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7th Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012 (8)

Sensational 7th Tal Memorial Round 8

After starting with 0/2 McShane is back to 50% having beaten Aronian, Kramnik and now Morozevich in Round 8. Photo ©

After starting with 0/2 McShane is back to 50% having beaten Aronian, Kramnik and now Morozevich in Round 8. Photo © |

The eighth round of the 7th Tal Memorial was completely sensational with the sole round 6 leaders Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Morozevich losing their 2nd and 3rd games respectively in a row. Luke McShane outplayed Morozevich with black before the game entered a big time scramble where McShane hit his opponent with a number of blows that led to resignation on move 40. Caruana now leads alone on 5/8 after surviving an interesting pawn sacrifice from Kramnik. It may be that Kramnik forgot his preparation and blundered with 20...Kc7 as Caruana thought it a mistake, and Kramnik stopped playing quickly and had a long think. Caruana was probably winning when a Kramnik blunder finished the game before first time control. Grischuk beat Nakamura in a mid-table struggle. Radjabov-Aronian, ended in a draw. Carlsen-Tomashevsky was the final game to finish. Carlsen thought he was better throughout and was annoyed at suggestions otherwise. He felt he was close to winning at one point but continued to try and press right into an endgame where Carlsen thought he was better but not winning. In the end he had to settle for a draw. He said afterwards that he felt he had to win today.

Round 8 standings: 1st Caruana 5 pts 2nd Carlsen Radjabov 4.5pts 4th Morozevich, Grischuk, McShane, Kramnik 4pts. 8th Nakamura, Aronian 3.5pts. 10th Tomashevsky 3pts.

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

Full report below. 3 games with detailed press conference comments from the players. The final round starts two hours earlier than the others. 1pm Moscow time, 10am BST.

Round 9 June 18, 2012 1pm Moscow time 10am BST

Fabiano Caruana beat Vladimir Kramnik

Fabiano Caruana talking through his game with Maxim Dlugy

Fabiano Caruana talking through his game with Maxim Dlugy. Photo ©

Fabiano Caruana took a half point lead into the final round of the Tal Memorial after defeating Vladimir Kramnik for the first time. Kramnik surprised Caruana with his choice of variation and Kramnik bashed out the first 20 moves without much thought. Then having spent a minute on 20...Kc7, which may practically have been the mistake, he spent 40 minutes on 21...Ra8 and never really got into the game, certainly Caruana seemed confident of his options after this. Then with three minutes on his clock but with a deteriorating position Kramnik's 39...Ne3? lost on the spot. Kramnik rarely loses two in a row, the last time was against Anand in the World Championship in 2008, and who knows before that. Caruana has been well prepared throughout the event and calm at the board but it is still a surprise that he is the sole leader.

Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik. Photo ©

Caruana,Fabiano - Kramnik,Vladimir [C45]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (8.1), 17.06.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.Nd2 g6 10.Nf3 Bg7 11.Bg5 f6

"I hadn't really looked at f6. I had mainly concentrated on 11...Qb4 after 11.Bg5. But 11...f6 is a very logical move." - Caruana.

12.exf6 Qxe2+ 13.Bxe2 Nxf6 14.0-0-0 0-0-0 15.Be3

"At some point the play became very forced." - Caruana.

[15.Rhe1 Rde8 16.Nd2 (16.Be3 d6 17.Nd4 c5 18.Nc6 Kb7 (18...Bb7 19.Bf3 Kd7 20.Nxa7 Bxf3 21.gxf3 c6 22.Rd3 Kc7 23.Red1 Re6 24.Ra3 Nd7 25.b4 cxb4 26.Ra6 Nb8 27.Nb5+ Kc8 28.Ra7 Be5 29.f4 cxb5 30.fxe5 Rd8 31.cxb5 Rxe5 32.Kb2 Nd7 33.b6 Nf6 34.b7+ 1-0 Sveshnikov,E (2524)-Hungaski,R (2400)/Moscow 2006/EXT 2007) 19.Bf3 Ne4 20.Na5+ Kb6 21.Bxe4 Rxe4 22.Bxc5+ dxc5 23.Rxe4 Kxa5 24.Rd3 Bc8 25.f4 Kb6 26.Rde3 Bd4 27.Re1 Rf8 28.Re8 Rxe8 29.Rxe8 Bf5 30.Kd2 h5 31.b3 h4 32.Ke2 Bg1 33.h3 Bd4 34.Kf3 Kc6 35.g4 hxg3 36.Kxg3 a5 37.h4 Kd7 38.Re1 Be6 39.Rh1 Bf5 40.h5 gxh5 41.Rxh5 Bb1 42.Rh2 Ke6 1/2-1/2 Sveshnikov,E (2503)-Samolins,V (2256)/Riga LAT 2006/The Week in Chess 597) 16...d6 17.Nb3 Rhf8 18.Na5 Re5 19.Bxf6 Bh6+ 20.Kb1 Rxa5 21.Bc3 Rg5 22.Bd2 Rxf2 23.Bxg5 Bxg5 24.Bf1 Bf6 25.Re2 Rf4 26.g3 Rd4 27.Rxd4 Bxd4 28.Re7 c5 29.Rxh7 Bb7 30.Bd3 1-0 Koepke,C (2358)-Kahlert,T (2221)/Nuremberg GER 2010/The Week in Chess 827]

