6 October 2016

Ian Nepomniachtchi Wins Tal Memorial

The supertournament ended in the Museum of Russian Impressionism.

Before the start of the Tal Memorial's concluding round, the Chief Arbiter Anatoly Bykhovsky congratulated Levon Aronian on his birthday. 

Boris Gelfand played White against the leader, Ian Nepomniachtchi. In the English Opening White got a better game, but misplayed at the critical moment, and Black equalized. In the endgame with queens and knights the players agreed to a draw. 

Anish Giri got a promising position against Li Chao, methodically increased his advantage and won a pawn. However, the Chinese defended very well in the rook+knight ending and managed to make a draw. 

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov made a strong statement at the finish, beating Vladimir Kramnik. Mamedyarov managed to squeeze the maximum out of his slightly better position and sharped the game at the right time. White created a dangerous passed pawn on the c-file and parried Black's attempts of creating counterplay. The ex-World Champion resigned on the move 42. 

Vishy Anand and Levon Aronian played the Italian. The maneuvering game was actually quite interesting, but the position remained balanced throughout. In a drawn rook ending the players agreed to a draw. 

Evgeny Tomashevsky and Peter Svidler played an Indian setup. White got a slightly better pawn structure and some pull, however, he was unable to develop much of activity. A draw was agreed on the move 55. 

Therefore, with 6 points in 9 games, Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomiachtchi took clear first place. 

Final standings:

Nepomniachtchi – 6
Giri – 5.5
Aronian, Anand – 5
Svidler, Mamedyarov, Li Chao, Kramnik – 4.5
Tomashevsky – 3.5
Gelfand – 2

The closing ceremony was attended by Alexander Zhukov, Deputy Chairman of Russian State Duma, Sergey Kelbakh, Chairman of Russian Highways state company, Mark Glukhovsky, the RCF Executive Director, and Dmitry Barsenkov, Deputy Director of the Museum of Russian Impressionism. 

Andrey Filatov, RCF President: “Russia has become the organizer of the most important tournaments of chess calendar. The 10th Memorial of the great champion Mikhail Tal became one of the most spectacular events, confirmed its status as supertournament, and gave a lot of excitement to all chess fans who followed the event. On behalf of RCF I would like to thank our permanent partner in Chess in Museums project, Charitable Foundation of Elena and Gennady Timchencko, as well as Museum of Russian Impressionism and Avtodor Group for supporting the project.”

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili