Shamkir Rd7: Caruana lets Giri escape

by Alejandro Ramirez
6/2/2016 – It was a tough round with a strange twist. Among the decisive results was Mamedyarov's strong win over Safarli, while Eljanov defeated Hou in a long battle up a piece but with technical issues. The game of the round was between the leaders Caruana and Giri, and, just when Fabiano had reached a won position, he needed to find a brilliant coup de grace! Alas! Still, the tournament is not over.

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Third Shamkir Tournament in memory of Vugar Gashimov

The Vugar Gashimov Memorial, is being held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, from the May 26 to June 4, 2016, in memory of the great Vugar Gashimov, who passed away on the 10th of January 2014. The tournament features ten world-class players: Fabiano Caruana (2795), Anish Giri (2790), Sergey Karjakin (2779), Pavel Eljanov (2750), Pentala Harikrishna (2763), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2750), Teimour Radjabov (2726), Eltaj Safarli (2664), Hou Yifan (2663) and Rauf Mamedov (2650). The time control is 120/40 moves + 60/20 moves + 15 minutes + 30 seconds/move at 61st move.

All games start at 3 p.m. local time = 1 p.m. in Europe (CEST), one hour earlier in Britain, and 2 p.m. in Moscow. You can find the starting time at your location here. Today's pairings:

Round 7 – June 2, 2016
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Anish Giri
Shak Mamedyarov
1-0
Eltaj Safarli
Sergey Karjakin
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Pentala Harikrishna
½-½
Rauf Mamedov
Pavel Eljanov
1-0
Hou Yifan

Watch it live on Playchess!

Round Seven

Everyone's eyes were clearly on the Caruana-Giri matchup, which would seemingly determine the fate of the tournament. The game was rather interesting, and all throughout the tactics were complicated and the battle fierce, but it was just at the end, with the clock ticking down, that Caruana was unable to find a really brilliant continuation to win the game. In other news, Eljanov escapes from last place by beating Hou Yifan, meanwhile Mamedyarov beat Safarli, but not without complications.

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Giri, Anish
Another player that essays the Open Spanish against Caruana. The fight in this game was very tactical, with pieces hanging consistently and many trades, which did not lead to a drawn position. White always kept an edge with his superior pieces and the queen and rook vs. queen and rook endgame was more pleasant for White. After some brilliant maneuvering, the following happened:

Caruana would've basically clinched the tournament had he found the brilliant Kh2 move

[Event "3rd Shamkir Chess 2016"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2016.06.02"] [Round "7"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C81"] [WhiteElo "2804"] [BlackElo "2790"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. e4 {(3s)} e5 {(3s)} 2. Nf3 {(5s)} Nc6 {(6s)} 3. Bb5 {(3s)} a6 {(5s)} 4. Ba4 {(4s)} Nf6 {(4s)} 5. O-O {(5s)} Nxe4 {(15s)} 6. d4 {(8s)} b5 {(3s)} 7. Bb3 { (4s)} d5 {(4s)} 8. dxe5 {(5s)} Be6 {(8s)} 9. Qe2 {(80 s)} Be7 {(183s)} 10. Rd1 {(6s)} O-O {(6s)} 11. c4 {(4s)} bxc4 {(46s)} 12. Bxc4 {(5s)} Bc5 {(30s)} 13. Be3 {(6s)} Bxe3 {(8s)} 14. Qxe3 {(4s)} Qb8 {(48s)} 15. Bb3 {(5s)} Na5 {(6s)} 16. Nd4 {(9s)} c5 {(61s)} 17. Nxe6 {(8s)} fxe6 {(2s)} 18. f3 {(10s)} c4 {(38s)} 19. fxe4 {(6s)} cxb3 {(2s)} 20. exd5 {(15s)} bxa2 {(415s)} 21. Rxa2 {(6s)} Nc4 {(5s)} 22. Qd4 {(85s)} Qb3 {(124s)} 23. Nc3 {(34s)} Rac8 {(103s)} 24. Rb1 { (1619s)} Ne3 {(771s)} 25. Qxe3 {(301s)} Rxc3 {(11s)} 26. Qxc3 {(5s)} Qxa2 {(3s) } 27. Rd1 {(72s)} exd5 {(5s)} 28. Qd4 {(171s)} Re8 {(460s)} 29. Rc1 {(271s)} h6 {(932s)} 30. h3 {(1029s)} Kh8 {(1078s)} 31. e6 {(1739s)} Rxe6 {(268s)} 32. Rc8+ {(18s)} Kh7 {(2s)} 33. Qd3+ {(11s)} Re4 {(13s)} 34. Qf1 {(13s)} Re5 {(295s)} 35. Qd3+ {(6s)} Re4 {(4s)} 36. Qf1 {(10s)} Re5 {(4s)} 37. Qd3+ {(201s)} Re4 { (18s)} 38. Qf1 {The draw was agreed at this point. Fortunate for Giri, as he is completely lost:} (38. Qf1 Re5 39. Qf7 {snuffing out the Black king. The strange part of not going for this is that White cannot possibly lose, worst case scenario there is another perpetual.} Qa4 (39... Qxb2 40. Qg8+ Kg6 41. Rc6+ Kf5 42. Qf7+ Ke4 43. Qf3+ Kd4 44. Qd1+ Ke4 45. Kh2 {again this important move, safeguarding the king before going for the kill.}) 40. Kh2 $3 {Is the winning trick. A computer move, simply making the king a bit safer. The "threat" is b3, removing the defender of either the fourth rank or of the c6 square. You can try to work out the variations on your own.}) 1/2-1/2

