Tiebreak Only Blemish on Tal Memorial
Within a handful of years the Tal Memorial in the heart of Moscow has grown into one of the most prestigious chess summits in the world. The fifth edition, again held with a spectacular view of Red Square, saw riveting chess and set new standards for video coverage both at the venue and online. At the end of a long and crazy last round three players finished with the same number of points. Two of them, Levon Aronian and Sergey Karjakin were declared the winners. That was a pity. The Tal Memorial, a symbol of Russia’s resurrection as chess superpower, deserves one undisputed winner. Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam reports from the Russian capital.
Levon ‘Slowhand’ Aronian Blitz World Champion
The traditional dessert of the Tal Memorial was the World Blitz Championship. A Grand Dessert, to everyone’s taste with most of the fastest players present. Carlsen, Grischuk and Nakamura were the hot favourites, but Levon Aronian decided the race in his favour well before the end. The Armenian could even lose his last two games.
The Main Thing Is Happiness
‘But no matter how popular Petrosian was abroad, nothing could compare with the attention he got at home. When he came to Yerevan it was a national event.’ Genna Sosonko portrays the 9th World Champion.
Kramnik Wins Bilbao Grand Slam Final
Having won a blitz tie-break against Levon Aronian in Shanghai, Vladimir Kramnik entered the second stage of the 2010 Masters Final through the back door. One month later, in Bilbao, the Russian grandmaster emerged as the glorious winner. ‘Even before coming here I told my wife that I felt I was in good shape.’
Sculptor Meets Chess Player
Dirk Poldauf had the privilege of watching German sculptor Bertrand Freiesleben make a bust of Vladimir Kramnik at the former World Champion’s home in Paris. A fine opportunity for a discussion about chess and art.
Magnus Carlsen Bounces Back in Nanjing
His form at the Olympiad had been shaky and his result in Bilbao sparked talk about ‘a crisis’. What crisis? In Nanjing Magnus Carlsen silenced all critics and doubting Thomases. His final score was slightly less astounding than his stellar performance last year, but easily enough to finish one point ahead of World Champion Vishy Anand. At the other end of the globe Carlsen’s campaign was closely followed by his friend and compatriot Jon Ludvig Hammer.
Are You Dynamic?
‘Well, are you?’, Jonathan Rowson wonders in his review of the new edition of Mihai Suba’s classic Dynamic Chess Strategy.
Two White Draws Can’t Stop Vachier-Lagrave
He wouldn’t have known he was invited if he hadn’t checked his spambox. And he couldn’t have played in Hoogeveen if the Univé tournament had not been moved by a day. But once these obstacles were overcome Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was unstoppable
Revenge on the Cap
The place was the same, the date was the same (well, almost) and the finalists were the same, but this time the outcome was the opposite from the 2008 version of the Trophée CCAS in Cap d’Agde.
Yasser Against the Giants
Hans Ree read Chess Duels, an autobiographical games collection of his friend Yasser Seirawan.
Missed Chances in the Endgame
Jan Timman takes a closer look at games of the Tal Memorial that could have ended differently.
Does Maurice Ashley think that a knowledge of chess is useful in everyday life?
Did they play your opening?
In this issue games with the following openings were annotated by world class players:
Shirov-Tiviakov, by Hammer
Karjakin-Kramnik, by Karjakin
Carlsen-Topalov, by Hammer
Shirov-Mamedyarov, by Mamedyarov
Carlsen-Bacrot, by Hammer
Queen's Gambit Declined
Topalov-Anand, by Anand
Bacrot-Anand, by Bacrot
Aronian-Gelfand, by Aronian
Anand-Topalov, by Hammer
Kramnik-Carlsen, by Kramnik
Shirov-Vachier-Lagrave, by Vachier-Lagrav