Reports | November 20, 2011 23:30

Tal Memorial R5: Five more draws

Tal Memorial R5: Five more draws

Like in the previous round, all games in the 5th round of the Tal Memorial in Moscow ended in draws. Levon Aronian, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin continue to share the lead, with 3/5. On Monday the tournament will have its first and only rest day.

Anand and Kramnik split the point in round 5 | 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

In case you missed it, at the Tal Memorial draw offers before move 40 are not allowed (the same rule that will be applied in every ECU event from next year). Although move repetitions have ended games earlier here and there, it still means that by now the players must be longing for that rest day of tomorrow. Magnus Carlsen, who drew against Vassily Ivanchuk today after 6.5 hours of play, tweeted:

Another draw today, this time I'm quite relieved that the position was still a draw after I blundered. Much needed rest day tomorrow

This must have been about Black's 61st move where Carlsen was suddenly forced to give an exchange, after having had the advantage for most of the game.

PGN string

After trying for long to win a slightly better ending, Carlsen blundered but eventually drew by stalemate

Vishy Anand drew his fifth game, against Vladimir Kramnik. The two came to the same result the last eight times they met at the chess board, in 2010 and 2011 (not taking into account the team match with Humpy Koneru and Tatiana Kosintseva during the Botvinnik Memorial in September).

PGN string

Anand and Kramnik with, between them, host GM Maxim Dlugy, who lives in Moscow and has his own investment management business

Nakamura is not unsatisfied about his play so far. After today's game against Aronian he tweeted:

Not playing too badly, just a couple of costly mistakes against Svidler and Nepo. Nevertheless, 4 more chances to get on the scoreboard!

PGN string

In his game against Boris Gelfand, Ian Nepomniachtchi showed how hard he has worked on his Grünfeld. He responded well against White's 4.Bg5 line and got a small advantage. With a positional exchange sacrifice the Israeli avoided bigger trouble.

PGN string

Contrary to normal practice, we've saved the quickest draw for last:

PGN string

Svidler and Karjakin enjoying the post-mortem of their spectacular draw

Tal Memorial 2011 | Round 5 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 ½ ½ Carlsen   Carlsen - Svidler
Anand ½ ½ Kramnik   Nepomniachtchi - Karjakin
Nakamura ½ ½ Aronian   Aronian - Gelfand
Gelfand ½ ½ Nepomniachtchi   Kramnik - Nakamura
Karjakin ½ ½ 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.


Al's picture

exciting stuff for sure! Carlsen has had an advantage for most of his games just hasn't been able to convert the full point. Let's hope the second half it all clicks for him. Ths final games shouldn't be too tricky, he just needs to draw against Anand and then he'll get most of his points from the other final 3 games. Should be enough to win and break the 2830s.

Go Carlsen Go!!!

redivivo's picture

It feels as if Carlsen has played slightly better than his score here as in Bilbao, where he really should have won that game against Vallejo instead of losing it. Not much has separated him from wins against Kramnik, Karjakin and Ivanchuk here. In the next round there are three potential tournament winning games: first Carlsen-Svidler and Aronian-Gelfand where white will be pressing for the win, and then Nepomniachtchi-Karjakin where both may try hard to win. There won't be another round with all draws and after the next round I think someone will be sole leader with +2.

S3's picture

One could also argue that Carlsen could easily have lost against both Aronian and Kramnik, whereas his winning chances against Ivanchuk weren't that clear. I think Aronian plays best so far. In many games he was pressing and I don't think he has had a lost position yet. Nor has he been in serious time trouble, despite all fighting games. He was close to winning against Carlsen and Anand for example.
Then again, these what if games are pretty useless.

p.s. I also like Karjakins chances- he has yet to play his clients :) Kramnik and Ivanchuk.

lefier's picture

Very good tournament so far with exciting games and live video that is the best seen from any tournament.
Carlsen probably deserving half a point more according to play.
Anand seems to have lost ambition and only floating through tournaments waiting for his wc-match. A pity, I would say.
Nepomniachtchi is interesting stuff, perhaps proving himself during the last 4 games.
Kramnik a little up and down, as has been the case this year.
Others as expected.

Morley's picture

What a great tournament so far! So many exciting games, friendly atmosphere between players, etc. Carlsen is a great player; he can truly press for a win against any opponent. I enjoy reading his blog ... he is always respectful of his opponents, and seems to play chess for the fun of it, first and foremost. Best of luck in the future rounds.

Bryan Urizar's picture

Bf3! is a nice move!!

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