Levon Aronian of Armenia and Sergey Karjakin of Russia were the joint winners of the Tal Memorial tournament in Moscow, which ended Sunday. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan tied for first with Aronian and Karjakin, but their tie-breaker scores were better than his — and identical to each other as they had the same results against the same opponents.
Aronian, Karjakin and Mamedyarov each scored 5.5 points in the nine-round event.
Mamedyarov was the sole leader at the start of the last round, but he lost to Boris Gelfand of Israel, allowing Aronian and Karjakin, who both drew their final games, to overtake him.
Alexander Grischuk of Russia, Hikaru Nakamura of the United States and Wang Hao of China finished a half point behind the leaders. Nakamura had the best chance to catch them as he had a large advantage against Grischuk in the last round. But Grischuk defended stubbornly and Nakamura missed several winning chances and the game ended in a draw by perpetual check after 90 moves.
After beating Gelfand in Round 7, Wang was briefly tied for the lead. But he lost to Mamedyarov in Round 8 and then drew with Karjakin in Round 9 in a wildly unbalanced game that ended in perpetual check.
Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, last year’s champion, had a disappointing tournament, finishing with 4.5 points. He lost to Karjakin and Aronian and only managed to beat Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine.
Gelfand played the spoiler roll with his win over Mamedyarov, but over all he did poorly, losing four games, including to both co-winners. Gelfand ended with 3.5 points.
Alexei Shirov of Spain, who can either be on fire or ice cold, fared ever poorer than Gelfand. He lost four times and only beat Eljanov and finished with 3 points. With five losses and only one win (against Gelfand), Eljanov had a nightmare tournament, finishing in last with 2.5 points.
All of the players from the Memorial, except Shirov, stayed in Moscow for the Sixth World Blitz Championship, which began Monday. There are 20 players, including Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the defending champion.