Kramnik beats Svidler, grabs lead in Moscow

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Tal MemorialStarting aggressively again, and finishing it off in the endgame, Vladimir Kramnik grabbed the lead in Moscow today by beating Peter Svidler. Although flu like symptoms among some players have been reported, so far Kramnik seems least affected.

The Tal Memorial takes place November 4-18 in Moscow, Russia. The category 21 round-robin has Viswanathan Anand (India, 2788), Levon Aronian (Armenia, 2786), Magnus Carlsen (Norway, 2801), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia, 2772), Peter Leko (Hungary, 2752), Boris Gelfand (Israel, 2758), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, 2739) Alexander Morozevich (Russia, 2750), Peter Svidler (Russia, 2754) and Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine, 2739).

The first four rounds of the round-robin are held in hotel "National" on November 5, 6, 7 and 8. Rounds 5-9 take place in the Main Department Store GUM on Red Square. The time control is the classic 40 moves in 2 hours, then 20 moves in 1 hour and then 15 minutes plus 30 seconds increment to finish the game. The rounds begin daily at 15:00 Moscow time which is 13:00 CET.

Round 4

We received confirmation from the Carlsen team that Magnus is having some flu like symptoms, and according to Mig, Kramnik isn't feeling 100% either in Moscow. However, the former World Champ doesn't seem affected at all and gave another impressive show today, beating Svidler in coffeehouse style and using exemplary endgame technique.

White's "patzer plan" of rushing with the h-pawn and exchanging Black's fianchetto bishop (isn't that suppose to backfire with Black pressing in the centre?) worked out surprisingly well in this Exchange Grünfeld; at least over the board Svidler couldn't find a good antidote. He tried his luck in an endgame a pawn down, and at first he seemed to get some compensation but as soon as the White rooks became active it was over.

The top encounter (if not all games are, at the Tal Memorial) Carlsen-Aronian started quite interesting, and was heavily debated during our live commentary, but they drew relatively quickly. This was a most welcome course of events for the top seed, who will have the rest day to recover.

Not much fireworks in the other drawn games either; Leko-Ivanchuk did start promising but they too called it a day as soon as the position was even. Tomorrow's the only rest day after which the players will switch venues, from hotel National to the Main Department Store GUM on Red Square. Kramnik has showed some very good chess and is the deserved leader after four rounds.

Games round 4 [IM Robert Ris]

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Tal Memorial 2009 | Round 4 Standings

Tal Memorial 2009

Tal Memorial 2009 | Schedule and results

Following an excellent idea of Georg in the comments, we try to write something about Mikhail Tal every day.

Mikhail Tal played countless crazy games, but one of the craziest was surely the game he played against the young readers of the Soviet magazine Pionerskaya Pravda in 1968. The readers called themselves 'White Rook' in this game. In it, Tal employs the Traxler Gambit as Black - basically, he sacs a rook as early as move four hoping to create complications against the white king. After the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Kg1 Qh4 8.g3 Nxg3, over 20,000 readers sent in their moves each time it was their turn.

The game was also heavily analysed and numerous discoveries were found during the course of more than fourty years. In the legendary Dutch chess book Chess curiosities (1974), Tim Krabbé devotes many pages to the game, which strangely didn't make it into Tal's Life and Games.

The game was also analysed by Smyslov and still later by Alexander Khalifman in his Tal biography, but probably the most famous analysis was done by a Soviet chess junior called Vadim Brodsky, who made a fantastic discovery in the 'endgame' which appeared after move 26. Here, Tal erred with 26...Ng3+? and after some more adventures the game was subsequently drawn. But a few months after the game was played, Brodsky found that Black can win with 26...Nf4+! 27.Kh6 Rg6+ 28.Kh7 Rg7+! 29.Kh6 Kg8! and Black mates next move. Sadly, most modern engines find this line within seconds. We can only wonder what the great magician from Riga would have thought about this development.

(Arne Moll)


More from PeterDoggers
Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Gender Bias Research Shows Parents, Mentors Shortchange Girls’ Chess Potential

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory

Nepomniachtchi Repeats Levitov Chess Week Victory