Archive for the ‘Hikaru Nakamura’ Category

Fabiano Caruana is Perfect in Strongest Chess Tournament Ever

September 2, 2014
Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup.

Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup.

For months, the tournament organizers have been promoting the 2014 edition of the Sinquefield Cup as the strongest chess tournament ever assembled. To Fabiano Caruana, however, the 2014 Sinquefield Cup is just a walk in the park! To be fair, the pleasantly modest  Fabiano never described it quite in that way but his actions do speak louder than Magnus Carlsen’s words. Fabiano Caruana has swept half of the world’s top ten chess players during the first five games of this double round robin event. Not since the time of Bobby Fischer has the chess world been treated to such a dominating performance on such a high stage and not since the time of Gioachino Greco has Italy been home to such a awe-inspiring chess talent.


Below I have assembled Fabiano Caruana’s chess games from the 2014 Sinquefield Cup and comments on his performance from chess celebrities on Twitter:


[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2014.08.27"]
[EventDate "2014.08.27"]
[Round "1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Veselin Topalov"]
[Black "Fabiano Caruana"]
[ECO "A35"]
[WhiteElo "2772"]
[BlackElo "2801"]
[PlyCount "68"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2
Nc7 7. O-O e5 8. a3 Rb8 9. d3 Be7 10. Be3 O-O 11. Rc1 Bd7
12. Nd2 Nd4 13. Nc4 f6 14. f4 exf4 15. Bxf4 Nde6 16. Bd2 b6
17. g4 Be8 18. Be1 b5 19. Ne3 Bd6 20. Ncd5 Nxd5 21. Bxd5 Bf7
22. Nf5 Be5 23. Qd2 Nd4 24. Bxf7+ Rxf7 25. Rd1 Nxf5 26. gxf5
Qd4+ 27. Bf2 Qg4+ 28. Kh1 c4 29. Qc2 Re8 30. dxc4 Qh5 31. h4
Qg4 32. Qd3 bxc4 33. Qe3 Rfe7 34. b3 Bb2 0-1


[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2014.08.28"]
[EventDate "2014.08.27"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Fabiano Caruana"]
[Black "Maxime Vachier-Lagrave"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2801"]
[BlackElo "2768"]
[PlyCount "59"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. Be3 Qb6
7. Nc3 Nc6 8. O-O Qxb2 9. Qe1 cxd4 10. Bxd4 Nxd4 11. Nxd4 Bb4
12. Ndb5 Ba5 13. Rb1 Qxc2 14. Rc1 Qb2 15. g4 Bg6 16. f4 Be4
17. Rf2 Nh6 18. Bd3 Qb4 19. Rb1 Qc5 20. Nxe4 dxe4 21. Qxa5 O-O
22. Be2 e3 23. Rff1 Rfc8 24. Qe1 Qd5 25. Rb2 f6 26. Qg3 fxe5
27. fxe5 Rf8 28. Rxf8+ Rxf8 29. Qxe3 Nf7 30. Nc3 1-0


Me to 8 y.o “What’d you think of Carlsen-Caruana?” He revealed Magnus as hero & started crying. #awww #sinqcup in 20


[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Site "Saint Louis USA"]
[Date "2014.08.29"]
[EventDate "2014.08.27"]
[Round "3"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Magnus Carlsen"]
[Black "Fabiano Caruana"]
[ECO "C24"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "68"]

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d3 c6 4.Nf3 d5 5.Bb3 Bb4+ 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bg5
dxe4 8.dxe4 h6 9.Bh4 Qe7 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.Bg3 Bc7 12.O-O Nh5
13.h3 Nxg3 14.fxg3 Nc5 15.Bxf7+ Kxf7 16.Nxe5+ Kg8 17.Ng6 Qg5
18.Rf8+ Kh7 19.Nxh8 Bg4 20.Qf1 Nd3 21.Qxd3 Rxf8 22.hxg4 Qxg4
23.Nf3 Qxg3 24.e5+ Kxh8 25.e6 Bb6+ 26.Kh1 Qg4 27.Qd6 Rd8
28.Qe5 Rd5 29.Qb8+ Kh7 30.e7 Qh5+ 31.Nh2 Rd1+ 32.Rxd1 Qxd1+
33.Nf1 Qxf1+ 34.Kh2 Qg1+ 0-1


