Gelfand and Nakamura win in second round Tal Memorial

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Gelfand and Nakamura win in second round Tal MemorialFive players are leading the Tal Memorial in Moscow with 1.5 points after 2 rounds. Today Hikaru Nakamura defeated Pavel Eljanov while Boris Gelfand was victorious against Alexei Shirov. Report with comments from the players.

General info

The traditional Tal Memorial tournament takes place 4-14 November in the GUM Exhibition Hall on Red Square, Moscow. Aronian (ARM, 2801), Kramnik (RUS, 2791), Alexander Grischuk (RUS 2771), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 2763), Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 2760), Pavel Eljanov (UKR, 2742), Boris Gelfand (ISR, 2741), Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2741), Alexei Shirov (ESP, 2735) and Wang Hao (CHN, 2727) play a single round-robin. More info here.

Round 2 report

When a rook ending with three against three had appeared on the board, Sergey Karjakin asked the arbiter if he could offer a draw to his opponent Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Because the tournament rules clearly state that draw offers are not allowed at this event (only draw claims) the arbiter had to say no. In fact he didn't say no, but replied that the players had to repeat moves if they wanted a draw. And so they did.


Later, in a drawn position where the moves had been repeated twice already, Levon Aronian said to the arbiter: "I can repeat five more times if you want." This remark was enough to actually finish the game and the Armenian could shake hands with Wang Hao.

Wang Hao-Aronian

The two incidents are of minor importance, but they do illustrate that there's no perfect way yet to deal with the so-called Sofia (or Corsican) rule. Somehow it's about finding a balance between having the audience understand why a game ends in a draw, and avoiding top players to play silly moves. It also means you'll see many three-fold repetitions this tournament, like Kramnik-Grischuk today, the third game that ended peacefully.

Hikaru Nakamura scored a win against Pavel Eljanov, and was happy to show it in the press room so again we had the opportunity to provide first-hand annotations in the game viewer below.


Afterwards we pointed out to him that according to Mihail Marin (in his Learn from the Legends) playing with a rook against two minor pieces was a speciality of Mikhail Tal. The American didn't know this, but liked the fact as it was "very much in the spirit of the tournament". Here's an audio clip with some more of Nakamura about about Tal:


Like Eljanov, Alexei Shirov lost his second game, in an ending against Boris Gelfand. The Spaniard was doing alright with Black for a long time, but in light time trouble (ten moves in about seven minutes) he played some inaccurate moves according to Gelfand. Here's a brief audio clip:



In this game for a moment there was a possibility to enter a pawn ending. Mark Dvoretsky, who visited the tournament today, was fascinated by the possiblities and showed a nice tactic that would have been possible.

Diagram In this position Black draws with 1...g5 2.hxg5+ Kg6!. Can you see why taking on g5 is bad? The answer can be found in the game viewer (Gelfand-Shirov).

Games round 2

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and results
Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and pairings

Tal Memorial 2010 | Round 2 standings
Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and pairings


The second floor of the huge GUM department store with on one side...


...a big sign with the sponsors and the tournament logo


Inside, on stage the second round has just started


A bad start for Pavel Eljanov...


...and Alexei Shirov

Kramnik and Grischuk

Russians Mark Glukhovsky (press officer), Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Grischuk...

Kramnik and Grischuk

...discussing their game of today


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