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More Thrills At The Tal Memorial

  • SonofPearl
  • on 6/10/12, 10:42 AM.

The first two rounds of the 2012 Tal Memorial in Moscow produced plenty of games worthy of the great former world champion, and round three delivered more of the same.

One of the highlights of the day came from an unlikely source.  Luke McShane had lost his first two games and faced Lev Aronian with the black pieces in the third.  The Englishman produced one of the games of his life, sacrificing the exchange for an attack and turning down the opportunity to bail out into a repetition draw when facing time trouble.  After 38 moves Aronian resigned.

Hikaru Nakamura was clearly out for blood when he uncorked the King's Gambit against Evgeny Tomashevsky in another exciting game.  But Tomashevsky was up to the task, and an entertaining encounter finished in a drawn endgame.

It wasn't all thrills and spills though; Magnus Carlsen created nothing against Fabiano Caruana's Gruenfeld defence and they soon reached a drawn endgame with opposite colour bishops.

Leader Teimour Radjabov's clash with Vladimir Kramnik had more promise at first, but the Russian's exchange sacrifice was so effective that Radjabov acquiesced to a repetition draw after 25 moves.

The last game to finish was the battle of the 'Sashas' and it tipped the balance in favour of an exciting round overall.  An epic struggle between Alexander Grischuk and Alexander Morozevich could have gone either way, but it was the mercurial Moro who won the day and joined Radjabov as joint leader with 2½/3 points.

The results in round three:

Aronian, Levon  0-1    McShane, Luke
Nakamura, Hikaru  ½-½    Tomashevsky, Evgeny
Carlsen, Magnus  ½-½    Caruana, Fabiano
Radjabov, Teimour  ½-½    Kramnik, Vladimir
Grischuk, Alexander  0-1    Morozevich, Alexander

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A happy Luke McShane (right) at the post-game press conference

Tal Mem 2012 Aronian McShane Round  3.jpg



Hikaru Nakamura played the King's Gambit against Evgeny Tomashevsky

Tal Mem 2012 Hikaru Nakamura Round 3.jpg

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Shaking off the rust? Magnus Carlsen has been disappointing so far in Moscow

Tal Mem 2012 Magnus Carlsen Round 3.JPG

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Vladimir Kramnik easily held the tournament leader to a draw with black

Tal Mem 2012 Kramnik Radjabov Round   3.jpg

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Alexander Grischuk lost his second game in a row to the new joint leader

Tal Mem 2012 Alexander Grischuk Round 3.JPG

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The standings after 3 rounds:

# Name Nat Elo Pts
1 Radjabov, Teimour  AZE 2784
2 Morozevich, Alexander  RUS 2769
3 Kramnik, Vladimir  RUS 2801 2
4 Carlsen, Magnus  NOR 2835
5 Aronian, Levon  ARM 2825
6 McShane, Luke ENG 2706 1
7 Caruana, Fabiano  ITA 2770 1
8 Tomashevsky, Evgeny  RUS 2738 1
9 Grischuk, Alexander  RUS 2761 1
10 Nakamura, Hikaru  USA 2775 1

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The pairings for round 4 are:

Fabiano Caruana v    Evgeny Tomashevsky
Luke McShane v    Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik v    Lev Aronian
Alexander Morozevich v    Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen v    Alexander Grischuk


Photos by Eteri Kublashvili (except screenshot of McShane press conference).  Games via TWIC.

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The 2012 Tal Memorial super-tournament takes place in Moscow, Russia from 7-19 June.

The format is a 10-player single round robin, with rounds starting at 15:00 local time (11:00 UTC), except for the last round which starts two hours earlier.

The total prize fund is €100,000 with €30,000 going to the winner.  The time control in operation is 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves, and finally 15 minutes to a finish with an increment of 30 seconds from the start. No draw offers will be allowed before move 40.

The tournament schedule:

Date Time Event
7 June 18:30 Blitz Tournament
8 June 15:00 Round 1
9 June 15:00 Round 2
10 June 15:00 Round 3
11 June Rest Day
12 June 15:00 Round 4
13 June 15:00 Round 5
14 June 15:00 Round 6
15 June Rest Day
16 June 15:00 Round 7
17 June 15:00 Round 8
18 June 13:00 Round 9
19 June Departure

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There will be live video coverage on chess.com/tv (scroll down for the schedule) as well as at the official website.  The video coverage at the official website is available for replay here (Russian commentary) and also here (English commentary).

