Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

Tal Memorial 2009 (5)

Anand joins Kramnik in the lead

Viswanathan Anand was the only winner in Round 5 when he won a theoretical dual with Peter Leko. This means that he and Vladimir Kramnik share the lead on 3.5/5 half a point clear of Levon Aronian.

Tal Memorial Moscow (RUS), 5-14 xi 2009 cat. XXI (2764)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2772 * ½ . ½ . ½ . 1 1 . 2919
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2788 ½ * . . ½ . ½ . 1 1 2900
3. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2786 . . * ½ ½ . . ½ ½ 1 3 2831
4. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2801 ½ . ½ * . ½ ½ ½ . . 2761
5. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2739 . ½ ½ . * ½ ½ . ½ . 2765
6. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2758 ½ . . ½ ½ * . ½ . ½ 2762
7. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2739 . ½ . ½ ½ . * . ½ ½ 2766
8. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2750 0 . ½ ½ . ½ . * . ½ 2 2701
9. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2754 0 0 ½ . ½ . ½ . * . 2615
10. Leko, Peter g HUN 2752 . 0 0 . . ½ ½ ½ . * 2615

Round 5 (November 10, 2009)
Anand, Viswanathan - Leko, Peter 1-0 45 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit
Aronian, Levon - Morozevich, Alexander ½-½ 31 D31 Semi-Slav Defence
Gelfand, Boris - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 81 E04 Catalan
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 31 A48 King's Indian Defence /c2-c4
Svidler, Peter - Ponomariov, Ruslan ½-½ 31 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin

Viswanathan Anand was impressed enough by an idea played against him by Teimour Radjabov in 2006 (and tried again by Kramnik against Aronian in Wijk aan Zee in 2008) to try it himself even though he eventually won against it. Black's position is optically appealing but it is black who has to be careful about his king position. Anand found a new move with 22.Nxd4 and as the game continued it gradually became clear that white was the only one with winning chances. It is hard to say how deep Anand's preparation went but Leko wasn't up to the task of holding the position.

Anand,Viswanathan - Leko,Peter [D43]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ne5 Bg7 12.Nxd7 Nxd7 13.Bd6 a6 14.a4 e5 15.Bg4 exd4 16.e5 c5 17.Re1

[17.Bf3 Ra7 18.Bxb7 Rxb7 19.Ne4 Nxe5 20.axb5 axb5 21.f4 gxf4 22.Qh5 Rb6 23.Bxe5 Qd5 24.Rxf4 Rg6 25.Nd6+ Rxd6 26.Rxf7 Bxe5 27.Rb7+ Kf8 28.Ra8+ 1-0 Iljin,A (2538)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2602)/Dresden GER 2007/The Week in Chess 649]

17...Nxe5 18.Bxe5 0-0 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Ne2 f5 21.Bh5 f4 22.Nxd4N

