Gashimov R3: Nakamura Retaliates

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/22/2014 – The American took out his loss yesterday to Carlsen on Mamedyarov, whom he proceeded to crush swiftly. A pawn hunting expedition turned sour for the Azeri as too many lines were opened against his exposed king, and Nakamura simply did not forgive. Carlsen was better the entire game, but was unable to convert against Karjakin while Radjabov and Caruana tested each other's Gruenfeld.

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The Vugar Gashimov Memorial, is being held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, from the 20th to 30th of April, in memory of the great Vugar Gashimov, who passed away on the 10th of January 2014. The tournament is divided into two groups. The A Group features six players: World Champion Magnus Carlsen (2881), Fabiano Caruana (2783), Sergey Karjakin (2772), Hikaru Nakamura (2772), and the two Azeri players Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2760) and Teimour Radjabov (2713). The B group consists of ten players, the top five seeds from various countries and the bottom five are all from Azerbaijan.

Round Three

Round 3 – 22.04.14
Nakamura
1-0
Mamedyarov
Karjakin
½-½
Carlsen
Radjabov
½-½
Caruana

Daniel King shows the highlights from round 3

Sergey using his typical 'face mask'

Magnus' performance is still over 3000! Can he keep it up?

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
A tremendous fight. Something went wrong in Karjakin's opening, and when he was forced to trade queens it was obvious that his structural weaknesses (typical of a Nimzo-Indian structure, with the doubled pawns on c3 and c4) would cause him headaches in the long run. The fight between White's pair of bishops plus knight against Black's two knights and bishop favored the knights as the closed position gave them chances to outmaneuver the long range bishops which lacked scope. All this being said, though, it was hard to see exactly where Carlsen could have broken through. If there was any chance at all, it was in the following position:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.22"] [Round "3"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2881"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1B6/1p1k2N1/p2p1n2/2pPp3/2P1P1b1/P1PB4/3K2n1/8 b - - 0 43"] [PlyCount "40"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] {Black's knights are well placed, especially the one on f6 hitting the e4 pawn. White's bishop seems out of play in b8 but it holds back the king as it will attack d6 permanently and it is not trivial to trap this bishop as it seems relatively untouchable on b8. Black has an interesting choice here: try to trap White's pieces or push for the attack on the pawns.} 43... Ke7 {Magnus goes for the knight on g7, which is doomed.} (43... b5 $5 {The computer suggestion, and maybe a much better way of continuing. A very surprising move for sure and one that I personally would not even consider during the game.} 44. cxb5 axb5 45. Nf5 (45. Bxb5+ {leaves e4 undefended, so the point is revealed:} Kc8 {traps the bishop.} 46. Bxd6 (46. Ba7 Kb7 $19) 46... Nxe4+ $19) (45. Ne6 c4 46. Bc2 Bxe6 47. dxe6+ Kxe6 48. Ba7 Nf4 {Black's a pawn up, but conversion is certainly not trivial, if possible at all.}) 45... Bxf5 46. exf5 Nf4 $1 {still leaves the bishop on a7 stranded.}) 44. a4 $1 Kf7 45. Bxd6 Kxg7 46. Bxe5 {Black's up a piece, but the passed pawns, the pair of bishops and now the stranded knight on g2 give White little to worry about.} Nh4 $2 {This allows Karjakin a clean escape to a draw.} (46... Bf3 47. Bd6 Nxe4+ 48. Bxe4 Bxe4 49. Bxc5 {all these endgames are close to a draw, although Black can obviously push.}) 47. Bg3 Ng6 48. e5 Nd7 49. e6 Nde5 50. Bxg6 Nxg6 51. Bd6 { Now White cannot lose, and Black must hurry up and sacrifice his material back to force the draw.} Kf6 52. Bxc5 Ke5 53. Ke3 Bd1 54. Bb6 Bxa4 55. Bc7+ Kf6 56. Kd4 Ke7 57. c5 Nh4 58. c4 Nf3+ 59. Kc3 Ng5 60. Kb4 Bd1 61. Bg3 Nxe6 62. dxe6 Bf3 63. Bh4+ {A great struggle from both sides.} 1/2-1/2

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
A long Gruenfeld, which was very sharp but one in which both sides clearly had some idea where the tactics were headed towards. Caruana seemed to be the better prepared player. A series of counterattacking moves left Black's king exposed but White's king with backrank problems. This forced White to give a perpetual check and the game was drawn.

Two theoreticians played a sharp draw

Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
An intersting Caro-Kann was probably mishandled by the Azeri player. This left Nakamura down a pawn but with a huge initative; exactly his cup of tea. He did not forgive such an opportunity and precisely annihilated his opponent's defenses.