Last year Magnus Carlsen won the tournament, narrowly beating Lev Aronian on superior tie-breaks after both finished with a score of 5½/9. 

In case of a tie in this year's event, the tie-breaks are:

  1. Number of games played with black
  2. Number of wins
  3. Result of direct encounter
  4. Koya system
  5. Sonneborn-Berger

4655 reads 34 comments
One Vote

Comments


  • 3 years ago

    fabelhaft

    "As well, everyone can have an off tournament and it isn't like he is losing games, just drawning them after getting poor positions from the openings"

    Yes, it's not too bad yet, it's only three drawn games and Carlsen still hasn't played the lowest rated opponents. Kramnik failed to finish in the top six in Tal Memorial both in 2010 and 2011, so if Carlsen would end up in the middle of the field it's far from unprecedented among top players.

  • 3 years ago

    P_G_M

    Best game of the Tournament:

    Aronian vs McShane.

    A brilliancy by McShane.

  • 3 years ago

    Jordan_G

    @GeoffreyBernardo

    Actually it makes perfect sense how Carlsen's performance is going. He admits he doesn't study openings much but relies on middle/end games, and all his problems have come about mostly due to opening inaccuracies. If you noticed most of the time he has come back and even gained a slight upper hand one or two times in his drawn games. I don't think we can assume that Carlsen's performance means he doesn't practice and relies only on talent. He didn't get to where he is by talent alone, nor do I suspect he has stopped and relied just on that in the near past. I'm sure he wants the world championship title in the future and is working towards that. As well, everyone can have an off tournament and it isn't like he is losing games, just drawning them after getting poor positions from the openings. I think it speaks a lot of Carlsen that he has managed to hold those poor positions into draws instead of losing them.

  • 3 years ago

    _000_

    The contrast between Levon Aronian and Luke McShane's facial expressions at their press conference is just priceless, lol.

  • 3 years ago

    joey0094

    kramnik will win...

  • 3 years ago

    Stanya

    Go Moro. Though i love Kramnik and Radjabov. I do not want magnus to win again

  • 3 years ago

    systemovich

    I am rooting for Nakamura and Morozevich.

    Carlsen's results shows that he does not practice and relies only on talent.

  • 3 years ago

    P_G_M

    You are right no game tomorrow Wink

  • 3 years ago

    Aknaim

    June 11th (Monday) is a day off Foot in mouth

  • 3 years ago

    P_G_M

    Twobit, I agree that Moro and Radjabov will draw, but Carlsen is winning tomorrow. 

  • 3 years ago

    Twobit

    Moro is great. Tomorrow he will have a draw with Radjabov, and Grischuk will strike back by beating Magnus.

  • 3 years ago

    P_G_M

    We need WestoHollywood, and chessdogblack to start posting comments about this tournament, just like they did during the WCC.

    diogens is doing great so far Cool

    No doubt that Radjabov will become World Champion in the near future.

    Carlsen looks like he just wake-up after a long night of partying, he needs a coffee Laughing

  • 3 years ago

    rorschach1985

    I am so glad at this point that the fans picked McShane to be in the tournament.  Go Luke!

  • 3 years ago

    ashwath

    rooting for moro!! Also kramnikoo!!

  • 3 years ago

    ashwath

    rooting for moro!! Also kramnikoo!!

  • 3 years ago

    Baldvin

    How could Radjabov and Kramnik decide on a draw before move 40 without threefold repitition?

  • 3 years ago

    BCG1

    Year9876, 39... Qe3+ followed by Nf3 would clear things up.

  • 3 years ago

    diogens

    McShanes "game of the tournament" was shadowed in few minutes by the amazing battle between the two Alexanders. Grischuk slashed with a powerful attack on the kinsgide including a brave bishop sack, unlikely to his style. Moro showed impressive defensive skills with consecutive hard to find only moves until in his usual time trouble, Grischuk couldn't follow up. For once, it could be said that AG diserved more.

  • 3 years ago

    TheYear9876

    ok at the risk of appearing an idiot after  39.ke1 how does  mcshane win?

  • 3 years ago

    SonofPearl

    @ randomacc9321 - yes they are.  But they do get an extra game with white which should be an advantage of course.

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