Gashimov R4: Out-Carlsened

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/23/2014 – White held a small edge from the opening, he put his pieces in such a way that his opponent felt slightly uncomfortable until Black eventuatlly made a mistake and the white player finished him off with precision. A typical Carlsen game, but this time it was the World Champion that was on the receiving end. Caruana wins, catches up with Carlsen and they share the lead with 2.5/4

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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 Four

Round 4 – 23.04.14
Karjakin
½-½
Mamedyarov
Radjabov
½-½
Nakamura
Caruana
1-0
Carlsen

Daniel King shows the game Caruana vs Carlsen

Proper knight placement before the game is important. Three main styles exist: knights facing each other, knights looking forward and knights facing diagonally towards the center, the last one favored by Russians.

Having the knights facing way from each
other is considered bad luck by many grandmasters...

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
A short but thrilling encounter. A prepared variation in the Caro-Kann led to a wild position where both sides had to exert their best tactical abilities:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.23"] [Round "4"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2760"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "52"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. c3 {Different than Nakamura's approach earlier in the tournament, which was the more traditional 6.Be3} Nc6 7. O-O cxd4 8. Nxd4 {Forcing the pair of Knight's off the board allows White easier play on the kingside, but it removes pieces for Black which is good for him as he lacks space.} Nxd4 (8... Nge7 {has also been tried, though White scores well with the pair of bishops after taking on f5.}) 9. cxd4 Ne7 10. Nc3 Nc6 (10... h6 11. Bb5+ Nc6 12. Bxc6+ bxc6 13. Be3 Be7 {was more than fine for Black in Carlsen-Anand, 2009 (rapid)}) 11. g4 Bg6 12. f4 f5 13. exf6 Qxf6 14. f5 exf5 15. Be3 {A novelty!} (15. Nxd5 Qxd4+ 16. Be3 (16. Qxd4 Nxd4 17. Nc7+ Kd7 18. Nxa8 Nxe2+ 19. Kg2 Nxc1 $19) 16... Qxd1 17. Raxd1 O-O-O $11 {was no advantage for White in Zhigalko, S - Gagunashvili, May 2013}) 15... Bd6 16. Nxd5 Qh4 17. Bf4 Rd8 $1 (17... Bxf4 18. Nxf4 O-O $8 19. Ne6 Rf6 20. Qe1 $1 $14 {Might be a little more pleasant for White.}) 18. Bxd6 Rxd6 19. Nc7+ Kd8 20. Nb5 fxg4 $1 {forcing the draw} (20... Rd7 {was also good} 21. d5 Ne5 $1 22. gxf5 Bf7 23. Nc3 $13 {Is very, very hard to evaluate.}) 21. Nxd6 g3 {White has only one decent way of preventing checkmate. He could take on b7 first, but it doesn't change anything.} 22. hxg3 Qxg3+ 23. Kh1 Qh3+ 24. Kg1 Qg3+ 25. Kh1 Qh3+ 26. Kg1 Qg3+ {Captivating!} 1/2-1/2

Sergey Karjakin and Teimour Radjabov have four draws each

Shakhriyar is at the bottom of the standings, but he has played three blacks so far

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Nakamura, Hikaru
Nakamura again played a solid Slav, but used a different variation than he did against Carlsen in round two. Radjabov got some advantage, as his pawn structure was superior in the resulting endgame. However the position was very hard to breach, and eventually Nakamura traded off into a drawn rook endgame, despite being down a pawn.

Teimour held a slight edge the entire game, but nothing more

Passive and long defense gave Nakamura a draw; not his usual style

Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 Carlsen, Magnus

(The term out-Carlsened originally coined by GM Emil Sutovsky)
Another Berlin, but not another draw. Caruana slowly but surely outplayed the World Champion, suffocating him with every move. A big mistake by Carlsen gave Caruana a pawn, which he proceeded to convert with immaculate precision:

Giving the World Champion a taste of his own medicine: Fabiano Caruana

Magnus tried every trick, but Fabiano fell for none of them.
This is Carlsen's first Classical Time Control loss since he became World Champion!