America's #1 felt completely comfortable in a sharp position

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.22"] [Round "3"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2760"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 {The Advanced Variation of the Caro-Kann has gained so much popularity lately, even thought the main variation is also played quite often. Actually it seems like the Panov-Botvinnik attack (3.exd5 and 4.c4) is the only one that is out of fashion.} Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 (5... Nd7 {is more common}) (5... Ne7 {is quickly gaining ground, delaying the c5 advance for a while.}) 6. Be3 Qb6 7. Nc3 {a known pawn sacrifice, Black rarely takes on b2 nowadays.} Nc6 (7... Qxb2 8. Qb1 $1 Qxb1+ (8... Qxc3+ $2 9. Bd2 {and Black is already lost.}) 9. Rxb1 c4 10. Rxb7 {was better for White in Karjakin-Eljanov, 2010 and several other games; most of those were won by White.}) 8. dxc5 {This is not so common, but definitely interesting.} (8. O-O { is the main line.}) 8... Bxc5 9. Bxc5 Qxc5 10. Nb5 Kf8 11. Nbd4 Nge7 12. O-O Be4 13. Re1 Qb4 {The first new move of the game, actually. White has stopped his opponent from castling but Black is in a solid position. His king will find refuge eventually and all his pieces will then be active. On the other hand White has a space advantage in the center and he can focus his attention to any side of the board he wishes.} (13... h6 14. c3 Qb6 15. b3 {Has been played twice by S. Zhigalko, once against Berkes and once against Turov; both games ended in draws.}) 14. a3 Qxb2 {This was not completely necessary.} (14... Qb6 15. Qd2 h6 $13) 15. Rb1 Qxa3 16. Rxb7 {Black gained a pawn and hopes to survive the incoming onslaught. White has obtained open files for his pieces, especially his now powerful rook on b7, and will try to exploit the fact that Black is uncastled.} Bxf3 17. Nxf3 h6 (17... Rb8 {Eliminating the powerful rook on b7 made sense.} 18. Rxb8+ (18. Rc7 Qa5 19. Rd7 Qc3 $1 {Blocking the c-pawn. Now White's position is not so easy to untangle and he has to justify his pawn sacrifice.}) 18... Nxb8 19. c4 g6 20. cxd5 Nxd5 21. Bc4 Qc5 22. Bxd5 Qxd5 {and it seems that Black survives without problems, but he won't be able to hold on to his a-pawn, so the game would probably end in a draw.}) 18. Qd2 g5 $2 {This seems to be a practical mistake. White's attack is clearly going through the kingside; why weaken the position so much?} (18... Rb8 {it was not too late for this move.}) 19. h4 g4 20. Nd4 Qa5 21. c3 Nxd4 22. Qxd4 Nf5 23. Qd2 d4 {Black's position is obvioulsy very loose, and Nakamura thrives in exploiting such situations.} 24. Bxg4 Qxc3 25. Qe2 $1 {Of course keeping the queens is necessary. It is not important how many pawns Black wins if he is going to get checkmated.} Nxh4 (25... Ne7 {is the only move no to lose on the spot, but Black's position is clearly awful.} 26. Bh5 $1 $16) 26. Bh5 Rh7 27. Qe4 Rc8 (27... Rg7 28. Rxf7+ Rxf7 29. Qxa8+ Kg7 30. Re4 $18 {is one of the possible ways of winning.}) 28. Qxh7 Qxe1+ 29. Kh2 Qxe5+ 30. g3 {This puts an end to the checks and White's mating threats cannot be protoected against.} Rc7 (30... Nf3+ 31. Bxf3 $18 (31. Kg2 $1 {is even more accurate, according to the machines.})) 31. Rb8+ Ke7 32. Qxf7+ Kd6 33. Qf8+ (33. Qf8+ Kd5 34. Rb5+ { finishes Black off.}) 1-0

Hikaru bounced back with a win, but Shakhriyar now only has 0.5/3

No luck for Shakhriyar so far, and tomorrow he repeats Black against Karjakin

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Standings

Images from the official web site

Video of round three

Schedule and results

Round 1 – 20.04.14
Carlsen
1-0
Mamedyarov
Nakamura
½-½
Caruana
Karjakin
½-½
Radjabov
Round 3 – 22.04.14
Nakamura
1-0
Mamedyarov
Karjakin
½-½
Carlsen
Radjabov
½-½
Caruana
Round 5 – 24.04.14
Mamedyarov
-
Caruana
Carlsen
-
Radjabov
Nakamura
-
Karjakin
Round 7 – 27.04.14
Radjabov
-
Mamedyarov
Karjakin
-
Caruana
Nakamura
-
Carlsen
Round 9 – 29.04.14
Caruana
-
Mamedyarov
Radjabov
-
Carlsen
Karjakin
-
Nakamura
 
