Shamkir R4: 3.5/4!

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/20/2015 – Wesley So continues his rampage in Shamkir. What a recovery after the "worst tournament of his life"!. The American beat Rauf Mamedov, who had managed to hold all his games until round four. The other games were draws, some more interesting than others, with Magnus Carlsen pushing against Michael Adams and Vladimir Kramnik playing a crazy sacrificial line against Vishy Anand.

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The Vugar Gashimov Memorial, is being held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, from the 17th to the 26th of April, in memory of the great Vugar Gashimov, who passed away on the 10th of January 2014. The tournament consists of some of the strongest players in the World: reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen, former World Champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, as well as, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Michael Adams, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Rauf Mamedov will compete in this prominent event. 

Round Four

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2863
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
So Wesley 2788
1-0
Mamedov Rauf 2651

Daniel King shows the highlights of round 4

Adams, Michael ½-½ Carlsen, Magnus
A very interesting game. Carlsen essayed his 3...g6 Spanish we had previously played against Nakamura in the Sinquefield Cup last year. Black's position was without a doubt preferable, but breaking through was not easy. Carlsen sacrificed an exchange to get a powerful knight on f3, but it seems as if Adams' position held together, even if it did look uncomfortable.

Carlsen pushed for a win but couldn't find a way to break through

Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime ½-½ Caruana, Fabiano
Two of the top Grunfeld experts in the World playing each other. MVL tried to surprise Caruana with a quick Na4, but Black was well prepared. He obtained an easy equality and the game evolved into a very drawn endgame.

Solid! MVL had four draws, same as Anand.

Giri, Anish ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
A Slav defense in which Mamedyarov set up his defenses based on a light-squared blockade. It was quite successful, and Giri never broke through.

Anish Giri has yet to find a win in Shamkir

Kramink, Vladimir ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan

A complicated Semi-Slav, but it seemed that Anand had everything under control.

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.20"] [Round "4.2"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D43"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2791"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. g3 {Kramnik had used this with success against Giri last year in Qatar.} dxc4 6. Bg2 Nbd7 7. O-O b5 8. e4 Bb7 9. e5 Nd5 10. Ng5 {If White doesn't play actively he runs the risk of simply being down a pawn.} h6 11. Nxe6 fxe6 12. Qh5+ Ke7 13. Ne4 Qe8 14. Bg5+ N5f6 { this is the first time this move has been since in GM-level play.} (14... hxg5 15. Qxh8 Kd8 16. Qg8 Qg6 {was Lalith-Ding Liren from the India-China Summit, 2015.}) 15. exf6+ gxf6 16. Bxf6+ (16. Qxe8+ Rxe8 17. Bf4 {keeps some pressure, but with the queens off one has to wonder how dangerous this is for Black.}) 16... Nxf6 17. Nxf6 Qxh5 18. Nxh5 Kf7 {White has some pressure on the diagonal, against the e-pawn and it seems like he is clearly better. However, upong a deeper inspection it is not so easy to play for either side. Black's pair of bishops and counterplay is also quite real.} 19. a4 a6 20. axb5 axb5 21. Rxa8 Bxa8 22. Ra1 Be7 23. Nf4 Bb7 24. Ra7 Rb8 25. Be4 Kf6 26. Ng6 c5 $1 {Black can't sit back and wait until White gets in f4 and Ne5 and every move he wants to make.} 27. Rxb7 (27. Bxb7 Kxg6 $15) 27... Rxb7 28. Bxb7 Kxg6 29. dxc5 Bxc5 { oposite colored bishops, the rest is dead drawn.} 30. Ba6 Bd4 31. Bxb5 Bxb2 32. Bxc4 e5 33. f3 Kf6 34. Kg2 Bc1 35. Bd3 Bb2 36. Bc4 Bc1 37. Bd3 Bb2 38. Bc4 1/2-1/2

Dome deep opening understanding by Vishy Anand

You can learn more about this opening by looking at Igor Stohls' article in CBM 165.

ChessBase Magazine 165

Languages: English

Highlights:

Wijk aan Zee: Magnus Carlsen started badly, but 6 wins out of 6 in the middle of the tournament were sufficient for the sole lead. Those in second place Ding Liren, Wesley So and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave have each annotated a game for ChessBase Magazine. 

Gibraltar: Hikaru Nakamura was the No. 1 seed in the major Open in Gibraltar and impressively confirmed his position: first 6 out of 6, finishing with 8.5 out of 10. The American has annotated for us his game against the young GM Baskaran. 

Baden-Baden: Arkadij Naiditsch had an excellent tournament: a victory against the world champion and an undefeated 4.5 out of 7. But Carlsen reached the same score at the end and won through in the tiebreak. 

Zürich: In the overall standings, Hikaru Nakamura finished level first with Anand. Thanks to his victory in the Armageddon game the American took overall first place. Annotations by Krasenkow and Pavlovic. 

FIDE Grand-Prix Tbilisi: This came as a real surprise. No. 10 seed Evgeny Tomashevsky secured a majestic tournament victory with 8 out of 11 and with it went into the lead in the overall Grand Prix standings.

Plus Opening Repertoires:

Sagar Shah: English 3.Bg2 h6 
Ris: Accelerated Dragon 8...d5 
Szabo: Sicilian English Attack 
Havasi: French Tarrasch 3...Nf6 
Marin: French Tarrasch 3...c5 
Kuzmin: Slav 4.e3 Bg4 
Postny: Ragosin Defence 5.Bg5 h6 
Stohl: Semi-Slav/Catalan 5.g3 
Krasenkow: Bogo-Indian 4.Nbd2 – Part 2 and more!

