Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

Tal Memorial 2009 (3)

Deadlock broken

Three decisive games in round 3 after two rounds of draws was a welcome change.

Tal Memorial Moscow (RUS), 5-15 xi 2009 cat. XXI (2764)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2788 * ½ . . . ½ . 1 . . 2 2880
2. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2772 ½ * . . ½ . . . . 1 2 2904
3. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2786 . . * ½ . . . ½ 1 . 2 2873
4. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2739 . . ½ * . ½ ½ . . . 2761
5. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2801 . ½ . . * . ½ . . ½ 2760
6. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2739 ½ . . ½ . * . ½ . . 2760
7. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2758 . . . ½ ½ . * . ½ . 2764
8. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2754 0 . ½ . . ½ . * . . 1 2646
9. Leko, Peter g HUN 2752 . . 0 . . . ½ . * ½ 1 2639
10. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2750 . 0 . . ½ . . . ½ * 1 2650

Round 3 (November 7, 2009)
Anand, Viswanathan - Svidler, Peter 1-0 32 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Aronian, Levon - Leko, Peter 1-0 43 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Ponomariov, Ruslan ½-½ 69 D38 QGD Ragozin
Gelfand, Boris - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 27 D80 Gruenfeld 4.Bg5
Morozevich, Alexander - Kramnik, Vladimir 0-1 45 E32 Nimzo Indian 4.Qc2

It's always a bit of a dilemma, do we want to see well played draws, or do we want to see blood in the water, even as a result of blunders. Today's round saw some exciting chess but I still feel the players are getting warmed up.

I imagine that after his tremendous performance in China, Magnus Carlsen's opponents must be treating him with kid gloves. They certainly don't want to volentarily play interesting games against him. Today Gelfand kept control of the position as white but pretty much allowed black to equalise. When a heavy piece ending was reached the draw was the only result.

Gelfand,B (2758) - Carlsen,M (2801) [D80]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (3), 07.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 c5 6.cxd5 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qxd5 8.e3 Bg7 9.Nf3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nc6 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0 Bf5 13.Nd2 e5 14.Bf3 Qd6 15.Nc4

[15.Bg3 Bd3 16.Re1 Qa3 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Nb3 Bb5 19.Bxe5 Bxe5 20.dxe5 Rfd8 21.Qc1 Qe7 22.f4 Rac8 23.Nc5 Bd3 24.Qc3 Bf5 25.e4 Be6 26.a4 Rb8 27.Rf1 Bc8 28.f5 Qg5 29.h4 Qd2 30.Qxd2 Rxd2 31.Rfb1 Rb6 32.Rd1 Rc2 33.Rd8+ Kg7 34.Nd3 Ba6 35.Ne1 Re2 36.f6+ Kh6 37.e6 1-0 Arutinian,D (2584)-Pereira,R (2437)/Dresden GER 2008/The Week in Chess 732]

15...Qb4 16.Bxc6 Qxc4 17.Bxb7 Rab8 18.Qf3 exd4 19.Bd5 Qb4 20.e4 Be6 21.Rad1 Qc3 22.Qf4 Bxd5 23.exd5 Qc5 24.Bf6 Bxf6 25.Qxf6 Qxd5 26.Qxd4 Qxa2 27.Ra1

This heavy piece ending offers nothing to either side.


Magnus Carlsen


Boris Gelfand

Position after 27.Ra1

Alexander Morozevich's instinct must be to complicate against Vladimir Kramnik. Optically, especially after 16...f5 from Kramnik, Morozevich seemed to have all the chances, this quickly changed and after his exchange sacrifice Morozevich was in trouble. However he did get another chance when Kramnik went wrong and allowed Morozevich at least some prospects to play on. However he went aggressive and Kramnik made no mistake with a piece sacrifice which tore open white's position. Kramnik then finished things off very smoothly.

Morozevich,A (2750) - Kramnik,V (2772) [E32]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (3), 07.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 d5 7.Nf3 dxc4 8.Qxc4 b6 9.Bf4 Ba6 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.e4

