Reports | June 13, 2012 19:04

Full point lead for Morozevich in Moscow

Full point lead for Morozevich in Moscow

After the 5th round Alexander Morozevich has a full point lead over his closest rivalst at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. On Wednesday the Russian grandmaster defeated Levon Aronian with the Black pieces, while co-leader Teimour Radjabov lost with white against Magnus Carlsen.

Alexander Morozevich in firm lead in Moscow | 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

The Tal Memorial seems to be getting more fascinating by the day. In the 5th round all games were very exciting, and a subheader could be something along the lines of "learn from the classics". Magnus Carlsen defeated Teimour Radjabov in similar fashion as José Raoul Capablanca won a game against Ilia Kan in 1936, while Alexander Morozevich moved a point clear of the field thanks to an idea he borrowed from the game Denker-Abrahams, London 1946! Carlsen is now shared second with Radjabov and Kramnik, a point behind Morozevich.

The setup in the Stonewall Dutch Morozevich came up with is one to remember, at least for rapid or blitz games: the famous c6-d5-e6-f5 pawn structure but with the king's knight on h6 instead of f6, followed by castles and Rf8-f6-g6. How brutal! It must be said that Levon Aronian's lack of fear also added to this great fight:

PGN string

Morozevich reached 4/5 (and a 3000+ performance), with which he has now reached the 5th spot in the live rankings. For the July 1st rating list, the Russian is on +16.8 rating points.

The other leader of the tournament, Teimour Radjabov, dropped back after losing an ending against Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian pointed out the (admittedly, striking) similarity with one of Capablanca's games, which we've added to the notes:

PGN string

Inspired by Capablanca, Carlsen scored his first win after four draws

Hikaru Nakamura and Vladimir Kramnik drew a bit of a strange game. They were following theory for quite a long time, but Nakamura was on his own at an early stage. Kramnik, on his turn, knew a bit more and then seemed to continue playing fast, pretending to know more than he did and putting pressure on his opponent.

PGN string

Fabiano Caruana played a fantastic game, up to a certain point. His powerful opening play, which included an exchange sacrifice in return for a strong pawn centre, completely blew Grischuk off his chair. However, then Caruana "forgot about" a tactical resource, Grischuk came back and the game ended in a draw.

PGN string

Caruana: a great opening, but inaccurate at the end

Luke McShane spent a lot of time in the opening again, but it paid off: he reached serious winning chances with Black against Evgeny Tomashevsky. The Russian managed to create counterchances at Black's king right in time.

PGN string

The 6th round promises to be another exciting one, with Morozevich-Nakamura and Carlsen-Aronian as its main attractions. Live here, and English commentary by GM Ian Rogers here.

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 - McShane
Radjabov 0-1 Carlsen   Kramnik - Tomashevsky
Aronian 0-1 Morozevich   Morozevich - Nakamura
Nakamura ½-½ Kramnik   Carlsen - Aronian
Tomashevsky ½-½ McShane   Grischuk - Radjabov
Round 7 16.06.12 13:00 CET   Round 8 17.06.12 13:00 CET
Radjabov - Caruana   Caruana - Kramnik
Aronian - Grischuk   Morozevich - McShane
Nakamura - Carlsen   Carlsen - Tomashevsky
Tomashevsky - Morozevich   Grischuk - Nakamura
McShane - Kramnik   Radjabov - Aronian
Round 9 18.06.12 11:00 CET        
Aronian - Caruana        
Nakamura - Radjabov        
Tomashevsky - Grischuk        
McShane - Carlsen        
Kramnik - Morozevich        

Tal Memorial 2012 | Round 5 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.

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Comments

Aditya's picture

The march of the Moro!!

Mike Hunt's picture

The pattern continues for McShane another huge position let slip and for the 'american' struggling to draw...

d4's picture

Perhaps Carlsen now has dusted away some 4 months' rust. If so, we should expect another 2 wins in the last 4 rounds.
As Moro should manage the same score, he will probably be the tournament-winner in the end.
Well-deserved I would say.

