Fighting Start At The Tal Memorial

Fighting Start At The Tal Memorial

| 26 | Chess Event Coverage

Ian Nepomniachtchi2.jpgThe first round of the Tal Memorial lived up to its promise as the strongest tournament of 2011 by delivering some very hard fought games, and two decisive results.

The lowest ranked player in the competition is Ian Nepomniachtchi (pictured), who at 2730 Elo and #20 in the world is hardly anyone's pushover! Nevertheless, it came as something of a surprise that he outplayed the in-form Vladimir Kramnik with the black pieces to make the perfect start to his campaign.



Lev Aronian and Magnus Carlsen played a complicated and fascinating game where the world #1 was happy to escape with a draw, tweeting: "Fighting draw vs Aronian today. Was under quite a bit of pressure, so happy to survive".

Lev Aronian (left) and Magnus Carlsen faced off in round one (Photo: Chesspro)



World Champion Anand was far from convincing, and might consider himself lucky to escape with a draw after some uncharacteristic inaccuracies against Sergey Karjakin.

Sergey Karjakin (left) and Vishy Anand (Photo: Chesspro)




Hikaru Nakamura made little impression on next year's world title challenger Boris Gelfand, but the last game to finish produced another winner. Vassily Ivanchuk eventually overcame Peter Svidler after a lively game which held chances for both sides.

Hikaru Nakamura (left) and Boris Gelfand at the post-match press conference (Photo: Chesspro)




Peter Svidler (left) and Vassily Ivanchuk in animated discussion before their game (Photo: Chesspro)




So after the first round of the Tal Memorial, Vassily Ivanchuk and Ian Nepomniachtchi are the joint leaders.

The 2011 Tal Memorial runs from 16-25 November in Moscow, with one rest day on 21 November. Games start at 15:00 local time (11:00 UTC), except the last round which is 2 hours earlier. The time control is 40 moves in 100 minutes, followed by 20 moves in 50 minutes, then 15 minutes to finish, with a 30 second increment from the start of the game. The total prize fund is €100,000 with the winner receiving €30,000.

The official site (in Russian).

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