Reports | November 19, 2011 22:40

Five draws but many missed opportunities in 4th round Tal Memorial

Five draws but many missed opportunities in 4th round Tal Memorial

On Saturday all games in the 4th round of the Tal Memorial in Moscow ended in draws. However, on many boards the result could have been different.

Levon Aronian, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin are still sharing the lead, with 2.5/4. The tournament, a 10-player round robin, will last five more rounds.

Levon Aronian and Vishy Anand watch the game Nepomniachtchi-Nakamura | 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

Despite the peaceful results, round 4 was another very interesting one as again all five chess boards in the Pashkov House had turned into fierce battlefields. Saturday was also a day of missed opportunities.

Even Svidler-Gelfand, which was the most 'quiet' game of the round, had some hidden tactical motifs that could have given Gelfand some winning chances.

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Svidler was under pressure but Gelfand let it slip away to a draw

The players during the post-mortem slash press conference

Aronian got a clear endgame advantage against Anand, but the World Champion held it together with some very precise moves.

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After Anand gave a brief summary of what happened, Aronian gave an explanation in Russian

Kramnik more or less outplayed Ivanchuk with the white pieces. His position was overwhelming, but nowhere clearly winning.

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Ivanchuk vs Kramnik: different ways of concentrating

The same scenario was seen in the game between the 'kings of 1990'. Later Carlsen would tweet:

Could not make anything of a huge advantage today. Karjakin defended really well after I spoiled my position right before move 40.

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Against Karjakin, Carlsen missed a good chance to become the sole leader

The one who was winning most clearly was Nakamura. His opponent Nepomniachtchi treated the American's Dragon (!) too modestly, and was already worse with White around move 12. When his opponent missed the decisive blow on move 38, the Russian GM showed that he knows something about rook endings - he escaped in a similar way as Botvinnik did against Fischer at the Varna Olympiad in 1962 (see below), as was mentioned by Emil Sutovsky in the live commentary.

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Ian Nepomniachtchi escaped with a draw against...

...Nakamura, who hasn't been very lucky so far

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An example of the pretty interior in the Pashkov House: Count Pyotr Alexandrovich Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky (1725–1796), one of the foremost Russian generals of the 18th century | Photo © Macauley Peterson

Tal Memorial 2011 | Round 4 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 - Carlsen   Carlsen - Svidler
Anand - Kramnik   Nepomniachtchi - Karjakin
Nakamura - Aronian   Aronian - Gelfand
Gelfand - Nepomniachtchi   Kramnik - Nakamura
Karjakin   Svidler   Ivanchuk - 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.


chesser's picture

What happened to the players? In almost every game the players gave away a +1 position. Very uncommon on this level. Aronian for example blundered a pawn in de ending, Nakamura blundered twice a winning position and Kramnik could not win a +1 position.

Pulern's picture

Does anyone have the personal score (in rated games. ) between Anand, Aronian, Carlsen and Kramnik so far this year. Are these players scheduled to play other tournaments apart from the London Chess Classic this year?

Anonymous's picture

I believe Aronian has a winning lifetime record against Anand by a good margin. He beat Anand in 25 moves in Bilbao masters just a few weeks ago

Ahmet Ünal GÜREL's picture

He did the same a couple of years ago in a marshall gambit with black.

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik has such a peculiar way of concentrating! Why can't he concentrate like every other normal player, like Ivanchuk for example?

Drag Queen's picture

hi hi

Thomas Richter's picture

What is Ivanchuk looking at? Might be the picture of Tal on the wall ... .

In Wijk aan Zee, Chucky likes to look into the audience - while at one occasion his opponent Shirov was concomitantly staring at the ceiling.

dvvvv's picture

Ivanchuk - Carlsen 0-1
Anand - Kramnik 1/2 - 1/2
Nakamura - Aronian 1/2 - 1/2
Gelfand - Nepomniachtchi 1/2 - 1/2
Karjakin Svidler 1/2 - 1/2

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