Carslen vs. Anand: Magnus on His Way to the Title?
November 19, 2013 – 16:31 | 10 Comments | Reads: 8795

So far, there was some excitement in Chennai, but you could hardly say that the tournament was satisfactory. It missed what really is the core value of every sport: Victory and defeat. Magnus Carlsen decided it’s …

Read the full story »
Curiosities

Diary

Chess School

GM Explains

Chess News

Home » Chess News

The Strongest Chess Tournament in History – Tal’s Memorial Has Commenced Yesterday

Alexander Riabov | November 18, 2011 – 15:153 Comments | 1,568 views
The Strongest Chess Tournament in History – Tal’s Memorial Has Commenced Yesterday

Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik - world’s TOP 4 and many more important players like Nakamura will face each other at the super-tournament in Moscow. Some, especially members of the chess public, might say that this year’s holidays have begun a little sooner. There is a dispute at the website of the Russian chess federation, whether or not it is the strongest chess tournament in history. It is said to be only comparable to the AVRO tournament in 1938, or USSR championship of 1978.

Translated by: S. Pavlovic

The tournament has reached the level of 22nd category, with the average rating of 2776 (!!!), while the top four attending players have FIDE rating greater than 2800! If we take a look at the players from the point of world ladder, 7 players out of 10 best players are attending. The three missing are Radjabov, Topalov and Morozevich. From the top 14, it is 9 players in total. The tenth player attending might be jokingly called an outsider, as Ian Nepomniachtchi (21) occupies the 20th place of the FIDE ladder.

The tournament has had a brilliant roster for the past five years. In the recent history, Tal’s memorial   Hosted the World Championship in blitz games. Tal’s proficiency in this chess variation is yet to be matched – shortly before his death, in 1990, he was able to defeat Kasparov at the first World Championship in blitz chess. This year, however, the blitz event is not part of the programme. Russian commentators are despondent in their analyses about the current situation in FIDE, predicting that if the event does not take place in Russia, it will hardly be held anywhere else and it is questionable whether it will happen at all.

Nevertheless, let us list the pre-tournament statistics and facts:

Attendees: Carlsen (2826), Anand (2811), Aronian (2802), Kramnik (2800), Ivanchuk (2775), Karjakin (2763) , Nakamura (2758) , Svidler (2755), Gelfand (2744), Nepomniachtchi (2730)

Average rating: 2776

Host city: Moscow

Number of rounds: 9, Round-robin tournament (each contestant meets all other contestants in turn), no revanches

Dates: from 16th to 25th November, every day at 13:00 Central European Time (exepting 21th of November – day off)

Time control: 1 h 40 min for 40 moves + 50 min or 20 moves + 15 min until the end of the game. Bonus 30 seconds per move, starting first move.

Interesting fact: Apart from digital broadcast, it is also possible to watch live video broadcasts, with a commentary by Emil Sutovsky. At ChessPro website, it is possible to watch the games with a commentary by Russian grandmaster Sergei Zagrebelny.

First round:

At the start of the tournament first surprise have struck. Tournament’s “outsider”, young Nepomniachtchi (21) have defeated much more experienced Kramnik (36). Nepomniachtchi played black and managed to win without significant problems. From the middle play full of combination, players have continued into the endgame, where Nepomniachtchi held the majority of pawns on the Queen’s side. After a piece exchange, only pawns and unmatched bishops remained on the chessboard, but Nepomniachtchi has accomplished victory by a clever two pawn advantage. Sometimes, there are not only unmatched bishops, but also unmatched opponents. :) The game has ended after 53 moves.

Another decisive outcome was brought by the Ivanchuk – Svidler game. Ivanchuk played more active during the whole game, ending up with a bishop against a knight and a pawn advantege in the endgame. Svidler could no longer cope with his agony and resigned. Ivanchuk, according to a Russian commentator, is one of the tournament’s shady dark horses. He is perceived as a win-or-die player. He certainly is an outstanding player, and if his games turn out well, he may reach for the victory.

Remaining three games ended up tied. The game of Nakamura – Gelfand (the winner of the World Cup, Anand’s challenger for the World Champion title, the game will be held in about six months) ended first. After 34 moves the game was stuck and both players agreed on a draw.

Watching the results of Hikaru Nakamura should be interesting in particular. Just days ago, the rumor about his co-operation with Kasparov was officially confirmed. It will certainly be worth observing, if Kasparov’s advice and training will have visible effect on Nakamura’s performance.

Both the Aronian – Carlsen and Anand – Karjakin had the same common denominator – both were finishing with a rook endgame. Certainly the former one was more aggressive. Anand and Karjakin, despite of the player’s majorities on the opposite sides, Anand and Karjakin agreed on a tie without explaining their positions. Anand is the current World Champion. But, as Kasparov noted at his press conference in Bratislava, Anand has not won a tournament in three year’s time. In effect, there are no big expectations from this player at the Tal’s Memorial tournament.

