Peaceful Round In Moscow As Giri Celebrates Fatherhood

Peaceful Round In Moscow As Giri Celebrates Fatherhood

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

After an amazing sixth round, the storm calmed in Moscow as all five games at the Tal Memorial ended in draws. The night before, Anish Giri became a father.

Giri was the last player to sign up for the super-tournament commemorating the great Mikhail Tal. The conundrum was that his wife Sopiko Guramishvili was expecting a baby in the second week of October. What if it came early?

It did. Last night Anish and Sopiko's son Daniel was born! Well, at least he picked a rest day...  The best of luck to the young family.

The next day it was back to the chess board for father Giri, who was congratulated at the start of the round by arbiter Anatoly Bykhovsky and his colleagues.

The Dutch grandmaster had the white pieces and faced Vladimir Kramnik. With similar play as in Anand vs Tomashevsky in the previous round, Black went for an isolated queen's pawn (IQP) position that was pretty solid. Giri ended up with a bishop for a knight, but that IQP got traded and there was not much to play for.

Kramnik, for one, knows what it's like to be a father! | Photo Eteri Kublashvii.

One of the most interesting games of the round was Li Chao vs Ian Nepomniachtchi. The latter didn't prepare a lot, but he hit a bullseye with his review. Speaking about the opening moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Na4, he said it was "the only line I decided to repeat this morning so I was extremely lucky."

With a rather forced sequence of moves, Black sacrificed and then won back a piece; after that the endgame was equal. A minor inaccuracy then forced the tournament leader to defend a bit, but it wasn't very serious.

Viswanathan Anand vs Peter Svidler was a bit of a "loaded" game. The last time the two played with this color distribution was at the Candidates' Tournament in Moscow. There, Anand won quickly following an old Shirov game in the Anti-Marshall.

Svidler was much better prepared this time, and he did fine with the 8...b4 line. The annotations show lots of Anand games (with both colors!). The Indian eventually left his own practice on move 14, leaving a game from 2006.

Anand has huge experience in this Anti-Marshall. | Photo Eteri Kublashvii.

Very similar to Giri vs Kramnik was Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vs Levon Aronian: another Queen's Gambit Declined, another IQP position, another bishop vs knight and another quick d5-d4! This one quickly turned into a pawn ending that was just a draw.

Aronian was in safety-first mode today as well. | Photo Eteri Kublashvii.

Last, and also least, we have Boris Gelfand vs Evgeny Tomashevsky—another draw, between two old friends. Tomashevsky, who was one of Gelfand's seconds during the 2012 world championship match, had no real opening problems in what was a Closed Catalan. Shortly after deviating from a 2011 game between Peter Leko and Ruslan Ponomariov, the players started repeating moves.

Tomashevsky and Gelfand in the Russian commentary studio
with GM Ilya Smirin. | Photo Eteri Kublashvii.

2016 Tal Memorial | Round 7 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2740 2922 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 5.0/7
2 Giri, Anish 2755 2864 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 1 1 4.5/7
3 Aronian, Levon 2795 2804 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.0/7 14.00
4 Kramnik, Vladimir 2808 2808 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 4.0/7 12.75
5 Anand, Viswanathan 2776 2805 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 4.0/7 11.00
6 Svidler, Peter 2745 2768 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 3.5/7 13.50
7 Li Chao 2746 2757 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 3.5/7 10.25
8 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2761 2704 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0/7
9 Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2731 2658 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.5/7
10 Gelfand, Boris 2743 2457 0 ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1.0/7

Wednesday's eighth round will see the games Kramnik vs Tomashevsky, Svidler vs Gelfand, Nepomniachtchi vs Anand, Aronian vs Li Chao, and Giri vs Mamedyarov.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

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