The Chesspro report on rounds 5 and 6 of the Tal Memorial in Moscow included Kramnik’s reflections on his hard-fought victory over Ponomariov.
It also cleared up a few points that had been discussed at the Daily Dirt blog:
Anand’s novelty with the knight move against Leko was found by Kazhimdzanov AFTER the match with Kramnik (23…Rf6 was essential for Leko).
Aronian’s opinion of the game against Morozevich (there was debate on here about whether Rybka exaggerated white’s advantage): “I think I got a very good position, then I began to blunder horribly. I played terribly today!”. e.g. after 28. dxe5 he says “I had to at least take with the bishop. I completely forgot that black could transfer the knight to f7”.
Anand said he completely missed Carlsen’s 29. Qe4. Aronian came from the board where he was losing to Gelfand to point out 32. Bc6! for Carslen, which both Anand and Carlsen had missed. It threatens Rf8+ and Qe8 mate.
Leko’s wife explains Leko’s play by saying he’s simply extremely tired after all the tournaments he’s played in a row. Apparently it was very hard to recover after China (jet lag and the temperature difference). Leko himself explained he had a very good position against Svidler until 27. Rc2?
Kramnik against Ponomariov had thought he had a win when exchanging queens with 29. Nxb4 & Rd1-d8, but then realised he was a tempo short. He missed 32…Bc2, as did Ponomariov, of course. There’s a funny photo supposedly of his reaction to hearing about the move. Kramnik thought he was winning after the time control but was surprised by 43…Re8.
His final assessment:
Of course the game was tumultuous, nervous. I’ve been playing while not totally healthy anyway, and such difficult games. Today was one of the toughest games of my whole life: so many different situations, so much sharp play, so much to calculate at the board, and of course getting through two more time scrambles! At the end I knew that the position was won, but I was so tired, I was thinking so poorly, that I couldn’t work out how to execute the move order, to make the “triangulation” – I barely found it. It was elementary, but I just had no energy left… oh well, now I’ll go and have a rest!