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Morozevich Strikes Again At The Tal Memorial

  • SonofPearl
  • on 6/13/12, 11:09 AM.

Alexander Morozevich is showing his best form at the 2012 Tal Memorial, and he won his third game in the fifth round to claim the sole lead by beating Lev Aronian.

It was a thrilling game, with Aronian preempting Morozevich's threatened kingside attack with a piece sacrifice which eventually netted four pawns and an impressive centre.  However, Aronian's position fell apart in time pressure and the tide turned in his opponent's favour leaving Morozevich as the sole leader.

In the only other decisive game of the round, Magnus Carlsen pressurised Teimour Radjabov into time-trouble errors in an unpleasant endgame to record his first win of the tournament.

Fabiano Caruana missed a good opportunity to win with black against Alexander Grischuk, while Nakamura and Kramnik amusingly both forgot their opening theory before reaching a draw.

The battle between Evgeny Tomashevsky and Luke McShane was predictably sharp, and followed the familiar pattern established by the English player: spend lots of the time on the clock to obtain a good/possibly winning position, then blow any advantage away in time trouble.

To be fair to McShane, it seems that many of the players are having trouble managing their time in the tournament, although the complexity of some of the games is a possible mitigating factor.

The results in round five:

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

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The tournament leader, Alexander Morozevich has 4/5

Tal Mem 2012 Alexander Morozevich Round 5.jpg

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A bad day for the world's #2 ranked player Lev Aronian

Tal Mem 2012 Lev Aronian Round 5.jpg

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Teimour Radjabov wilted under pressure from Magnus Carlsen
Tal Mem 2012 Teimour Radjabov Round 5 screenshot.jpg

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Fabiano Caruana sacrificed the exchange but could only draw

Tal Mem 2012 Fabiano Caruana Round 5.jpg

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Hikaru Nakamura is still searching for his first win

Tal Mem 2012 Hikaru Nakamura Round 5.jpg

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Time waits for no man...Luke McShane's biggest enemy is the clock

Tal Mem 2012 Luke McShane Round 5.jpg

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The standings after five rounds:

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

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The pairings for round six are:

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


Photos by Eteri Kublashvili (except the screenshot of Radjabov).  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

5512 reads 37 comments
2 votes

Comments


  • 2 years ago

    _valentin_

    Chess is a combination between three aspects:

    • sport (i.e., the competition, the score, etc.);
    • art (i.e., the harmonious interplay, the intellectual delight in combinations and strategies, etc.);
    • science (i.e., the objective correctness of someone's play).

    Different players strike a balance differently between these tenets, but suffice it to say that people like Tal and Morozevich emphasize the artistic aspect often at the expense of the scientific one.  Whether it results in a win or loss is merely a sport-related consideration -- it does not increase or diminish the value or lack of value of the artistic or the scientific aspect.

    That's why some people like Tal (because of the artistry), while others like Kramnik (because of the scientific-like play), while others like Gelfand (because of the strict emphasis on sport pragmatism in his play, as well as the correctness of moves).  

    No one is correct and no one is wrong on this -- it's a matter of preference, and if one wins the world cup that is not the same as someone winning a prize for an especially artistic play in a certain game.

  • 2 years ago

    gxtmfa

    Surprised to see so many people bashing Morozevich... I mean, his game was bizarre, but this is the highest level of tournament play. He's easily among the best in the world at the moment, and you don't get there by luck. I think it was Alekhine who said the winner is merely the second to last person to make a mistake.

  • 2 years ago

    Sahasrara

    No need to be dissapointed in Carlsen, he is in the top 3 very consistently, a sign of a champ, very few top GMs can stay in top 3 all the time. 

  • 2 years ago

    thought_control

    I feel bad for GM Aronian; I was hoping he would win this tournament.  Sometimes we just have have off days though.  For instance: I was winning a fellow club member consistently; three games, one draw.  Next meeting, four games to none.  Our last meeting, however, I lost two games in a row. Our loses come from so many different factors, whether they be technical, psychological, or both.  Hard for the loser to determine what it was exactly.    

  • 2 years ago

    Aknaim

    @_valentin_

    I understand what you mean, however that's Morozevich's style. He plays risky chess, develops his pieces onto bad squares and sometimes hands over free pawns. I don't think everything should be by the book which is why Morozevich is so great to watch. Yes his moves aren't the most accurate but then again Tal's weren't either, its a matter of adding some flare. Which for the most part other top players these days are too scared to do.

