Shamkir Recap

by Alejandro Ramirez
4/29/2015 – Without a doubt the Vugar Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir will be one of the strongest tournaments of the year. The quality of the games was very high, and the mix of players gave us some excellent rounds of chess. We bring you a recap with an analysis of the play by each player, their highlights, and some impressions from the short but sweet closing ceremony.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

 

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. 

Final Standings

This year's Shamkir tournament was a very interesting one. Many players went in with high expectations, but at the end of the day it seems only two players can be truly satisfied. We take a quick look at what happened in the tournament, player by player, starting from last place:

Mamedov, Rauf

The Azerbaijani Champion had an understandably rough time, but he was able to play very solid chess. He was so outrated in every game that his 3.5/9 performance was good enough to win rating. It's not an impressive score, but it's better than what many people would have expected from him.

Solid! Rauf won six rating points in his first Super-GM tournament.

Adams, Michael

Adams' tournament was almost a disaster. Replacing Radjabov last minute was surely not easy - these kind of tournaments are very difficult to prepare for, and having only a few weeks to do so was not ideal. He was able to rescue his tournament a little with his demolition of Giri.

Mickey can't be happy with his result, but it could have been worse

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.25"] [Round "8"] [White "Adams, Mi"] [Black "Giri, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B91"] [WhiteElo "2745"] [BlackElo "2790"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 {Nowadays the move 6. h3 is more commonly seen than 6.g3. That's how modern chess works!} e6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O $1 O-O $1 9. a4 Nc6 10. Be3 Rb8 {A new idea in this position. Normally Black plays Qc7 first.} (10... Qc7 11. f4 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bd7 (12... e5 $1) 13. Kh1 Bc6 {was Zherebukh-Giri, 2012. The Ukrainian player won that game.} ) 11. f4 Qc7 12. Kh1 Bd7 13. Nb3 {This is the typical reply to Bd7. The point is that Nxd4 followed by Bc6 is not an idea for Black.} b6 14. g4 h6 {I always felt something went wrong if Black had to play h6 to prevent g5. Also this looks like Giri is playing a standard line but down a couple of tempi as White went g3-g4, true, but he did not waste time with Be2-f3-g2 as is common. Normally Black's rook is already on e8.} 15. Qe2 Nb4 16. Nd4 Rbc8 17. Rad1 Qc4 18. Qf3 e5 19. Nf5 {White's plan of attacking on the kingside is going slowly, but with h6 in play it is more powerful. Black has to be very careful, he has pressure on c2 but taking that pawn will not be a big deal for a long time: material doesn't matter if you are getting mated. Black's position is definitely uncomfortable.} Bxf5 20. exf5 exf4 21. Rd4 $1 (21. Bxf4 $1 {is also possible, but after} d5 $1 22. h4 Ne4 $1 {The position is suddenly far from clear, but I would take White after} 23. g5 $1 Nxc3 24. bxc3 Qxc3 25. Qh5 $1 { With a strong initiative.}) 21... Qc7 22. Bxf4 Nxc2 23. Rd2 Nb4 24. h4 { Black's up a pawn, but White is simply crashing through.} Nh7 25. g5 $1 Qc4 ( 25... hxg5 26. hxg5 Bxg5 (26... Nxg5 27. Qh5 Nh7 28. Be4 $1 {other moves are also possible.} Nf6 29. Qh3 {and Black's position is hopeless. Rh2 is coming with deadly effect.}) 27. Bxg5 Nxg5 28. Qg4 {hits both knights, so Black loses a piece.}) 26. f6 $1 {Just crashing on through!} gxf6 27. gxf6 Bxf6 (27... Nxf6 28. Bh3 {clearing the g2 square for the rook. Black can basically resign.}) 28. Ne4 Be5 29. Rxd6 $1 {What a nice finishing touch. Other moves won too, but this one has a peculiar aesthetic value.} Bg7 (29... Bxd6 30. Nxd6 Qe6 31. Bh3 $1 f5 32. Qg3+ {And Black is toast.} Kh8 33. Be5+ $18) 30. Bxh6 $1 Bxh6 31. Rxh6 {White has the attack, and now its free on top of everything.} Rc6 32. Qg4+ Kh8 33. Rxh7+ (33. Rxh7+ Kxh7 34. Nf6+ Rxf6 35. Qxc4 {is just down a queen. Oh and Black will also get mated soon.}) 1-0

Vachier Lagrave, Maxime

MVL's tournament was simply not good. It wasn't only that he didn't win any games, it's that he seemed far from being able to score. His opening repertoire seemed harmless and unable to provoke mistakes. Most people equalized easily against him with Black, while with White most people put serious pressure on him.

