Nakamura On a Roll in Moscow

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  • on 6/19/13, 3:47 PM.

Hikaru Nakamura is on a roll at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. In the sixth round, the 25-year-old American grandmaster won against World Champion Vishy Anand, and he is now the clear leader with three rounds to go. Boris Gelfand, who went into the round tying for first with Nakamura, drew a long game with Magnus Carlsen. Caruana-Kramnik and Morozevich-Karjakin were also drawn.

Nakamura is clearly enjoying himself in Moscow, where he must be inspired by the hundreds of spectators that come to the playing hall every day. In a commentary room packed with chess fans, he compared his play with former World Champions Mikhail Tal (in his game with Kramnik) and Alexander Alekhine (against Karjakin). Today he added a few more names to this list, with his comment about his third move:

"More Russian style! Today I was feeling inspired by Spassky and Smyslov."

Nakamura's play today was applauded by another former World Champion: Garry Kasparov. His comments to the game were tweeted by Mig Greengard:

Somehow Anand made a lot of logical moves, but he wasn't in time to find a good answer to Black's counterplay on the kingside. The tactics worked in Nakamura's favour in both the middlegame and the knight endgame.

This was Nakamura's third win against Anand. So far he has never lost a classical game to the World Champion. And also after the game he's enjoying Moscow:

Vishy Anand, now sharing last place

Anand now shares last place with Alexander Morozevich and Vladimir Kramnik. The latter played a very interesting game today with Fabiano Caruana; a game that deserved to last a bit longer! White immediately pushed his kingside majority (his main trump in this ending), then lost these pawns, got a rook to h8, but Black got a rook to e1, and both players' queenside pieces were attacked! Crazy stuff.

Vladimir Kramnik, still playing the Berlin Wall

Morozevich can also be a bit "crazy" at times, especially in the opening phase of the game. He's one of the most original players among the elite, which he showed in this round. In a Nimzo-Indian, Morozevich simply refused to castle, and just started running with his g-pawn. In the ending he kept on improving his position (instructive!) and eventually won a pawn on move 47. His opponent, Sergey Karjakin, had the luxury of a very active roo,k and with accurate defense he held the draw after a hundred moves!

The ever-original Alexander Morozevich

Boris Gelfand had lost his last white game to Magnus Carlsen, in March at the Candidates tournament in London, with the 5.Bg5 Queen's Gambit Declined. It was logical to choose the 5.Bf4 line today, with which he had beaten Michael Adams at the Alekhine Memorial in April. Carlsen reacted with a slightly passive but ultra-solid setup, and until move 30 he was doing fine. The Norwegian wasn't happy with a few of his just before the time control, when he got under some more pressure, but it was never serious.

The fourth draw was also the fourth ending of this round: Dmitry Andreikin versus Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. In a Scotch Opening the queens were traded on move 11, and on move 18 both players had two rooks and a knight. Perhaps it was the weakened pawn structure in both camps that made this ending quite interesting.

Thursday is the second and last rest day in Moscow. Play resumes on Friday with Nakamura having the white pieces against Gelfand. The other games are Carlsen-Morozevich, Mamedyarov-Anand, Kramnik-Andreikin and Karjakin-Caruana.

2013 Tal Memorial | Results & pairings

Round 1 15:00 MSK 13.06.13   Round 2 15:00 MSK 14.06.13
Andreikin ½-½ Morozevich   Morozevich ½-½ Mamedyarov
Anand 0-1 Caruana   Kramnik 0-1 Nakamura
Gelfand ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Kramnik   Caruana 0-1 Gelfand
Nakamura 0-1 Mamedyarov   Andreikin ½-½ Anand
Round 3 15:00 MSK 15.06.13   Round 4 15:00 MSK 17.06.13
Anand 1-0 Morozevich   Morozevich ½-½ Kramnik
Gelfand ½-½ Andreikin   Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov
Carlsen 0-1 Caruana   Caruana 0-1 Nakamura
Nakamura 1-0 Karjakin   Andreikin ½-½ Carlsen
Mamedyarov ½-½ Kramnik   Anand ½-½ Gelfand
Round 5 15:00 MSK 18.06.13   Round 6 15:00 MSK 19.06.13
Gelfand 1-0 Morozevich   Morozevich ½-½ Karjakin
Carlsen 1-0 Anand   Caruana ½-½ Kramnik
Nakamura ½-½ Andreikin   Andreikin ½-½ Mamedyarov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Caruana   Anand 0-1 Nakamura
Kramnik ½-½ Karjakin   Gelfand ½-½ Carlsen
Round 7 15:00 MSK 21.06.13   Round 8 15:00 MSK 22.06.13
Carlsen - Morozevich   Morozevich - Caruana
Nakamura - Gelfand   Andreikin - Karjakin
Mamedyarov - Anand   Anand - Kramnik
Kramnik - Andreikin   Gelfand - Mamedyarov
Karjakin - Caruana   Carlsen - Nakamura
Round 9 13:00 MSK 23.06.13        
Nakamura - Morozevich        
Mamedyarov - Carlsen        
Kramnik - Gelfand        
Karjakin - Anand        
Caruana - Andreikin        

