Five draws in 4th round Tal Memorial
All games in the 4th round of the Tal Memorial ended in a draw today. Levon Aronian keeps his slim lead in the standings, going into the first and only rest day.
The traditional Tal Memorial tournament takes place 4-14 November in the GUM Exhibition Hall on Red Square, Moscow. Aronian (ARM, 2801), Kramnik (RUS, 2791), Alexander Grischuk (RUS 2771), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 2763), Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 2760), Pavel Eljanov (UKR, 2742), Boris Gelfand (ISR, 2741), Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2741), Alexei Shirov (ESP, 2735) and Wang Hao (CHN, 2727) play a single round-robin. More info here.
Round 4 report
"Can we analyze the game somewhere?" Vladimir Kramnik asked, as he entered the press room, together with his opponent Hikaru Nakamura. The two had just played a thrilling game that ended in a perpetual check, and were desperately looking for answers. They wanted the truth.
Kramnik and Nakamura, just before their exciting game started
Because no chess set was available, the players agreed to show their game on the demo board, but "with an engine running", as Kramnik asked - almost demanded. The Russian often starts a reply to a journalist with the words "I haven't checked it yet with the computer..." (actually 'kompjutar', in his typical, but rather nice Russian accent), revealing that these days he trusts his silicon friend more than anyone - more even than himself.
The game - a Petroff - had been extremely complicated and so as soon as the players had shuffled the pieces past the opening, they asked, as I was running an engine on my laptop, for its evaluation, just about every third move.
- "What's the evaluation?"
- "It seems it likes White more."
- "What does it say here?"
- "It wants his king on e2, not d1."
- "And here?"
- "It takes on g7, winning."
- "Wait, takes, check... Ahaaaaaa."
Kramnik and Nakamura going through hyper-sharp variations, asking about the computer's evaluation every third move
As it turned out, Nakamura had missed a few wins, one of them quite easy for a 2700 grandmaster, except when he's in time trouble. He just wasn't aware of the fact that he had Kramnik on the ropes.
It was one of the five draws in Moscow today. Another very interesting fight was the one between Boris Gelfand and Alexander Grischuk, in which the Israeli got a promising position that "backifred", as Grischuk put it. However, the Russian let his winning position slip away.
In the audio clip Grischuk talks with Macauley about the game, and about surpassing Topalov on the live ratings list:
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov kept a slight advantage throughout his game against tournament leader Levon Aronian, but the Armenian was never in real danger. Both Alexei Shirov and Pavel Eljanov got away from the zero, defending difficult positions against Sergei Karjakin and Wang Hao respectively.
Audio clip with Eljanov & Wang Hao:
The playing hall, with a view of the Red Square and the Kremlin
Tuesday is a rest day in Moscow. Immediately after Wang Hao and Eljanov had finished, the whole playing hall started to change. Workers removed the chairs, posters, boards, pieces, wires, everything. Tomorrow there will be a 50th birthday celebration of some famous artist, and then at night everything will be put back in place again for the 5th round.
The playing hall just moments after the last game had finished
Games round 4
Game viewer by ChessTempo
About a hundred visitors come to the tournament each day
The stunning view inside the GUM during the day...
...and after the sun has set
From the window on stage in the playing hall Lenin's Mausoleum can be seen
Mikhail Tal welcomes journos at the entrance of the press room...
...and the famous logo with his face is everywhere...
...as if the great former World Champ is watching the games from every corner
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