Gashimov R7: Déjà vu

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/27/2014 – Nakamura-Carlsen. 4. f3 Nimzo-Indian. White outplays Black, wins in the positional battle. Something goes wrong, the tables are turned, Black now has the initiative... and he ends up converting it. No, we are not talking about the Zuerich Challenge game, but the highlight of today's round in Shamkir. Carlsen somehow tricks the American again and, also again, leads solo.

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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.

Rest Day

The rest day is always used to charge batteries and come back to the tournament with new energy, but how exactly players do this is unique to them. Some prefer sleeping all day and resting in the most literal of manners, while others prefer to excercise and explore the local culture and sights. Here are some of the things the players did on their rest day:

Give a simultaneous exhibition! This is not anyones preferred method of resting, but it is a great outreach to the local youth

Sergey Karjakin, serious even in simultaneous

Someone is still focusing, but the amount of extra white pawns on the board seems to have Radjabov relatively confident

It has become standard that in many tournaments on the free day a friendly soccer match is organized; the team captains seem to be the highest rated players of each squad!

Peter Heine Nielsen, acting as goalie, in an action shot

No one is too young or too old to participate here!

Friendly salutes before the game

"The Internationals"

Other players preferred a more relaxed approach to life.

Sergey Karjakin and his girlfriend Galiya Kamalova enjoying the scents of the local arboretum

What could be more romantic?

Only if the night ended with a private performance for important guests and players

a private jazz performance at that...

Round Seven

Round 7 – 27.04.14
Radjabov
½-½
Mamedyarov
Karjakin
½-½
Caruana
Nakamura
0-1
Carlsen

Some grandmasters mark the 40th move, which is the Time Control, on their scoresheets.
In case they somehow forget.

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
A game that resembled a Catalan didn't seem to be very troublesome for Mamedyarov as he comfortably equalized from the opening. White's over-exposed pawn on e5 could have caused him problems in the very long run so he decided to immediately swap off pieces and force a perpetual that sealed an early draw.

Radjabov didn't achieve much from the opening

A solid draw for Mamedyarov, very rarely something we write about him

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
Caruana was tested in his knowledge of the Grunfeld but this approach seems to be as successful as running into a brick wall and expecting it to topple over one day. The players reached what should be a drawn endgame after 26 moves that were played nearly instantly. Caruana needed only basic technique to hold the draw after the precise 27...Rc8! which was still part of his preparation.

27 moves of theory but no advantage: Karjakin-Caruana

Nakamura, Hikaru 0-1 Carlsen, Magnus
A familiar scenario... A 4.f3 Nimzo-Indian, a White advantage, and suddenly everything turns on its head and Carlsen wins. This time White's passive play just before time control gave Carlsen too much initiative.

