7th Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012 (9)
Magnus Carlsen wins the 7th Tal Memorial
Mark Crowther - Monday 18th June 2012
Magnus Carlsen has again won the Tal Memorial after a dramatic final round. He outplayed Luke McShane who himself could have won the event if he had won this game and the other results had remained the same. McShane's solid opening allowed Carlsen to equalise quite easily and then he subsided in time trouble after missing the key move 21...a5 in his calculations. Fabiano Caruana misplayed a Gruenfeld sideline against Levon Aronian and was quickly in terrible difficulties on the board and the clock. Aronian started "playing rubbish" in his own words but won all the same. Hikaru Nakamura played a Sicilian sideline against Teimour Radjabov and this finished in a draw. Rajdabov admitted to lousy form and many discarded chances. Tomashevsky-Grischuk was a sort of Benoni where Tomashevsky had to hang tough to draw. Kramnik-Morozevich was a draw in a Semi-Slav ending where it looked like Kramnik was close to winning at one stage.
|Round 9 June 18, 2012 1pm Moscow time 10am BST|
Official final round 9 standings including tie-break: 1st Carlsen 5.5pts, 2nd Caruana 5, 3rd Radjabov 5, 4th Kramnik 4.5, 5th Morozevich 4.5, 6th Levon Aronian 4.5, 7th Grischuk 4.5, 8th Luke McShane 4, 9th Nakamura 4 and 10th Tomashevsky 3.5.
Games, photos and report below.
Winner Magnus Carlsen with Caruana and Radjabov with their trophies. Photo © | http://www.russiachess.org
Luke McShane 0-1 Magnus Carlsen
Carlsen with his trophy. Photo © http://video.russiachess.org.
Magnus Carlsen beat Luke McShane with black against a very solid Delayed Exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez. Play followed normal lines for some time but gradually Carlsen managed to cause McShane some problems, especially after he got in 21...a5. "Well I was happy to get in a5." - Carlsen. "Yeah, I forgot about a5 in this position. A bit careless." - McShane. McShane was in time trouble and went for a kingside attack that wasn't there with 27.Rde1 and was probably losing after that as Carlsen had no problems at all fending off McShane's kingside ideas. Thus Carlsen took clear first with +2 undefeated. Carlsen struggled after 5 months off in the first three rounds but after his exciting round 4 draw against Grischuk he felt he played well in the final rounds and he was pressing in most of his games. He was still very fortunate that Levon Aronian woke up and beat Fabiano Caruana for him.
Luke McShane. Photo © http://video.russiachess.org.
Carlsen: I think it's been a very interesting tournament. There have been twists and turns that no-one could forsee. As for myself. I think I played, well, I started slowly, my first three games were not impressive to say the least and I think after that my play was good. I mean the game with Grischuk, although I didn't win, it was an energiser to play such an interesting game. I thought after that I was in the driving seat in most of my games.
Carlsen: Obviously if it turns out that Aronian wins, which he did, I'm actually the winner of the tournament, it's nice, but like last year there were a lot of fortunate circumstances for me in the last round to eventually be able to win it. But that's the way it goes sometimes. Today I had to win myself and I did and so that's all I can do.
McShane: Well of course I'm a little bit disappointed with the game today but in general I'm of course very happy with how the tournament 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.
McShane,Luke J - Carlsen,Magnus [C85]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9.2), 18.06.2012
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.d3 Nd7 8.b3 0-0 9.Bb2 f6 10.Nc3 Re8
"Its more or less normal in this line with Bxc6. Play proceeds slowly. Sometimes white is very slightly better but most times it's more or less equal." - Carlsen.