15...Rde8 16.Bd3 d6

[16...Ng4 "After 16.Bd3 black can't play 16...Ng4." 17.Bxa7 Kb7 18.h3 "and I have an advantage."]

17.c5 Bxd3 18.Rxd3 Nd5

"The way he played it looked very logical to me."

19.cxd6 cxd6 20.Bxa7

Vladimir Kramnik


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 20.Bxa7

"White is pretty much forced to take the pawn otherwise black will have a very good position." - Caruana.


"The move he played also looked possible but I didn't see a way for black to disturb me in any way to get compensation for the pawn." - Caruana who later pointed to this move as the move that got Kroamnik into trouble. "It's not very obvious.".

[20...Kd7 "I thought maybe it was more accurate to play Kd7 avoiding Ne6+ in some variations." 21.Be3 Ra8 22.a3 Rhb8 "I don't have Nd4-Ne6+ ideas."]


"There's many moves for black but one of the critical ones is 21....Nb4."


Suddenly after more or less playing his moves on the increment Kramnik started to think. You have to wonder if he forgot his preparation (maybe 20...Kd7 as Caruana suggested) and suddenly realised it.

[21...Nb4 22.Rb3 Rb8 (22...Nxa2+ 23.Kb1 Ra8 "Here I thought many moves are good for white. Here I thought I had 24.Ng5 or 24.Rd1 and g4 also looks quite strong." - Caruana. 24.Bd2 "is also possible." 24...c5 25.Re1 "But I thought he can't put his knight on a2") 23.a3 "is simply bad for white." (23.Kb1 "Quite good for white. I don't see any ideas at all.") 23...Na2+ 24.Kc2 Rxb3 25.Kxb3 Rb8+ 26.Kxa2 Rxb2+ 27.Ka1 Although here is actually looks more like a draw by perpetual check is the most likely result.]

22.a3 Ra4

[22...Rhb8 23.Bd4 "But here I think I have a good position." 23...Nf4 24.Re3 is quite strong. 24...Bxd4 25.Nxd4 Nxg2 26.Re7+]


"After 22.Ra4 I think 23.Ra1 is a strong move. Perhaps with ideas like Re7 in the future."


[23...Rb8 24.Bd4 is good for white according to Caruana. 24...Nf4 25.Re7+ Kd8 26.Rde3 is winning. 26...Be5 27.Bxe5 dxe5 28.Rxh7 Rb5 29.Ng5]


"I think 24.Ng5 is very strong. Just kind of ruining his co-ordination."


[24...Kd7 25.Rb3 "and it's not easy to stop Rb7."]


"I just traded rooks."

25...Kd7 26.Rxe8 Kxe8

"In general the more pieces I trade the better it is for me."


"I felt like he could have played more accurately at this point."


[27...Bh6 28.g3 Nxe3 29.Rxe3+ Kd7 "I think the rook ending should be good for me." 30.h4 Bxg5 31.hxg5 "I'm not sure, maybe it's objectively drawn. At least it's very unpleasant. You can't really guarantee you're going to win."]

28.Rb3 Kc8

[28...Nxe3 29.Rb7+ (29.fxe3 "Probably what I was going to go for.) 29...Kc8 30.Rxg7 Nxg2 31.Nxh7 "I wasn't sure but it seems like black has drawing chances."]


Vladimir Kramnik


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 29.Bd2

"It seems like I've totally consolidated and I'm a clear pawn up. And even has some problems with his h-pawn."


