Ivanchuk beats Nakamura in 7th round Tal Memorial
Vassily Ivanchuk beat Hikaru Nakamura on Wednesday in the 7th round of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. As the other four games ended in draws, the Ukrainian joined Levon Aronian, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin in the lead. There are two more rounds to go in the Russian capital.
After seven rounds we find the remarkable situation that half of the participants are sharing the lead with a +1 score: Ivanchuk, Aronian, Nepomniachtchi, Carlsen and Karjakin. Svidler and Anand are on 50%, the World Champion by drawing all his games. Kramnik is on -1 while Nakamura and Gelfand are on a disappointing -2. The American, who was on the losing side in round 7, will face none other than Anand and Carlsen in the last two rounds. His tweet of last night cannot be misunderstood:
Quite simply, I have to play better chess.
Nakamura's loss against Ivanchuk was a tough one. Perhaps it also played a role that this game finally changed the equilibrium of all those draws in Moscow, but more importantly, the American grandmaster must have had much higher hopes for this tournament after his cooperation with Kasparov finally became official.
In any case, helped by the splendid video coverage by the Russian Chess Federation the final phase of the Ivanchuk-Nakamura game was pure sports entertainment and the necessary drama after three days without decisive games. An unsuccessful opening experiment had led to a slightly worse middlegame position for Nakamura, who also ended up in timetrouble.
After making his 32nd move, the American was shaking his head, clearly showing his disappointment about how things were going. A few moves later Ivanchuk did something that is, strictly speaking, not allowed with this time control: after 37...Bxc3 38.bxc3 he also played 38...c5 before writing down these three half moves. Nakamura didn't protest but just made his next moves.
Ivanchuk played his final move 40...Rxc3! without thinking and stood up. It seemed that Nakamura just couldn't believe what happened, as he only resigned about twenty minutes later.
The game Anand-Carlsen, with the nice 'World Champion against the highest rated player' headline, was quite disappointing: a move repetition from move 25 in a Grünfeld. Remarkably, the Indian said
Maybe 11.Nf3 is just inaccurate, I don't know.
while this was a normal developing move in a theoretical position, e.g. from the game Ivanchuk-Svidler, Amber 2010.
Magnus Carlsen agreed that the game wasn't much. At the press conference he said:
I have just one suggestion: turn your attention to the Ivanchuk-Nakamura game, that's gonna be a hell of a lot more interesting!
Gelfand was playing the same QGD variation with White against Kramnik as he played with Black against Aronian the day before. It was Kramnik who deviated and although the game included some interesting tactics, it was always about equal.
Karjakin and Aronian drew a Closed Ruy Lopez where Black solved his biggest problems by giving up the bishop pair at the right moment.
The last to finish were Svidler and Nepomniachtchi. It was clear that White had an advantage with BR vs. NR but whether it was winning somewhere remained unclear, also during the post-mortem.
Tal Memorial 2011 | Round 7 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|
|Kramnik||½ ½||Carlsen||Carlsen||½ ½||Karjakin|
|Anand||½ ½||Nepomniachtchi||Nepomniachtchi||½ ½||Nakamura|
|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|
|Round 9||25.11.11||10:00 CET|
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