[11.Ne2 Nc5 12.h3 Bf8 13.Nh2 Ne6 14.Qd2 Bd6 15.Kh1 c5 16.Ng4 Nf4 17.Ne3 Be6 18.Nc4 Ng6 19.Qe3 b6 20.Rad1 a5 1/2-1/2 Hajtun,J-Pogats,J/Budapest 1958/EXT 2006]
11...Nf8 12.Ne2 c5 13.Nh4 Ne6
[14.f4 "So here you didn't want to go 14.f4 immediately." - Carlsen. 14...Nxf4 15.Nxf4 exf4 16.Rxf4 Bd6 (16...g5 17.Nf5 gxf4 18.Qg4+ "This would be a nice way to get mated." - Carlsen.) 17.Rf2 Be5 18.Bxe5 Rxe5 "is very close to equal." - Carlsen.]
14...Bf8 15.Ne3 Nd4 16.f4 Be6
"So this is more or less normal." - Carlsen.
[16...Nxe2 17.Qxe2 "is a better version [of the game] for white and apart from that I also wanted to keep the game a little more complicated." - Carlsen.]
[17.f5 is an alternative suggested by Carlsen. 17...Bf7 18.g4 b5 "Black is not really threatening c4 but I'll continue to prepared it and it's quite hard for white to break through on the kingside." - Carlsen.]
17...fxe5 18.Ng1 g6
"Anyway this is quite normal." - Carlsen.
[19.Nf3 Bh6 20.Nc4 Bg4 21.Bxd4 cxd4 22.h3 Bxf3 23.Qxf3 b5 "I think this should be quite good for black." - Carlsen. 24.Na5; 19.Nf3 "The main point is that after 19.Nf3 I can play 19...Bh6." - Carlsen. 19...Bh6 "and white does not reall have a comfortable way of protecing this knight. Especially as 20.Nc4 can be met with 20...Bg4" - Carlsen. 20.Nc4 Bg4 when black is at least equal. 21.Bxd4 McShane's suggestion. 21...cxd4 22.h3 Bxf3 23.Qxf3 b5 "I think this should be quite good for black." - Carlsen. 24.Qf7+ Kh8 25.Na5 Rf8 26.Qe6 (26.Qd5 "Somehow it seems that with these dark squares black should be doing well." - Carlsen. 26...Qd6 27.Nb7 "OK it's somewhat unclear." - McShane.) 26...Qd6]
"But this is also normal." - Carlsen.
"Maybe you should play something else here. h3 first." - Carlsen.
"But in general my feeling here is that black is OK." - Carlsen.
"Well I was happy to get in a5." - Carlsen. "Yeah, I forgot about a5 in this position. A bit careless." - McShane.
[21...Qxd3 22.Rd1 Qb5 "I didn't really consider playing 22...Qb5. This just looks too ugly. Whatever, Ng5, Qh4." - Carlsen. (22...Qxe4 23.Ng5 Traps black's queen.) ]
"In general my feeling is that black is OK." - Carlsen.
22...a4 23.bxa4 Rxa4
[23...Bxa2 "I briefly considered taking this pawn but I feel that it wastes just too much time. Maybe I can do this... It didn't look healthy to me." - Carlsen 24.c4 Bb3 25.Rd2 Bxa4 26.Qg3 (26.h4) ]
24.a3 Rf8 25.Bc1 Ra8
"I returned to reconnect my rooks." - Carlsen.
"Here I guess 27.Rde1 I guess is too optimistic." - Carlsen. This seems to be the losing move.
[27.Rd2 Bh6 28.Qe1 and black is a tiny bit better. 28...Be6 29.Rd1 Bf4 "and the game goes on. Black certainly has no problems here. That's for sure." - Carlsen. 30.c4 (30.g3 "g3 is not..." - Carlsen and McShane.) 30...Nd4 "Looks nice." - Carlsen.]
Black is now much, much better.
28.Ng4 Be6 29.Nh6+ Kh8
"But I don't really see" - Carlsen.