[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Site "0:20:33-0:23:33"]
[Date "2014.08.30"]
[EventDate "2014.08.27"]
[Round "4"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Fabiano Caruana"]
[Black "Levon Aronian"]
[ECO "C78"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "99"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3
O-O 8.Nc3 d6 9.a3 Na5 10.Ba2 Be6 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.b4 Nc6 13.Bd2
d5 14.Re1 Qd6 15.Na2 Nd7 16.Qe2 d4 17.Reb1 Nb6 18.Nc1 Na4
19.Nb3 Rf7 20.Rc1 Rd8 21.Ng5 Rf6 22.Qh5 h6 23.Nf3 Rdf8 24.Rf1
R8f7 25.Rae1 Bf8 26.h3 g6 27.Qh4 Qe7 28.Qg3 Bg7 29.Na5 Nxa5
30.Nxe5 Nb7 31.Nxg6 Qd8 32.e5 Rf5 33.f4 c5 34.Nh4 Rh5 35.Nf3
Kh7 36.Qg4 Rhf5 37.Nh4 Kh8 38.Nxf5 Rxf5 39.Qg6 Qe7 40.g4 Rf8
41.f5 Qe8 42.Qxe8 Rxe8 43.f6 Bf8 44.f7 Re7 45.Rf6 Nb6 46.Bxh6
Nd7 47.Ref1 cxb4 48.axb4 Bxh6 49.Rxh6+ Kg7 50.Rh5 1-0


[Event "Sinquefield Cup"]
[Site "0:02:33-0:02:33"]
[Date "2014.08.31"]
[EventDate "2014.08.27"]
[Round "5"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Hikaru Nakamura"]
[Black "Fabiano Caruana"]
[ECO "D11"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "134"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nbd2 Bf5 5.Nh4 Be4 6.f3 Bg6 7.e3
e6 8.g3 Be7 9.a3 Nbd7 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Bd3 e5
13.O-O O-O 14.Qb3 Qc8 15.Nb1 exd4 16.exd4 Nb8 17.Nc3 Nc6
18.Be3 Qd7 19.Rad1 Rfd8 20.Rfe1 Ne8 21.Bf2 Nc7 22.Bf1 Bf6
23.Qa2 g5 24.b4 g6 25.Qd2 Kg7 26.b5 Ne7 27.Be3 Ne6 28.Bh3 Nf5
29.Bxf5 gxf5 30.f4 g4 31.Qd3 Rac8 32.Rc1 Rc4 33.Ne2 Nc7 34.Nc3
Rc8 35.h3 gxh3 36.Kh2 Nxb5 37.Nxb5 Qxb5 38.Kxh3 Qd7 39.Kg2 b5
40.Rb1 a6 41.Rbc1 Qe6 42.Bf2 Rxc1 43.Rxe6 fxe6 44.g4 fxg4
45.Qe2 Kf7 46.Qd3 R1c2 47.Qh7+ Ke8 48.f5 Bxd4 49.Qg6+ Kd8
50.Qxe6 Rxf2+ 51.Kg3 Rc3+ 52.Kxg4 Rg2+ 53.Kf4 Rf2+ 54.Kg4 Kc7
55.Qe7+ Kb6 56.Qd8+ Rc7 57.Qxd5 Bc5 58.Qd8 Kb7 59.f6 Bxa3
60.Qd5+ Kb6 61.Qd8 Bc5 62.Qb8+ Rb7 63.Qd8+ Ka7 64.Qd5 Bb6
65.Kg5 Rc7 66.Kg6 b4 67.Qe6 Bd4 0-1

Tromso 2014: Hikaru Nakamura Raises a Stink About Toilettes

August 7, 2014

As if on cue, Hikaru Nakamura waited until after the Kramnik – Topalov match to publicly blast the organizers of the 41st Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway on the restroom conditions at the chess venue. One would think the American Grandmaster would be used to win – loos situations at chess tournaments. Then again, this is supposed to be a chess tournament for elite players… not a game of thrones.

Below is the tweet concerning Toiletgate 2014:

@GMHikaru: One favor for all future Olympiads; can we please have real toilets and not portable toilets?? This is absolutely disgusting!


Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012: Round 1

June 9, 2012

White had all the fun in round 1 of the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial chess tournament. Four games were won by players with the white pieces and black managed no better than a draw on the remaining board. This is a dramataic turn of events for the chess fans of Moscow. After being treated to a draw fest in the Anand-Gelfand match last month, Russians can celebrate the return of “real chess” to the Red Square.

