The Tal Memorial

The Tal Memorial just wrapped up this week, and as anyone who was following it will tell you, it was an exciting event with some great chess. Special thanks to the Russian Chess Federation for providing a fantastic video feed at http://video/russianchess.org including live commentary. In the final, there was a three way tie for first (5.5/9), with Karjakin, Mamedyarov, and Aronian sharing the honor, while Nakamura tied for second place with Grischuk and Hao (5/9). Nakamura should get the consolation prize for missing the most chances to win, notably he had both Kramnik and Grischuk on the ropes, but unfortunately missed the finishing touch in both games, while it appears that Boris Gelfand resigned in a theoretically drawn position. seen below-

From chessvibes:

and here Gelfand resigned, to the surprise of… Wang Hao. The Chinese grandmaster put on his coat but then luckily stopped by at the press room, where he expressed his disbelief. “I don’t see a win. I’m so lucky!” 75. Kg5 Ke6! and there doesn’t seem to be a win, e.g. 76. Re8+ (76. Rxg7 Rg1+ 77. Kh5 Rh1+ 78. Kg4 Rg1+ 79. Kf3 Kf5 and Black can simply take on g6 on the next move. ) 76… Kd7 77. Rf8 (77. Re2 Ra1 ) (77. Ra8 Ke6 ) 77… Ke6 78. f5+ Ke5 79. Re8+ Kd6 and there’s no way to make progress.

A fascinating case of what Dvoretsky likes to refer to as a “tragicomedy.”

Below, find a selection of our favorite games from the event, notably Mamedyarov’s win with the Ruy Lopez Breyer, and Nakamura’s lively play with the black pieces in the Dutch Leningrad and KID panno/yugoslav. Perhaps the most interesting game of all is Nakamura – Kramnik, in which Naka had the world champion in a lost position in his favorite Petrov defense, but failed to seal the deal with the smashing 29. Rxg7!!