[11.Rd1 Qc8 (11...Qe7 12.g3 Rac8 13.Bg2 c5 14.Qa4 Bb7 15.Qxa7 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 cxd4 17.Be5 Nd5 18.Bxd5 exd5 19.Bxd4 Rc2 20.e3 Qe6 21.0-0 Qc6 22.Qa6 Rc4 23.b3 Ra8 24.Qxa8+ Qxa8 25.bxc4 dxc4 26.Rc1 Qa4 27.Rfd1 h6 28.Rd2 b5 29.Ra1 Nb8 30.Rb2 Nc6 31.Rab1 Nxd4 32.exd4 c3 33.Re2 Qxa3 34.Rxb5 Qa1+ 35.Kg2 Qd1 36.Re8+ Kh7 37.Rc5 Qxd4 1/2-1/2 Shishkin,V (2493)-Zacurdajev,M (2408)/St Petersburg 2008) 12.g3 c5 13.Bg2 Bb7 14.dxc5 1/2-1/2 Gurevich,M (2627)-Adams,M (2729)/Khanty Mansiysk 2007]

11...Bxf1 12.Kxf1

[12.Rxf1 c5 13.Bd6 1/2-1/2 Drozdovskij,Y (2558)-Pert,R (2455)/Dresden 2007]

12...c5 13.Bd6 Re8 14.e5 Nd5 15.h4 cxd4 16.Ng5 f5

A brave choice as this allows white to threaten a number of things based on Nxe6 and the unstable knight on d5. As the game goes though he has everything worked out.

17.Qc4 Qc8

[17...h6 18.Nxe6 Rxe6 19.Qxd5 Qe8 is also OK.]

18.Qxd4 Nc5 19.Rd1 Nb3 20.Qd3 Nc1

Vladimir Kramnik


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 20...Nc1


It's hard to say what Morozevich has missed but black is already close to winning after this.

[21.Qf3 Qc4+ 22.Kg1 Ne2+ 23.Kh2 Qxh4+ 24.Nh3]

21...Qc2! 22.Rxd5?! a6!

Maybe this was the move Morozevich missed. I certainly would have been suspicious about a white position relying on this exchange sacrifice to work.

23.Qxb6 Qc4+ 24.Kg1 exd5 25.g3 h6 26.Nf3 f4 27.g4


27...Qe4 28.Kg2 Nd3

Allowing white back into the game.


29.Qb3 Qc4

Vladimir Kramnik


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 29...Qc4


After this there is no hope.

[30.Qd1 seems to at least give white some chances to get back into the game.]

30...Nxf2! 31.Kxf2 Qc2+ 32.Kg1 Qd1+ 33.Kf2 Qxh1 34.e6 Rac8 35.Qf7+ Kh8 36.Bc5 Qc1 37.b4 Qc2+ 38.Kg1 Qe2 39.Nd4 Qxg4+ 40.Kf2 Qxh4+ 41.Ke2 f3+ 42.Kxf3 Rf8!

A crisp finish, Queen and Rook vs King is almost always mate, it's pretty easy to see it is here.

43.Bxf8 Rc3+ 44.Kg2 Qg3+ 45.Kf1 Rc1+ 0-1

World Champion Viswanathan Anand scored a victory against Peter Svidler's Gruenfeld. Anand chose a slightly unusual variation and this lead to some complicated piece play. Anand opened up Svidler's King but he maybe should still be alright. However Svidler tried to keep a pawn and this allowed Anand to exploit the position of Svidler's knight on d4 which he found a way of winning.

Anand,V (2788) - Svidler,P (2754) [D85]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (3), 07.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 Bg7 6.e4 Nb6 7.Be3 0-0 8.h3 e5 9.Nf3 exd4 10.Bxd4 Bxd4 11.Qxd4 Qe7 12.Qe3 Nc6

[12...f5 1/2-1/2 Sokolov,I (2691)-Sutovsky,E (2674)/Gothenburg SWE 2005/The Week in Chess 561 (56)]

13.Bb5 Nb4

[13...f5 14.Bxc6 bxc6 15.exf5 Qxe3+ 16.fxe3 Bxf5 17.0-0 Rae8 18.Rae1 Bd3 19.Rf2 Nd5 20.Rd2 Be4 21.Nxe4 Rxe4 22.Rd3 Rfe8 23.Kf2 a5 24.Nd2 Nb4 25.Rd7 R4e7 26.Rxe7 Rxe7 27.Rb1 Re5 28.a3 Nd3+ 29.Ke2 Nf4+ 30.Kf3 Nd3 31.Ke2 Nf4+ 32.Kf3 Nd3 33.Nc4 Rc5 34.b3 Ne5+ 35.Nxe5 Rxe5 36.Rc1 Rb5 37.Rc3 Rb6 38.Ke4 Kf7 39.Kd4 Ke6 40.e4 Kd6 41.Rf3 Ke6 42.e5 c5+ 43.Kc4 Kxe5 44.Rf7 h6 45.Rxc7 Kf4 46.Rxc5 Kg3 47.Rxa5 Kxg2 48.b4 Kxh3 49.b5 Rb8 50.Ra6 Rg8 51.b6 Rb8 52.a4 g5 53.a5 1-0 Gleizerov,E (2552)-Iordachescu,V (2567)/Khanty Mansyisk 2007]

14.Rc1 Be6 15.b3 a6 16.Be2 Nc6 17.0-0 f6 18.Rfe1 Rad8 19.Bf1 Bf7 20.Nh2 Be6 21.f4 Nd4 22.f5 Bf7 23.Ng4 gxf5 24.Nh6+ Kh8 25.Qf2 fxe4?