[30.h4 Ra4 31.Rd1 Qxe4 32.Rfe1 Qc4 wins. "You don't have any threats." - Carlsen. (32...Rxf3? 33.Rxe4 Rxg3 34.Rxa4) 33.h5 gxh5]
"It's very important for me to play 30...Bf6. If white gets to play Ng5 then it's obviously very dangerous. But here this is not possible due to mate on the back rank. OK now it's just over." - Carlsen.
31.Bg5 Bxg5 32.Qxg5 Kg7 33.Qc1 Rf4 34.Rd1 Qc4 35.Rfe1 Raf8 36.Ng5 Bc8 37.g3 Rf2 38.Nf5+ gxf5 39.Nh3 Re2 40.Qg5+ Kh8 0-1
Levon Aronian beat Fabiano Caruana
Caruana against Aronian. Photo © http://video.russiachess.org.
Fabiano Caruana only required a draw to win the Tal Memorial title but he lost to an out of sorts Levon Aronian. Caruana had looked at the variation of the Gruenfeld Aronian chose but probably didn't play the best with 14...Ne5 and definitely with 15...e6 after which he might as well have gambled on 19...Bxc3. Aronian seemed indecisive in moving in for the kill although the quality of his calculation of 38.Qe5 which he turned down in case he had miscalculated wasn't bad. A shame for Caruana especially as it became clear at the press conference that Aronian wasn't terribly motivated in the last round and if he had just got out of the opening without a lost position most likely he would have got a favourable result.
Caruana took 2nd. Photo © http://video.russiachess.org.
2nd here and in Wijk aan Zee show that Caruana is the coming man. He seems very calm at the board and plays whatever he feels is correct. He is only a few more of these results and better away from being seen as one of the big guys. He fronted up at the press conference, said obviously he was disappointed to miss out on first by losing in the final round but that it wasn't as if he hadn't enjoyed some luck himself against Radjabov.
Aronian,Levon (2825) - Caruana,Fabiano (2770) [D70]
7th Mikhail Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 18.06.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 Qd6 10.Kb1 Rd8 11.Nb5 Qd7 12.d5 a6 13.Nc3 Qe8
"I had looked at it and there are many moves for white here." - Caruana.
[13...Na5 14.Bd4 Nbc4 15.Qf2 e5 16.Bc5 b6 17.Bb4 c5 18.Bxa5 Nxa5 19.h4 Qd6 20.h5 b5 21.hxg6 hxg6 22.g3 Bd7 23.Rc1 c4 24.Nd1 Rdc8 25.Bh3 Rab8 26.Bxd7 Qxd7 27.Nh3 b4 28.Ng5 Qa4 29.Qa7 Qe8 30.Qxa6 Ra8 31.Qd6 Qa4 32.Nxf7 Qxa2+ 33.Kc2 Qa4+ 34.Kd2 Kxf7 35.Qe6+ Kf8 36.Qd6+ Kf7 37.Qe6+ Kf8 38.Qd6+ 1/2-1/2 Gustafsson,J (2647)-Mekhitarian,K (2529)/Reykjavik ISL 2011/The Week in Chess 854]
"Maybe 14.Ne5 is a mistake." - Caruana.
"e6 is also pretty much a bad move." - Caruana.
[15...Nec4 16.Bd4 e5 17.Bf2 "I guess black is slightly worse here but it is pretty playable I would guess." - Caruana.]
16.Bxb6 cxb6 17.f4 Nd7 18.dxe6 Qxe6
"Here I didn't realise how bad my position is. I just need basically two moves to be fine, Qe8 and Nc5 but I probably don't have time for it." - Caruana.
[19...Bxc3 "I can take a pawn but I was really worried I was just going to lose immediately here." - Caruana. "Maybe I should just go for this." was Caruana's later thought given how terribly the game worked out. "Feels pretty bad." - Caruana. 20.Qxc3 Qxe4+ "I was actually not sure about Bd3 here. I was thinking perhaps 21.Ka1." - Aronian. 21.Bd3 (21.Ka1 Qxe2 22.Rhe1 Qxg2 23.Ng5 Qc6 "I was thinking this might be dangerous for you but maybe I was.... " - Aronian. 24.Qb3 Qf6 25.Rd6 Qxf4 which doesn't seem a very convincing line from Aronian.) 21...Qxf4 "I was thinking you have to go for this." - Aronian.]
