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Tal Memorial 06 r4-5

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Still underway in Moscow. Live on the web here at the official site and in the usual places. This is shaping up as very "classical" event with lots of Spanish instead of Sicilian. This is partly due to the field, but even some of the regular Sicilianeers are playing 1..e5. The good news is that the Petroff has been scarce.

Update: Shirov-Aronian an amazing r4 game. Another Marshall and then an exciting endgame. Yes, you read that correctly. Aronian had the exchange but it wasn't clear how he was going to make progress. When it became apparent he was going to have zugzwang issues Shirov came up with an amazing idea to sac his bishop to run his h-pawn. That looked good for the draw, but Aronian found a beautiful triangulation zugzwang sequence to win. It's a familiar device to any fan of chess problems, but it's certainly rare in games and very pretty. I can't find a way for White to hold after passive defense with 44.Ba3 either. I spent a long time on it for yesterday's Black Belt.

Update 2: Round 5 isn't worth its own item, I'm afraid. Five draws, none of particular interest. In the best of the lot, Grischuk went into the piece sac line Mamedyarov used to beat Polgar in Essent. Don't miss the crazy-looking 23.Qd3! - f3 idea. It looks like he could have had winning chances with 28.Nxe4 but missed that and then ran for a repetition draw. (Kasparov gives 28.Nxe4 dxe4 29.Bxe4 c6 30.Rc1 and Black should probably give the piece back with 30..Nd5.) After a sharp battle with Aronian Leko also could have continued to play with the very tricky 25..f4!? but preferred to repeat.


According to Shirov's games a question about Spanish opening: After 8.c3 d5 is white fighting for a draw ?
And if affermative which is white's wrong move in the opening sequence?
So 8...d6 (instead of 8...d5) is a wrong move too ?
A whole century with millions of superGM and world champions' games (Tal, Spassky, Fischer, Karpov...), books, chess schools...all this to prompt 2 mutual errors in the first 8 moves (sigh).

They also were all patzers, and Frank for the chess theory was the best of ever.

Why Svidler never pass the 30 move?
What a lazy player.

Shirov-Aronian What a game!!

Every once in a while there appears a game of such mastery you just know it will be remembered for years and years. Shirov-Aronian is such a game. Goddamn brilliant!

tricky game with Shirov and Aronian. A "false stalemate".

Shiri should have saced his b-pawn before, then it would have been draw. What a pity (:

Thanks for letting me notice this game! Shirov - Aronian! Excitment in the opening, middlegame and endgame!

It took me 2 minutes to understand why white loose! 59. h7, Rf8 60 Kg7, Rh8! (I think It's that I'm at work without an engine). I tought at first there was an error. What a zugzwang.

what an endgame by aronian!!! all the engines were showing draw and this idea by aronian just made my bay. study-like position and aronian's creativity!!!

Yes, so far we have three wonderful endgames in this tourney. Two by Pono and one by Aronian. It is nice to see the cosmos balancing Aronian's karma from the blunder in round 3. Winning like that has got to be enjoyable!

The interesting thing is I thought the position is better for Shirov with the bishop and two pawns against the rook. The key position is after 42.f4. Food for the commentators.

What has Gelfand done with all of his pawns???

Great ending trick by Aronian, and he applied it twice ! (when Shirov had 2 doubled h-pawns then
when he had 1).

I guess that we should now do some rearrangements in our collective memory and place Shirov's "Bh3!!" just beneath Aronian
"Rh8 !! Kxh8/ Kf7 zugzwang"

Great ending trick by Aronian, and he applied it twice ! (when Shirov had 2 doubled h-pawns then
again when he had 1).

I guess that we should now do some rearrangements in our collective memory and place Shirov's "Bh3!!" just beneath Aronian
"Rh8 !! Kxh8/ Kf7 zugzwang"

I wonder how many more food court tricks Aronian has for situations when he doesn't blunder in the opening...

