Morozevich Strikes Again At The Tal Memorial

Morozevich Strikes Again At The Tal Memorial

| 33 | Chess Event Coverage

Alexander Morozevich is showing his best form at the 2012 Tal Memorial, and he won his third game in the fifth round to claim the sole lead by beating Lev Aronian.

It was a thrilling game, with Aronian preempting Morozevich's threatened kingside attack with a piece sacrifice which eventually netted four pawns and an impressive centre.  However, Aronian's position fell apart in time pressure and the tide turned in his opponent's favour leaving Morozevich as the sole leader.

In the only other decisive game of the round, Magnus Carlsen pressurised Teimour Radjabov into time-trouble errors in an unpleasant endgame to record his first win of the tournament.

Fabiano Caruana missed a good opportunity to win with black against Alexander Grischuk, while Nakamura and Kramnik amusingly both forgot their opening theory before reaching a draw.

The battle between Evgeny Tomashevsky and Luke McShane was predictably sharp, and followed the familiar pattern established by the English player: spend lots of the time on the clock to obtain a good/possibly winning position, then blow any advantage away in time trouble.

To be fair to McShane, it seems that many of the players are having trouble managing their time in the tournament, although the complexity of some of the games is a possible mitigating factor.

The results in round five:

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


The tournament leader, Alexander Morozevich has 4/5

Tal Mem 2012 Alexander Morozevich Round 5.jpg


A bad day for the world's #2 ranked player Lev Aronian

Tal Mem 2012 Lev Aronian Round 5.jpg


Teimour Radjabov wilted under pressure from Magnus Carlsen
Tal Mem 2012 Teimour Radjabov Round 5 screenshot.jpg



Fabiano Caruana sacrificed the exchange but could only draw

Tal Mem 2012 Fabiano Caruana Round 5.jpg


Hikaru Nakamura is still searching for his first win

Tal Mem 2012 Hikaru Nakamura Round 5.jpg



Time waits for no man...Luke McShane's biggest enemy is the clock

Tal Mem 2012 Luke McShane Round 5.jpg


The standings after five rounds:

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


The pairings for round six are:

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

Photos by Eteri Kublashvili (except the screenshot of Radjabov).  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 (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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