Nakamura wins again, grabs sole lead at Tal Memorial
Hikaru Nakamura is the sole leader after four rounds at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. On Monday the American grandmaster scored his third straight victory with Black in a Najdorf against Fabiano Caruana, while all other games ended in draws.
All photos © Lennart Ootes
After the first rest day the tournament continued on Monday. Before we get to that, it's interesting to note the remarks from two players about what they did on Sunday. Magnus Carlsen said with a smile:
I was out in the sun for too long and I got a headache so that was not a good idea!
Vishy Anand answered a question about physical preparation by explaining that he does more before a tournament than during, because "you might be fit, but tired during the game". And then he revealed that in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where the players are staying, another famous sportsman is staying:
It was nice that during the rest day I was working out in the gym together with Goran Ivanisevic!
Despite the fresh energy among the players, the fourth round was the most quiet one so far with four draws. The first game to finish was Andreikin-Carlsen, a bit of a strange Symmetrical English that became very tactical after only a few moves. The players could make use of some of the ideas from a line with reversed colours, as Carlsen pointed out at the press conference.
White must have had an edge somewhere; perhaps it was 8.Bc4 which the players didn't analyze? In any case, after thirteen moves Black's opening problems were over and for the rest of the game it was just equal.
Not long after, Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand also drew their game. It was a continuation of the theoretical battle in the 3.Bb5 e6 Sicilian which started in May last year between the same players in Moscow. Meanwhile, Gelfand also had it on the board against Carlsen and Svidler, so the Israeli can be considered the biggest expert in this area! He came out of the opening with almost equality, and after one inaccurate move by Anand on move 23 Black was OK.
Vishy Anand interviewed after the game
The next player on stage in the commentary room was Hikaru Nakamura, who defeated Fabiano Caruana to take sole lead in the tournament! His opening choice was logical:
I thought I'd play the Najdorf. I think Fabiano lost about four or five games in a row against the Najdorf, so it made sense.
Nakamura was the first to deviate from Caruana's loss against Leinier Dominguez in Thessaloniki, and reached a position where it was much easier to find the moves for Black than for White. Caruana spent a lot of time on the clock trying to find the best plan, but with small mistakes on moves 22 and 24 he got himself into some trouble. When he allowed 28...b5 it was getting more difficult, especially with only five minutes left on the clock. Nakamura's accurate 34...Bb6! was decisive.
At the press conference, Nakamura said about his new second Arthur Kogan:
In general, he's a very positive person. Anytime you have positive influences around you it's very good. in the past I have perhaps been more negative than I am now. It's good to have such people around!
Hikaru Nakamura: a positive tournament leader
Caruana now back to the world's #4 spot in the live ratings
The draw between Russians Alexander Morozevich and Vladimir Kramnik seemed like a quiet affair, but at the press conference it became clear how many hidden variations there were (and how much the players had seen!). Most of the lines have been added to the annotations and are co-produced by Morozevich and Kramnik.
The last draw, between Sergey Karjakin and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, deserves attention as well because of the amazing double pawn sacrifice by the Azerbaijani in a Pirc. Black's long-term compensation was a bit similar to the Benko Gambit or the Marshall Attack; it was probably always enough. White players probably need to look for improvements early in the game.
Tomorrow's fifth round includes what will probably be the last classical game between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand, before they will meet each other in November in Chennai to fight for the world title. Having White, the Norwegian will surely be trying to win and to be able to pack some extra confidence in his cabin luggage on the flight to India!
Tal Memorial 2013 | Results & pairings
|Round 1||13:00 CET||13.06.13||Round 2||13:00 CET||14.06.13|
|Round 3||13:00 CET||15.06.13||Round 4||13:00 CET||17.06.13|
|Round 5||13:00 CET||18.06.13||Round 6||13:00 CET||19.06.13|
|Round 7||13:00 CET||21.06.13||Round 8||13:00 CET||22.06.13|
|Round 9||11:00 CET||23.06.13|
Tal Memorial 2013 | Round 4 standings
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