0-0 14.Qc2 c5 15.Nxc4 Nxc4 16.Qxc4 cxd4 17.Nxd6 Qxd6 18.Rad1 e5 19.fxe5 Qxe5 20.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 21.Rxd4 Be6 22.Bxb7 Rab8 23.Bd5 Bxd5 24.Rxd5 Rxb2 25.Ra5 Re8 26.Rxa7 Rexe2 27.Rfxf7 Re1+ 28.Rf1 Ree2 29.Rff7 1/2-1/2

Ruslan Ponomariov


Boris Gelfand

Final Position

Peter Svidler equalised pretty quickly with black against Levon Aronian in the Gruenfeld, indeed he may have held some sort of nominal advantage but a draw always seemed the likely result.

Aronian,L (2786) - Svidler,P (2754) [D80]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (1), 05.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 dxc4 7.e3 Be6 8.Nf3 Bg7 9.Qb1 b6 10.Be2

[10.Ng5 Bd5 11.e4 h6 12.Nh3 Bb7 13.Bxc4 0-0 14.e5 Bd5 15.Bxe7 Qd7 16.Bxd5 Qxd5 17.Nf4 Qc6 18.Bxf8 Qxc3+ 19.Ke2 Bxf8 20.Qd3 Qb2+ 21.Qd2 Qb5+ 22.Qd3 Qb2+ 23.Ke3 c5 24.Rhb1 cxd4+ 25.Kf3 Qc3 26.Rc1 Qxd3+ 27.Nxd3 Nd7 28.Rc7 Nc5 29.Nxc5 bxc5 30.Rb1 Re8 31.Kf4 f6 32.Rbb7 fxe5+ 33.Ke4 a5 34.a4 Rd8 35.Rd7 Re8 36.Rbc7 Rb8 37.f3 Rb4 38.Rc8 Rxa4 39.Kxe5 d3 40.Rxd3 Rh4 41.g4 Rh3 42.Kf6 1-0 Arutinian,D (2507)-Sanikidze,T (2425)/Tbilisi GEO 2006]

10...c5 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rd1 Nd7 13.dxc5 Qe8 14.c6 Nc5 15.Nd4 Bd5 16.Qb5 Rc8 17.Bxc4 Bxc6 18.Nxc6 Rxc6 19.Rac1 Rc7 20.Bg3 Qxb5 21.Bxb5 Rcc8 22.f3 a6 23.Be2 b5 24.Be1 Na4

Black has at least equalised.

25.c4 Nb2 26.Rd7 Nxc4 27.Bxc4 e6 28.Bb4 Rfe8 29.Ra7 bxc4 30.Rxa6 c3 31.Rc2 Red8 32.Rd6 Rxd6 33.Bxd6 Rd8 34.Bb4 Rd1+ 35.Kf2 Rb1 36.Bxc3 Bxc3 37.Rxc3 Rb2+

Pawns are level and all on one side.


Peter Svidler


Levon Aronian

Final Position

Shereshevsky Method

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