Peter Svidler


Viswanathan Anand

Position after 25...fxe4

Missing that the knight on d4 is unstable and immediately attacked when Anand recaptures this pawn.


26.Rxe4 Qd6 27.Rd1 c5 28.Nxf7+ Rxf7 29.b4

Black is losing material. I can only think Svidler underestimated this when capturing on e4.

29...f5 30.bxc5 fxe4 31.Qxf7 Nf3+ 32.Qxf3 1-0

Levon Aronian defeated Peter Leko in a complicated Semi-Slav. I quite liked Leko's position at one point but Aronian found a way of gradually taking the advantage and eventually he won rather easily.

Aronian,L (2786) - Leko,P (2752) [D43]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (3), 07.11.2009

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.Ne5 Bb7 10.h4 g4 11.Nxg4 Nxg4 12.Qxg4 Qxd4 13.Rd1 Qf6 14.a4 h5 15.Qg5

[15.Qe2 Bb4 16.Qd2 Qe7 17.Be2 Nd7 18.0-0 a6 19.Qc2 e5 20.b3 Bc5 21.axb5 axb5 22.bxc4 b4 23.Na4 Bd4 24.Rxd4 exd4 25.c5 Ba6 26.Bxa6 Rxa6 27.Rd1 0-0 28.Rxd4 Rfa8 29.Rxb4 Ra5 30.Rd4 Ne5 31.Qd1 Ng4 32.f3 Rxa4 33.Rxa4 Qxc5+ 34.Rd4 Ne3 35.Bd6 Qb6 36.Qd2 Ra1+ 37.Kf2 Rd1 38.Qxe3 Qb2+ 39.Kg3 Qxd4 40.Qxd4 Rxd4 41.Be7 Rd2 42.f4 Rd7 43.Bc5 Rd3+ 44.Kf2 Rc3 45.Bd4 Rc2+ 46.Kf3 c5 47.Bf6 c4 48.g4 hxg4+ 49.Kxg4 Kh7 50.f5 Rf2 51.Be5 Rf1 52.Kg3 Rc1 53.Kf3 c3 54.Ke2 c2 55.Kd2 Re1 56.Kxc2 Rxe4 57.Bg3 Rg4 58.Bd6 Rxh4 59.Kd3 f6 60.Ke3 Kh6 61.Bg3 Ra4 62.Bf4+ Kh5 63.Kf3 Ra5 0-1 Van Wely,L (2625)-Perunovic,M (2568)/Budva MNE 2009/The Week in Chess 749]

15...Qxg5 16.hxg5 a6 17.Be5 Rg8 18.Rxh5 Nd7 19.Bf4 b4 20.Nb1 c5 21.f3 Bg7 22.Rh7 Bd4 23.Bxc4 Nf8 24.Rh5

Peter Leko


Levon Aronian

Position after 24,Rh5

Black surely can't be unhappy with his position but gradually drifts into a difficult position.


[24...Bxb2 25.Bd6 Nd7]

25.Bc1 0-0-0 26.b3 Ne5 27.Be2 Rd7 28.Rd2 Rgd8 29.Rc2 Ng6 30.Kf1 Kb8 31.g3 Ka7 32.Nd2 Ne5 33.Nc4 Nc6 34.Rd2 a5 35.Rd1 Ba6 36.f4

Peter Leko


Levon Aronian

Position after 36,f4

In a very complicated position black has gradually lost ground and is in trouble. The next move just loses.

36...Bc3 37.Rxd7+ Rxd7 38.Rh7 Bc8 39.Be3 Bd4 40.Bxd4 cxd4 41.Bd3 Kb8 42.e5

White's pieces will come in with Nd6 and Bb5 causing complete devestation, black's next just ends things fast.

42...f5? 43.gxf6 1-0

Vassily Ivanchuk's fascination with chess may not be shared by his opponents when he plays on in ending such as this but he can certainly set problems in sterile looking positions. However on this occasion Ruslan Ponomariov was equal to the task.