Below is my favorite game from round one with analysis:

[Event “Tal Memorial”]

[Site “Moscow”]

[Date “2012.06.08”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Alexander Morozevich”]

[Black “Fabiano Caruana”]

[Result “1-0”]

[ECO “C81”]

[Opening “Spanish”]

[Variation “Open, Keres, 10.Rd1 O-O 11.c3”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Morozevich chooses the Ruy Lopez.} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 {Now its the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez. Every Russian school boy knows this line and apparently some Italian ones as well.} 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Qe2 {This is not a common move for this line. Morozevich is notorious for straying from main lines early and setting up messy complications.} Be7 10. Rd1 {This is why Morozevich played Qe2. Now he can add more pressure to the weak pawn on d5.} Na5 11. c3 {This is a real surprise. Caruana and I were expecting to see Nbd2.} Nxb3 {Morozevich looses a bishop pair…} 12. axb3 {But develops a rook by moving a pawn out of the way.} O-O 13. Nd4 Qe8 14. f3 Nc5 15. b4 Nb7 16. Be3 {Morozevich is collecting small advantages in time, space, force, and pawn structure.} Bd7 17. Na3 c6 {Caruana has played accurately but white is still noticeably better.} 18. Nac2 a5 {Caruana wants to free himself from his cramped status by exchanging material.} 19. f4 Qc8 (19. .. axb4 20. cxb4 Rxa1 21. Rxa1 {Gives white the a-file. Caruana was wise to avoid this.}) 20. h3 Re8 21. Bf2 Bf8 {Caruana still is apprehensive about trading pawns on b4 because his rooks are not yet unified.} 22. Qf3 Ra6 23. Ne3 Qa8 {Caruana can not seem to untangle himself.} 24. Ndc2 Qd8 (24. .. axb4 25. Rxa6 Qxa6 26. Ra1 Qb6 27. Nxd5 Qd8 28. Bb6 Qh4 29. Ndxb4 {Is terrible for black.}) 25. bxa5 Nc5 {Caruana attempts to complicate matters rather than just allow recapturing with his rook and giving Morozevich the file.} 26. b4 Ne4 27. Rd3 {c3 must be defended. The other logical choice was Nf1.} f6 {27 moves into the game and Caruana’s pieces are still sleeping. At least if white captures on f6 black can awaken his queen.} 28. Bh4 {This is slightly inaccurate. If exf6 Qxf6 then Ng4.} g5 {This position is ridiculously complicated. Its a pleasure to see the messes on the chess board that Morozevich can instigate.} 29. fxg5 (29. Rad1 gxh4 30. Nxd5 cxd5 31. Rxd5 Re7 32. Qxe4 {This is an interesting alternative to the move that was played}) 29. .. fxg5 30. Bg3 Bg7 31. Bh2 (31. Ng4 Qe7 32. Re3 Rf8 33. Qe2 {Is an improvement for white.}) 31. .. Rf8 {Caruana gains the initiative.} 32. Qe2 Rf2 33. Qe1 g4 {Too soon. It would have been better to play Qc8 first. Perhaps Caruana did not feel he had time to prepare g4.} 34. Rd4 {My computer disagrees with this move but I love it. The threat is simply Rxe4. Now Caruana will have to retreat his rook.} Rf8 35. Rad1 Qe8 {Caruana moves his queen out of the d-file to avoid tactics involving white’s rooks and for possible deployment on h5.} 36. Nxg4 Bf5 37. Nce3 {Morozevich came out of the complications ahead in material and with a passed pawn.} Bg6 38. Nf1 {Morozevich misses the game winner.} (38. c4 bxc4 39. b5 c5 40. Rxe4 Bxe4 41. bxa6 d4 42. Nxc4 {and Caruana could resign.}) 38. .. h5 39. Nge3 Ra7 {Caruana is right back in the game.} 40. Ng3 Bxe5 41. Nxe4 Bxd4 42. cxd4 Qxe4 {Caruana makes a small error.} (42. .. Bxe4 43. Bd6 Rf6 44. Be5 Rg6 {Makes a lot more sense.}) 43. Be5 Kh7 44. Rc1 Raf7 {Another error.} (44. .. Be8 45. Nf1 Qxe1 46. Rxe1 Rg8 {and I think black can draw.}) 45. Kh2 {Morozevich punishes Caruana for his mistakes.} Rf2 46. Rxc6 (46. a6 Qf3 47. Rxc6 Be4 48. Rc7+ Rf7 49. Rxf7+ Qxf7 50. Qc3 Ra2 51. Qc8 {Also works well.}) 46. .. R8f3 47. Rc7+ Bf7 {Caruana must play Kh6 to maintain hope.} 48. Kh1 (48. a6 Ra2 49. a7 {Looks like an easier way to win.}) 48. .. Rf1+ 49. Qxf1 Rxf1+ 50. Nxf1 Kg6 51. Rc6+ Kh7 52. Ng3 {I wonder what Morozevich has against pushing a passed pawn. No matter… He has this game wrapped up like a ravioli.} Qb1+ 53. Kh2 h4 54. Ne2 Qxb4 55. Rc7 Kg8 56. a6 1-0


