Tal Memorial 2011: Aronian Takes the Lead

This morning I was up with the sun once again to watch the games live from the Tal Memorial. For those of you who speak Russian or are interested in a live video feed, you can follow the action with commentary here. The one decisive game from the match this morning was between Aronian and Svidler, in the currently very fashionable 4.Bf4 Grunfeld. Aronian was able to sacrifice a piece to get incredible activity for his queen, checking Svidler’s king and picking off pawns left and right. When the dust finally settled, Aronian had three pawns for the piece, and Svidler almost immediately went wrong with 49…Kc4, when Nd7 was called for.

Speaking of learning Russian, being laid up in bed for a month with a broken leg has given me a bit of free time, so I picked up a few books on the language in the hope of someday traveling to the home of Chigorin and buying a suitcase of dirt-cheap chess books from old country and deciphering them myself. In furtherance of this goal, I came across this little manual: “Russian for Chessplayers” by Hanon Russell.

I’m actually quite impressed with the content of the book, which includes a vocabulary list and sample translations from actual chess books, with a side by side of the russian and english. Since chess is such a unique language unto itself, with a finite number of terms, it’s actually not too difficult to master the basics (or so I have been told- I’ll get back to you on that.) In any case, if I have one complaint about the book, it’s that it’s too short! I feel like I could easily quadruple the size of this book if I were to edit it, simply by adding more of the same. In any case, for anyone who is interested I highly recommend it.