"This was clearly a concession. g6 is very weak and I always have a square for my knight on g4."

[29...h6 30.Nf7 "and I think he's losing a pawn."]

30.Nf7 Kc7 31.Rg3 Ne7 32.b4 Kd7 33.Rd3 d5

[33...Nd5 "Objectively may it's even winning at this point."]

34.Kc2 Nf5 35.Bc3 d4

[35...Rxa3 36.Bxg7 Rxd3 37.Kxd3 Nxg7 38.Ne5+ Kd6 39.Nxg6 and white is winning.]

36.Kb3 Ra8 37.Ng5

"Of course there is a lot of work still to be done to win this."

37...Kd6 38.f3 Kd5 39.Ne4 Ne3?

Vladimir Kramnik


Fabiano Caruana

Position after 39....Ne3

"It was only here that he blundered."

[39...Nh4 40.Bxd4 Bxd4 41.Nc3+ Ke5 42.f4+ and white should be winning the ending.]

40.Rxe3 1-0

Alexander Morozevich 0-1 Luke McShane


McShane-Morozevich. Photo ©

Luke McShane scored his 3rd victory of the event to get back to a 50% score. After a 0/2 start he has looked stronger round by round. He faced Alexander Morozevich who started with 4/5 and whom McShane has caught on 4/8. McShane simply handled the pressure better and once things turned against Morozevich he was always likely to fold. McShane boldly sacrificed the exchange with only 2 and a bit minutes left on his clock and even saw resources the Morozevich should have seen and played. He repeated to gain time on the clock and forced resignation at the first time control. McShane has had good positions against his final round opponent in the last two London Classics, it should be an interesting final round game. Notes based on comments by McShane at the press conference.

Morozevich fan club held up banners
at the start of play but it didn't end up helping him.

Morozevich fan club. Photo ©

Morozevich,Alexander - McShane,Luke J [D15]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (8.3), 17.06.2012

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e3 b5

"I wanted to play something a little more solid than the last time I had black and I wasn't sure what to expect. " - McShane

6.b3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.gxf3 Nbd7 9.Bg2

[9.cxd5 cxd5 10.a4 b4 11.Ne2 e6 12.Nf4 Bd6 13.Nd3 a5 14.Bb2 Qb8 15.f4 0-0 16.Ne5 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Ne4 18.Bd3 Ndc5 19.Bc2 Nc3 20.Qh5 g6 21.Rg1 Qb7 22.h4 Rfd8 23.Bxc3 bxc3 24.Qf3 Nxb3 25.Ra2 Nc1 26.h5 Nxa2 27.hxg6 fxg6 28.Bxg6 Kh8 29.Bxh7 Qxh7 30.Rh1 Rd7 0-1 Ward,C (2448)-Sarakauskas,G (2403)/Hinckley ENG 2012/The Week in Chess 897]


"White has the idea of playing c5 and f4. Black has kind of a rather passive position but an extremely solid one. I wasn't sure if this is actually what I wanted to do."

[9...e5 "is a bit risky as white has the two bishops my light squares become a little bit weak this way. On some kind of positional basis I decided not to do this."]

10.Bd2 Be7 11.f4 0-0 12.0-0

[12.c5 "White is the only one with winning chances because black doesn't have any breaks but black is extremely solid. I think he was playing for somewhat more active play."]


"I didn't want to allow this [c5] forever."

13.bxc4 Nb6 14.c5 Nc4

Luke McShane


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 14...Nc4

"It's a bit double-edged to do this because I may just lose a pawn because it [the knight] doesn't really have any escape squares but at first I saw the idea to play Nd7 and then g5 and that kind of persuaded me I would have enough counterplay to justify this and then later I saw the idea of playing Kh8, Rg8 and g5 as I played and when I saw that. I was actually reasonably happy with my position." - McShane


"Is more ambitious but white's pieces are more conjested."

[15.Re1 "Actually I'm not sure what to recommend." 15...Kh8 (15...Nxd2 playing solidly and trying to make a draw somehow.) 16.Bf1 Rg8 17.Bxc4 dxc4 18.Qe2 g5 "Already looks like quite dangerous counterplay to me." - McShane.]

15...Kh8 16.Ne2 Rg8 17.Ng3 g5 18.Qf3?!

Luke McShane


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 18.Qf3?!

A bit of a surprise to McShane.

