Gashimov R9: All rests on one game

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/29/2014 – Only one round remains in Shamkir and nothing has been written. Carlsen and Caruana lead with 5.5 and their closest competitors are one point away. The matchup tomorrow is Carlsen-Caruana, which will determine the winner of the tournament. Today the Italian took out Mamedyarov while Carlsen tried for over 100 moves to beat Radjabov, but in the end he was unsuccessful.

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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 Nine

Round 9 – 29.04.14
Caruana
1-0
Mamedyarov
Radjabov
½-½
Carlsen
Karjakin
½-½
Nakamura

Daniel King shows the game Caruana vs Mamedyarov

Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
A long and tense game; Caruana was always the one with the upper hand, but he had to work very hard to make his advantage count.

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014"] [Site "Shamkir"] [Date "2014.04.29"] [Round "9"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D11"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2760"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "AZE"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 {This variation of the Slav is experiencing a serious revival. Its solid approach and the fact that no fully equalizing line has been found make it a dangerous weapon.} Bg4 5. Nc3 e6 6. h3 Bh5 7. Qb3 Qb6 8. Nh4 {This has been the reason for the resurgence of e3. White play for the typical advantage of the two bishops, although it will be a long game to try to exploit this.} g5 9. Nf3 h6 10. Ne5 Nfd7 {Securing that Black will not lose the pair of bishops for now, but the move is rather passive.} (10... Nbd7 11. g4 Nxe5 12. dxe5 {obviously doesn't work since the knight on f6 is under attack.}) 11. Nd3 Bg6 12. h4 Rg8 13. hxg5 (13. Bd2 {Grandelius-Carmling, 2009. A game that was eventually drawn.}) 13... hxg5 14. Bd2 dxc4 {This simplification of the center usually favors White. Black normally tries to keep the tension.} (14... Na6 15. f3 Bg7 {looked possible.}) 15. Qxc4 Qa6 16. Nc1 Qxc4 17. Bxc4 Nb6 18. Be2 N8d7 19. e4 Be7 20. Nb3 f5 21. f3 a5 22. a4 { White enjoys a very small advantage. He has more space and it is easier to maneuver his pieces. It is easier also to find moves for White than for Black, and in this practical aspect the tables can turn even more in White's favor.} e5 $5 {Trying to force matters, very much in the style of Mamedyarov.} 23. exf5 Bf7 $6 (23... Bxf5 {seemed better.} 24. Ne4 Nd5 25. O-O-O $14) 24. Bd1 Nc4 { Now Black is playing for compensation. If White is forced to be passive than Black will be fine, but Caruana will not comply.} 25. Ne4 (25. Bc1 exd4 26. Nxd4 Nc5 {gives Black good play.}) 25... g4 (25... Nxd2 26. Nbxd2 $1 exd4 27. Bb3 $1 {White will follow with g4 securing his passed pawn on f5 while keeping a blockade on Black's own passers on the light-squares.}) 26. Bc3 gxf3 27. gxf3 O-O-O 28. Kf2 exd4 29. Nxd4 {White has emerged up a pawn and Black has some activity to show for it. It just doesn't seem to be enough.} Nc5 30. Be2 Nxe4+ {A sad necessity, the knight on e4 was too strong.} 31. fxe4 Nd2 32. Bxd2 Rxd4 33. Ke3 Bc5 34. Bc3 $1 {Not afraid of any ghosts! There is not particularly dangerous discovery.} (34. Rac1 Re8 $1 35. Rxc5 Rdxe4+ 36. Kd3 Rxe2 37. Rxa5 Rf2 {seems difficult to win.}) 34... Rg3+ (34... Rxa4+ 35. Kf4 {and White's pawns on e4 and f5 are very scary, despite the restored material balance.}) 35. Kf2 Rxc3 $1 36. bxc3 Rxe4+ 37. Ke1 Bc4 38. Rh2 Re5 $6 {Going after the f-pawn does not work.} (38... Bd6 $1 39. Rg2 Be5 $1 {Playing for positional compensation put more practical difficulties on White who cannot untangle easily:} 40. Kf1 Bd5 $1 $11 {Black has serious threats in this position.}) 39. f6 Bxe2 $2 {This gives away a pawn, basically.} (39... Re6 40. f7 Kc7 $1 $14 { A difficult move for any human. The point is that Black will calmly move the rook from e6 and take on f7 with his bishop.}) 40. Rxe2 Rf5 41. Re8+ Kc7 42. Ra8 {Black has no time to defend b6 in this variation.} Bf2+ (42... b6 43. Ra7+ Kd6 44. f7 Ke6 45. Kd2 $18) (42... Bb6 43. Rf8 {secures the f-pawn.}) 43. Ke2 Bh4 44. f7 Rxf7 45. Rxa5 {This endgame seems difficult to win due to the reduced amount of material and the defensive possibilities of the bishop, but Caruana breaks Mamedyarov's barricade rather effortlessly.} Rf2+ 46. Ke3 Rc2 47. Ra3 Be7 48. Rb3 Ra2 49. Re5 Bd6 50. Rf5 $1 {The attack on b7 will decide the game.} Kb8 51. Rf7 Bc7 52. Rb4 Rh2 53. Kd3 Rg2 54. Re4 Rg3+ 55. Kc2 $1 {Of course White is not interested in trading rooks. The battery on the 7th is decisive.} Ba5 56. Ree7 {A strange moment to resign.} (56. Ree7 Rxc3+ 57. Kb2 Rc5 $1 {Maybe Mamedyarov missed this move?} 58. Rxb7+ Kc8 59. Ra7 Kb8 60. Rae7 Rd5 $1 {Or this one?} 61. Re8+ Rd8 $1 62. Rxd8+ Bxd8 {This is a win for White according to the tablebases, but White has to avoid a few tricks and know some concrete ideas.}) 1-0

