Reports | June 17, 2012 20:10

Caruana leads Tal Memorial with one round to go

Fabiano Caruana, close to achieving his career's best performance

With one round to go, Fabiano Caruana is half a point ahead of the field at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. On Sunday the Italian beat Vladimir Kramnik. Luke McShane won again; the Englishman inflicted the third consecutive loss upon Alexander Morozevich. Alexander Grischuk won against Hikaru Nakamura. 

Fabiano Caruana, close to achieving his career's best performance | Images by Eteri Kublashvil & Vladimir Barsky / video stream, courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation

Event Tal Memorial 2012 | PGN via TWIC
Dates June 7-18, 2012
Location Moscow, Russia
System 10-player round robin
Players Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik, Radjabov, Nakamura, Caruana, Morozevich, Grischuk, Tomashevsky, McShane
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
Prize fund 100,000 Euro, first prize 30,000
More info All the details
Live Games / English commentary by GM Ian Rogers

 

As if the Tal Memorial wasn't exciting enough already, the 8th round added even more spectacle with wins for Caruana, Grischuk and McShane. Before the round, five players were sharing the lead and because Caruna was the only winner in that group, he's now half a point ahead of the rest.

The young Italian only needs a draw in the final round to win the tournament and score his career's best achievement, because in that case he'll beat his closest rivals (assuming they'll win), Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov, on tiebreak. The first tiebreak rule is highest number of games played with Black.

A key moment in round 8: McShane is beating Morozevich with Carlsen
watching, while Kramnik is about to resign against Caruana 

On Sunday, Caruana won an excellent Scotch game against Vladimir Kramnik.

PGN string

Fabiano Caruana, the leader in Moscow

Luke McShane played another suberb game, against Alexander Morozevich. An exchange sacrifice by Morozevich was hanging in the air for many moves (rook takes knight c4), but it was McShane, with about two minutes left on the clock (plus increment, against 11 for Morozevich), who played one. "Well, I liked it", the Englishman commented matter-of-factly...

PGN string

Morozevich - McShane 0-1...

...so despite having the biggest fan base in Moscow, Morozevich lost his third game in a row

The game between Teimour Radjabov and Levon Aronian was a good fight, but always about even. It took a while before things started to get interesting.

PGN string

It's great to have a player like Hikaru Nakamura, who plays openings like the King's Gambit and the Sicilian Dragon at the highest level. However, it involves a certain amount of risk. Grischuk's handling of the 9.g4 line was impressive.

PGN string

Nakamura waiting, Grischuk on his way to the board

By far the longest game was Carlsen-Tomashevsky. The world number one built up to a very nice position – in his own words he was "totally dominating" – but then continued inaccurately and lost most of his advantage. Carlsen tried and tried, but Tomashevsky held the ending.

PGN string

Tomashevsky and Carlsen exchange thoughts as Deputy Arbiter Anatoly Bykhovsky collects the score sheets

 

