Shamkir Rd7: Three wins!

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/24/2015 – A bloody and exciting round seven. Fabiano Caruana won a very nice game against Wesley So, the second consecutive win for the Italian and the second consecutive loss for the American. Speaking of consecutive losses, Kramnik "long-castled" (0-0-0) with his loss against Carlsen. Meanwhile Adams lost to Anand, who gains in the ranking and currently sits in second place.

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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. 

Rest Day

The grandmasters gave simultaneous exhibitions to young locals

Michael Adams showing his skill

Local favorite Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Hard at work...

Tandem simultaneous are some of the hardest things to coordinate...

Wesley So will surely punish that early queen escapade

The players and young players posing

After that, of course, came the soccer match

They look slightly better than the last time a chess-soccer match was featured

Yup, much better

MVL ready for action

The game even had a strong cheering section!

Round Seven

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

Video by Vijay Kumar

Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 Adams, Michael
A nice exchange sacrifice from Anand gave him a pawn and a strong pawn structure in the center. Adams seemed at a loss on what to do with his rooks. Anand kept improving his position, slowly, until it was clear that Black's rooks lacked targets and that Black's king would be a permanent weakness. Anand won a very clean game!

A lovely game from Anand

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ Mamedov, Rauf
Normally games between top Azeris in a tournament end up in theoretical draws or perpetuals, but this was very very far from that. Mamedyarov tried to kill Mamedov down the a1-h8 diagonal, but Black was able to find some important resources to keep himself afloat. Mamedyarov held an advantage, couldn't find all the exact moves and let Mamedov escape.

The Azerbaijani derby was hard fought

Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 So, Wesley

Two in a row for Caruana

After scoring only half a point from his last three games
Wesley So is now tied for third with Caruana

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.24"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2802"] [BlackElo "2788"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. e3 {It's always pleasant to see a Rubinstein Variation.} Ne4 6. Qc2 Bb7 7. Bd3 f5 8. O-O Bxc3 9. bxc3 O-O 10. c5 $5 (10. Nd2 {has been played hundreds of times, and is considered to be the main line.}) 10... Rf6 {Black isn't kidding around; he weill try to checkmate White with his rook and bishop and queen. His queenside development will be stalled, but for now that is ok. White might develop them for him, if for example he takes on b6.} 11. Ne1 $1 {using hte fact that the knight on e4 doesn't have many retreat options with the rook on f6.} bxc5 (11... Rh6 12. g3 $1 {keeps the queen away. White won in both Leko-Andreikin and Georgiev, V-Eljanov.}) 12. Rb1 Qc8 13. f3 Ng5 14. Be2 cxd4 15. cxd4 {White's down a pawn, but Black's develompent is awkward. His bishop on b7 is exposed, the g5 knight will have to retreat, the f6 rook doesn't do much but be a potential target. However White does still need to do something concrete.} Nc6 16. Nd3 Ba6 17. Bb2 Ne7 18. d5 Rh6 19. dxe6 Nxe6 20. Nf4 Nxf4 21. exf4 Bxe2 22. Qxe2 {How the game has changed. White has a powerful bishop and still has the better coordination. Black has two passed pawns, but hey are not going to be a factor yet.} Re6 23. Qd3 Ng6 (23... Rb8 {looked stronger. The knight will be useful on e7.}) 24. g3 Rb8 25. Qxf5 Reb6 26. Bd4 Rxb1 27. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 28. Qxb1 {With material equality in the endgame it is time to take stock once agian. White is clearly better: his bishop dominates the open board and coordinates much better than the queen and knight.} c5 29. Qb3+ c4 (29... Kh8 30. Qc3 $18) 30. Qb5 {With little effort White has already blockaded the pawns. Now they are ripe for the taking.} Ne7 31. Qg5 $5 (31. Bc5 Nd5 32. Qxc4 Qc6 33. Qd4 $16) 31... Qf8 32. Bc5 Kf7 33. Qe5 Qe8 34. Kf2 {Black is paralyzed.} Nc6 {losing a pawn, but what else to do?} 35. Qh5+ g6 36. Qxh7+ Ke6 37. Qg7 Qf7 38. Qxf7+ Kxf7 39. Ke3 {White has too many pawns on the kingside.} Ke6 40. g4 d6 41. Ba3 d5 42. Bb2 Nb4 43. a4 Nc2+ 44. Kd2 Nb4 45. h4 Nd3 46. Bd4 a6 (46... Nxf4 47. Bxa7 {leaves Black with too many passed pawns to deal with.}) 47. h5 gxh5 48. f5+ Kd6 49. gxh5 $18 Ne5 50. Ke3 Nf7 51. Bg7 1-0

Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Kramnik, Vladimir

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.24"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2783"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. h3 Ne7 8. d4 Bb6 9. Bd3 d5 10. Nbd2 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe4 exd4 13. Qc2 (13. cxd4 Bf5 $6 14. Bxb7 Rb8 15. Ba6 Be4 {was better for White in Duda-Vallejo Pons, but of course Black doesn't have to give up that pawn on b7.}) 13... h6 14. a4 $5 { White is in no hurry to regain his pawn. Taking on c3 looks very dangerous.} c6 (14... dxc3 15. Rd1 $1 Qe8 $8 16. Qxc3 {with the idea of a5-a6, with an initiative. Perhaps with best play Black can survive without issues, but it looks scary to not be able to develop.}) 15. Rd1 Nd5 16. Nxd4 {Symmetrical pawn structure, but White's slight lead in development gives him a nice and dangerous edge. Black needs just a couple of tempi to catch up to White's position, but it's a valuable couple of tempi.} Re8 17. a5 $1 {What a move! White sacrifices a pawn simply to discoordinate the Black pieces.} (17. Nf3 Qe7 18. Bxd5 cxd5 19. Rxd5 Be6 $132) 17... Bxa5 18. Nf3 {the point is that now c4 is a hard move to parry.} b5 (18... Qc7 19. Bxd5 cxd5 20. Qa4 {is a nasty double attack.}) 19. Nd4 {returning to d4 and regaining the pawn. The rules of chess say Kramnik can't put his pawn from b5 on b7, with a repetition.} Bc7 $6 {A tactical mistake.} (19... Bb7 $1) 20. Nxc6 Qd6 21. g3 Bb7 22. Bf4 Qxc6 23. Bxd5 {Black is in very serious problems} Re1+ (23... Qb6 24. Bxb7 Qxb7 25. Rd7 Rec8 (25... Rac8 26. Qf5 Rf8 27. Be3 {isn't much better ,with the dual threat of Bc5 and Rxa7.}) 26. Qf5 {leaves Black helpless against Qf7.}) 24. Kh2 $1 { A very important move.} (24. Rxe1 Qxd5 {leaves White nothing better than} 25. Qe4 Qxe4 26. Rxe4 Bxe4 27. Bxc7 $11) 24... Qxd5 25. Rxd5 Rxa1 26. Rd1 $1 Rxd1 27. Qxd1 Rd8 28. Qe2 {White's queen here will dominate the bishop and rook. There are too many targets, and White just needs a couple of moves to safeguard his king against the combined action of Black's pieces.} Bb6 29. Be3 Bxe3 30. Qxe3 Rd1 31. g4 Bc6 (31... Rh1+ 32. Kg3 Rg1+ 33. Kf4 {isn't really that scary. The king chills on f4.}) 32. Qc5 Bd7 33. Qxa7 Rd2 34. Kg3 Rd3+ 35. Kf4 Kh7 36. Qb7 Rd2 37. Ke3 Rd6 38. f4 g6 39. Qb8 Rd5 40. Ke4 Be6 41. Qb7 Rc5 42. Kd4 Rc4+ 43. Ke5 b4 44. cxb4 Rc2 45. Kf6 Rxb2 46. Qb8 {The king is an aggressive piece!} Rf2 47. f5 gxf5 48. Qg3 $1 Rf1 49. g5 {Black cannot escape checkmate.} 1-0

Vladimir Kramnik losing his third (!) game in a row

Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime ½-½ Giri, Anish
A sharp Ragozin, but even though Giri was always in a bit of pressure his position held enough resources for him to maintain equilibrium until the end.

