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7th Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012 (7)

Five way tie after leaders Morozevich and Kramnik lose in Tal Memorial Round 7

Vladimir Kramnik and Luke McShane concentrating hard on their Round 7 game that finished in a win for the Englishman. Photo ©

Vladimir Kramnik and Luke McShane concentrating hard on their Round 7 game that finished in a win for the Englishman. Photo © |

The 7th Tal Memorial resumed after Friday's rest day and saw both leaders defeated by the tail-enders. This has left Carlsen, Morozevich, Radjabov, Kramnik and Caruana tied on 4/7, Nakamura on 3.5, Grischuk, Aronian and McShane on 3 and Tomashevsky on 2.5. Alexander Morozevich tried one too many tricks against Tomashevsky in time trouble in a King's Indian and was lost at first time control. Vladimir Kramnik seemed to be the one pressing in Luke McShane's time trouble but the Englishman had his own trumps and after first time control it gradually became apparant to the players and audience alike that it was Kramnik who had to defend. The position was very hard to calculate but in the end McShane got his win. Teimour Radjabov blew a winning advantage against Fabiano Caruana and only drew. Aronian survived Grischuk preparation for a draw and Nakamura - Carlsen was a drawish Catalan that became drawn.

Round 7 June 16, 2012 3pm Moscow time 12pm BST

Games and results and some notes, especially on McShane's win against Kramnik based on his press conference.

Round 8 June 17, 2012 3pm Moscow time 12pm BST

Luke McShane beat Vladimir Kramnik

Luke McShane against Vladimir Kramnik

Luke McShane beat Vladimir Kramnik. Photo ©

Luke McShane threw the whole tournament into the melting pot again after defeating Vladimir Kramnik in 94 moves played over 6 hours 53 minutes, a new record for the event. McShane was invited after an internet vote and he and has brought his brand of fighting chess to the tournament and beaten two of the leading players. This is McShane's fifth game against Kramnik and he's had white in every one. But after three losses and only one draw he got a win finally. He chose a variation that produced a complex middlegame come ending that was extremely hard to assess. McShane spent an hour on move 19 and was short of time coming up to first time control, but this may have lured Kramnik into trying to play for a win when he needed to be more careful. McShane thought his position was the easier to play in any event as he had the safer king and clearer plan. Soon the computers were saying McShane was winning, but actually calculating out these wins was much more problematic. In particular McShane didn't realise one winning line involving pushing the h-pawn until Kramnik avoided the position where it was winning. Having just made move 60 and getting their final extra 15 minutes both players exchanged blunders on move 61. Kramnik in particular had the time to work out how to draw. After that McShane played pretty impressively, even if the computers didn't always agree and swapped into a Queen ending he knew had to be winning and eventually brought home the full point. What was impressive throughout was McShane's determination to keep playing for a win in the face of almost continuous time pressure for the last 60 moves of the game. There is no doubt that the voters for him (in what turned out to be a race with Alexei Shirov) in the on-line poll that decided his participation can feel very proud of their choice. Win or lose McShane has contributed to almost every round.

McShane,Luke J - Kramnik,Vladimir [C67]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7.1), 16.06.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.Bf4 Rxe1 12.Qxe1 Ne8 13.Nc3 Bxd4 14.Nd5 d6 15.Bg5 Bf6 16.Nxf6+ Nxf6 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.Qe4

