2016 Shamkir Rd3: Powerplay round gives Caruana lead

5/28/2016 – Round three was a display of powerplay, with the quickest scored by Caruana as he demolished Hou taking him to sole first with 2.5/3. Harikrishna played an astonishing(ly bad) 12...h6 that was punished very quickly, and though he had to work for it, Karjakin reeled in the point. As to Mamedyarov, he outplayed Eljanov in a queenless middlegame in impressive fashion. The tournament is red hot!

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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 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

Watch it live on Playchess!

Round Three

Yet another round with three decisive results! Today was kind of a whitewas as all the wins were scored with the white pieces. Today, just because it was the randomly assigned board order, we start with the draws:

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Giri, Anish
There is no doubt that Radjabov is a strong player, and his past participation in top level tournaments and his rating getting close to 2800 was definite proofof that, but for some reason in recent years his chess simply seems to lack imagination. Today his game was as boring as it could get, he put no pressure on Giri whatsoever coming out of a known Ragozin variation.

"See that guy? Make him play a Sicilian"

Safarli, Eltaj ½-½ Mamedov, Rauf
The King's Indian almost always promises an exciting game, but somehow Safarli and Mamedov managed to find a way to trade pieces and force a repetition.

It remains to be seen if any Azerbaijani vs. Azerbaijani game will finish in a decisive result

Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 Hou Yifan
An important win for Fabi as he takes first place for himself.

Yifan was unable to cope with Fabi's new move

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2016"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2016.05.28"] [Round "3"] [White "Caruana, F."] [Black "Hou Yifan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C80"] [WhiteElo "2804"] [BlackElo "2663"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2016.05.26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Yifan is not known for defending 1.e4 e5 with Black, but after successfully doing so against Muzychuk it makes sense that she incorporates it into her normal repertoire.} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Nbd2 Nc5 10. c3 Be7 11. Bc2 d4 12. Nb3 d3 13. Bb1 Nxb3 14. axb3 Bf5 15. Re1 O-O 16. Be3 Qd5 17. Bd4 Rfd8 {A well-known position, actually, which has been seen since 1997 when Topalov had it against Piket. More recently a draw between Wei Yi and Wesley So in January proves that this variation is still playable.} 18. h4 {The novelty of the game, but it shouldn't come as a surprise to a very well prepared player: it is after all Komodo's first suggestion.} Bg6 {Oops, it seems that Yifan was not well prepared in this line! This inaccuracy was played after a 27 minute think.} ( 18... d2 {right away was the better choice} 19. Bxf5 $5 (19. Qxd2 {would simply be the game down a tempo.}) 19... dxe1=Q+ 20. Qxe1 {seems dangerous for Black, but at least he has more material in this variation. It is possible that White is simply better, but we need pratical tests for that.} a5 $5) 19. b4 {Clamping down on the queenside.} d2 20. Qxd2 Bxb1 21. Raxb1 Bxb4 {This is the tactical justification for Black's play, but it falls short.} 22. Qf4 Be7 23. e6 $1 fxe6 24. Qg4 Nxd4 25. Nxd4 {White's initiative is strong: the knight coming to e6 will be difficult to remove.} Bf6 26. Nxe6 Rd7 27. Re3 h5 $2 { There was no reason to weaken her position so much.} (27... g6 {gave better chances of survival, with potential ideas of Qf5 or Qh5 to reduces the pressure.}) 28. Qg6 Rf7 29. Rbe1 {White's attack simply plays itself now.} Rc8 30. Nf4 Qd7 31. Qxh5 Re7 32. Nd5 Rf7 33. Rd1 (33. Nxf6+ Rxf6 34. Re7 {was also good.}) 33... Qc6 34. Nf4 Rd7 35. Re8+ {A very one-sided game.} 1-0

The race for World's #2 is on! Fabiano trails Vladimir Kramnik by one point after today's game

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 1-0 Eljanov, Pavel
After an unusual position from the opening, the players maneuvered back and forth, with White holding a slight edge throughout the game. Starting after the first time control, Mamedyarov played an excellent endgame:

Shakh is known as a great attacker and loves complications,
but today he proved his endgame technique is also fantastic