Peter Leko


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 22.Nxd4

[22.b4 cxb3 23.Qxb3 Qd5 24.Qh3 Bc8 25.Qd3 (25.Nc3 dxc3 26.Qxc3+ Qd4 27.Qf3 Ra7 28.axb5 Qf6 29.Qa3 Qb6 30.Qc3+ Kg8 31.Re5 Qf6 32.Qxc5 Rd7 33.h4 gxh4 34.Bg4 Rdd8 35.Bxc8 Rxc8 36.Qd5+ Qf7 37.bxa6 Qxd5 38.Rxd5 Rf7 39.a7 Ra8 40.Rda5 Kh7 41.R1a3 h3 42.gxh3 f3 43.Kh2 Rg7 44.h4 Rg2+ 45.Kh3 Rg7 46.Ra6 Rf7 47.R3a5 Rg7 48.h5 Rf7 49.Kg4 Rg8+ 50.Kh3 Ra8 51.Kg4 Rg8+ 52.Rg6 Ra8 53.Raa6 Raxa7 54.Rxh6+ Kg8 55.Rag6+ Rg7 56.Kxf3 Rxg6 57.Rxg6+ Kf7 58.Rg4 Ra1 59.Kg3 Rh1 60.Rh4 Ra1 61.Rb4 Kg7 62.Rb6 Rg1+ 63.Kf4 Rh1 64.Kg5 Rg1+ 65.Kf5 Rh1 66.h6+ Kh7 67.Ra6 Rf1 68.f4 Rb1 69.Re6 Ra1 70.Rf6 Re1 71.Kg4 Ra1 72.f5 Rg1+ 73.Kf4 Rf1+ 74.Ke5 Re1+ 75.Kd6 Rf1 76.Ke7 Rf2 77.Rf8 Re2+ 78.Kf7 Ra2 79.Rd8 Ra7+ 80.Kf6 Ra1 81.Rd2 Rb1 82.Ra2 Rb3 83.Rh2 Rb1 84.Rh4 Rb8 85.Kg5 Rg8+ 86.Kf4 Ra8 87.Kg5 Rg8+ 88.Kf6 Ra8 89.Re4 Ra1 90.Re8 Ra2 91.Re1 Ra3 92.Rh1 Ra2 93.Kg5 Rg2+ 94.Kf4 Rf2+ 95.Ke4 Re2+ 96.Kf3 Ra2 97.Ke4 Re2+ 98.Kd4 Rd2+ 99.Ke3 Ra2 100.f6 Ra7 101.Rf1 Kg6 102.Ke4 Ra4+ 103.Kd5 Kf7 104.Rh1 Ra5+ 105.Kc4 Ra4+ 106.Kb5 Ra8 107.h7 Rh8 108.Rh6 Rb8+ 109.Kc6 Rc8+ 110.Kd6 1-0 Kramnik,V (2799)-Aronian,L (2739)/Wijk aan Zee NED 2008/The Week in Chess 689) 25...Bf5 26.Qd2 Qd7 27.Rac1 Rac8 28.h4 Kh8 29.axb5 axb5 30.Qb2 b4 31.Red1 Qg7 32.Nxd4 Rfd8 33.Rxc5 Rxc5 34.Qxb4 Rcd5 35.Nxf5 Rxd1+ 36.Bxd1 Rxd1+ 37.Kh2 Qf6 38.Qe4 Rd8 39.hxg5 Qxg5 40.Kh3 Rf8 41.Nh4 Rg8 42.Qf5 Qxf5+ 43.Nxf5 Kh7 44.g3 fxg3 45.fxg3 Ra8 46.Kg4 Ra5 47.Nh4 Kg7 48.Ng2 Kf6 49.Nf4 Rg5+ 50.Kh4 Kf5 51.Nh5 Rg4+ 52.Kh3 Ra4 53.Nf4 Ra1 54.Ne2 Rh1+ 55.Kg2 Re1 56.Kf3 Rd1 57.Kg2 Kg4 58.Kf2 Rd3 0-1 Radjabov,T (2728)-Anand,V (2779)/Mainz GER 2006/The Week in Chess 615]

22...cxd4 23.Re6 Bc8


24.Rg6+ Kh7 25.axb5 Rf6 26.Rxf6 Qxf6 27.Qc2+ Bf5 28.Qxc4 Rc8 29.Qd5 axb5 30.h3

Peter Leko


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 30.h3

It isn't unreasonable to think that Anand might still be in preparation here. Black's king is still weak and he's about to lose his extra pawn. This is actually pretty unpleasant.


In retrospect this might not be a good idea, it doesn't relieve the problem of the weakness of the black king to attack. Maybe black is just in serious problems.

[30...Rc7 trying to hold the position along black's 2nd rank is the alternative.]

31.Qxb5 Rf8

[31...f3 32.Bxf3 Bg6 33.Qb7 Rg8]

32.Ra6 Qg7 33.Rd6 d3 34.Qb6 Qe5 35.Bg6!