[18.Bd3 f5 19.Qe3 Be6 20.Qf3 c6 21.Bxf5 Bxf5 22.Qxf5 Qe7 23.Qg4+ Kf8 24.Qd4 f6 25.g3 d5 26.Rd1 Re8 27.Qxa7 Qb4 28.Qd4 Qxd4 29.Rxd4 Re2 30.Rb4 b5 31.c3 h5 32.Kg2 Kf7 33.Kf3 Re1 34.a4 bxa4 35.Rxa4 Ke6 36.h4 Rb1 37.Rb4 c5 38.Rb8 c4 39.Rb4 Ke5 40.Rb8 Kf5 41.Ke3 Ke5 42.Rb7 Re1+ 43.Kf3 Rb1 44.g4 hxg4+ 45.Kxg4 Rg1+ 46.Kf3 Rh1 47.Rh7 Rb1 48.h5 Rxb2 49.h6 Rb1 50.Re7+ Kd6 51.Re8 Rh1 52.Rh8 Ke5 53.h7 Kf5 54.Rd8 Rxh7 55.Rxd5+ Ke6 56.Rc5 Rh3+ 57.Ke4 Rxc3 58.Rc6+ Kf7 59.Kd4 Rf3 60.Rxc4 Rxf2 61.Ke3 Ra2 62.Kf4 Kg6 63.Rb4 Ra1 64.Rb5 Rh1 65.Kg4 f5+ 66.Kf4 Rf1+ 67.Kg3 Kg5 68.Rb8 Rg1+ 69.Kf3 Rf1+ 1/2-1/2 Najer,E (2640)-Bacrot,E (2706)/Plovdiv BUL 2012/The Week in Chess 907]

18...f5 19.Qe3

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 19.Qe3

Just out of his preparation Luke McShane spent one hour thinking here. He saw two alternatives and thought "both were interesting" before settling on this third option.

[19.Qd4 with the eventual idea of going for a kingside attack by trying to get the rook to g3.; 19.Qf3 The idea of putting the Queen here is to prevent the bishop from developing. - McShane.]

19...Be6 20.Qg3+ Kf8

[20...Kh8 21.Qc3+ Kg8 22.Re1 "and it's not exactly over." - McShane. It seems in spite of a lousy record against Kramnik McShane didn't entertain the repetition here. 22...h6 but "black's king is very loose still." - McShane.]

21.Qc3 Ke7 22.Re1 Kd7 23.Bc4 Qh8

[23...Qg8 also interesting.; 23...Qe7 24.Qb4 "White can exploit this pin I think." - McShane. 24...b6 25.Qa4+ c6 26.Bd5 "was one thing I saw." 26...b5 27.Qa6 Rc8 28.Bf3 Rc7]

24.Bxe6+ fxe6 25.Qb3

Threatens e6 and b7.

25...Re8 26.Qxb7 Rb8 27.Qxa7 Qxb2

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 27...Qxb2

"Now we have another very unclear position. In general of course the big trump which white has is the fact that the black king is still not very safe. But white has to be very careful as well because for example if we exchange the queens then black's central pawns are going to be much stronger than my pawns." - McShane.

28.Qa4+ Qb5 29.Qh4

[29.Qxb5+ Rxb5 is of course very bad for white.]


"Was a surprise." - McShane. "Do you think black was playing for a win here?" - Maxim Dlugy. "I'm not sure, I think white is not worse in general but it's possible that Vladimir was ambitious here. Because it can very easily go wrong for white. Just the exchange of queens is all it takes and white could be close to losing."

[29...Qe2 30.Qxh7+ (30.f3 was suggested "In general I was very worried about weakening my second rank." - McShane. 30...Qxc2 31.Qxh7+ Kc6 But it's interesting of course. 32.Qg6 Rb1 33.Rxb1 Qxb1+ 34.Kf2 when white has to watch out for f4+ with a discovered attack on his queen.) 30...Kc6 31.Rf1 Qxc2 "This was more or less what I expected." - McShane. 32.h4 (32.Qg6 Rb1 (32...Qxa2 33.h4 and maybe white is exchanging rooks in slightly better circumstances. But it is still quite possible black is still able to draw the game.) 33.Qxe6 Qd3 34.Re1 and McShane didn't see a continuation for black.) 32...Rb1 33.Rxb1 Qxb1+ 34.Kh2 Qxa2 "Certainly white is in no danger because this pawn [h-pawn] is quite fast but probably black has a draw here." - McShane.; 29...Qe5 30.Qxh7+ (30.Rf1 There is no good way of defending the h7 pawn for black as he might like to because in a heavy piece ending going passive is an error. 30...Rh8 31.Qa4+ Ke7 32.Qc6 Qc5 33.Qxc5 dxc5 when McShane thought there were chances for white in this ending although he wasn't quite sure how serious they were.) 30...Kc6 31.Rf1 Rh8 is an example of how white has to be careful in this position.]

30.Qxh7+ Kc6 31.Rc1

"Looks a little bit surprising maybe. But I saw that if I let [the c-pawn] go suddenly I want the rooks to be exchanged. To improve the chances of promoting [the h-pawn]" - McShane.

[31.Rf1 Qxa2 32.h4 Qxc2 33.h5 Qc3 "If I lose this pawn it's going to be quite tough. I mean black has control of this diagonal, I don't really see how I'm going to promote the pawn."]

31...Qxa2 32.Qh5 Qb2 33.Qd1

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 33.Qd1

"When black has taken the a-pawn the strategy's a bit different because none of black's pawns are passed. In practice I think white's position is easier to play regardless of the assessment. Just because my king is so much safer and it's not clear what kind of plan black should try." - McShane whose assessment was that the position was "extremely unclear".

33...Kd7 34.g3 e5 35.c4 Ke7 36.Qe1

In general I have the plan to open up black's king and advance this [h] pawn. - McShane.


[36...f4 "We though f4 was probably the best." - Maxim Dlugy who mentions a plan that might be followed by f3 with some additional attacking chances on white's king. 37.c5 "I'm not sure maybe Vlad was playing for a win also." - McShane.(37.gxf4 is not a move white wants to make at all. 37...Qd4 38.fxe5? Qg4+ 39.Kh1 (39.Kf1 Qh3+ 40.Ke2 Rb2+) 39...Qf3+ 40.Kg1 Rg8+) ]

37.c5 d5

[37...Ke6 was also possible according to McShane and if black can exchange the queens white is a bit uncomfortable.]


"None of these pawns are defended by each other so it's time to get the queen somewhere." - McShane.

38...c6 39.Qa5 Kd7 40.Qa4

With the idea of Rxd5.


[40...Ra3 41.Rxd5+ Kc7 42.Rd2 Vlad mentioned this to me. - McShane.]

41.Qh4 Rxc5?!

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 41....Rxc5

"I expected to be maybe taking a perpetual. We were both a bit surprised that black is in some trouble here." - McShane.

[41...Qc2 "and black probably equalises." - Maxim Dlugy on the analysis in the press room that went on for some time here. "What he played [Rxc5] doesn't. This is clearly better for white, this position."]

42.Qh7+ Kd6 43.Qg6+

An important finesse.

[43.Qxf5 Rc1 44.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 45.Kg2 d4 and black is doing much better than in the game.]

43...Kc7 44.Qxf5 e4 45.h4 Rc3 46.Qe5+ Kb7 47.h5 Rb3

"I was very surprised by Rb3 I expected Rc2." - McShane.

[47...Rc2 48.Qf4]


[48.Qxb2 Rxb2 "I saw that white had decent chances but the problem here is that it's completely obvious what black should do. In general it's much more comfortable for white with the Queens on." - McShane. "We think it's a winning endgame, just barely." - Maxim Dlugy. 49.h6 Kc7 50.g4 Rb8 51.Kg2 Kd6 52.Kg3 Ke5 "It's very complicated." - McShane.]

48...Kb6 49.Qd8+ Kb7 50.Qd7+ Kb6 51.Qd8+ Kb7

"Then I couldn't figure out what to do for some time." - McShane.

52.Qe7+ Kb6

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 52...Kb6. It's oh so easy with a computer to say 53.h6 wins here but McShane wasn't seriously looking at that move.


This was one of two ideas Luke looked at.

[53.Qd6; 53.h6 "h6? You weren't thinking about h6?" - Dlugy. "Actually no" - McShane. "We were only thinking about h6." - Dlugy. 53...Rf3 54.Rf1 e3 55.h7 and finish. "Ah, that's a bit strange because I was more or less aiming for this position in the game but...." - McShane. "The thing is black has got no threats." - Dlugy. "The thing is I saw it in a different position." - McShane.]

53...Kb7 54.h6 Rf3 55.Qe7+ Ka6 56.Qc5 Kb7 57.Qe7+ Ka6

Prevents a straightforward win at least.

[57...Kb6 58.Rf1 e3 59.h7 was where McShane saw the winning idea in the last line. 59...Rxf2 60.Qxe3+]

58.Qc5 Kb7

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 58...Kb7


"Was a bad move I guess." - McShane. "Doesn't give away the whole house." - Dlugy.

"59.h7!" Dlugy and the audience cried in unison as they let McShane know the bad news. 59...e3 60.h8Q Qxh8 61.Rb1+ Kc7 62.Qe7+ Kc8 63.Qb7+ Kd8 64.Qb8+ But McShane wasn't looking for this idea.]

59...Rf6 60.h7 Rh6 61.Kg2?

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 61.Kg2?

"A bad mistake" - Dlugy. "Once I had some time to think of course. I realised I blundered." - McShane.

[61.Qe7+ Kb6 62.Qd8+ Kb7 63.Qd7+ Kb6 64.Rxc6+ "Like I did in the game." - McShane. 64...Rxc6 65.Qd8+ "and then Qd8" - McShane. "Actually it's winning with Queen on d7, with Queen on d8" - Dlugy. "It's winning in all..." - McShane. "It's winning completely." - Dlugy.]


Played rather quickly by Kramnik. He has the right idea but coming from the wrong direction.

[61...Qf6! and black should at least hold. 62.Rb1+ Kc8 63.Qa3 Qf3+ 64.Qxf3 exf3+ 65.Kxf3 Rxh7 66.g4 and although McShane thought he had some chances here the best has certainly gone.]


[62.h8Q!! It's hard to imagine a human playing this but if you're told it wins it isn't that hard to work out for a top GM. And a pretty amusing line too. 62...Qf3+ (62...Rxh8 63.Qxc6+ Ka7 64.Ra1+) 63.Kf1 Rh1+ 64.Qxh1 Qxh1+ 65.Ke2 Qf3+ 66.Ke1 Qh1+ 67.Kd2]

62...Kb6 63.Qd8+ Kb7 64.Qd7+ Kb6 65.Rxc6+ Rxc6 66.Qd8+

[66.h8Q Qf3+ 67.Kh2 "Wins on the spot." - Dlugy. "I thought I could actually lose if I played that way." - McShane. 67...Qxf2+ 68.Kh3 Qf1+ 69.Kh4 Qh1+ 70.Qh3 "It's very difficult to play this way with your king floating in mid-air." - McShane who said the way he played was much simpler.]


"A good fighting move" - McShane, who points out that later the d-pawn now doesn't drop with check as it would on Kb7 for instance.

67.Qd7+ Kb6 68.Qd8+ Ka7 69.h8Q Qf3+

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 69...Qf3+. McShane didn't drop the queen for rook, he saw it and decided the queen and pawn ending is winning and easier to calculate.


"For the same reasons [as explained in an earlier exchange] I prefered Kh3"- McShane preferred to take the Queen ending as easier to calculate here.

[70.Kh2 also wins and perhaps more easily, but McShane had made up his mind what he was going for]

70...Rh6+ 71.Qxh6 Qh1+ 72.Kg4 Qxh6 73.Qxd5

Vladimir Kramnik


Luke McShane

Position after 73.Qxd5

"When I decided to go for this line where I give back the queen I'd expected to give the check. I felt that this should be winning anyway but of course it's a little bit tricky until this pawn has dropped off." - McShane. Ian Rogers in commentary recommended taking this position as being the easiest way too rather than having to calculate trying to hold on to the queen.

[73.Qa5+ Qa6 and McShane thought that the pawn ending is a draw, and he may be right. 74.Qxa6+ Kxa6 75.Kf5 Kb5 76.g4 d4! At least we now know what McShane looks at when thinking, This is a very nice move to find. 77.Kxe4 Kc4 78.g5 d3 79.g6 d2 80.g7 d1Q 81.g8Q+ and whilst white is a pawn up it's really not what white wants and probably isn't winning.]

73...Qf6 74.Qf5 Qd4 75.Qf4 Kb7 76.Kf5 Qd5+ 77.Qe5 Qf7+ 78.Qf6 Qd5+ 79.Kf4 Qd2+ 80.Kxe4 Qe2+

"Last kind of trick, make the king take a walk." - McShane. Kramnik would probably have resigned in other circumstances, the king will always escape checks.

81.Kd5 Qa2+ 82.Kd6 Qa3+ 83.Ke6 Qa2+ 84.Ke7 Qe2+ 85.Kf7 Qh5+ 86.Kg7 Qg4+ 87.Qg6 Qd4+ 88.Qf6 Qg4+ 89.Kh6 Qe2 90.Kg5 Kc7 91.f4 Qf3 92.Qe5+ Kd7 93.f5 Qf1 94.f6 1-0

Hikaru Nakamura draw against Magnus Carlsen

Carlsen and Nakamura press conference

Carlsen and Nakamura press conference Photo ©

Both Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen played down the big lifetime score advantage that Carlsen has built up over the last couple of years. Nakamura played a variation of the Catalan that promised a tiny advantage. Carlsen had to be careful but quickly found his way to clarify things to a draw. Carlsen is famous for his strong finishes to tournaments, even though he has had more blacks than whites he does play the bottom two rated players (albeit they both won today) and as he put it, you can't ask for more than that.

Nakamura,Hikaru - Carlsen,Magnus [E10]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7.4), 16.06.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.Qc2 c6 8.0-0 b6 9.Bf4 Bb7 10.Rd1 Nbd7 11.Nc3 dxc4 12.Nd2 Nd5 13.Nxc4 Nxf4 14.gxf4 Qc7 15.e3 Rad8 16.Rd2

Magnus Carlsen


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 16.Rd2

This had been seen before and agreed drawn.

16...Nf6 17.Rad1 c5 18.d5 exd5 19.Nxd5 Nxd5 20.Bxd5 g6 21.Ne5 Bxd5 22.Rxd5 Rxd5 23.Rxd5 Rd8 24.Qc4 Rxd5 25.Qxd5 Bf6 26.Nd7 Kg7 27.b3 Bc3 28.a4 Qd8 29.Qd6 Bf6 30.Kf1?!

Magnus Carlsen


Hikaru Nakamura

Position after 30.Kf1

[30.h3 Qe7 31.Qd5 Bc3 32.Kg2 "It's very, very hard to make progress I guess." - Carlsen. 32...Kh6 33.Nb8 Kg7 34.Nc6 Qc7 "At least you have a slight advantage." - Carlsen.]

30...Qe7 31.Qd5 Bc3 32.Ke2 Qh4

"Should just be a draw." - Nakamura.

33.Kd3 Ba1 34.Ne5 Bxe5 35.Qxe5+ Kh6 36.Qc7 Qxf2 37.Qxf7 Qf1+ 38.Ke4 Qb1+ 39.Kf3 Qh1+ 40.Kg3 Qg1+ 41.Kf3 Qh1+ 42.Kg3 Qg1+ 43.Kf3 Qh1+ 1/2-1/2

Evgeny Tomashevsky beat Alexander Morozevich

Evgeny Tomashevsky

Evgeny Tomashevsky. Photo ©

Alexander Morozevich had played brilliantly at the start of the event but he has the tendency to blow up following a loss. Today he played the King's Indian against tail-ender Evgeny Tomashevsky. Whilst Tomashevsky seemed quite nervous the opening itself didn't really seem to suit Morozevich either. Probably Morozevich could have had a draw by repetition from his opponent, instead he tried to induce a mistake from his opponent who easily avoided 32.Rxg7? and had an easily winning technical ending and Morozevich soon resigned. Morozevich will perhaps feel a bit better that he still shares the lead, or he might feel even more upset. No doubt McShane will find out tomorrow.

Tomashevsky,Evgeny - Morozevich,Alexander [E90]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7.2), 16.06.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Be3 Bd7 10.Nd2 Kh8 11.Be2 Ng8 12.h4 f5 13.gxf5 gxf5 14.exf5 Nc5 15.Nde4 Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Bxf5 17.Ng3 Bh6 18.Qd2 Bxe3 19.fxe3 Bd7 20.0-0-0 Nf6 21.Rdf1 Qe7 22.Bd3 b6 23.Bc2 Rf7 24.Nf5 Bxf5 25.Rxf5 Raf8 26.Qg2 Ne8 27.Rh5 e4?!

