Fabiano Caruana Leads Tal Memorial

Fabiano Caruana Leads Tal Memorial

SonofPearl
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The 2012 Tal Memorial has been one of the most unpredictable and exciting tournaments for years, and it's not over yet!

Fabiano Caruana won his eighth round game against Vladimir Kramnik to take the sole lead on 5 points with just one round remaining. It was Kramnik's second loss in a row, dropping him well down the standings.

Alexander Morozevich extended his own losing streak even further to three games, losing badly with the white pieces to a rejuvenated Luke McShane.

Another decisive game saw Alexander Grischuk defeat Hikaru Nakamura after the American champion's choice of the Sicilian Dragon turned sour.

Teimour Radjabov and Lev Aronian played an entertaining draw, while Magnus Carlsen seemed bitterly disappointed not to beat Evgeny Thomashevsky.

The standings after round eight:

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

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Fabiano Caruana (left) took the sole lead by beating Vladimir Kramnik

Tal Mem 2012 Fabiano Caruana Vladimir Kramnik Round 8.jpg

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Alexander Morozevich's bubble seems to have well and truly burst...

Tal Mem 2012 Alexander Morozevich Round 8.jpg

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...despite the fervent support of his very own fab club!

Tal Mem 2012 Alexander Morozevich Fan Club Round 8.jpg

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Alexander Grischuk earned his second tournament victory against Hikaru Nakamura

Tal Mem 2012 Alexander Grischuk Round 8.jpg

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Lev Aronian has had a below-par tournament by his own standards

Tal Mem 2012 Lev Aronian Round 8.jpg

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A frustrated Magnus Carlsen failed to overcome Evgeny Tomashevsky with white

Tal Mem 2012 Magnus Carlsen Round 8.JPG

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In the event of tied scores, the first tie-break is number of games with black pieces, so Fabiano Caruana only needs a draw with black against Lev Aronian in the last round to achieve an amazing tournament win.  At the start of the event Caruana came last in the opening blitz tournament!

The pairings for the final round (which starts 2 hours earlier) are:

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


Photos by Eteri Kublashvili.  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

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