Dodging a bullet: Anish Giri

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 1-0 Safarli, Eltaj
Mamedyarov's opening strategy was very successful, but when it came time to close he found himself with his king in a very weakened position, and he did not follow the best line of play. Safarli missed an amazing perpetual, and gave the game back to Mamedyarov.

[Event "3rd Shamkir Chess 2016"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2016.06.02"] [Round "7"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Safarli, Eltaj"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "2746"] [BlackElo "2673"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. d4 {(3s)} Nf6 {(13s)} 2. c4 {(4s)} e6 {(5s)} 3. Nc3 {(5s)} Bb4 {(21s)} 4. g3 {The move 4.g3 is not the most common idea in the Nimzo-Indian, but it's one of the many ways in which White can try to get a small but riskless edge.} d5 { (179s)} 5. Bg2 {(14s)} O-O {(12s)} 6. a3 {(2s)} Bxc3+ {(144s)} 7. bxc3 {(2s)} c5 $5 {This exact position had been seen in the game... Kuzubov-Safarli, from eleven years ago! I doubt that Mamedyarov prepared against that game, but you never know.} (7... dxc4 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. O-O {was Ivanchuk-Fressinet from March. The position is very interesting with Black having a material advantage but White having the pair of bishops and easier play overall.}) 8. cxd5 {(3s)} exd5 {( 250s)} 9. Nf3 {(3s)} cxd4 {(356s)} 10. Nxd4 {(65s)} (10. cxd4 {looks more natural at first, but it is slower and it prevents White from having any breaks. The move played in the game is much stronger and shows a great feel for the position.}) 10... Nc6 {(231s)} 11. O-O {(94s)} Ne4 $6 {Underestimating White's resources.} 12. c4 {This move is obvious, White just needs to make sure it works.} Re8 {(882s)} (12... dxc4 13. Nxc6 {just loses for Black.}) ( 12... Nc3 13. Nxc6 bxc6 (13... Nxd1 14. Nxd8 Nc3 15. Nxf7 $18) 14. Qd3 { with a very clear advantage for White. That dark squared bishop will become a monster.}) 13. Bb2 {(830s)} Na5 {(806s)} 14. cxd5 {(75s)} Nc4 {(88s)} 15. Rb1 { (238s)} (15. Qb3 $1 Ned2 (15... Ncd2 16. Qd3 Nxf1 17. Bxe4 $18) (15... Nxb2 16. Qxb2 Qxd5 17. Rfc1 {was very strong, as White has a huge development advantage and will continue with Rc7.}) 16. Qc3 $18) 15... Nxb2 {(375s)} (15... Qxd5 16. Ba1 {is better for White as he has the bishops, but it was the lesser evil.}) 16. Rxb2 {(61s)} Qxd5 {(90s)} 17. Qd3 {(1053s)} Bd7 {(476s)} 18. Rfb1 {(23s)} Rab8 {(194s)} 19. Rb5 $1 {A simply but nice tactical coup. Black is forced to give up two of his pieces for one rook.} Bxb5 {(154s)} 20. Rxb5 {The queen cannot keep protection of the black knight.} Nxf2 {(116s)} 21. Kxf2 {(91s)} Qd6 {(398s)} 22. Bxb7 {(337s)} Rbd8 {(703s)} 23. e3 {Unfortunately for Safarli the material disadvantage here is just too big. Mamedyarov has all he needs to take the point home.} Re5 {(49s)} 24. a4 {(114s)} h5 {(275s)} 25. h4 {( 165s)} Rde8 {(177s)} 26. e4 {(158s)} Qf6+ {(302s)} 27. Kg2 {(60s)} Rxb5 {(55s)} 28. axb5 {(30s)} g6 {(77s)} 29. Bd5 {(77s)} Re7 {(4s)} 30. Qd2 {(353s)} a6 {(88s)} 31. bxa6 $2 {Somehow Mamedyarov really lets go of his advantage in the next few moves.} (31. Nc6 Rb7 32. e5 $18) 31... Qxa6 {(5s)} 32. Nc6 {(13s)} Rc7 { (96s)} 33. Nd8 $6 {(428s)} (33. Ne5 $16) 33... Qa4 {(102s)} 34. Qh6 $2 { A time pressure blunder. The players missed an incredible resource here} Rc2+ $2 {(26s)} (34... Qc2+ 35. Kh3 Qd1 $1 36. Qxg6+ Kf8 37. Qd6+ Kg7 {Surprisingly, White has no way of avoiding the perpetual. This would have been a crazy end to the game and a dissapointment for Mamedyarov, but Safarli did not find it.}) 35. Kh3 {(7s)} Qd7+ {(15s)} 36. Ne6 $1 {A resource that keeps the advantage in White's camp} fxe6 {(1s)} 37. Qxg6+ {(5s)} Kf8 {(4s)} 38. Bxe6 {(14s)} Qg7 { (18s)} 39. Qxh5 {(11s)} Rc3 {(11s)} 40. Qg4 {(0s)} Qxg4+ {This leads to a lost endgame. More resistance was put up by not trading the queens, but the endgame is lost anyway.} 41. Kxg4 {(134s)} Kg7 {(513s)} 42. Kf4 {(45s)} Rc1 {(164s)} 43. Kg5 {(20s)} Re1 {(577s)} 44. Bf5 {(24s)} 1-0