Standings after round 1 of the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial

Tal Memorial Tournament

Alexander Grischuk 1/1 (+1 -0 =0)
Teimour Radjabov 1/1 (+1 -0 =0)
Alexander Morozevich 1/1 (+1 -0 =0)
Levon Aronian 1/1 (+1 -0 =0)
Vladimir Kramnik 0.5/1 (+0 -0 =1)
Magnus Carlsen 0.5/1 (+0 -0 =1)
Luke McShane 0/1 (+0 -1 =0)
Hikaru Nakamura 0/1 (+0 -1 =0)
Fabiano Caruana 0/1 (+0 -1 =0)
Evgeny Tomashevsky 0/1 (+0 -1 =0)


The other games from round 1 of the 2012 Tal Memorial:


[Event “Tal Memorial”] [Site “Moscow”] [Date “2012.06.08”] [EventDate “2012.06.07”] [Round “1”] [Result “1-0”] [White “Levon Aronian”] [Black “Hikaru Nakamura”] [ECO “A29”]

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.O-O Be7 8.d3 O-O 9.Be3 f5 10.Rc1 Kh8 11.a3 Bf6 12.Bc5 Re8 13.b4 Be6 14.Re1 Qd7 15.e4 a6 16.Bh3 g6 17.Be3 Qg7 18.Ng5 Bg8 19.Nf3 f4 20.Bxb6 cxb6 21.Nd5 g5 22.Bd7 Re6 23.Bxe6 Bxe6 24.Nxf6 Qxf6 25.Rxc6 bxc6 26.Qa1 a5 27.Qxe5 Qxe5 28.Nxe5 axb4 29.axb4 c5 30.bxc5 bxc5 31.gxf4 gxf4 32.Kg2 Ra3 33.Kf3 c4 34.Kxf4 cxd3 35.Rd1 Ra2 36.Nxd3 Bc4 37.f3 Rxh2 38.Ne5 Ba2 39.Rd7 Rh6 40.Nf7+ Bxf7 41.Rxf7 Kg8 42.Rf5 Rh1 43.e5 h5 44.Rg5+ Kf8 45.Kf5 h4 46.Rh5 Kg7 47.f4 h3 48.Ke6 Kg6 49.Rg5+ Kh6 50.Kf5 Rh2 51.Rg8 Rh1 52.e6 h2 53.Rg2  1-0


[Event “Tal Memorial”] [Site “Moscow”] [Date “2012.06.08”] [EventDate “2012.06.07”] [Round “1”] [Result “1-0”] [White “Teimor Radjabov”] [Black “Evgeny Tomashevsky”] [ECO “C45”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nb3 Bb6 6. Nc3 d6 7. Qe2 Nge7 8. Be3 O-O 9. O-O-O f5 10. exf5 Bxf5 11. h3 Bd7 12. Qd2 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 Kh8 14. Bd3 Qe8 15. f4 Qf7 16. Rhf1 Rae8 17. Qd2 Nb4 18. Be4 Bc6 19. Rde1 Bxe4 20. Nxe4 Qc4 21. a3 Nbc6 22. Qc3 Qd5 23. Nbd2 Nf5 24. g4 Nfd4 25. Qd3 b5 26. Kb1 b4 27. a4 h6 28. Nb3 Re7 29. Ned2 Rxe1+ 30. Rxe1 g5 31. f5 1-0