MVL needs to think about what went wrong in Shamkir

Giri, Anish

Having recently crossed 2800 in the live rating list, many people were hoping that Giri would have a breakthrough event. Unfortunately for him that was not close to what happened. Giri was only winning in one game, and he blew it at the very end:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.26"] [Round "9"] [White "Giri, A."] [Black "Kramnik, V."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E06"] [WhiteElo "2790"] [BlackElo "2783"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6N1/R2K4/4P2p/6k1/1n6/3r2P1/8/8 w - - 0 76"] [PlyCount "10"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 76. Ke8 Kg6 77. Ra4 (77. Rd7 $1 Ra3 (77... Rxd7 78. exd7 Nc6 79. Ne7+ {loses instantly.}) 78. e7 Kg7 {otherwise Kf8 and e8=Q.} (78... Nc6 79. Rd6+ Kg7 80. Rxc6 $1 Kxg8 81. Kd7 {wins.}) 79. Rd4 $1 {Hitting the knight and threatening Rg4+.} Ra8+ (79... Kxg8 80. Rg4+ Kh7 81. Rxb4 $18) 80. Kd7 Kxg8 81. e8=Q+ $1 ( 81. Rxb4 Ra7+ $11 {is a draw due to checking on the "long side" - Lucena position theory.}) 81... Rxe8 82. Kxe8 Nc6 83. Re4 {and the knight is cut off from the king. The win is not too difficult.}) 77... Nd5 78. Rg4+ Kf5 79. Nxh6+ Kxe6 80. Re4+ Kf6 1/2-1/2

This game took so long, Giri couldn't help himself but tweet:

At least he retains his sense of humor!

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov wasn't afraid to play his chess, but it didn't always work

Mamedyarov always plays creative chess, and this tournament was no exception. His performance wasn't bad, and beating Kramnik from an equal position was not just because of luck. Overall it doesn't seem like he had a terrible event, but he got outplayed a little bit too easily by the top scorers.

[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

Kramnik, Vladimir

A key component of being an elite player is recovering from bad losses. Like this one.

At some point it seemed that Kramnik's tournament would simply be a disaster... even though he started with a win! After losing three in a row, everyone thought Big Vlad was simply getting crushed left and right, but on round eight he was able to outplay MVL in a very nice game and bring himself back into the tournament. A last round draw and Kramnik finished on -1.

So, Wesley

Four rounds into the game it was clear that So was going to crush the field. The angry player (said in irony - the now American grandmaster is one of the most mellow people I've had the pleasure of meeting) had just finished a bad tournament, and he was going after everyone. Unfortunately for him the field had other plans, and after being held back by a couple of draws, Anand played a brilliant game against him and Caruana also took a full point in game eight. Overall, still not a bad tournament for So, who finished tied for third.

Wesley is clearly a powerhouse. Once he fixes a couple of things here and there he will be hard to stop.

The way he crushed Giri in round one was brutal:

