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Tal Memorial 07: And the game 'petered' out to a draw

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 05/10/2016

There were five draws today in Moscow after we had been spoiled with hard-fought, violent rounds. Several of the games saw little to no chances for either side to win, or even create real threats. Vishy Anand had an interesting game and had the best chance to score a point in the whole round. But even that was not easy. Nepomniachtchi keeps his half point lead over Giri, who had amazing news yesterday! On the rest day his son Daniel was born! Congratulations to him and Sopiko. We have an illustrated list-report. Feel free to scan!

Tal Memorial 07: And the game 'petered' out to a draw

Round Seven Scorecard

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili

Round 7 - Oct. 4 - 14h CET
1 4 2755 GM Giri Anish ½-½ GM Kramnik Vladimir 2808 10
2 5 2761 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½-½ GM Aronian Levon 2795 3
3 6 2746 GM Li Chao B ½-½ GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2740 2
4 7 2776 GM Anand Viswanathan ½-½ GM Svidler Peter 2745 1
5 8 2743 GM Gelfand Boris ½-½ GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2731 9

The Previous Encounter between Anand and Peter

The 2016 Candidates Tournament was in progress. Peter Svidler was pitted against Viswanathan Anand. Anand had the white pieces. The game began as a Ruy Lopez Anti-Marshall. Anand calmly sacrificed his exchange in the middle of the board and built up a destructive attack against the black king with his pieces on an open board. Svidler's defense eventually fell short by a long margin and he was forced to reign. Resign, in just 24 moves.


Peter Svidler and Anand have been rivals for a very long time. Most of the time, the Indian would invariably dominate his Russian counterpart. Memories of their last encounter may have been fresh in Peter's head. This time, it was an Anti-Marshall with Anand having the white pieces again. But Peter chose to deviate early. For obvious reasons.

The tiger's scars remain.

Viswanathan Anand -- the madras Tiger almost got Peter, once again!

Brief Highlights

A light overview of the interesting moments from the game:

This was an interesting moment -- White is daring Black to play 14...Ne4. What would you do? Had you been Peter Svidler, would you have played it? (Answer in the annotations) Eventually, after some moves...

What is the best square for the knight? What plan can you use to improve the position of the knight on d4?

Vishy Anand chose to play 20.Ne2! This is the best square for the knight, as it threatens to reroute to f4 and control d5. The game continued and the players reached this position:

The position is close to equal, but the black bishop on f8 is passive, and d5 and d6 remain targets. White has a more pleasant position. Would Anand make something of this? A few moves later...

Both Anand and Peter missed the fact that White (Anand) can play 32.Rxd6 here! It is not overwhelmingly winning but is a much better try if you play accurately.

Check out GM Alejandro Ramirez's easy-to-understand analysis and learn from Viswanathan Anand's play.

Vishy Anand-Peter Svidler (Notes by GM Alejandro Ramirez)