Aditya's picture

Morozevich is like Ivanchuk, so it is not over till the fat lady has sung, packed her bags and gone home. But he does look much more solid than than last year.

Argon's picture

Great nerves and closing power by Morozevich! He is really running away with it. It would be very impressive if he won both the blitz and main tournaments.

Excellent win by Carlsen as well; hopefully this will silence the Carlsen-haters at least a little bit. This was the sort of thing that some of us were hoping for in the Gelfand-Anand match. Fighting spirit. There is no way Anand and Gelfand would have played out that game the way Carlsen did. They would have drawn around move 25, when the position was indeed equal. As it stands though, Carlsen didn't assume his opponent could play the draw, played a very accurate 30 move endgame, and pulled in a well-deserved victory.

frendu's picture

" There is no way Anand and Gelfand would have played out that game the way Carlsen did. They would have drawn around move 25, when the position was indeed equal. As it stands though, Carlsen didn't assume his opponent could play the draw, played a very accurate 30 move endgame, and pulled in a well-deserved victory."

misconception......overexcitement

stephan's picture

completely agree with the comment but it may be a moot issues because even if the hapless Anand and Gelfand pushed an objuectively even endgame, neither would have the same level of skill as Carlsen to make something of it.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Completely disagree. This is the sort of comment you get when you did not follow the game fully and did not listen to live commentary. Right around move 35, Carlsen was already better and everybody expected black to play on. In Anand-Gelfand match, the position was equal when people agreed to draw although some like Nakamura might still play on for flagging etc.

Argon's picture

Not entirely true. In some of the early draws in Anand-Gelfand, the position was indeed completely equal and the draw was an alright result. In the last game though, for example, Anand had a bigger advantage on move 22 (when he offered the draw) than Carlsen did on move 22 of his game today against Radjabov. The same goes for game 10; Anand had a larger advantage on move 25 (when he offered a draw) than Carlsen did on move 25 today. The fact is that for some reason (that we will never really know), neither Anand nor Gelfand were willing to test each other in the endgame. Carlsen was clearly better on move 35, but the game was just as drawn on move 25 as most of the games in WCC were on the same move. The fact that Carlsen was willing to play those ten moves (and play them well) is telling. I just wish that Anand or Gelfand had been willing to put forth the same amount of effort in their match.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Firstly can you point me any source that actually gives white an objective advantage of game 10 and 12 of the match? Secondly Morozevich who was commenting live on game 10, said after a3, it might be black with a slight edge, may be may be not. So I am not sure where you got impression that white has the advantage.

Game 12, the position was objectively drawn when Anand offered the draw. He was only better on time.

Lastly, it does not matter what move the draw was offered, 25 or 35. If there is no play, you offer a draw. It was not the case in Carsen's game. For your argument look at the position at move 25 in Carlsen's game and listen to the commentary at that point. Carlsen stands better even there due to his better rook placement and better bishop.

Argon's picture

I am not saying that white was winning game 10 or 12, by any means. I am saying that the positions, though equal, were far too early to warrant the draw offer. This is in light of the fact that with (just to make you happy) a comparable equality, Carlsen simply kept trying to play the best moves and stretch the game out to a conclusion.

Anyways, in game 12 the computer gives Anand a very slight technical edge. He also has the very practical (though not decisive) extra pawn, which Gelfand was not going to be winning any time soon. Couple that with a massive time advantage (Gelfand had 16 minutes to make 18 moves). In short, Anand had every reason to keep playing considering these elements, and absolutely no reason to offer a draw. Consider also that he was playing for, literally, the highest stakes in the chess world. Offering a draw was incredibly immature, a fact made clear by Gelfand's shocked expression after the offer.

