June 22, 2013 19:39

Tal Memorial R8: Carlsen & Caruana win, Gelfand still first

Boris Gelfand kept his half point lead in the penultimate round of the Tal Memorial in Moscow. The Israeli grandmaster drew his game with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov while Hikaru Nakamura, who was trailing by half a point, was defeated by Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian is now in second place, half a point behind Gelfand. Fabiano Caruana beat Alexander Morozevich. Tomorrow the last round starts two hours earlier.

Nakamura resigns his game with Carlsen | All photos © Lennart Ootes

Our photographer in Moscow took the following photo at a book stand.

The symbolic meaning doesn't really need to be explained. In the eighth round, two of the strongest players ever, and certainly of the last decades, played against each other. It might have been the first time that these giants faced each other while both could be found (almost) at the bottom of the leader board.

Facing the Nimzo-Indian, Viswanathan Anand played a line that can lead to quite sharp positions: 4.Qc2 and 5.e4. Then it was Vladimir Kramnik who came up with a new idea on move 10, after which there were many different ways to play for White. Anand chose a safe plan, but his advantage was just minimal.

PGN string

Vladimir Kramnik playing Nimzowitsch' 3...Bb4

The game between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Boris Gelfand started with a popular variation of the Ragozin. (One recent game was Radjabov-Leko, Zug Grand Prix 2013.) White could take on f6 at different moments, but Gelfand decided not to. The players quickly reached a queenless middlegame with a symmetrical pawn structure, where White's activity was not enough for a serious advantage. 

PGN string

The third result of the day was another draw, between Dmitry Andreikin and Sergey Karjakin. In this Open Catalan the players were probably not aware of the fact that they were following a game by Anand from 1987! White allowed a doubled pawn in return for some pressure on the queenside. Karjakin played very logical moves and held the draw quite easily.

PGN string

The next game, between Alexander Morozevich and Fabiano Caruana, was a very interesting fight that was basically spoilt by a one-move blunder when both players were in heavy time trouble. Like in his game against Kramnik, Morozevich played the Scotch Four Knights, but this time with the trendy 10.h3. A typical ending came on the board with for Black a weakened structure but also the bishop pair.

Caruana was caught by surprise when Morozevich just started attacking his king with Ng5, f4, Rf3 and Bh7. Primitive and brilliant at the same time! The Italian found a good way to defend his f-pawn and then, thanks to long calculations, he also found his way through the complications that followed. The pieces on the h-file and Black's bishops in the centre created a strange image!

But then... Perhaps Morozevich felt that he was winning, or that 38.bxc4 Rb8 would lead to mate, who knows. 

PGN string

Because of Gelfand's draw, Hikaru Nakamura had the chance to catch the leader. For that, the American needed to score his first victory against Magnus Carlsen in classical games, but he never came close. 13...e5 was a novelty and Carlsen called it "a very poor move". The Norwegian then added:

This was still a very dangerous moment for me because while I was waiting for his move I almost choked in a nut!

In the game Carlsen refuted Black's setup with some strong moves, but in a positionally winning middlegame he started to play "too casual". First, it seems that both players missed that Black can take on e5 already on move 30. But in the game it was strong as well, thanks to the very nice 34...Kg7! move. The ending was suddenly not so clear, but it looks like Nakamura immediately went for the wrong plan, and then he lost anyway.

PGN string

In the last round Gelfand defends his lead with Black against Kramnik, who could well be trying to avoid finishing last. Carlsen is also Black, against Mamedyarov, so it remains to be seen how much risk the Norwegian will take. 

In case of a tie the following tie-break rules are in place:
  • Maximum number of games played with black pieces;
  • Maximum number of wins;
  • Direct encounter;
  • Sonneborn-Berger score.
The total prize fund is 100,000 EUR (US $130,000). The prizes are distributed as follows:
  1. 30,000 EUR
  2. 20,000 EUR
  3. 15,000 EUR
  4. 10,000 EUR
  5. 8,000 EUR
  6. 6,000 EUR
  7. 4,000 EUR
  8. 3,000 EUR
  9. 2,500 EUR
  10. 1,500 EUR