I like this: A tournament full of 2700+ players (we'll make Carlsen an honorary member), but the event is full of fighting chess and aggressive openings. Certainly, a worthy tribute to Tal. In chess, as in life, sometimes "less is more". It is good for tournament organizers to not simply try to put together another Super GM event. They have their place, but there are already 3 or 4 on the tournament calendar. The problem with Kramnik, Anand, and Topalov is that as likely as not, they are focusing on the NEXT big event, and they are liable to play insipid openings, trying to preserve their special preparation and big novelties for more consequential occassions. The future is now, and I'd rather see players who are willing to give all to win the event, rather than merely view it as a stepping stone in their career ambitions.

"(when Shirov had 2 doubled h-pawns then
again when he had 1)."

Yes! This game is one of the best "jokes" I've ever seen in chess. People who have not followed the game may not understand why Shirov resigned. But it follows as it was played moves ago - like a caroussell that keeps going on and on. After Aronians 58.Rf7 it goes like 58.h7 Rf8 59.Kg7 (59.Kxf5 Kf7) Rh8! and white loses because he had to move the b-pawn one time and black gets a fresh queen. Amazing.

Note: Without en passant rule it would be WON FOR WHITE since black couldn't play cxb3 if white played b4 and white's pawns march!

freitag: you were right. I just glancing through this Daily Dirt and saw your comment that if a person who has not followed the game might not have understand why Shirov resigned. Indeed, I opened a game at the final position and couldn't figure it out! I am an expert player and I still could not do it - I kept thinking I was missing something obvious. After a few minutes I gave up and played back through the game and was indeed very impressed.

Yes, russianbear, after white takes the rook h8 he is put in a stalemate with Kf7/f8 and has to move his pawns and loses. The problem of white is the pawn b2. Without it it would be draw.

Yeah of course I understood once I played back through the game. It is easy to see the idea once you see black offering the rook on h8. But in the final position it is on f7, so if you haven't seen the game, you have to figure it out yourself, which is the hard part. The final position could be a study: white to play and lose :)

i too opened the game in the final position but i had no trouble seeing why Shirov resigned. it is obvious.

"The problem with Kramnik, Anand, and Topalov....". Maybe that should be Kramnik, Leko (and Svidler). Certainly not Anand and Topalov!

Nice job, John.

Frank, even if Anand or Topalov can boast that they don't spare opening preparation, Kramnik will have to find consolation in the fact that he is the World champion. Gee, I wonder if that will be hard to do.

"Yeah of course I understood once I played back through the game. It is easy to see the idea once you see black offering the rook on h8. But in the final position it is on f7, so if you haven't seen the game, you have to figure it out yourself, which is the hard part. The final position could be a study: white to play and lose :)"

Not easy to see indeed. I think Shirov should not have traded the queens. The bishop was stronger with the queen. After trading queens he had a major job to defend the b-pawn.
I think Aronian saw the play coming to him when white's king was fixed on h4. Those were Zugzwang motives he finally took advantage of.

Shirov didn't see Be5 twice move 30,31. That would have give him the f pawn. On the B sac, I think he didn't see the zugzwang

"Shirov didn't see Be5 twice move 30,31. That would have give him the f pawn."

I was also expecting Shirov playing 30.Be5 to block the black rook and threatening mate himself. Seemed to be logical ...

Nice games today, Gelfand putting a lot of resistance in a worse position, but was not enough against Leko. I don't know the reasons Grischuk decided to play such an unsound exchange sacrifice in move 26, in an approximately equal position (it looked better in my opinion for Morozevich, but not that bad to choose that desperate tactic) -time trouble, maybe?. The game was decided soon and nice moves later Grischuk resigned. It would be interesting to know what he saw in the position.

And Shirov-Aronian, what a game!!, Shirov sac in the opening, then in the endgame, but Aronian found an exquisite zugswang idea (if white would take the rook) and precise play to get the full point. Was Shirov last bishop sac unsound, or he made an imprecise move later on in a drawn position?

Concidentially, all players with a plus score play tomorrow with each other. Aronian - Leko Ponomariov - Svidler, very interesting tournament and nice games.

My favorites so far have been Leko-Gruschuk (interesting opening novelty and exchange sac by Grischuk), Carlsen-Gelfand (the way Gelfand coordinated his two knights), Ponomariov-Morozevich and Shirov-Aronian. Besides, both Aronian and Ponomariov has shown fine endgame technique in their victories (I don't know if Aronian has a reputation of being a consistently good endgame player among the top grandmasters).

