Baku 4.1: Eight battles, Four winners

by Alejandro Ramirez
9/20/2015 – Already four players are in serious danger of going home: they must win tomorrow to keep their chances alive! In the Chinese derby, Ding Liren overtook Wei Yi. Nakamura outplayed Adams in fine positional style. After a series of mutual mistakes, Svidler checkmated Topalov. Finally, the news of the day for the Azerbaijanis is that Caruana was blown off the board by Mamedyarov!

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World Cup

10th September – 5th October

Baku, Azerbaijan

Round Four - Game One

Already half of the matches see a player with their life on the line, forced to win tomorrow! Let us start with the draws, however: Andreikin-Karjakin was a crowd pleaser. A full twelve moves of chess, which gives Karjakin the chance to push with white tomorrow.

No way into So's position

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave tried to outplay Wesley So with his traditional anti-Berlin, but the American was up to the task and defended the draw without ever being in problems.

No 7.0/7 for this guy: Eljanov's string of victories came to an end as he held Jakovenko to a draw.

Giri obtained next to nothing against Wojtaszek's Najdorf. That game ended in a draw in a very equal knight and rooks endgame.

Wojtaszek gets to try his luck with white tomorrow vs. Giri

Now on to the victories! The Chinese derby was fighting and interesting:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.20"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "Wei, Yi"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A15"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. h4 {The popularity of a quick h4 in the anti-Grunfeld is increasing rapidly. The reason is that with Black's setup it is not so easy to punish such a side attack which also has strong positional foundations.} Bg7 6. h5 Nc6 7. g3 Bg4 8. h6 {Here is one of the many points. The bishop on g7 is lost sooner or later as it will not be safe on f6 (Ne4 could come soon).} Bxc3 9. dxc3 Qd6 (9... Bxf3 10. exf3 {might be your computer's recommendation, but giving up two bishops seems very strange.}) 10. Bg2 O-O-O 11. Ng5 $5 (11. Qa4 {was played against Wei Yi just last month.} Qe6 12. O-O f6 $13 {Wang Yue-Wei Yi, Chinese League 2015.}) 11... Ne5 {there is no other good way of defending f7.} 12. Qa4 Nb6 (12... f6 13. Nf7 Nxf7 14. Qxg4+ {gives White the pair of bishops against two knights, but Black is pretty active. It's an unclear position.}) 13. Qd4 $1 f6 (13... Qxd4 14. cxd4 Rxd4 {leaves White plenty of interesting options here, but personally I like} 15. b3 $1 {when Black's pieces on the long diagonal are very badly placed.}) 14. Bf4 $1 Qxd4 15. cxd4 Nc6 $1 {An exchange sacrifice that changes the character of the position.} (15... Rxd4 16. Bxe5 fxe5 {is not pleasant to defend. Black's up a pawn for now but his structure is just terrible.}) 16. Nf7 Nxd4 17. Rc1 e5 18. Rh4 $1 {Very precise. Otherwise Black gets a nice initiative:} exf4 19. Nxd8 $2 (19. Rxg4 $1 f3 20. Bf1 $1 Rhe8 21. Nxd8 Nxe2 22. Bxe2 Rxe2+ 23. Kf1 Kxd8 24. Rf4 {and Black doesn't quite have enough here.} Rxb2 $6 25. Rxf6 $18) 19... f3 $1 20. exf3 Nxf3+ 21. Bxf3 Re8+ 22. Kd2 Bxf3 { Black's still down the exchange, but White's knight on d8 feels very isolated from the rest of White's pieces.} 23. Nf7 Bc6 $6 {Missing an excellent chance to win with Black.} (23... Re2+ $1 24. Kd3 Re7 25. Nd6+ (25. Nh8 g5 $17) 25... Kd8 {the key difference is that with the king on d3 there is a skewer on e2 no matter where the king goes.}) (23... Re7 $2 24. Nd6+ $14) 24. b4 a6 25. a4 $1 Nxa4 26. Re1 Nb6 27. Rg4 Rg8 (27... Rxe1 $6 28. Kxe1 {White threatens to sacrifice on g6.} g5 29. f4 $16) 28. Re7 $1 Nd5 29. Nd6+ $1 cxd6 30. Rxh7 g5 { White's down a lot of material, but his h-pawn is very dangerous.} 31. Re4 Rg6 $6 (31... Nc7 32. Ree7 Ne8 {and I don't see how to make progress for either isde. For example:} 33. Rhf7 Bd5 $11) 32. Re6 g4 33. Rxd6 Nxb4 34. Rh8+ Kc7 35. Rd4 Nd5 (35... a5 36. h7 Rh6 37. Rxg4 Kb6 {was a better try, but still looks very bad for Black after} 38. Rg7 Be4 39. Re7 Bxh7 40. Rhxh7 $18) 36. h7 Rh6 37. Rxg4 Ne7 38. Rg7 Kd7 39. Rf8 1-0