Round 2 – 21.04.14
Mamedyarov
½-½
Radjabov
Caruana
½-½
Karjakin
Carlsen
1-0
Nakamura
Round 4 – 23.04.14
Karjakin
-
Mamedyarov
Radjabov
-
Nakamura
Caruana
-
Carlsen
Round 6 – 26.04.14
Mamedyarov
-
Carlsen
Caruana
-
Nakamura
Radjabov
-
Karjakin
Round 8 – 28.04.14
Mamedyarov
-
Nakamura
Carlsen
-
Karjakin
Caruana
-
Radjabov
Round 10 – 30.04.14
Mamedyarov
-
Karjakin
Nakamura
-
Radjabov
Carlsen
-
Caruana
Round 1 – 20.04.14
Wojtaszek
½-½
Durarbayli
Eljanov
½-½
Mamedov
Motylev
½-½
Abasov
Safarli
½-½
Huseinov
Wang Hao
½-½
Bacrot
Round 3 – 22.04.14
Eljanov
-
Durarbayli
Motylev
-
Wojtaszek
Safarli
-
Mamedov
Wang Hao
-
Abasov
Bacrot
-
Huseinov
Round 5 – 24.04.14
Motylev
-
Durarbayli
Safarli
-
Eljanov
Wang Hao
-
Wojtaszek
Bacrot
-
Mamedov
Huseinov
 
Abasov
Round 7 – 27.04.14
Safarli
-
Durarbayli
Wang Hao
-
Motylev
Bacrot
-
Eljanov
Huseinov
-
Wojtaszek
Abasov
-
Mamedov
Round 9 – 29.04.14
Wang Hao
-
Durarbayli
Bacrot
-
Safarli
Huseinov
-
Motylev
Abasov
-
Eljanov
Mamedov
-
Wojtaszek
 
Round 2 – 21.04.14
Durarbayli
-
Bacrot
Huseinov
-
Wang Hao
Abasov
-
Safarli
Mamedov
-
Motylev
Wojtaszek
-
Eljanov
Round 4 – 23.04.14
Durarbayli
-
Huseinov
Abasov
-
Bacrot
Mamedov
-
Wang Hao
Wojtaszek
-
Safarli
Eljanov
-
Motylev
Round 6 – 26.04.14
Durarbayli
-
Abasov
Mamedov
-
Huseinov
Wojtaszek
-
Bacrot
Eljanov
-
Wang Hao
Motylev
-
Safarli
Round 8 – 28.04.14
Durarbayli
-
Mamedov
Wojtaszek
-
Abasov
Eljanov
-
Huseinov
Motylev
-
Bacrot
Safarli
-
Wang Hao

Live commentary on Playchess

Date Roound English German
23.04.2014 Round 4 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
24.04.2014 Round 5 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
25.04.2014 Free day    
26.04.2014 Round 6 Simon Williams Thomas Luther
27.04.2014 Round 7 Simon Williams Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
28.04.2014 Round 8 Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
29.04.2014 Round 9 Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
30.04.2014 Round 10 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff

Links

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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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Frank Meier Frank Meier 4/23/2014 09:32
JohnAbe,

you are wrong. The white King cant break into blacks position. The Bishop is protected from the knight and the other knight on f7 cover the last break in field g5.

Black have all the time in the world. white have no counterplay.
JohnAbe JohnAbe 4/23/2014 04:49
Frank, the problem with that plan is that it is very slow - white has time to do other things meanwhile. For example, he could bring the king over to g5 through the dark squares before black has time to do his first knight's maneuver. Or he could also play bc2, threatening to play Ba4 and win the d6 pawn. Black would then play b5, but now the threat to the bishop is gone because in the worst case the bishop can sit on a5.
Frank Meier Frank Meier 4/23/2014 12:35
I am confused about the position from Karjakin - Carlsen after the 43. move from white.

This position is here as diagram shown with Black to move.

Did I miss something or why isn't 43. ... Nh4-Ng6-Nh8-Nf7 to protect d6, then the black King (Kc8) goes after the B in the corner, this B will of course hide and stay on b6 protected from the pawn a5 or a7.

But then comes the other Knight on Nf6 and goes to Ng8-Ne7 with the idea to go to Nc8 and exchange the wB.

After this the black King protect again d6 and the other black Knight is now free to take the pawn on b6 (Nf7-Nh8-Ng6-Ne7-Nc8).

After this Black can go after the white Knight.

I see no counterplay from White.

If I did not miss something, I would say that this position is won for black. But I guess that I am wrong.

I am very curious to get a answer.

nice greetings
Frank
juanviches juanviches 4/22/2014 11:08
Carlsen is human
1