Highlight of the day: an Azerbaijani duel that did not end in a draw

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Radjabov, Teimour
In these locked up French positions usually one side tries to break through on the kingside, either with f4-f5 by White or g6 or f6 by Black. If neither player does that, well, nothing ever happens.

Basically nothing happenered here today

Harikrishna, Pentala ½-½ Mamedov, Rauf
Harikrishna saw himself in danger of losing this game from very early on. Mamedov managed to win a pawn and get a comfortable endgame. The opposite colored bishops kept Harikrishna's chances to make a draw alive, and Mamedov simply did not have the best technique. The extra black pawn was able to reach e2, but it was clear it was going no further.

Putting on the pressure! Mamedov was close to a win today

Eljanov, Pavel 1-0 Hou Yifan
In another critical position, the Chinese player goes wrong and Eljanov cleans up with his extra piece:

[Event "3rd Shamkir Chess 2016"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2016.06.02"] [Round "7"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2663"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "119"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. d4 {(3s)} Nf6 {(5s)} 2. Nf3 {(8s)} d5 {(17s)} 3. Bf4 {(11s)} e6 {(44s)} 4. e3 {(37s)} c5 {(89s)} 5. c3 {(8s)} Nc6 {(51s)} 6. Nbd2 {(6s)} Bd6 {(29s)} 7. Bg3 {(10s)} O-O {(205s)} 8. Bb5 {(65s)} a5 {(539s)} 9. a4 {(451s)} Ne7 {(289s)} 10. Qe2 {(574s)} Nf5 {(859s)} 11. Bd3 {(688s)} Be7 {(1133s)} 12. Be5 {(376s)} b6 {(285s)} 13. Bxf6 {(526s)} Bxf6 {(6s)} 14. g4 {(5s)} Nd6 {(294s)} 15. h4 { (201s)} Be7 {( 225s)} 16. g5 {(1001s)} Bb7 {(174s)} 17. Ne5 {(15s)} Qe8 {(235s) } 18. Rg1 {(272s)} f5 {(202s)} 19. gxf6 {(29s)} Bxf6 {(5s)} 20. Qg4 {(183s)} Ba6 {(378s)} 21. Bc2 {(93s)} Ra7 {(118s)} 22. Ndf3 {(598 s)} Bxe5 {(161s)} 23. dxe5 {(412s)} Nf5 {(244s)} 24. Ng5 {(172s)} h6 {(548s)} 25. Nh3 {(4s)} d4 $2 { (81 s)} (25... b5 $1 {Counterattack is the only way. Black keeps options open by taking on a4 and opening the b-file.}) 26. e4 {(101s)} d3 {(192s)} 27. Bb3 { (46s)} c4 {(168s)} 28. Bd1 {Black has established a strong pawn chain, but now her knight on f5 is doomed as it has nowhere to go: putting it on e7 would allow Qxg7#.