The amateur English GM Luke McShane has accepted the 2012 Tal Memorial spot that he was offered when he topped an online poll of chess fans arranged by the organisers.
The news was revealed by the Russian sport news site rsport.ru which reported that McShane had confirmed he will join the other 9 elite players in Moscow between 7-19 June. McShane's participation had been dependent on his being granted leave from his full-time job in the City of London!
The online poll initially garnered praise as an innovative idea, but problems with the voting attracted controversy which culminated in the exclusion of Vietnamese GM Le Quang Liem..
Luke McShane (right) at the 2011 London Chess Classic (picture: Ray Morris-Hill)
The full line-up is confirmed as:
| Magnus Carlsen
| Levon Aronian
| Vladimir Kramnik
| Teimour Radjabov
| Hikaru Nakamura
| Fabiano Caruana
| Alexander Morozevich
| Alexander Grischuk
| Evgeny Tomashevsky
| Luke McShane
Magnus Carlsen won the 2011 tournament, narrowly beating Lev Aronian on tie-breaks after both finished on 5½/9. The other returning players from 2011 are Vladimir Kramnik and Hikaru Nakamura.