But don't just take my analysis! Here is an excellent interview with Ding Liren. Warning: the variations at the end might make your head spin.

Next to fall was a giant. Caruana lost to the local player Mamedyarov. The American played rather badly today and he was punished mercilessly:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.20"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E60"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Bg5 {Leave it up to Mamedyarov to do something weird in a crucial game. Black could just play Bg7, but Caruana picks up the gauntlet.} Ne4 4. Bf4 c5 (4... e5 $5 5. dxe5 Bc5 6. e3 Bb4+ 7. Ke2 {is probably not enough for the pawn, but funny looking.}) 5. Qc2 Qa5+ 6. Nd2 f5 7. f3 Nf6 8. d5 d6 {It's unlikely the players knew, but before d6 they were following an old game by Barsov.} 9. e4 {The expansion on the center makes sense, but it does give Black access to many dark squares.} Na6 10. Ne2 fxe4 11. fxe4 Bg7 12. Nc3 O-O 13. Be2 Nh5 $5 {Black takes advantage of the f4 bishop's position to improve his position with this knight maneuver.} 14. Bg5 Qd8 $6 {Perhaps believing too much in his kingside chances Caruana decides to let Mamedyarov spoil his kingside structure. This is not such a good idea, as White has good access to the kingside.} (14... Nf4 15. O-O Nxe2+ 16. Nxe2 Bg4 17. Nc3 Nb4 { keeps the position very interesting.}) 15. Bxh5 gxh5 16. Nf3 h6 17. Be3 Bg4 18. O-O e6 {Trying to open up the position, but Mamedyarov is in no mood to oblige. } 19. Qd2 Kh7 20. Rad1 $1 {the pressure on d6 is annoying. Black doesn't want to play e5, but what can he do?} e5 21. Rf2 Nc7 22. Rdf1 Rb8 {Whatever Caruana is doing on the queenside, it is very obviously too slow.} 23. h3 Bd7 24. Ne2 h4 25. Kh2 b6 {this move is completely baffling to me. What was the point of Rb8, then?} (25... b5 {at least makes some sense.}) 26. g3 {The kingside is blasted open and Black's king is feeling the pressure.} hxg3+ 27. Nxg3 Rg8 28. Nh5 {Black simply has created nothing.} Ne8 29. Nxg7 Nxg7 30. Bxh6 Nh5 31. Ng5+ {Black's down material and his getting mated. White has ten thousand million ways to win, and Mamedyarov just chose one of them. The rest doesn't need analysis.} Kg6 32. Rg1 Qe7 33. Nf7+ Kh7 34. Bg5 Qe8 35. Qe2 Ng7 36. Rf6 Rf8 37. Rh6+ Kg8 38. Bf6 Rxf7 39. Qh5 1-0

Caruana and his trusty manager, Trent

Daniel King takes a look at the game Mamedyarov vs Caruana

Nakamura took out Adams in fine positional style. Obtaining some pressure in the endgame, the American never let go and kept giving Adams tough problems. Eventually Black was unable to withstand the pressure, cracked and lost the rook endgame.