Not necessary, the game hasn't really gone Morozevich's way but he tried to put some pressure on a clearly nervous Tomashevsky who nevertheless is number 15 in the world and very strong.

28.Rg5 Rf2 29.Qg3 R2f3 30.Qg2 Qf6

[30...Rf2 and I don't think there is much doubt Tomashevsky would have repeated.]

31.Rg1 Ng7?

Alexander Morozevich


Evgeny Tomashevsky

Position after 31...Ng7

A fairly naive attempt to create complications from Morozevich. 32. Rxg7 isn't even a total loser. Rf1+ 33. Rxf1 Qxf1+

[31...Rf1+ 32.Bd1 (32.Rxf1 Qxf1+ 33.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 34.Kd2 and the game would have been drawn.) 32...Rxg1 33.Qxg1 Qf7]

32.Rg4 Rf1+ 33.Rxf1 Qxf1+ 34.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 35.Kd2 Rf2+ 36.Kc3 Nf5 37.Rxe4 Kg7 38.Rg4+ Kh6 39.Bxf5 Rxf5 40.Re4 Rf7

Time trouble is over, Morozevich looked completely uninterested in defending this lost position and resigned the following move.

41.b4 a4 1-0

Teimour Rajdabov draw Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana against Teimour Radjabov

Fabiano Caruana against Teimour Radjabov. Photo ©

Teimour Radjabov found a hole in Fabiano Caruana's Gruenfeld preparation taking a pretty standard Gruenfeld ending position that you have to know to play the variation and turning it into a winning position. However uncertainty followed by time trouble meant that Caruana survived to the first time control after which he gradually equalised.

Radjabov: It's a little bit sad when you don't win winning positions.

Caruana: Didn't seem like a very good game, I'm just happy to survive this.

Radjabov,Teimour - Caruana,Fabiano [D85]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7.3), 16.06.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Rb1 0-0 9.Be2 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ 11.Qd2 Qxd2+ 12.Bxd2 Rd8 13.d5 Na6 14.Rc1

After Rc1 I didn't like my position at all. - Caruana.

14...f5! 15.e5 h6 16.Bc4 Kh8 17.0-0 g5 18.Rfd1 f4 19.Bxa6 bxa6 20.Ba5 Rg8

Fabiano Caruana


Teimour Radjabov

Position after 20...Rg8


Starts to make white's life complicated.

[21.Rc7; 21.d6; 21.Rc7 seems to be the clearest win. 21. Rc7 g4 22. Nh4 Bxe5 23. Rxe7 Bf6 24. Rf7 and the knight can't be captured because of Bc3+.]

21...Rb8 22.a4 Bb7 23.Rc7 g4 24.Nh4 Bf6 25.Nf5 Bxd5 26.Nxe7 Bxe7 27.Rxe7 Rg5 28.Bc7 Rb4

Fabiano Caruana


Teimour Radjabov

Position after 28...Rb4


[29.g3 I didn't see what to do after g3. 29...f3 30.Bf4]

29...Rg8 30.Be5+ Kh7 31.Re7+ Kg6 32.Rxa7 Re4 33.Bxf4 Bb3 34.Rb1 Bxa4 35.Be3 Bb5 36.e7 Re8 37.Bc5 Rc8 38.Be3 Re8 39.Rd1 h5 40.Rd5 h4

Fabiano Caruana


Teimour Radjabov

Position after 40...h4

The players could take stock after severe time trouble and it seems that black can now probably hold the position.

41.h3 gxh3 42.gxh3 R4xe7 43.Rxe7 Rxe7 44.Rg5+ Kf6 45.Rg4 Rh7 46.Bg5+ Kf7

It seems a bit unnecessary to give up the pawn but black gets to tie white down for a long time.

