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