Reports | June 09, 2012 23:25

Kramnik & Radjabov winners on second day Tal Memorial

The playing hall in Moscow

Teimour Radjabov is leading the Tal Memorial in Moscow after two rounds. The Azerbaijani is the only player who started with two wins – today he inflicted the second loss upon Luke McShane. Vladimir Kramnik showed good preparation in a convincing win against Alexander Grischuk.

The second round in progress | 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

After the Tal Memorial's second round, Norwegian GM Jon-Ludvig Hammer tweeted about his famous compatriot:

As proved by @MagnusCarlsen game today: Even top GMs benefit from reading opening books.

When I made my GM-title, I thought I wouldn't need to buy opening books anymore. I was mistaken.

He was talking about the opening mistake by Carlsen with Black against Alexander Morozevich. After the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 c5 8. dxc5 g5 9. Bg3 Ne4 10. e3 Qa5

PGN string

11. Rc1!? is described as "a rare but promising gambit" by Larry Kaufman in his repertoire book The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White which was positively reviewed at our site by IM Arthur van de Oudeweetering on March 28th, 2012. Carlsen immediately went wrong with 11...Nd7?! and after 12. Nge2! he realized that he couldn't take the pawn on a2. White reached a very promosing ending, but then Carlsen got himself together and defended splendidly.

PGN string

Alexander Morozevich couldn't win a promising ending

After the game Carlsen said:

I couldn't see anything better than to try not to lose immediately. Everywhere white has many attractive options.

to which Morozevich countered:

That's the big problem!

Magnus Carlsen: bad opening, great defence

Carlsen, later on Twitter:

Blundered again in the opening vs Morozevich today. Was an uphill battle after that, but managed to make a draw after a lot of suffering

Long before all this, the second round started with a quick and not very interesting draw between Tomashevsky and Aronian. The players are not allowed to utter the words "Would you like a draw?" to their opponent before move 40, but a silent offer by means of a repetition of moves can be done at any moment.

PGN string

The second result of the day was seen in Kramnik-Grischuk. The former World Champ in classical chess crushed the former Blitz World Champ in a King's Indian (perhaps not the wisest choice by Grischuk), which was in fact the first win every by Kramnik against this opponent at a classical time control – they drew ten games since 2003. 

PGN string

Vladimir Kramnik wins his first classical game against Alexander Grischuk

Of the first day winners, Radjabov was the only player who won again. He beat McShane, the only one to lose his first two games. The game continued Anand & Gelfand's theoretical debate in the Rossolimo Sicilian with 3...e6.

PGN string

A bad start for Luke McShane

Caruana and Nakamura played the longest game of the round. It was a tough fight which always seemed within the drawing zone, but the American disagrees with this, according to his post-game tweet:

Blew a great position yesterday and almost certainly missed a win today. All is great in the world of #chess...NOT!

PGN string

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 - Caruana   Caruana - Tomashevsky
Grischuk - Morozevich   McShane - Nakamura
Radjabov - Kramnik   Kramnik - Aronian
Aronian - McShane   Morozevich - Radjabov
Nakamura - Tomashevsky   Carlsen - Grischuk
Round 5 13.06.12 13:00 CET   Round 6 14.06.12 13:00 CET
Grischuk - Caruana   Caruana - McShane
Radjabov - Carlsen   Kramnik - Tomashevsky
Aronian - Morozevich   Morozevich - Nakamura
Nakamura - Kramnik   Carlsen - Aronian
Tomashevsky   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 2 standings


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.


Michael's picture

Ian Rodgers at ChessTV is a great commentator. He seems to have a lot of stamina, going at a great pace for many hours.

giovlinn's picture

Wish Carlsen was as good in his openings as his defending skills.

Anonymous's picture

Drawlsen and Drawnik!!


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