"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

8th Tal Memorial - Round 5

First game of this round, which finished first, was the game between the current world champion Vishy Anand and his challenger-to-be Magnus Carlsen.
Magnus playing White (he admitted at the press conference a sort of home opening preparation) opted for the line which Anand has not been facing to for a long time. Nimzo-Indian defence, Rubinstein variation was played and this line occurred 10 years ago in the game Ponomariov vs Kramnik Wijk aan Zee, 2003. Carlsen came up with new move 12.Bb4 which main idea is to exchange the dark-squared Bishops which makes Black's defence bit more difficult.

Magnus Carslen
There was also option to go for a "hanging pawns" scenario, but Anand sensibly avoided this kind of position.
On the press conference, Carlsen admitted he had been bit surprised by the move 16...Qd6. He'd anticipated manoeuvre ...Ne4-d6 where the Knight would have been excellently placed, however, he'd suggested for White plan Nd3, Re2-c2 with advantage for White.

Black in difficult position resigned two moves later
Attention was also drawn to the move 17...Bc8 which Carlsen commented as "...a decent positional move which just simply doesn't work." If 17...Bd7, then 18.Qb4 and he considered the trade of Queens as favourable for White. Black is already in trouble and from now on is playing just for two result, draw or defeat, which is an achievement of White strategy. 

Current tournament lead Hikaru Nakamura drew with Dmitry Andreikin. Queen's Indian Defence, Petrosian-Kasparov line was played.

Boris Abramovich Gelfand keeps showing that despite he lost the match with Anand last year everybody has to take him seriously. This time he demonstrated his senior savvy to Alexander Morozevich.
Morozevich, know as a deadly tactician, defended himself against 1.d4 with King's Indian Defence. Gelfand chose for Krasenkow line 6.h3 and Morozevich went for the line with early exchange sacrifice which is probably not the best way how to play against Krasenkow system.

Boris Gelfand at the press conference....
Gelfand piled up his heavy pieces along the f-file and then he cunningly returned the material. In return he received superior coordination of pieces and positional advantage and once his Queen penetrated into Black camp he turned this positional advantage in material one. Finally he sacrificed exchange to remove one of the last defenders and his passed d-pawn decided the game.

Game Kramnik vs Karjakin brought a Reversed Colour Sicilian which seems to me very drawish. Queens were quickly off board, White had some pressure against c-file, but after exchange of a-pawns Black found counterplay along the a-file. None of players could claim better pawn structure or strong forepost and game ended up draw.

Game Mamedyarov vs Caruana started as a Slav Defence with early g6, which we can call Schlechter Slav, but this position features also touch of Grünfeld defence. The stiff pawn structure on both sides just underpin the slow manoeuvring where none of both players could claim any advantage. Both players doubled rooks on the d-file and after exchanges in the centre White d-pawn penetrated on 7th rank which Black balanced with strongly placed Nd4. 
In the position after move 39 the Russian commentators (GM Rublevsky and GM Shipov) discussed the option of exchange sacrifice either on d7 or e4. However, it did not happened in the game. Mamedyarov exchanged the Bishop for this annoying Knight and players agreed draw.

Current standing in the tournament:

Nakamura and Gelfand, both
Carlsen and Mamedyarov, both 3
Andreikin and Caruana, both 2½
Anand and Karjakin, both 2
Morozevich and Kramnik, both 1½

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