Jun 222012

The competition at the Tal Memorial was a fitting tribute to the great man

I have enjoyed very much following the Tal Memorial tournament which finished this week in Moscow. World number 1 Magnus Carlsen performed his now regular trick of winning his last round game to take the tournament laurels. He was the only unbeaten player in a blood-soaked contest which contained an unusually high percentage of decisive games many of which were hugely entertaining. Following hard on the heels of a fairly turgid World Championship match between Anand and Gelfand this tournament demonstrated once again that the current generation of elite Grand Masters are capable of delivering some genuinely outstanding and entertaining stuff.

One trend that I’ve noticed really starting to take shape in the coverage of top flight tournaments over the last few years has been the live broadcast of games on the internet. The Tal Memorial was no exception in this regard with games being broadcast on the tournament website. The live commentary that accompanied it was only available in Russian (the World Championship match also featured an excellent English commentary stream which included some of the worlds best players as pundits assessing the games as they evolved) but English language commentary was offered on websites such as Playchess, Chess.com and, best of all in my view, ChessTV. This last site utilised Australian GM Ian Rodgers in the commentary booth.  He was very entertaining and you can still replay the videos at the Chess TV website.

If you are interested in something a bit more bite sized and easy to digest then I’d have no hesitation in recommending that you take a look at Daniel King’s “Play of the Day” You Tube channel. King is an excellent trainer and commentator and in each video he picks an interesting game or position from each round of the Tal Memorial and manages to present it with clarity and real insight. I found these entertaining and useful but also intelligable. What’s more, they’re free. Enjoy!