Tal Memorial R3: Three black wins and a 'ridiculous' game
Levon Aronian, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin are sharing the lead after three rounds at the Tal Memorial in Moscow, Russia. On Friday three games were won by Black (Gelfand-Karjakin 0-1, Nakamura-Svidler 0-1 and Ivanchuk-Aronian 0-1) while the most spectacular game (or 'ridiculous', as a young and talented top GM wrote us) between Kramnik and Carlsen ended in a draw.
What a round! It felt like the Tal Memorial finally started on Friday, with five great games and bloody fights at the highest level. Well, perhaps except from what the world's number one rated player was showing.
Carlsen wasn't satisfied with his play in the opening against Vladimir Kramnik, and indeed it looked very strange. Manoeuvres like Nb8-c6-b8 and Bc8-d7-e6-d7-c8 before move 20 are hard to explain, and provoked our editor GM Anish Giri to use the word 'ririculous' (probably partly tongue-in-cheek).
Carlsen: a bit too creative in the opening!?
What followed, however, was a fantastic, razor-sharp fight with sacrifices and countersacrifices.
Carlsen and Kramnik agree to a draw...
...and enjoy the game a bit longer in the live post-mortem, with Ilya Levitov as host
At this level just about every round will have at least one 'grandmaster draw' like the following.
Hikaru Nakamura seemed to be getting an advantage against Peter Svidler's Grünfeld, but somehow everything in the game, all the tactics, worked in Black's favour. It did show once again Svidler's fantastic feel for this opening.
Nakamura, unlucky to see all the tactics work for Black
Svidler showing his game to the Russian journalists and online spectators
A few years ago Levon Aronian said that he plays the Berlin Wall if he likes to play for a win. Against Vassily Ivanchuk, his 11...Bd7 (deviating from a recent draw between Anand and Nakamura) was in the same spirit and later the Armenian managed to provoke his opponent to weaken his pawns in the center.
Aronian, one of the leaders after a good win against Ivanchuk
The longest game of the round was the following. The phase between moves 30 and 40 was critical: Gelfand overplayed his hand while Karjakin responded with impressive accuracy.
Strong defence from Karjakin refuted Gelfand's moves
Tal Memorial 2011 | Round 3 Standings
Schedule and pairings
|Round 1||16.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 2||17.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Anand||½ ½||Karjakin||Nepomniachtchi||½ ½||Ivanchuk|
|Nakamura||½ ½||Gelfand||Aronian||½ ½||Kramnik|
|Round 3||18.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 4||19.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Round 5||20.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 6||22.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Round 7||23.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 8||24.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Round 9||25.11.11||10:00 CET|
Macauley Peterson sent us this photo from yesterday's meeting between Sergey Karjakin and Sergey Karjakin. The chess player gave a chess set to the pentathlon athlete, who gave an épée to the chess player.
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