Without wishing to dampen everybody's excitement about the finish of Shirov-Aronian, note that the idea (sacrificing a rook on a corner square to stalemate the king) has been seen quite often before. I think there is a reasonable chance this is pattern retrieval on Aronian's part. Still a very pretty theme.

You don't even have to get out of the introduction of Van Perlo's recent endgame book to come across Pachman - (Jules) Welling, London, 1973:

White: Kg7, Pa3, Pb2, Ph2, Ph7
Black: Ke6, Rc8, Pa4

1...Rh8! 2.Kxh8 Kf7 5.b4 axb3 (0-1).

Position 840 in van Perlo's book has the same theme (Estrin - Boey, 10th World Cor. Ch. Final, 1978).

Anybody else feel like GMs are trying to show their inner Tal? People seem to be very much in the spirit of the event and try to show their prettiest combinations and show great innovative ideas on board. The fact that there have been relatively few blunders indicates there is still room for high-quality exciting chess on board.

Why didn't Lékó play 30.e5 and Gelfand play 32..Rd7 ?

Thanks for the info, Malcolm. But at least one player didn't know the motive: Alex Shirov.

No Kleyner. It is just you. This Tal memorial is a pretty boring affair. Half of players are running for the draw right from the get go. Though you may be right after all... rather consistent with the late Tal... but certainly not with his spirit!

Boring day today at Tal-memorial.

Are these people repressing their "inner Tal" or are they true to their drawish nature and resist the sense of obligation to play courageous games as the chess buffs expect (demand) from them ?

Only Reuben Fine ( MD and psychoanalyst) could have sorted this.

oh, I forgot this : give me back Topalov please !
even with Danailov in it is still a more worthy package.

Topalov? Why not Judit? She doesn't bring along a clown show AND she's playing better chess.

Isn't it appropriate that there should be so many draws on Armistice Day?

After four good rounds the GMs seem to take a rest.

I disagree with Greg's comments. Clown shows are at least occasionally entertaining and don't hurt anybody. The incessant baseless accusations by Danailov fit neither characteristic.

The Aronian game wasn't uninteresting. He saced a pawn for some compensation.

I found all games today quite interesting. Perhaps that's because I replayed them first without an engine.

Speaking of Tal and Triangulation. Here is Spassky sticking it to him...


yes, zugzwang and 0-1.
I looked at the whole game, I guess that Tal was not that good at endings, he lost this one from a perfectly equal, almost symmetrical, position after the middle-game.
Or maybe Spassky's inchessant will to win was too much for Tal to cope with being given his bad health.

What a striking difference between skipping through the games in a few seconds and actually watching them and trying to find out the truth! For me, this was one of the most exciting rounds! Grischuk nearly refuted the Mamedyarov variation, missing two winning ideas later discovered by the computer. Leko and Aronian produced a splendid middlegame, full of highly complicated variations, and Leko once again showed his psychological weakness, taking a draw where he could play for a win. He was extremely exhausted by endless checking the variations, though. Ponomariov played a very good positional game against Svidler, but failed to keep his grip. Only Carlsen-Shirov and Gelfand-Morozevich were actually dull.

Again: pay very serious attention to Grischuk's Qd3!!

>For me, that was one of the most exciting rounds!.. Again : pay very serious attention to Grischuck's Qd3!!>

sure, and if anyone plays again this Breyer variation against Mamedyarov so as to prove him that White is not lost here but it still can get a draw with N-f6-d5(g8) perpetuals by the move 34 (as Shirov or Grischuk did) I will sue him.

the more I see such kind of games the more
I agree with Bobby Fischer that chess has been played out


If EVERY top-class chessgame ended in a draw, we could probably agree that it was time to DO SOMETHING; perhaps follow Kasparov's suggestion and introduce into chess one new opening position each year.

But how close to the 100% draw rate do we have to get before we agree that SOMETHING must be done?

I can not give a number, let alone that some draws are "fighting draws" thus not a problem.

The best reply would be "it is up to your standards".
Children that have been abused by their parents since early childhood grow up to consider such thing happening as normal.They never relize that they have a right not to be physically assaulted.

