Mamedyarov beats Wang Hao, grabs lead in Moscow

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Mamedyarov beats Wang Hao, grabs lead in MoscowShakhriyar Mamedyarov is in sole lead at the Tal Memorial in Moscow, with just one round to go. Today the grandmaster from Azerbaijan defeated co-leader Wang Hao, while Levon Aronian quickly drew with Alexander Grischuk. Alexei Shirov won his first game, against Pavel Eljanov, while Sergei Karjakin beat Vladimir Kramnik.

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 8 report

Saturday saw one of the better rounds of the tournament, with three decisive games. Perhaps the players were inspired by the number of spectators that was clearly higher than on week days. We'd say about 150 people came by the GUM, among them grandmasters Evgeny Sveshnikov, Joel Lautier, Maxim Dlugy, Ian Nepomniachtchi and World Senior Champion Anatoly Vaisser.

Alexei Shirov won his first game of the tournament, in crushing style we may add. He wasn't expecting the line in the Caro-Kann which his opponent Pavel Eljanov played, and so already 13.dxc5 was found behind the board. There Black had to take with the knight, and allow 14.Bb5+ Kf8, where he has the better pawn structure "but with his king on f8 I'm at least not worse" (Shirov). In the game 13...Bxc5 14.Qa4 was already clearly better for White and you won't survive such positions against someone like Shirov. A short clip with the winner of this game:



Not for the first time Shakhriyar Mamedyarov won a game thanks to fine endgame technique. However it must be said that his opponent Wang Hao was actually doing fine out of the opening and in the middlegame. Only after the queens were swapped the Chinese GM started to make some mistakes, which were punished by a few strong blows by the Azeri, who suddenly is on clear first place with just one round to go (on Sunday Mamedyarov plays Gelfand with Black).

Audio clip Mamedyarov: [audio:]

Mamedyarov leads because the other co-leader, Levon Aronian, played a very quick draw with Alexander Grischuk. "The opponents played a known variation in which Black, according to current theory, has no problems. And they found a new means of achieving a draw. Short and elegant. Well done," as Shipov put it.


Sergei Karjakin added a chapter to a book that many fans would like to see written some day: Beating the Petroff. However, surprisingly enough it wasn't the result of home preparation. "In fact his 12...Bf5 was a novelty that I didn't know." He then just played 13.Kb1; he felt "13.f3 is more principled" but he didn't want to follow his opponent's preparation. Another practical decision was 14.Be2!? - a piece sacrifice that, in a practical game, you simply don't want to accept when you're Black. But White's attack continued, and Kramnik also got into timetrouble, so Karjakin "wasn't surprised that he blundered." Here's his comment after the game:


Kramnik resigns

Nakamura and Gelfand played a solid draw in a line that was known from the Capablanca-Alekhine World Championship match. After the game we asked Gelfand about it, and of course also about the dramatic finish of yesterday's game:


Games round 8

Game viewer by ChessTempo

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

Tal Memorial 2010 | Round 8 standings
Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and pairings



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