Shamkir Final Round: Undisputed Winner

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/26/2015 – Wesley So started crushing the field with 3.5/4. Viswanathan Anand had a wonderful performance, a fantastic near 2900 TPR that will put him on second place in the in the next rating list. However, at the end of the day, it is still all about Magnus Carlsen. A near 3000 performance, a full point ahead of second place, the best player in the World won again.

The Vugar Gashimov Memorial, is being held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, from the 17th to the 26th of April, in memory of the great Vugar Gashimov, who passed away on the 10th of January 2014. The tournament consists of some of the strongest players in the World: reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen, former World Champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, as well as, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Michael Adams, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Rauf Mamedov will compete in this prominent event. 

Final Round

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Adams Michael 2746
Caruana Fabiano 2802
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
Mamedov Rauf 2651
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
So Wesley 2788
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir 2783

Play of the day

Everyone ready for the final round

Video by Vijay Kumar

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ Adams, Michael
Adams had no problems getting equality. White's advantage was reduced to nothing when the opposite colored bishops appeared on the board and neither Black's nor White's king was remotely weak.

A solid final game for both players

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan
The double Fianchetto set-up in this Queen's Indian style Reti gave White very little. Due to his central pawns White's position was a little better, but it was not sufficient to put Anand in any real danger. The resulting endgame was easily held by the Indian player. Anand finishes with a great performance, a clear second place and his re-entry into the 2800 club.

Vishy Anand: 2804 in the next rating list

Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Mamedov, Rauf
Mamedov was doing a good job of holding on to his position after his opening left him a little bit worse. White's pressure on the open b-file and the bishop against the knight gave him good chances to press, but the Azerbaijani was doing an excellent job defending. That is, until a blunder:

No questions asked: the clear winner, Magnus Carlsen, just shy of a 3000 performance

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.26"] [Round "9"] [White "Carlsen, M."] [Black "Mamedov, Rau"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A15"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2658"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/1p2q1pk/p1p4p/P1P2p2/4r3/1Q2P2P/5PP1/3R2K1 w - - 0 34"] [PlyCount "3"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 34. Rd6 Qe5 $4 {inexplicably weakening the seventh rank.} (34... Re5 35. Qc2 Re4 {and White is still doing a little better, but proving it would require Carlsen-like technique... and a lot of patience and mistakes by the opponent.}) 35. Qf7 {Now Black is getting mated, for example:} (35. Qxb7 Rc4 36. Rd1 Rxc5 37. Qxa6 Qc3 $14 {should be holdable, and what Mamedov expected.}) (35. Qf7 Qxc5 (35... Qe8 {is relatively the best move, but after} 36. Qxf5+ {is hopeless. Black's king is too weak and he is down a pawn for no reason.}) 36. Qg6+ Kg8 37. Rd8+ $18) 1-0

Mamedov was holding on, but he eventually cracked

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ So, Wesley
So's position was a little uncomfortable from this Caro-Kann. In the endgame the passed a-pawn caused Black some serious issues, and he had to deactivate his rook to stop it. However, his bishop came into the defense in time, and after swapping off the defender of the a-pawn (the light square bishop) So hold the endgame with accurate defense.

So's spectacular start allowed him to tie for third despite not winning a game in the last five rounds