Tal Memorial 2012 | Schedule & pairings

Round 1 08.06.12 13:00 CET   Round 2 09.06.12 13:00 CET
Morozevich 1-0 Caruana   Caruana ½-½ Nakamura
Carlsen ½-½ Kramnik   Tomashevsky ½-½ Aronian
Grischuk 1-0 McShane   McShane 0-1 Radjabov
Radjabov 1-0 Tomashevsky   Kramnik 1-0 Grischuk
Aronian 1-0 Nakamura   Morozevich ½-½ Carlsen
Round 3 10.06.12 13:00 CET   Round 4 12.06.12 13:00 CET
Carlsen ½-½ Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Tomashevsky
Grischuk 0-1 Morozevich   McShane ½-½ Nakamura
Radjabov ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik ½-½ Aronian
Aronian 0-1 McShane   Morozevich ½-½ Radjabov
Nakamura ½-½ Tomashevsky   Carlsen ½-½ Grischuk
Round 5 13.06.12 13:00 CET   Round 6 14.06.12 13:00 CET
Grischuk ½-½ Caruana   Caruana 1-0 McShane
Radjabov 0-1 Carlsen   Kramnik 1-0 Tomashevsky
Aronian 0-1 Morozevich   Morozevich 0-1 Nakamura
Nakamura ½-½ Kramnik   Carlsen ½-½ Aronian
Tomashevsky ½-½ McShane   Grischuk ½-½ Radjabov
Round 7 16.06.12 13:00 CET   Round 8 17.06.12 13:00 CET
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Kramnik
Aronian ½-½ Grischuk   Morozevich 0-1 McShane
Nakamura ½-½ Carlsen   Carlsen ½-½ Tomashevsky
Tomashevsky 1-0 Morozevich   Grischuk 1-0 Nakamura
McShane 1-0 Kramnik   Radjabov ½-½ Aronian
Round 9 18.06.12 11:00 CET        
Aronian - Caruana        
Nakamura - Radjabov        
Tomashevsky - Grischuk        
McShane - Carlsen        
Kramnik - Morozevich        

Tal Memorial 2012 | Round 8 standings

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, 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.

Chess.com

Comments

Columbo's picture

Now who is gonna avoid Caruana ? Nobody wants to talk about the Silent Killer ! too bad ! i can see the tongues hurting

Anthony Migchels's picture

I love the way Caruana developed the last year and is now leading this ultra strong tournament!

Remco Gerlich's picture

And he did it by playing an amazing amount of games every rating period, in tournaments of all sorts of levels. Great example :-)

Chess Fan's picture

Fabio "Fabulous" Caruana.

unknown's picture

Naka must be happy, that Fabiano is playing for Italy, not USA ;)

Columbo's picture

and Nakaka out, what a beautiful sunday

Mike Hunt's picture

oh yeah Columbo, the 'american' might end up in last place, maybe that will make him have a reality check...

Anjelo's picture

I like how you always say the "american"...

Chess Fan's picture

Mike Hunt is English. Are you surprised?!
It has just been 243 years ;-)

Niima's picture

What a great post-game conference with Carlsen and Tomashevsky! One gets a glimpse of how terribly strong these guys are. Several GMs on various sites were claiming that Tomashevsky had the winning chances in the endgame, but Carlsen would have none of it in the conference - he thought only White could be pressing. He seemed to be right (no one could show otherwise), and Tomashevsky agreed with him. Truly enlightening.

Ashish's picture

Can you post a link to the conference? Thanks.

Niima's picture

http://video.russiachess.org/view/1244

The Carlsen - Tomashevsky conference starts at 21:58:20

Chess Fan's picture

Power of 2835 Elo. You can put away all computer engines.
How you heard Rajdabov analyze. Very strong player and you would be similarly enchanted. You sometimes wonder how these guys can lose OTB.
That is why they are the champions and we the fans, I guess!

redivivo's picture

So it's between the same three guys that shared second place in Wijk behind Aronian: Caruana, Carlsen and Radjabov.

Columbo's picture

+ 1

Chess Fan's picture

Interesting observation. Thank you. Shows how consistently strong these four are, even in such a strong field. I feel that they will be draws but one or two games will change the overall standings clearly in the last round. Let us see.

noyb's picture

So much for "chess is dead" and call for Fischerandom! Great tournment, beautifully run, awesome chess. Can't ask for much more, except that I'd hoped Nakamura would have done better.

Columbo - Get a clue, hater.

Columbo's picture

it's not hate sir ! it's just a beautiful sunday ... I can see the clouds of arrogance and stupidity disappearing behind the smooth summer sunset light ... Can't you ?

Anonymous's picture

You are a hater; and a racist too

Columbo's picture

that's the message of an anonymous ...

filiusdextris's picture

Umm, this is for sure better than the recent WC, and while I will be happy to debate whether FischerRandom is necessary, in my mind FischerRandom would make these contests all the more entertaining than what we have. No more forced, long-since-worked-out Berlin-reliance or Berlin-avoidance, as just one example.

