Shamkir R2: Carlsen, of course

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/18/2015 – Today's round was certainly duller than the one we started out with, and the day ended with four solid draws. None of the players seemed to be in any danger of losing, or even of falling a significantly worse position, and the results seemed like logical conclusions. The one decisive game went to Magnus Carlsen, who wiped Shakhriyar Mamedyarov off the board. Round two report.

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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. 

Round Two

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

Adams, Michael ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
White obtained nothing from the opening, a typical anti-Berlin with a quick exchange on c6. If anything it was Caruana that seemed to be enjoying his position more, but after a series of piece trades the players agreed to a repetition.

An effortless draw for Fabiano Caruana

Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.18"] [Round "2"] [White "Carlsen, M."] [Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2756"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 {The Schlechter system of the Slav. This is considered a much more appropiate response to 4.e3 than 4.Nc3, as now the bishop cannot go to f4.} 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O b6 8. a4 a5 9. cxd5 cxd5 (9... Nxd5 {Was Wang Yue's choice against Anand in 2010, but I feel taking with the c-pawn is more logical.}) 10. b3 Ne4 $6 {The beginning of Black's real problems. This trade is normally quite desirable on e4, as Black obtains a good square on d5 for his other knight and retains solid chances. However here, specifically, he is unable to do anything like that because of his slow development.} 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Nd2 Bb7 13. Ba3 f5 14. Rc1 Kh8 15. Nc4 {Black would like to play the move Nb8-d5, but the knight doesn't stretch so far.} Nd7 16. d5 {Precisely the problem. The pawn push creates issues for Black as the space created behind it activates White's pieces.} Rc8 17. d6 e6 18. b4 $1 { Opening up even more space.} axb4 19. Bxb4 Bd5 20. a5 $1 bxa5 21. Bxa5 Qe8 22. Qa4 {It's very clear that Black is passive. He doesn't have an active plan and simply hopes that his blockade on d7 will hold.} Bc6 23. Qb4 Rb8 24. Nb6 $1 { Why not? The pin looks uncomfortable but Black cannot take advantage of it, more importantly this trades off that d7 knight.} Ne5 $6 (24... Nxb6 25. Bxb6 Qd7 26. Rc2 $16) 25. Qc5 Ba8 $2 {The losing move, technically, but this was already a very difficult position.} (25... Rf7 26. Rfd1 $16) 26. Bc3 Nd7 (26... Qc6 27. Qxe5 $18) 27. Bxg7+ Kxg7 28. Nxd7 Qxd7 29. Qe5+ {Black's position very obviously collapses after the rook incursion to c7.} 1-0

Joining Kramnik and So at the top with +1 (1.5/2): Magnus Carlsen

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan
The idea of playing an early Bf5 in the Ragozin is becoming increasingly popular for Black, but it was unheard of to play it as early as Anand did. The Indian player made it look easy to equalize with Black in the Ragozin. Even though MVL cleverly got some pressure from an equal position, it was still nothing important and the game was eventually drawn.

Carlsen casually on-looking

Daniel King shows the game Carlsen vs Mamedyarov

Giri, Anish ½-½ Mamedov, Rauf
Giri's early Qb3 attempt in this Slav gave him the slightest of edges, if anything. Mamedov put up stiff resistance and defended well, even sacrificing a pawn at some point to cripple his opponent's pieces. The endgame with a bishop vs. knight was a little more comfortable for Giri, but he was unable to put his opponent in any real danger.

Anish Giri was unable to break...

...Rauf Mamedov's defenses

Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ So, Wesley
Kramnik's unusual opening play netted him nothing. The game was solidly drawn after many trades.

Cool and collected: So had no problems equalizing

Kramnik isn't usually known for his unorthodox play in the opening.
Here he must have been which spirit possessed him to make this decision.

Replay Round Two Games

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Photos taken from the official website

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 - Adams Michael 2746
Mamedov Rauf 2651 - Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Anand Viswanathan 2791 - Giri Anish 2790
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 - Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
Caruana Fabiano 2802 - Carlsen Magnus 2863

Round 4

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

Round 5

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

Round 6

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

Round 7

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

Round 8

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

Round 9

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 - Adams Michael 2746
Caruana Fabiano 2802 - Anand Viswanathan 2791
Carlsen Magnus 2863 - Mamedov Rauf 2651
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 - So Wesley 2788
Giri Anish 2790 - 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 Gashimov, Shamkir

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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Mike Pacasi Mike Pacasi 4/19/2015 03:23
It seems that So is looking at Chess960 games on the WEB (a have many Chess960 blitz games played on Lichess.org), because this Fisher variation of Chess is the source of new unorthodox ideas for Classic Chess, and Kramnik obviously tried to challenge So with his own new ideas...Take a look...the last Wesley So two games are Chess960 games...
Cyric Renner Cyric Renner 4/18/2015 11:57
A lot of "Solid" and dull players in this tournament. Look for a very high draw percentage.
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