Tal Memorial: Caruana World's #3 After Beating Carlsen

  • News
  • on 6/15/13, 2:12 PM.

The first two rounds of the Tal Memorial were great, and the third round was not bad either! Hikaru Nakamura impressed once more with a smooth win over Sergey Karjakin in a Grünfeld,  World Champion Viswanathan Anand won his first game in a Ruy Lopez against Alexander Morozevich, and the story of the day was Fabiano Caruana beating Magnus Carlsen with Black, leapfrogging Vladimir Kramnik in the live ratings. For the first time in his career, the 20-year-old Italian occupies the #3 spot.

Carlsen-Caruana saw the typical start of a Carlsen game, and maybe even a typical weakness of the Norwegian. He began the game with a rather unambitious, non-theoretical setup (in this case a kingside fianchetto with c2-c4), and then tried to "create a little imbalance", as he put it himself. Very often this works, and he is praised for his amazing ability to create winning chances in seemingly drawn positions. But sometimes it backfires.

Magnus Carlsen at the start of round 3

Carlsen's 17th move was a blunder, and Caruana was in the driving seat for the rest of the game. By playing logical moves, Carlsen managed to limit the damage and reach a very common rook ending with three pawns each on the kingside, and a passer for Black on the queenside. Much to everyone's surprise, the world number one then missed several chances to draw the game.

Below is a reaction from a grandmaster on Twitter:

Fabiano Caruana moved to #3 in the world

Hikaru Nakamura scored an impressive victory over Sergey Karjakin in a Grünfeld. The Russian grandmaster only recently added this popular opening to his repertoire, and according to the American this showed.

"He surprised me a bit in the opening by playing the Grünfeld, but luckily I was waiting to play this line for quite a while. (...) I guess he was a bit unfamiliar with the pawn structure."

The game saw a nice combination at the end, so let's first do that as a puzzle!

At the press conference Nakamura made a very instructive remark about the - for the Grünfeld quite typical - pawn structure: if the white bishop is on e2 or d3, Black is fine (and has chances to be better with a blockading knight on d6), but with the bishop "outside the chain", on b5 or a6, White is better. The game confirms this:

Hikaru Nakamura showing his game to the Russian spectators

Viswanathan Anand won his first game, a Closed Ruy Lopez, against Alexander Morozevich. At the press conference, Anand revealed that he got inspired by a game Gata Kamsky had played at the same tournament six years back. The Indian then explained the maneuvering that followed, and admitted that he didn't really have an advantage around move 31.

At move 37 Morozevich started a risky plan, but objectively speaking there was nothing wrong with it. At move 46 the Russian missed an opportunity to rip open the white kingside, which was probably enough to draw the game. All in all a good game by the World Champ, who is back in the tournament.

Vishy Anand: back in the saddle

The other two games were less interesting. In Gelfand-Andreikin, Black was more than fine after the opening and then Gelfand wisely decided to take a quick draw.

Andreikin and Gelfand going through their Bogo-Indian

Mamedyarov-Kramnik only lasted three more moves. The game was mostly preparation, as Kramnik said at the press conference, but this game is nice to click through anyway!

Kramnik and Mamedyarov at the press conference

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 - Kramnik
Gelfand ½-½ Andreikin   Karjakin - Mamedyarov
Carlsen 0-1 Caruana   Caruana - Nakamura
Nakamura 1-0 Karjakin   Andreikin - Carlsen
Mamedyarov ½-½ Kramnik   Anand - Gelfand
Round 5 15:00 MSK 18.06.13   Round 6 15:00 MSK 19.06.13
Gelfand - Morozevich   Morozevich - Karjakin
Carlsen - Anand   Caruana - Kramnik
Nakamura - Andreikin   Andreikin - Mamedyarov
Mamedyarov - Caruana   Anand - Nakamura
Kramnik - Karjakin   Gelfand - 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 3 standings

# Player Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Points SB
1 Gelfand,B 2755 * 1 ½ ½ 2.0/3 3.25
2 Caruana,F 2774 0 * 1 1 2.0/3 3.00
3 Mamedyarov,S 2753 * 1 ½ ½ 2.0/3 2.75
4 Nakamura,H 2784 0 * 1 1 2.0/3 1.50
5 Andreikin,D 2713 ½ * ½ ½ 1.5/3 2.25
6 Anand,V 2786 0 ½ * 1 1.5/3 1.75
7 Carlsen,M 2864 0 * ½ 1 1.5/3 1.00
8 Karjakin,S 2782 ½ 0 ½ * 1.0/3 1.75
9 Morozevich,A 2760 ½ ½ 0 * 1.0/3 1.75
10 Kramnik,V 2803 ½ 0 0 * 0.5/3 x

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 and Sergey Shipov. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 16:00 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.

17346 reads 52 comments
7 votes


  • 3 years ago


    diap: 26 Nd2 Qxa4.

  • 3 years ago


    Could someone pls. explain, why in the game Mamed - Kramnik
    in move 26 not Ne7 ?
    That would have been my choice than ....
    Could win the black B, no ?

  • 3 years ago


    In the Standings chart what is SB?

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks webmaster for keeping us updated. Good report.

  • 3 years ago


    Vai Caruana Bravo, Bravo :-)

  • 3 years ago


    Brilliant reporting and great games.

    Go Anand!!

  • 3 years ago


    Yeah-Nakamura beating the two best chess players in Russia in consecutive games is huge and on top of that Caruana beating Carlsen. This is a great time for US chess.

  • 3 years ago


    Kamsky and Caruana jumping up the standings... great for US chess :)

  • 3 years ago


    Ironically, now it's Russians' time to say "Americans are coming", as the top American grandmaster just beat the top two Russian grandmasters in two consecutive games. This is hilarious!

  • 3 years ago


    we can say that anand and carlsen are hiding their preperation  for world championship........but what is kramnik hiding his preperation for?.....next tournament?

  • 3 years ago


    Really nice coverage. I like the game annotations and the puzzle :). Thanks!

  • 3 years ago


    Great puzzle! Look who is on top...I am glad that Gelfand is doing well.

  • 3 years ago


    Loved how Naka locked the knight out of the game, great form!
    Also, Gelfand quietly tied for the lead... 

  • 3 years ago


    Wow!  Great games today!!

  • 3 years ago


    Yep, considered that but figured it might be too difficult for some readers, while the game shows it anyway. Thanks!

  • 3 years ago


    Thank you for covering this. I believe in the Nakamura puzzle, you should have included more moves. Breaking through with f4 gxf4 g5 Kf5 Bd5 Nc7 then continuing from there was an amazing sequence of moves. Great coverage.

  • 3 years ago


    Great Games!

    Current Ratings:

    2700chess.com for more details and full list

Back to Top

Post your reply: