On the eve of his 45th birthday, Boris Gelfand added another major success to his already packed resume by winning the extremely strong 2013 Tal Memorial. After six rounds he was in second place, half a point ahead of Magnus Carlsen (and others) and half a point behind Hikaru Nakamura. In round 7 he defeated Nakamura with Black, and as Carlsen only won one game in the last three round (in round 8, against...Nakamura) and none of the other pursuers made a serious run, Gelfand finished in clear first with 6/9. The man is having a great run, and his rating has achieved a career peak of 2773. Not bad for an "old" guy!
Magnus Carlsen finished in second with 5.5, and three players finished another half a point back. Shakriyar Mamedyarov was one of them, and he had some real winning chances against Carlsen in the last round. Had he won, he would have leapfrogged the Norwegian into second place. Fabiano Caruana is the second member of the trio, and he finishes the tournament on the verge of becoming the 7th player to break the 2800 barrier. (His rating will be 2796 when the next list comes out.) The third member of the triumvirate was a surprise, Dmitry Andreikin. Andreikin drew eight games and defeated Vladimir Kramnik when the ex-champ blundered his queenside away.
The remaining players all have cause for disappointment. Nakamura went from first to sixth by losing his last three games, the last to then-tailender Alexander Morozevich. Sergey Karjakin's -1 score wasn't a disaster but it wasn't cause for celebration either, especially after his recent triumph in Norway. Morozevich's score of 3.5 was leavened only by the last round win - his only win of the tournament - and by the fact that he finished even with world champion Viswanathan Anand, whose only win was against Morozevich. Finally, the tournament was an unmitigated disaster for Vladimir Kramnik, who finished winless at -3. I'm sure he'll rebound from London, but he hasn't yet.