} Qb8 {(71s)} 29. exf5 {( 55s)} Qxe5+ {(5s)} 30. Kd2 {(56s)} Rxf5 { (9s)} 31. f4 {(65s)} Qf6 {(88s)} 32. Bf3 {(304s)} Bb7 {(15s)} 33. Bxb7 {(435s)} Rxb7 {(1s)} 34. Qf3 {Black simply does not have enough for the piece.} Rf7 { (103s)} 35. h5 {(91s)} Qh4 {(17s)} 36. Rg4 {(57 s)} Qxh5 {(81s)} 37. Rag1 { (22s)} Rd5 {(131s)} 38. Nf2 {(38s)} Qf5 {(67s)} 39. Ne4 {(32s)} Rdd7 {(2s)} 40. Qe3 {(0s)} b5 {(0s)} 41. Nc5 {(1660s)} Rde7 {(557s)} 42. Qe5 {(4s)} bxa4 { (750s)} 43. Ke3 {(47 s)} Kh7 {(164s)} 44. Rh4 {(563s)} Qxe5+ {(473s)} 45. fxe5 {(5s)} Rf5 {(4s)} 46. Rxc4 {(37s)} Rxe5+ {(5s)} 47. Ne4 {(128s)} g5 {(223s)} 48. Rxa4 {(30s)} Kg6 {(67s)} 49. Kxd3 {(251s)} Rf7 {(215s)} 50. Nd2 {(225s)} h5 {(137s)} 51. Re4 {(14s)} Rxe4 {(207s)} 52. Nxe4 {(6s)} g4 {(3s)} 53. c4 {(249s) } Rf3+ {(353s)} 54. Kd4 {(5s)} Kf5 {(9s)} 55. Ng3+ {(73s)} Rxg3 {(311s)} 56. Rxg3 {(4s)} h4 {(4s)} 57. Rg1 {(14s)} g3 {(1s)} 58. Ke3 {(7s)} Kg4 {(1s)} 59. Rd1 {(8s)} e5 {(124s)} 60. c5 {(0s)} 1-0

No longer last, but still losing 12 points: Pavel Eljanov

A tough loss for Yifan who is now on -3

Round Seven Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Standings after seven rounds

Schedule and results

Round 1 – May 26, 2016
Rauf Mamedov
½-½
Anish Giri
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Hou Yifan
Eltaj Safarli
½-½
Pavel Eljanov
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Pentala Harikrishna
Shak Mamedyarov
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
Round 3 – May 28, 2016
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Anish Giri
Eltaj Safarli
½-½
Rauf Mamedov
Fabiano Caruana
1-0
Hou Yifan
Shak Mamedyarov
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Sergey Karjakin
1-0
Pentala Harikrishna
Round 5 – May 30, 2016
Eltaj Safarli
0-1
Anish Giri
Fabiano Caruana
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Shak Mamedyarov
½-½
Rauf Mamedov
Sergey Karjakin
1-0
Hou Yifan
Pentala Harikrishna
1-0
Pavel Eljanov
Round 6 – June 1, 2016
Anish Giri
½-½
Pavel Eljanov
Hou Yifan
½-½
Pentala Harikrishna
Rauf Mamedov
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Shak Mamedyarov
Eltaj Safarli
½-½
Fabiano Caruana
Round 8 – June 3, 2016
Anish Giri
-
Hou Yifan
Rauf Mamedov
-
Pavel Eljanov
Teimour Radjabov
-
Pentala Harikrishna
Eltaj Safarli
-
Sergey Karjakin
Fabiano Caruana
-
Shak Mamedyarov
 
