Ponomariov grabs ‘pole position’

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Chess tournaments do not often manage to come up with well-designed logos in my opinion but the Tal Memorial has a very nice one (and should therefore be shown here as well). Mikhail Tal himself can be seen on it; the eighth world champion who would have celebrated his 70th birthday today, if he wouldn't have died on June 28th, 1992. The best way to remember Tal is to purchase a copy of his autobiographical game selection but the tournament in Moscow does a nice job as well. Yesterday ex-FIDE world champion Ponomariov grabbed pole position (and Aronian blundered terribly).

Ponomariov-Morozevich Moscow (03), 2006

Morozevich had played a rare opening variation (to Pono's 6.Be3 against his Najdorf he responded with 6...e6 7. g4 d5) but didn't get a good position out of the opening, perhaps still somewhat disorientated after the strange way his game against Carlsen ended in a draw yesterday. Ponomariov simply played a very strong game and finished it nicely in the following ending:

46. Kf4! a surprising pawn sac... 46...Rxd6 47. exd6 Kxd6 48. c5+! ...followed by another one! 48...Kxc5 49. Ke5 Ba6 50. Kf6 Kd6 51. Be4 Be2 52. Kxf7 Bg4 53. Bxg6! 1-0

The participant from an older generation, Boris Gelfand, is still an authority as it comes to opening theory; Grischuk didn't achieve much against his Petroff. Shirov, for a change, went for the mainline against Leko's Marshall Gambit and of course this also ended in a quick draw - no doubt they followed an analysis Leko had lying on a shelf since his match against Kramnik. Carlsen-Mamedyarov was the next draw after a series of tactical strokes at the end. Aronian sufferd from a moment of chess blindness:

Aronian-Svidler Moscow (03), 2006

Black already has a big advantage but after Aronian played 23.Qxd3?! Svidler must have thought: o no, he won't...

But yes, Levon did have a blind spot because after 23...cxd4 he simply took back with 24.exd4?? and only after 24...Re1+! he saw what was going on.

Standings: 1. Ponomariov 2,5; 2-3. Svidler & Gelfand 2; 4-7. Shirov, Leko, Mamedyarov & Aronian 1,5; 8-9. Grischuk & Carlsen 1; 10. Morozevich 0,5.

>> replay the games from round 3
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