Tal Memorial Rd3 – A round of sacrifices to win, draw, and lose

6/10/2012 – It was a round of sacrifices all round with all the results possible. The first was McShane's brilliant exchange sacrifice that stranded Aronian's king with deadly effect. Then came Kramnik's exchange sacrifice to neutralize Radjabov, and hold the balance. Finally, it was Grischuk who went for broke against Morozevich in a crazy game, but lost. Round three report with GM commentary and video.

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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.

Round 3: Sunday, June 10, 2012
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Alexander Grischuk
0-1
Alex. Morozevich
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian
0-1
Luke McShane
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Ev. Tomashevsky

Round three

It was a fun and exciting round for those watching on Sunday, and sacrifices seemed to be on the minds of most of the players one way or the other. The only game that did not was Magnus Carlsen’s game against Fabiano Caruana, in which they drew after an uneventful game. At least this time, Magnus did not have to worry about digging himself out of trouble, even if he did not pose the Italian any real problems either.


Carlsen-Caruana: a tame draw

Hikaru Nakamura’s sacrifice came in the form of the King’s Gambit against Evgeny Tomashevsky, showing that the opening was not a one-of in his repertoire, but something others will have to be prepared for.


Hikaru Nakamura searches for inspiration

Still, it did not quite explode into the fireworks as some other games and the American was forced to accept the draw.

Vladimir Kramnik sacrificed an exchange in the Berlin, and neutralized Teimour Radjabov’s play quite effectively, though not more. They shook hands after 25 moves.

The biggest surprise was the hitherto luckless Luke McShane, who had looked crushed after his disaster the day before, who came back with an incredibly inspired win over Levon Aronian. Early in a Semi-Slav, the Englishman offered an exchange sacrifice of his own on a8, which the Armenian took, perhaps unwisely. White’s king was soon stuck in the center and McShane showed his great attacking talent once again, justifying the popular poll that brought him to the event. This time there was no late blunder, and Aronian had to resign before the time control.


This jovial smile was actually before the game started, so one can only take one's
hat off to such a good recovery
.

Annotated game by GM Alejandro Ramirez

That said, the greatest surprise was the crazy game between the two Alexanders, Grischuk and Morozevich. It was a strange game in which Morozevich declined to go for the bold g-pawn and h-pawn advances the computers suggested, allowing Grischuk to position his pieces menacingly around his king.


Whether this was a form of bait, is hard to say, but Grischuk was unable to resist and soon plunked a piece to try and overwhelm Morozevich. There was possibly enough compensation to hold the game, but somewhere he failed to find the best continuations, and the volatility blew up in his face as he found himself lost. Whatever the story (the post-game was spoken in Russian – and the writer here does not), Morozevich is now tied with Radjabov for first with 2.5/3.

Monday is a rest day.

Complete round three games

Pictures by Eteri Kublashvili

Standings after three rounds

Tal Memorial 2012 Round 3 Play of the day by Daniel King: Aronian - McShane


Every day, GM Daniel King will be selecting a "play of the day" that he will analyze

Video stream of the round

Once again the Russian organisers are providing unprecedented coverage,
with HD video stream of the action and commentary by grandmasters.
In addition there is excellent commentary by GM Ian Rogers from Sydney.

Schedule and Results

Round 1: Friday, June 8, 2012
Alex. Morozevich
1-0
Fabiano Caruana
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik 
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Luke McShane
Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Ev. Tomashevsky
Levon Aronian
1-0
Hikaru Nakamura
Round 2: Saturday, June 9, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Ev. Tomashevsky
½-½
Levon Aronian
Luke McShane
0-1
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Alexander Grischuk
Alex. Morozevich
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Round 3: Sunday, June 10, 2012
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Alexander Grischuk
0-1
Alex. Morozevich
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian
0-1
Luke McShane
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
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

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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