Ivanchuk,V (2739) - Ponomariov,R (2739) [D38]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (3), 07.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Qc2 0-0 8.e3 c5 9.Be2 Qa5 10.0-0 cxd4

[10...Bxc3 1-0 Khenkin,I (2603)-Buhmann,R (2527)/Stuttgart GER 2002/The Week in Chess 424 (41)]

11.Nxd4 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Re8

[12...h6 13.Bf4 Qc5 14.Rab1 a6 15.Rfc1 Nb6 16.c4 dxc4 17.Bxc4 Nxc4 18.Qxc4 Qxc4 19.Rxc4 b5 20.Rc5 Bb7 21.f3 Nd5 22.Kf2 Nxf4 23.exf4 Rfd8 24.Ke3 Rd7 25.Rb2 Rad8 26.Rd2 Bd5 27.a3 Bc4 28.g4 f6 29.f5 Re8+ 30.Kf2 Red8 31.Ke3 Re8+ 32.Kf2 Red8 1/2-1/2 Lukac,S (1900)-Rezak,M (2030)/Bratislava 1989; 12...Ne4 13.Be7 Re8 14.Bb4 Qb6 15.Rab1 Ne5 16.Bb5 Bd7 17.Bxd7 Nxd7 18.c4 dxc4 19.Qxc4 Rac8 20.Qd3 Qg6 21.f3 Nec5 22.Qf5 a6 23.Rfd1 Nf8 24.Rdc1 Nfe6 25.Bxc5 Rxc5 26.Rxc5 Nxc5 27.Qxg6 hxg6 28.Kf2 Kf8 29.Rb6 Re7 30.h4 Nd3+ 31.Kg3 Ne5 32.e4 Rd7 33.Nb3 Nc4 34.Rb4 Rc7 35.a4 Ke7 36.a5 Kd8 37.f4 Nd6 38.Kf3 Rc3+ 39.Ke2 Kc7 40.Nd2 Rc5 41.e5 Nf5 42.g4 Ne7 43.Ne4 Rxa5 44.Nd6 Ra2+ 45.Kd3 Ra3+ 46.Ke4 b5 47.Nxf7 Ra4 48.Rxa4 bxa4 49.Kd3 a3 50.Kc2 Nd5 51.Nd6 Kd7 52.f5 Ne3+ 53.Kb3 Nxg4 54.fxg6 Nxe5 55.Nf5 Nxg6 56.h5 Nf4 57.Nxg7 Nxh5 58.Nxh5 1/2-1/2 Kveinys,A (2517)-Schandorff,L (2520)/Crete 2007]

13.Bf4 Ne5 14.Rab1 a6 15.Bxe5 Rxe5 16.Rfc1 Qc7 17.c4 dxc4 18.Qxc4 Qxc4 19.Rxc4 b5 20.Bf3 bxc4 21.Bxa8 Kf8 22.Rb8 Re8 23.Kf1 Nd7 24.Rb4 a5 25.Rb1 Ne5 26.Bd5 c3 27.Bb7 Bxb7 28.Rxb7 Rc8 29.Nc2 Nc6 30.a3 Rd8 31.Rb1 Rd2 32.Rc1 Ne5 33.Nd4 Rxf2+

Ruslan Ponomariov


Vassily Ivanchuk


In spite of this tactic the position remains level.

34.Kxf2 Nd3+ 35.Kf3 Nxc1 36.Ke4 Ke7 37.Nc2 Kd6 38.Kd4 Nb3+ 39.Kxc3 Nc5 40.Kc4 f5 41.Nd4 g6 42.Nf3 Ne6 43.h4 Nc7 44.Ng5 h5 45.g3 Nd5 46.Kd4 Nc7 47.a4 Nd5 48.Nf7+ Ke6 49.Nd8+ Kd6 50.Nb7+ Ke6 51.Nd8+

White has the opportunity for a repetition, but turns it down.

51... Kd6 52. Nf7+ Ke6 53. Ne5 Nb6 54. Nxg6 Nxa4 55. Nf4+ Kf7 56. Nxh5 Nb6

Levon Aronian


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 56...Nb6. Still equal.

57. Nf4 a4 58. Nd3 a3 59. Nb4 Kg6 60. Kc3 Kh5 61. Nc2 a2 62. Kb2 Na4+ 63. Kxa2 Nc3+ 64. Kb3 Ne4 65. Kc4 Nxg3 66. Kd5 Kxh4 67. Ke5 Kg4 68. Nd4 Kg5 69. Nf3+ Kg4 1/2-1/2

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