Chess24 Sopiko Scotch

Tal Memorial 2009 (6)

Kramnik back in the lead alone

Vladimir Kramnik won a long game against Ruslan Ponomariov to retake the sole lead on an interesting day of chess. World Champion Viswanathan Anand will have been happy enough to hold with black against Magnus Carlsen. Ivanchuk and Gelfand both won today.

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 . 1 2958
2. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2788 ½ * . ½ ½ . ½ . 1 1 4 2884
3. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2758 ½ . * . ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ . 2823
4. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2739 . ½ . * ½ . ½ 1 ½ ½ 2821
5. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2801 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ . ½ . . 3 2765
6. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2786 . . 0 . ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ 3 2759
7. Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2739 0 ½ ½ ½ . ½ * . . ½ 2709
8. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2750 0 . ½ 0 ½ ½ . * ½ . 2 2643
9. Leko, Peter g HUN 2752 . 0 ½ ½ . 0 . ½ * ½ 2 2637
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2754 0 0 . ½ . ½ ½ . ½ * 2 2637
Round 6 (November 11, 2009)
Kramnik, Vladimir - Ponomariov, Ruslan 1-0 81 D38 QGD Ragozin
Gelfand, Boris - Aronian, Levon 1-0 66 D47 Queens Gambit Meran
Carlsen, Magnus - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 36 D39 QGD Ragozin
Morozevich, Alexander - Ivanchuk, Vassily 0-1 49 E60 King's Indian without Nc3
Leko, Peter - Svidler, Peter ½-½ 41 B42 Sicilian Paulsen

Vladimir Kramnik won a long game against Ruslan Ponomariov to retake the sole lead on an interesting day of chess. World Champion Viswanathan Anand will have been happy enough to hold with black against Magnus Carlsen. Ivanchuk and Gelfand both won today.

Vladimir Kramnik had to win the games twice today to take the lead alone again. He reacted to Ruslan Ponomariov's Ragozin Defence by playing very ambitiously, leaving his king in the centre. Ponomariov played the rather wild 15...b5. 17...Qa3 was not a good move and then Ponomariov had to allow Qxh7+, because in the nature of things the position didn't appear completely clear he turned down the check and tried to get cute with 19.c7 which allowed Ponomariov right back in the game with an exchange sacrifice. I'm not sure what Kramnik missed but this sacrifice is actually more powerful than it looks at first sight, so perhaps it was as simple as that. It is to Kramnik's credit that rather than get annoyed he gradually outplayed Ponomariov and finished with a Rook and Rooks Pawn vs Bishop and Rooks Pawn which apparently is a forced loss. He used a combination of threats to force the win.

Kramnik,Vladimir - Ponomariov,Ruslan [D38]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 11.11.2009

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.cxd5 exd5 7.e3 c5 8.dxc5 Qa5 9.Rc1 Ne4 10.Qxd5 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Bxc3+ 12.Kd1 0-0 13.Bc4 Nf6

[13...Nxc5 14.Be7 Bb4 15.Bxf8 Be6 16.Qd4 Rxf8 17.Ke2 Rd8 18.Qh4 b5 19.Bxe6 Nxe6 20.Rc2 Qa3 21.Rd1 Rxd1 22.Kxd1 Bc3 23.Qe4 g6 24.Nd2 Bf6 25.Qd5 Qa4 26.Ne4 Be7 27.Nc3 Qh4 28.h3 b4 29.Ne4 Bf8 30.Rc8 Qe7 31.Ke1 Kg7 32.Kf1 f5 33.Rb8 Kh6 34.Ng3 Qc7 35.Nxf5+ gxf5 36.Qxe6+ 1-0 Novikov,I (2611)-Schulte,O (2392)/Edmondton CAN 2000]

14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Ke2 b5!?


[15...Be6 16.Qe4 Bxc4+ 17.Qxc4]

16.c6 Ba6 17.Qf5! Qa3?

