Gashimov R5: New Leader Emerges!

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/24/2014 – In something that has not been seen since 2010, Magnus Carlsen has lost two games in a row. Today his loss against Teimour Radjabov allows the Azeri to catapult himself to first place as Fabiano Caruana also lost to another Azeri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. This is Radjabov's first win of the event, the first black victory of the tournament, and at half time an Azeri leads in Shamkir.

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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 Five

Round 5 – 24.04.14
Mamedyarov
1-0
Caruana
Carlsen
0-1
Radjabov
Nakamura
½-½
Karjakin

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 1-0 Caruana, Fabiano
Caruana sacrificed a pawn in this strange Gruenfedl to open up some lines and destroy White's pawn strucutre. However his knight that ended on g4 was rather stranded and did not participate in the attack, instead it was better to use this square for the queen and really put pressure on White's king. The game then turned to Mamedyarov defending and consolidating his extra pawn, which he did very slowly, until eventually the following position was reached:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.24"] [Round "5"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D90"] [WhiteElo "2760"] [BlackElo "2783"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "7k/4ppqp/3b4/2pP3Q/2P2P1P/3BPK2/8/8 w - - 0 61"] [PlyCount "47"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] {White has been biding his time for a few moves, moving his bishop back and forth along the diagonal. It is clear that he is better, up a pawn and with pressure, but it is entirely unclear how to proceed. Any bishop endgame will be drawn and advancing the e-pawn causes White's king to be weak. He cannot so easily transfer to d7 where he would be relatively safe, so Mamedyarov bites the bullet and sacrifices his bishop.} 61. e4 $5 {Practical chances! White gives up his bishop but retains the better position.} Qc3 62. Qxf7 (62. Ke3 Qc1+ $11) 62... Qxd3+ 63. Kg4 Qe2+ 64. Kf5 {Black is out of checks and White is threatening checkmate in one move, but it is not over yet.} h5 (64... h6 65. e5 $18 {It is important for Black to control the g4 square.}) 65. Qf8+ Kh7 66. Qf7+ Kh8 67. Qg6 $1 {The queen secures e4, al lowing the move Ke6 to be played. Black cannot afford to trade queens immediately.} Qxc4 $4 {A hard move to justify, as the c4 pawn was basically worthless and now Black's king comes under a mating attack while the queen is far away. Fatigue takes its toll!} ( 67... Qg4+ 68. Qxg4 hxg4 69. Kxg4 Kg7 70. Kf5 {is quite obviously losing for Black.}) (67... Qf3 $1 {Was the only saving move. Here White cannot make progress.} 68. Ke6 Qxf4 $11 (68... Qg4+ {also should work.})) 68. Qxh5+ Kg7 69. Qg6+ Kh8 70. Ke6 {e5 is a huge threat, White's pawns are extremely dangerous and Black's bishop is not really playing.} Qf1 71. Qh6+ Kg8 72. Qg6+ Kh8 73. Qh5+ Kg7 74. Qg4+ Kf8 75. Qh5 Kg7 76. Qg5+ Kf8 77. e5 Qb1 (77... Qd3 78. f5 $1 Qe4 79. Qh6+ Kg8 80. Qg6+ Kh8 81. Kf7 $18) 78. Qh6+ Kg8 79. Qg5+ Kf8 80. f5 Bxe5 81. Qxe7+ Kg8 82. Kxe5 Qb2+ 83. Ke6 Qe2+ 84. Kf6 {Sheer persistance!} 1-0

A brilliant effort by Mamedyarov who succeeded more out of persistence than anything else

Carlsen, Magnus 0-1 Radjabov, Teimour
In an unprecedented turn of events, the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen, loses two times in a row. With this victory, Teimour Radjabov is leading the Gashimov Memorial with four draws and one win!

