Tal Memorial: four-way tie for first after another amazing round
Fabiana Caruana, Boris Gelfand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Hikaru Nakamura are tied for first place after three rounds at the Tal Memorial in Moscow. Yet another amazing round saw three decisive games: Caruana defeated Magnus Carlsen, who misplayed a drawn rook ending, Nakamura won against Karjakin thanks to good preparation and excellent play in a Grünfeld, and Anand beat Morozevich in a very complicated Ruy Lopez. Sunday is a rest day.
All photos © Lennart Ootes
Where he had been sitting in the audience for the first three days, top GM Ian Nepomniachtchi joined the commentary team on Saturday to share his opinion. He wasn't listed as a commentator before the tournament, but of course the organizers can choose between about a dozen super strong players living in Moscow! Another very famous player who came by during the third round was the renowned trainer Mark Dvoretsky, who wasn't the only one being surprised about Magnus Carlsen's play in the rook ending against Fabiano Caruana, but more about that later.
A fish-eye view of the playing hall, just before the round
Like yesterday, the round needed some time to warm up, with two quick draws. The shortest game was Gelfand-Andreikin, a Bogo-Indian where Black equalized remarkably easily.
Mark Dvoretsky kibitzing at the Gelfand-Andreikin post-mortem
Vladimir Kramnik was probably happy to get rid of the zero on the leader board; he drew in 26 moves with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. At the press conference the Russian explained in detail how deep he had analyzed this line of the Nimzo-Indian at home, and after that his opponent didn't have much to add. :-) Before he left, Kramnik signed autographs for about ten minutes.
Queueing for Kramnik's autograph
From that moment the real fun started. It seems that his first round loss to Mamedyarov was just a little accident, because for the rest Hikaru Nakamura has been playing really well in Moscow. In this round he outplayed Sergey Karjakin in a Grünfeld, where Black had little chance to do better.
The spectators applauded the American when he remarked the following, referring to his rooks and queen on the e-file:
...and I think this is called Alekhine's Gun. Yes, I play this like Alekhine. Yesterday I tried to play like Tal. At least I'm playing like the Russians since I'm in Moscow!
Nakamura: from a loss in the first round to shared first after three rounds
Some comforting words for Karjakin after the game
Later, Karjakin would tweet:
Played badly today and deserved to lose. Always dreamed to have 2777,7 rating!
— Sergey Karyakin (@SergeyKaryakin) June 15, 2013
Vishy Anand scored his first win, and it really was vintage Vishy. At the press conference he tried to explain the very complicated Ruy Lopez, and even that was typically Vishy: thinking faster than he can speak (and therefore skipping variations and ideas), and speaking too fast for the translator to keep track! As it turned out, Morozevich only made the decisive mistake after the time control.
Right when Anand was done, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana came on stage. The three players discussed some variations for a few minutes, and only then the World Champion left the stage. It was good to see Carlsen joining the press conference, which is not obligatory at this tournament for players who lose a game. The rook ending was simply too interesting not to discuss!
The world's number one had to defend for almost the whole game after he blundered a pawn at move 17. Everything was fine until beyond the time control, as both players agreed that the rook ending should have been a relatively easy draw. White might still be able to hold it if he goes back with the rook at move 49. What this game mostly showed is that even for a 2860 player it's possible to make a wrong evaluation of a theoretical ending R + p vs R! The game of chess is simply incredibly difficult.
We should add that Caruana played the technical phase flawlessly. It's really an up and down tournament for the Italian, but in the live rating list he went up today, leapfrogging Kramnik to reach the world's number 3 spot!
Carlsen-Caruana during the opening phase
Carlsen leaving the playing hall after the game...
...awaited by his father Henrik and his second Peter Heine Nielsen
Waiting for the Anand press conference to be over...
...trying to figure out what went wrong
Caruana and team Carlsen in the background
The happy winner of this long game is now the world's number 3 in the live rankings!
Caruana discussing some variations with Anand
Tal Memorial 2013 | Results & pairings
|Round 1||13:00 CET||13.06.13||Round 2||13:00 CET||14.06.13|
|Round 3||13:00 CET||15.06.13||Round 4||13:00 CET||17.06.13|
|Round 5||13:00 CET||18.06.13||Round 6||13:00 CET||19.06.13|
|Round 7||13:00 CET||21.06.13||Round 8||13:00 CET||22.06.13|
|Round 9||11:00 CET||23.06.13|
Tal Memorial 2013 | Round 3 standings
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