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.27"] [Round "7"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E20"] [WhiteElo "2772"] [BlackElo "2881"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 {The 4.f3 variation, which has different names according to who you ask - including Gheorghiu Variation, Shirov Variation and Kmoch Variation - is a sharp way of meeting the Nimzo and has been on the spotlight recently.} c5 (4... d5 5. a3 Be7 6. e4 dxe4 7. fxe4 e5 8. d5 Bc5 {was the way the game Nakamura-Carlsen went earlier this year in the Zuerich Challenge, a game that the American should have won quite easily. The opening definitely favored him in that game.}) 5. d5 O-O (5... b5 $5 {is an interesting alternative.}) 6. e4 d6 7. Bd2 Nbd7 (7... Re8 {was played by Nakamura himself against Le Quang Liem in 2011.}) 8. Nge2 Ne5 9. Ng3 exd5 10. cxd5 {We are now relatively out of opening. The position resembles a Benoni except that Black's bishop is all the way out on b4 instead of on g7. This has some good things and some bad things. Mainly good is the fact that the bishop can re-route to the g1-a7 diagonal which is quite exposed.} Bd7 11. a3 Ba5 12. Be2 b5 13. O-O c4 {Black is very quick about activating his counterplay. White aims at neutralizing this and counterattacking when all his pieces are placed properly.} 14. Be3 Bb6 15. Qd2 Rb8 16. Nd1 Bc8 17. Kh1 Nfd7 18. f4 Ng6 19. Bxb6 Rxb6 {Both sides are maneuvering to improve their pieces. White has achieved f4, kicking out the knight from f4, meanwhile Black has established his b5-c4 pawn chain and hopes to reinforce it with a powerful knight on c5. Both sides have interesting chances. Black will seek to pressure e4 while advancing his queenside pawn chain. White seeks to create kingside pressure while undermining Black's position in the other flank.} 20. Ne3 Nc5 21. Bd1 Nd3 22. f5 $5 {Quite aggressive. Nakamura uses the fact that the knight cannot really go back to e5.} Ngf4 (22... Nge5 23. f6 $16 {lands Black in serious trouble.}) 23. a4 $1 {Combining play in both flanks proves problematic for Black.} (23. f6 Qxf6 {is not dangerous at all.}) 23... a6 24. Ng4 h5 25. Nf2 ( 25. Rxf4 $5 {Was at least worth consideration, but it is not an easy move to play.} Nxf4 (25... hxg4 26. Rxg4 Ne5 27. a5 $1 Rb7 28. Rg5 $14) 26. Nh6+ gxh6 27. Qxf4 Qg5 28. Qf2 $1 {The rook on b6 is hanging.} Rb7 29. Nxh5 $16 {with very obvious compensation, though it's hard to say over the board how much that is, further analysis seems to show it is too much for Black to retain all of his material.}) 25... Qf6 26. Nxd3 (26. Nxh5 {was another possibility.}) 26... Nxd3 27. Qe3 Rb7 28. Nxh5 Qh6 29. Qxh6 gxh6 {White has emerged up a pawn, but Black retains very serious compensation. His knight on d3 is quite powerful and with the queens off the board the knight on h5 looks rather silly. If White can consolidate he will still have a rough time trying to push his pawns forward.} 30. axb5 axb5 31. Bc2 $5 {Not one to sit back passively, Nakamura aims to create kingside play at the cost of his queenside.} Ne5 $5 { Seems passive, but it does not allow counterplay.} (31... Nxb2 32. Rf3 b4 33. Rg3+ Kh8 34. Ra6 $5 {Is a very hard to assess position. Carlsen must have been afraid of something like this, in which White sacrifices his bishop for two pawns but retains control over the rest of the board.}) 32. Ra6 Rd8 {Somewhere starting now Nakamura starts to go wrong. Maybe bringing his knight back was not the best idea, and it was more important to simply secure the a-file by doubling on it.} 33. Ng3 $2 {The start of a bad idea.} (33. Rfa1 b4 34. b3 Rb8 $1 $44) (33. Rb1 $5 b4 34. Ra8 b3 35. Bd1 Nd3 36. Kg1 {Black retains compensation, but White's king is now inching into the fight and it would consolidate the position if it reached c3.}) 33... Rb8 34. Ra7 b4 35. Ne2 Bd7 36. Rfa1 Bb5 37. h3 {Now Black is far too active and the knight is not in a good square.} (37. Nd4 b3 38. Bd1 c3 39. bxc3 b2 40. Rb1 Bd3 41. Bc2 Bxc2 42. Nxc2 Rdc8 {is already losing for White.} 43. Ra3 Nc4 44. Ra2 Rb3 $1 $19) 37... Rdc8 38. Kh2 {White's last two moves indicate that he has no plan and that Black will surely succeed on the queenside.} c3 39. Nd4 cxb2 40. Rb1 Rc4 41. Nxb5 Rxc2 42. Nd4 Rd2 $6 (42... b3 $1 {Was stronger and more direct. The threat of Nc4-d2 is unstoppable.} 43. Nc6 Nf3+ 44. Kg3 Nd2 {The big difference with the other variation is that now d2 is vacant for the Black knight.}) 43. Nc6 Re8 44. Ra4 Nd3 45. Nxb4 Nf2 {Black still holds a big initiative and the pawn on b2 is still powerful.} 46. Ra2 Nd1 47. Rxd1 Rxd1 48. Rxb2 Rxe4 {White sacrifices material to get rid of his problems, but he is now simply down an exchange without compensation.} 49. Nc6 Kg7 50. f6+ Kxf6 51. Rf2+ Kg6 52. Nd8 Re8 (52... Re8 53. Nxf7 Rxd5 {traps the knight.}) 0-1

Daniel King shows the game Nakamura vs Carlsen

Carlsen's power juice brings him back to the top

Nakamura will have to try in another tournament to beat Carlsen

Replay today's games

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Standings

Images from the official web site

Video of round seven

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
½-½
Mamedyarov
Karjakin
½-½
Caruana
Nakamura
0-1
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
0-1
Carlsen
Caruana
½-½
Nakamura
Radjabov
½-½
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
½-½
Durarbayli
Wang Hao
1-0
Motylev
Bacrot
0-1
Eljanov
Huseinov
½-½
Wojtaszek
Abasov
½-½
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
½-½
Abasov
Mamedov
½-½
Huseinov
Wojtaszek
½-½
Bacrot
Eljanov
0-1
Wang Hao
Motylev
1-0
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
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

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.


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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lekan lekan 4/28/2014 01:44
Carlsen is just better... Period.
Omoplata Omoplata 4/28/2014 09:08
And Nakamura claimed to be the biggest threat to Carlsen; what a laugh that is now with three losses in a row in tournament games against Carlsen and no wins ever.
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