Giri, Anish ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
What a marathon. A game that took several time controls, in which Giri was pushing the entire game. He actually missed a win:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.26"] [Round "9"] [White "Giri, A."] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2790"] [BlackElo "2783"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6N1/R2K4/4P2p/6k1/1n6/3r2P1/8/8 w - - 0 76"] [PlyCount "10"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 76. Ke8 Kg6 77. Ra4 $2 (77. Rd7 $1 Ra3 (77... Rxd7 78. exd7 Nc6 79. Ne7+ { loses instantly.}) 78. e7 Kg7 {otherwise Kf8 and e8=Q.} (78... Nc6 79. Rd6+ Kg7 80. Rxc6 $1 Kxg8 81. Kd7 {wins.}) 79. Rd4 $1 {Hitting the knight and threatening Rg4+.} Ra8+ (79... Kxg8 80. Rg4+ Kh7 81. Rxb4 $18) 80. Kd7 Kxg8 81. e8=Q+ $1 (81. Rxb4 Ra7+ $11 {is a draw due to checking on the "long side" - Lucena position theory.}) 81... Rxe8 82. Kxe8 Nc6 83. Re4 {and the knight is cut off from the king. The win is not too difficult.}) 77... Nd5 78. Rg4+ Kf5 79. Nxh6+ Kxe6 80. Re4+ Kf6 {There is not enough material to win.} 1/2-1/2

Did he try, oh god, did he try! But Giri missed the coup de grace.

Tomorrow we will bring you a recap of the tournament, including pictures from the closing ceremony.

Replay Final Round Games

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Photos taken from the official website

Final Standings

Schedule

Round 1

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
1-0
Adams Michael 2746
So Wesley 2788
1-0
Giri Anish 2790
Mamedov Rauf 2651
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
Anand Viswanathan 2791
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2863
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802

Round 2

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Mamedov Rauf 2651
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
½-½
So Wesley 2788

Round 3

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
So Wesley 2788
1-0
Adams Michael 2746
Mamedov Rauf 2651
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Anand Viswanathan 2791
½-½
Giri Anish 2790
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
Caruana Fabiano 2802
0-1
Carlsen Magnus 2863

Round 4

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2863
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
So Wesley 2788
1-0
Mamedov Rauf 2651

Round 5

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Mamedov Rauf 2651
½-½
Adams Michael 2746
Anand Viswanathan 2791
1-0
So Wesley 2788
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
1-0
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Caruana Fabiano 2802
½-½
Giri Anish 2790
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762

Round 6

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2863
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
0-1
Caruana Fabiano 2802
So Wesley 2788
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
Mamedov Rauf 2651
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791

Round 7

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Anand Viswanathan 2791
1-0
Adams Michael 2746
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Mamedov Rauf 2651
Caruana Fabiano 2802
1-0
So Wesley 2788
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
Giri Anish 2790

Round 8

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746
1-0
Giri Anish 2790
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
1-0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
So Wesley 2788
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2863
Mamedov Rauf 2651
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802
Anand Viswanathan 2791
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754

Round 9

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Adams Michael 2746
Caruana Fabiano 2802
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
Mamedov Rauf 2651
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
So Wesley 2788
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir 2783

Commentary on Playchess

One of the major tournaments of the year, you can count on www.playchess.com to deliver quality commentary every round!

Day Date Round English German
Friday April 17 Round 1 GM Daniel King GMs Oliver Reeh/Dorian Rogozenco
Saturday April 18 Round 2 GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
Sunday April 19 Round 3 GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
Monday April 20 Round 4 GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff
Tuesday April 21 Round 5 GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov GM Klaus Bischoff
Wednesday April 22 Free    
Thursday April 23 Round 6 GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff
Friday April 24 Round 7 GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
Saturday April 25 Round 8 GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov GMs Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
Sunday April 26 Round 9 GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff

English Commentators

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 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

 


