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.

 


Topics Gashimov, Shamkir

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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johnmk johnmk 4/21/2015 09:00
Magnus thanks Anand. Noteworthy that the previous FIVE meetings, Vachier was able to draw Carlsen -- not this time!
alekhina alekhina 4/21/2015 04:32
In everything there is always advantage and disadvantage. If Wesley plays for the Philippines, the moral support is strong but the financial support is weak. If there is financial support "anywhere", I'd rather choose the Philippines (for him), because he is a Filipino..And he said that he's always be a Filipino by citizenship and by heart.
samvils samvils 4/21/2015 04:20
expect a very long article from ramirez because wesley lost his game against anand...
johnmk johnmk 4/21/2015 03:52
Winning but not yet won. But Anand just found the best move, 39 Qh3
BelowZero BelowZero 4/21/2015 03:39
Wesley So has that certain special something that makes even lowly patzers like me sit up and pay attention. Fischer had it, Shirov, Morozevich, Topalov... but Kramnik, Anand, Carlsen don't have it. A certain derring-do, a greater willingness to take risks, to explore branches of the tree that look unpromising.

An entertaining player, hope he has a long career.
Karbuncle Karbuncle 4/21/2015 03:30
Anand is currently bringing So back down to Earth. He's got a winning endgame against him right now.
johnmk johnmk 4/21/2015 03:29
I would agree there is very little bias at Chessbase. It's a good mag. A few articles ago, Ramirez wrote that So had a "wonderful rebound" in the US champ. How is that biased? On the other hand, some Filipinos are stirring things up, they are almost jingoist if that is the right word -- fanatically patriotic.
Why don't you confine yourselves to discussing the play, instead of expecting the journalists to gush praise for Wesley all the time?
Rfield Rfield 4/21/2015 03:20
@eja616 I agree. 1st~4th rounds were two lower rated GMs the full points were expected. Brit GM Adams was last hour substitute for Azeri GM Radjabof. Dutch GM Geri was the victim of its own underestimation. Ahead in 5th~9th rounds higher rated GMs are schedule. GMs: Anand, Caruana, Shakhriyar, Carsen, and MLV. Gashimov Memorial is not the Grand Prix or World Cup tourney where world champion challenger is crown. GM So is immigrant and USCF member. US GM Ramirez Chessbase recent report is fine.
cptmajormajor cptmajormajor 4/21/2015 12:28
Shamkir looks very well organized, it attracts the best players in the world so why does the Gashimov memorial always ask people from the street to ask the post match questions. If you ever get time, look back at past years and this years too and listen to the questions from the chess media lol They are awful . It made me laugh when Rauf was asked a another stupid question , he says, 'I dont even know how to answer that' Rauf did look visibly annoyed by his loss before the questions even were asked. Shamkir must import some decent post match questions from somewhere else.
yesenadam yesenadam 4/21/2015 11:50
Ok we get the point samvils, but that is just silly. You can't enjoy that the title of the chessbase Round 4 article is "3.5/4!" but have to indulge your paranoia? It does readers the credit of knowing what it means. Would u have complained if the headline had said "7!" and not "Caruana in the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis: 7/7!" (p.s. have you considered that you may be more 'biased' than Ramirez? From the way you write, it doesn't seem so.)
samvils samvils 4/21/2015 08:49
imagine my frustration i waited for this article to be good but this what i found out. wesley name not even mentioned in the title of the article??..
eja616 eja616 4/21/2015 08:15
There is no bias. I'm rooting for Wesley too but I know that until he actually wins more games and perhaps even this tournament, the star of the show is still Magnus Carlsen. Not only because he is the winner last year, but also because he is the world champion and is obviously more popular than Wesley. It is normal for reporters to keep following whoever is most popular - it's how the media works. So just wait until Wesley makes a name for himself, and he will be talked about more not only by this reporter, but by many who follows chess.
sco-ish sco-ish 4/21/2015 07:23
Please someone tell me how this article is biased, I fail to see any bias anywhere.
ashperov ashperov 4/21/2015 07:00
America. Historically the land of opportunity. So can kick ass. If America cant produce someone that can beat Carlsen, they are wise to do the only next logical thing- import. Caruana sounds like an American through and through tho.
samvils samvils 4/21/2015 05:39
chessbase this is not the first time this author showed his dislike to wesley so. i have been observing him since tatasteel tournament.
samvils samvils 4/21/2015 05:34
chessbase should give this bias author a lecture...
fistoffury fistoffury 4/21/2015 05:21
Biased opinionated articles by author. When his favorites don't win, the content is dry like this one. Time for another author to step up?
Cyric Renner Cyric Renner 4/21/2015 04:45
70% draw rate. Yawn.... Only redeeming factor is Wesley So.
nonoyski nonoyski 4/21/2015 04:35
@ alekhina
I do not share your views that Filipinos are committed to support Wesley So in his chess undertakings. Please go to So's forum and you will see why. There you will see Filipino's crab-mentality at its best. Why do you think So left the Philippines chess federation. It was headed by thieves like Prospero Pichay who is now indicted for buying a distressed bank using government's money. So is better staying in the US. He made the right decision. Now he is in the Top 10 after playing for US Federation and hopefully will challenge Carlsen soon.
samvils samvils 4/21/2015 04:17
alenjandro ramirez vs wesley so
Marky mark Marky mark 4/21/2015 01:26
This Alejandro Guy is clearly jealous of wesley playing for the US flag, Its understandable among st immigrants. If you can notice during the forfieture of wesley in the US Championship, he seems to agree with the decision of Tony Rich.
Petrovian Petrovian 4/21/2015 01:08
It's clear that So has a great natural talent. It's a shame that the National Chess Federation of the Philippines could not provide necessary support for him to reach his goal of becoming one of the top ten chess players in the world, which they would never have the chance to have such a player in the foreseeable future anymore. I don't know whether they regret it or not. I hope So surrounds himself with supportive individuals, including a great coach and chess partners to open the door for the World Championship, maybe in the next two or three
years.
chessdrummer chessdrummer 4/21/2015 12:05
This article was clearly rushed. That's all.
raldovet raldovet 4/20/2015 11:43
If Carlsen won, this would have been a long article by Alejandro Ramirez. But since Wesley won, it's just another short article. Ramirez could be a big adoring fan of Carlsen, or he simply doesn't like the Filipino.
Jeffrey Jeffrey 4/20/2015 10:31
Oh, please. From Wikipedia: "In modern English, 'Americans' generally refers to residents of the United States; among native English speakers this usage is almost universal, ..." Unlike terms for some other nationalities or cultures, the term "American" is more inclusive.
boiette boiette 4/20/2015 09:10
Sorry to say but Alejandro Ramirez seems to be so aloof to be calling Wesley So American when he is Filipino by citizenship but only plays only for the US flag. So sad to witness this arrogant ignorance. Anyway, Wesley you make us Filipinos happy again.Go Wesley go!
Offramp Offramp 4/20/2015 07:07
Wesley seems to be really motivated since his loss to Akobian.
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