Adams must win tomorrow to survive

Naka is now solidly #2 in the World with an 11 point lead over Topalov

Lastly the strange end to the Svidler-Topalov game:

[Event "FIDE World Cup 2015"] [Site "Baku AZE"] [Date "2015.09.20"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B51"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "3Q4/q3rp1k/2Pp2p1/1p1P2P1/1r5P/4p1P1/4R1K1/3R4 b - - 0 52"] [PlyCount "26"] [EventDate "2015.09.11"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 52... Rbe4 53. Qxd6 {White is very clearly winning. His passed pawns are too powerful} Qa4 54. Rde1 $2 (54. Rc1 $1 {push the passed pawns! Black has nothing here, he can't even make a threat.}) 54... Qc4 {Now the win is not so easy} 55. h5 gxh5 56. Qh6+ $2 Kg8 57. g6 fxg6 $4 (57... f5 {and I don't see what Svidler's next move here was} 58. d6 Qxc6 $1 59. dxe7 Rh4+ {gets White mated}) 58. Qxg6+ Rg7 59. Qxh5 {Now Black's king is simply too weak and d5 is protected.} Qd4 60. Ra2 Rf4 61. Ra8+ Rf8 62. Rxf8+ Kxf8 63. Qh8+ Kf7 64. Rf1+ Ke7 65. Qf8# {Mate on the board! That's World Cup fighting.} 1-0

All Round 4.1 Games

Round Four Pairings

Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
V. Topalov (BUL) 2816
0
-
               
Peter Svidler (RUS) 2727
1
-
               
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Ding Liren (CHN) 2782
1
-
               
Wei Yi (CHN) 2734
0
-
               
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Anish Giri (NED) 2793
½
-
               
Radoslawj Wojtaszek (POL) 2741
½
-
               
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Wesley So (USA) 2773
½
-
               
M. Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) 2744
½
-
               
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2814
1
-
               
Michael Adams (ENG) 2742
0
-
               
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 2717
½
-
               
Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 2748
½
-
               
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Fabiano Caruana (USA) 2808
0
-
               
S. Mamedyarov (AZE) 2736
1
-
               
Player Rtg
G1
G2
G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Dmitry Andreikin (RUS) 2720
½
-
               
Sergey Karjakin (RUS) 2762
½
-
               

Photos and information from the official website and their Facebook page

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 


Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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klintshin klintshin 9/21/2015 06:14
In order to be a great reporter, sometimes you have to listen to your followers, they can help you out in some other way. I appreciate that you Mr. Ramirez made this day out and to listen and make good report! Thank you. I'm sorry if I got emotional from one of your previous reports.
M4xerrr M4xerrr 9/21/2015 11:21
@idratherplay960

Keep in mind that Trent is just the manager of Caruana he is not involve in any aspect of the game.

Bojan KG Bojan KG 9/21/2015 08:55
I wish Svidler or Karjakin to win WC. Good luck to both of them.
The Bear The Bear 9/21/2015 08:46

Caruana will bounce back today......I bet
Jelmer8 Jelmer8 9/21/2015 07:52
Good report to read, thanks! Alejandro, don't be too much influenced by what people say in the comments section. Taking a walk through the amateur section of any chess tournament and you would know how many weirdo's are around. On the internet, their appearance just changes to a standard profile picture. ;)
gmwdim gmwdim 9/21/2015 04:46
Ding looking really good, hasn't needed a tiebreak round yet. Congrats to Jakovenko for being the first to draw with Eljanov.
Emil Cabagay Emil Cabagay 9/21/2015 03:44
Good work Alejandro! Very nice & prompt report! Mamedyarov & svidler are just great to win against their more glorious opponent.
drgibbon drgibbon 9/21/2015 02:58
@ Aighearach: Uhh, no. He used derby in the following sense "(derby or local derby) Brit. a sports match between two rival teams from the same area".