Similarly, we have ceased to protest in an outrage at the present situation but we rather meekly swallow it and go further.

Bobby Fischer has many good points ( on chess' situation, not on politics and conspiracies) but he is ahead of the times.

Ovidiu and Greg Koster stop with the nonsense of chess being played out, The Essent tournament JUST finished and had only two draws and over 90% decisive games. One round of draws and people who haven't mastered chess want to change it. Ridiculous. Capablanca spoke this crap over eighty years ago. The ONLY reason fischer supports this stupid random chess is because he is so far behind in opening theory and is not capable of catching up. Chess is played out when ANY CLUB PLAYER can draw at will. And this quite possibly might never happen.

Now we have a "real" endgame between Aronian and Carlsen, not a tactical like some others in the days before.

Nice that you mentioned also Capablanca rather than only the nutty Fischer. It was by that time when the problem began to be felt and since the it has only grown and grown.

By your standard chess hasn't been played out since not all (if any) grandmaster can draw at will against Rybka or Fritz (let alone club players).

well, this is not really a point but I wont engage in further controversy.

after all one can play GO

1.there is no exact opening theory since there are too many possibilities to deviate early so memorization ("been there") is usless and home-cooked prep and novelties (Qd3!! Grischuk) aren't a problem

2. every game has to be played out the general principles of strategy and each tactical, concrete, situation is new so it has to be computed OTB (no 22 moves "opening to the endgame"
theory of Marshall attacks and Najdorfs)

3. There is no drawn game, each player knows that he has to strive to the end, win or lose the only outcomes.

unfortunately it ain't as spectacular as chess so we are back were we started

Carlsen loses a drawn R+P vs R ending!

Yes beautifull game by Aronian, although it seems that instead of 31.Qb1?! Shirov could have held a draw with: 31.Be5! f6 32.Bxf6 Re3 33.Qh1 Qxb2 34.Bg5! Re6 (34...Rd3 35.Qe1 Qb8+ 36.Bf4 Qf8 37.Qe6+ Qf7+/- )
35.Qc1 Qxc1 36.Bxc1 Re2 37.Ba3 Rc2 38.Bb4=

Leko defeats Morozevich.

was it draw in Aronian-Carlsen ? it was not the Philidor position, does anyone have the Nalimov tablebases in his computer ?

It should be in any decent book on R endings. (Too lazy to look myself, I fear.)

The grandmasters of today spend so much time with opening preparation that the do not know basic endgames. I don't know them myself, but I'm just an amateur ;)

They have no choice here freitag. Chess is being played out fast and they just follow the "frontline" as it advances. It is not that intellectually difficult if your are knowledgable in using database software but it takes a hell lot of effort to keep up.

However I recall GM Shvesnikov writing (around 2001 ?) in a paper about Alapin Sicilian (1.e4-c5 2.c3) that was analyzing systematically the complex endgames which often if Black goes for the 2..Nf6 variation.

So they may get soon good in endgames too.

Amazing, that Aronian-Carlsen endgame. I never thought, that Carlsen could loose that game. I remember having had that endgame as white way back in the early eighties in a bundesliga-game and we found, that there's no way to win it. Aronian showed today that there are still enough possibilities left to try for a win - if you are a super gm.

Aronian-Carlsen game would make a nice up-to-date example for Van Perlo's book which was mentioned a few threads earlier. Actually almost the exact position (moved one row to the left - a fact that doesn't change anything) was covered by him in a sample chapter given at the official book site.

the kid went wrong with the last move 73..Ra7+
(patzer sees check patzer makes check- as Fischer likes to say)

73..Kg6 draws ( the only move that draws)

Nalimov-tablebases "analysis"

Well, Gerhard, if you know your basic Rook endings (as I generally don't, I hasten to add!), even a Super GM can't do much if 73. ... Kg6 instead of 73. ... Ra7+ is played, I think?

Aronian simply tried (what did he have to lose by doing so ?) as he knew that there were some pitfalls to be avoided by Carlsen, which means that draw is not as "automatic" as it is mating "R+K vs. K" and one has to think a bit.