Peter Leko


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 35.Bg6!

and sooner or later black is going to lose.

35...d2 36.Bxf5 Qxf5 37.Qd4+


37...Kh7 38.Qxd2 Rf7

[38...f3 Maybe a slightly better chance.]

39.f3 h5 40.Rd5 Qg6 41.Qa5 Rg7 42.h4

Peter Leko


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 42.h4.

There is no hope.

42...Qb1+ 43.Kh2 Qxb2 44.Rxg5

[44.Rd6 is maybe more accurate but the way he played is just as winning.]

44...Rxg5 45.Qxg5 1-0

Often one of the best strategies is to turn an opening on it's biggest fan. Vladimir Kramnik was on the black side of a Catalan for a change and he decided to go pawn grabbing on the queenside, a plan I very much approve of. The players seemed to be on new ground as early as move 8. Kramnik ended up with a passed a-pawn, white an advanced d-pawn. By move 24 both players had very little time to make move 40. It's possible chances were missed in this 16 move phase. Kramnik ended up a little better after the first time control and switched to a rook and pawn ending 4 vs 3 on the kingside which of course he took some time to press with but Gelfand was equal to the task. A very complicated and difficult game.

Gelfand,Boris - Kramnik,Vladimir [E04]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 a5 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Bg5

Hard to believe this is actually a novelty but I couldn't find anything.

[8.0-0 Bd7 9.Ne5 Bc6 10.Nxc6 Nxc6 11.a3 Be7 12.e3 Nd7 13.Rc1 e5 14.Nd5 exd4 15.exd4 Nxd4 16.Rxc4 c5 17.Bf4 Ra6 18.Bc7 Qe8 19.Re1 Re6 20.Bxa5 Bd8 21.Bd2 b5 22.Rxd4 cxd4 23.Rf1 f5 24.Bb4 Rf7 25.Nf4 Re4 26.Bxe4 fxe4 27.Qxd4 Bb6 28.Qd5 Nf6 29.Qe6 Qxe6 30.Nxe6 Rd7 31.Bc5 Bxc5 32.Nxc5 Rd2 33.b4 Re2 34.Rd1 Ng4 35.Nxe4 Rxe4 36.f3 Re3 37.fxg4 Rxa3 38.Rd5 Ra2 39.Rxb5 Kf7 40.Rb7+ Kg6 41.h3 h6 42.Rb6+ Kg5 43.Rb5+ Kg6 44.Rb7 Kf6 45.b5 Ra1+ 46.Kf2 Ra2+ 47.Ke3 Ra3+ 48.Kd4 Rxg3 49.b6 Rxh3 50.Rd7 Rh1 51.b7 Rd1+ 52.Kc5 Rxd7 53.b8Q Kf7 54.Kc6 Re7 55.Qb3+ Kf8 56.Kd6 Re8 57.Qc4 Re7 58.Qc5 Kf7 59.Qd5+ Kf8 60.Qf3+ Ke8 61.Qf5 Re1 62.Qf4 Re7 63.Qc4 Kf8 64.Qc5 Kf7 65.Qc4+ Kf8 1/2-1/2 Avrukh,B (2652)-Eljanov,P (2639)/Amsterdam NED 2005/The Week in Chess 559]

8...b5 9.Ne5 Ra6 10.a4 bxa4 11.Nxc4 h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.0-0 Rd8 14.Qxa4 Bd7 15.Qd1 Be8 16.e3 c5 17.d5 Bxc3 18.bxc3 Qxc3 19.Rc1 Qf6 20.d6 a4 21.Qd3 Nc6

[21...Bb5 looks a promising idea.]

22.Nd2 Nb4 23.Qc4 Qb2 24.Ne4

Viswanathan Anand


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 24.Ne4

The players were left with very little time to get to move 40.