Round 2 – May 27, 2016
Anish Giri
1-0
Sergey Karjakin
Pentala Harikrishna
1-0
Shak Mamedyarov
Pavel Eljanov
0-1
Fabiano Caruana
Hou Yifan
½-½
Eltaj Safarli
Rauf Mamedov
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Round 4 – May 29, 2016
Anish Giri
1-0
Pentala Harikrishna
Pavel Eljanov
½-½
Sergey Karjakin
Hou Yifan
½-½
Shak Mamedyarov
Rauf Mamedov
0-1
Fabiano Caruana
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Eltaj Safarli
May 31, 2016
Free day
Round 7 – June 2, 2016
Fabiano Caruana
½-½
Anish Giri
Shak Mamedyarov
1-0
Eltaj Safarli
Sergey Karjakin
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Pentala Harikrishna
½-½
Rauf Mamedov
Pavel Eljanov
1-0
Hou Yifan
Round 9 – June 4, 2016
Shak Mamedyarov
-
Anish Giri
Sergey Karjakin
-
Fabiano Caruana
Pentala Harikrishna
-
Eltaj Safarli
Pavel Eljanov
-
Teimour Radjabov
Hou Yifan
-
Rauf Mamedov

Live commentary on Playchess

Date Round English German
03.6.2016 Round 8 Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
04.6.2016 Round 9 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff

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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Offramp Offramp 6/3/2016 04:11
I prefer the way of giving the times in seconds only. I am probebly stupid but I used to get confused when some moves had an integer such as "33" and the next move was "1.18".
It is clearer (to me) now.
BenRedic BenRedic 6/3/2016 03:55
@stephen brady: https://youtu.be/HhtXu6l90LE?t=8m30s
fightingchess fightingchess 6/3/2016 12:57
there was no risk in playing Qf7 and keeping the game alive. white's pieces are close to the black king and black's pieces are away. the king is not safe and it is not hard to see that white always can go for repetition or perpetual check. magnus would have played Qf7 and see how the game continues. he does not go for repetition in such endgames unless it is forced. the main problem for caruana was that he took 30 minutes to play 31.e6 so i assume he was in time trouble and he had already made his decision to go for a draw.
malfa malfa 6/3/2016 09:41
Considering that in the last round Caruana will face Karjakin as Black, drawing yesterday a potentially winning position leaves much to be desired, however it was a reasonably practical decision as far as he could not see a safe way to hold at least a draw in case he had chosen to continue. That said, in the pre-computer era such a "forced win" would have probably been discovered weeks or even months later, so what?
Isledoc Isledoc 6/3/2016 08:17
The weekend warriors are out in force on this thread!
Karbuncle Karbuncle 6/3/2016 05:30
Wow, so it seems to some people that being #2 in the world isn't enough to be a real chess player, and that you're actually just a businessman. Staggers the imagination...
truthadjustr truthadjustr 6/3/2016 05:25
Hmmm.. indeed Kh2 was the missed moved. It seems to me now that Caruana is more of a businessman than a chess player.
stephen brady stephen brady 6/3/2016 04:04
@malvarez the greatest player of all time may have calculated that computer line, and thought he was ahead. But as smart as Carlsen is, I doubt he would have gambled the whole tournament on playing a position down a couple pawns where he risks losing the game and losing the tournament lead with 2 rounds to go.
malvarez malvarez 6/3/2016 02:54
@stephen Do you think that Carlsen would have accepted a draw in such a position? That's exacly what differenciates him from the rest of the players in the world. That's why he is the world champion, because he always tries to win, he only draws when there is truly nothing more...
Rinzou Wilkerson Rinzou Wilkerson 6/2/2016 10:54
I will. If you want to become World Champion, you have to have that killer instinct. Look what happened to Karl Schlechter. Fight, Caru, fight!
stephen brady stephen brady 6/2/2016 07:40
yeah, "dead won" position for a computer. Yes, Caruana should have spent more time calculating, like he admitted in the press conference. However, he is sitting in 1st place playing his only challenger with 2 rounds to go. Why should he risk playing a position down material, which would basically be risking his entire tournament. Can you really blame him for taking the draw?
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