Seventh Tal Memorial in Moscow – preliminary blitz

6/7/2012 – The Tal Memorial is a ten-player round robin with eight of the top eleven players in the world taking part. It started on June 7th with a unique drawing of colours: instead of the usual staid ceremony it will be a full-blown nine-round blitz tournament with a 15,000 Euros prize fund – which we were able to watch in a full HD live video stream. Wonderfully executed – to the organisers we say: Chapeau!

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Seventh Tal Memorial in Moscow

The event is a ten-player round robin event, is taking place from June 8th to 18th in the Pashkov House (Vozdvizhenka Street 3/5, p.1), Moscow, Russia. Rest days are June 11 and 15. Time control: 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. Games start at 15:00h local time (last round 13:00h). Draw offers are not allowed until after the first time control. The participants are required to comment on their games in the press center after each round. The prize fund is 100,000 Euros.


The venue: Pashkov House in Moscow, Vozdvizhenka Street 3/5


A view of the Kremlin from the first floor balcony

Participants in the Tal Memorial

Eight of the top eleven players in the world are taking part, with only Anand, Karjakin and Ivanchuk missing. Tomashevsky is included as the European Champion 2009, and Luke McShane because he won a viewers' poll on the web site of the Russian Chess Federation.

Player Rating Country
w-rank
Magnus Carlsen 2835 Norway
1
Levon Aronian 2825 Armenia
2
Vladimir Kramnik 2801 Russia
3
Teimour Radjabov 2784 Azerbaijan
5
Hikaru Nakamura 2775 USA
7
Fabiano Caruana 2770 Italy
8
Alexander Morozevich 2769 Russia
9
Alexander Grischuk 2761 Russia
11
Evgeny Tomashevsky 2738 Russia
15
Luke McShane 2706 England
39

The opening ceremony was on Thursday, June 7th at 18:00h, with a unique drawing of colours: it took place as a nine-round blitz tournament – 3min + 2sec – and the top five finishers stood to get an extra white in the main tournament. The prize fund for the opening blitz: 15,000 Euros. There was high quality video coverage of the opening ceremony and the blitz tournament on the official site.

Video stream of the Opening Ceremony and Blitz

Once again the Russian organisers are providing unprecedented coverage,
with a HD video stream of the action and commentary by grandmasters.

The opening ceremony blitz tournament of the Tal Memorial featuring the world’s best, and brought a lot of highly entertaining action. With so many elite players, pointing to a favorite was simply impossible. While there was a time when the world number one was usually the dominant blitz player, such as Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Anand, and even Kramnik, who traded shots with Garry at his peak, Magnus Carlsen has not really distanced himself from the others in this particular modality. Similarly Hikaru Nakamura, whose legendary online bullet results are constantly brought up by commentators, has not had the same impact in the blitz world championships, where he is an obvious contender, just not an outright favorite.

At the start of the blitz Carlsen lost to Aronian, in the second round, but this was not the end. He followed up by successive wins and inspired play, and caught up with Morozevich soon enough. Depending on which round you checked the crosstable, you would find Morozevich, Grischuk, and Carlsen at the top of the leaderboard. The three showed themselves to be the players in form that day.

Round seven seemed decisive, as Carlsen lost his encounter with Morozevich, while Grischuk won his to move to second place. But round eight changed all this, and suddenly both the Norwegian and Morozevich were once again in sole lead. This deadlock was not broken in the final round, when both won, but the tiebreak system, favoring the player with the most blacks, gave Alexander Morozevich the top honors and 5,000 Euros, with Magnus Carsen in second with 3,000.

All in all, it was a magnificent way to get the event going, with adrenaline and fun for all. And available to fans all over the world as a live HD video stream, from which we grabbed the following images. We cannot praise the organisers enough for this pioneering effort in chess broadcast: Chapeau!


Start of the closing ceremony with the blitz tournament


Once again the Russian organisers excelled themselves with live HD video of the action


A special page with cross tables and round results was updated almost instantaneously


The tournament is partially financed by ads which are played between the rounds,
just like on TV coverage of sport events. Organisers all over the world should study this model.


You could follow the action on a full screen or with the game and analysis next to the video


The moves were accompanied by expert commentary and analysis – everything beautifully executed!
The commentary for the blitz was in Russian, but we assume during the main event it will also be in English

Final standings

Schedule and Results

We have worked out the following pairings and schedule for the main event on the basis of the blitz results. They may be modified once the official web site publishes them.

Round 1: Friday, June 8, 2012
Alex. Morozevich
  Fabiano Caruana
Magnus Carlsen
  Vladimir Kramnik 
Alexander Grischuk
  Luke McShane
Teimour Radjabov
  Ev. Tomashevsky
Levon Aronian
  Hikaru Nakamura
Round 2: Saturday, June 9, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
  Hikaru Nakamura
Ev. Tomashevsky
  Levon Aronian
Luke McShane
  Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Kramnik
  Alexander Grischuk
Alex. Morozevich
  Magnus Carlsen
Round 3: Monday, June 10, 2012
Magnus Carlsen
  Fabiano Caruana
Alexander Grischuk
  Alex. Morozevich
Teimour Radjabov
  Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian
  Luke McShane
Hikaru Nakamura
  Ev. Tomashevsky
Round 4: Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
  Ev. Tomashevsky
Luke McShane
  Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik
  Levon Aronian
Alex. Morozevich
  Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen
  Alexander Grischuk
Round 5: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Alexander Grischuk
  Fabiano Caruana
Teimour Radjabov
  Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian
  Alex. Morozevich
Hikaru Nakamura
  Vladimir Kramnik
Ev. Tomashevsky
  Luke McShane
Round 6: Thursday, June 14, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
  Luke McShane
Vladimir Kramnik
  Ev. Tomashevsky
Alex. Morozevich
  Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen
  Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk
  Teimour Radjabov
Round 7: Saturday, June 16, 2012
Teimour Radjabov
  Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian
  Alexander Grischuk
Hikaru Nakamura
  Magnus Carlsen
Ev. Tomashevsky
  Alex. Morozevich
Luke McShane
  Vladimir Kramnik
Round 8: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
  Vladimir Kramnik
Alex. Morozevich
  Luke McShane
Magnus Carlsen
  Ev. Tomashevsky
Alexander Grischuk
  Hikaru Nakamura
Teimour Radjabov
  Levon Aronian
Round 9: Monday, June 18, 2012
Levon Aronian
  Fabiano Caruana
Hikaru Nakamura
  Teimour Radjabov
Ev. Tomashevsky
  Alexander Grischuk
Luke McShane
  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
  Alex. Morozevich

Playchess live commentary plan for the Tal Memorial 2012

08.06.2012 Round 1 Daniel King
09.06.2012 Round 2 Lawrence Trent
10.06.2012 Round 3 Lawrence Trent
11.06.2012 Free Day  
12.06.2012 Round 4 Daniel King
13.06.2012 Round 5 Robert Ris
14.06.2012 Round 6 Robert Ris
15.06.2012 Free Day  
16.06.2012 Round 7 Lawrence Trent
17.06.2012 Round 8 Daniel King
18.06.2012 Round 9 Yasser Seirawan

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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