Carlsen catches Aronian in last round, wins Tal Memorial on tiebreak
Magnus Carlsen caught Levon Aronian in the Tal Memorial final standings on Friday in Moscow, Russia. The Norwegian defeated Hikaru Nakamura and finished shared first with the Armenian, who drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi. This means that Carlsen won the tournament on the first tiebreak rule: number of black games. In the last round Peter Svidler defeated Vladimir Kramnik.
Photographers at work at the start of the final round
Yet another big one for Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian, who will turn 21 in six days, won so many tournaments in recent years that it's not a surprise to see him finishing first in Moscow as well.
However, somehow it came as a small surprise anyway, because not many had really thought about what the the tiebreak rules would mean for the tournament situation. Just before he was going to show his win over Hikaru Nakamura, Carlsen was asked about his chances to win overall. His answer made clear that he had done some calculations himself:
If Ian [Nepomniachtchi] wins, he has a better tiebreak than me. But I don't really care.
Because Levon Aronian managed to draw this game, Carlsen finished first together with the Armenian.
The final handshake that finished the Tal Memorial
The first tiebreak rule decided matters: number of black games. Carlsen played with the black pieces five times, Aronian four. The two did share the first two money prizes of 30,000 and 20,000 Euros.
Carlsen not only did a good job behind the chess board; also behind the computer screen he was in great form as he explained his game as an experienced trainer. As we did in previous rounds, we entered all his lines and comments for you for replay:
Carlsen beats Nakamura in the last round to clinch first place
Last seed Ian Nepomniachtchi played a fine tournament. In the first round he started with a win against Kramnik, and in the end he almost won the tournament. In the last round it was Aronian who had to defend for the whole game:
A fighting draw between Nepomniachtchi and Aronian
Aronian won't mind too much that officially he's not the winner. An undefeated +2 in this super strong tournament means that he's now won 13.3 rating points for the January 2012 list, not long after passing the 2800 barrier. Carlsen's virtual rating is 2829 at the moment.
World Cup winner Peter Svidler eventually finished OK with a 50% score thanks to a last-round win against Vladimir Kramnik. The former World Champion cannot be satisfied with -2 and not a single victory.
Svidler beat his compatriot Kramnik with a nice little mating combination at the end
Ivanchuk played an excellent game with Black against Karjakin and almost won. How deep he calculated becomes clear in the lines below - not to be missed!
Great play by Ivanchuk, but Karjakin was solid until the end
The last round also included what was probably the last classical game between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand, before they will meet for their World Championship match next year, also in Moscow. Let's hope the games of next year will be more interesting.
A draw between World Champ and his next Challenger
And so the strongest 10-player round robin ever (certainly rating wise) comes to an end. The younger generation finished on top, with one exception: Hikaru Nakamura. After his glorious victory in Wijk aan Zee in January, the American only managed to come close to his top level in Sao Paulo/Bilbao. He will have another chance soon, at the London Chess Classic where he'll meet Anand, Aronian, Carlsen and Kramnik again, and also Adams, Short, McShane and Howell.
Tal Memorial 2011 | Round 9 (Final) Standings
Schedule and pairings
|Round 1||16.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 2||17.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Anand||½ ½||Karjakin||Nepomniachtchi||½ ½||Ivanchuk|
|Nakamura||½ ½||Gelfand||Aronian||½ ½||Kramnik|
|Round 3||18.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 4||19.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Kramnik||½ ½||Carlsen||Carlsen||½ ½||Karjakin|
|Anand||½ ½||Nepomniachtchi||Nepomniachtchi||½ ½||Nakamura|
|Round 5||20.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 6||22.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Ivanchuk||½ ½||Carlsen||Carlsen||½ ½||Svidler|
|Anand||½ ½||Kramnik||Nepomniachtchi||½ ½||Karjakin|
|Nakamura||½ ½||Aronian||Aronian||½ ½||Gelfand|
|Gelfand||½ ½||Nepomniachtchi||Kramnik||½ ½||Nakamura|
|Karjakin||½ ½||Svidler||Ivanchuk||½ ½||Anand|
|Round 7||23.11.11||12:00 CET||Round 8||24.11.11||12:00 CET|
|Anand||½ ½||Carlsen||Carlsen||½ ½||Nepomniachtchi|
|Gelfand||½ ½||Kramnik||Kramnik||½ ½||Karjakin|
|Karjakin||½ ½||Aronian||Ivanchuk||½ ½||Gelfand|
|Svidler||½ ½||Nepomniachtchi||Anand||½ ½||Nakamura|
|Round 9||25.11.11||10:00 CET|
Not a bad commentary team for the final round: Grischuk, Sutovsky and the last hour or so... Svidler!
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