Shamkir R8: Anand #2 in World

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/25/2015 – It is only by a fraction, but after today's victory against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vishy Anand regains the post of second best player in the World, at least in the live rating lists. He surpasses Fabiano Caruana, who drew his game against Rauf Mamedov. Meanwhile Mickey Adams destroyed Anish Giri and Big Vlad ended his losing streak with a clean sweep of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

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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 Eight

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

Video by Vijay Kumar

Adams, Michael 1-0 Giri, Anish
An excellent Sicilian demolition by Adams against a Giri who messed up his opening a bit.

Adams with a great victory

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"]
[Site "Shamkir AZE"]
[Date "2015.04.25"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Adams, Mi"]
[Black "Giri, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B91"]
[WhiteElo "2745"]
[BlackElo "2790"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2015.04.17"]
[SourceDate "2015.02.07"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 {Nowadays the move 6.
h3 is more commonly seen than 6.g3. That's how modern chess works!} e6 7. Bg2
Be7 8. O-O $1 O-O $1 9. a4 Nc6 10. Be3 Rb8 {A new idea in this position.
Normally Black plays Qc7 first.} (10... Qc7 11. f4 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bd7 (12... e5
$1) 13. Kh1 Bc6 {was Zherebukh-Giri, 2012. The Ukrainian player won that game.}
) 11. f4 Qc7 12. Kh1 Bd7 13. Nb3 {This is the typical reply to Bd7. The point
is that Nxd4 followed by Bc6 is not an idea for Black.} b6 14. g4 h6 {I always
felt something went wrong if Black had to play h6 to prevent g5. Also this
looks like Giri is playing a standard line but down a couple of tempi as White
went g3-g4, true, but he did not waste time with Be2-f3-g2 as is common.
Normally Black's rook is already on e8.} 15. Qe2 Nb4 16. Nd4 Rbc8 17. Rad1 Qc4
18. Qf3 e5 19. Nf5 {White's plan of attacking on the kingside is going slowly,
but with h6 in play it is more powerful. Black has to be very careful, he has
pressure on c2 but taking that pawn will not be a big deal for a long time:
material doesn't matter if you are getting mated. Black's position is
definitely uncomfortable.} Bxf5 20. exf5 exf4 21. Rd4 $1 (21. Bxf4 $1 {is also
possible, but after} d5 $1 22. h4 Ne4 $1 {The position is suddenly far from
clear, but I would take White after} 23. g5 $1 Nxc3 24. bxc3 Qxc3 25. Qh5 $1 {
With a strong initiative.}) 21... Qc7 22. Bxf4 Nxc2 23. Rd2 Nb4 24. h4 {
Black's up a pawn, but White is simply crashing through.} Nh7 25. g5 $1 Qc4 (
25... hxg5 26. hxg5 Bxg5 (26... Nxg5 27. Qh5 Nh7 28. Be4 $1 {other moves are
also possible.} Nf6 29. Qh3 {and Black's position is hopeless. Rh2 is coming
with deadly effect.}) 27. Bxg5 Nxg5 28. Qg4 {hits both knights, so Black loses
a piece.}) 26. f6 $1 {Just crashing on through!} gxf6 27. gxf6 Bxf6 (27... Nxf6
28. Bh3 {clearing the g2 square for the rook. Black can basically resign.}) 28.
Ne4 Be5 29. Rxd6 $1 {What a nice finishing touch. Other moves won too, but
this one has a peculiar aesthetic value.} Bg7 (29... Bxd6 30. Nxd6 Qe6 31. Bh3
$1 f5 32. Qg3+ {And Black is toast.} Kh8 33. Be5+ $18) 30. Bxh6 $1 Bxh6 31.
Rxh6 {White has the attack, and now its free on top of everything.} Rc6 32.
Qg4+ Kh8 33. Rxh7+ (33. Rxh7+ Kxh7 34. Nf6+ Rxf6 35. Qxc4 {is just down a
queen. Oh and Black will also get mated soon.}) 1-0

Giri, Mamedov, and MVL are the players without a win in this tournament

Kramnik, Vladrimir 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
Big Vlad ended his streak of losses with a nice win against MVL. The Frenchman misplayed the opening and Kramnik was happy to dispose of Black's dark-squared bishop at the cost of his knight. The lost tempi were more than worth it, and the initiative was completely on White's side. Even though MVL fought hard and even sacrificed a piece for counter chances, it simply did not help.

Big Vlad seemed pretty happy with his win today

So, Wesley ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
Carlsen had no problems equalizing from the opening. If anything it looked like he had the preferable position for some time, but he decided to simplify into a dead drawn endgame.

In the press conference So categorized his play in this tournament as "not good".

Carlsen vs. So was not the game of the day

Mamedov, Rauf ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
Mamedov's position looked suspicious to say the least, and it looked like he would simply lose the game. However, he found a very nice resource that sacrificed his queen but gave him a passed pawn on f7. This, coupled with White's rooks and the back-rank mate threats, forced Caruana to give a perpetual to prevent the pawn's promotion.

Things looked good for the Italian, but at some point Mamedov showed his resourcefulness

Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
Another exchange sacrifice from Anand!

