Mamedyarov Clinches $20,000 First Prize At Tal Memorial Blitz

Mamedyarov Clinches $20,000 First Prize At Tal Memorial Blitz

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Nov 14, 2014, 5:27 AM |
17 | Chess Event Coverage

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov clinched the first prize at the Tal Memorial blitz tournament in Sochi, Russia. The Azerbaijani GM took home U.S. $20,000 for two fine days at the office.

Alexander Grischuk almost caught Mamedyarov in the last few rounds, but had to be satisfied with second place (worth $15,000). Boris GelfandAlexander Morozevich and Sergey Karjakin tied for third (all got $9,000).

The Tal Memorial Blitz, held in memory of the eighth world champion, was held on Thursday and Friday in the same building as where Anand and Carlsen are playing their match.

The participants were Alexander Grischuk, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand, Peter Leko, Alexander Morozevich, Ernesto Inarkiev, Sergey Karjakin, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Peter Svidler, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Evgeny Tomashevsky.

The format was a double round robin, with 11 rounds on day one and also 11 rounds on day two. The time control was four minutes plus two seconds increment.

The Tal Memorial blitz.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had an amazing first day as he crushed the field with a devastating 10/11 score. As always, there was a bit of luck involved sometimes, but a winner can't do without luck. A crucial game on that first day was the following.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: two fine days at the office.

The next day, in the 14th round, Mamedyarov lost for the first time. It was Ian Nepomniachtchi who played a nice exchange sacrifice, making sure that the tournament wasn't going to be decided too early:


In round 18 the Azerbaijani lost to Svidler, and he would go down one more time. Grischuk, who was the only real rival in the tournament, took revenge for his unfortunate loss the other day:

In the penultimate round, Grischuk managed to get to only half a point behind Mamedyarov, and so after 21 rounds the tournament was still not decided! However, Mamedyarov kept fate in his own hands: he beat Karjakin as Black (from a Petroff!) to secure clear first.

Grischuk beat Kramnik, but that didn't matter anymore. In the final standings he was still half a point behind, and so he might be haunted by that 34...f6?? for a while...

Alexander Grischuk in the final round.

These two players really stood out; with three points less Boris Gelfand, Alexander Morozevich and Sergey Karjakin followed. The tiebreak rules were 1) mutual encounter, 2) number of wins, 3) Koya and 4) Sonneborn-Berger, and as a result, it was 46-year-old Gelfand who got the trophy for third place.

You can find all games in this PGN file from TWIC. Mind that several games will have errors, because the electronic boards couldn't always keep track of the moves in cases of irregularities.

2014 Tal Memorial Blitz | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Mamedyarov,S 2757 2892 phpfCo1l0.png 10 ½0 11 ½0 10 11 11 11 11 16.0/22
2 Grischuk,A 2795 2869 01 phpfCo1l0.png 11 11 01 ½0 ½½ 11 15.5/22
3 Gelfand,B 2724 2772 0½ phpfCo1l0.png 01 ½1 00 ½½ 11 ½½ 11 10 11 12.5/22 120.00
4 Morozevich,A 2759 2769 ½1 00 10 phpfCo1l0.png ½1 10 1½ 1½ 11 12.5/22 123.00
5 Karjakin,S 2770 2769 00 00 ½0 phpfCo1l0.png ½1 01 01 ½1 11 ½1 11 12.5/22 114.50
6 Svidler,P 2743 2754 ½1 ½0 11 ½0 phpfCo1l0.png 10 00 11 00 11 11 12.0/22
7 Nepomniachtchi,I 2714 2725 01 ½½ 10 01 phpfCo1l0.png 01 01 11 11.0/22
8 Kramnik,V 2760 2706 00 10 01 00 10 11 10 phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½1 01 01 10.5/22
9 Leko,P 2731 2693 00 ½1 ½½ ½0 00 ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½½ 11 10.0/22
10 Inarkiev,E 2688 2681 ½½ 00 00 11 10 ½0 ½½ phpfCo1l0.png 01 11 9.5/22
11 Tomashevsky,E 2714 2629 00 01 ½0 00 10 ½½ 10 phpfCo1l0.png 10 8.0/22
12 Kosteniuk,A 2541 2342 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 10 00 00 01 phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/22
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