Anand Deals Gelfand 4th Straight Loss In Tal Memorial

Anand Deals Gelfand 4th Straight Loss In Tal Memorial

In the only decisive game of the day, Viswanathan Anand defeated Boris Gelfand in an excellent positional game.

Without doubt, Gelfand's opponents and tormentors (Mamedyarov, Giri, Li Chao, and now Anand) have played sterling chess, but tallying only 0.5/5 constitutes a surprising lack of form for the great Gelfand. Tomorrow is not any easier either; the Israeli GM has a second black in a row. This time he plays Vladimir Kramnik.

In today's game, Anand was always better and he grew his advantage steadily. In the press conference, he noted that his primary idea was to combat his opponent's light-square bishop with his pawns. Gelfand's bishop pair was stymied. In the later game, he won a piece for four pawns, but Anand's three connected passers on the queenside proved inexorable.


Gelfand still has to find his form. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Anish Giri also had a decisive streak of three games entering the round. He had three wins in a row! Playing Ian Nepomniachtchi, he managed to snag a pawn in what seemed an entirely equal position, but the rook endgame was (as all are) drawn.

With a draw against his nearest competitor, Giri is still
on pace to win the Tal Memorial. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Levon Aronian's story was similar to Giri's. He achieved the moral victory of an extra pawn against Kramnik, but the result was the same: draw. Aronian must have been familiar with this draw too; it was quite similar to his endgame escape against Veselin Topalov to end the Sinquefield Cup.

Peter Svidler also managed to win a pawn against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, but with opposite-color bishops, the endgame (unlike the middlegame) did not pose any danger for the Azeri GM.

Just to remind our readers that not all opposite-color bishop endgames are drawn. Here's another spectacular encounter between the same two players with a far more thrilling finish. What move made Svidler resign here?

As a logotype, Mikhail Tal looks upon the players. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

What is there to say about Li Chao vs Evgeny Tomashevsky? At some point, neither player could make progress, and after much thrilling shuffling, a draw was agreed.

Tomashevsky had a quiet day. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

2016 Tal Memorial | Round 5 Standings

# Fed Player Rtg Score 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Perf
1 Giri, Anish 2755 4 ½ ½ 1 1 1 2987
2 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2740 3.5 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 2915
3 Anand, Viswanathan 2776 3 ½ ½ 0 1 1 2834
4 Li Chao 2746 3 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 2835
5 Kramnik, Vladimir 2808 2.5 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 2760
6 Aronian, Levon 2795 2.5 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2753
7 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2761 2.5 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 2748
8 Svidler, Peter 2745 2 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2699
9 Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2731 1.5 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 2610
10 Gelfand, Boris 2743 0.5 0 0 0 ½ 0 2400

Tomorrow's obvious highlights are Kramnik vs Gelfand (probably everyone but Kramnik is rooting for Gelfand to right the ship) and Aronian vs Giri, but perhaps the most promising game is Nepomniachtchi vs Mamedyarov. With Nepomniachtchi in positon to catch Giri and two tactical players, the game promises plenty of entertainment.

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