Carlsen Crushes Anand at Tal, Gelfand & Nakamura Lead
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The fifth round of the Tal Memorial was marked by Magnus Carlsen's crushing victory over Viswanathan Anand, the two players who will play a match for the world title later this year. It was over in a mere 29, and it wasn't even clear which was the decisive mistake! Boris Gelfand defeated Alexander Morozevich from the white side of a Benoni to catch Hikaru Nakamura in first place.
The Game of the Day started with the Simagin variation (5.Nge2) of the Rubinstein variation (4.e3) of the Nimzo-Indian. Carlsen explained this choice of opening as follows:
"I thought I'd play a line that he hasn't faced in a long time and I thought that hopefully he wouldn't be too prepared for that."
Carlsen then followed the same plan which Ponomariov had beaten Kramnik ten years ago in Wijk aan Zee: trading the black-squared bishops. The world number one felt that Black should have maneuvered is knight to d6 at some point; in the game Anand's decision to move his bishop from b7 to d5 was positionally sound, but tactically flawed.
Carlsen admitted that this win was probably more important than any other game in this tournament.
"I think it's good before the World Championship match to remind him that I can outplay him once in a while! Obviously between us there have been a lot of draws, recently at least. But I'm not going to g around and think that he's going to have such a bad day every day at the World Championship. I'll have to prepare for the worst, definitely. And to clarify, I don't mean to prepare for the worst, that I'm going to lose necessarily, but that he's going to be at his best and not give away anything free like today."
Carlsen also gave a comment about the news that he'll be playing in Saint Louis in September, not long before he has to be heading to India.
"I think it will be useful for me before the World Championship match because obviously the match will be tough and the players in the Saint Louis tournament are not only very strong, but also very tough characters, all of them, at the board, and thus it will be a good test, to have such an atmosphere before the World Championship match. Besides, I think not playing between this tournament till November will be too long a break for me. I'm still used to playing quite a few tournaments, and that's also part of my training."
In this round tournament leader Hikaru Nakamura was involved in a very uneventful game. In a Queen's Indian with 4.a3, he played the original 5.Bf4!? but didn't expect his opponent's setup of ...d7-d6 and ...Nbd7. One move 8 there were many interesting possibilities, but White's 8.dxc5 turned out to be just equal.
This allowed Boris Gelfand to catch Nakamura in first place. The Israeli nicely defeated Alexander Morozevich in a Benoni, where Black played a positional exchange sacrifice very early in the game - in fact it was all theory. Morozevich's follow-up wasn't accurate, though, and with the big series of exchanges that started at move 18, White got the upper hand. Gelfand's decisive combination deserves a puzzle:
Kramnik-Karjakin was for most of the game a quiet, positional ending that started as an English Four Knights. The players followed the game Kramnik-Anand, Zurich 2013 for a while, and when Karjakin deviated, very soon the queens were traded. White tried to create weaknesses on the kingside, but Karjakin's active defense was enough to draw the game comfortably.
Mamedyarov and Caruana split the point in a 4.e3 Grünfeld where Black typically exchanged his white-squared bishop for the knight on f3 because he puts all his pawns on white squares - a bit like Carlsen did against Anand today! Caruana called his setup "solid", but felt that after White forced him to play ...b6, he was slightly worse. Mamedyarov could have hoped for an advantage with 41.Re3 Qf8 42.Qe1. In the game Caruana managed to close the h3-c8 diagonal after which the d-pawn would drop.
2013 Tal Memorial | Results & pairings
|Round 1||15:00 MSK||13.06.13||Round 2||15:00 MSK||14.06.13|
|Round 3||15:00 MSK||15.06.13||Round 4||15:00 MSK||17.06.13|
|Round 5||15:00 MSK||18.06.13||Round 6||15:00 MSK||19.06.13|
|Round 7||15:00 MSK||21.06.13||Round 8||15:00 MSK||22.06.13|
|Round 9||13:00 MSK||23.06.13|
2013 Tal Memorial | Round 5 standings
The 8th Tal Memorial takes place June 12-23, 2013 at the technology center Digital October in Moscow, Russia. The total prize fund is 100,000 EUR. The official website is providing live games, streaming video and commentary in Russian by GMs Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Sergey Rublevsky and Sergey Shipov. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 13:00 CET, 10:00 EDT and 07:00 PDT. The last round starts two hours earlier. Photos © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation. Games via TWIC.