2013 Tal Memorial | Round 6 standings

# Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Points SB
1 Nakamura,H 2784 * 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 4.5/6
2 Gelfand,B 2755 * ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 4.0/6
3 Mamedyarov,S 2753 1 * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/6 10.75
4 Carlsen,M 2864 ½ * ½ 0 ½ 1 1 3.5/6 8.75
5 Andreikin,D 2713 ½ ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 3.0/6 9.75
6 Caruana,F 2774 0 0 ½ 1 * ½ 1 3.0/6 8.25
7 Karjakin,S 2782 0 ½ ½ ½ * ½ ½ 2.5/6
8 Kramnik,V 2803 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ 2.0/6 5.50
9 Anand,V 2786 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 * 1 2.0/6 5.50
10 Morozevich,A 2760 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * 2.0/6 5.50

The 8th Tal Memorial takes place June 12-23, 2013 at the technology center Digital October in Moscow, Russia. The total prize fund is 100,000 EUR. The official website is providing live games, streaming video and commentary in Russian by GMs Alexander Grischuk, Peter Svidler, Sergey Rublevsky, Sergey Shipov, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Maxim Dlugy. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 13:00 CET, 10:00 EDT and 07:00 PDT. The last round starts two hours earlier. Photos © Eteri Kublashvili courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation. Games via TWIC.

15387 reads 54 comments
3 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Is there anything wrong with 11. Nh4 in the Morozevich/Karjakin game?  It occurred to me immediately yet wasn't played, and there's no discussion of it in the notes. 

  • 3 years ago


    at last the first carlsen 1# ???!!!!!!!

  • 3 years ago


    Naka's king is like Pacman, chasing down Anand's pawns...

  • 3 years ago


    #Naka! #Naka! #Naka! #NAKA

    Oppum Russian Style~ 

    Maybe the new sponsor motivated Naka to play well in this tournament.

    Next game is going to be a good one for Naka, against the current 2nd place Gelfand. Nakamura has also never beaten Carlsen yet, this one will be a tough cookie

  • 3 years ago


    Yes, SubNY, but ultimately all will be forgotten and only the winner of the World Championship match and the Candidates tournament will be remembered. The skill of a player is often judged based upon how well they do in those two tournaments and their acheivments in other tournaments are too often ignored or at the very least not given enough recognition. Few will remember Aronian for winning the Alekhine Memorial or Karjakin for winning in Norway, yet everyone will remember Carlsen and Anand for participating in the World Championship match. Interesting how important one single match or one single tournament can be.

  • 3 years ago


    After six rounds no Russian GM scored a W! Unbelievable...

  • 3 years ago


    Nakamura 1/2-1 1/2 against the two lowest rated, and 4-0 against the higher rated!  Not that the lowest rated are anything to sneeze about.

  • 3 years ago


    Increible estos Grandicimos Maestros

  • 3 years ago


    ... Naka is really funny -" more RUSSIAN STYLE.." ??- after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.B b5 g6!! -is NOT RUSSIAN ,but greate american style by  Harry Nelson Pillsbury-JUST LOOK AT THE BOOK ,NAKA Wink -Richard Teichmann - Harry Nelson Pillsbury , Hastings 1895 ! Spanish Game- FIANCHETTO variation-0-1, Pillsbury won in 30 moves ! One of the greatest victories by Black in Spanish Game ever !

  • 3 years ago


    ...i like this smiling samurai-strong man, very strong EmbarassedCool . GO NAKA !

  • 3 years ago


    Great games great players.    =)

  • 3 years ago


    Anand era is over. You cannot beat time.

  • 3 years ago


    Very impressive play by Nakamura this year! Impressive play by Gelfand in this tournament, and decent play by Carlsen in this tournament. Surprised by Anand's poor form, but it goes to show how @chessdoggblack that we Americans have a few good players like Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky, and that legendary players like Anand can make mistakes.

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen-Nakamura could be the game of the century!

  • 3 years ago


    this has been a very topsy turvy year belonging to no one in particular


    aronian blew his lead in the candidates, and before and after lost spectacularly to anand and ding liren - but won alekhine memorial


    kerjakin was not part of the candidates but won in norway

    nakamura was not part of candidates but is now winning

    caruana was also not in the candidates but won something important recently

    gelfand is still strong, anand is screwing up but will play the finals, carlsen lost to many since the candidates but will play the finals, kramnik finished well in the candidates but is down now.

  • 3 years ago


    Nakamura is closing in on 2800.

  • 3 years ago


    Without taking away too much credit from his opponents, it does seem like Anand is mentally exhausted, having played quite a few tournaments recently... Unlike his much younger opponents, he seems to be having a difficult time keep up with them...

    Also, after Tata Steel earlier this year, this is another example of Anand's poor record in Knight endings off late. Pehaps, something for team Carlsen to note!

  • 3 years ago


    naka on fire!!

  • 3 years ago


    Great updates, thanks a lot!

  • 3 years ago


    Drawing every game, eh? A man after my heart. Wink

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