[Event "10th Tal Mem 2016"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2016.10.04"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Black "Svidler, Peter"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2776"]
[BlackElo "2745"]
[Annotator "Alejandro Ramirez"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4
b4 9. d3 d6 10. a5 Be6 11. Nbd2 (11. Bxe6 {was Topalov's twist against Svidler
at the Sinquefield Cup, but 11.Nbd2 remains by far as the main move.}) 11...
Bxb3 {Svidler chooses a move that is not as common as 11...Qc8 or 11...Rb8,
but certainly deserves attention.} 12. Nxb3 Re8 13. h3 h6 14. Nh4 $5 {an
interesting juncture. White is daring Black to capture on e4.} (14. d4 {
was Anand-Adams from 2006.}) 14... Bf8 (14... Nxe4 15. Nf5 (15. Rxe4 Bxh4 16.
Rc4 {regains a pawn but surely isn't what White was intending.} Nd4 17. Nxd4
exd4 18. Rxb4 Bxf2+ $5 19. Kxf2 Qh4+ 20. g3 Qxh3 21. Qf3 $1 $11) 15... Ng5 (
15... Nf6 16. Qf3 Qd7 {how else to defend the knight?} (16... Nd4 17. Nxe7+
Rxe7 18. Nxd4 exd4 19. Rxe7 Qxe7 20. Qxa8+ $18) (16... Na7 17. Bxh6 $18) 17.
Bxh6 Bf8 18. Bg5 {with pressure on the kingside, even though White's advantage
isn't decisive my any means.}) 16. Qg4 $5 {And Black has to be very careful.
Again it is possible that the attack is not as serious as it looks, but Black
must be incredibly accurate and at best he reaches an equal position.}) 15. Nf5
Ne7 16. Ne3 Qd7 17. Ng4 Nh7 (17... Nxg4 18. hxg4 {is slightly better for White,
who can break on g5 when he wants to.}) 18. d4 (18. Nd2 $5 {and maneuvering
the knight back to the kingside was also worthy of attention.} f5 $5) 18...
exd4 19. Nxd4 c5 20. Ne2 $1 {The best square for hte knight, as it threatens
to reroute to f4 and control d5.} h5 21. Ne3 Nf6 22. Ng3 (22. f3 $5) 22... h4
$1 23. Nh5 Nxh5 24. Qxh5 Qe6 $1 25. Qxh4 Ng6 26. Qg4 Qxe4 27. Qxe4 Rxe4 {
A nice defense so far by Svidler, really avoiding any major problems. The
endgame is close to equal, but still a bit more pleasant for White due to the
passive position of the bishop on f8 and how easily attackable d5 and d6 are.}
28. Rd1 Rae8 29. Kf1 Be7 30. g3 Ne5 31. Nf5 Rc4 $6 32. c3 $6 (32. Rxd6 $1 {
was missed by the players.} Rxc2 33. Rxa6 {and now} Nc4 34. b3 $1 Bf6 35. Rxf6
Nxa5 36. Bh6 $3 (36. Nxg7 Kxg7 37. Rf3 $14) 36... gxf6 37. Rxa5 {is a much
better endgame for White, but still needs accuracy after} c4) (32. Nxe7+ Rxe7
33. Rxd6 Rxc2 34. Rxa6 Nc4 {with sufficient counterplay.}) 32... bxc3 33. bxc3
Rxc3 34. Nxd6 Bxd6 35. Rxd6 Nc4 36. Rxa6 Rc2 {again, Black simply has too much
counterplay in this line.} 37. Rc6 Ree2 38. Be3 Nxe3+ 39. fxe3 Rh2 40. Kg1
Rcg2+ 41. Kf1 Rxg3 42. a6 Rxe3 43. Kg1 Rexh3 44. Ra4 Rh1+ {Black has to force
the draw or the a-pawn will just win.} 1/2-1/2


Gelfand Finally Did Not Lose!

It's not about hard you can hit, but about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Boris Gelfand had lost 5 consecutive games. In every round, he was being pummelled to the ground. Yet, every time, he turns up with the same fire in the belly, determination in his eyes. He drew his seventh round game against Evgeny Tomashevsky.

Anish Giri becomes a Father!

Anish Giri marked a big milestone in his life: their son Daniel was born! A big congratulation to Anish and Sopiko!

Anish Giri is so happy that he has begun to win games in bucketloads. With three wins, he is on 4.5/7, second spot. The Daniel Effect? [Photo: Alina L'Ami]

Nepo leads

Peace in Moscow: There were five draws today in Moscow after we had been spoiled with hard-fought, violent rounds. Several of the games saw little to no chances for either side to win, or even create real threats. Nepomniachtchi keeps his half point lead over Giri.

Crosstable after Round 07:

Pairings for Round 08:

Round 8 - Oct. 5 - 5.30PM IST
Kramnik Vladimir  
Tomashevsky Evgeny
Svidler Peter  
Gelfand Boris
Nepomniachtchi Ian  
Anand Viswanathan
Aronian Levon  
Li Chao B
Giri Anish  
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

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