Sunday, November 21, 2010

LA Times Chess News

Chess: Three tie at Tal Memorial
By Jack Peters, Special to the Los Angeles Times
November 21, 2010

The Tal Memorial in Moscow ended in a three-way tie last Sunday among Levon Aronian of Armenia, Sergey Karjakin of Russia and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan. Each scored 51/2-31/2 in the round robin, a tribute to the late world champion Mikhail Tal. All 10 competitors are ranked among the world's top 18.

U.S. champion Hikaru Nakamura tied for fourth place at 5-4 with Alexander Grischuk of Russia and Wang Hao of China. Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia disappointed with a modest 41/2-41/2. Others: Boris Gelfand (Israel), 31/2-51/2; Alexey Shirov (Spain), 3-6; and Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), 21/2-61/2.

The last round was tense. Mamedyarov, the sole leader at "+3," lost to Gelfand, enabling Karjakin and Aronian to catch up with draws. Nakamura nearly joined them, attaining a winning position against Grischuk but ultimately conceding a draw at move 90.

A year ago, Nakamura had no experience in elite tournaments and was regarded as merely a great blitz player. Now, at age 22, he is unquestionably one of the world's strongest grandmasters. By going undefeated in Moscow, he will gain about eight rating points and advance to 10th place in the world rankings.

Spice Cup

Former U.S. champion Alexander Onischuk won the Spice Cup, a grandmaster round robin organized by the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Onischuk and German grandmaster Georg Meier scored 61/2-31/2 in the double round robin, but Onischuk took first prize because he won five games and Meier only four.

Top-seeded Zoltan Almasi (Hungary) went undefeated but won only twice. He and Wesley So (Philippines) shared third place. Eugene Perelshteyn (Massachusetts) scored 3-7, and 15-year-old Ray Robson (Florida) had 21/2-71/2. The top four finishers are ranked among the world's 100 best players.

Source: LA Times
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