With an emphatic win over Luke McShane in a dramatic last round of this year’s Tal Memorial in Moscow, Russia, Magnus Carlsen clinched first place with 5.5 points out of nine games.
Fabiano Caruana and Teimour Radjabov tied for second place with five points each. Caruana went into the last round as the leader, but lost to Levon Aronian, allowing the world’s number one to claim the first prize.
Alexander Morozevich had a one-point lead after a magnificent 4-out-of-5 start, but finished on 50 per cent after losing three games in a row.
The final-round game between McShane and Carlsen was particularly important because a win would have allowed McShane to share the first place. After the Rui Lopez opening, a complex position arose with white wondering what to do about the annoying black knight that was lodged in the middle of the board.
In the end he settled for 19.c3, weakening his Pb3, and after the strong 21. a5! Carlsen firmly seized the initiative.
Luke McShane v Magnus Carlsen in Russia in 2012: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. d3 Nd7 8. b3 O-O 9. Bb2 f6 10. Nc3 Re8 11. Kh1 Nf8 12. Ne2 c5 13. Nh4 Ne6 14. Nf5 Bf8 15. Ne3 Nd4 16. f4 Be6 17. fxe5 fxe5 18. Ng1 g6 19. c3 Nc6 20. Nf3 Bg7 21. Qe1 a5 22. Rd1 a4 23. bxa4 Rxa4 24. a3 Rf8 25. Bc1 Ra8 26. Qg3 Bb3 27. Rde1 Qxd3 28. Ng4 Be6 29. Nh6+ Kh8 30. Qh4 Bf6 31. Bg5 Bxg5 32. Qxg5 Kg7 33. Qc1 Rf4 34. Rd1 Qc4 35. Rfe1 Raf8 36. Ng5 Bc8 37. g3 Rf2 38. Nf5+ gxf5 39. Nh3 Re2 40. Qg5+ Kh8 0-1+.
Problem No 1522 from the game Karasola v Schoeneberg in Sweden in 1873. Black to play and win.
Solution to problem No 1521: 1. Rf5! gf5 2. g6 hg6 3. f7 1-0.