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.25"] [Round "8"] [White "Anand, V."] [Black "Mamedyarov, S."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C49"] [WhiteElo "2791"] [BlackElo "2756"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {The Petroff!} 3. Nc3 Nc6 {No wait, the Four Knights...} 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 d6 7. Ne2 Ne7 8. c3 Ba5 9. Ng3 Ng6 10. d4 Bb6 11. Re1 (11. Be3 {was played last year between two strong Chinese players. The position is slightly preferable for White, but Black is supposed to be ok. He can finish his development and be relatively happy.}) 11... c6 12. Bd3 Re8 ( 12... Bg4 {at some point playing this move seems to be important.} 13. Be3 d5 $5 {perhaps Black is even playing for an advantage here!}) 13. h3 h6 14. Be3 Be6 15. Qc2 Qc7 16. a3 a5 17. c4 $1 {White grabs more Space. Mamedyarov has to be a little careful not to fall into an inferior position.} a4 18. Red1 $5 {I would have played Rad1 without blinking, but that's why I'm not playing in Shamkir.} exd4 19. Bxd4 Ne5 20. Be2 Bc5 21. Rd2 {Alas there was no big difference in which rook to put on d1!} Nfd7 22. Rad1 $14 {White still holds a little edge. He has some pressure on d6 and d5 is not possible to play. He also has some hope of attacking the kingside. The "binding" pawn on a4 can be considered a weakness.} Red8 23. Nh4 Bxd4 24. Rxd4 c5 25. Rxd6 (25. R4d2 Nb6 26. Ngf5 Nbxc4 27. Bxc4 Nxc4 28. Rd3 {was alaso worth a try. Black's king cannot feel safe in this variation.}) 25... Nc6 {Mamedyarov's point. A knight will be installed on d4 soon.} 26. Nhf5 Nd4 27. Qd2 Ne5 28. Rd5 $3 {What a fantastic move. Instead of just exchanging the rooks, Anand is more ambitious. He sacrifices a full exchange in order to create a powerful pawn chain and destroy Black's control over d4!} Bxd5 (28... Bxf5 29. Nxf5 Nec6 {is perhaps better, but Black is suffering down material.}) 29. cxd5 Qb6 30. f4 Ng6 31. Bc4 (31. Bh5 $5) 31... Qa5 32. Qf2 {Anand doesn't want to trade queens, but that was another way to get an advantage. This looks strong enough as it is.} b5 33. Nxd4 cxd4 34. Ba2 b4 35. Nf5 $2 {Too hasty.} (35. Nh5 $1 bxa3 36. Qxd4 Qa7 37. bxa3 $16 {in this variation the f4 pawn is defended.}) 35... bxa3 36. bxa3 Qc3 37. e5 Rab8 38. Rd2 Qxa3 $6 {time trouble.} (38... d3 $1 {creates more chances for counterplay.}) 39. Nxd4 Qc1+ 40. Kh2 Rbc8 $6 {An unfortunate 40th move.} ( 40... Rb7 {is still unpleasant, but maybe Black can claw his way back into the game.}) 41. d6 {now it's simply over. The kingside will be impossible to defend.} a3 42. Nf5 Rf8 43. d7 (43. d7 Rcd8 44. Qd4 Qc7 45. e6 $18) 1-0

With this victory Viswanathan Anand surpasses Fabiano Caruana as the number two player in the World in the live rankings. This is as they stand at the moment. (The list already includes Aronian's win today in the World Team Championship):

# Name Classic +/− Age
1 Carlsen 2873.6 +10.6 24
2 Anand 2803.5 +12.5 45
3 Caruana 2803.0 +1.0 22
4 Nakamura 2799.3 +1.3 27
5 Topalov 2798.0 0.0 40
6 Grischuk 2782.6 −11.4 31
7 So 2778.7 −9.3 21
8 Kramnik 2776.6 −6.4 39
9 Giri 2775.9 −14.1 20
10 Aronian 2774.4 +4.4 32

Courtesy of 2700chess.com

Since FIDE "rounds up" on 0.5 Anand would appear with a 2804 rating on the next list, but there is of course still the issue of the ninth round. An amazing performance, especially for a player that is 45 years young!

Replay Round Eight Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

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
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 - 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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fistoffury fistoffury 4/26/2015 04:27
Vishy as usual makes a come-back after people write him off. I stopped keeping tabs on it:) This is a remarkable performance. I wish he makes the final come-back of defeating carlsen in a wc. Go Vishy!!
Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 4/26/2015 03:33
Vishy for FIDE president!
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 4/26/2015 03:17
kudos to vishy for his brilliant play so far!
PEDRO ASTIG PEDRO ASTIG 4/25/2015 10:08
ANAND at 45 is still playing with brilliance. Will he be number 1 again is another question.
Klacsanzky Klacsanzky 4/25/2015 09:50
Man, Anand is surely a legendary player. After his phenomenal performances even at an older age, it is safe to say he is a living legend.
VVI VVI 4/25/2015 08:26
Splendid performance Anand!!. Always a pleasure to watch your tactics and technique.
Hope to see your rematch with Carlsen next year.
rparimi rparimi 4/25/2015 08:00
@Tmbrain After 36..Qa7, white's queen on d4 is pinned. So Qxg7 mate is not possible
Tmbrain Tmbrain 4/25/2015 07:44
In the game Anand vs Mamedyarov ... In the variation about move 35 Ramirez sugest
"35.h5! bxa3 36.xd4 a7 37.bxa3± in this variation the f4 pawn is defended. "
37. Qxg7 mate!
Or am I wrong?
Great_Scot Great_Scot 4/25/2015 06:38
Any ideas what, if any, the tiebreak rules are?
1