"Game 12, the position was objectively drawn" ... this is completely unsupported unless you happen to have a 20-man tablebase. Regardless, time is always a factor, and if nothing else, no one would have criticized Anand if he had tried to play on and take advantage of Gelfand's time management.

In game 10, the game was much more equal, and with perfect play, would probably be a draw. But you know what? With perfect play, the starting position is probably a draw. My point is that chess is a competition, and to consistently draw short games like this is a shame. There is no reason whatsoever to assume your opponent has it in them to draw; the very point of a competitive match (a World Championship, no less!) is to find out whether they can or not!

The sentiment that "If there is no play, you offer a draw" is silly. I was following live commentary, and GM Miton was confident that a draw was going to happen around move 20 of Radjabov-Carlsen, because the position was extremely equal. However, the point of competitive chess isn't to hope your opponent makes an early mistake, and if not to offer a draw before the endgame. The point is to try to win.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Nobody is talking about perfect play. And please dont bring in computer evaluations. They know nothing about match situation and active plans that may or may not exist in a position.
It seems to me you got a little excited after seeing a Carlsen win after 4 rounds and jumped in with your comment and now trying to justify it somehow.

Argon's picture

You keep asking for objectivity, so I brought in the computer analysis. Simple as that.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

In a roughly equal position, one side is mentioned to have an advantage when there are clear plans for improving their position (inspite of the fact that objectively it is drawn). This is what I am talking about. This was true in this Carlsen's game and the tournament situation called for it. It was not true in Anand-Gelfand case.

Argon's picture

Here is an active plan for Anand: hang on to your extra pawn and try to trade down into a won endgame. No risk of losing, every reason to keep playing.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Hanging on to an extra pawn is not an active plan in that position. Here is GM Shipov quote on the final position after mentioning that the draw offer was somewhat unexpected.
"One can’t say that playing for a win in the final position would be free of risk. Quite the opposite!".

Chris's picture

the start position is equal, why to play further. It is a risk!

Harish Srinivasan's picture

May be you know more than what GM Shipov does. But I dont know so much, I try and understand the chess games by post GM analysis. http://www.danamackenzie.com/blog/?p=1565

brandon's picture

Please don't bring in computer evaluations? If you don't want computer evaluations, what were you using when you made claims of objectivity regarding Anand-Gelfand being a draw? What can you possibly have that's more objective then extended computer evaluations? Sounds like you're the one that's trying to justify an unsupported position and ignoring all available evidence.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

I was talking only about sources which give white an advantage where the sources were commentaries/analysis.

brandon's picture

So... opinions are now more objective then computer analysis? Ok, that makes sense...

Argon's picture

The other thing is that if you are ignoring the computer, and going with the opinion of commenting GMs instead, then consider that Kramnik, Carlsen, and Nakamura were all shocked that Anand offered a draw in game 12.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Sure they were all shocked, but all because why not play on when you have a time advantage. From Anand's perspective, there is no point playing on with no clear plans, it might just be a risk. Lets just go to the rapids where I might have a better edge. His point was proven.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

If you listen to Carlsen's own evaluation of the position in his post match he mentions some Capablanca game where the position after the opening as early as move 18 was actually just good for black. So his own evaluation of the position was black stands better and of course you plan on in such cases, especially with the tournament situation.

S3's picture

"the point of competitive chess is to try to win."
Anand did win right? Why complain?

Argon's picture

Also, for the record, on move 25 of Radjabov-Carlsen, the computer gives a -0.08 evaluation, at depth. Less than Anand's advantage on move 25 of game 12 (+0.16). That is about as objective as you can get, and with perfectly play, the result would be a draw. Practical chances are something else entirely, but Carlsen is the sort of player to go for it and test the mettle of his opponent, and Anand isn't (at least against Gelfand).

Anonymous's picture

It is irrefutable that Anand and Gelfand deeply damaged chess with their sterile and ugly play. Apologists said, it's the fault of computers, but that was just an excuse for their failure to play interesting chess. This tournament, with stylish players who have spirit and take risks like men is hugely enjoyable compared to the Anand boredom

Anonymous's picture

Well said.

