Tal Memorial Standings Blown Wide Open

  • SonofPearl
  • on 6/16/12, 12:01 PM.

Both the co-leaders of the Tal Memorial in Moscow lost their 7th round games to blow the tournament standings wide open.  With just two rounds remaining, five players are tied on 4 points!

Alexander Morozevich played another dangerous game and after he ignored a potential repetition in mutual time-trouble with Evgeny Tomashevsky, soon found himself losing his second game in a row.

Fellow co-leader Vladimir Kramnik was defeated after 94 moves and nearly 7 hours in an epic queen endgame struggle with Luke McShane - the last game of the day to finish. 

Teimour Radjabov looked to have a good chance of taking the full point against Fabiano Caruana, but his advantage waned around the time control and the Italian hung on for a draw.

Magnus Carlsen's encounter with Hikaru Nakamura was an 'uneventful draw' according to the Norwegian star on Twitter, while Lev Aronian walked into some excellent opening preparation from Alexander Grischuk and had to settle for half a point.

Evgeny Tomashevsky scored his first win against leader Alexander Morozevich, but still places last

Tal Mem 2012 Evgeny Tomashevsky Round 7.jpg


Luke McShane caused a big upset by beating Vladimir Kramnik

Tal Mem 2012 Luke McShane Round 7.jpg



Teimour Radjabov missed good winning chances against Fabiano Caruana

Tal Mem 2012 Teimour Radjabov Round 7.jpg


Hikaru Nakamura versus Magnus Carlsen was a surprisingly subdued affair

Tal Mem 2012 Hikaru Nakamura Magnus Carlsen Round 7.jpg


Lev Aronian met with excellent preparation from Alexander Grischuk

Tal Mem 2012 Lev Aronian Round 7.jpg


The standings after seven rounds:

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


The pairings for round eight are:

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


The pairings for round nine (final round) are:

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

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

7852 reads 31 comments
5 votes


  • 4 years ago


    Whatever happened to Morozevich; he looked like he had not slept for weeks and he lost again today.

  • 4 years ago


    @idioticfool- Oh my gosh- I can't believe I didn't see that. I must have been too focused on the pawns after reading it was a long endgame. In that case, McShane played brilliantly to force a bad pawn structur on Kramnik, even if it didn't last very long. 

  • 4 years ago


    If you recapture with queen you will get mated. 

  • 4 years ago

    IM pfren

    Did anyone notice the shocking similarity on the Radjabov- Carlsen endgame with the one in the old game Kan- Capablanca, Mocow 1936?

    Kamil Miton commenting on Chessbomb predicted a fast handshake. However, Magnus went on to win by simply carbon-copying Capablanca's plan. The Greek ΙΜ and trainer Kostas Moutoussis noticed that in another site.

    The lesson is fairly "simple": Study the classics!

  • 4 years ago


    McShane has had impressive tournament results. He just doesn't play many.That's why he got the invitation. His determination is impressive and he should be knighted by Britain if he beats the top three rated players in the world in this tournament.

  • 4 years ago


    I've really been enjoying this tournament. It's interesting to see the personalities of the players. Radjabov wearing the same shirt and it seems like Nakamura is wearing the same shirt from the US championships. I've also found it interesting when some players lose their game and then don't show up for the post game interview. I also thought Moro was rude when in the interview after his loss to Naka, but then I remember that Naka tends to have a similar attitude, calling certain moves "stupid" and being a bit arrogant and aloof. McShane seems to be a true English Gent and I'm glad to see him get a couple of wins. He probably didn't have much prep time due to the fact that he was voted in at nearly the last minute. He even had to get permission to take time off from his day job just so he could attend. I wonder if it will be Caruana and Carlson at the top by the time it's all over. Seems like overall they are the most consistent.

    Grischuk has been a surprise, I'd have thought he would have been doing better. Is he tired? ill? or just having an off tournament.

    The most exciting game in my opinion will be Aronian and Radjabov. There is more than just chess on the line in that game.

  • 4 years ago


    Pick a horse. Any horse.

  • 4 years ago


    McShane is a fantastic player, but from what I hear he is working on his career as well as playing chess, so his mind is focused on many things; on that note his ability to defeat a player of Kramnik's calibre shows a lot about his potential. 

  • 4 years ago


    I've been watching the chesstv.com coverage and it ticks alot of boxes for good viewing.

    - Informative (some history, background and anecdotes)

    - Instructive (great coverage of plans and ideas backed by tactics when required)

    - Entertaining (GM Rogers throws in a few funnies which make me chuckle). Commenting on an early round game, he said of a possible plan "it looks like a rubbish attack, but it might work"... Gold.

    Haven't had this much fun watching a tournament online ever.

  • 4 years ago


    Well he had no choice. Checkmate if he had captured with Q :))

  • 4 years ago


    That McShane game was beyond me, though I don't understand Kramnik's choice to recpture with a pawn on move 17. It creates doubles pawns on an isolated file. That's usually a formation for the endgame.

  • 4 years ago


    I hope Carlen doesnot win because the way he was playing in the begnining he does not deserve it! Morozevich has been playing wonderfuly until recently and really deserves this win!! Pleasae do well Moro!!

  • 4 years ago


    Wow. Astonishing.

    Also, the commentary being provided on chesstv.com by Australian GM Ian Rogers (we only have three) has been outstanding. He cover all the games, with great analysis, cuts to the press conferences, conveying the ebb and flow of the tournament, in a hugely entertaining way.  

  • 4 years ago


    No clear contenders for WC!

  • 4 years ago


    Carlsen now plays the two bottom players - most liekly he will win the tournament....

  • 4 years ago


    The McShane - Kramnik game was so tense it was unbelievable.

    Luke was down to seconds on the clock lots of times, frantically trying to find the winning continuations, and avoiding several serious mate threats from black that could pop up out of nowhere (a lot based around ...Qf3+ ideas).

    Also GM Ian Rogers, who was commentating in English, said something along the lines that no one has ever beaten the top 3 players in the world in the same tournament, so if he does beat Carlsen he'll make history!

  • 4 years ago



    Is it the same shirt that radj wears, or does he have several striped shirts in his suitcase?

  • 4 years ago


    I'm rooting for Mcshane to beat Carlsen. Even though out of the running for 1st place a win against the top three players at the Tal Memorial is an achievement in its own right! Even a draw with Carlsen would be fairly impressive tournament showing for Mcshane in my opinion.

    I also hope that Nakamura finishes this tournament well to ensure he continues to get invites to these high level events. As to the winner, it really doesn't make much difference to me who is "in the running". Although I wouldn't mind Morozevich winning, he has displayed a more Tal like style this tournament, I feel it'll be between Kramnik and Carlsen because Kramnik has better tie break chances and has played solid this tournament so far and Carlsen who seems to be more back into form now, has the easier remaining opponents although at these events anyone is more than capable of beating anyone else, so that doesn't hold as much weight.

  • 4 years ago


    If the time control for this tournament will be the old traditional 2.5 hours for 40 moves McShane will be leader of the tournament.

    McShane demolished Kramnik's Berlin Wall Smile

  • 4 years ago


    radj wears the same shirt every day

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