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.23"] [Round "4"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2881"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "105"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 {The Berlin, quite expected.} 9. h3 h6 10. Rd1+ Ke8 11. Nc3 Bd7 12. Bf4 Rd8 13. Ne4 (13. e6 Bxe6 14. Bxc7 Rxd1+ 15. Rxd1 Be7 16. g4 Nh4 $11 { Caruana-Ponomariov, 2013. Clearly Caruana had seen this position before and he comes up with an improvement.}) 13... Be7 14. g4 Nh4 15. Nxh4 Bxh4 16. Kg2 {A very typical Berlin endgame has been reached. White will try to restrain Black's Bishops while advancing his kingside majority, while Black will try to free himself, creat counter-chances and make sure the king-side pawans don't go too far.} Be6 17. f3 b6 18. b3 c5 19. c4 Rd7 20. Bg3 $1 {Forces the bishop back as Black cannot afford to lose his pair of bishops.} Be7 21. Rxd7 Bxd7 22. Nc3 {A normal re-routing now that d5 is weak. However even a knight on d5 is not the end of the World for Black.} Kd8 {This move looks a little strange to me, but then again most moves seem quite strange to me in the Berlin. Putting the king on an open file, protecting the weak c7 pawn with just the king... it seems as if Carlsen underestimated White's tactical possibilities.} (22... c6 23. Ne4 h5 24. Rd1 Be6 25. Bf4 $1 $14 {with the idea of Bg5, and White's a little better.}) (22... h5 23. Nd5 Bd8 24. Rd1 hxg4 25. hxg4 Rh6 {This looked better to me, as Black's position is holding, although it is unclear what his next few moves will be.}) 23. Nd5 Re8 $2 {This is just bad. Now White's tactics are as obvious as they are strong.} 24. Rd1 Kc8 $2 {Carlsen must have, surprisingly, missed White's next move.} (24... c6 25. Nxe7 Rxe7 26. f4 Ke8 27. Bh4 g5 28. fxg5 hxg5 29. Bxg5 Rxe5 30. Bd2 $1 {is clearly better for White, but it offers some hope.}) 25. Nxc7 Rd8 (25... Kxc7 26. e6+ Kc6 27. Rxd7 $18 { is of course winning for White.}) 26. Nd5 Re8 {White's up a pawn, and now Caruana has to show good technique to bring in the full point.} 27. Be1 Bd8 28. Bc3 g6 29. Kg3 b5 30. cxb5 Bxb5 {With this Black's bishops gain scope, but the pawn on c5 is a weakness and White's knight gains the c4 square.} 31. Ne3 Re6 32. f4 {The pawns are rolling, there's very little to stop them.} Ra6 33. Rd2 h5 34. gxh5 gxh5 35. Nf5 Rg6+ 36. Kh2 Bc6 {Carlsen plays for tricks, hoping that his opponent will not be able to cope with the pair of bishops against the exposed King.} 37. Nd6+ Kb8 38. f5 Rg8 39. f6 $1 (39. Nxf7 $6 Bh4 {is a clear example of how things quickly could go wrong, though here White still has the amazing resource} 40. Nh6 Rg5 41. Rd8+ Kc7 42. Rg8 $18) 39... Bb6 40. Nc4 $6 Re8 $6 (40... Bc7 41. Ba5 Bxa5 42. Nxa5 Kc7 43. Nc4 $16) 41. Nd6 Rg8 ( 41... Rf8 {the f7 pawn could not be given away, but this move doesnt actually defend it.} 42. Nxf7 $1 Rxf7 43. e6 Bc7+ 44. Kg1 Rf8 45. f7 Be8 46. Rf2 $1 $18) 42. Nxf7 c4 $1 {Carlsen is playing for his last tricks. Currently the threat is Bg1, checkmate!} 43. h4 (43. Bd4 $4 c3 $19) 43... Rg4 {Black doesn't have a real threat, and Caruana uses this moment to advance his pawns.} 44. e6 Be3 45. Be5+ $1 {Covering the important diagonal with check.} Ka8 (45... Kb7 46. Nd8+ Kb6 47. Nxc6 $18 {and clearly the pawns will not be stopped.}) 46. Rd8+ Kb7 47. Bg3 {A little bit of extra care.} (47. e7 $4 Bg1+ 48. Kh3 Bg2#) 47... c3 48. Rb8+ {not the most precise but this is good enough.} Ka6 49. Rc8 Bd5 50. Rxc3 Bd4 51. Rd3 {An important detail! Capturing either one of the pawns costs Black a piece.} Re4 (51... Bxe6 52. Ng5 Bxf6 53. Rd6+ $1 $18) 52. Rd2 $1 (52. Rxd4 Rxd4 53. Ng5 {also worked.}) (52. Ng5 $2 {messes up the game though.} Re2+ 53. Bf2 Rxf2+ 54. Kg3 Rg2+ 55. Kf4 Rf2+ 56. Nf3 Rxf3+ 57. Rxf3 Bxf6 {and black should lose but it is not trivial again.}) 52... Rxe6 53. Ng5 {Now Black loses decisive material.} 1-0

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Standings

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Video of round four

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
½-½
Mamedyarov
Radjabov
½-½
Nakamura
Caruana
1-0
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
½-½
Durarbayli
Motylev
0-1
Wojtaszek
Safarli
½-½
Mamedov
Wang Hao
½-½
Abasov
Bacrot
1-0
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
0-1
Bacrot
Huseinov
½-½
Wang Hao
Abasov
½-½
Safarli
Mamedov
0-1
Motylev
Wojtaszek
0-1
Eljanov
Round 4 – 23.04.14
Durarbayli
0-1
Huseinov
Abasov
½-½
Bacrot
Mamedov
1-0
Wang Hao
Wojtaszek
1-0
Safarli
Eljanov
½-½
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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zookid zookid 4/24/2014 05:05
Interesting that Magnus opted for the Ruy Lopez, and the line he chose.
The main line 3....a6 may have been a better choice.

PS...I always have faced my knights to the right. :-)
Joseph Boronka Joseph Boronka 4/24/2014 12:42
Round 5 will be interesting to see Carlsen vs. Radjabov....
will see if Radjabov can beat the World Champion, past history shows difficulty
from games database :
Player: Magnus Carlsen
Player profile: Teimour Radjabov
Classical games: Magnus Carlsen beat Teimour Radjabov 8 to 1, with 17 draws.
Including rapid/exhibition games: Magnus Carlsen beat Teimour Radjabov 15 to 6, with 23 draws.
Only rapid/exhibition games: Magnus Carlsen beat Teimour Radjabov 7 to 5, with 6 draws.
*The figures above are based only on games present in our database which may be incomplete.
Chvsanchez Chvsanchez 4/23/2014 09:02
The classical way is the knights facing the left.
1