Btw, these reports are great :)
yesenadam yesenadam 9/21/2015 01:58
Aighearach, again you imagine insult, and in the process, insult others. Again you show lack of understanding of English, in the process of accusing others of lacking it. I suggest that if these continual crimes here disturb you so much, you stay away from the page. I think that would be better for all of us. You just sound like you have a screw lose, although I'm sure there's another explanation. It's just not obvious from what you write here. I think you and other serial offendees would do better assuming that if there's a problem, it's at your end.
ChiliBean ChiliBean 9/21/2015 01:43
Luckily Fabi has already qualified for Candidates 2016 due to being #1 in the FIDE Grand Prix 2014-15 standings.
KevinC KevinC 9/20/2015 11:30
@Aighearach, as an educated native English speaker myself, I could contend that Ramirez' use is not only 100% correct, it does not have the meaning that you inferred. He, clearly, did not mean the limited definition that you seemingly did, that is, as in a "demolition derby", which was a popular sport in the 1960's-1970's.

According to Webster's, derby also , and simply, means "a contest", with no such connotation as you gleaned from the report above.

You really should look things up before you decide to disparage the "non-native" speaker, because that one knows more than you.
TMMM TMMM 9/20/2015 11:07
In the Mamedyarov-Caruana game, is it possible that Caruana actually did play b7-b5 (instead of b7-b6) and that it was registered incorrectly? In the end it didn't matter what Caruana played on the queenside as he got crushed on the kingside.
Logos Logos 9/20/2015 10:20
Good report, thank you. I am impressed by how quickly the reports are posted.
Beanie Beanie 9/20/2015 10:15
The Italian will be back!
Cyric Renner Cyric Renner 9/20/2015 10:12
Alex read yesterday's comments and Wesley's smiling countenance adorns the first picture. No mention of the two handed castler Docamura. Bad habit to be into. Maybe he could use one of Wesley's notes ?

Zischka Zischka 9/20/2015 09:52
I don't like the dismissive commentary by Alejandro in the beautiful game of Mamedyarov. Two world class players assessed by a normal GM. Everything seems easy in the aftermath. But the performance of Mamed was just great!
daftarche daftarche 9/20/2015 08:20
Ramirez is doing a good job here. there might be something wrong about our attitude as chess fans.
about today games i just don't understand why Topalov allowed mate in one.
Aighearach Aighearach 9/20/2015 08:07
Perhaps English isn't the author first language, but referring to the Chinese players' match as a "derby" is substantially insulting to them. The other players are playing chess, the implication is that these two are just smashing their pieces into each other haphazardly.

Very, very odd that Svidler checkmating Topalov just barely even made the report, just getting a brief inclusion at the end. I'm an American and even I know which game is news; it wasn't So's draw. So is a rising star who "could" win the whole thing, but probably won't. Topalov is the highest rated player left, with a history of doing well in the latter half of an event. The result is also big news because now Topalov has to win, and Svidler is a very solid player.
vandal vandal 9/20/2015 08:05
congratulations for Svidler nice victory and apologize to Topalov for having such not worthy fan i have nothing more to lose here after not holding to my word just wanted to say goodbye
stephen brady stephen brady 9/20/2015 07:38
I guess alejandro got the message in the comments yesterday. So's picture was right on the top!
idratherplay960 idratherplay960 9/20/2015 06:24
i like trent, I like caru. But their results working together are just not good. Caru needs to reset to whatever system and team he had prior.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 9/20/2015 05:48
Shak Attack!

Stunning victory for Mamedyarov. ChessBase's ballsy prediction looks like it may be dead-on.
excalibur2 excalibur2 9/20/2015 05:41
Alejandro usually gets some stick here, but this was a great write up.
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