Finally a victory for me in Tal Memorial 2009. It.s also the first win after entering the cooperation with Arctic Securities!
In the game today I switched the opening move compared to earlier rounds and started with the king pawn (1.e4).
My opponent was R. Ponomariov, Ukraine. He won the World Cup already back in 2002 at age 18, but has struggled to get a foothold in the top10.
He deserves praise for choosing the sharp Sicilian Najdorf variation which leaves little room for error for black. He left his king in the centre and lost a tempo or two by moving his queen several times in the opening.
Spending too much time in the early middle game, his defence became very difficult as my attack started to roll.
I sacrificed a knight for three pawns, and when he continued to go astray in the ensuing time trouble, my attack soon turned decisive. He resigned on move 31 in view of imminent mate.
The other contestants drew. As the leader Kramnik is facing Ivanchuk in the last round, one of them will win the Tal Memorial, possibly shared with Anand if he manages to win his last game. I.m currently fourth and could move up a place or two with another victory Saturday. It will be quite difficult though, I have black against the solid Peter Leko, Hungary. He is not having a great tournament and is currently at the bottom of the table.
Magnus Carlsen