[17...Bb2 18.Rc2 g6 19.Qc5 Ba3; 17...Rad8 18.Rhd1 Qa3]

18.Bd3 Rfd8

Ruslan Ponomariov


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 18...Rfd8


[19.Qxh7+ Kf8 20.c7 Qxa2+ 21.Kf1 is a much better way of playing this.]

19...Qxa2+ 20.Nd2 Rxd3! 21.Qxd3

White is an exchange up but it proves to be very difficult for white to sort his pieces out.

21...b4 22.Kf3 Bb7+ 23.Kg3 h5 24.h3 Qa5 25.f4 Rc8 26.Nc4 Qa6 27.Ne5 Qxd3 28.Nxd3 Bc3 29.Rhd1 a5 30.Nc5 Rxc7 31.Na4 Be4 32.Rd6 Kh7 33.Ra6 h4+ 34.Kh2 Rd7 35.Nc5 Re7 36.Rxa5 Bd2 37.Rc4

Ruslan Ponomariov


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 37.Rc4


[37...Bf5 is better.]

38.Nxe4 fxe4 39.Rh5+ Kg6 40.Rg5+ Kf6 41.Rc6+ Kf7 42.Rf5+ Kg8 43.g4 Re8 44.Re5 Rb8 45.g5 Kh7 46.Re7 Bxe3 47.Rh6+ Kg8 48.Rg6 Bd4

[48...Bxf4+ 49.Kh1 Kh8 50.Rgxg7 Rc8 51.Rh7+ Kg8 52.Reg7+ Kf8 53.Rd7 Rc1+ 54.Kg2 Rc2+ 55.Kf1 Rc1+ 56.Ke2 Rc2+ 57.Ke1 Rc1+ 58.Rd1 Rxd1+ 59.Kxd1 Bxg5 with good chances to hold.]

49.Rge6 Kh7 50.f5 Bc5 51.Re8 Rxe8 52.Rxe8 b3 53.Kg2 Be3 54.Rxe4 Bxg5 55.Rb4 g6 56.Rb7+ Kh6 57.fxg6 Kxg6 58.Kf3 Bd2 59.Kg4 Be1 60.Rxb3 Bg3 61.Rf3 Be1 62.Re3 Bf2

Ruslan Ponomariov


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 62...Bf2

Black appears to have some chances to draw but the combination of mate threats, zugzwang and a shortage of squares for the bishop and the need to stay in touch with h8 to stop the pawn means that the loss is inevitable.

63.Re6+ Kf7 64.Kf5 Bg3 65.Re4 Bf2 66.Kg5 Bg3 67.Re2 Kg7 68.Re7+ Kf8 69.Kf6 Bf2 70.Re6 Bg3 71.Kg6 Bh2 72.Re4 Bg3 73.Kf6 Bf2 74.Kg6 Bg3 75.Re2 Bd6 76.Kg5 Bg3 77.Kf6 Bf4 78.Re4 Bd6 79.Rd4 Bc7

[79...Be7+ 80.Kg6 Ke8]

80.Kg6 Bg3 81.Re4 1-0

The battle between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand was interesting enough. World Champion vs World Number 2, well prepared, executed and drawn. The Queen's Gambit Declined Ragozin saw Anand innovate and gradually simplify. Anand gradually chipped away at the centre and white broke through on the kingside, but only enough to draw by perpetual check.

Carlsen,Magnus - Anand,Viswanathan [D39]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 11.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.Bg5 Bb4 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 h6

[7...Qd5 1-0 Komarov,D (2595)-Tersarkissoff,J (2140)/FRA 1996 (29)]


[8.Bh4 1-0 Long,H (1780)-Robertson,T (1597)/Edmonton 2005 (25)]

8...Qxf6 9.e3

[9.Qa4+ 1/2-1/2 Koopmann,J-Windt,L/Hamburg 1978 (47)]