[18.f5 g4 19.h4 Nd7 20.h5 Bh4 21.Qd3 Qg5 "Threatening to take on g3. I didn't really see what white was going to do about this." 22.e4 Bxg3 23.fxg3 Rab8! McShane thought he might not even have to take the h-pawn first. "Then white is in a bit of a mess." - McShane. (23...Qxh5 "It's not clear what white has." 24.e5 Rab8; 23...Qe3+ 24.Qxe3 Nxe3 25.Rf2 and it's not so obviousl how to continue. 25...exf5 26.exd5 cxd5 27.Bd2 Nxg2 28.Kxg2 "and then white is somehow getting the initiative.") ]


[18...gxf4 19.Qxf4 (19.exf4 was what McShane feared. 19...Nd7 20.Rc1 f5 Probably black wouldn't play f5 here but in order to give a line McShane started with this move. (20...Rc8 21.f5 e5 "Black has various good options, maybe this is one." 22.dxe5 Ncxe5 (22...Ndxe5) 23.Qe2 Nc4) 21.Rxc4 dxc4 22.Qxc6 and white's king is extremely safe and all of black's pawns are falling.) 19...Qb8 "Is very safe for black."]

19.hxg4 Nxg4

Threatening to bring the queen to the h-file, possibly via Bxc5.


"I didn't see what else."


[20...Bxc5 21.Rxc4 (21.Bh3 Qh4 wasn't clear to McShane. 22.Bxg4) 21...Qh4 22.Qxg4 Qxg4 23.Rxc5 h5 unclear.]


[21.Rxc4 Qh6 and there is no good answer to Qh2.]


[21...f5 22.Rxc4 dxc4 23.Qxc6 It's very hard to tell what is going on. White certainly has good compensation for the exchange. 23...Qh6 24.Qh1]


[22.Rxc4 dxc4 (22...Qh6 23.Kg2 (23.Bxe6 fxe6 24.Rb4 Ng4 25.Qh1 Bh4 26.Rb7 Rg6! "I didn't think white would survive." (26...Nxe3 27.fxe3 Bxg3 28.Qxh6 Bxf4+ 29.Qg7+ Rxg7+ 30.Rxg7 Bxe3+ 31.Bf2 Bxf2+ 32.Kxf2 Kxg7 33.Rb1) ) 23...dxc4 24.Qxc6 Nd5) 23.Qxc6 Qh6 24.Bg2 (24.Qh1 "Because a queen exchange is probably in white's favour.") 24...Ng4]


"I didn't see exactly how to continue on the kingside."


Luke McShane


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 23.e4

"I was getting quite worried because I didn't see how to continue. " and McShane was starting to get into time trouble.


"Well I liked it." - McShane. This was a very practical decision. Morozevich (10.53) had somewhat more time than McShane (2.03).

[23...Rb2 24.Rxc4 dxc4 25.Bc3 Rxa2 I didn't particularly like it. ; 23...Qh6 24.Rxc4 dxc4 25.Bc3 and certainly visually black has problems. 25...Rg4!?]


[24.Qxg3 Nxe4 25.Qd3 Qh6 26.Rxc4 Qxf4+ "and black is doing well." -McShane. ]

24...dxe4 25.Qc3 Nb2

Luke McShane


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 25...Nb2

"This is not completely ridiculous." McShane

[25...Qh6 "Now you say it I can see it is extremely strong." 26.Rh1 Ne3 "Oh black's doing great." - McShane.]


Not yet bad but Morozevich had better.

[26.d5! "I was very sure d5 was the right move." 26...exd5 27.Bf2 Kg8 (27...Nd3 28.Bd4 Qh6 (28...Qg7 29.Rb1 Rg8 30.Rg1 Nf2 was what McShane saw. 31.g4 refutes.) 29.Rb1 Rg8) 28.Rb1 (28.Bd4 Qh6 29.Rb1 wins for white.) 28...Nd3 29.Bd4 Qh6]

26...Nd5 27.Qd2 Nc4 28.Rxb8 Qxb8 29.Qe2 Nce3 30.Rh1

[30.Qxa6 Is a practical chance suggested by Dlugy. "I least I think black doesn't need to be worried." - McShane. 30...Nxf1+ 31.Bxf1 Qb1 32.Qe2 Bf6 33.Bg2]


The players are within a second of each other 2.38-2.37.


Luke McShane


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 31.Bg2

[31.Bf2 Bxd4 32.Rd1 Qb4 Looks unpleasant for white.]

