Shamkir R5: A day of beauty

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/21/2015 – What an amazing day in Shamkir! Three decisive games, all three absolutely beautiful. Carlsen played with unbelievable technique from start to end against MVL. Mamedyarov somehow tricked Kramnik in an equal position and then played perfectly to wrap up the endgame. Anand came with a brutal new idea in the Spanish, sacrificed a piece and won beautifully against So.

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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 Five

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

Video Report by Vijay Kumar

Daniel King's highlight video

Mamedov, Rauf ½-½ Adams, Michael
The simplifications in this Spanish caused the liquidation of the central tension, as well as many of the pieces. The game was clearly headed towards a draw from an early stage.

Rauf Mamedov has proved to be a very solid player

Anand, Viswanathan 1-0 So, Wesley
A beautiful game from the former World Champion

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.21"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C84"] [WhiteElo "2791"] [BlackElo "2788"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. Nc3 d6 9. a3 Nb8 {This Breyer idea is common in most Spanish positions. Even though the knight here is not going to defend e5, it will be very useful on c5. } 10. Ng5 $5 {Putting pressure on f7 even seems silly. White might be trying to provoke h6 weakening g6. So was in no mood to oblige, but one does wonder how that could be a bad move.} (10. a4 {was Caruana-So from Wijk Aan Zee this year.} b4 11. Nd5 Nxd5 12. Bxd5 c6 $11) 10... Nc6 {The knight strangely goes back to c6 - the idea is that now Nd4 is possible since the knight went to g5.} (10... h6 11. Nf3 (11. f4 $5 {is another matter entirely, and probably Anand's idea.}) 11... Nbd7 $11) 11. Ba2 Nd4 12. Ne2 {Exchanging the intruder.} Nxe2+ 13. Qxe2 h6 {Initiating the fight! This move is very commital, even though it doesn't appear to be so. White cannot retreat and hope for any kind of advantage, so Anand goes all in.} 14. f4 $5 hxg5 (14... exf4 {is very interesting. I wonder what it is that Anand was planning on doing here... The players did not mention it during the press conference.} 15. Nxf7 (15. Bxf4 hxg5 16. Bxg5 $19) (15. Nh3 $13) 15... Rxf7 16. Bxf7+ Kxf7 17. Bxf4 {doesn't seem sufficient.}) 15. fxg5 Ng4 (15... c6 16. gxf6 Bxf6 17. Be3 {is very pleasant for White.}) 16. g6 {White must have enough for the piece, but there are very important details.} Bg5 $5 (16... d5 $5 17. Bxd5 $1 Bc5+ 18. Kh1 Qh4 19. g3 Qh3 20. gxf7+ $1 {This move is incredibly important.} Kh8 21. Bxa8 {and White wins, as the move Nxh2 is not possible: Qxh2 and the queen is pinned!}) ( 16... Nh6 $5) 17. h3 $1 {Very precise.} (17. Bxf7+ Rxf7 18. gxf7+ Kf8 {is very, very unclear.}) 17... Bxc1 18. Raxc1 Nh6 19. Qh5 $1 {Putting up even more pressure. Black is up a piece but cannot defend comfortably.} Be6 (19... Kh8 20. Rxf7 Rxf7 21. gxf7 {is losing as Rf1 next is unstoppable, followed by simply g4-g5.}) 20. Bxe6 fxe6 21. g4 c6 $6 {Anand thought this was a mistake during the press conference.} (21... Rf4 $1 22. g5 Qf8 {is not as clear as the game continuation.}) (21... Qe7 22. g5 Rxf1+ 23. Rxf1 Rf8 24. gxh6 Rxf1+ 25. Kxf1 Qf8+ 26. Ke2 gxh6 27. Qg4 {is similar to the game.}) 22. Rxf8+ Qxf8 23. Rf1 Qe7 24. g5 Rf8 25. gxh6 Rxf1+ 26. Kxf1 Qf8+ 27. Ke2 $1 {Very important. The king is safest in this position as Black cannot organize his checks properly.} gxh6 {White is obviously better in this position. Black cannot avoid Qg4, h4-h5, creating a protected passed pawn on g6. The only issue is how is White going to break through after that.} 28. Qg4 Qf6 29. h4 d5 {It's hard to suggest a way to hold the position together, and it would take quite a bit of analysis to determine if Black can somehow hold.} 30. h5 d4 31. b4 $1 { This position, however, is quite clear. White will penetrate on the queenside slowly. The pawn structure is such that there are no perpetuals, queen trades are impossible. Anand wraps up with great technique.} Kg7 32. Qf3 Qe7 33. Kd1 Kg8 34. Qf2 Kg7 35. c3 dxc3 36. Kc2 Qc7 37. Qc5 Kg8 38. Qe3 a5 39. Qh3 axb4 40. Qxe6+ Kf8 41. axb4 Qa7 42. Kxc3 Qa3+ 43. Kc2 Qa4+ 44. Qb3 Qa7 45. d4 1-0