[9...0-0 10.Bxc4 b6 11.0-0 Bb7 12.Ne5 Qg5 13.Qg4 Qxg4 14.Nxg4 Nc6 15.h4 h5 16.Nh2 Na5 17.Be2 g6 18.Nf3 c5 19.dxc5 Nb3 20.Rad1 Nxc5 21.Ne5 Rfd8 22.Rd4 Rd5 23.f4 Rc8 24.Bf3 Rxd4 25.exd4 Bxf3 26.dxc5 Bc6 27.cxb6 axb6 28.Rb1 Bd5 29.c4 Bxc4 30.Rxb6 Bd5 31.Rd6 Ra8 32.Kf2 Rxa3 33.Rd8+ Kg7 34.Rd7 Ra2+ 35.Ke3 Rxg2 36.Rxf7+ Kg8 37.Rd7 Kf8 38.Rc7 Ba2 39.Kf3 Rg1 0-1 Figueiredo,F (2276)-Derouineau,J (2368)/ICCF Email 2001]

10.a4 c6 11.Ne5 a6 12.g4 Bb7 13.Bg2 Qe7 14.0-0 0-0 15.f4 Nd7 16.Nxc6 Qd6 17.Ne7+ Qxe7 18.Bxb7 Ra7 19.Bg2 Nb6 20.axb5 axb5 21.Rxa7 Qxa7 22.Qa1 Qe7 23.e4 Ra8 24.Qb2 Ra5 25.e5 Qh4 26.Qe2

Viswanathan Anand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 30.Qg6


26...Ra3 27.f5 Rxc3 28.fxe6 fxe6 29.Qe4 Qd8 30.Qg6

Heading for the draw.

30...Qxd4+ 31.Kh1 Re3 32.Qxe6+ Kh7 33.Qf5+ Kh8 34.Qf8+ Kh7 35.Qf5+ Kh8 36.Qf8+ 1/2-1/2

Peter Leko against Peter Svidler was a Sicilian Kan where piece play predominated. Pieces came off gradually and the good old bishops of opposite colour with level pawns ending was reached where a draw is inevitable was reached.

Leko,Peter - Svidler,Peter [B42]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 11.11.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.Qg4 Bf6 8.Qg3 Nc6 9.N1d2 d5

This sensible move doesn't seem to have been played before.

[9...d6 10.0-0 Nge7 11.Nc4 Ne5 12.Nxe5 dxe5 13.a4 b6 14.a5 bxa5 15.Nxa5 0-0 16.b4 Qc7 17.Be3 Ng6 18.Bc5 Be7 19.Qe3 Bxc5 20.Qxc5 Qxc5 21.bxc5 Ra7 22.Rfb1 Rc7 23.c6 Ne7 24.Rb6 g6 25.Rab1 f5 26.f3 Rd8 27.Bxa6 Bxa6 28.Rxa6 Kf8 29.Kf1 Rd6 30.Rb8+ Rc8 31.Rxc8+ Nxc8 32.Nb7 Rd2 33.Ra8 1-0 Kogan,A (2569)-Meier,V (2256)/Nuernberg GER 2007/The Week in Chess 670]

10.0-0 Nge7 11.Re1 Ne5 12.Bf1 0-0 13.c3 N7c6 14.Nd4 Bh4 15.Nxc6 Nxc6 16.Qf3 d4 17.e5 dxc3 18.Qxc3 Qd4 19.Qxd4 Nxd4

Already something special is going to have to happen in order for something other than a draw to occur.

20.Re4 Nc2 21.Rb1 Be7 22.Nc4 b5 23.Nd6 f5 24.Re2 Nb4 25.Bd2 Nd5 26.Ba5 Bd7 27.Rc2 Bxd6 28.exd6 Rfc8 29.Rbc1 Rxc2 30.Rxc2 Kf7 31.g3 Rc8 32.Rxc8 Bxc8 33.a4 Bd7 34.axb5 axb5 35.Bg2 Ke8 36.f4 Bc6 37.Bc3 g6 38.Kf2 Kd7 39.Bxd5 exd5 40.Ke3 d4+!

