Shamkir, Round 5: Anand, Navara and Grischuk with wins

by Johannes Fischer
4/5/2019 – There were three wins in Round 5. Vishy Anand won against Anish Giri with the help of his strong pawn centre, David Navara benefited from a tactical inaccuracy vs Ding Liren and Alexander Grischuk showed how strong the bishop pair can be against Veselin Topalov. Magnus Carlsen and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov drew as did Teimour Radjabov and Sergey Karjakin. With 3½ out of 5, Carlsen remains the sole leader. GM DANIEL FERNANDEZ examines all the games. | Photos:

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Carlsen retains half point lead

V. Anand 1-0 A. Giri

Viswanathan Anand scored a nice win over Anish Giri. In a variation of the Berlin defence White gained a pawn majority on the kingside after exchanging his light-squared bishop for Black's c6-knight, which he used to arrange his pieces on strong squares. After an inaccuracy from Giri, Anand got a strong passed e-pawn, and when Giri weakened his king position so as not to be crushed by the white pawns, Anand moved in for the kill.

Annotations by GM Daniel Fernandez

M. Carlsen ½-½ S. Mamedyarov

By contrast, the game between Magnus Carlsen and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was unspectacular. Although Carlsen tried to put pressure on Mamedyarov, after 37 moves, there was a balanced queen ending on the board and the game ended in a draw.

According to Norwegian chess journalist Tarjei Svensen, Carlsen is unbeaten in 46 consecutive games at classical time controls. In the live world rankings, Carlsen is now 33 points ahead of Fabiano Caruana with an Elo of 2849.


FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich performs the ceremonial first move | Photo:

Mamedyarov did not seem to be worried about the game | Photo:

D. Navara 1-0 Ding Liren

David Navara scored his first victory in the tournament. After a small tactical inaccuracy in the Meran variation of the Semi-Slav, Ding Liren found himself in a worse endgame.


T. Radjabov ½-½ S. Karjakin

Teimour Radjabov and Sergey Karjakin made a lively draw. Radjabov gave up a pawn on the 22nd move, for which he got active play and tactical threats as compensation. Karjakin bypassed all the traps, but he could not keep his pawn. After 40 moves, the material equality was restored and one move later, the game ended in a draw.


Teimour Radjabov | Photo:

A. Grischuk 1-0 V. Topalov

The third victory of the day was provided by Alexander Grischuk. Facing Veselin Topalov, the Russian number two demonstrated how strong the pair of bishops can be.


Alexander Grischuk | Photo:

Friday is a rest day in Shamkir, and play will resume on Saturday.

Results of Round 5


Standings after Round 5


Round-up show with GM Daniel King

All games


Round 5 commentary webcast

Commentary by GM Arkadij Naiditsch

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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