[20...Nf6 21.Rxd8 Qxd8 22.Rd1 Looks clearly better for white. 22...Qe8 23.e5 Ng4 24.Ng5 (24.Nd5 "Ah perhaps 24.Nd5 is right." - Aronian, who seems to be correct about this. 24...Bf5+ 25.Ka1) 24...Bf5+ "Yeah I wasn't really concentrating so much." - Aronian. 25.Nge4]
21.Ng5 Nf8 22.Bc4 Kg7 23.Qg3 Bxg5 24.fxg5 Be6 25.Nd5 Bxd5 26.Bxd5 Rd7 27.h4 Rc8 28.a3 Qd8 29.Qf2 Ne6 30.Ka2 Qe7 31.Rhf1 b5 32.Rd3 Rcc7 33.Kb1 a5 34.g4 a4 35.Rf3
"Later on you had some chances I thought, because I was playing rubbish." - Aronian.
[35...Qc5 "I thought you would play this." - Aronian. 36.Bxe6 "Even if you take on e6 it's pretty bad for me." - Caruana, although it doesn't seem that good. 36...fxe6 37.h5]
36.Rf6 Qc5 37.Qg3 b4
Aronian decided to take away the mating net before going in for the kill.
[38.Qe5 "For a moment here I was worried because this is absolutely crazy." - Aronian. "Here you just lose don't you?" - Caruana. "No I don't." - Aronian. 38...Qc2+ 39.Ka1 Qc1+ (39...Rxd5 40.Rxg6+ Aronian. (40.Rxf7+ Kg8 41.Qg7+ Nxg7 42.Rf8#) 40...Kf8 41.Qh8+ Ke7 "But it was too complicated. I felt I shouldn't go for anything like this." - Aronian. 42.Rxe6+ (42.Rxf7+ Kd6 43.Rxe6+) ) 40.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 41.Ka2 Rxd5 42.Rxg6+ Kf8 43.Qh8+ Ke7 44.Rxe6+ fxe6 45.Qf6+ Kd7 46.Qf7+ Kc8 47.Qf8+ Rd8 48.Qxb4]
38...Qc2+ 39.Ka1 a3 40.bxa3 Rxd5 41.exd5 Nd4 42.Rxf7+ Rxf7 43.Qe5+ Kf8 44.Qb8+ Kg7 45.Rxf7+ Kxf7 46.Qxb7+ Ke8 47.Qb8+ Kd7 48.Qa7+ Kd6 49.Qxd4 Qc1+ 50.Ka2 Qc2+ 51.Qb2 Qc4+ 52.Ka1 Qxg4 53.Qf2 Kxd5 54.Qc5+ 1-0
Hikaru Nakamura draw Teimour Radjabov
Hikaru Nakamura in his own words got creative in the opening against Teimour Radjabov and almost got himself into trouble (maybe 12...Bd6 was the way to do it) but quite quickly the game became quite sterile. Nakamura was unhappy with his over all performance not just the score with no game being without mistakes. Teimour Radjabov too said that he was in poor form and at a loss to explain missed chances and errors. It was rather strange he was in contention as his play has been patchy in the extreme. In particular he mentioned his failure to win against Caruana and his loss against Carlsen where he felt he had seen the decisive error and played it anyway.
Nakamura,Hi (2775) - Radjabov,T (2784) [B30]
7th Mikhail Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 18.06.2012
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 4.b3 Nge7 5.0-0 a6 6.Bxc6 Nxc6 7.Bb2 b6 8.Qe2
"I tried to get creative in the opening and I don't really think it worked out too well." - Nakamura.