It might be a drawn bishops of opposite colour ending but this is accurate move makes sure there can be no dramas by freeing the bishop.

41.Kxd4 Kxd6 1/2-1/2

Peter Svidler


Peter Leko

Final Position

I always struggle on the white side of a King's Indian, especially with the Benko / Benoni / Saemisch structure. I always want to see how the professionals handle it, after all isn't white supposed to be better? Well today we saw Alexander Morozevich lose with white against Vassily Ivanchuk without playing any outrageously bad moves, it seems to me that his setup was somehow wrong, and this is the kind of thing that happens to me! Once rooks came off on move 27 it was only a matter of time before Ivanchuk converted which he did efficiently enough winning on move 49.

Morozevich,Alexander - Ivanchuk,Vassily [E81]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 11.11.2009

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 c5 4.d5 Bg7 5.e4 d6 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Nge2 e6 8.Ng3 Na6 9.Be2 exd5 10.cxd5 Nc7 11.a4 a6

[11...Rb8 12.0-0 b6 1/2-1/2 Vegh,E (2313)-Bednay,B (2277)/Budapest HUN 2007/The Week in Chess 670]


I presume similar positions to this have been seen before, just maybe not this precise one.

[12.0-0 Rb8 13.Be3 b5 14.axb5 axb5 15.Qd2 Re8 16.Kh1 b4 17.Nd1 Bd7 18.Bh6 Nb5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Bxb5 Bxb5 21.Re1 Kh8 22.Qf4 Qe7 23.Ne3 Qe5 24.Qxe5 Rxe5 25.Ra7 Kg8 26.b3 Kf8 27.Kg1 Re7 28.Rea1 Rxa7 29.Rxa7 Nd7 30.Ngf1 Ne5 31.Nd2 h5 32.g3 Be2 33.Kf2 Bb5 34.Kg2 f6 35.g4 Nf7 36.Nec4 Re8 37.Rxf7+ 1-0 Ouakhir,M (2239)-Lecoq,J (2074)/Mont de Marsan 2005]

12...Bd7 13.h4?!

Vassily Ivanchuk


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 13.h4

Aggressive but almost certainly wrong.

13...b5 14.h5 h6 15.Be3 b4 16.Nb1 g5

Black already seems very comfortably placed.

17.Bf2 Nfe8 18.Ra2 f5 19.b3



[19...f4 20.Nf1 Nf6]

20.Nxe4 Bf5 21.Ng3 Kh8 22.Bc4 Bh7 23.0-0 Nf6 24.Re2 Qd7 25.Rfe1 Rae8 26.Rxe8 Rxe8 27.Rxe8+ Qxe8

Vassily Ivanchuk


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 27...Qxe8

White has been playing standard looking moves since his novelty and got himself a completely lost position for his troubles. I'm not quite clear where it's gone wrong but I'm guessing a completely misguided setup is the answer.

28.Nd2 Nfxd5 29.Nde4 Qc6 30.Bd3

White concedes further ground.

30...Nf4 31.Bc2 Nce6 32.Nd2 Nd3 33.Nge4

It doesn't make much difference but this concedes further ground.


Vassily Ivanchuk


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 33...Nef4

34.g3 Nh3+ 35.Kg2 Nhxf2 36.Nxf2 Nxf2 37.Kxf2 Bg8 38.Qe2 d5 39.Qe7 Bd4+ 40.Kf1 Qe6

White obviously can't exchange queens here but further material is going west as a consequence.

41.Qf8 Qh3+ 42.Ke2 Qg2+ 43.Kd1 Qg1+ 44.Ke2 Qf2+ 45.Kd1 Bg7 46.Qd6 a5 47.Qb6 Qg1+ 48.Ke2 Qg2+ 49.Kd1 c4

Enough is enough.


