2016 Shamkir Rd2: From lukewarm to scalding

by Alejandro Ramirez
5/27/2016 – There was nothing tepid about the second round with three decisive games and hard battles. The first to win, and the cleanest, was Indian Harikrishna who beat Mamedyarov. Eljanov and Caruana had a balanced battle, but Fabi pressed until Pavel blundered and lost. Karjakin blundered his queen to Giri, and in spite of heroic efforts, lost. All wins annotated!

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

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 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

Watch it live on Playchess!

Round Two

What an exciting round! Three decisive results came in just as the first round was full of draws. One of the top games of the tournament, Giri vs. Karjakin, looked like it was going to be just a boring draw, but even in such positions one must be very careful.

No one suffers the games of Anish like Sopiko. GM Erwin l'Ami keeps her company here.

Giri, Anish 1-0 Karjakin, Sergey
Lesson of the game: never let your guard down

That, ladies and gentleman, is a win

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2016"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2016.05.27"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A36"] [WhiteElo "2790"] [BlackElo "2779"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "135"] [EventDate "2016.05.26"] 1. g3 c5 2. Bg2 Nc6 3. c4 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. a3 d6 6. Rb1 a5 7. d3 e5 8. e4 h5 9. h4 Bh6 10. Bh3 Bxc1 11. Rxc1 Nf6 12. Bxc8 Rxc8 13. Nge2 O-O 14. O-O Qd7 15. Kg2 Kg7 16. f3 Nd4 17. Rf2 b6 18. a4 Rb8 19. b3 Rb7 20. Rb1 Rbb8 21. Qd2 Rbe8 22. Qb2 Qb7 23. Rbf1 Ng8 24. Nd5 Ne7 25. Nxd4 exd4 26. Nf4 Qd7 27. Re2 Nc6 28. Qd2 Nb4 29. Rfe1 Re5 30. Nh3 Re7 31. f4 f6 32. Qd1 Rh8 33. Kh2 Qg4 34. Kg2 { Up to about this point the game had been as uneventful as imaginable. As you can see from the pawn structure, it is extremely locked up and highly unlikely something actually happens. However, Karjakin lets his guard down for just a second, and that turns out to be more than enough.} Rhe8 $4 {The decisive mistake. Karjakin underestimated the problems he was about to get into, or more likely, didn't even see it coming.} 35. f5 $1 {The threat is clear: Nf2 wins the queen.} gxf5 36. Nf2 Qg6 37. exf5 {Black now faces a very unpleasant choice} Rxe2 (37... Qf7 38. Rxe7 Rxe7 39. Rxe7 Qxe7 40. Qxh5 $18 {looks truly hopeless. Black is down a pawn, and in the knight endgames the double pawns on the d-file don't make a good impression. If Black doesn't trade queens, his king is very weak.}) 38. fxg6 Rxe1 39. Qxh5 {From a material point of view Black is ok, but it is clear that his king is not.} Rh8 40. Qf3 Re3 (40... Kxg6 41. Ne4 f5 42. Nxd6 $18) 41. Qg4 Re5 42. Qd7+ Kxg6 43. Ne4 Nxd3 44. Qg4+ Kh6 ( 44... Kf7 45. Nxd6+ Ke7 46. Qg7+ Kxd6 47. Qxf6+ {followed by Qxh8 looks very unappetizing, but it's the computer's top choice to try to defend.}) 45. Nxd6 Rf8 46. Nf5+ Rxf5 47. Qxf5 {Now Black is down material, and the knight and rook cannot hope to compete with the queen.} Ne5 48. Qe6 d3 49. Qxb6 Rf7 50. Qxa5 Rd7 51. Qd2+ Kg7 52. a5 {The white pawns march now that the queen is forced to be in a passive position. That, however, will only be temporary.} Nc6 53. a6 Kf7 54. h5 Nb4 55. h6 Kg6 56. Qf4 (56. Qe3 {seemed way easier. For example} d2 57. Qe8+ Rf7 58. Qg8+ Kxh6 59. Qxf7 $1 (59. Qd8 {also works, for those that don't want to calculate.}) 59... d1=Q 60. Qxf6+ Kh7 61. Qf7+ Kh6 62. a7 Qe2+ 63. Kh3 {and there is no perpetual. Actually there are no more checks.} ) 56... Rd4 57. h7 $1 {It's important to find this move.} Rxf4 58. h8=Q d2 59. Qe8+ Kh6 60. Qh8+ Kg6 61. Qe8+ {Repeat to gain time: always wise.} Kh6 62. Qe2 (62. a7 {is some nonesense computer line. What Giri chose is very easy.}) 62... Rd4 63. a7 d1=Q 64. Qxd1 Rxd1 65. a8=Q {The passed d-pawn has been eliminated, and now Black can't hold on to his c-pawn. The knight is too short range of a piece.} Rd2+ 66. Kf3 Rd3+ 67. Kf4 Rxb3 68. Kf5 {Black's getting mated.} 1-0

Harikrishna, Pentala 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
Harikrishna made it look easy to defeat Mamedyarov! Perhaps exploiting some of his opponent's weaknesses, perhaps also a combination with the fact that Mamedyarov's opening choice was rather questionable, it all seemed to go extremely smoothly for the Indian player today. With this result he is one point behind Vishy Anand for the top Indian player.