[8.d4 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Qf6 10.Bc3 Qg6 11.Nxc6 dxc6 12.Nd2 b5 13.Re1 Bb7 14.Nf3 Rd8 15.Qe2 Be7 16.Ba5 Rb8 17.Rad1 Qh5 18.Qd2 0-0 19.Qd7 Ba3 20.Rd3 c5 21.Bc7 Rbc8 22.Ne5 c4 23.bxc4 Bc5 24.cxb5 axb5 25.Rf3 f6 26.Qxe6+ Kh8 27. Rf5 Bxf2+ 28.Rxf2 Rxc7 29.Nd3 Re8 30.Qd6 Rce7 31.e5 Re6 32.Qb4 Qf7 33.Ref1 Bd5 34.exf6 gxf6 35.Qxb5 Re2 36.Qb6 R8e6 37.Qb4 Qg7 38.Qb5 Rxf2 1-0 Dolmatov,S (2560)-Galliamova,A (2440)/ Novgorod RUS 1997]
8...Bb7 9.Rd1 Qc7
"I think up to here it's probably normal and I should probably play something simple like d4 maybe and just play the position." - Nakamura
[10.d4 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 "It's just a game." - Nakamura.]
10...Ne5 11.Nxe5 Qxe5
"Here I thought I might be worse." - Nakamura.
[12...Bd6 "I was a little bit worried about this move 12...Bd6." - Nakamura. 13.g3 Qg5 "and unlike in the game I don't get to block this a8-h1 diagonal." - Nakamura.; 12...Bd6 13.g3 Qg5 14.Nd2 0-0 and there are ideas like f5 in the air. "Black is better here." - Dlugy.]
13.Nd2 Bd6 14.g3 Be7 15.d4 cxd4 16.cxd4 Qc7 17.Rac1 Qd7 18.e5 0-0 19.Nb1 b5 20.Nc3
"In the game it just ends up being very, very equal around about here. Neither of us came up with anything." - Nakamura.
20...Bc6 21.Qg4 f5
"The only way to try for an advantage." - Nakamura.
22.exf6 Rxf6 23.Ne2 Bd6 24.Rc2 b4 25.Nc1 Bb5 26.Nd3 Bxd3
"From a practical standpoint this is very simple forcing everything off the board." - Nakamura.
[26...Raf8 27.Bc1 Qf7 28.Be3 "It's very, very tricky here. It looks like black should be better here but at the same time it could go in the other direction." - Nakamura. 28...h5 29.Qh4 Qg6 30.Rcd2 Rf3 31.Ne1 (31.Ne5 Bxe5 32.dxe5 a5 33.h3) ]
27.Rxd3 Rc8 28.Rdd2 Rff8 29.Qe2 Rxc2 30.Rxc2 Rc8 31.Bc1 Rxc2 32.Qxc2 Qe8 33.f4 g6 34.Be3 Kf7 35.Kg2 Qd7 36.Bf2 Be7 37.Be3 Bd6 38.Bf2 Be7 39.Be3
Vladimir Kramnik draw Alexander Morozevich
Vladimir Kramnik went into an ending from a semi-slav opening which became extremely strong for him at one point. Alexander Morozevich eventually managed to hold on to save. Their post-mortem on stage went on for a long time.