31...Bxd4 32.Bxe4? Nxf4!

Luke McShane


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 32...Nxf4


33.gxf4 Qxf4+ 34.Bg3 Qxe4 35.Re1 Qf5

"I saw that he doesn't really have any moves here." - McShane.

36.Bd6 Ng4+ 37.Kg2 Ne3+

A time trouble repeat.

38.Kh2 e5 39.Rg1 Qf4+ 40.Kh3 Qh6+

Luke McShane


Alexander Morozevich

Position after 40...Qh6+

[40...Qh6+ 41.Kg3 Nf5+ 42.Kg4 Qf4+ 43.Kh3 Qh4+ 44.Kg2 Qg3+ 45.Kh1 Qxg1#]


Alexander Grischuk 1-0 Hikaru Nakamura

Alexander Grischuk

Alexander Grischuk. Photo ©

Alexander Grischuk defeated Hikaru Nakamura in a Sicilian Dragon where the American set up a cheeky tactic which wasn't as favourable for him as he thought after Grischuk found a precise reply. Nevertheless maybe Nakamura should have played his Nxg4 tactic because once he didn't play it his position fell apart quite alarmingly.

Grischuk,Alexander - Nakamura,Hikaru [B75]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (8.5), 17.06.2012

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.g4 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Nd5 Bxd5 12.exd5 Rc8 13.h4 Qc7 14.Rh2 e5!? 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.0-0-0 e5!?

Nakamura playing for quite a nasty trick. Grischuk plunged into a big think.

[16...Nd5 17.h5 (17.Bxg7 Qxg7 18.Re2 Qf7 19.Re4 Rc6 20.Bb5 Rb6 21.Ba4 Nf4 22.Bb3 d5 23.Rd4 Rc6 24.Kb1 b5 25.a4 a6 26.Rb4 Qf6 27.h5 gxh5 28.gxh5 Kh8 29.Rh1 Rb6 30.h6 e5 31.Re1 d4 32.c3 bxa4 33.Rxb6 Qxb6 34.Rxe5 Qf6 35.Qxd4 Ng6 36.Rf5 Qxd4 37.Rxf8+ Nxf8 38.cxd4 axb3 39.Kc1 Kg8 40.Kd2 Kf7 0-1 Oll,L (2595)-Georgiev,K (2660)/Biel 1993/CBM 037) 17...Rf4 18.Bxg7 Qxg7 19.hxg6 hxg6 20.Qe1 Kf7 21.Bd3 Rb4 22.c3 Nxc3 23.bxc3 Rxc3+ 24.Rc2 Rxc2+ 25.Bxc2 Qb2+ 26.Kd2 Rc4 27.Rc1 Qxa2 28.Qe3 Qa5+ 29.Ke2 Rc5 1-0 Petr,M (2511)-Pisk,P (2337)/Olomouc CZE 2010/The Week in Chess 824]

17.Be3 Qf7

Hikaru Nakamura


Alexander Grischuk

Position after 18.Kb1



[18...Nxg4 19.fxg4 Qxf1 20.h5! Is presumably the kind of thing that Grischuk found which is better for white now. But I'm thinking Nakamura should have played it. (20.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 21.Qc1 Rxc1+ 22.Kxc1 which is better for black.) ]


Already Nakamura has a very difficult position.


[19...d4 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Bh6; 19...Nxg4 20.fxg4 Qxf1 21.h6 Bh8 22.Qxd5+ Qf7 23.Qxf7+ Rxf7]

20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Be2

With by far the better chances for white.

21...Qe6 22.Bd4 Rc7 23.Rdh1 Rff7 24.a3 b6 25.fxe4 Qxe4 26.g5 Nh5 27.Bxg7 Kxg7 28.Bxh5 gxh5 29.Rxh5

Grischuk was a bit short of time but he is completely winning.

29...Qc4 30.Qd1 Qe4 31.g6 Rfe7 32.R5h4 Qe5 33.Rh7+ Kg8 34.R7h5 Qe4 35.Qd2 1-0

Teimour Radjabov draw Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian. Photo ©

Teimour Radjabov and Levon Aronian drew an intricate struggle that was overshadowed by the drama on the other boards. Their press conference wasn't broadcast fully and was in Russian. It seems Radjabov was better, was somewhat outplayed in the early middlegame but Radjabov found a way to hold comfortably in the end and is in second place alongside Carlsen with a round to go, Aronian has had a tournament to forget but plays the leader Caruana in the final round and will be duty bound to have some sort of go.