Tied at first: Fabiano Caruana, tomorrow's game will determine everything

Mamedyarov will finish against Karjakin, hoping to score at least a second win

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Nakamura, Hikaru
Another King's Indian Defense in this tournament, but thist one was not as double-edged as Carlsen-Radjabov. Instead here Nakamura managed to quickly exchange his dark-squared bishop for his opponent's and after the queen trade White's space advantage was just symbolic. Further breakthroughs and simplification on both the kingside and the queenside resulted in a fought draw.

Sergey "Solid" Karjakin

Nakamura has been playing his usual hard fought chess in this tournament, with ups and downs

Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
A close Zaitsev variation of the Spanish. Long maneuvers, very little accomplished in a very long time. White should have been better at some point with his control of the a-file but it didn't result in much. With all the heavy pieces traded it seemed as if the players could shake hands and agree to a draw, but Carlsen pressed on infinitely in a position that did not promise anything and the game was drawn after over 100 moves.

That's a lot of moves!

Can't blame Carlsen for not trying

Replay today's games

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Standings

Images from the official web site

Video of round nine

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
1-0
Mamedyarov
Radjabov
½-½
Carlsen
Karjakin
½-½
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

Live commentary on Playchess

Date Roound English German
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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Brumario Brumario 4/30/2014 05:37
In the first half of the tournament, Carlsen played first against Caruana and then against Radjabov, why would that order change for the second half, when all the other rounds remained the same?
fcolonna fcolonna 4/30/2014 02:58
Thanks Joseph!
Joseph Boronka Joseph Boronka 4/30/2014 09:44
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's game Carlsen vs. Caruana ,
Carlsen will try hard to equalise the earlier defeat , and he has white , so it should be a great game.

Either way one of them will be Champion :)
Joseph Boronka Joseph Boronka 4/30/2014 09:39
fcolonna 7 hours ago
Why doesn't the Caruana, Fabiano2783–Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar27601–0 game download as a pgn file. I find that this happens quite often.
??
I was able to download it.
? it worked well,
here it is fcoloona :
[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2014"]
[Site "Shamkir AZE"]
[Date "2014.04.29"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D11"]
[WhiteElo "2783"]
[BlackElo "2760"]
[PlyCount "111"]
[EventDate "2014.04.20"]
[SourceDate "2014.01.04"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Nc3 e6 6. h3 Bh5 7. Qb3 Qb6 8. Nh4 g5
9. Nf3 h6 10. Ne5 Nfd7 11. Nd3 Bg6 12. h4 Rg8 13. hxg5 hxg5 14. Bd2 dxc4 15.
Qxc4 Qa6 16. Nc1 Qxc4 17. Bxc4 Nb6 18. Be2 N8d7 19. e4 Be7 20. Nb3 f5 21. f3 a5
22. a4 e5 23. exf5 Bf7 24. Bd1 Nc4 25. Ne4 g4 26. Bc3 gxf3 27. gxf3 O-O-O 28.
Kf2 exd4 29. Nxd4 Nc5 30. Be2 Nxe4+ 31. fxe4 Nd2 32. Bxd2 Rxd4 33. Ke3 Bc5 34.
Bc3 Rg3+ 35. Kf2 Rxc3 36. bxc3 Rxe4+ 37. Ke1 Bc4 38. Rh2 Re5 39. f6 Bxe2 40.
Rxe2 Rf5 41. Re8+ Kc7 42. Ra8 Bf2+ 43. Ke2 Bh4 44. f7 Rxf7 45. Rxa5 Rf2+ 46.
Ke3 Rc2 47. Ra3 Be7 48. Rb3 Ra2 49. Re5 Bd6 50. Rf5 Kb8 51. Rf7 Bc7 52. Rb4 Rh2
53. Kd3 Rg2 54. Re4 Rg3+ 55. Kc2 Ba5 56. Ree7 1-0
fcolonna fcolonna 4/30/2014 03:00
Why doesn't the Caruana, Fabiano2783–Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar27601–0 game download as a pgn file. I find that this happens quite often.
siamesedream siamesedream 4/29/2014 11:11
Tie-breakers: 1. number of wins, 2. head to head, 3. S-B, 4. rapid/blitz

Why they mixed 9 & 10 rounds' pairings?
augustinekts augustinekts 4/29/2014 11:01
Tommorow will be a serious round
juanviches juanviches 4/29/2014 10:06
Daniel doesn't like last Carlsen's games, I don't. There aren't videos.
The_Phenom The_Phenom 4/29/2014 09:29
What are the tiebreaker rules? I think Caruana will win if its a draw in the next round.
Omoplata Omoplata 4/29/2014 07:44
Is Karjakin developing a reputation as an elite drawmaster? Surely he can never seriously challenge for the world championship unless he opens his game up.
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