Levon Aronian didn't have a very good day today in his game against Boris Gelfand. He was the first to innovate but quickly lost a pawn (he probably just gave it up but the sacrifice probably wasn't the best). Gelfand didn't find the best and ended up in a Rook and minor piece ending a pawn up but where black has quite a few equalising ideas. However in this phase Gelfand again outplayed Aronian and once he won a second pawn victory was only a matter of time.

Gelfand,Boris - Aronian,Levon [D47]
Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (6), 11.11.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.e4 b4 10.Na4 c5 11.e5 Nd5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Nxc5 Bxc5 14.0-0 h6 15.Nd2 0-0 16.Ne4 Bd4 17.Nd6 Bc6 18.Bh7+ Kxh7 19.Qxd4 f6 20.Bd2 fxe5 21.Qe4+ Kg8 22.Qxe5 Qd7 23.Rac1 Rad8 24.Nc4 Rf5N

All this has been seen before. Things start to go downhill fast for Aronian.

[24...Bb5 25.b3 a5 26.Rfe1 Rf6 27.Qg3 Ne7 28.Bf4 Rg6 29.Qh3 Nd5 30.Be5 Rg5 31.Bg3 Rf5 32.Nd6 Nc3 33.Nxf5 exf5 34.Kh1 Ne2 35.Ra1 f4 36.Qxd7 Rxd7 37.a4 Ba6 38.Bh4 g5 39.Rad1 Rd4 40.Rxd4 Nxd4 41.Re8+ Kf7 42.Ra8 Be2 43.Rxa5 Ke6 44.Ra8 gxh4 45.a5 h3 46.Rh8 f3 47.Rxh6+ Kf5 48.g4+ Kxg4 49.Kg1 Nxb3 50.a6 Bxa6 51.Rxa6 Nc1 52.Rc6 Ne2+ 53.Kf1 b3 54.Ke1 Kf5 55.Kd2 Ke4 56.Rc4+ Kf5 57.Rb4 Nf4 58.Rxb3 Ng2 1-0 Vaganian,R (2653)-Klimov,S (2507)/Togliatti RUS 2003/The Week in Chess]

25.Qg3 Nf6 26.Bxh6 Ne4 27.Qg4 Nf6 28.Qg6 Qe7

Levon Aronian


Boris Gelfand

Position after 28...Qe7


Allowing black into the game.

[29.Rfe1 rather pointedly threatening to take on f5 is better.]

29...Be8 30.Bxf6 Qxf6 31.Qxf6 gxf6 32.Rfd1 Rxd1+ 33.Rxd1

White is a pawn up but the bishop should be enough compensation to hold.

33...Rc5 34.b3 Bb5 35.Ne3 f5?!

Allowing white to fix black's pawn structure.

36.f4 Kf7 37.Kf2 a5 38.Rd8 Rc1 39.Rb8

Levon Aronian


Boris Gelfand

Position after 39.Rb8


As it turns out an unfortunate square for the bishop.

[39...Bc6 40.Rb6 Bd5 41.Ra6 (41.Nxd5 Rc2+ 42.Kf3 exd5 43.Rd6 Rd2 44.Kg3 Ke7) 41...Ra1 42.Rxa5 Bxb3]

40.Rb7+ Kf6 41.Ra7 Rb1 42.g4! fxg4 43.Nxg4+ Kf5 44.Ne5 Ke4 45.Nxd3 Kxd3 46.Rxa5 Ke4 47.Re5+ Kxf4 48.Rxe6 Rh1 49.Kg2 Rc1 50.Re2 Rc3

The chances of holding this against Gelfand is pretty slim.

51.Kf2 Rc1 52.Rd2 Ke4 53.Kg3 Rc8 54.h4 Ke5 55.Re2+ Kf5 56.Rf2+ Kg6 57.Rf4 Rc2 58.Rxb4 Rxa2 59.Rb5 Rd2 60.h5+ Kf6 61.h6 Rd7 62.Rh5 Rh7 63.Kf4 Kg6 64.Rh3 Kf6 65.Ke4 Ke6 66.Kd4

The wide spread of the pawns makes defeat inevitable for black.


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