Tal Memorial 2013 | Results & pairings

Round 1 13:00 CET 13.06.13   Round 2 13:00 CET 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 13:00 CET 15.06.13   Round 4 13:00 CET 17.06.13
Anand 1-0 Morozevich   Morozevich ½-½ Kramnik
Gelfand ½-½ Andreikin   Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov
Carlsen 0-1 Caruana   Caruana 0-1 Nakamura
Nakamura 1-0 Karjakin   Andreikin ½-½ Carlsen
Mamedyarov ½-½ Kramnik   Anand ½-½ Gelfand
Round 5 13:00 CET 18.06.13   Round 6 13:00 CET 19.06.13
Gelfand 1-0 Morozevich   Morozevich ½-½ Karjakin
Carlsen 1-0 Anand   Caruana ½-½ Kramnik
Nakamura ½-½ Andreikin   Andreikin ½-½ Mamedyarov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Caruana   Anand 0-1 Nakamura
Kramnik ½-½ Karjakin   Gelfand ½-½ Carlsen
Round 7 13:00 CET 21.06.13   Round 8 13:00 CET 22.06.13
Carlsen ½-½ Morozevich   Morozevich 0-1 Caruana
Nakamura 0-1 Gelfand   Andreikin ½-½ Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Kramnik
Kramnik 0-1 Andreikin   Gelfand ½-½ Mamedyarov
Karjakin ½-½ Caruana   Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura
Round 9 11:00 CET 23.06.13        
Nakamura - Morozevich        
Mamedyarov - Carlsen        
Kramnik - Gelfand        
Karjakin - Anand        
Caruana - Andreikin        

Tal Memorial 2013 | Round 8 standings



Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Kadur's picture

Is anyone knows what is the third tie-break rule ?

NBC's picture

Probably something favoring young norwegians.

Merlinovich's picture

The tie break rule is
1. Most Blacks
2. Most Wins
3. Direct Encounter
4. Sonneborn-Berger

Suppose Gelfand loses, Carlsen draws, and Nakamura and Andreikin win, we will have the amusing result that 4 players are tied on 5½ points. Remarkably in a tournament with plus score for black, all 4 players asked for 5 whites and would be trailing against anyone having had 5 blacks, but in effect, the "Most Blacks" is neutralized. Since Nakamura is phenomenal in "Most Wins" with 5 wins, he wins the tournament. Andreikin scores only 2 wins and is therefore fourth place. Gelfand and Carlsen are equal on 3 wins, and have scored 2 points both against the other 3 players (both winning against Nakamura and drawing the rest), so Sonneborn-Berger is decisive, and Gelfand gets second place, Carlsen third place.
If instead of the dreadful rule "Most Wins" which could also be called "Most Losses" or "Least Draws", it had been Sonneborn-Berger as first or second tiebreak, it would have been Gelfand in first place, Carlsen in second, Andreikin in third and Nakamura in fourth. I had Anand draw Karjakin in this scenario, if another result in that game results, it will affect Sonneborn-Berger somewhat. Why losing 3 games is so good for Nakamura is beyond me, but at least he is no "Drawnik"! I don't feel it is fair he actually wins the tournament because of it, when he would be fourth place in Sonneborn-Berger, because he scored all the wins against the bottom players.

Of course Gelfand can decide for himself by winning tomorrow, and many other results are possible than the above example.

Cbbishop's picture

Gelfand looses, Carlsen draws, Caruana wins: Caruana takes the tournament (most blacks).

redivivo's picture

Chessbase: "With the correct results tomorrow Carlsen might even win the tournament". Just to hope there will be no incorrect results tomorrow then!

Philidor's picture

With God Thor blessing hopefully tomorrow our Carlsen will add another jewel to his royal crown.

Art's picture

Brother I'm pagan too. Blessings from Odin.

Kadur's picture

What if carlsen win & gelfand draw ?

Ballistic's picture

Keep dreaming that won't happen. Carlsen is incompetent with black. I for one can congratulate Gelfand now.

Anonymous's picture

Incompetent ??? Can you explain ??

Ballistic's picture

No need to explain it. You will see it for yourself tomorrow he he he.
I hope Boris Gelfand continues to teach the rabbits how to play chess.

Anonymous's picture

" he he he " ouch ! gr ! BZ ! love your explanations

Anonymous's picture

well, then, i'll explain


aronian 19 %
carlsen 28 %
Kramnik 12 &
Anand 18 %
Topalov 24 %

How about that ???

Anonymous's picture

Statistics are very tricky, are like bikinis, show a lot but conceal the most important.

Anonymous's picture

These are not stats, but FACTS

Anonymous's picture

Same thing, apparently they try to said something but chess is a much more subtle subject than that.

redivivo's picture

"Carlsen is incompetent with black"

He did have that stroke of luck in his previous Tal Memorial last rounds though, winning with black all the three last times here , against Leko, Nakamura and McShane :-)

Anonymous's picture

The first tie-break (more games with black) is equal, so Carlsen will win on second tie-break: higher number of wins. But Gelfand might even lose to Vlady, so the almost certain black win for Carlsen tomorrow means he'd win yet another supertournament outright ;-)

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen as zero victories with black, so even if he wins, Gelfand just need a draw to finish 1

redivivo's picture

"Carlsen as zero victories with black, so even if he wins, Gelfand just need a draw to finish 1"

No, since number of wins with black is not a tiebreak, only number of wins.