Radjabov,Teimour - Aronian,Levon [A07]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (8.2), 17.06.2012

1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bg4 3.Bg2 e6 4.c4 c6 5.0-0 Nd7 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Qb3 Qb6

[7...Rb8 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.d4 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Nc6 11.Rd1 Qb6 12.Bf4 Rc8 13.e4 dxe4 14.Bxe4 Na5 15.Qa4 Rc4 16.Qc2 Bd6 17.Be3 Nf6 18.d5 Bc5 19.Bxc5 Qxc5 20.Bd3 Rb4 21.a3 Rb3 22.dxe6 fxe6 23.Bg6+ 1-0 Loginov,V (2510)-Solozhenkin,E (2508)/St Petersburg RUS 2006/The Week in Chess 606]

8.Qxb6 Nxb6 9.Nc3 a6 10.d3 Nf6 11.Ne5 Bh5 12.Be3 Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Nxd7 14.f4 Bb4 15.Kf2 0-0 16.Rfc1 Rfc8 17.h3 Bg6 18.g4 h5

A pretty dynamic solution to his problems.

19.Bf3 Bh7 20.gxh5 Kf8 21.Rg1 Rc7 22.Rg2 Be7 23.Bd4 Bf6 24.Bxf6 Nxf6 25.Rag1 Ne8 26.Rg4 d4 27.Na4 Rd8 28.Rg5 Bf5 29.b4 Rc2 30.Nc5 b6 31.Ne4 Rxa2 32.Rc1 Rb2 33.Ra1 Nc7 34.Rag1

Levon Aronian


Teimour Radjabov

Position after 34.Rag1

White got counterplay that led to a draw.

34...Nd5 35.Rxg7 Nxf4 36.Rg8+ Ke7 37.Rxd8 Nxh3+ 38.Kg3 Nxg1 39.Rb8 Nxe2+ 40.Bxe2 Rxe2 41.Rb7+ Kf8 42.Nd6 Bxd3 43.Rxf7+ Kg8 44.h6 Re5 45.Rg7+ Kf8 1/2-1/2

Magnus Carlsen draw Evgeny Tomashevsky

Evgeny Tomashevsky and Magnus Carlsen had a lengthy and friendly post-mortem

Evgeny Tomashevsky and Magnus Carlsen had a lengthy and friendly post-mortem. Photo ©

Magnus Carlsen was disappointed that he didn't manage to make more of a middle-game advantage against Evengy Tomashevsky but still managed to put pressure on with a brave double pawn sacrifice late in the ending in the final game to finish. Tomashevsky held firm to draw the game. Carlsen will need to beat McShane with black and hope that Caruana doesn't get a positive result against Aronian.

What do you think about the situation in the last round, so many leaders and possibilities?

Carlsen: I don't have any opinion, I needed to win this game and I had a great position and I didn't so I'm not looking forward to the last round. Yet I'm just trying to recover from the game and then assess the situation.

Carlsen,Magnus - Tomashevsky,Evgeny [A29]
7th Tal Memorial Moscow RUS (8.4), 17.06.2012

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bc5 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 a6 7.a3 0-0 8.b4 Ba7 9.d3 h6 10.Bb2 Rb8

[10...Be6 1/2-1/2 Navara,D (2731)-Movsesian,S (2723)/Pardubice CZE 2010/The Week in Chess 820 (66)]

11.Rc1 Be6 12.Nd2

[12.h3 1-0 Jobava,B (2556)-Dydyshko,V (2516)/Leon ESP 2001/The Week in Chess 366 (30)]

12...Ne7 13.e3 Qd7 14.Ne2 Bg4 15.Re1 Ng6 16.Qc2 c6 17.d4 Rbe8 18.c5 Bb8 19.dxe5 dxe5 20.Nc4 Bh3

Levon Aronian


Teimour Radjabov

Position after 34.Rag1

"I'll skip the opening but now white has a wonderful position." - Carlsen.

21.Rcd1 Qe6 22.Na5 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 Re7 24.e4 Qg4 25.Ng1 Nh4+ 26.Kh1 Nf3 27.Nxf3 Qxf3+ 28.Kg1

"I'll have to find a more accurate way of playing because what I did, I thought..." - Carlsen

28...Qg4 29.Rd3 Qc8 30.Nc4 Qe6 31.f3 Bc7 32.Red1

"Here I was totally dominating." Carlsen.