Topics Shamkir, Gashimov

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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miclowski miclowski 4/26/2015 07:42
What a remarkable tournament. I notice that out of 17 decisive games, only 2 were won by black. One of them was a win by Magnus of course. For me, the most precise/interesting game was Magnus-MVL, the manoeuvre Bh3-g4-h5 will find its way into some books I'm sure.
VVI VVI 4/26/2015 08:52
If Anand would have won his first game against Carlsen; he would have taken the Shamkir title on better tie breaks.
VVI VVI 4/26/2015 08:53
Anand once again failed to punish a Carlsen blunder.
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 4/27/2015 01:37
VVI, get over yourself! Carlsen's play is at another level altogether! He doesn't need to prepare things. He just has the technique, imagination and constant drive to probe positions - as a tiny example his 9.Bd3 in the Ruy v Kramnik, taking it to the centre rather than the ubiquitous "keeping the Spanish B on the long diagonal for long term positional pressure on black's castle". If you look at the position raised, you'll find it overwhelmingly in black's favour in the very few games it has appeared, but in the hands of Carlsen, it becomes a serious improvisational weapon and an eventual white win! People complain about the mountains of opening theory? Well, follow Carlsen, who will always depart from theory and use his understanding of the game to simply play chess! He can play simple chess. He can play "nettlesome" chess. He loves to attack but can defend or play positional, or squeeze you out in the endgame. He's simply not only a complete player but an artist at it too!!! A humble fan from Greece...
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 4/27/2015 01:40
I agree with miclowski - remarkable tournament!
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 4/27/2015 02:05
Sorry folks - caught in a sleepless elation so just one final post to hammer a point home. I don't think the chess world has fully grasped the profound effect Magnus has had on the game yet. If he doesn't decide he's nothing more to prove, or gets bored and leaves competition early, like Rimbaud did with poetry, if Magnus stays on competitive chess and continues to produce at this level for, say another decade, I think in the future he will be seen as one of the all time greats, such as your Grecos and Philidors, Morphys and Steinitzes, Capa, Alekhine, Botie, Fischer and Kasparov. Notice that I've given 9 names... That's it! I'm clocking out!
digupagal digupagal 4/27/2015 03:01
X iLeon....whatever

Its a fact that Anand was winning that game...... and it was not entirely preparation.
Still Anand is not at his best (1995-2007 period). He is 45 and playing at this awesome level, I bet he will close this gap slowly and get back at Carlsen.

If Anand has such a sharp memory (read preparation) at this age, then in fact Carlsen will also agree that he has a lot to learn in that dept.

AFA techinique is concerned, Carlsen is the undisputed winner currently. I want that to change soon though or else chess will get boring with no excitement (Schumi and F1). This is the difference, when Kasparov was winning i really used to enjoy watching his games, with Carlsen it is always "no fire on the board" or "his technique prevails". I love ches as an art and not as a science.
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 4/27/2015 01:03
If you don't see the excitement in Magnus' games, then it's probably your understanding of chess that is lacking, not the games! Maybe you should be transported back to the 19th century, where defensive technique was simply non-existant and people sacrificed everything to get at each other's throats! Maybe it's that kind of simplistic chess you want. Magnus can play that too, when given the chance - see for example v Mamedyarov where he opens all over the board. And the guy creates On The Board! He doesn't come with a 35-line prepared opening, hoping to get lucky! Don't get me wrong, Anand is a phenomenal player too, he has given us so many inspirational games - the first one I can recall as inspiring me recently is v Siddiqui 1982(!), but try see things as they are: Magnus is playing at a different level altogether. And try and see the other side rather than always sticking out for your own. That's what I do and it's definitely made my experience richer! ;)
jebib jebib 4/27/2015 04:03
While only a footnote Mamedov's was quite respectable.
Denix Denix 4/27/2015 04:47
Wesley ranked 3rd according to the Shamkir website, Fabiano 4th, Michael 7th, Anish 8th, Maxime 9th, Rauf 10th.
Rfield Rfield 4/28/2015 01:09
Tied for 3rd spot with equal score of 5 points were GMs Caruana and So. Final standing for 3rd spot was for GM So due to 3-wins, 2-losses, and 4-draws. 4th spot to GM Caruana due to 2 wins, 1-loss, 6-draws.

Looking further on wins for both GMs. GM So won against GMs Geri (7th), Adams (9th), and Mamedov (10th last place). GM Caruana won against GMs So (3rd) and Kramnik (5th).

If the basis for 3rd place were more wins then GM So was the clear winner, however in the 7th round GM Curuana won against GM So, then 3rd place cannot be retained by GM So. Chessbase reports more fair as expected.
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