Anand, Aronian and Kramnik win in third round Tal Memorial

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Tal MemorialThe silence was broken in round 3 of the Tal Memorial. Anand was the first to win today when Svidler blundered in an already difficult position. Leko never got true compensation against Aronian in an Anti-Moscow and resigned on move 43. In the best game of the day Kramnik defeated Morozevich with Black in a Nimzo-Indian.

The Tal Memorial takes place November 4-18 in Moscow, Russia. The category 21 round-robin has Viswanathan Anand (India, 2788), Levon Aronian (Armenia, 2786), Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 2801), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2772), Peter Leko (Hungary, 2752), Boris Gelfand (Israel, 2758), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, 2739) Alexander Morozevich (Russia, 2750), Peter Svidler (Russia, 2754) and Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine, 2739).

The first four rounds of the round-robin are held in hotel "National" on November 5, 6, 7 and 8. Rounds 5-9 take place in the Main Department Store GUM on Red Square. The time control is the classic 40 moves in 2 hours, then 20 moves in 1 hour and then 15 minutes plus 30 seconds increment to finish the game. The rounds begin daily at 15:00 Moscow time which is 13:00 CET.

Round 3

Blood on the boards today! Finally we saw wins and defeats, winners and losers, joy and sorrow. Anand, Aronian and Kramnik grabbed the lead with a win in a great round which was live commentated by IM Robert Ris, who also participated in the chat throughout the day. We start to get used to our new service ourselves, and it shows! ;-)

We have to start this report with Morozevich-Kramnik, which was an absolutely splendid performance by the former World Champion. In yet another Nimzo-Indian he was quickly on top and made his opponent thinking at move 10, which gave the impression that something had gone wrong in Moro's preparation. White's Kf1 and h4 set-up was interesting, but not very dangerous and soon Kramnik showed the downside of it, using the remarkable knight manoeuvre Nc5-b3-c1. Though he fought well, Morozevich couldn't survive Kramnik's ongoing power shots.

By then Anand had already won as well, and even easier. His 5.Bd2 line was a good choice against Svidler's Grünfeld and soon the Indian proved that with accurate play White can reach a slight advantage there. Marching with the f-pawn was suddenly decisive when Svidler blundered with 25...fxe4? - he must have underestimated the deadly 29.b4!.

Aronian-Leko was a heavy theoretical battle in an Anti-Moscow in which the Armenian came with the first new move, but the Hungarian kept on playing quickly for a while. Aronian ended up with an extra pawn and slowly but surely kept on improving his position, until the ending was a simple win.

Gelfand and Carlsen drew quickly in a Grünfeld while compatriots Ivanchuk and Ponomariov played the longest game of the day, mainly because of Ivanchuk's fighting spirit - he kept on trying to convert a tiny edge in a knight ending, until there really wasn't any play left at move 69.

Games round 3 [IM Robert Ris]

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Tal Memorial 2009 | Round 3 Standings

Tal Memorial 2009

Tal Memorial 2009 | Schedule and results

Following an excellent idea of Georg in the comments, we try to write something about Mikhail Tal every day.

Mikhail Tal was World Champion between 1960 and 1961, but he always remained a very strong and dangerous player. One of his best performances in his later career was his shared first place with reigning World Champion Anatoly Karpov at the Montreal super-tournament of 1979, where the two finished on 12/18 (a 10-player, double round-robin, those were the days...), ahead of Portisch, Ljubojevic, Spassky, Timman, Hort, Hübner, Kavalek and Larsen.

In the tournament book Montreal 1979 - Tournament of Stars (Pergamon, 1980) the winners are interviewed (although it's not clear who asks the questions, A. Roshal or V. Chepizhny). A bit from that book:

Many - and, I must admit, myself included - consider that something of an evolution has occurred with Tal's style. Your play has become more positional, more universal. Is this so?

I'd be glad to get to heaven, but my sins won't allow it! Today the squares d5, f5 and e6 (my visiting cards, so to speak) are so well covered! Have a poke in there - there are four defenders! Now, Rantanen, a young player, he didn't know that I had become 'positional', and played 'open' chess against me in Tallinn. I succeeded in carrying out an interesting combination. To work it out was probably not very complicated but... He made a move, I replied, and he should have resigned, but preferred to be mated; in making his last move, he thought that he was winning!

No, it's nothing to do with me - it's my opponents!

You mean that your style is just what it used to be?

My style - yes. Perhaps I have become a little older, and see a little more for my opponents, and a little less for myself. I am convinced that, protected by all this armour, I would simply tear to pieces that Candidates of the sixties!

In this tournament you succeeded in winning several games in good old Tal style. I recall that in one of your recent interviews you said that today spectacular combinations are possible only against weak opponents. Is this exactly what you meant?

Very well, you can add - weak or forgetful. Spassky and I have been meeting now for a quarter of a century. And all these years in my games with him I have been setting my sights on the square h2 (h7). And in Montreal Boris simply provoked me into a combination. To open yourself up to such an extent you have to be in excellent form, and that is just what Spassky wasn't in this tournament. For me it was both unexpected and simple to win this game."


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