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.24"] [Round "5"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E70"] [WhiteElo "2881"] [BlackElo "2713"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nge2 {One of the ways for White to side-step the main line theory of the King's Indian. Black has many ways of setting up now, Radjabov chooses a very classical King's Indian style instead of going for a Benoni structure with an eventual c5.} O-O 6. Ng3 e5 7. d5 a5 8. Be2 Na6 9. h4 h5 {The weakness on g5 is more important than the one on g4, this is the idea of h4.} 10. Bg5 Qe8 11. Qd2 Nc5 {Probably around here the players were completely out of book. The position has been seen before but never in a high level match.} 12. O-O-O Ng4 $5 13. Bxg4 (13. Rdf1 f6 {is the point.}) 13... Bxg4 14. f3 Bd7 15. Be3 {Black can't really complain about his position. He has the two bishops, and although they are not active yet he has potential breaks on both sides of the board to cause problems. White enjoys a solid position with a space advantage but he will have to be careful if the position opens up.} b6 (15... b5 {was also possible, but Radjabov didn't like his structure being compromised.} 16. Bxc5 dxc5 17. Nxb5 Bxb5 18. cxb5 Qxb5 19. Kb1 $13 {it is unclear if Black's pressure on the queenside compensates for his terrible structure, the game is still possible to play for both sides. Personally I would rather be Black.}) 16. Kb1 Kh7 17. Qc2 a4 (17... Bh6 {is a sound positional idea, but both players agreed that after} 18. Bxc5 bxc5 19. a4 {it was not so easy for Black to prove anything as even if Black's bishop reaches d4 it is not doing anything as long as White's knight blockades on b5.} ) 18. Nge2 f5 $5 19. exf5 {Magnus mentioned he was trying to get creative with this move. Now the position is rather complicated and both kings will be slightly exposed with the opening of the center.} gxf5 (19... Bxf5 20. Ne4 Bxe4 21. fxe4 Bh6 {was also possible.}) 20. Rh3 $5 {Creative play for sure! The rook here plans to pressure the open g-file, although the route to get there is certainly unusual.} Kh8 21. f4 Ne4 (21... a3 {throwing this move in before Ne4 seems a tad more exact to me, but the difference might be negligible.}) 22. Nxe4 fxe4 23. Rg3 Bg4 24. Rxg4 $5 {By all means this was the World Champion's idea. He sacrifices an exchange for some light square control and some open lines against Black's king, potentially, while the rook on a8 is not playing yet.} hxg4 25. f5 Rxf5 26. Ng3 Rf8 27. Qxe4 (27. Nxe4 $2 Qg6 $17 {in the words of Carlsen: "As soon as this queen controls the diagonal I am screwed".}) 27... Qd7 28. a3 $5 b5 $1 {Radjabov senses the urgency to open some lines and counter attack. If White is allowed to simply bring all his pieces out and push h5h6 he will have more than enough for the sacrificed exchange.} 29. c5 ( 29. cxb5 Qxb5 30. Qxg4 Rab8 31. Rd2 {was mentioned in the press conference, here Black has a very strong move} Qb3 $1 {And White can't keep his position together.}) 29... dxc5 30. h5 c4 31. h6 Bf6 32. Bc5 Rf7 {It seems that White has failed to really prove anything for the exchange. Some compensation still exists, but it seems that it will evaporate quickly. White is grasping at ideas.} 33. Rf1 Re8 $1 34. Bb4 Bg5 $1 {Radjabov plays with great precision. Now that Whites' attack is being pushed back the material difference will tell. } 35. Nf5 c6 36. Bd6 (36. d6 Ref8 37. Qxe5+ Kh7 $19 {was the point.}) 36... Bf4 37. Ng7 Qxd6 38. Nxe8 Qxd5 $1 {Simplest and best.} 39. Qxd5 cxd5 40. g3 Kh7 41. gxf4 exf4 {White is up a piece, but the pawns are clearly to strong for the stranded knight on e8 and the far away king on b1.} 42. Nd6 Rf6 43. Nxb5 f3 44. Nd4 Kxh6 45. Kc2 Kg5 46. Kd2 f2 47. Ne2 Rf3 {White is paralyzed and all that is left is for the king to come in.} 48. Kc2 Kh4 49. Rh1+ Rh3 50. Rf1 g3 51. Kd2 Kg4 {A complex game that Radjabov simply seemed to understand better than Carlsen.} 0-1

Daniel King shows the game Carlsen vs Radjabov

Carlsen in disbelief at his position. Already here he is lost.

Caruana overlooking Radjabov's jump to tournament lead

Maybe he is trying to remember the last time he lost two in a row? It seems as if it was the Grand Slam in Bilbao, 2010 where he started the tournament losing to Kramnik and Anand back to back.

The deal is sealed. Radjabov leads with 3.0/5 after the first half

Nakamura, Hikaru ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey
A very interesting game. Karjakin used his pet-line against the English with the double Fianchetto and it seems as if he got a very good position. He sacrificed a pawn but his powerful centralized knights for sure gave him enough compensation. A complicated game ensued, but with a fascinating tactical sequence Karjakin decided to simplify the game leading to an approximately even endgame which concluded with a draw.

An intense struggle might have been the highlight any other day

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Standings

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Video of round five

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
1-0
Caruana
Carlsen
0-1
Radjabov
Nakamura
½-½
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
½-½
Durarbayli
Safarli
0-1
Eljanov
Wang Hao
½-½
Wojtaszek
Bacrot
1-0
Mamedov
Huseinov
1-0
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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GraemeCree@aol.com GraemeCree@aol.com 4/25/2014 05:55
True. Carlsen didn't lose two in a row at the Candidates. I believe the last time he lost two straight was 2010.
Ahmadov Ahmadov 4/25/2014 09:32
Persistence is exactly what many chess fans expect from the players. Well done Shahriyar! Congrats for the nice game!
Anandkumar Anandkumar 4/25/2014 07:45
@hpaul - Carlsen lost rounds 12 and 14 and not two consecutive games in Candidates 2013
Joseph Boronka Joseph Boronka 4/25/2014 06:21
some good fighting chess all around, much is beyond my level of understanding, but it is very interesting to see these games played out, the comments and annotations are wonderful .
hpaul hpaul 4/25/2014 01:59
Magnus lost the last two games of the London Candidates, 2013. The last game was on April 1, but the joke was on Kramnik whom MC edged out for the W.Champ candidacy on the 2nd tiebreak, by having one more win.
iSeeThis iSeeThis 4/25/2014 01:22
Time to stop overconfidence.
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