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10th Tal Memorial 2016 (9)

Ian Nepomniachtchi wins the 10th Tal Memorial

After a tense final round Ian Nepomniachtchi emerged as the winner of the 10th Tal Memorial half a point clear of Anish Giri. At one stage, on the run up to first time control. it was by no means clear that Nepomniachtchi would even be in a tie-break for the title but he held a draw vs Gelfand and Giri misplayed a big advantage and also drew.

Nepomniachtchi was under severe pressure in his game against Boris Gelfand but most likely 36.f5 and 37.Ne5 were not the best. After this Nepomniachtchi held the draw reasonably comfortably.

Anish Giri played very enterprising chess and built up a winning advantage against Li Chao at first time control but his 41.Ne3 was careless and allowed Li to get back into the game and hold, Instead 41.Ne1 or even 41.Kf4 were much better. Giri quickly realised his error but it was too late. If he had won there would have been a blitz tie-break with Nepomniachtchi for the title.

The only decisive game of the day saw Shakhriyar Mamedyarov beat Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik had equalised but in trying to press for more he overpressed and Mamedyarov finished the game with some very accurate play on the run up to first time control.

Viswanthan Anand and Levon Aronian drew in a Giuoco Pianissimo. Evgeny Tomashevsky eventually got a small edge in the London System vs the King's Indian against Peter Svidler but it was never enough to turn into something more substantial.

Final Round 9 standings: Nepomniachtchi 6pts, Giri 5.5pts, Aronian, Anand 5pts, Svidler, Li, Kramnik, Mamedyarov 4.5pts, Tomashevsky 3.5pts, Gelfand 2pts.

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