Giri On Fire Leading Tal Memorial; Kramnik Beats Anand

Giri On Fire Leading Tal Memorial; Kramnik Beats Anand

Anish Giri has been on a tear in the Tal Memorial. Today he won his third game in a row (against Peter Svidler) to move to 3.5/4 and hop into clear first. As a bonus, he re-entered the top 10 after a fairly lackluster 2016.

Giri hasn't won a super-tournament since he shared first in Bilbao (with So) and the London Chess Classic (with Carlsen). Both were in 2015. Might the Tal Memorial get him back on track in 2016?

His victory today was the result of a fairly significant error by Svidler (16.Nf3?), but Giri played a sharp opening, pressured as Black, cashed in on the tactics, and converted convincingly.

Svidler is on -1, but he's still ahead of Tomashevsky and Gelfand. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Giri's game was the most important in terms of standings, but perhaps Vladimir Kramnik's win was even more impressive. In a symmetrical position, he ratcheted up the pressure against Viswanathan Anand until after 45...Qg8?, Anand erred. (Analysis coming soon.)

In the final decisive game of the day, Li Chao took advantage of an already-suffering Boris Gelfand. Excellent opening preparation put Gelfand under pressure on the board and the clock. 19.Bb5? was already a significant error. Gelfand surrendered the queen and attempted a fortress, but it was never quite there. Gelfand is currently in possession of just 0.5 points in four games, and there's no rest day till Monday. Tomorrow he desperately needs to stop the bleeding.

Perhaps Gelfand has delved too deeply into writing? His new books "Positional and Dynamic Decision Making In Chess" have garnered rave reviews! | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Despite his excellent result, Giri only holds a half-point lead over Ian Nepomniachtchi. Nepomniachtchi played creative chess and put Levon Aronian under a bit of pressure, but the game was always within the drawing margins.

Evgeny Tomashevsky was nearly winning against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, but resourceful play from Mamedyarov and faulty technique from Tomashevsky resulted in a split point.

2016 Tal Memorial | Round 4 Standings

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

Tomorrow's highlight? Giri vs Nepomniachtchi: Tune in!

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