Nakamura On a Roll in Moscow
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Hikaru Nakamura is on a roll at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. In the sixth round, the 25-year-old American grandmaster won against World Champion Vishy Anand, and he is now the clear leader with three rounds to go. Boris Gelfand, who went into the round tying for first with Nakamura, drew a long game with Magnus Carlsen. Caruana-Kramnik and Morozevich-Karjakin were also drawn.
Nakamura is clearly enjoying himself in Moscow, where he must be inspired by the hundreds of spectators that come to the playing hall every day. In a commentary room packed with chess fans, he compared his play with former World Champions Mikhail Tal (in his game with Kramnik) and Alexander Alekhine (against Karjakin). Today he added a few more names to this list, with his comment about his third move:
"More Russian style! Today I was feeling inspired by Spassky and Smyslov."
Nakamura's play today was applauded by another former World Champion: Garry Kasparov. His comments to the game were tweeted by Mig Greengard:
Kasparov on Anand-Nakamura after 18.Rac1: "I love Black's position, he's doing very well. ..Kh7 to threaten ..f5 & Anand has trouble."— Mig Greengard ( @chessninja) June 19, 2013
Kasparov on Anand-Nakamura after 18..c6: "Curious why he didn't play ..Rad8 before ..c6 but maybe this works as well."— Mig Greengard ( @chessninja) June 19, 2013
Somehow Anand made a lot of logical moves, but he wasn't in time to find a good answer to Black's counterplay on the kingside. The tactics worked in Nakamura's favour in both the middlegame and the knight endgame.
This was Nakamura's third win against Anand. So far he has never lost a classical game to the World Champion. And also after the game he's enjoying Moscow:
Only in Russia do you go out to dinner and the waitress recognizes you! Different level of respect and culture for chess here.— Hikaru Nakamura ( @GMHikaru) June 19, 2013
Anand now shares last place with Alexander Morozevich and Vladimir Kramnik. The latter played a very interesting game today with Fabiano Caruana; a game that deserved to last a bit longer! White immediately pushed his kingside majority (his main trump in this ending), then lost these pawns, got a rook to h8, but Black got a rook to e1, and both players' queenside pieces were attacked! Crazy stuff.
Morozevich can also be a bit "crazy" at times, especially in the opening phase of the game. He's one of the most original players among the elite, which he showed in this round. In a Nimzo-Indian, Morozevich simply refused to castle, and just started running with his g-pawn. In the ending he kept on improving his position (instructive!) and eventually won a pawn on move 47. His opponent, Sergey Karjakin, had the luxury of a very active roo,k and with accurate defense he held the draw after a hundred moves!
Boris Gelfand had lost his last white game to Magnus Carlsen, in March at the Candidates tournament in London, with the 5.Bg5 Queen's Gambit Declined. It was logical to choose the 5.Bf4 line today, with which he had beaten Michael Adams at the Alekhine Memorial in April. Carlsen reacted with a slightly passive but ultra-solid setup, and until move 30 he was doing fine. The Norwegian wasn't happy with a few of his just before the time control, when he got under some more pressure, but it was never serious.
The fourth draw was also the fourth ending of this round: Dmitry Andreikin versus Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. In a Scotch Opening the queens were traded on move 11, and on move 18 both players had two rooks and a knight. Perhaps it was the weakened pawn structure in both camps that made this ending quite interesting.
Thursday is the second and last rest day in Moscow. Play resumes on Friday with Nakamura having the white pieces against Gelfand. The other games are Carlsen-Morozevich, Mamedyarov-Anand, Kramnik-Andreikin and Karjakin-Caruana.
2013 Tal Memorial | Results & pairings
|Round 1||15:00 MSK||13.06.13||Round 2||15:00 MSK||14.06.13|
|Round 3||15:00 MSK||15.06.13||Round 4||15:00 MSK||17.06.13|
|Round 5||15:00 MSK||18.06.13||Round 6||15:00 MSK||19.06.13|
|Round 7||15:00 MSK||21.06.13||Round 8||15:00 MSK||22.06.13|
|Round 9||13:00 MSK||23.06.13|
2013 Tal Memorial | Round 6 standings
The 8th Tal Memorial takes place June 12-23, 2013 at the technology center Digital October in Moscow, Russia. The total prize fund is 100,000 EUR. The official website is providing live games, streaming video and commentary in Russian by GMs Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Sergey Rublevsky, Sergey Shipov, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Maxim Dlugy. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 13:00 CET, 10:00 EDT and 07:00 PDT. The last round starts two hours earlier. Photos © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation. Games via TWIC.