    Also a huge part of this strategy is to get his opponents out of book and make them think. Thus running their clock, he plays these complex positions not because he knows he can win all the time but because he has the tactical prowess and knowledge to do well in such positions sometimes even better then higher rated players.

    Also in the Aronian - Morozevich game I've looked at several GM analysis and it's been said that it was imperative that Aronian push the pawns immediately which he didn't. Basically that 1-2 tempi won Morozevich the game which in my opinion is not a bad risk to take at all!

  • 2 years ago

    _valentin_

    fabelhalf:  Well, Morozevich was in objectively lost positions in both games I mentioned; not trivially lost, just lost if a strong GM with decent time on the clock was sitting opposite him.  Yet, you are right that  complications are part of the game, and a game may be just as complicated for one side as it is for the other.  In reality, his opponents spent a great deal of time getting to those won positions, leaving themselves almost no time to actually convert the wins, and because of the complexity ended up not converting them...

  • 2 years ago

    fabelhaft

    "Blunders in both cases resulted in 2 points for Morozevich, where he would normally have received 0.  With 0 points, which would have been normal, he would have been in the second part of the table"

    It's hard to say that a loss for Moro would have been the "normal" result. Both games were very complicated and they could have gone either way, but Moro mastered the complications better. I don't think some kind of "fair" outcome of them would have been two losses for Moro. He's +3 without having played Tomashevsky and McShane and that is impressive enough.

  • 2 years ago

    fabelhaft

    "Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik and Radjabov have planned to give their best at the Candidates, so obviously they are not going to show their aces now"

    Oh no, it's the saving preparation argument once again :-)

  • 2 years ago

    _valentin_

    Kasparov likened the endgame from Radjabov-Carlsen to a famous endgame between Kan-Capablanca back in 1936.  There are quite a few instructive similarities; you can watch that game here:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1228690

  • 2 years ago

    GRILOU

    Aronian will be the world champion in 2016

  • 2 years ago

    drumdaddy

    If Magnus has gotten warmed up then you can all go home now, kids.

  • 2 years ago

    _valentin_

    Morozevich's "performance" is partly due to the bad mistakes that his opponents make -- and while this is no excuse for them, it by no means show his superiority, only that they can't handle their clocks well.

    Aronian lost against him in a better/won position (just look at the position at move 20); before that Grischuk handed him a win in a position that GM commentators called a "chef d'oeuvre" (literally "masterpiece") for Grischuk.  Blunders in both cases resulted in 2 points for Morozevich, where he would normally have received 0.  With 0 points, which would have been normal, he would have been in the second part of the table, so before you get too excited about his "rising star", take into account that there's a lot of circumstances (and partly luck) that helps him.  He could have pressed (or even won) against Carlsen earlier, but blundered himself, showing that he makes those mistakes too.

  • 2 years ago

    tomlim

    kramnik and nakamura game looks really messy Tongue Out

  • 2 years ago

    Kenji_Yamazaki

    Morozevich is a rising star

  • 2 years ago

    diogens

    Morozevich is playing amazing enterprising chess, as usual when he's in top form.Many criticized Carlsen "poor" performance, but today he took a whole point from a completely drawing position, in the best Capablanca/Karpov style. 

    Also should be taken into account, that Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik and Radjabov have planned to give their best at the Candidates, so obviously they are not going to show their aces now, specially in the opening. Not the case of Moro for whom winning TalM, would be a major career achievement.

    I think Carlsen is showing he's half step ahead in understanding all types of positions, playing rock solid when needed and clear favourite for the Candidates.

  • 2 years ago

    Daoism

    Go Moro!!! Marvellous games & perf ... He is come back!!

  • 2 years ago

    davidmelbourne

    Fabulous to see Moro doing so brilliantly; he, like Aronian and Anand, is one of life's good people. 

  • 2 years ago

    cimzowitsch

    tal is happy...

  • 2 years ago

    Stanya

    Go Morozevich! I really like several of these players, but Moro has always been my favorite. It is great to see him do so well! Also Kramnick, come on!! Please be in the top three in the end!!

  • 2 years ago

    GeniusKJ

    Is Kasparov coaching Morozevich?

    I think he'll enter the 2800 club within 3 months :)

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