Baku 04: Fabi unstoppable

by Alejandro Ramirez
10/5/2014 – He could have been 4.0/4 as he had a strong advantage aginst both Nakamura and Gelfand in previous rounds, but his 3.0/4 is far from shabby! He beat Mamedyarov with a computer-like defense and precision. As many pieces as Mamedyarov sacrificed and as weak as Caruana's kind seemed, he survived and his material advantage was too big. He now shares the lead with Gelfand.

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The first stage of the 2014-2015 FIDE Grand Prix is taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan. The tournament will run from October 1st to October 15, 2014. Some of the strongest players in the world will compete in a Round Robin event. The winner and runner-up of the Grand Prix series will earn their spot at the 2016 Candidate's Tournament.

Round Four

Round 04 – October 05 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767

Kasimdzhanov, Rustam ½-½ Svidler, Peter
Kasimdzhanov obtained an extra pawn almost out of the opening, but unfortunately for him the opposite colored bishops gave Svidler good chances to hold. White was unable to find any plan to put pressure on his opponent, and with simplifications the draw became more and more obvious.

Svidler's opening was not exactly a success, but it wasn't easy to exploit the extra pawn

Andreikin, Dmitry ½-½ Radjabov, Teimour
A transposition from the King's Indian Defense into a Maroczy left White with a minimal edge, but he never had anything special. Radjabov's position was solid and despite some structural weaknesses he was able to hang on without too many issues.

Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
Caruana for some time followed the game in which he beat Mamedyarov in Shamkir earlier this year, but he came with a different plan with 11.c5. Mamedyarov's position was already suffering a few moves afterwards, in in the face of a bad position he decided to sacrifice material. Caruana collected his extra pieces, cooly defended his king and came out with an extra rook and bishop, forcing his opponent to resign.

This is Mamedyarov's second loss to Caruana in this line this year

Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ Nakamura, Hikaru
Grischuk was soundly outplayed by his American opponent in this King's Indian. However he somehow managed to build something akin to a fortress and without any real plan to make progress Black accepted a draw.

Nakamura showed again he is one of, if not the best, King's Indian player in the World

Grischuk's suffering bishop on h2 held the fortress together somehow

Dominguez, Leinier ½-½ Gelfand, Boris
White's brave decision to castle long in the Sveshnikov netted him a pawn, but with a king on c1 it was impossible to exploit. Gelfand had a minor chance to create more problems than he did in the game, but a draw seemed to be a fair result.

0-0-0!? Dominguez showed no fear

Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½ Karjakin, Svidler
It is hard to say what either player was aiming for. After many simplifications the game ended in peace a little after move 30.

Tomashevsky isn't putting any pressure with White

Round Four Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Standings

Round 01 – October 02 2014, 15:00h
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
0-1
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Gelfand, Boris 2748
1-0
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Round 02 – October 03 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Svidler, Peter 2732
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
0-1
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Round 03 – October 04 2014, 15:00h
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
1-0
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Gelfand, Boris 2748
1-0
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
½-½
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Round 04 – October 05 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
½-½
Svidler, Peter 2732
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
½-½
Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Caruana, Fabiano 2844
1-0
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Grischuk, Alexander 2797
½-½
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Dominguez, Leinier 2751
½-½
Gelfand, Boris 2748
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
½-½
Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Round 05 – October 07 2014, 15:00h
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Svidler, Peter 2732   Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
Round 06 – October 08 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Svidler, Peter 2732
Grischuk, Alexander 2797   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Dominguez, Leinier 2751   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Round 07 – October 09 2014, 15:00h
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Svidler, Peter 2732   Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Round 08 – October 10 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Grischuk, Alexander 2797   Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
Dominguez, Leinier 2751   Svidler, Peter 2732
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Round 09 – October 12 2014, 15:00h
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Svidler, Peter 2732   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598   Dominguez, Leinier 2751
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Round 10 – October 13 2014, 15:00h
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706   Grischuk, Alexander 2797
Dominguez, Leinier 2751   Caruana, Fabiano 2844
Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701   Andreikin, Dmitry 2598
Karjakin, Sergey 2767   Svidler, Peter 2732
Gelfand, Boris 2748   Radjabov, Teimour 2726
Nakamura, Hikaru 2764   Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764
Round 11 – October 14 2014, 13:00h
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2764   Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2706
Radjabov, Teimour 2726   Nakamura, Hikaru 2764
Svidler, Peter 2732   Gelfand, Boris 2748
Andreikin, Dmitry 2598   Karjakin, Sergey 2767
Caruana, Fabiano 2844   Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2701
Grischuk, Alexander 2797   Dominguez, Leinier 2751

Photos by Maria Emelianova

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.