Making it look easy! Pentala is up to 2769!

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2016"]
[Site "Shamkir AZE"]
[Date "2016.05.27"]
[Round "2.5"]
[White "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2763"]
[BlackElo "2748"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2016.05.26"]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 a6 5. a4 Bg7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Qd2 Nbd7 8. h3
e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Bc4 b6 11. O-O Bb7 12. Rfd1 Qe7 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 Bxd5
15. Qxd5 Nf6 16. Qc4 Rfe8 17. c3 a5 18. Rd3 {White's slightly better for many
reasons. His pieces are slightly more active, his queen on c4 is controlling
the entire board, c7 feels unpleasant. Black has a grueling defensive and
passive task ahead of him, not something Mamedyarov is known for.} Qe6 $2 {
Counterplay is not always the solution} 19. Qxc7 Nxe4 20. Rad1 {Black's pieces
are really suffering, b6 is very weak and the rooks are penetrating down the
d-file.} Bf6 21. Nd2 $1 {Nice move, eliminating one of the few black active
pieces.} Nxd2 22. R1xd2 e4 23. Rd6 Be5 24. Rxe6 Bxc7 25. Rc6 Rec8 26. Kf1 {
Always careful - Black was threatening Bh2+.} Bd8 27. Rcd6 Rab8 28. Rd7 $1 Bf6
29. Bf4 Ra8 30. Rb7 Rc6 31. Rdd7 {Black simply can't hold his position
together anymore.} Rd8 (31... Rf8 32. Bc7 {drops the b6 pawn and is completely
hopeless.}) 32. Rxd8+ Bxd8 33. Rb8 {White wins a piece and the game.} 1-0

Eljanov, Pavel 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano
Caruana's Nd7 choice was unusual but perfectly playable. Even though the computers claim that most of the game was about equal, it all seemed very unpleasant to me from a human perspective. White was always defending and had to be in constant fear of his king getting mated. Eventually, Eljanov cracked and Caruana took advantage of it.

Pavel was Fabi's first victim this tournament

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2016"]
[Site "Shamkir AZE"]
[Date "2016.05.27"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Eljanov, Pavel"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D91"]
[WhiteElo "2765"]
[BlackElo "2804"]
[Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"]
[PlyCount "90"]
[EventDate "2016.05.26"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bg5 Ne4 6. Bf4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. e3
O-O 9. Be2 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nd7 11. O-O Nb6 12. Bb3 c4 13. Bc2 Nd5 14. Qd2 Nxf4
15. exf4 Be6 16. a4 Bd5 17. Ne5 e6 18. Rfb1 Rb8 19. Qe3 a6 20. a5 b5 21. axb6
Rxb6 22. g3 Rxb1+ 23. Rxb1 Bxe5 24. Qxe5 Qa8 25. h4 Bh1 26. Kf1 h5 27. Ke1 a5
28. Ra1 Qg2 29. Rxa5 Qg1+ 30. Ke2 Bg2 {Black has just sacrificed a pawn and is
now clearly putting pressure on the weak king on e2. However, there is nothing
clear just yet. White has to be very careful to hang on, but he has his own
resources.} 31. Qe3 {Defending the f2 pawn is natural, but now was the time to
calculate.} (31. Bxg6 $1 fxg6 (31... Qf1+ 32. Kd2 Qxf2+ 33. Kc1 {surprisingly
doesn't change anything. Black still should take on g6 (at the very least Bh7+
with a perpetual is a threat) and it is still a draw.}) 32. Qxe6+ Kh8 33. Qe5+
{leads to a perpetual.}) 31... Rb8 32. Ra2 Bh3 33. Kd2 Bf5 $1 {There is an old
maxim that in heavy piece endgames the only thing that matters is king safety,
and White isn't feeling particularly comfy.} 34. Qe1 Qg2 35. Bxf5 exf5 36. Kc2
$2 {White blunders in time pressure, but Caruana misses the winning idea.} Qb7
(36... Qf3 $1 {threatening Qd3+} 37. Qe3 Qh1 $19) 37. Kd2 Qg2 38. Kc1 (38. Rc2
$1 {tries to hold on.}) 38... Qf3 {Now this is also strong} 39. Rc2 Ra8 40. Qe2
Qh1+ {With time control reached it is now obvious that White is defenseless.}
41. Kd2 Ra1 42. Qe8+ Kg7 43. Qe5+ Kh7 44. Qe2 Rb1 $1 {nice Zugzwang.} 45. f3
Rg1 0-1

Hou Yifan ½-½ Eltaj, Safarli
A pretty crazy game, specially in the movements of White's rook. This French came was quite interesting and worth looking at, unfortunately at some point Yifan felt that her pawn structure was too weak and was forced into trading off into a drawn endgame. Perhaps Eltaj should have prevented the queen trade somehow and tried to exploit the structural advantage.