ChessBase Magainze #165 is available in the ChessBase Shop

So, Wesley 1-0 Mamedov, Rauf

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.20"] [Round "4.4"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Mamedov, Rauf"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B38"] [WhiteElo "2788"] [BlackElo "2658"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Nf6 6. Nc3 d6 {The Maroczy isn't seen at the top level very often. Mainly because most of the time Black ends up suffering for no real reason.} 7. f3 {Not the most common move order, but it makes sense. It avoids some of the quick Nxd4 ideas.} Bg7 8. Be3 O-O 9. Be2 Nh5 $5 {A typical idea in these structures, though not in this specific move. f4 is a little lose and changing pieces is almost always good.} 10. g3 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Be6 12. f4 {I have the feeling taking on d4 would have given better rpactical chances, but the computer disagrees with me.} Nf6 13. O-O Rc8 14. b3 {White has a nice space advantage everywhere.} Qa5 15. f5 Bd7 16. a3 e6 17. b4 Qd8 18. fxg6 $1 (18. fxe6 Bxe6 $1 {does not have the same effect.}) 18... fxg6 (18... hxg6 19. e5 dxe5 20. Bxe5 $16 {and there are problems with the knight on f6 lacking defense.}) 19. e5 $1 (19. Bxa7 {seems to be possible, but it hands the initiative over to Black after} Bc6 {and even though it shouldn't compensate a full pawn, it is, from a practical point of view, better to keep material even and a strong position.}) 19... dxe5 20. Bxe5 Bc6 21. b5 Ne4 22. Qxd8 $1 Rcxd8 (22... Rfxd8 {was a better choice. The endgame looks bad, but it might be holdable.} 23. bxc6 Nxc3 24. cxb7 Nxe2+ 25. Kg2 Rb8 26. Bxb8 Rxb8 27. Rad1 $16) 23. Rxf8+ Rxf8 24. Bxg7 Kxg7 25. Rc1 Nxc3 26. Rxc3 Bd7 {Material is even, but Black's position is horrible. White's pawns on the queenside are fast and Black's e-pawn is more of a weakness than anything.} 27. c5 Rc8 28. a4 Kf6 29. Kf2 Ke5 30. Ke3 Be8 31. Bf3 $16 Rc7 32. Kd3 g5 33. Kc4 h5 34. a5 g4 35. b6 $1 axb6 36. axb6 Rd7 37. Re3+ Kf6 38. c6 {The b ishop has been attacked for a few moves, but Black has no time to take it. White's pawns simply march forward.} bxc6 39. Bxc6 Rd8 40. Bxe8 Rxe8 41. b7 (41. b7 Rb8 42. Rb3 Ke7 43. Kc5 Kd7 44. Kb6 {is very obviously lost.}) 1-0

Wesley So is the clear leader with 3.5/4 (+3!)

Replay Round Four Games

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Photos taken from the official website

Standings

Schedule

Round 1

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
1-0
Adams Michael 2746
So Wesley 2788
1-0
Giri Anish 2790
Mamedov Rauf 2651
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
Anand Viswanathan 2791
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2863
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802

Round 2

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Mamedov Rauf 2651
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
½-½
So Wesley 2788

Round 3

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
So Wesley 2788
1-0
Adams Michael 2746
Mamedov Rauf 2651
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Anand Viswanathan 2791
½-½
Giri Anish 2790
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
Caruana Fabiano 2802
0-1
Carlsen Magnus 2863

Round 4

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746
½-½
Carlsen Magnus 2863
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
Caruana Fabiano 2802
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
So Wesley 2788
1-0
Mamedov Rauf 2651

Round 5

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Mamedov Rauf 2651 - Adams Michael 2746
Anand Viswanathan 2791 - So Wesley 2788
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 - Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Caruana Fabiano 2802 - Giri Anish 2790
Carlsen Magnus 2863 - Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762

Round 6

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746 - Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
Giri Anish 2790 - Carlsen Magnus 2863
Kramnik Vladimir 2783 - Caruana Fabiano 2802
So Wesley 2788 - Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
Mamedov Rauf 2651 - Anand Viswanathan 2791

Round 7

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Anand Viswanathan 2791 - Adams Michael 2746
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 - Mamedov Rauf 2651
Caruana Fabiano 2802 - So Wesley 2788
Carlsen Magnus 2863 - Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 - Giri Anish 2790

Round 8

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Adams Michael 2746 - Giri Anish 2790
Kramnik Vladimir 2783 - Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
So Wesley 2788 - Carlsen Magnus 2863
Mamedov Rauf 2651 - Caruana Fabiano 2802
Anand Viswanathan 2791 - Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754

Round 9

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754 - Adams Michael 2746
Caruana Fabiano 2802 - Anand Viswanathan 2791
Carlsen Magnus 2863 - Mamedov Rauf 2651
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762 - So Wesley 2788
Giri Anish 2790 - Kramnik Vladimir 2783

Commentary on Playchess

One of the major tournaments of the year, you can count on www.playchess.com to deliver quality commentary every round!

Day Date Round English German
Friday April 17 Round 1 GM Daniel King GMs Oliver Reeh/Dorian Rogozenco
Saturday April 18 Round 2 GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
Sunday April 19 Round 3 GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
Monday April 20 Round 4 GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff
Tuesday April 21 Round 5 GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov GM Klaus Bischoff
Wednesday April 22 Free    
Thursday April 23 Round 6 GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff
Friday April 24 Round 7 GM Simon Williams GM Klaus Bischoff
Saturday April 25 Round 8 GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov GMs Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
Sunday April 26 Round 9 GM Daniel King GM Klaus Bischoff

English Commentators

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 13 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.