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6th Tal Memorial 2011 (2)

Carlsen beats Gelfand in Tal Memorial Round 2

Carlsen beat Gelfand to be joint leader on 1.5/2. Photo ©

Carlsen beat Gelfand to be joint leader on 1.5/2. Photo © |

Magnus Carslen scored his first win by beating Boris Gelfand in Round 2 of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. Carlsen's 13.Qc2 probably won't get many supporters but it did bring about double edged play. Gelfand should have played 26...Bxg3+ with a likely draw. Time trouble and a deteriorating position led to his resignation in 38 moves. The remaining games were drawn. Vassily Ivanchuk had some chances to beat Ian Nepomniachtchi who defended well in a technical ending. Vladimir Kramnik's Semi-Tarrasch hoovering off pieces and central pawns will no doubt create interest as a new one of his drawing systems that have brought so much to the game. He had to give up the exchange but it didn't seem very easy for Aronian to create play and he eventually blundered a pawn. Karjakin's opening repertoire, once one of his strengths, seems to lack much bite at the moment and Nakamura held easily. Peter Svidler and Viswanathan Anand drew by repetition after 23 moves in a result that seemed to suit both. Rd3: Fri 11am GMT: Gelfand-Karjakin, Nakamura-Svidler, Anand-Nepomniachtchi, Ivanchuk-Aronian, Kramnik-Carlsen.

Boris Gelfand against Magnus Carlsen

Boris Gelfand against Magnus Carlsen. Photo ©

World number one Magnus Carlsen joined Ian Nepomniachtchi and Vassily Ivanchuk (who eventually drew their game) in the lead with 1.5/2. Carlsen defeated World Chess Championship challenger Boris Gelfand in a sharp Sicilian Defence. Carlsen was fairly dismissive of merits of his new idea of 13.Qc2 and he implied he really hadn't prepared it in any depth. However it did produce a very double edged and complicated struggle which at least at the start Gelfand was on top of. In fact Carlsen allowed Gelfand to attack him in a way most of us wouldn't dream of allowing, all in return for a powerful b7 pawn that also generated some chances against black's king. Carlsen planned the losing 26.Ne4 but saw it when he got there and played 26.Qe2. However it was here that Gelfand missed his chance to draw with 26...Bxg3+ after which it seems inevitable the game would have been drawn, there may have been further chances to save things over the next couple of moves but after 30.gxf3 both players agreed Carlsen was close to winning and 8 moves later Gelfand resigned.

Extremely complicated and difficult game today. Very glad to have come out on top after Gelfand lost the thread at the end. Kramnik tomorrow

Magnus Carlsen on Twitter

Boris Gelfand against Magnus Carlsen

Boris Gelfand against Magnus Carlsen. Photo ©

Carlsen,Magnus - Gelfand,Boris [D12]
6th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (2.3), 17.11.2011

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Bg6 7.Nxg6 hxg6 8.Bd3 Nbd7 9.0-0 Bd6 10.h3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Nb6 12.Bb3 e5 13.Qc2

Boris Gelfand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 13...Qc2

"I'm not at all sure about this Qc2 move but anyway. Now it gets really interesting because I think this is more or less forced." - Carlsen.

[13.dxe5 Bxe5 14.Qxd8+ Rxd8 15.Ne2 0-0 16.f4 Bd6 17.Ng3 Bc5 18.Kf2 Nbd5 19.Kf3 Nb4 20.Rd1 Rxd1 21.Bxd1 Rd8 22.Be2 Nc2 23.Rb1 Nd5 24.Nf1 Re8 25.Bc4 Ndxe3 26.Bxe3 Bxe3 27.Nxe3 Rxe3+ 28.Kf2 Re4 29.Bd3 Rd4 30.Bxc2 Rd2+ 31.Kf3 Rxc2 32.a4 Kf8 33.b4 Rc3+ 34.Kg4 Rc4 35.b5 Rxa4 36.bxc6 bxc6 37.Rb8+ Ke7 38.Rb7+ Kf6 39.Rc7 Rc4 40.Rxa7 g5 41.g3 gxf4 42.gxf4 g5 43.Rc7 Rxf4+ 44.Kg3 Rc4 45.Rc8 Rc3+ 46.Kg4 Rc4+ 47.Kg3 Kf5 0-1 Wyss,J (2307)-Bindrich,F (2504)/Zuerich SUI 2010/The Week in Chess 843]

13...Qe7 14.Bd2 0-0-0

Gelfand felt this was the principled continuation.

[14...exd4 Gelfand suggested this as an alternative. 15.exd4 0-0-0 16.Bg5 Qd7 17.Rad1]


Boris Gelfand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 15.d5

Carlsen doesn't think there is a decent alternative. "I don't think any other sacrifices work here." He also knew expected the double edged play that follows.

15...e4 16.dxc6 Qe5 17.f4 exf3 18.Rxf3 Ng4

This move is correct according to Carlsen.


Carlsen wasn't sure whether he should take here but he was worried that Gelfand might be able to take with the king if he delayed.