The game between these players was actually rather interesting. I refreshingly sharp French!

Mamedov, Rauf ½-½ Radjabov, Teimour
The Azerbaijani vs. Azerbaijani games are usually not the most interesting ones of the tournament, and this was no exception.

Rauf and Teimour barely showed up today

Round Two Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Standings

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
-
Anish Giri
Eltaj Safarli
-
Rauf Mamedov
Fabiano Caruana
-
Hou Yifan
Shak Mamedyarov
-
Pavel Eljanov
Sergey Karjakin
-
Pentala Harikrishna
Round 5 – May 30, 2016
Eltaj Safarli
-
Anish Giri
Fabiano Caruana
-
Teimour Radjabov
Shak Mamedyarov
-
Rauf Mamedov
Sergey Karjakin
-
Hou Yifan
Pentala Harikrishna
-
Pavel Eljanov
Round 6 – June 1, 2016
Anish Giri
-
Pavel Eljanov
Hou Yifan
-
Pentala Harikrishna
Rauf Mamedov
-
Sergey Karjakin
Teimour Radjabov
-
Shak Mamedyarov
Eltaj Safarli
-
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
-
Pentala Harikrishna
Pavel Eljanov
-
Sergey Karjakin
Hou Yifan
-
Shak Mamedyarov
Rauf Mamedov
-
Fabiano Caruana
Teimour Radjabov
-
Eltaj Safarli
May 31, 2016
Free day
Round 7 – June 2, 2016
Fabiano Caruana
-
Anish Giri
Shak Mamedyarov
-
Eltaj Safarli
Sergey Karjakin
-
Teimour Radjabov
Pentala Harikrishna
-
Rauf Mamedov
Pavel Eljanov
-
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
27.5.2016 Round 2 Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
28.5.2016 Round 3 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
29.5.2016 Round 4 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
30.5.2016 Round 5 Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
01.6.2016 Round 6 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
02.6.2016 Round 7 Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
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.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

Steven E DuCharm Steven E DuCharm 5/28/2016 01:54
Giri-Karjakin reminds me of Bogoljubov-Alekhine 1922
and a happy new year and a happy new year 5/28/2016 01:37
Imagine if it had been Carlsen playing White instead of Giri versus Karjakin. First 1.g3! would have been praised as a way to get his superprepared opponent out of theory. Then we'd have marvelled at how Carlsen slowly outplayed Karjakin- leaving him with no plan, an offside knight on b4 and fragile pawns on g6 and h5. Finally, facing a slow build up of f4-f5 ramming his kingside, or the immediate 35.f5, Black crumbled under the pressure. A great game by Carlsen- but because it's Giri it's 'White played a dull opening and then got lucky with a one move blunder by his opponent'.
and a happy new year and a happy new year 5/28/2016 12:56
I think Giri deserves credit for the way he played the opening- getting Karjakin out of his preparation andf setting him new problems. If Black hadn't blundered his queen and played 34...Qd7 then 35.f5 gxf5 36.Nf4 still looks awkward for him in view of the weakness of h5. OK, it doesn't scare a computer, but there was more going on than Karjakin being dead equal and then playing a '??' move.
XY123 XY123 5/28/2016 09:25
I disagree with Mr. Ramirez' evaluation of Giri-Karjakin in move 34. I don't think that it is "highly unlikely something actually happens", in my opinion white has already achieved a lot. Also if the black queen was on a safe square - there is always the threat of f4-f5 (even if it would mean sacrificing a pawn) followed by Nh3-f4 and the black pawn on h5 becomes extremly vulnerable. And the black king feels unsafe. The black knight occupies a nice square on the queenside, but it is far away from the action. So I think that white has a tangible advantage here and it is black who has to be very careful.
jimliew jimliew 5/28/2016 04:49
I think the author got carried away with the Giri-Karyakin game, I keep seeing it all over and over.
libyantiger libyantiger 5/28/2016 01:24
carlsen challanger blunders a queen ...carlsen will just crush him if he misplace a piece ....third world champion is carlsen
Queeg Queeg 5/27/2016 09:36
Giri vs Karjakin was a joke. Giri made no effort to play a serious game but Karjakin botched it anyhow. Carlsen must be amused.
Bertman Bertman 5/27/2016 06:59
@yesenadam

Or your browser. Consider installing an up-to-date version of Google Chrome for example.
yesenadam yesenadam 5/27/2016 06:10
On practically every device! uh except mine.. "Loading Live Chess App.." How long should I wait? Well, I can't see the games these days either in the usual CB story, since it was 'upgraded' into not working for me. But then it's my fault having an 8 year old Mac; I shouldn't expect anything to work.. Is it just me?
1