Ruben's picture

Then they have both 6 points

AngeloPardi's picture

Chess base seems to like Carlsen AND Anand, which is a rather unusual !

Remco Gerlich's picture

That's not unusual at all, they're both fantastic players. It only seems unusual if you think that the typical Chessvibes comment thread represents what chess players think...

AngeloPardi's picture

That's probably the explanation.

Thomas Oliver's picture

While a journalist can of course like some players more than others, IMHO it shouldn't shine through in reports. But any reader who is biased himself tends to see bias also when it's just objective reporting.

TacoGrande's picture

Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote that?

Thomas Oliver's picture

I wrote "any reader", so yes it could also include myself. As a matter of fact, I have the same problem as a chess writer (avoiding the term journalist): trying to 'hide' my personal preferences when writing reports, currently for chess-international.de .

Chessbase's supposed pro-Anand bias was based on their description/analysis of Carlsen-Anand: simply trying to find out what went wrong for black, which our resident Carlsen fanboy Eadon didn't like, inventing (nowhere to be found in the Chessbase report) that Anand was actually winning.

I see Nakamura bias at Chessvibes based on several nuances, e.g.
- (round 3 report) "It seems that his first round loss to Mamedyarov was just a little accident, because for the rest Hikaru Nakamura has been playing really well in Moscow." Nakamura didn't play the opening "really well" against Kramnik in round 2. And by now it's clear that Nakamura can have clean or "dirty" (not-so-clean) wins as well as clean losses. But this was already known before Tal Memorial from his long-term record.
- Nakamura's picture after round 6 entitled "Nakamura is on a splendid 4.5/6" (cute and emotional), while Gelfand's picture the next day has the plain factual "A half point lead with two rounds to go for Boris Gelfand".

Josh's picture

Finally Dramnik draws.

Anonymous's picture

Caruana can break the 2800 tomorrow

Singh's picture

It's bound to happen, sooner or later. I envisage a match Carlsen vs Caruana in the near future. Aronian doesn't have the nuts.

Anonymous's picture

Would like to see how you would do against Aronian, sir.

Kalevala's picture

Nakamura lost against all players above him in the standings, drew with Andreikin who has the same amount of points as him and won against all players below him in the standings. Yet people say that Calsen is the one, who scores only against the weaker players? ;)

bolivar's picture

Well, Carlsen seems to score only agaist lower rated players...

Ruben's picture

Thats always the case if you are the best smart ass!

bolivar's picture


Chris's picture

it iis half true in the bottom part are Caruana, Anand, Kramnik...

Jambow's picture

Well sad to see Nakamura lose yet another game to Magnus but it is what it is. I told ya not to count the Norwegian out just yet his pattern has been to start slow but when that mass gets moving it is hard to stop. He shifted gears and away he goes. Gelfend no matter has put on a noteworthy performance. I'm of the opinion that he is a better chess player recently at his age than in his youth. Not sure what happened to Kramnik and Anand, Morozevich is not a surprise that is normal for him.

The two players that seem most able to win against Nakamura have done just that. Kogan get busy Nakamura will be stalled until he gets a grip on Magnus if nobody else. :0]

Andy's picture

Gelfand is very near, go Gelfie go!

Kibutz's picture

Gelfand Gelfand
you have the power
you have the looks
show them the power
the power of an elephant
Gelfand forever
peace bro!

Kadur's picture

Gelfy Bomaye, Gelfy Bomaye !

eadon's picture
Andy's picture

You're being disrespectful, Sir. I remember you that Gelfie is one of the most prestigious chess players and looks have nothing to do with a beautiful soul.

Andie's picture

...and talent!

Anonymous's picture

Do not insult the elefant

eadon's picture

It was a light hearted joke, as anyone could see.

bolivar's picture

On the other hand, I heard Gelfand is thinking of a model career when retiring from chess.

redivivo's picture

Last round draw looks interesting. Mamedyarov vs Carlsen is one of those games that could go either way if Carlsen is pressing hard for the tournament win. Kramnik might want to save some pride and avoid finishing winless last by beating Gelfand. Caruana could reach 2800 by beating Andreikin, otherwise the latter will be undefeated and with a plus score, which would be noteworthy too. Anything could happen in Nakamura vs Morozevich, and as Kramnik it is possible that Karjakin will want to try to get one win here, with white against an Anand he's never beaten (0-7 including all time controls). So quite an interesting last round to look forward to.

Anonymous's picture

I wonder if Kramnik wants Carlsen winning in Russia :)

Josh's picture

Some people knows that Kramnik is going to throw the game securing Gelfand's 1st place.

Anony's picture

Kramnik never threw a game in his life, why would you write something as stupid as that?? And think to get away with it??


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