Kramnik,Vladimir (2801) - Morozevich,Alexander (2769) [D44]
7th Mikhail Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 18.06.2012
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Be7 11.exf6 Bxf6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.a4 Rh4 14.axb5 Rxd4 15.Qf3 Qxf3 16.gxf3 Bb7 17.Rg1 Nd7 18.Rg8+ Nf8 19.Be2 cxb5 20.Nxb5 Rd7 21.h4 f5 22.h5 Kf7 23.Rg3 Bd5 24.0-0-0 Rad8 25.Nc3 Bc6 26.Rh1 Kf6 27.Bxc4 Rh7 28.Kc2 Be8 29.Rgh3 Bf7 30.Rh4 Rc8 31.b3 Nd7 32.Be2 Ne5 33.f4 Nc6 34.Rd1 Rch8 35.Rd7 Be8 36.Rxh7 Rxh7 37.Kd2 Rd7+ 38.Ke1 Nd4 39.Bd1 Kg7 40.Rh3 Rb7 41.Na4 Bc6 42.Nc5 Rb5 43.Nd3 Be8 44.Ne5 Rb4 45.Kd2 Nc6 46.Nc4 Ne7 47.Nd6 Rb8 48.h6+ Kh7 49.Re3 Bd7 50.Nf7 Nd5 51.Rg3 Rg8 52.Rxg8 Kxg8 53.Ng5 Nxf4 54.b4 Bc6 55.Ke3 e5 56.Bb3+ Bd5 57.Bc2 Ba2 58.b5 Nd5+ 59.Kd2 e4 60.Bd1 Bc4 61.Bh5 Nf6 62.Bg6 f4 63.Bxe4 Nxe4+ 64.Nxe4 Bxb5 65.Ng5 a5 66.Kc3 Be2 67.Kd4 a4 68.Kc3 Bd1 69.Kb4 Kh8 70.Ne6 Kh7 71.Nxf4 Kxh6 72.Nd3 1/2-1/2
Evgeny Tomashevsky draw Alexander Grischuk
Alexander Grischuk. Photo © http://video.russiachess.org.
There was still quite a bit of money at stake for Alexander Grischuk if he could beat Evgeny Tomashevsky. He got a favourable endgame during the first session time scramble but Tomashevsky gradually found a way back into the game to draw..
Tomashevsky,Evgeny (2738) - Grischuk,Alexander (2761) [E81]
7th Mikhail Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (9), 18.06.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Ng3 exd5 9.cxd5 Nbd7 10.Be2 h5 11.Bg5 Qb6 12.Qb3 Qc7 13.0-0 Nh7 14.Be3 a6 15.a4 h4 16.Nh1 f5 17.exf5 gxf5 18.Bd2 f4 19.Nf2 Ne5 20.Nce4 Nf6 21.Nxf6+ Rxf6 22.Ne4 Rf8 23.Kh1 Bd7 24.a5 Rae8 25.Rae1 Bc8 26.Ng5 Qe7 27.Ne6 Bxe6 28.dxe6 d5 29.Bc3 c4 30.Qb6 Qxe6 31.Qxb7 Rf7 32.Qb4 Qc6 33.Bd4 Nd7 34.Bxg7 Rxg7 35.Bd1 Re3 36.Bc2 Qc5 37.Qb7 Nf8 38.Qb6 Qxb6 39.axb6 Rb7 40.Rd1 Re5 41.b3 Re2 42.Rc1 Rxb6 43.bxc4 h3 44.Rfe1 hxg2+ 45.Kg1 Rxe1+ 46.Rxe1 Rc6 47.Kxg2 Rxc4 1/2-1/2
|7th Mikhail Tal Memorial Moscow (RUS), 8-18 vi 2012||cat. XXII (2776)|
|8.||McShane, Luke J||g||ENG||2706||0||0||0||1||1||1||0||*||½||½||4||2741|
|Round 9 (June 18, 2012)|
|Aronian, Levon||- Caruana, Fabiano||1-0||54||D70||Gruenfeld Defence|
|Kramnik, Vladimir||- Morozevich, Alexander||½-½||72||D44||Anti-Meran Gambit|
|Nakamura, Hikaru||- Radjabov, Teimour||½-½||39||B30||Sicilian Rossolimo|
|McShane, Luke J||- Carlsen, Magnus||0-1||40||C85||Ruy Lopez Steenwijker Defence|
|Tomashevsky, Evgeny||- Grischuk, Alexander||½-½||47||E81||King's Indian Saemisch|