Gashimov R8: Race tightens

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/28/2014 – With victories by Caruana and Nakamura the race for first place is very close. Carlsen still leads, but he is only half a point ahead of Caruana, but he is also only half a point ahead of those tied from third to fifth! With Mamedyarov being the only one relegated, the tournament is still truly open to anyone - especially as Carlsen has already shown weakness. Who will take the title?

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

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 Eight

Round 8 – 28.04.14
Mamedyarov
0-1
Nakamura
Carlsen
½-½
Karjakin
Caruana
1-0
Radjabov

Daniel King shows the highlights of round 8

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 0-1 Nakamura, Hikaru
Mamedyarov never lets go off the throttle, always plays interesting and aggressive chess, but sometimes this does seem to back-fire on him. His opening experiment was a success, but that's where the happiness ended:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.28"] [Round "8"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2760"] [BlackElo "2772"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "94"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 {Not the most common way of dealing with the Slav. This line is not popular for two reasons. First, the lines involving dxc4 are never entirely clear. Second, the simple development to the bishop on f5 is supposed to give Black equality.} Bf5 5. Nc3 e6 (5... h6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. Qb3 $14) 6. Nh4 {White has employed this idea, to combine the e3 Variation's theme of trapping the opponent bishop with the Fianchetto a few times. It seemed that this interesting idea paid off some dividends in this particular opening.} Be4 7. f3 Bg6 8. Qb3 Qb6 9. Nxg6 hxg6 10. c5 Qc7 11. e4 Be7 12. Bf4 Qc8 {White has achieved as much as he could hope from the opening. He has the pair of bishops, has controlled the center with his pawns and has a big space advantage. This should give him an edge, but he has to be very careful of Black blasting open the center with a timely e5.} 13. exd5 $6 {Why release the tension so soon?} (13. Bg2 Nbd7 14. O-O O-O 15. e5 Ne8 $14) 13... Nxd5 $1 { Great understanding of the position. Black removes one of his knights (less space, less pieces) and he obtains a good spot for his knight on b8.} 14. Nxd5 cxd5 15. O-O-O Nc6 {With Black's pieces actively pressuring d4 he should be at least equal.} 16. Kb1 g5 17. Be3 f5 $5 {Maybe overly aggressive. Black leaves behind some weaknesses but fights to gain space.} 18. g4 f4 19. Bf2 Kf7 {Of course the big pawn that suffered from the kingside advance was the e6 pawn, so the king jumps to its defense. If Black is allowed to finish development he will have many targets, including the h2 pawn, thet f3 pawn, the d4 pawn. White on the other hand cannot coordinate as easily.} 20. Re1 $6 (20. Bb5 Rh3 21. Bf1 Rh6 22. Bb5 {it was time to thing about equality.}) 20... b6 $1 { Opening lines on the other flank. Nakamura loves playing on both sides of the board.} 21. Qa4 bxc5 22. Ba6 $6 {This just improves Black's queen, surprisingly.} Qc7 23. Bb5 Rab8 $1 {Very strong} (23... Nxd4 24. Bxd4 $8 cxd4 $17 {seemed pretty good for Black. However the American's line is even more direct.}) 24. Rxe6 (24. Bxc6 Rb4 25. Qc2 Qxc6 {Gives Black all the pluses in the position.}) 24... Kxe6 {Giving White more chances than he deserves.} (24... Rxb5 25. Rxe7+ Nxe7 26. Qxb5 c4 $17 {If Black trades queens White is strategically lost, and it is hard to avoid that.}) 25. Bxc6 Rhd8 (25... Rb4 26. Re1+ {is of course not possible anymore.} Kf6 27. Qc2 $1 $16) 26. dxc5 Bf6 27. Bd4 Kf7 28. Rd1 $6 (28. Bxf6 gxf6 29. h4 gxh4 30. Rxh4 {was the last chance to create counterplay. Now that White is active on both flanks the king does not feel safe at all.}) 28... Kf8 29. a3 Bxd4 30. Rxd4 Qe5 {Black has consolidated his position and he has an extra exchange. The rest is easy for Nakamura.} 31. Rd2 Qe1+ 32. Rd1 Qe2 33. b4 Qxf3 34. Kb2 Qxg4 35. Qc2 Qe6 36. Ba4 Kg8 37. Bb3 Kh8 38. c6 Rd6 39. Rc1 f3 40. Qc5 Qf6+ {Time Control is reached and the result of the game should not be in question.} 41. Ka2 f2 42. c7 Rc8 43. Rf1 d4 44. h4 Qf3 45. Bc4 Rc6 46. Qxd4 R6xc7 47. Rxf2 Rxc4 {A murky game in which Mamedyarov simply overextended and was duly punished. He seems to be finding no luck in this tournament except for his win against Caruana.} 0-1

Mamedyarov lost both mini-matches against Nakamura and Carlsen 2-0

Carlsen, Magnus ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey
Karjakin chose a super-solid line and Carlsen was simply unable to get even the slightest of advantages. The Russian player proceeded to exchange all of the pieces and the resulting bishop endgame was a dead draw.

"No one's getting through!" - Sergey Karjakin, eight draws

Someone wasn't happy with the result of the opening

Caruan, Fabiano 1-0 Radjabov, Teimour
A very tense King's Indian game. Both sides kept coming up with interesting maneuvers, resources and tactical tricks. Eventually White sacrificed a pawn to obtain a passed one on c7, which was very dangerous. Time control was approaching and Radjabov slipped at the last second:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.28"] [Round "8"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E92"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2713"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2b5/5r1k/p1P2qp1/3R3p/4p1p1/4N1P1/2Q2P1P/6K1 w - - 0 40"] [PlyCount "25"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 40. c7 {A tense position has developed. White's pawn on c7 clearly gives him the winning chances, despite Black's extra pawn, but it is at the moment blocked and his king might run into a lot of checks (not to mention f2 is under heavy pressure). Radjabov is to move, and it is the last move before Time Control.} Rf8 $2 {A fateful 40th move.} (40... Qa1+ $1 41. Kg2 (41. Rd1 Qe5 42. Nd5 a5 $11 {discoordinates White's pieces.}) (41. Nd1 e3 42. fxe3 Qf6 { leaves White's king too vulnerable for him to make progress.}) 41... Qg7 $1 { A key idea.} 42. Rc5 (42. Qxe4 Kh6 $1 43. Rc5 Qf6 {With the disappearance of the e4 pawn, White's king feels less safe.} 44. Qc2 Qf3+ 45. Kg1 Bb7 46. Rd5 $1 $11) 42... a5 {now that White is busy defending c7 it is Black's a-pawn's time to shine.} 43. Nd5 Qd4 $132 {Black's counterplay seems to be just enough to hold.}) 41. Qd2 $1 {With his pieces not tied to the defense of c7, Caruana can try to combine threats of trading pieces, against the Black king and to push the pawn to decisive effect.} Qf7 42. Rd8 Kg8 43. Qd5 (43. Nd5 {was also strong.}) 43... Kg7 44. Qd4+ Kh6 45. Nc4 Be6 46. Qc5 $1 {A double attack forcing the pawn through.} Rg8 47. c8=Q Bxc8 48. Rxc8 Rxc8 49. Qxc8 {Black's a-pawn is powerless and his e-pawn is doomed. White is winning.} Qd5 50. Ne3 Qd3 51. Qh8+ Kg5 52. Qf8 1-0

Radjabov trying to remember his opening prep

Caruana maintained his precision better than Radjabov before move 40

Replay today's games

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

Standings

Standings Group B

Images from the official web site

Video of round eight

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

Live commentary on Playchess

Date Roound English German
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.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

Kandi Ravi Kandi Ravi 5/1/2014 02:41
Nothing succeds like success !!
When one is successful, every thing is right (or looks right )
TheTrueFalcon TheTrueFalcon 4/28/2014 11:33
Also interesting is that Carlsen's last two games are against Caruana and Radjabov, the only two players he has lost to in this tournament!
1