32...Rd7 33.Nd6 Bxd6 34.Rxd6 Rxd6

[34...Rfd8! "Rd8 is nice." - Carlsen. 35.Rxd7 (35.Rxe6? can't be played. 35...Rxd1+ 36.Kg2 R8d2+) 35...Rxd7 36.Rxd7 Nxd7 is completely equal. "I did not see that." - Carlsen. "Ahh Rd8 [pulled a face] - Tomashevsky.]

35.Rxd6 Qa2!

Evgeny Tomashevsky


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 35...Qa2

"After this I realised most of my advantage had gone." - Carlsen.

[35...Qe7 36.Qd3 and white is on top and can even bring his king to the queenside. Carlsen seemed to be suggesting that if he had been more careful something like this should have arisen and he was pretty disappointed it didn't. He certainly looked very relaxed at the board during this middlegame.]

36.Kg2 Re8 37.Qc3

"And here I started making some pointless moves." - Carlsen.


Going for counterplay.


[38.Rd7 Nf8 39.Rxb7 Rd8 "Black is getting too active." - Carlsen. 40.Rc7 Rd1 and black is indeed winning. 41.Kh3 Rb1 42.Bc1 Rxc1 43.Qxc1 Ne6]

38...Nf8 39.Bc1 Qe6 40.Rd6 Qa2+ 41.Qb2 Qxb2+

[41...Qc4 "Was also a possibility." - Carlsen.]

42.Bxb2 f6 43.Kh3 Re7 44.Kg4 Kf7

"White is obviously better here but it is very hard to do anything." - Carlsen.

45.Bc1 Rd7

"Here I thought for a long time because in general if I exchange then it's just a fortress." - Carlsen.


[46.Rxd7+ Nxd7 47.Be3 Ke6 (47...Kg6 "Probably even Kg6" - Tomashevsky. 48.f4 Kf7 and Nf8.) 48.h4 "Fortress" - Carlsen.]

46...Rxd6 47.cxd6

Evgeny Tomashevsky


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 47.cxd6

"This I had to try. I thought about this for a long time. And I thought I could still pose black some problems." - Carlsen.

47...Nd7 48.a4

"Is crucial" - Carlsen.

[48.Kh5 b6 "and afterwards c5 and take with the knight." - Carlsen and Tomashevsky agreed.]

48...b6 49.a5 bxa5

[49...b5 "Probably I could play b5 and I'm not sure you have any ideas" - Tomashevsky. "Better to get a passed pawn I think." - Carlsen. 50.Kh5 Kg8 "I didn't want to resourt to passive defence." - Tomashevsky. 51.f4 Kf7 52.f5 "Kg8 and Kg7 I think you have no breakthrough." - Tomashevsky. 52...Kg8 53.g4 Kh7 54.h4 Kg8 55.g5 hxg5 56.hxg5 Kh7 and if white tries to get to e7 with his bishop then either c5 with counterplay or an early Kf7 instead of Kh7 holds. ]

50.bxa5 c5

"I need to do this." - Carlsen.


Evgeny Tomashevsky


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 51.Kh5

"Instead of Kg8 we were looking at what we thought were really dangerous lines for white if black plays c4." - Dlugy.


[51...c4 was a move that the computers were throwing out in the press centre. Maxim Dlugy mentioned it but couldn't mention any convincing variations. "Insane for black to play like this." Carlsen seemed quite cross about this and Tomashevsky never looked at this idea either. "If you analyse with a computer show me that white is worse ... that's OK but I mean ... I spent a lot of time on this during the game and I didn't that white was worse. Actually I'm quite sure white is the one who is pressing." - Carlsen. "I totally agree." - Tomashevsky. Carlsen got really quite cross that black could be better after this. 52.Bd2 f5 53.exf5 Nf6+ 54.Kh4 Nd5 55.d7]


[52.Kg6 c4 is an important resource. - Carlsen. (52...Nf8+ "You think so?" - Carlsen. 53.Kf5 Kf7 54.Bxc5 h5 "Ah! Nice, nice. That would have been a nice way to get mated." - Carlsen who was very amused by this Tomashevsky line.) ]

52...exf4 53.gxf4 Kf7 54.Bd2 Nf8 55.Be3 Nd7 56.f5

"Here white doesn't have any other ideas." - Carlsen.