47.Bxh4 Bd7 48.Rf4+ Kg8 49.Kh2 a5 50.Kg3 Rg7+ 51.Kh2 Rh7 52.Rd4 a4 53.Rd3 a3 54.Bf6 a2 55.f4 Rf7 56.Be5 Rh7 57.Ra3 Be6 58.Kg2 Kf7 59.Ra7+ Kg8 60.Ra6 Bxh3+ 61.Kg3 Bd7 62.Rxa2 Rh3+ 63.Kg2 Rd3 1/2-1/2

Levon Aronian draw Alexander Grischuk

Grischuk and Aronian at their press conference

Grischuk and Aronian at their press conference. Photo ©

Levon Aronian and Alexander Grischuk have fully contributed towards the Tal Memorial but neither have been able to get going. and Aronian in particular has lost quite a few rating points. Today Aronian was hit by a bit of preparation from a Saric-Riazantsev which secured Grischuk an easy draw and made Aronian work for his half point. Even now a couple of wins might get them a share of first but it is unlikely.

Aronian,Levon - Grischuk,Alexander [E15]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (7.5), 16.06.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 Ba6 7.b3 c6 8.Nc3 d5 9.e4 Nxe4 10.Nxe4 dxe4 11.Ng5 c5 12.Bg2 Nc6 13.dxc5 Qxd2+ 14.Kxd2 f5 15.Nxe6

[15.cxb6 Ke7 16.bxa7 Rhd8+ 17.Kc1 h6 18.Nh3 Nd4 19.Rd1 e5 20.Kb2 Rxa7 21.Rd2 g5 22.Ng1 Bxc4 23.g4 Bxb3 24.Ne2 Ba4 25.Nxd4 Rb7+ 26.Ka3 exd4 27.Rb2 Rxb2 28.Kxb2 d3 29.Ka3 Rd4 0-1 Saric,A (2514)-Riazantsev,A (2634)/Budva MNE 2009; 15.Kc3 Ke7 16.b4]

15...Kf7 16.Nf4 bxc5 17.f3 Rad8+ 18.Kc3 e3

Alexander Grischuk


Levon Aronian

Position after 18...e3

Grischuk was obviously still in preparation, Aronian was thinking. This is quite tricky.

19.Nd3 Rhe8 20.Nxc5 e2

[20...Rd2 21.Nxa6 Rxg2 22.Nc7 Rd8 23.Nd5 e2 also is equal.]

21.Nxa6 Re3+ 22.Kc2 Red3 23.Rae1

[23.Nc5 Nb4+ 24.Kb2 Rd2+ 25.Kc3 a5]

23...Rd2+ 24.Kc1 Rxa2

[24...f4 25.Bh3 Rxa2 26.Nc5 Rdd2 27.Bf5 Nd4 28.Bb1 Rab2]

25.f4 Rdd2 26.Bxc6 Rac2+ 27.Kb1 Rb2+ 28.Ka1 Ra2+

Draw by perpetual check is the natural end.


7th Mikhail Tal Memorial Moscow (RUS), 8-18 vi 2012 cat. XXII (2776)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2835 * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ . . 4 2833
2. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2769 ½ * ½ . 1 0 1 1 . 0 4 2834
3. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2784 0 ½ * ½ ½ . ½ . 1 1 4 2818
4. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2801 ½ . ½ * . ½ 1 ½ 0 1 4 2824
5. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2770 ½ 0 ½ . * ½ ½ . 1 1 4 2816
6. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2775 ½ 1 . ½ ½ * . 0 ½ ½ 2777
7. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2761 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ . * ½ 1 . 3 2734
8. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2825 ½ 0 . ½ . 1 ½ * 0 ½ 3 2719
9. McShane, Luke J g ENG 2706 . . 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 * ½ 3 2729
10. Tomashevsky, Evgeny g RUS 2738 . 1 0 0 0 ½ . ½ ½ * 2673
Round 7 (June 16, 2012)
Radjabov, Teimour - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 63 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Nakamura, Hikaru - Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ 43 E10 Blumenfeld Counter Gambit
Aronian, Levon - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ 28 E15 Queens Indian
McShane, Luke J - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 94 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Tomashevsky, Evgeny - Morozevich, Alexander 1-0 41 E90 King's Indian Classical

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