[Event “Tal Memorial”] [Site “Moscow “] [Date “2012.06.08”] [EventDate “2012.06.07”] [Round “1”] [Result “1/2-1/2”] [White “Magnus Carlsen”] [Black “Vladimir Kramnik”] [ECO “E32”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d5 7. e3 b6 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Bd3 Ba6 10. Bxa6 Nxa6 11. Qd3 Qc8 12. Ne2 c5 13. b3 cxd4 14. Qxd4 Nc5 15. Qd1 Qa6 16. Nf4 d4 17. b4 dxe3 18. bxc5 Qa5+ 19. Kf1 Rad8 20. Qc2 Qb5+ 21. Ke1 Qa5+ 22. Kf1 Qb5+ 23. Ke1 Qa5+ 1/2-1/2


[Event “Tal Memorial”] [Site “Moscow”] [Date “2012.06.08”] [EventDate “2012.06.07”] [Round “1”] [Result “1-0”] [White “Alexander Grischuk”] [Black “Luke McShane”] [ECO “A29”]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bc5 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O O-O 7. e3 a6 8. d4 Ba7 9. h3 Rb8 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. b3 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 b5 13. Qe2 bxc4 14. Qxc4 a5 15. Bb2 Bd7 16. Rac1 Bc5 17. Rfd1 Re8 18. Na4 Bxa4 19. Qxa4 Bb6 20. Bc6 Re7 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Qg4+ Kh8 23. Rc4 Re5 24. Rd5 Qe7 25. Qf3 Rg8 26. Kg2 Rg6 27. b4 axb4 28. Rxb4 Kg7 29. a4 Qe6 30. h4 f5 31. Rf4 Rf6 32. Kh2 h6 33. h5 Kf8 34. Kg2 Kg7 35. Kh2 Kf8 36. Kg2 Kg7 37. Qd1 Kf8 38. Kf1 Qc8 39. Qd3 Kg7 40. Kg2 Rxd5 41. Bxd5 Qe8 42. Rxf5 Rxf5 43. Qxf5 Qe7 44. Bb3 Qf6 45. Qd5 c5 46. Bc4 Ba5 47. f4 Qe7 48. Kf2 Bc3 49. Ke2 Bb4 50. g4 Qd7 51. Kd3 Qe7 52. g5 hxg5 53. fxg5 Be1 54. g6 fxg6 55. Qg8+ Kf6 56. Qxg6+ Ke5 57. h6 d5 58. Qg7+ Qf6 59. Bxd5 Bh4 60. Kc4 Kd6 61. Qxf6+ Bxf6 62. a5 Kc7 63. h7 1-0

Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012: Round 1 Preview

June 8, 2012

Round 1 of the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial Chess Tournament is about to begin. After a hard fought 9 round blitz tournament, we now have a clearer picture of what to expect in the main event. First off, Alexander Morozevich surprised his Russian fans by winning the blitz tournament on his home turf in Moscow. Alexander’s victory should put him in a good mood for tomorrow’s round 1. Hikaru Nakamura’s confidence might be raddled after failing to finish in the top half of the final standings.  However, Nakamura still performed remarkably well especially when compared to Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik, a former chess world champion, finished second to last with only 2.5 points out of 9 rounds. Either Vladimir really didn’t care or he is a good actor at portraying a lousy blitz player.  All and all, the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament offered spectacular action and should have wet the appetitites of chess fans for the main event.

Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament Final Standings

1) Alexander Morozevich     6.5/9

2) Magnus Carlsen              6.5/9

3) Teimor Radjabov              5.5/9

4) Alexander Grischuk         5.5/9

5) Levon Aronian                  5/9

6) Hikaru Nakamura           5/9

7) Evgeny Tomashevsky     3.5/9

8) Luke McShane                 3/9

9) Vladimir Kramnik           2.5/9

10) Fabiano Caruana           2/9

2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial  Round 1 Pairings

1) Alexander Morozevich

Fabiano Caruana

2) Magnus Carlsen

Vladimir Kramnik

3) Alexander Grischuk

Luke McShane

4) Teimor Radjabov

Evgeny Tomashevsky

5) Levon Aronian

Hikaru Nakamura

2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial Blitz Miniatures

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "9"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "A Morozevich"]
[Black "V Kramnik"]
[ECO "A05"]
[PlyCount "18"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 b6 3. Bg2 Bb7 4. O-O c5 5. d3 g6 6. e4 Bg7 7. Nh4 Qc8 8.
f4 O-O 9. Nc3 Nc6 1-0

