Radjabov Takes Early Tal Memorial Lead

Radjabov Takes Early Tal Memorial Lead

SonofPearl
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Tal Memorial 2012 logo.jpgTeimour Radjabov took an early lead at the Tal Memorial today by beating Luke McShane to start with two wins from two games.

McShane had been holding his own against the Azerbaijani, but blundered on the last move before the time control to lose the game.

Vladimir Kramnik defeated Alexander Grischuk after the latter took the arguably unwise decision to play the King's Indian against the former world champion.  Kramnik made the win look easy, helped by opening preparation for the last Candidates event.

For the second day in a row, Magnus Carlsen looked lost after an opening oversight, but the world #1 has developed a real talent for holding on grimly in awful positions.  Morozevich missed his chance under pressure from the clock and eventually was made to work for a draw himself.

Evgeny Tomashevesky played unambitiously with white and agreed a draw with Lev Aronian after 25 moves.  By contrast, the last game to finish was a marathon 107-move encounter between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakmura.

Nakamura pressed long and hard trying to turn a slight endgame advantage into victory, but the full point remained elusive.

The round 2 results:

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

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Teimour Radjabov is the sole leader after two rounds

Tal Mem 2012 Teimour Radjabov Round 2.jpg

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A smooth win from Kramnik puts him on 1½ points

Tal Mem 2012 Vladimir Kramnik Round  2.JPG

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Carlsen suffered in a poor position for a hard-earned draw

Tal Mem 2012 Magnus Carlsen Round  2.JPG

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Evgeny Tomshevsky was content to get onto the scoreboard with a draw

Tal Mem 2012 Evgeny Tomashevsky Round  2.JPG

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Fabiano Caruana's resolve held firm in a long ending battle

Tal Mem 2012 Fabiano Caruana Round  2.JPG

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The standings after 2 rounds:

# Name Nat Elo Pts
1 Radjabov, Teimour  AZE 2784 2
2 Kramnik, Vladimir  RUS 2801
3 Morozevich, Alexander  RUS 2769
4 Aronian, Levon  ARM 2825
5 Carlsen, Magnus  NOR 2835 1
6 Grischuk, Alexander  RUS 2761 1
7 Tomashevsky, Evgeny  RUS 2738 ½
8 Nakamura, Hikaru  USA 2775 ½
9 Caruana, Fabiano  ITA 2770 ½
10 McShane, Luke ENG 2706 0

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The pairings for round 3 are:

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


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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