[19.hxg4 Rh1+ 20.Kf2 Rxa1 21.Ne2 Bc5 22.Rxf7 bxc6]

19...Kb8 20.hxg4 Rh1+ 21.Kf2 Rxa1 22.Ne2 Bc5 23.Bc3 Qe7

[23...Qg5 Gelfand wondered about Qg5 here. 24.Qe4 Qh4+ 25.Ng3 Bd6 26.Be5 Qe7 27.Bxd6+ Qxd6 28.Rxf7 Qd2+ (28...Nd7 29.Qd4 Ne5) 29.Kf3]


Boris Gelfand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 24.g5

"I didn't see what else to do apart from g5." - Carlsen.

24...Rdd1 25.Ng3 Bd6 26.Qe2

Boris Gelfand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 26.Qe2

[26.Ne4 Carlsen he admitted he had the illusion that this move was playable. 26...Rac1 wins for black. 27.Qe2 Rf1+]


[26...Bxg3+ "I really thought you were going to take. Maybe the logical conclusion to the game." - Carlsen. 27.Rxg3 Rf1+ 28.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Nd7 30.Rf3 (30.Bd5? Qd6) 30...Ne5 31.Rf4 Kxb7 "and I don't see how white can play for a win. " - Carlsen.]

27.Qd3 Bc7

[27...Nd7 28.Ne4 Bc7 "Somehow now [white's pieces] are taking square after square." - Gelfand. 29.Qd5]

28.Ne4 Raf1+ 29.Ke2 Rxf3 30.gxf3

Boris Gelfand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 30.gxf3


Now it is already very difficult for black.


"If you don't play f5 at some point you risk losing all of these pawns [Black's Kingside]" - Carlsen.

[30...Be5 doesn't work according to Gelfand. 31.Bxe5+ (31.Bxf7! Bxc3 32.bxc3) 31...Qxe5 32.Qd8+ Kxb7 33.Nd6+ was what Gelfand feared but it isn't so bad for black as they realised when they looked at it. 33...Kc6]

31.gxf6 gxf6 32.Bxf6


32...Qh7 33.Qb5 Rg2+

[33...Nd7 34.Bd4 Qh3 I didn't see Qh3 - Carlsen. 35.Nd2 and white is winning. (35.Kd2) ]

34.Kd3 Qd7+ 35.Qxd7 Nxd7

Boris Gelfand


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 35...Nxd7

Here it is very simple - Carlsen.

36.Bd5 Be5

[36...Nxf6 37.Nxf6 a5 38.Nd7+ Ka7 39.e4 Rxb2 40.e5 wins.]

37.f4 Bc7 38.Bc6 1-0

Hikaru Nakamura against Sergey Karjakin

Hikaru Nakamura against Sergey Karjakin. Photo ©

The venom seems to have disappeared from Sergey Karjakin's opening repertoire at the moment and Hikaru Nakamura is played very solidly at the moment. They arrived at this position just three moves out of theory and already a draw is the most likely result.

Hikaru Nakamura


Sergey Karjakin

Position after 16.f4

16... h5 17. a4 Kd7 18. a5 Rae8 19. Bd3 h4 20. g4 hxg3 21. hxg3 g5 22. b4 gxf4 23. gxf4 Kc7 24. Kb2 Rxh1 25. Rxh1 Rh8 26. Rf1 b5 27. axb6+ Kxb6 28. Kb3 Ra8 29. Ra1 Bg7 30. Re1 Bf6 31. Rg1 Rb8 32. Re1 Ra8 33. Kb2 Rh8 34. Ra1 Ra8 35. Kc1 Bg7 36. Kd1 Bh6 37. f5 Bg7 38. Ra5 Ra7 39. Ke2 Bf6 40. Kf3 Ra8 41. Ra1 a5 42. bxa5+ Rxa5 43. Rxa5 1/2-1/2

Vladimir Kramnik against Levon Aronian

Vladimir Kramnik against Levon Aronian. Photo ©

Vladimir Kramnik surprised Levon Aronian as black with a Semi-Tarrasch where he simplified the position very quickly. Kramnik did have to give up the exchange but it was certainly very difficult to make progress for Aronian and in the following position he even dropped a pawn to a simple tactic after which he very quickly traded to a totally drawn opposite coloured bishop ending.

Vladimir Kramnik


Levon Aronian

Position after 31.Re1?

31.Qd2 is better but white doesn't have any realistic winning chances anyhow.

31...Bxh3! 32. Re4 Qd6 33. Qe5 Qxe5 34. Rxe5 Be6 35. Bd5 Bd4 36. Bxe6 Bxe5 37. Bxf7 h4 38. Kf1 Kg7 39. Be8 g5 40. Ke2 Kf6 41. Ke3 g4 42. Bd7 Kg5 43. Ke2 Kf4 44. Kf1 a5 45. Ke2 Bd4 46. Kf1 Bc5 47. Ke2 Bd4 48. Kf1 Bc5 49. Ke2 Bd4 1/2-1/2

Peter Svidler drew with Viswanathan Anand

Peter Svidler drew with Viswanathan Anand. Photo ©

Peter Svidler repeated the position after 23 moves to draw against World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. There were a few key points discussed by Anand but there didn't seem much venom in either sides play and a few of the lines rejected by Anand didn't seem as bad as he suggested but might have led to sharper play. In the end the draw by repetition probably suited both players, Svidler after his loss of the day before and Anand because I think he doesn't seem to be playing all that well beyond his ultra-solid and well crafted opening repertoire.