Wesley So was very gracious in the press conference, saying Vishy Anand simply outplayed him

That being said, it is very clear that he is having a great event with a brutal 2900 performance!

Anand with a beautiful new concept in a well known line of the Spanish

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 1-0 Kramnik, Vladimir
The game seemed relatively even until the following position occured:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.21"] [Round "5.4"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D41"] [WhiteElo "2756"] [BlackElo "2783"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5k2/p2q2p1/1pnP1p1p/2r1p2P/2N1P1b1/P7/BQ3PP1/4R1K1 w - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "10"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 31. Nxb6 $1 {A nice move, though it shouldn't give White any advantage, it is the only move to retain equal chances.} axb6 $2 {It's not clear to me what Kramnik missed. He gets into the same variation as Qxd6, but he simply is down a pawn compared to it.} (31... Qxd6 $1 32. Qb3 Be6 33. Qxe6 Qxe6 34. Bxe6 axb6 $11) 32. Qb3 Be6 33. Qxe6 Qxe6 34. Bxe6 Nd4 35. Bg4 {White has a big advantage and went on to win.} Rc6 1-0

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is known as an excellent attacker and overall crazy player,
but part of the reason he is so strong is his beautiful endgame technique, which he was able to show today.

After Mamedyarov won a pawn he cashed it in for a very pleasant bishop, rook vs. rook, knight endgame with pawns in which Black's pieces and pawns were all bad. With beautiful technique and immaculate precision Mamedyarov converted the endgame.

Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ Giri, Anish
What a miss from Fabiano Caruana. He obtained a crushing position against Anish Giri's passive pieces. Despite being up a pawn, it seemed that the Dutch's position was holding on by a thread. Caruana had the chance of destroying his opponent's defenses and gaining material with the move 23.Be3!, but he missed it and he was unable to get anything. Giri survived by the skin of his teeth.

Anish Giri can be happy surviving into the rest day

Fabiano Caruana has clearly not found his groove in Shamkir!

Carlsen, Magnus 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
The World Champion, ladies and gentleman, in his element:

When Carlsen plays like he did, even MVL cannot stop him

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.21"] [Round "5.3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A05"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2765"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "107"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 b5 3. Bg2 Bb7 4. Na3 a6 5. c4 b4 6. Nc2 e6 7. d4 {This position has, surprisingly, been seen a few times. For example 7...c5 was Lenderman-Abudmalik from last year.} a5 8. O-O Be7 9. d5 Na6 10. Nfd4 Nc5 11. Re1 O-O 12. e4 {It's hard to understand what Black really wanted from this opening. White now has a strong center, more space and no real weaknesses. The strong knight on c5 does not compensate fully for the b7 bishop.} e5 13. Nf5 d6 14. Bg5 {White's pressure on the kingside is very obvious. Black is simply trying to be solid.} Nxd5 $6 {But well, there goes that idea, bring on the fireworks!} (14... Bc8 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7 16. f3 {is unpleasant, but nothing more than that.}) 15. Bh6 $1 gxh6 16. Qg4+ Bg5 17. cxd5 {Black "won" a pawn, but it is double and weak and there is the threat of h4. He must give it back immediately.} Kh8 (17... h5 18. Qxh5 Bc8 $16) 18. h4 Bf6 19. Nce3 (19. Nxh6 { was also strong.}) 19... Bc8 20. Qf3 Bg7 21. Bh3 Rg8 22. Bg4 $1 {I like this maneuver very much. The bishop inches closer to a useful square. The "strong" knight on c5 is not part of the defense! It doesn't have the choice of going back either as it must keep the c-file closed.} Qf6 23. Bh5 Bxf5 24. Nxf5 c6 { counterplay, but not really. Black's pieces on the kingside are a mess.} 25. dxc6 Rac8 26. Qd1 Rxc6 27. Qd5 {It is typical that the side with a space advantage can easily swing his pieces from one side of the board to another without a hitch. The side with the space disadvantage is just stuck.} Rgc8 28. Rad1 Bf8 29. Qxf7 Qxf7 30. Bxf7 {White isn't up material, but his pieces are much better and heh as pressure everywhere on the board.} Na4 31. Re2 Rc1 32. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 33. Kg2 Nc5 34. b3 Rc3 35. Kh3 Nd7 36. Be6 Nc5 37. Bd5 Nd7 38. Ne3 Nf6 39. Be6 Rc5 40. Nc4 Kg7 41. f3 Ne8 42. Rd2 Nc7 43. Bg4 a4 (43... d5 44. Nb6 $1 d4 45. Nd7 Rc3 (45... Rb5 46. f4 $18) 46. Nxe5 {is horrible, so MVL tries desperate measures.}) 44. Nxd6 Bxd6 45. Rxd6 a3 {counterplay against the a2 pawn, maybe?} 46. Bd7 $1 {Extremely precise!} Rc2 47. Bc6 $1 Rxa2 (47... Na6 48. Bd5 Nc5 (48... Nc7 49. Bc4 $18 {Look at the domination over that knight. For example:} Ne8 50. Rd7+ Kf8 51. Rf7+ Kg8 52. Rb7+ Kf8 53. Rxb4 Rxa2 54. Kg4 $18) 49. Rc6 {does not help Black at all.}) 48. Rd7+ Kf6 49. Rxc7 Rc2 50. Rxh7 {The bishop is still tactically defended. Black could win it for a pawn, but it's not a pawn he wants to lose.} Kg6 (50... Rxc6 51. Rxh6+ Kg7 52. Rxc6) ( 50... a2 51. Ra7 Rxc6 52. Rxa2 {and White is just up two pawns.} Rc3 53. Kg4 Rxb3 54. Ra6+ Kg7 55. Rb6 {with an elementary win for a 2800.}) 51. Rc7 Kf6 52. h5 Rc1 53. Rh7 a2 54. Bd5 {now MVL doesn't even get the bishop. What a game!} ( 54. Bd5 a1=Q 55. Rf7+ Kg5 56. Rf5#) 1-0

Small advantage, bigger advantage, endgame precision. Carlsen played like a machine today.

Carlsen's team: Peter Heine Nielsen (second) and Henrik Carlsen (father)

Replay Round Five 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
½-½
Adams Michael 2746
Anand Viswanathan 2791
1-0
So Wesley 2788
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
1-0
Kramnik Vladimir 2783
Caruana Fabiano 2802
½-½
Giri Anish 2790
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
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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juanviches juanviches 4/22/2015 11:06
These guys are amazing, go on! I want more chess like this.
alekhina alekhina 4/22/2015 06:02
what a beautiful word by the author for Anand's win against So!
yesenadam yesenadam 4/22/2015 05:25
Great video thanks Daniel King. Concise but not afraid of giving multiple exclamation marks when deserved. :-)

Before it was available I watched Vijay Kumar's 'report'. It was not really a report. More an art film. It was beautiful! I loved it. The focus is on the human side, the handshake, the 2 humans playing, writing their moves, what they're drinking, body language etc. The tournament vibe, the chess life. Somehow very profound and intimate. We see what we've never noticed before. I could go on. :-) Wonderful, thank you. (If I may be permitted a slight criticism, the music was a weak link, it almost works, but the great players and great images demanded great music to go with it, which I didn't think this was. But the piano/chamber music idea is great, maybe some Debussy, Ravel, Satie or someone, or solo Keith Jarrett?)
KevinC KevinC 4/22/2015 04:42
The wins today were all pretty fantastic.
raldovet raldovet 4/22/2015 01:04
I was rooting for So but I'd say it was a beautiful game by Anand. Excellent tactics by Carlsen & clever maneuvering by Mamedyarov. Shamkir is an exciting tournament to watch.
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