Joe's picture

@ Peter Doggers: small typo in the standings (states round 7 but is 8).

Columbo's picture

and i have nothing to do with the " chess is dead " you are talking about ! now, you can still HOPE ... I won't blame you for that ... while you hope i dance on the green grass like a woodoo man

Mike's picture

McShane for President! Exchange sacrifices, superb knights maneuvering, disregard the computer evaluations and short draws, fresh ideas at openings and middle games, an example for our children to not consider the Computer as a Master...!!!

unknown's picture

Kudos to Luke! He should be full-time professional chess player! Good luck against Magnus, today.

Mike's picture

And Caruana for vice...well for these two, the order does not matter...!

Columbo's picture

You rock Mike ! Love your sunglasses ... a good protection against the tweet tweet of the strangest kind of birds ( beards ? )

redivivo's picture

Draw for Caruana in the last round and he wins Tal Memorial, is top 5 on the next rating list ahead of Anand, and can be quite content with 2012 no matter how he plays in Dortmund.

Columbo's picture

ar eyou sure that a draw is enough ? I thought black winning games in the tie was more important ?!?!? In which case if radja or carlsen win their game, Caruana needs to win his ... you tell me

redivivo's picture

Most games with black is the first tiebreak and both Radjabov and Carlsen have more games with white than Caruana. Second tiebreak is number of wins and third tiebreak is the head to head encounter. So for example Kramnik can never finish ahead of Caruana even if Caruana loses and Kramnik sees to it that Moro finishes with four straight losses.

Columbo's picture

thanks !

John's picture

It will be very nice if Caruana finally takes Memorial Tal because after that he is playing on july in the Greek team championship with Peristeri. After that great form we will see great games by him and he is gonna really smash everyone

Columbo's picture

keep calm John ! We live in a time where if you want to smash everyone you need to use WEAPONS, not brains ... we are very lucky to have so many great players out there ... and so great tournaments

Anonymous's picture

Only puny humans need weapons - HULK SMASH!!

Columbo's picture

On a comical level you are right Hulk Smash, not on a scientific level ... Hulk IS the creation of a certain kind of weapon ... do you know what kind ?

Anonymous's picture

Stan Lee's brilliant mind?

Anonymous's picture

I think Moro could break 2800 if he would just change gears now and then. When he sat down to play Nakamura, he was a full point ahead of the field, so what did he do, he played like he was a in a must-win situation - sharp double edged play. Then he was in a group tied for first and he does the same thing (like a gambler doubling his bet to recoup his losses). However at the World Cup when he was behind and facing elimination, he went for short draws so he could go home early.

Columbo's picture

Moro is making a confusion between " beauté " and " rigueur " ... like most young poets ignoring the meaning of life and it's philosophy ... But hey ! Moro is Moro, and I like it this way ... results aren't everything ... the guy is writing a very original story ... let's just read IT ... Enjoy IT ... and be inspired

bronkenstein's picture

Yes, Moro, the Byron (or maybe Baudelaire?) of chess!

Columbo's picture

exactly ...

Ann's picture

Caruana is homosexual.?

Columbo's picture

and you Ann ??? who are you ??? what are you ???

Mike Hunt's picture

'american' too

Columbo's picture

Mike " american " is NOT a problem ... Power has no flag and no frontiers ... Like Wisdom in A way

Anonymous's picture

This is a terrible thing to post about someone on a chess website..do you have rocks in your head?

Anonymous's picture

What's so terrible about being homosexual? Oh I guess you are you heterosexual?? Don't be afraid, it's ok.

fen's picture

No one is suggesting that there is anything wrong with being a homosexual; it's @Ann's question that is offensive.

Anonymous's picture

I would marry him if he only was ...

cmling's picture

Why do you want to know?

Zeblakob's picture

@Ann, Adam (the first human) was also homo, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKAW96N-Vms

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