56...c4 57.Bd4 Ke8

[57...Ne5 58.Bxe5 (58.Bc3 Ke8 59.Bxe5 fxe5 60.Kg6 c3 61.Kxg7 c2 62.f6 c1Q 63.f7+ Winning for white.) 58...fxe5 59.d7 Ke7 60.Kg6 Kxd7 61.Kxg7 c3 62.f6 c2 63.f7 c1Q 64.f8Q "Slight better for white." - Tomashevsky. 64...Qg1+ 65.Kh7 Qxh2?! (65...Qd4) ]

58.Kg6 Kf8 59.Bc3 Kg8 60.Bd4 Kf8 61.h3 Kg8 62.Bc3 Kf8 63.h4 Kg8 64.e5

Evgeny Tomashevsky


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 64.e5

"I tried my only idea." - Carlsen. "What a nice idea." - Tomashevsky.

64...fxe5 65.f6 gxf6

[65...Nxf6 "is a draw." - Carlsen. 66.Bxe5 Kf8 67.h5 (67.Bb2 h5 "But this is more complicated I think." - Carlsen.) 67...Ke8 68.Kxg7 Nxh5+ 69.Kxh6 c3 70.Kxh5 c2 71.Bb2 Kd7 72.Ba3 c1Q 73.Bxc1 Kxd6 and the rooks pawn is the wrong colour for the bishop.]

66.h5 f5!

Evgeny Tomashevsky


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 66...f5!

Played after quite some thought from Tomashevsky. "Now I think f5 is the only move but it's sufficient." - Carlsen.

[66...e4 67.Bd2 "and I must resign." - Tomashevsky. 67...c3 May be sufficient to hold, but not for a human. (67...Kh8 "You can go Kh8" - Carlsen. "I saw this move. After that you probably have Bh6." - Tomashevsky. "Maybe" - Carlsen. 68.Bxh6 c3 69.Kf7) 68.Bxc3 e3 69.Bxf6 Nf8+ 70.Kxh6 Kf7 71.Bh4 Ne6]


[67.Kxh6? f4]]

67...Kf7 68.Bb4 e4 69.Kxe4 Ke6 70.Kd4 Nf6 71.Kxc4 Nxh5 72.Kc5 Nf6 73.Kc6 Nd7 74.Be1 h5 75.Bg3 Nf8 76.Kb7 h4 77.Bh2 Kd5 78.Kxa6

"Now it's a fortress." - Carlsen.

78...Kc6 79.Ka7 Nd7 80.a6 Nc5 81.Bf4 h3 82.Bg3 Kb5 83.Bh2 Kc6 84.Bg3 Kb5 85.Bh2

"I thought of what it is to play the number one player in the world." - Tomashevsky on how his opening didn't work out as good as he expected but he had doubts it was as bad as Carlsen thought. "The last few hours I was defending but I was trying hard not to grovel. I thought I played quite well in the last part of the game. But the second half of the game was unpleasant." - Tomashevsky.

Evgeny Tomashevsky


Magnus Carlsen

Position after 85.Bh2


7th Mikhail Tal Memorial Moscow (RUS), 8-18 vi 2012 cat. XXII (2776)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2770 * ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ . 1 5 2866
2. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2835 ½ * 1 ½ ½ ½ . ½ ½ ½ 2820
3. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2784 ½ 0 * ½ ½ ½ 1 . ½ 1 2818
4. Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2769 1 ½ ½ * 1 . 0 0 1 0 4 2774
5. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2761 ½ ½ ½ 0 * 0 1 1 ½ . 4 2783
6. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2801 0 ½ ½ . 1 * 0 ½ ½ 1 4 2774
7. McShane, Luke J g ENG 2706 0 . 0 1 0 1 * ½ 1 ½ 4 2777
8. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2775 ½ ½ . 1 0 ½ ½ * 0 ½ 2732
9. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2825 . ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 * ½ 2728
10. Tomashevsky, Evgeny g RUS 2738 0 ½ 0 1 . 0 ½ ½ ½ * 3 2696
Round 8 (June 17, 2012)
Caruana, Fabiano - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 40 C45 Scotch Game
Carlsen, Magnus - Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½ 85 A29 English Four Knights
Radjabov, Teimour - Aronian, Levon ½-½ 45 A07 Barcza System
Morozevich, Alexander - McShane, Luke J 0-1 40 D15 Slav Defence
Grischuk, Alexander - Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 35 B75 Sicilian Modern Dragon

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