THE Tal Memorial in Moscow comes to an end, and with it also the busiest six-month period ever of elite chess action. The countdown now starts for the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand that will take place in Chennai, India, beginning on 6 November.
Both players now enter a five-month “purdah” as they assemble their teams to work on secret opening plans and preparations. The young Norwegian challenger has never visited India, and is unfamiliar with the climate and the food there, and it’s reported he’ll be taking along to Chennai his own medical staff and a Norwegian chef. Carlsen is also scheduled to be in Chennai in August to scout out the venue and facilities at the Hyatt Regency, a five-star hotel just 15 minutes from the champion’s home!
We conclude our Tal Memorial coverage with what must have been an emotional roller coaster ride for Hikaru Nakamura.
The American No.1 got off to a flyer by winning the opening ceremony Blitz tournament, then lost his opening game to Shakhiryar Mamedyarov, followed by a career-best winning streak – beating Kramnik, Karjakin, Caruana and Anand – to take the sole lead ... only to spectacularly crash down the home straight with a hat-trick of losses.
M Carlsen - H Nakamura
8th Tal Memorial, (8)
1 c4 e6 2 g3 d5 3 Bg2 c6 4 Qc2 Nf6 5 Nf3 dxc4 6 Qxc4 b5 7 Qb3 Bb7 8 0–0 Nbd7 9 d4 a6 10 Ne5 Qb6 11 Be3 c5 12 Nxd7 Nxd7 13 d5 e5 14 a4 b4 15 Nd2 Bd6 16 Nc4 Qc7 17 f4 0–0 18 Rac1 exf4 19 Bxf4 Bxf4 20 gxf4 a5 21 e4 Rae8 22 e5 Ba6 23 Rfe1 Kh8 24 Nd6 Re7 25 Qe3 Qd8 26 b3 g5 27 Kh1 Qb8 28 Qf2 gxf4 29 Qxf4 Bd3 30 Re3! Bg6 31 Rf1 Rxe5 32 Rxe5 Qxd6 33 Re8 Qxf4 34 Rxf8+ Kg7 35 Rxf4 Kxf8 36 d6 Ne5 37 Bf1 Bc2 38 Bb5 f5 39 Kg2 c4 40 Bxc4 Be4+ 41 Kg3 Nxc4 42 bxc4 Ke8 43 c5 Bc6 44 Rxf5 Bxa4 45 Re5+ Kd8 46 Re7 Bc6 47 Rc7 1–0