PircAlert's picture

I always love to watch never-seen-before precision play of Anand. He is the best ever!! Let the so called bests (Tal memorial has busted the rating myth now!) fight it out for their right to challenge Anand and challenge him. Having said that, I am for like sofia rule that can force Anand to play on and win instead of him giving too much of undue respect for his opponent's play and settle for a draw.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

And also importantly, the match/tournament situation needs to be taken into account. Game 12 was not a must win game for either player. Here, Carlsen already knew Morozevich was going to be at 4 on 5. If he does not press and win, he might as well be left with no chance to win the tournament. No point comparing play in these tournaments to a wch match, not to mention that the positions are different.

Chess Fan's picture

The stakes are entirely different in the last Anand-Gelfand game vs here.
Regarding whether that game was a draw or better, why do you (and others) think that you are a better judge of that position than Anand himself? Anand had his World Championship on stake and would have decided to play for a win (instead of risking furious chess with Gelfand) if he thought he indeed had the advantage.
Regarding Carlsen, let him first qualify for the WCh the regular way by meritocracy. Then we will see!

Argon's picture

I don't think I am a better judge of the position than Anand, I simply don't assume that Gelfand would have played perfectly with low time and found the draw. Anand did assume that, perhaps because he is such a gentleman and good friends with Boris.

Anonymous's picture

....and not a competitor.

PircAlert's picture

Many consider greatest duckers as great competitors. Now Anand not a comptitor?? Anand is already in competition so he is a competitor! First make the players sit and play. If you let them move around for every move it will be distracting. Then Anand will consider playing it out till the end.

classic's picture

Anand has not been (chesswise) fit for some time to play it sharp when not on totally safe ground. That's why.

Niima's picture

I am a fan of both Anand and Gelfand, but Argon has a point.

S3's picture

I just don't get why Carlsen's first win is immediately used to take another swing at Anand. Is it because he has a title that challenges Magnus's "number 1" status ?

Even if MC had a greater fighting spirit he still hasn't played like a championship candidate so far. I think it would be nicer to enjoy Carlsen's victory without belitteling others.

Argon's picture

Because people like you kept on "belitteling" him for his draws in rounds 1-4, and setting up Anand and Gelfand as paragons of superior play.

S3's picture

Now that is just childish.

Argon's picture

How so?

S3's picture

Would you jump of a cliff if I jumped of a cliff?

Argon's picture

No, why?

S3's picture

I bet you would.

Argon's picture

Thank you for your contribution to these comments.

Harish Srinivasan's picture

Oh I see, that was the reason you brought this argument up. Now I understand. If that is the case, you might want to direct your comments specific to those people.

S3's picture

@ Harish; for the record, I did not do such a thing. I merely said that some games (amongst of them may have been a Carlsen game) confirmed some views of Gelfand and Anand and disproved the statements about the match being of low(er) quality. For instance Nakamura playing on in a drawn position without effect. Of course the die hard Carlsen fans managed to take offense.

I bet Diaz will soon be fatwa'd for making cartoons of MC.

dev anand's picture

completely agree- that was my problem with the match - I preferred Topalov approach of making opponent fight to the death

RealityCheck's picture

Lest you've forgotten: The Tal Memorial's tournament rules require the players to push wood until move 40. No Draw offers before move forty. Got it? Got it.

@Argon Had Vishy or Gelfy this position at move 25, at this tourney, I guarantee you they would have played on. So, what's your beef?

darkergreen1327's picture

Agreed Argon! I wonder what those "theoretical draw" people would think: "It is a drawn position, no need to play after 25!" Love to see Carlsen doing that!

Bartleby's picture

Crazy chess by Morozevich. The only way to hold against him is by giving him a simple clear advantage, as Carlsen did.

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