Regardless of Carlsen being seeded first, the Russian commentator does not regard him as potentional winner. He argues that Carlsen is one of the few players enjoying victories over sub-par players. “He is one of the few players, who have almost 100% rate against players a class bellow. Tal’s memorial is not an example of this kind of tournament. Essentially, there are no outsiders.” Therefore he is concerned, that playing against peer players may not be as easy as his games at other tournaments.

Round 1: Wednesday, 16. 11. 2011
Levon Aronian
½ ½
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
0-1
Ian Nepomniachtchi
Vasilij Ivanchuk
1-0
Peter Svidler
Vishi Anand
½ ½
Sergei Karjakin
Hikaru Nakamura
½ ½
Boris Gelfand

 



Recent winners and their score relative to the average:

2006 – Aronian, Leko a Ponomariov (all +2)
2007– Kramnik (+4)
2008 – Ivanchuk (+3)
2009 – Kramnik (+3)
2010 – Karjakin, Aronian a Mamedjarov (all +2)

 Tournament timetable:

Round 1: 16. 11. 2011
Levon Aronian
½ ½
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
0-1
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Vasilij Ivanchuk
1-0
Peter Svidler
Anand
½ ½
Sergej Karjakin
Hikaru Nakamura
½ ½
Boris Geľfand
Round 2: 17. 11. 2011
Magnus Carlsen
Boris Geľfand
Sergej Karjakin
Hikaru Nakamura
Peter Svidler
Anand
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian
Vladimir Kramnik
Round 3: 18. 11. 2011
Vladimir Kramnik
Magnus Carlsen
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian
Anand
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Hikaru Nakamura
Peter Svidler
Boris Geľfand
Sergej Karjakin
Round 4: 19. 11. 2011
Magnus Carlsen
Sergej Karjakin
Peter Svidler
Boris Geľfand
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Round 5: 20. 11. 2011
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen
Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
Boris Geľfand
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Sergej Karjakin
Peter Svidler
Round 6: 22. 11. 2011
Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Sergej Karjakin
Levon Aronian
Boris Geľfand
Vladimir Kramnik
Hikaru Nakamura
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Anand
Round 7: 23. 11. 2011
Anand
Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Boris Geľfand
Vladimir Kramnik
Sergej Karjakin
Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Round 8: 24. 11. 2011
Magnus Carlsen
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler
Vladimir Kramnik
Sergej Karjakin
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Boris Geľfand
Anand
Hikaru Nakamura
Round 9: 25. 11. 2011
Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen
Boris Geľfand
Anand
Sergej Karjakin
Vasilij Ivanchuk
Peter Svidler
Vladimir Kramnik
Jan Nepomniachtchi
Levon Aronian

As can be seen, the winner of Tal’s memorial is usually determined by a relatively small number of victories above the average. We may hardly be the witnesses of Kramnik’s +4 this year, but nevertheless we consider all the games worth watching. As has already been said, the chess holidays have started a little sooner this year.

ChessFriends.com will accompany you through this tournament. Reports from every tournament day are intended, as not a single surprise should be missed. Also, in a few day’s time, an article on Michael Tal, a colourful character in the world of chess will be published. The games of the tournament should also be broadcast at our website. Stay tuned!

 Sources:

This post is also available in: Slovak


Rate: Low 12345 High
Votes: 4 | Rating: 4.00
Loading ... Loading ...

Comments (3)

  • federicocili says:

    great tournament

    • Radieschen says:

      As far as the back-stage redris go, I actually had an interesting conversation with a former hair-band member (now in a well-known (locally) cover band). His explanation for the very odd things in redris was as a check to make sure that every detail had been handled. To make sure that no-one was skipping anything important. That is to say, with all those wires everywhere (for example), they want to make sure that the people setting things up are making everything safe for the performers. And putting in little annoying stupid shit lets them know whether the people setting things up are getting all the details right.Granted, you can go overboard. So that the people setting things up remember to remove all the green M&Ms, but forget to ground the lead vocalist’s mic.But as to FIFA. Yeah, they’re corrupt. But the funny thing is, when you deal with such a wide range of governments, it’s virtually impossible to use the highest standards with everyone. Inevitably, you end up catering to the least common denominator.Not sure what the solution is. Now I’ll go back to reading the rest of your post to find out.:)

  • Medo says:

    Follow-up asewnr: Yes. It’s time for transitioning to a post-FIFA world. And I think they’ve done it to themselves by picking Qatar.

Leave a comment!

Please, send all the suggestions, comments and complaints unconnected to the article to [email protected]

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.


× 8 = 40