24...Qb3 25.Qxc5 Nd5 26.Rb1 Qa2 27.Qd4 a3 28.Rfc1 Rc6 29.Re1 Qc4 30.Ra1 Qxd4 31.exd4 Ra8 32.h4 Rb6 33.Rec1 a2 34.Kh2

[34.Rxa2 Rxa2 35.Rc8 Kh7 36.Rxe8 Ra7 37.Rd8 Nf6 38.d5 Nxd5 39.d7 Kg6 40.g4 h5 41.gxh5+ Kf5 42.Rg8 Rxd7 43.Rxg7]

34...Rb2 35.Nc5 Bb5

[35...Rxf2 would have been a very brave choice in time trouble. 36.Kg1 Rd2 37.d7 Bxd7 38.Nxd7 Rd8 39.Ne5 Nb4 40.Rf1 f6 41.Nc4 Rd3 42.Bf3 R8xd4]

36.Kg1 Ra7


37.Bf1 Bxf1 38.Kxf1 Nf6 39.Nd3 Rd2 40.Ne5 Kh7

The smoke has cleared and a draw is the most likely result.

41.Rc7 Ra4 42.d7

It seems that no matter which way they play black will end up with the well known technical ending of a 4 vs 3 pawn advantage on the kingside in a rook and pawn ending which ought to be drawn.

42... Raxd4 43. Ra7 Rd1+ 44. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 45. Ke2 Rd5 46. Kf3 Nxd7 47. Nxd7 Rxd7 48. Rxa2 Rd5 49. Ra7 Kg6 50. Ke3 Rb5 51. Ke2 Rb3 52. Re7 Ra3 53. Rb7 f5 54. Kf1 f4 55. gxf4 Rh3 56. Rb4 Kf5 57. Rb7 Rh1+ 58. Kg2 Rxh4 59. f3 Kf6 60. Kg3 Rh1 61. Ra7 h5 62. Ra5 g6 63. Ra7 Rg1+ 64. Kf2 Rd1 65. Kg3 Rd8 66. Rb7 Rh8 67. Ra7 Rg8 68. Kh4 Rd8 69. Kg3 Rd5 70. Ra8 g5 71. fxg5+ Rxg5+ 72. Kh4 Rf5 73. Kg3 Rb5 74. Rf8+ Kg7 75. Re8 Kf7 76. Rh8 Rf5 77. Rh6 Ke7 78. f4 Kd6 79. Kf3 Rb5 80. Ke4 Ke7 81. Kf3 Kf7 1/2-1/2

If there is any indication of the impact that Magnus Carlsen's performance in the Pearl Spring tournament has made it was the choice of opening by Vassily Ivanchuk (normally the bravest of players) in Round 5. By playing the London System as white Ivanchuk effectively allowed Carlsen to equalise very quickly, at the expense of zero winning chances for either side. After 31 moves the game was agreed drawn.

Ivanchuk,Vassily - Carlsen,Magnus [A48]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Be2 b6 7.a4 c5 8.c3



[8...Bb7; 8...a6; 8...Re8; 8...Nbd7; 8...Nc6; 8...cxd4]


[9.Bxa6; 9.Nbd2]


[9...Bxe2 10.Qxe2 Nc6 11.Nbd2 Re8 12.Rfd1 Qc8 13.Nc4 Qa6 14.Qf1 cxd4 15.exd4 Nd5 16.Bd2 Rac8 17.Ne3 Qxf1+ 18.Kxf1 Nxe3+ 19.Bxe3 1/2-1/2 Kuehn,P (2384)-Le Quang,K (2305)/Fuegen 2006]

10.Re1 Qb7 11.Bb5 Bxb5 12.axb5 a6 13.Qe2 axb5 14.Rxa8 Qxa8 15.Qxb5 Na6 16.Bh2 Qb7 17.Nbd2 Nc7 18.Qb3 Ne6 19.Ra1 Rb8 20.Ra3 b5 21.Qa2 Qd5 22.Qa1 Ne4 23.Qa2 Qxa2 24.Rxa2 Nxd2 25.Nxd2 b4 26.Kf1 bxc3 27.bxc3 cxd4 28.cxd4 Nc7 29.Ra5 f5 30.g4 Rb5 31.Rxb5 1/2-1/2

