Caruana Wins In Tal Memorial Round 4

  • SonofPearl
  • on 6/12/12, 11:06 AM.

The fierce determination of the players was unchanged in round 4 of the Tal Memorial, but the only decisive game saw Fabiano Caruana defeat an overambitious Evgeny Tomashevsky.

The game of the day was unquestionably the fantastic effort from Magnus Carlsen who channeled the spirit of Tal with a tremendously risky and unclear game against Alexander Grischuk.  After Carlsen's exchange sacrifice both players felt they had the better position until the excitement ended with a repetition just before the first time control.

The clash of the leaders Alexander Morozevich and Teimour Radjabov was a genuine encounter but failed to spark into a great game, while Vladimir Kramnik tested Lev Aronian's mettle with some excellent preparation which the Armenian was able to answer.

Luke McShane was once again the last to finish.  He had achieved a great position against Hikaru Nakamura but only until terrible time trouble left him defending a rook ending a pawn down.  Nakamura stalemated his tough opponent after 79 moves.

Fabiano Caruana was the only winner in round 4

Tal Mem 2012 Fabiano Caruana Round 4.jpg



A great game from the world's #1 player, but still no win for Carlsen

Tal Mem 2012 Magnus Carlsen Round 4.jpg


Still joint leader, Alexander Morozevich

Tal Mem 2012 Alexander Morozevich Round 4.jpg


Vladimir Kramnik made Lev Aronian work hard for a draw

Tal Mem 2012 Vladimir Kramnik Round 4.jpg


Time trouble addict Luke McShane blew a promising position but held for a draw

Tal Mem 2012 Luke McShane Round 4.jpg



The standings after 4 rounds:

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


The pairings for round 5 are:

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

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili.  Games via TWIC.



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


There will be live video coverage on (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

7395 reads 23 comments
2 votes


  • 4 years ago


    TwoBit:  I think it's likely an economic argument -- chess in Russia is religion (like table tennis is China, hockey in Canada and the Czech Republic, etc.); if a company supports chess, it can be viewed to support Russians (more or less), since many of them follow it.

    In comparison, in the US, chess is an interest to a distant minority of the population, so it's not in the priorities of many sponsors, who prefer to direct their sponsorship money to causes that have wider audiences.  

    Plus, people who play chess tend to think with their heads, so one could argue that they are somewhat less prone to direct advertising of stuff to buy (which is a huge driver in sponsorship considerations for large US companies), making it even less attractive.

  • 4 years ago


    @jempty_method  With all my respect I find IM pfren comments in the forums the most interesting and for our disgrace, there are not more titled players in this site to share their knowledge with us, earthy amateurs.

    I understand IM opinion about the Carlsen game, not excusing EliteGMs opening play but praising what could be called dynamic play, defying computer evaluations and sorting imbalances, positions where the human mind "can see" what engines still are blind for.

  • 4 years ago


    Moro just beat Aronian. Also, I wonder who the sponsors for the Memorial are. Gazprom? This is such an excellent, prestigious chess event, why can't the U.S. come up with something similar? Is it because of lack of sponsorship?

  • 4 years ago


    LOL, hardly see kramnik play e4 nowadays, looks like kramnik aiming for a win.

  • 4 years ago


    @magyak P takes B, then black looses queen  it goes: ...hxg3 28. Qh3+ Kg8 29.Nh6+ Kh7(or h8) 30. Nf5+ discovered check by queen and knight attacks black queen on e7.

  • 4 years ago


    I don't know if i should laugh or be intimidated when i look at the picture of Fabiano Caruana. On one hand he looks like the poster boy for scrawny geeks. On the other hand he looks like an evil genius who has just taken over the world (and captured Mr. Bond)

    Also I want to say that I don't care if Carlsen's game was "accurate" or played "well" I'm just thankful that they don't all play like Gelfand. The whole "O you played the opening well...guess i should go for a draw" thing was getting on my nerves.

    EDIT: O and can anyone put up a line where black plays 27...hxg3 in the Carlsen game? I bet it is awesome.

  • 4 years ago


    awesome draw by stalemate

  • 4 years ago


    Wow, 1.e4 in all games of a round of a super-tournament (including Ruy Lopez in 3 of 5).  I don't recall the last time a similar thing has happened!...

  • 4 years ago


    Ok, fair enough, but it doesn't change how I feel about my points.

  • 4 years ago


    Bravo Naka!  Play it out.  

  • 4 years ago


    Well, I guess you can make the energy argument, but a long hard game is nothing a long night's sleep can't solve. When you play on in drawn positions, you make your opponent think "What? What are you doing?" But that mindset can often make them less alert. With Super GMs, the strategy is less likely to be effective, but at least it ensures, 100%, that the players be mentally present the whole time!

    I will add that if the positions are truly so easily drawn, I doubt, then, that playing them would be "tiring." Would you find winning a queen ahead "tiring?" The ideas involved are not going to blow any fuses. Sure, maybe the endgames being played out are more of the "tedious" type, where you just have to "not hang anything" for 50 moves. But "not hanging anything for 50 moves straight," instead of "not hanging anything for 49 moves but then by chance hang something on the 50th move," is a skill.

  • 4 years ago


    @gxtmfa LOL!!! haha I was wondering if they would get a penalty too! Laughing

    Did they actually ask each other that? or just a hypothetical scenario?

    Either way hilarious Wink

  • 4 years ago


    Morozevich: "How many moves before there's no penalty for drawing?"

    Radjabov: "I don't know- just keep checking"

  • 4 years ago


    24. Qc7 in Caruana Tomashevsky game came as a shock to me. Bxc4 is enough for a drawn position, no?

  • 4 years ago


    I liked the Carlsen-Grischuk game also, it was quite a complicated game where one mistake could possibly destory the players position, and game. I agree with pfren also about the computer engine preparation and resulting analysis- hope to see more genuine chess like the Carlsen-Grischuk game today!

    I admire Nakamura's fighting spirit here, playing until there is nothing left in the position. It is a shame Mcshane couldn't finish Nakamura off earlier in the game however. Clock management Luke!

    I was abit disappointed in the Morozevich-Radjabov game, I was hoping for a more intense fight.


    Tomorrow however, I am interested in seeing how Nakamura and Kramnik's game go, if Radjabov will be able to beat Carlsen, and hope Mcshane can smell the blood and get another win verse Tomshevsky.

  • 4 years ago

    IM pfren

    The Carlsen game was simply fantastic. The perfect antidote to the preditcable, engine- oriented chess most GM's are playing currently. White screwed all known positional principles in order to get an active game. Computer analysis will find flaws in the moves of both players- but who cares?

  • 4 years ago


    I wouldn't call it a great game by Carlsen, entertaining it was, but he drew with the white pieces

  • 4 years ago


    Go Moro, keep it up.

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