Topics: Baku, Grand Prix

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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AgainstAllOdds AgainstAllOdds 10/8/2014 12:12
@chessbum333:
I don`t think that you can compare blitz/rapid to "normal" chess.
Since I am a very weak player with a german rating about 1850 in "normal" chess, I beat some players rated `bout 2100 or even 2200 in blitz not only once, but regulary.
OK, perhaps you can`t compare my poor niveau of chess with GMs or even world-class, but I think you can transpose this "strange" difference between normal an blitz chess.
As I pointed out in my posts before, of course Caruanas performance in the last month is astonishing and maybe "suspicious", but after some researches on the internet I would bet 5000€ / $ or more that he is NOT cheating. BTW, this is more than a two-month income for me, so I feel VERY sure ;-)
chessbum333 chessbum333 10/7/2014 07:43
My own suspicions stem in great part from how differently Fabiano Caruana's performances in over the board blitz games compare to his performances in rapid and standard games. It was admirable of Magnus Carlsen to make an effort to become blitz World Champion and not just to unify the time control titles but to also prove that he is truly Number 1 in all aspects of the game; I think that absolves Magnus of any cheating suspicions he may have ever been suspect to. Fabiano Caruana's blitz performances put him at about 2695 compared to a Carlsen 2948 or even Nakamura 2906. If Caruana is to try and stamp out any cheating suspicious, he is going to have to work on his over the board blitz performances. Granted, it is still possible to “cheat” during an over the board official blitz game but I imagine it is a little harder to do and get away with than during a rapid or standard time control game.
AgainstAllOdds AgainstAllOdds 10/7/2014 10:10
Add-on on my last comment:

There were several games checked in order to find significant computermove-percentage in his games, e.g. his game against Mamedjarov, and the outcome was a clear NO CHEATING!

Both players had a percentage of ~77%, and especialy his move Na2 in the opening was clearly home preparation. So, for me this is a clear evidence that he is NOT cheating!
Ivan Wijetunge Ivan Wijetunge 10/6/2014 11:24
How long is Fabiano's unbeaten streak?

What is the record for classical chess?
AgainstAllOdds AgainstAllOdds 10/6/2014 11:34
For sure, it`s quite astonishing what for a performance Caruana is playing in the last months, especialy since the tournament in St.Louis.
Due to this, it may be understandable to ask, whether his play is humanly possible or not, but I`m afraid an answer can`t be given.
Reading all five of the "cheating-articles" on this page, there IS clearly a possibility to cheat!
But this is by far not enough to accuse him or any other player cheating.

I`m no expert in using engines, yes, my engines are all more than 5 years old, so that I can`t check his games.

It would be interesting to see the result of a test, which some experts (like Kasparov as a strong player with great computerchess knowledge in co-work with an chess- programmer) would do with his games since he played St. Louis, with a couple of engines that are up to date, i.e. Houdini, Stockfish and Komodo.
algorithmy algorithmy 10/6/2014 11:29
Somehow I feel bity for Caruana, he will always be in the circle of doubts, if he was in 70s, he would have had full credits for his achievements, but realy there is something bizarre around him, even magnus Carlsen or fischer's precision was of a human type, also the sudden change in style and strength and even openings play, the way he crushes his opponent, and moreover the new technology of our time makes it realy possible to get a computer assistance even quite easily. also there is this inner voice (which of course could be false) that there is some thing wrong here.. there is some thing wrong!!
jaykuppur jaykuppur 10/6/2014 09:14
"He beat Mamedyarov with a computer-like defense and precision."
Caruana's brain is calculating complex variations just like a computer in most of the games! He loves to enter in to complex tactical positions, displays deadly computer aided home preparations in such complexities, makes a few inferior moves in the ending phase, that too, when he is dominating or in no position to lose! Is this precision humanly possible?
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