Kindred’s Special: Ten Fighting Spirits Prove Chess Lives

The Tal Memorial held this year in Moscow, Russia was a round-robin tournament made up of ten Grandmasters, headed by Magnus Carlsen  with 5.5  (2-wins and 7-draws), and on his heels came both Fabiano Caruana from Italy and Teimour Radjabov from AZE, each with 5 points. Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Morozevich, both Russia, and Levon Aronian ARM, and Alexander Grischuk   Russia, each  4.5,  Luke McShane from England and Hiaru Nakamura  USA, corralling 4 points, and taking 10th place alone, Evgeny Tomashevsky from Russia ending up with 3.5 managing 1-win and 4–draws and 3 losses.  Both McShane and Morozevich scored 3-wins but McShane lost to the top 3 finishers while Morozevich dropped 3 to the tail-enders.

In looking at the results, it shows the relative strength and success of tournament play among the group to be close with rating results ranging from 2849, 2820, 2818, 2773, 2777, 2771, 2778, 2741, 2733, 2700 finishing in that rating order.

Now, I choose to show you  two openings from the event that will benefit your skill. These will be hard to understand for the novice but will give the readers a beginning of an understanding hopefully of the relationship with squares.

One reason why I avoid showing games of such difficult maneuvering is to avoid overwhelming you with deep strategies.  Tactical play is easier to understand and develop skill.  Professional chess as played by today’s Grandmasters require considerable knowledge and the depth of such opening strategies are often devised by home preparation with hours of research via computer play and deep analysis.  Such training is essential and grows with the rise in rating levels.

Luke McShane vs. Magnus Carlsen  saw an unusual Ruy Lopez: the Delayed Exchange Variation

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nc6  3. Bb5  a6  4. Ba4  Nf6  5. O-O  Be7  6. Bxc6  dxc6 7. d3  Nd7  8. b3  O-O  9.  Bb2  f6  10. Nc3 Re8  11. Kh1  Nf8  12. Ne2  c5  13. Nh4

As one of my early comments on such moves: Good if used as a ricochet bankshot to f5.

13. … Ne6  14. Nf5  Bf8

To keep some aggressive chances for future complications, both sides avoid exchanges in a strategic plan used by both sides for the moment.  At this point, we close examining. Try your best to analyze  and game play trying at least two plans for both W/B.

Vladimir Kramnik vs. Alexander Grischuk   Opening: King’s Indian Defence.

1. Nf3  Nf6  2. c4  g6  3. Nc3  Bg7  4. e4  d6  5. d4   O-O  6. Be2  e5  7. O-O  Nc6  8. d5  Ne7  9. b4

This seems to head for the Bayonet Attack but Kramnik preparing for the Candidates had discovered a slightly different plan akin to the Bayonet Attack that usually comes about with f3 >Re1. White’s 10th move of g3 is a viable alternative plan to Re1.

9. … Nh5  10. g3!?  f5  11. Ng5  Nf6  12. Bf3  c6  13. Bg2  h6 14. Ne6 Bxe6  15. dxe6  f4.

This is my thought here to try to restrain the white bishop activity using the e-pawn as a block of the White square Bishop. 15… Nxe4 was played which led to White gaining aggressive play as the Bishop is unleashed to join in possible attacks on the white center and attack on the Kingside.

The games from the 2012 Tal Memorial should be on computer. You should find them with a bit research should you be interested in the complete games.

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