Tal Memorial R5: Eljanov beats Gelfand

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Eljanov beats Gelfand in round 5 Tal MemorialPavel Eljanov beat Boris Gelfand in round 5 of the Tal Memorial. It was the first victory for the Ukrainian in Moscow. The rest of the games ended in a draw and so Levon Aronian keeps his slim lead in the standings.

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 5 report

After the five draws on Monday, four more followed on Wednesday which increased the drawing percentage to 60%. However, as we've often stated here, draws at this level (and when draw offers are forbidden) are quite interesting too. Especially when you have the players explaining them on a demo board. Again we added the comments by the players to the games in the viewer below, so that you can replay everything at your own pace.

Wang Hao had all the reason to be satisfied. With the black pieces he comfortably drew Vladimir Kramnik, who had started with the rare sequence 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4.e3 Be7 5.b3. The Chinese grandmaster used some very nice tactics on the queenside that led to equality in all lines - impressive.

Kramnik-Wang Hao

The next to appear in the press room were Levon Aronian and Sergei Karjakin, who also split the point. The Armenian was disappointed about his play. A pawn up, he steered a rook ending right to a positional draw - a decision that was based on a déjà vu, in his own words:



The draw between Grischuk and Mamedyarov was another good fight. The Russian started aggressively by running with his h-pawn in a f3 Grünfeld but his opponent reacted well and managed to reach a more or less equal, queenless middlegame. Lots of manoeuvering by both sides followed, but the position remained balanced. Right afterwards Macauley asked Grischuk about his sudden qualification for the Candidates matches, about which the grandmaster was pleasantly surprised.

Here's Grischuk's comment about the game:



Then a visibly happy Pavel Eljanov entered the press room, as he had just won his first game of the tournament. And a good game it was. Despite having worked together previously with Gelfand, he managed to surprise his opponent in the opening. Well, perhaps surprise is not the best word, as the Israeli must have known 14.Ne2!?, but still Eljanov got a big advantage right out of the opening and then didn't let go. Here's what he said afterwards:



Hikaru Nakamura played another good game, with black against Alexei Shirov. The American again opted for the Berlin Wall and this time he didn't forgot about his preparation. After an interesting exchange sacrifice, which Shirov had to return soon after, it was Black who got the better chances. Finally a RB-RB ending was reached (opposite-coloured bishops) in which Nakamura tried and tried, but didn't succeed to make progress. The computer showed how he could have won the e5 pawn, but both Dvoretsky and Nakamura weren't a hundred percent sure whether Black would have won in that case.


Games round 5

Game viewer by ChessTempo

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

Tal Memorial 2010 | Round 5 standings
Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and pairings


Levon Aronian, still leading an exciting tournament...


...well, for most of us


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