Q: Are you satisfied with how the tournament began? Anand I think more or less. Two draws, it's normal but still a long way ahead.

Svidler,Peter - Anand,Viswanathan [B12]
6th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (2.2), 17.11.2011

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.0-0 c5 7.Na3 Nec6 8.c4 cxd4 9.Nb5 a6 10.Bg5 Qd7 11.Nbxd4 Be4 12.Rc1 h6 13.Bh4

[13.Be3 Be7 14.cxd5 Bxd5 15.Bc4 0-0 16.Qe2 Rd8 17.Rfd1 Bxc4 18.Qxc4 Qe8 19.Qb3 Rd7 20.a3 Bf8 21.Nxc6 Nxc6 22.Rxd7 Qxd7 23.Rd1 Qc8 24.Rc1 Qd7 25.Rd1 Qc8 26.Rc1 1/2-1/2 Gashimov,V (2757)-Grischuk,A (2752)/Porto Carras GRE 2011/The Week in Chess 888]


[13...g5 14.Bg3 Bg7 was briefly considered by Anand but he didn't think black's position was so good that it could stand this. It doesn't look that bad an option.]


Viswanathan Anand


Peter Svidler

Position after 14.Bxe7


[14...Qxe7 seems playable even though Anand said it wasn't. 15.cxd5 exd5 (15...Bxd5 16.Nf5 was the reason Anand gave for not playing 14...Qxe7.) 16.e6 0-0 17.exf7+]

15.Nd2 Nbc6 16.N4b3 Qc7 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Qd6 Qb6 19.Rfd1 0-0 20.Qc5 Qc7 21.Qd6 Qb6 22.Qc5 Qc7

Viswanathan Anand


Peter Svidler

Position after 22...Qc7


Both players thought that repetition was white's only serious option here given that the following forcing variation looks good for black.

[23.Nd2 Nf5 24.Nxe4 b6 25.Qa3 Qxe5 Then "something lands on d4 and it looks very nice for black." - Anand. ]


Vassily Ivanchuk drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi

Vassily Ivanchuk drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi. Photo ©

Vassily Ivanchuk outmanoevered his opponent Ian Nepomniachtchi in a Queen and Knight ending and generated serious winning chances. In the position below he forces Nepomniachtchi to give up a pawn after his 43.Qa3. However with the pawns on one side and the simplified nature of the position meant that it was difficult for Ivanchuk to make progress and once queens came off it seems Nepomniachtchi had it all under control for the draw.

Vassily Ivanchuk


Ian Nepomniachtchi

Position after 43...Qa3

44. c5 Qxc5 45. Qd3 Qc7 46. Ke2 Qc6 47. Qc4 Qd7 48. Qb4 Qc7 49. Qc4 Qb7 50. Kf3 Qf7 51. Ke2 Ng4 52. Qxf7+ Kxf7 53. Nc4 Ke6 54. Nd2 Nf6 55. Ke3 Kd7 56. Nf3 Nh7 57. Nh2 Nf6 58. Nf3 Ng4+ 59. Ke2 d5 60. exd5 Kd6 61. Ng5 Kxd5 62. Kf3 Nf6 63. Ke3 Nd7 64. Kd3 Kd6 65. Ke4 Nc5+ 66. Kf3 Ne6 67. Ne4+ Ke7 68. g4 Nd4+ 69. Kf2 Kf7 70. Ng5+ Kg7 71. gxh5 gxh5 72. Ke3 Kf6 73. Ke4 Nc6 74. Nf3 Ke6 75. Ng5+ Kf6 76. Nf3 0-1

6th Tal Memorial 2011 Moscow (RUS), 16-25 xi 2011 cat. XXII (2776)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2775 * ½ . . . . . . . 1 2935
2. Nepomniachtchi, Ian g RUS 2730 ½ * . . . . . 1 . . 2980
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2826 . . * ½ . . . . 1 . 2966
4. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2802 . . ½ * . . . ½ . . 1 2813
5. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2763 . . . . * ½ ½ . . . 1 2784
6. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2811 . . . . ½ * . . . ½ 1 2759
7. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2758 . . . . ½ . * . ½ . 1 2753
8. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2800 . 0 . ½ . . . * . . ½ 2573
9. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2744 . . 0 . . . ½ . * . ½ 2599
10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2755 0 . . . . ½ . . . * ½ 2600
Round 2 (November 17, 2011)
Nepomniachtchi, Ian - Ivanchuk, Vassily ½-½ 76 B32 Sicilian Labourdonnais
Carlsen, Magnus - Gelfand, Boris 1-0 38 D12 Slav Defence
Aronian, Levon - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 49 D41 Semi-Tarrasch Defence
Karjakin, Sergey - Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ 43 B92 Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be2
Svidler, Peter - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 23 B12 Caro Kann Advanced

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