Reports | November 09, 2010 2:50

Five draws in 4th round Tal Memorial

Five draws in 4th round Tal MemorialAll 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.

General info

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:

Playing hall

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.

Empty playing hall

The playing hall just moments after the last game had finished

Games round 4

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and results

Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and pairings

Tal Memorial 2010 | Round 4 standings

Tal Memorial 2010 | Schedule and pairings
Playing hall

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...

Many logos

...and the famous logo with his face is everywhere...

Logo if the great former World Champ is watching the games from every corner


Share |
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.


unknown's picture

Thanks for express report, hope for more later.

Hope that organizers will do something with games' broadcast during rest day.

max's picture

I guess Nakamura is one of the big boys now. Good to see a US flag in the listings after many years...

Schnuffeline's picture

Yep more than half a century after bobby did=) USA!!!!!!

Eureka's picture

Why Doggers and Macauley do not make videos in Moscow ?
It's a secret ! Do not ask !

Polizei's picture

The answer is obvious. Russian TV has the right of image.

Septimus's picture

Eureka...why don't you get your punk-ass over there and make videos for us?

Saji Soman's picture

They are thinking how they can give us better video footage than Russian Chess Federation videos.

szacharnia's picture

Kramnik powinien przegra?

Polizei's picture

Can u speak in english please, or I'll start to speak in french as well.

Bob of Bowie's picture

Kramnik should just give up...his rating should only be around 400.

Stephen's picture

About time we had some common sense on ChessVibes !

Septimus's picture are my hero!

leigh's picture

What a fast spead!
Right after the last game was finished, your report released. Surprised me.

Vhomas Topalov's picture

5 draws, where at least 3 of them could have easily ended up in a win, and played in Misha Tal's spirit, see the material unbalance in Karjakin-Shirov and Gelfand-Grischuk

CAL|Daniel's picture

I read that Shirov likes to read about himself while his events are on going. Well Alexei, I hope you read this and hear your fan rooting for you. Never lose hope, bottom of the crosstable is irrelevant - you can still bring your A game! Go get em!

Polizei's picture

Shirov is feeding the sharks. He's played too much, and it's time for him to take a break.

christos (greece)'s picture

You are saying this today? The day he drew playing black? This was a successful game for him.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

polizei is right, shirov is moving from tmt., to tmt., still, how one loves to see him in play!

Polizei's picture

@ Peter Doggers

If Kramnik thinks your computer is stronger then his feeling, it's because the position is very tactical.

No need to emphasize that much his lack of confidence here over your computer.

Thomas's picture

Kramnik's "I haven't checked it yet with a computer ..." may be partly a running gag. As far as I remember, he first said so after beating Carlsen at Corus this year, feeling that it may have been one of his best games ever - "but I haven't checked it yet with a computer", and engines pointed out that he was worse to lost early in the game. Yesterday probably both players realized that the game was not only exciting but far from perfect.

He wants to know "the truth", and there's nothing wrong with admitting that Rybka is stronger than any super-GM at least in certain positions. Actually he needs to know the truth if he wants to play his variation again with black: an opponent might miss the strongest continuation over the board, but not during engine-assisted home preparation.

suleiman's picture

My favorite word to hear from Kramnik is 'perpetual'... I hope you will hear it in one of these demo board analyses by Kramnik there. Watch out the accent; it is so cool, imho!

JaNisamTesla's picture


laynard's picture

Any videos of the Kramnik-Naka analysis? anyone record the live stream, and can post a link?

Polizei's picture
Polizei's picture

Here it is :

Around 18:55 you have the Nakamura-Kramnik game analyze.

Guillaume's picture
Polizei's picture

You're welcome.

Septimus's picture

Any tensions between Aronian and Mamadyerov given the political situation their countries are involved in?

Polizei's picture

They seem to get along. They analyzed their game without any tension.

Polizei's picture

I think making fun of the russian accent is something which I do not appreciate. Even if it's well meant, I believe a dutch person has nothing " to criticice " to Kramnik's pronunciation.

Plus Kramnik spoke english because Nakamura doesn't speak russian.

Thomas's picture

It will get interesting if Kramnik adapts/adds some of his wife's French accent or - mirror image - if Robert Fontaine "learns" from his wife Kateryna Lahno :) .

There's nothing wrong with having an accent, certainly not if people can still understand you - apparently in an earlier round Wang Hao presented his game in "some sort of English" ... . And I don't think Peter Doggers went too far, it was clearly not at all insulting.

Says a biased person: I have a German accent speaking English, French and Dutch, apparently a slight French accent when I try or pretend to speak Spanish and - after 12 years in NL - a Dutch accent speaking German. When people make fun of me, my standard answers is "and how many languages do you speak?".

BTW, the nice thing about (fighting) draws in Moscow is that we get joint conferences from both players. The not-so-nice thing from my selfish point of view is that they are mostly in Russian ... .

Macauley's picture

In fact there was no "making fun of" intended at all! We dig Kramnik's accent! Perhaps "distinctive" rather than "typical" would have encapsulated the proper sentiment.

philidor_position's picture

I second the 2 questions above.

Andrey's picture

I hope we will see 5 wins tomorrow! Best wishes to Kramnik and Aronian

Latest articles