It doesn't take a super-GM to shuffle for a while and do some tries to test your opponent nerves in this position.
What is curious is that Carlsen played so careless, as if he did not realize that he still had to think his moves.

i too opened the game in the final position but i had no trouble seeing why Shirov resigned. it is obvious.

John is a genius no doubt, but I must confess that even after knowing the zugswang idea with two pawns on the h file, in my laziness, I immediately forgot about the sacrifice/zugswang, and was puzzled at the resignation. Like to think I would have been a bit more on the ball in a tournament game, but I'm not sure.

It's bizarre that people are complaining about the death of chess in a thread about what has been, so far, a reasonably fighting and bloody tournament.

Not I, macuga. I think chess (the game) is as healthy as it has ever been.
Of FIDE and related matters I prefer not to speak.

Mig: How about a thread on the retirement of venerable NY Times chess columnist Robert Byrne. According to today's paper, "The Chess column will continue. A permanent successor to Robert Byrne has not yet been named."

The Carlson blunder and general lack of ending knowledge reminds me of a Fischer quote. "As Olafsson showed me, White can win... It's hard to believe. I stayed up all night analyzing, finally convincing myself, and, incidentally, learning a lot about Rook and Pawn endings in the process."

Ah... adjournments - where most players learned about these things - now long dead.

Dvoretsky covered the ending that arose in the Carlsen-aronian game - 73 ... Kg6! was the drawing move.

Just hazarding a guess:
Before Dvoretsky - Fine, Keres, Smyslov & Levenfish, Nunn...
This is not exactly novel.

That position from Aronian-Carlsen is quite well known, having been analysed by Tarrasch (I think it was him?) back in the old days. It's given in FCE by Muller and Lamprecht, for instance.
The real mystery for me is why Carlsen even got himself into that position - after 69.Rd8, why doesn't he just keep the rook on the e-file with 69...Re2? If Aronian had played 69.Re8, THEN 69...Ra1 would be necessary. That's basic short-side defence technique for any patzer who's studied R+P vs. R, isn't it?

>Dvoretsky covered the ending that arose ..
>Before him Fine, Smyslov&Levenfish, Keres
>and before them Tarrasch, FCE Muller and Lampert

chess has been played out; now the issue becomes to tell exactly how many times and when

"chess has been played out...."

Yes, that's right. I remember just the other century when Capablanca said the same thing...

a century ? you are an optimist :)

2 in this case !

I am sure that Carlsen discovered and replayed the Philidor-Lucena 2 1/2 centuries old analysis yesterday evening.

however it is not really a great problem at club player level since each generation has to learn chess anew (starting with the fools mate in f7 of course)

That endgame was first analysed hundreds of years ago and should be in any endgame manual worth its name. It's one of the most important R+p vs R positions to know about. Any strong GM really should know it, but I've long ago ceased to be surprised over the lack of elementary endgame knowledge even among great players these days.

That's true acirce. I remember that I was 12 when my chess trainer showed me and the other students the Philidor position.

At that time one thing that impressed me was that it wasn't trivial to defend in many positions. There were tricks to guard against and unique moves to hold (as Kg6 now).

That is why I was surprised with Carlsen's careless play, he should have had the alarm bells "on" precisely because he knew how to play this position. I can not believe that hasn't been taught by GM Agstein about it.

It seems that the kid is failing the test which is for him this super-tournament. Back to school now for a while.

Chess may have been played out but this does not mean that everyone has learn the "lesson".

This may start a trend. "Old-timers" playing book draws down to bare kings to make the kids prove they know their endgame technique.

That would be an idea. But chess is played from opening to endgame and people distribute their memorization effort accordingly.

It is already the case that youngsters as Zhao-Xue bash out 18 memorized moves theory in Catalan against the "fallen behind times" Karpov
and a get a pawn and a winning postion in the opening.

It is somewhat better when we get them to play against eachother so they both play the superanalized poisoned pawn Najdorf according to his homework.

But instead of "playing" such would be "OTB" chess we would better set up journals- as scientists do- where one could argue over this or that postion. Arguments backed by 10 moves deep computer assisted analyses to prove the point.

I will recommend not to hold back until you get big sum of cash to order goods! You should just take the loan or financial loan and feel yourself free

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 10, 2006 9:43 AM.

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