MVL couldn't break Giri's defenses

Replay Round Seven 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
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 - 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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johnmk johnmk 4/25/2015 03:51
Wesley managed a draw in latest round. Nice to see Adams finally score a full point.
Karbuncle Karbuncle 4/25/2015 10:06
The only other player without a loss besides Carlsen is Anand. That's some powerful evidence he's still got it!

Rational Rational 4/25/2015 09:12
Anand seems to have had a new lease of life,he seemed to be on the way out a few years ago, preparing for and playing matches with Carlsen seems to have stimulated him
Rational Rational 4/25/2015 09:09
Carlsen is within reach of a 3000 Elo performance over 9 rounds. While giving his opponents a head start in the opening!
What over 3000 performances over 9 or more rounds have been achieved ? What was Caruana's performance in the last Sinquefield Cup?
tom_70 tom_70 4/25/2015 07:54
I'm just amazed that Carlsen can beat such highly rated players on such a consistent basis. I haven't seen that level of dominance since the glory days of Kasparov.
ChessAmateurCA ChessAmateurCA 4/25/2015 03:44
Game Caruana-So has the statement "It's always pleasant to see a Rubinstein Variation". Indeed, only if the moves would be 4. e3 and 5.Ng1-e2. The setup 4. Nf3 ... 5. e3 followed by Bd3 used to be called the Modern Variation in the opening books of 1970s. I know, Senor Ramirez is a Grandmaster and maybe the name of the opening variations has been changed depending on who writes or re-writes anything lately. Just saying...
ff2017 ff2017 4/25/2015 12:21
@boiette Actually with regards to Katerina Lagno, she was granted expedited Russian citizenship by Putin himself upon her conversion to the Russian Chess Federation. So she is Ukrainian by birth, but Russian by citizenship (not sure if she holds dual citizenship, especially given the current conflict between the two nations).
PEDRO ASTIG PEDRO ASTIG 4/24/2015 11:52
Wesley SO has a P-1A visa ( Internationally Recognized Athlete ). represents the USA chess team via the USCF. carries a Philippine passport. Resident of USA.
Rama Rama 4/24/2015 11:05
@johnmk "plays for the US" means that he switched from the Philippine Chess Federation to the United States Chess Federation and so now plays under the U.S. flag in international events and wll be on their olympiad team. I am not sure exactly what is on his green card or visa but he is a legal resident of the U.S. but still maintains his Philippine citizenship.
boiette boiette 4/24/2015 10:58
Wesley plays under the US flag but he is Filipino by citizenship. You don't call him American because he stays in America, or he is "native" to America, like an American eagle or an American Indian as erroneously defined previously here. Playing for the Costa Rican flag will not make Wesley So Costa Rican. Nor do we call Katerryna Lahno Russian because she shifted to the Russian Fed. She is still Ukrainian. Simple and clear.
Josue Josue 4/24/2015 10:34
It's curious that Magnus appears in so many photos that in the picture of the game between MVL and Giri, it is not Giri the one on the photo: it is Magnus! ja ja.
johnmk johnmk 4/24/2015 10:28
So what is Wesley So's status in America? Green card? Student visa? What does it mean that he belongs to the USCF and "plays for the US"? After looking at several write-ups and feature articles, it's still pretty unclear.
GothicMelancholy GothicMelancholy 4/24/2015 08:52
So much for fanboys of So
1