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2016"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2016.05.28"] [Round "3"] [White "Mamedyarov, S."] [Black "Eljanov, P."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2748"] [BlackElo "2765"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "117"] [EventDate "2016.05.26"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. Qb3 c5 6. Bg5 Bb7 7. e3 O-O 8. Be2 cxd4 9. Qxb4 Nc6 10. Qa3 dxc3 11. bxc3 h6 12. Bh4 Rc8 13. Rd1 Qc7 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. O-O Kg7 16. Nd4 Ne5 17. Nb5 Qc5 18. Qb4 a5 19. Qxc5 Rxc5 20. Nd6 Ba6 21. Rd4 f5 22. Rb1 Rb8 23. f4 Nc6 24. Rd2 Ne7 25. Kf2 Kf8 26. e4 Nc8 27. Nb5 Ke7 28. Rbd1 Rb7 29. exf5 Rxf5 30. g3 Rc5 31. Na3 d6 32. g4 Rd7 33. h4 Rd8 34. Rd4 Na7 35. Rb1 Nc8 36. Nc2 d5 37. cxd5 Bxe2 38. Kxe2 Rdxd5 39. Kd3 h5 40. Ne3 Rd7 41. f5 $1 {A very powerful move. Black has unpleasant choices to make now.} hxg4 (41... exf5 42. Nxf5+ Kd8 43. Rf1 $1 {Holding the knight on f5} hxg4 44. h5 {and the h-pawn is very dangerous.}) 42. h5 $1 {Excellent! Passed pawns must be pushed, and this one is not easy to stop.} Nd6 43. h6 Rc8 44. Re1 (44. f6+ {is some computer move that is very hard to find, but I like Mamedyarov's human approach}) 44... Nb7 45. Rxd7+ Kxd7 46. Nxg4 Nc5+ 47. Kd4 Kd6 (47... Rh8 48. fxe6+ Nxe6+ 49. Ke5 $18) 48. Ne5 $1 f6 49. Ng6 $1 e5+ 50. Ke3 Rc7 51. Rd1+ Kc6 52. Rd8 {This rook maneuver is the finishing touch. Black can't prevent the pawn from pushing forward.} Nb7 53. Rc8 $1 {Excellently timed rook trade.} (53. Rh8 Nd6 54. h7 {might be winning, but is nowhere near as clear.}) 53... Rxc8 54. Ne7+ Kc5 (54... Kc7 55. Nxc8 {there is no time to capture the knight, so this would just be similar to the game.}) 55. Nxc8 Nd8 56. h7 Nf7 57. Ne7 Kc4 58. Ng8 $1 Kxc3 59. Nxf6 {The knight remaneuvers to g5, where it cannot be taken, and then helps push the f-pawn.} 1-0

Karjakin, Sergey 1-0 Harikrishna, Pentala
It's rare that a GM like Harikrishna blunders on move 12! Karjakin punished it precisely and severely:

A happy Sergey bounces back from yesterday's loss

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2016"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2016.05.28"] [Round "3"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Harikrishna, P."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2779"] [BlackElo "2763"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "123"] [EventDate "2016.05.26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nd7 9. O-O-O c5 {An interesting idea, perhaps. The computers really don't like it and almaost everyone else plays 9...c6 instead.} 10. Bd3 Nf6 11. Rhe1 Be6 12. Bg5 {Putting some pressure on Black's center.} h6 $2 {This move simply does not work.} 13. Bxh6 $1 c4 {Played instantly} (13... gxh6 14. Qxh6 { Is completely lost. For example:} c4 15. Rxe6 {Other moves win, but this is the cleanest.} fxe6 (15... cxd3 16. Ng5 {threatening Rxf6} fxe6 17. Qg6+ Kh8 18. Rxd3 {with unstoppable mate.}) 16. Qg6+ Kh8 17. Ng5 {the bishop is taboo, but there is no defense against Qh6+ followed by Bh7+ with a decisive attack.}) 14. Bxg7 $1 cxd3 15. Qg5 Ne4 {Nh7 is similar} 16. Qh6 Bg5+ 17. Nxg5 Qxg5+ 18. Qxg5 Nxg5 19. Bxf8 dxc2 20. Rxd6 Kxf8 $18 {The smoke has cleared. After many trades the material balance will be of a Rook and three pawns against two minor pieces. This is an almost hopeless material difference unless the minor pieces are well coordinated, which they are not here. White's technical task is long and not the easiest, but Karjakin eventually reeled in the full point.} 21. h4 Nh7 22. Kxc2 Nf6 23. f3 Ke7 24. Rd4 Rh8 25. c4 Nd7 26. b3 a6 27. Kc3 Nb8 28. g3 Nc6 29. Rd2 Kf6 30. Rh2 b5 31. cxb5 axb5 32. Rd2 Rh5 33. Re3 Ne7 34. Re4 Rf5 35. Rd3 Rc5+ 36. Kd2 Nf5 37. Rg4 Rc8 38. Rc3 Ra8 39. Rc2 Ne7 40. Rf4+ Kg7 41. Ke1 Nd5 42. Rd4 Kf6 43. Kf2 Ke5 44. Re4+ Kd6 45. h5 Ke7 46. g4 Kd6 47. Rd2 f5 48. gxf5 Bxf5 49. h6 Rh8 50. Red4 Be6 51. Rh4 Ke7 52. Rh5 Nf6 53. Rxb5 Rxh6 54. a4 Rh1 55. a5 Nd7 56. b4 Bc4 57. Rg5 Ke6 58. Rd4 Rc1 59. a6 Rc2+ 60. Kg3 Bf1 61. a7 Nb6 62. Rd1 1-0

Round Three Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Standings after three rounds

All Photos from Official Website

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
-
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

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duellum duellum 5/29/2016 11:27
Hope Hou Yifan gets invited to more Men's events seeing how she's out of the women's world championship cycle. Would love to see her break 2700.
Rfield Rfield 5/29/2016 08:10
Men's category open tournament is no EZ task for women's proclaimed world champ. Good she's in right direction playing with men to seek her true strength. Wishing her all the lucks in becoming men's world challenger.
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