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "7"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "F Caruana"]
[Black "L Aronian"]
[ECO "C67"]
[PlyCount "26"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Bxe7
Qxe7 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. dxe5 Nf5 10. Nc3 Bd7 11. Qe2 O-O-O 12. Rad1 Kb8 13. b4

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "5"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "T Radjabov"]
[Black "L Aronian"]
[ECO "D11"]
[PlyCount "34"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c6 3. c4 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Nbd2 e6 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. b3 Bd6 8.
Bb2 Qb8 9. Qc2 a5 10. a3 Bh5 11. h3 Bg6 12. Bxg6 hxg6 13. O-O Rh5 14. e4
dxe4 15. Nxe4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Kf8 17. Rfe1 Kg8 1-0

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "E Tomashevsky"]
[Black "V Kramnik"]
[ECO "A29"]
[PlyCount "10"]

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 1-0

[Event "Tal Memorial (Blitz)"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.06.07"]
[Round "4"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "L Aronian"]
[Black "V Kramnik"]
[ECO "C53"]
[PlyCount "24"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. b4 Bb6 6. d3 d6 7. a4 a5 8. b5
Ne7 9. Nbd2 O-O 10. O-O Ng6 11. Ba2 h6 12. Nc4 Ba7 1-0

Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012

June 7, 2012

It’s almost time for the most exciting chess tournament of the year to begin. The seventh annual Tal Memorial Chess Tournament in Moscow  will have its opening ceremonies on June 7. It is important to clarify the distinction between the main tournament and the blitz tournament do to the fact that the same 10 players will battle in the blitz event to decide the order of their opponents. The Blitz event also has a separate prize fun of 15,000 euros and the top five will receive one more game with the white pieces during the main event.

The 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial main event should be an incredibly exciting chess spectacular. The ten combatants are made up largely of the best and brightest stars of chess. A controversial rule for the tournament states that the players are not allowed to offer a draw before  40 moves have been played.  Mixing the most exciting chess players with a rule that forbids early draws and then adding a 100,000 euro prize fund should be a recipe for an exciting chess tournament.

Tournament details for the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial are as follows:

Location: Moscow, Russia

Format: 10 player round-robin(nine rounds.)

Time Control: 1 hour 40 minutes for 40 moves plus 50 minutes for 20 moves plus 15 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30 second increment per move, starting from the first move.


1. Magnus Carlsen

Magnus is known as the “Mozart of chess” and is the world’s number one rated chess player. This young gun took the first place prize at the 2011 Mikhail Tal Memorial.

2.  Levon Aronian

Levon is the world’s second highest rated chess player with an incredible rating of 2823. At last years Mikhail Tal memorial he finished the main event tied for first with Magnus.

3. Vladimir Kramnik

Kramnik is the third and final member of the current 2800 rating club. Vladimir Kramnik is also a former World Chess Champion and recently won the London Chess Classic ahead of both Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian.

4.  Teimour Radjabov

Teimor Radjabov is ranked number four in the world with a current FIDE rating of 2784. Teimor became a a chess grand master at the young age of 14 which makes him the second youngest ever to achieve the grand master title.

5. Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru is the fifth highest rated chess player on earth. Hikaru just finished winning the United States Chess Championship and is in excellent form.

6. Fabiano Caruana

At age 19 Fabiano is the youngest chess player in the field. Don’t think for a second that his age is a handicap. The young Italian is currently rated at 2769 which is only 11 points behind Viswanthan Anand.

7. Alexander Morozevich

Morozevich shares the same rating of 2769 with Caruana. Alexander is my favorite chess player in the field do to his risky style which produces few draws. Unfortunately for Alexander, his style is perfectly suited for a World Championship match but not ideal for this tournaments format.

8. Alexander Grischuk

Grishchuk won both the Russian Championship and the Linares Chess Tournament in 2009. Alexander seems ready for a big performance to rejoin the top 10 in the world.

9. Evgeny Tomashevsky

Tomashevsky is known as the “professor” do to the fact that he plays positional chess like an old man despite his young age.

10. Luke McShane

McShane should never be underestimated. Of all his notable results, my favorite is the fact that he won the World Chess Championship for players under the age of ten at the age of eight. McShane is very popular with chess enthusiasts and was voted into the Tal Memorial by his many fans.

Please return to this chess blog for updates and analysis on the 2012 Mikhail Tal Memorial chess tournament from Moscow, Russia.

%d bloggers like this: