Carlsen wins 7th Tal Memorial
Magnus Carlsen won yet another top tournament. On Monday he defeated Luke McShane with Black, and because Fabiano Caruana lost to Levon Aronian the Norwegian finished clear first at the Tal Memorial with 5.5/9. Caruana came second as he edged out Teimour Radjabov on the tie-break rule of higher number of black games.
Numbers 3, 1, 2 L-R: Radjabov, Carlsen, Aronian | Images by Eteri Kublashvil & Vladimir Barsky / video stream, courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation
The 7th Tal Memorial has come to an end. What a tournament! Ilya Levitov, President of the Russian Chess Federation, summed it up nicely at the closing ceremony.
I haven't been around that long already in the chess world, but this was definitely the most interesting tournament I've seen so far.
Ilya Levitov (l.) and Maxim Dlugy, who was host and translator throughout the event
The 7th edition was indeed a special one, with many great fights, different leaders at different stages of the tournament and a thrilling last round. After the World Championship match last month, Alexander Khalifman paraphrased Gary Lineker when he said that
Rapid chess is a game between two players, 25 minutes on the clock and at the end Vishy Anand is the winner.
At some point Khalifman might start to say something similar about classical chess and Magnus Carlsen! The Norwegian is really winning almost any tournament he plays, and he seems to be especially good at clinching the title in a final round.
Fabiano Caruana was of course very close to winning the event. He needed only a draw, because he would win the tie-break (highest number of black games) if he'd finish shared first with Carlsen and/or Radjabov. However, the Italian walked right into Levon Aronian's preparation and never really got into the game.
Despite his loss, Caruana showed his game at the press conference. He said:
Of course I'm disappointed after this. I was very close to winning the tournament. OK these things happen, I could have also lost very easily to Teimour. In the end it's not a bad result of course, plus one.
I was playing with not enough fire, but give it a few more rounds and good things might have happened!
And so both Carlsen and Radjabov could still finish shared first, but only Carlsen won his game and so we didn't need those complicated tie-break rules to figure out the winner.
Magnus Carlsen holds the Tal Memorial trophy, next to Levitov
It was the first time for Carlsen to win the Tal Memorial outright; last year he finished shared first with Levon Aronian, also with 5.5/9, and won on tie-break.
At the press conference, Carlsen said:
I think it has been a very interesting tournament. There have been twists and turns that noone could foresee. As for myself, I thing I played, well I stared slowly. My first three gmes were not impressive to say the least.
I think after that my play was good. I mean, the game with Grischuk, although I didn't win, it was an energizer to play such an interesting game. I thought after that I was in the driving seat in most of my games.
Obviously if it turns out that Aronian wins [looks to one of the screens], which in fact he did, I'm actually the winner of the tournament. That is nice but, I mean, like last year there were a lot of fortunate circumstances for me in the last round to be able to win it but that's the way it goes sometimes. Today I had to win myself and I did. That's all I can do.
The second prize went to Fabiano Caruana - yet another good performance for the young Italian
Main sponsor Gazprom prominently on the prize
Despite his last round loss, McShane played a fine tournament. The Englishman certainly didn't disappoint the fans who had voted for him in the online poll that got him into the tournament. He said:
Of course I'm a little bit disapponted with the game today but in general I'm of cours very happy with how the tournanet has gone. In general because I play relatively rarely I'm more concerned with the interest in the games which I can create somehow, rather than my exact score. Of course I'm delighted that I managed to actually win three games here. The fact that I lost four is maybe the price I paid for taking excessive risks at times.
Carlsen was asked about the best and worst moment of his tournament.
Yesterday I was very happy that Ronaldo scored two goals and Portugal went through! The worst for me was the start of the tournament. I was suffering.
Later he would tweet:
Won my last game vs. McShane, and as Caruana lost to Aronian I came in sole first place. Nice how everything falls into place at the end :)
Radjabov drew his game but he might have missed a chance for an advantage in the opening after over-creative opening play by Nakamura.
At the press conference Nakamura said he wasn't happy with his play. Radjabov said it was a "normal event" but he felt he was in "lousy form" and so plus one is not bad. He was referring to his game against Caruana, where he missed a win, against Aronian where he missed a basic plan in a nice position and against Carlsen where he saw the right move but played a different one and could resign a few moves later.
In the audience: Magnus Carlsen, Teimour Radjabov with his wife and Luke McShane
Radjabov receiving the third prize
Alexander Grischuk reached a very nice ending against Evgeny Tomashevsky, but let his advantage slip away.
The press conference with Tomashevsky, Grischuk and his 5.5 year old daughter Masha
Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Morozevich reached an ending right out of the opening. The former World Champion got some chances, but we're not sure if it was clearly winning anywhere.
Morozevich and Kramnik discussing their game on stage
Teimour Radjabov (25), Magnus Carlsen (21) and Fabiano Caruana (19)
Tal Memorial 2012 | Schedule & pairings
|Round 1||08.06.12||13:00 CET||Round 2||09.06.12||13:00 CET|
|Round 3||10.06.12||13:00 CET||Round 4||12.06.12||13:00 CET|
|Round 5||13.06.12||13:00 CET||Round 6||14.06.12||13:00 CET|
|Round 7||16.06.12||13:00 CET||Round 8||17.06.12||13:00 CET|
|Round 9||18.06.12||11:00 CET|
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