Radjabov Takes Early Tal Memorial Lead

  • SonofPearl
  • on 6/9/12, 12:27 PM.

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


Teimour Radjabov is the sole leader after two rounds

Tal Mem 2012 Teimour Radjabov Round 2.jpg



A smooth win from Kramnik puts him on 1½ points

Tal Mem 2012 Vladimir Kramnik Round  2.JPG


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

Tal Mem 2012 Magnus Carlsen Round  2.JPG



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

Tal Mem 2012 Evgeny Tomashevsky Round  2.JPG


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

Tal Mem 2012 Fabiano Caruana Round  2.JPG



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


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.



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 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

6084 reads 26 comments
3 votes


  • 4 years ago


    GMs at each other's throat. m loving it...

  • 4 years ago


    What a marathon game, and great win by Morozevich over Grischuk today!

  • 4 years ago


    McShane beat levon today

  • 4 years ago


    Loved the Carlsen game.

  • 4 years ago


    Top player top tournament.....i am loving the fight

  • 4 years ago


    looks like we may have a new rivalry between Nakamura & Caruana

  • 4 years ago


    Carlsen's game was very exciting. These are the type of draws we need to see.


  • 4 years ago


    That Carlsen game is the kind if draw I like to see. one where the one trying to achieve it has to work hard for it throughout the game, and doesn't just ask for it

  • 4 years ago


    What is going on with Carlsen this tournament? 

  • 4 years ago


    Poor Morozevich. I thought he might could have pulled it out for a while. 

  • 4 years ago


    Nakamura's game was super intense. Too bad that he didn't win.

  • 4 years ago


    I watched the moment Caruana looked up at Naka too.. Naka is mad that most of these guys are better than him, so he ignores them..

  • 4 years ago


    now it's time for Drawsen or what? Come on,

  • 4 years ago


    I am currently reading about Kasparov vs Short 1993...and to my amazement Carlsen vs Moro followed the same line of game 5, where Short introduced his invented Qa5 on move 10...Carlsen chose the same move...

    ...I am totally enjoying these games...

  • 4 years ago


    After 105.Bxf3, it is a more than obvious draw, Caruana looked at Nakamura,  and was visibly ready to shake hands. But Nakamura just ignored him. You might say that he is playing out his games but I think that there are some bad vibes between those 2 players.

  • 4 years ago


    Rough start for Carlsen, but I'm sure he's going to turn it around.

  • 4 years ago


    No draw agreements before 40 moves... well, there are other ways around that rule.

  • 4 years ago


    Morozevich had a dream position vs Carlsen!

    Too bad he wasnt able to convert it into a win. I wish Anand was playing in this but he needs a break after the WCC.

    Kramnik's game was awesome too :)

    I'm loving this tournament!

  • 4 years ago


    Morozevich was so close to a crucial win Frown

    Oh well next time!

  • 4 years ago


    Naka really plays out his games!   

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