Tal Memorial: Caruana World's #3 After Beating Carlsen
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.
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:
Bizarrely, Magnus seems to be having trouble in theoretical rook endings, but is 3000+ in playing simple endgame positions.— Jonathan Tisdall ( @GMjtis) June 15, 2013
It is incredible how strong he is with such rough edges. His potential is immense.— Jonathan Tisdall ( @GMjtis) June 15, 2013
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:
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.
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.
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!
2013 Tal Memorial | Results & pairings
|Round 1||15:00 MSK||13.06.13||Round 2||15:00 MSK||14.06.13|
|Round 3||15:00 MSK||15.06.13||Round 4||15:00 MSK||17.06.13|
|Round 5||15:00 MSK||18.06.13||Round 6||15:00 MSK||19.06.13|
|Round 7||15:00 MSK||21.06.13||Round 8||15:00 MSK||22.06.13|
|Round 9||13:00 MSK||23.06.13|
2013 Tal Memorial | Round 3 standings
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.