Anand Wins Tal Memorial Rapid Chess
Vishy Anand wins another rapid event. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Anand Wins Tal Memorial Rapid Chess

| 43 | Chess Event Coverage

Viswanathan Anand continued his "rapid reign" at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. After winning the world title in the same discipline in Riyadh at the end of last year, Anand also won the rapid segment in Moscow today with 6/9, a full point more than Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergey Karjakin and Hikaru Nakamura.

A few years ago, after he lost his classical crown to Magnus Carlsen, it was silly to speculate about Anand's retirement. Some (mostly Indian) journalists did so anyway, but were silenced when the five-time world champion qualified for another match with Carlsen.

This year he didn't qualify for the Candidates' but that's a real pity as he continues to impress in rapid chess. Finishing a full point ahead of the pack, the Indian legend won the rapid part of the Tal Memorial today, showing chess that ranged from splendid endgame technique to sweet combinative play.

If anyone should be called the Roger Federer of chess, it's Anand.

Viswanathan Anand Tal Memorial 2018

Anand is the king of rapid again. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

After draws with Svidler and Kramnik, Anand finished yesterday with a good win over Nakamura in round six. It looked like Black was holding the draw, because White couldn't really avoid an endgame with opposite-colored bishops. But as it turned out, this version was in fact winning.

Anand's win over Grischuk, in today's eighth round, will go straight into a new collection of winning combinations. White's pawn sacrifice in this attack might not have been fully correct, but that's easily forgotten when you see how the game ended.

Grischuk Tal Memorial 2018

A pawn up, Grischuk failed to spot a beautiful combination. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The second day of play was remarkably peaceful, with only three out of 15 games ending decisively. Those were the aforementioned Anand-Nakamura game, and two loses by Daniil Dubov (to Gelfand and Kramnik).

One player had drawn all of his games so far, and couldn't resist joking about it on Twitter.

The reply came almost instantly:

Today was quite similar, with just four decisive games. Hikaru Nakamura started his Sunday with a crushing victory over Vladimir Kramnik, who didn't seem comfortable from the start in this Fianchetto Gruenfeld.

Hikaru Nakamura Tal Memorial 2018

Nakamura played the attack superbly. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

You could say that Dubov needed two days to warm up (although he did beat Nakamura on Friday), but in the penultimate round he suddenly helped Anand a lot with a black win over co-leader Mamedyarov.


Daniil Dubov Tal Memorial 2018

A good, fighting win for Dubov vs Mamedyarov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

After eight draws, Karjakin finished his tournament with a win over Kramnik:

Karjakin vs Kramnik, Tal Memorial 2018In a texbook "hanging pawns" position, Karjakin eventually won with an attack on the king  | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

2018 Tal Memorial Rapid | Final Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Anand,Viswanathan 2805 2872 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 6.0/9
2 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2755 2796 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 5.0/9 22.75
3 Karjakin,Sergey 2724 2799 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 5.0/9 22
4 Nakamura,Hikaru 2820 2789 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 5.0/9 21
5 Gelfand,Boris 2644 2769 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 4.5/9 19.75
6 Grischuk,Alexander 2792 2754 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 4.5/9 19.25
7 Dubov,Daniil 2663 2728 0 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 4.0/9 18.25
8 Kramnik,Vladimir 2795 2715 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 4.0/9 17
9 Svidler,Peter 2770 2678 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 3.5/9 16.25
10 Nepomniachtchi,Ian 2803 2674 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/9 15.25

On Monday a 14-player, single round-robin of blitz chess will be played. For that, the chessboards and pieces will be set up at the Central Chess Club on Gogolevsky Boulevard.

The field will be the same 10 players as the rapid, together with GMs Vladislav Artemiev, Dmitry Andreikin, Vladimir Fedoseev and Alexander Morozevich. This Tal Memorial has a total prize fund of $150,000.

Playing hall Tal Memorial 2018

A reminder that the tournament took place in the Museum of Russian Impressionism in Moscow... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Museum Tal Memorial 2018

...which was open to regular visitors as well. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Tal Memorial 2018 spectators

This way you could get a glimpse of art, and artists... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nepomniachtchi autograph Tal Memorial 2018

...and get the autograph of one of the chess artists... | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Anand Gelfand Tal Memorial 2018

...or catch them having lunch. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Anand Svidler Karjakin Tal Memorial 2018

"Look at that guy winning again!" (No, that's not what Svidler said.) | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Previous report:

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