Reports | November 22, 2011 17:53

Tal Memorial R6: Another day without decisive games

Tal Memorial R6: Another day without decisive games

Again all five games ended peacefully on Tuesday in the 6th round of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. Needless to say, Levon Aronian, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin continue to share the lead, with 3.5/6 or 'plus one'. There are three more rounds to go so this year 'plus two' could be enough for sole tournament victory.

Magnus Carlsen and Peter Svidler were the last to finish in round 6 | All photos © RCF

Event Tal Memorial 2011PGN via TWIC
Dates November 16th-25th, 2011
Location Moscow, Russia
System 10-player round robin
Players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Nakamura, Svidler, Gelfand, Nepomniachtchi
Rate of play 100 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 50 minutes for the next 20 moves followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one
Notes Draw offers before move 40 are not allowed. Tiebreak systems: most blacks, head-to-head, Coya, S-B, number of wins - in that order

Not for the first time Vishy Anand was the first to finish his game with a draw. Against his Lasker QGD, Vassily Ivanchuk played a harmless variation and in a completely equal knight ending the players had just one challenge left: to find a move repetition somewhere.

PGN string

After the game Anand was asked why he thought his opponent played this unambitious line against him.

He does this very often, playing harmless positions and then concentrating heavily. If you make a small mistake he will play the ending very well. The thing is, today it was not only harmless, but also very dry. In Bilbao, for instance, he outmanoeuvred me so today I wanted to be more careful.

After his answer was translated into Russian, Anand summarized it even better with

Vassily is quite dangerous in harmless positions!

Around the time control two games ended almost simultaneously. Levon Aronian had kept a tiny edge throughout the game against Boris Gelfand, but the Israeli played accurately today.

PGN string

More interesting was the fight between the Russian GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi and Sergey Karjakin. The latter went for a same sharp Nimzo-Indian line that Tatiana Kosintseva recently played, which is not surprising since both players work with GM Yuri Dokhoian.

PGN string

After that, the next to split the point were Vladimir Kramnik and Hikaru Nakamura. This time the American didn't go for the King's Indian, but a Grünfeld instead. The former World Champion went into the middle game with a small positional plus, but because his opponent didn't make mistakes, it all remained equal.

PGN string

In the last game to finish it was Peter Svidler, with the Black pieces, who had the best chances. His opponent Magnus Carlsen commented after the game:

I was trying to equalize for most of the game. I didn't see anything for Black but it was mostly unpleasant.

PGN string

Tal Memorial 2011 | Round 6 Standings


Schedule and pairings

Round 1 16.11.11 12:00 CET   Round 2 17.11.11 12:00 CET
Aronian ½ ½ Carlsen   Carlsen 1-0 Gelfand
Kramnik 0-1 Nepomniachtchi   Karjakin ½ ½ Nakamura
Ivanchuk 1-0 Svidler   Svidler ½ ½ Anand
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
Kramnik ½ ½ Carlsen   Carlsen ½ ½ Karjakin
Ivanchuk 0-1 Aronian   Svidler ½ ½ Gelfand
Anand ½ ½ Nepomniachtchi   Nepomniachtchi ½ ½ Nakamura
Nakamura 0-1 Svidler   Aronian ½ ½ Anand
Gelfand 0-1 Karjakin   Kramnik ½ ½ Ivanchuk
Round 5 20.11.11 12:00 CET   Round 6 22.11.11 12:00 CET
Ivanchuk ½ ½ Carlsen   Carlsen ½ ½ Svidler
Anand ½ ½ Kramnik   Nepomniachtchi ½ ½ Karjakin
Nakamura ½ ½ Aronian   Aronian ½ ½ Gelfand
Gelfand ½ ½ Nepomniachtchi   Kramnik ½ ½ Nakamura
Karjakin ½ ½ Svidler   Ivanchuk ½ ½ Anand
Round 7 23.11.11 12:00 CET   Round 8 24.11.11 12:00 CET
Anand - Carlsen   Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi
Nakamura - Ivanchuk   Aronian - Svidler
Gelfand - Kramnik   Kramnik - Karjakin
Karjakin - Aronian   Ivanchuk - Gelfand
Svidler - Nepomniachtchi   Anand - Nakamura
Round 9 25.11.11 10:00 CET        
Nakamura - Carlsen        
Gelfand - Anand        
Karjakin - Ivanchuk        
Svidler - Kramnik        
Nepomniachtchi - Aronian        



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


RealityCheck's picture

Great tournament. This is as close to the real thing as it gets.

Al F's picture

I don't see any standings in firefox 8, just the header. Some plugin needed?

Nicholas's picture

Poor people, they must think all day. What an awful life they must have. They don't look at all happy. They are in an illusion, trying to forget problems.

Poek's picture

Troll alert.

Chess Fan's picture

Ha Ha! :-)

deadeurope's picture

blessed are those who can act emotionally and work physically all day. amen

Chess Fan's picture

Something tells me that we will have a very interesting and eventful last 3 rounds. Let us see.

Philipp Somrowsky's picture

"quite dangerous in harmless positions". good summary of one of the most important qualities in chess. if only it weren't so hard to learn ... or maybe that's something you cannot learn...

The Player's picture

Only 8 comments here shows me that Mr. Doggers should go back to the "thumbs-up/down"-system. It was much more temperature on Chessvibes before the clinical change in web-design.

Bob's picture

The thumbs thing was somewhat prone to abuse, but did as you say provide a way of saying "bah" to fools talking trash. The problem was if somebody said one stupid and one sensible thing.

Great tournament with interesting games, despite the many draws. Kramnik-Carlsen in R3 just reminded me that I understand nothing in chess. Wonderful.

Frits Fritschy's picture

I hope our world champion is not getting afraid of harmless positions.
Maybe Ivanchuk just wanted an extra rest day - and Anand is an excellent target in this tournament if you want to accomplish this.

PP (NL)'s picture

Somehow I think it would have been nice to see some fish in this tank of sharks. Too many draws here...

The Player's picture

I think Magnus goes for a quick draw today, and focus on beating Nepo and Naka.

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