Tal Memorial Rd8 – Caruana beats Kramnik to take sole lead

6/17/2012 – If yesterday was sizzling, today was incendiary. No one could have expected McShane to run over Moro as he did, nor Caruana to take the lead by beating Kramnik with ease. While Nakamura blundered to Grischuk and lost, Carlsen took herculean risks in an endgame to try and beat Tomashevsky, but the Russian found all the right moves. Report, video, and GM commentary.

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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 8: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Alex. Morozevich
0-1
Luke McShane
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Ev. Tomashevsky
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Hikaru Nakamura
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Levon Aronian

Round eight

To call the eighth round incendiary is almost light. It is certainly hard to imagine a more astonishing one. The seventh round seemed to have used up the surprise factor, but then again, what could be odder than both leaders losing in the same round, except losing again in the very next!


Alexander Grischuk lost in thought before the round

With five leaders, and two rounds to go, the stage was set for upsets and players to be upset, and it was all there. The only table that didn’t have a leader playing was Alexander Grischuk against Hikaru Nakamura, but the American was in no mood for a quiet game, and the Sicilian Dragon said it all. Being the kind of opening where the smallest misstep can have huge consequences, it was a logical looking move that turned out to be the culprit, and it was all downhill from there for Nakamura.

Annotated game by GM Gilberto Milos


Levon Aronian has been unable to get the motor started

Teimour Radjabov had the unenviable task of having to beat Levon Aronian, and the nervy game saw the advantage swing both ways before they finally concluded a double-edged draw.


Luke McShane has justified the confidence vote that gave him the spot in the Tal Memorial

Whatever had been ailing Luke McShane in the beginning of the tournament with his 0-2, the win over Kramnik the previous round had been just what the doctor prescribed.


Alexander Morozevich came with his very own cheerleading squad


They certainly knew how to make him feel special

Alexander Morozevich had no doubt hoped to put an end to his unexpected losing streak, but the Englishman came out firing all cannons as he sacrificed the exchange and then blew open the Russian’s king with a sacrificial attack before the time control. It marks his second straight win, and shockingly, Morozevich’s third straight loss.


The humor of the situation was not lost on Fabiano Caruana holding back a smile

They say misery loves company, and Morozevich was not alone to go down almost incomprehensibly. Fabiano Caruana found himself up a pawn fairly early against Vladimir Kramnik, who had next to no compensation for his material deficit. The Italian prodigy set about converting his endgame, when a final terrible blunder by the Russian at move 40 ended it on the spot. As Kramnik faces Morozevich in the last round, it guarantees that at least one of them will end the losing streak. As to Caruana, it made him the unexpected leader going into the last round.


Carlsen tried his best, but was unable to break Tomashevsky

The only other player who could challenge his supremacy was Magnus Carlsen who had achieved a very healthy advantage against Evgeny Tomashevsky but found himself with an endgame that many GM pundits thought would go nowhere. As he pressed on, it became clear that he had his own thoughts on the position and he boldly sacrificed pawns to force Black’s hand. The Russian made no mistakes though, and he held on to the draw, but the post-game conference was the most enlightening moment. When told by journalists that the opinion of several strong players, and even the computers was that he had put himself in danger of losing, he energetically dismissed this as complete nonsense, and that the only side in danger of losing throughout the endgame had been Black.

Caruana enters the final round as the leader with 5.0/8, followed by Carlsen and Radjabov with 4.5/8.

Complete round eight games

Tal Memorial 2012 Round eight Play of the Day by Daniel King: Morozevich-McShane

Pictures by Eteri Kublashvili

Standings after eight rounds

 

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
1-0
Ev. Tomashevsky
Luke McShane
½-½
Hikaru Nakamura
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Levon Aronian
Alex. Morozevich
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Round 5: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Teimour Radjabov
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Levon Aronian
0-1
Alex. Morozevich
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Ev. Tomashevsky
½-½
Luke McShane
Round 6: Thursday, June 14, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
1-0
Luke McShane
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Ev. Tomashevsky
Alex. Morozevich
0-1
Hikaru Nakamura
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Round 7: Saturday, June 16, 2012
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Levon Aronian
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Hikaru Nakamura
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Ev. Tomashevsky
1-0
Alex. Morozevich
Luke McShane
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Round 8: Sunday, June 17, 2012
Fabiano Caruana
1-0
Vladimir Kramnik
Alex. Morozevich
0-1
Luke McShane
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Ev. Tomashevsky
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Hikaru Nakamura
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
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

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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