Magnus Carlsen


Vassily Ivanchuk

Final Position

The only e-pawn opening of the day was a Berlin Defence between Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov. The Berlin came back into fashion with Kramnik's adoption of it against Kasparov when he took his title. The big problem open games have as a whole is their tendency to fizzle out into sterile positions. This becomes even more serious when preparation goes deep. Here 17 moves of theory saw black retain his two bishops but lack something in development. The position simplified further and the game finish in a draw in 31 moves.

Svidler,Peter - Ponomariov,Ruslan [C67]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2009

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 h6 10.h3 Bd7 11.b3 Kc8 12.Bb2 b6 13.Rad1 c5 14.Nd5 a5 15.a4 c4 16.g4 Ne7 17.Nf4 Nc6

[17...cxb3 18.cxb3 Nc6 19.e6 fxe6 20.Ne5 Nxe5 21.Bxe5 Rh7 22.Ng6 Bc5 23.Kg2 Be8 24.Nf4 Bd7 25.Ng6 Be8 1/2-1/2 Adams,M (2682)-Bacrot,E (2709)/Novi Sad SRB 2009/The Week in Chess 781]

18.e6 fxe6 19.Ng6 Rg8 20.Nfe5 Nxe5 21.Nxe5 Be8

Hanging on to the two bishops which is the signature strength of this defence.

22.Nxc4 b5 23.axb5 Bxb5 24.Rd4 a4 25.Ra1 Rb8 26.Ba3 axb3 27.cxb3

Trading into a completely drawn ending.

27...Bxc4 28.bxc4 Ra8 29.Bb2 Rxa1+ 30.Bxa1 Bd6 31.Re4 1/2-1/2

Ruslan Ponomariov


Peter Svidler

Final Position

Alexander Morozevich played a Stonewall Defence against Levon Aronian. Black was left with a bad bishop but as Larsen has pointed out the white light squared bishop biting on the pawns can sometimes be not in that good a shape either. When white tried to open the kingside for his bishop he allowed the knight on to a nice square, he exchanged it off to produce a sterile bishops of opposite colour ending.

Aronian,Levon - Morozevich,Alexander [D31]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (5), 10.11.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.e3 Bd6 5.Qc2 f5 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.cxd5 cxd5 8.Nb5 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Nc6 10.Nc7+ Qxc7 11.Bxb4 Bd7 12.Nf3

[12.Ba3 Rc8 13.Rc1 Ne4 14.Bxe4 fxe4 15.f3 b5 16.Qd2 a5 17.b3 b4 18.Bb2 Qd8 19.f4 0-0 20.Ne2 Qb6 21.0-0 Ne7 22.Rc5 Rxc5 23.dxc5 Qxc5 24.Rc1 Qb5 25.Nd4 Qb7 26.Rc5 Rc8 27.Rxc8+ Nxc8 1/2-1/2 Ibragimov,I (2605)-Milman,L (2459)/Buenos Aires ARG 2005/The Week in Chess 554]

12...Rc8 13.Qb3 Ne4 14.Rc1 Qb6 15.Ba3 Qxb3 16.axb3 Kf7 17.Ke2 Rhd8 18.Rc2 Ke8 19.Rhc1 Na5 20.Ne5 Rxc2+ 21.Rxc2 Nc6 22.h4 Rc8 23.f3 Nf6 24.Bd6 g6 25.Rc5 a6 26.Kf2 Nxe5 27.Rxc8+ Bxc8 28.dxe5 Ng8 29.g4

White needs to try and open some lines for his bishop on the kingside but this more or less forces a trade into a serile bishops of opposite colour ending.

29...Nh6 30.gxf5 Nxf5 31.Bxf5 1/2-1/2

Alexander Morozevich


Levon Aronian

Final Position

Shereshevsky Method

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