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Exciting Start to the Tal Memorial

Exciting Start to the Tal Memorial

Tal Memorial 2012 logo.jpgThere were four decisive results out of five games in the first round of the 2012 Tal Memorial in Moscow today.  Perhaps the innovative blitz tournament to decide the pairings helped warm up the players for the main event!

The only game to end as a draw could also have produced a winner. Magnus Carlsen took the opening rather casually against Vladimir Kramnik and slipped up badly with 16 Nf4, letting his Russian opponent grab a clear advantage.  Only time pressure persuaded Kramnik to offer a draw, which Carlsen was happy to accept.

All the other games in the opening round were won by the player with the white pieces i.e. the higher 'seeded' player according to the blitz tournament result.

The round 1 results in full:

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


Caruana was unable to withstand the blitz tournament winner Morozevich

Tal Mem 2012 Caruana Morozevich Round  1.jpg


Carlsen erred in the opening, and only just escaped with a draw against Kramnik

Tal Mem 2012 Kramnik Carlsen Round 1 game.jpg



Grischuk beat the English GM McShane

Tal Mem 2012 Grischuk Round 1.jpg




Aronian (centre) was happy to win his complicated game with Nakamura

Tal Mem 2012 Aronian Nakamura Round 1  press conference.jpg



The pairings for round 2 are:

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

The screenshots are taken from the live video coverage at the official website. The coverage of round 1 is available to replay here (Russian commentary).


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.

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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