Announcement | November 16, 2011 10:33

Tal Memorial, strongest tournament of 2011, starts today - full pairings

Tal Memorial, strongest tournament of 2011, starts today - full pairings

Today the strongest tournament of 2011 and highest rated 10-player round robin tournament in chess history starts: the Tal Memoral, in Moscow, Russia. The players' field with Magnus Carlsen (2823, Norway), Vishy Anand (2817, India), Levon Aronian (2802, Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (2800, Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (2775, Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (2763, Russia), Hikaru Nakamura (2753, USA), Peter Svidler (2755, Russia), Boris Gelfand (2746, Israel) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (2730, Russia) results in an average rating of 2776, making this event a record Category-22 tournament.

Event Tal Memorial 2011 |  PGN via TWIC
Dates November 16th-25th, 2011
Location Moscow, Russia
System 10-player round robin
Players Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Nakamura, Svidler, Gelfand, Nepomniachtchi
Rate of play 100 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 50 minutes for the next 20 moves followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one

The tournament takes place in the Pashkov House, one of the most renowned Classicist buildings in Moscow, currently owned by the Russian State Library. It is believed to be built by Vasili Bazhenov and is located at 3/5 Vozdvizhenka Street, Moscow. It was erected in 1784-1786 by Pyotr Pashkov, retired Captain Lieutenant of the Guards Semenovsky Regiment and son of the batman of Peter the Great. The building was designed by Russian architect Vasili Bazhenov.

Keep an eye on the official website, which again will have video webcast with live commentary by GM Emil Sutovsky and invited guests. Among them are Victor Shenderovich, Vladimir Solovyov, Maxim Potashev, Ilya Novikov, Nikolai Lugansky and others.

Schedule and pairings

Round 1 16.11.11 12:00 CET   Round 2 17.11.11 12:00 CET
Aronian - Carlsen   Carlsen - Gelfand
Kramnik - Nepomniachtchi   Karjakin - Nakamura
Ivanchuk - Svidler   Svidler - Anand
Anand - Karjakin   Nepomniachtchi - Ivanchuk
Nakamura - Gelfand   Aronian - Kramnik
Round 3 18.11.11 12:00 CET   Round 4 19.11.11 12:00 CET
Kramnik - Carlsen   Carlsen - Karjakin
Ivanchuk - Aronian   Svidler - Gelfand
Anand - Nepomniachtchi   Nepomniachtchi - Nakamura
Nakamura - Svidler   Aronian - Anand
Gelfand - Karjakin   Kramnik - Ivanchuk
Round 5 20.11.11 12:00 CET   Round 6 22.11.11 12:00 CET
Ivanchuk - Carlsen   Carlsen - Svidler
Anand - Kramnik   Nepomniachtchi - Karjakin
Nakamura - Aronian   Aronian - Gelfand
Gelfand - Nepomniachtchi   Kramnik - Nakamura
Karjakin   Svidler   Ivanchuk - Anand
Round 7 23.11.11 12:00 CET   Round 8 24.11.11 12:00 CET
Anand - Carlsen   Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi
Nakamura - Ivanchuk   Aronian - Svidler
Gelfand - Kramnik   Kramnik - Karjakin
Karjakin - Aronian   Ivanchuk - Gelfand
Svidler - Nepomniachtchi   Anand - Nakamura
Round 9 25.11.11 10:00 CET        
Nakamura - Carlsen        
Gelfand - Anand        
Karjakin - Ivanchuk        
Svidler - Kramnik        
Nepomniachtchi - Aronian        


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


columbo's picture

Incredible line up ! congratulations ! i'm gonna watch them all

The King's picture

The last round... Anand plays Gelfand! Kind of a precursor to the WC match.

welwitchia's picture

No Moro. Thats sad really.

PP (NL)'s picture

When I calculate the average rating (rounded per player) of the top ten players in live ratings I come on 2783,5. That means that an average rating of 2776 is truly amazing!

Looking forward to this event. Although with such a relative balanced field we could also get a boring tournament, don't we? ;-)

bayde's picture

Strongest tournament of 2011..?? I seriously think strongest tournament of all time!

Thierry's picture

Who's able to confirm this assertion ?

Hughbertie's picture

Wow that buildig is has to make you play good chess otherwise you dont belong in this that means Naka go home!

Jean-Michel's picture

Tough line-up for Carlsen... blacks against Anand, Kramnik and Aronian, five in total. He'll have to kill it with his whites to stand a chance at final victory. And Aronian has white against all three other 2800's, so he might be a slight favourite.

Thomas Richter's picture

It all equals out in the long term: two years ago when he last played Tal Memorial, Carlsen had an extra white and whites against Anand, Kramnik and Aronian (Kramnik having an extra black finished in sole first place).

BTW, I wonder against whom the top players would rather have white: against their "peers" when a draw is a likely result with either color, or against slightly weaker players when they have better winning chances playing white. Tal Memorial doesn't have a third type of players (unlike Wijk aan Zee) - Elo tailenders whom 2800ers can semi-routinely beat with either color.

ACK's picture

where's Topalov ? !!

Mauricio Valdes's picture

Nepomniachtchi will end up last!

Bob's picture

Well he started with a win..

FIDE rater's picture

This tournament will help everyone gain some rating points.

Hannibal's picture

Confirmed in terms of ELO average. Almost impossible to compare to tournaments before there were ELO ratings, however. Before World War II there were also several tournaments that brought together the best of the best.
Anyway, it is an awesome field. I am looking forward to the next rounds!

redivivo's picture

Las Palmas 1996 was another very strong tournament:


Anonymous's picture

Chessvibes reporters should stick to reporting chess and avoid historical inaccuracies

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