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.17"] [Round "1"] [White "So, W."] [Black "Giri, A."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A10"] [WhiteElo "2788"] [BlackElo "2790"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. c4 g6 2. e4 $5 e5 $5 {Modern Chess! Already we are mostly out of theory.} 3. d4 Nf6 (3... d6 {might transpose back into a King's Indian Defense, but we wouldn't want that would we?}) 4. dxe5 (4. Nf3 exd4 5. e5 Ne4 6. Qxd4 Bb4+ { was the game Nakamura-Svidler from a 2013 Grand Prix. It was also Svidler-Carlsen from 2014, but that was a blitz.}) 4... Nxe4 5. Bd3 Bb4+ 6. Kf1 $1 (6. Nd2 {was a completely wacko game between Kortschnoj-Timman back in 1976! }) 6... Nc5 7. Nf3 {The opening can hardly be called a success for Black. White cannot castle, but besides that everything is going well. His development will be faster than Black's. Giri also has to worry about his dark squares on the kingside.} Ne6 {covering g5.} 8. a3 Be7 9. Nc3 d6 10. exd6 Bxd6 11. b4 (11. Bh6 {was also possible, So prefers the fianchetto and the queenside expansion.}) 11... Bf8 $5 {It's hard to guess that this bishop mas already moved three times. It will move a fourth to g7, definitely its best square.} 12. Qe2 Bg7 13. Bg5 Bf6 {a fifth time?!} 14. Bxf6 {only to be traded. This leaves Giri in a position with basically no development. It is not surprising that So's attack will be very strong.} Qxf6 15. Qd2 O-O 16. Re1 Qd8 17. Rd1 $1 a5 18. h4 $1 {White's simply crashing through. Without Black's pieces being active it is clear that the king will find it difficult to survive.} axb4 19. axb4 Nd7 20. h5 $18 Nf6 21. c5 (21. Qc1 $3 {Would have been a beautiful shot. The point is that after} Nxh5 (21... Qe7 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 Ng7 24. hxg6 fxg6 25. Re1 Qf6 (25... Qf7 26. Rxh7 $1 Kxh7 27. Ng5+ $18) 26. Qh6 {Black's position simply falls apart.}) 22. Bxg6 $18) 21... b6 (21... Nxh5 22. Rxh5 gxh5 23. Qh6 {is about as ugly as it gets.}) 22. hxg6 fxg6 23. Qe3 Qe7 24. Bc4 bxc5 25. b5 $1 {There is no need to retake the pawn. White simply pushes his own pawn in order to prevent counterplay.} Rb8 26. Re1 Rb6 27. Na4 {Material losses are now inevitable.} Rd6 28. Nxc5 Ng4 29. Qe4 Nxf2 ( 29... Nf6 30. Qh4 {is of no help, the simply threat of Ng5 cannot be parried.}) 30. Kxf2 Rd2+ 31. Kg3 $1 (31. Kf1 $4 Qxc5 32. Bxe6+ Kh8 33. Qh4 h5 $1 {and despite being down a pawn this position is far from easy. Black has a subtle point:} 34. Bxc8 Rxf3+ $3 35. gxf3 Qxb5+ 36. Kg1 Qb6+ 37. Kf1 Qb5+ {with a draw. Grandmasters are very tricky!}) 31... Rxf3+ (31... Qxc5 32. Nxd2 $18) 32. gxf3 {Black doesn't have a lot of checks and he is down a huge amount of material.} 1-0

Caruana, Fabiano

Caruana had a very slow start. During most of the tournament he had a -1 score, and after forgiving Giri it seemed that luck just wasn't on his side. However he had a couple of good results late in the tournament: consecutive wins against Kramnik and So. He somehow managed to tie for third, though I have the feeling that he will be doing a lot more work for the next event.

Fabiano and his trainer, Vladimir Chuchelov, will be working hard after this event

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.24"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E21"] [WhiteElo "2802"] [BlackElo "2788"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] [SourceDate "2015.02.07"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. e3 {It's always pleasant to see a Rubinstein Variation.} Ne4 6. Qc2 Bb7 7. Bd3 f5 8. O-O Bxc3 9. bxc3 O-O 10. c5 $5 (10. Nd2 {has been played hundreds of times, and is considered to be the main line.}) 10... Rf6 {Black isn't kidding around; he weill try to checkmate White with his rook and bishop and queen. His queenside development will be stalled, but for now that is ok. White might develop them for him, if for example he takes on b6.} 11. Ne1 $1 {using hte fact that the knight on e4 doesn't have many retreat options with the rook on f6.} bxc5 (11... Rh6 12. g3 $1 {keeps the queen away. White won in both Leko-Andreikin and Georgiev, V-Eljanov.}) 12. Rb1 Qc8 13. f3 Ng5 14. Be2 cxd4 15. cxd4 {White's down a pawn, but Black's develompent is awkward. His bishop on b7 is exposed, the g5 knight will have to retreat, the f6 rook doesn't do much but be a potential target. However White does still need to do something concrete.} Nc6 16. Nd3 Ba6 17. Bb2 Ne7 18. d5 Rh6 19. dxe6 Nxe6 20. Nf4 Nxf4 21. exf4 Bxe2 22. Qxe2 {How the game has changed. White has a powerful bishop and still has the better coordination. Black has two passed pawns, but hey are not going to be a factor yet.} Re6 23. Qd3 Ng6 (23... Rb8 {looked stronger. The knight will be useful on e7.}) 24. g3 Rb8 25. Qxf5 Reb6 26. Bd4 Rxb1 27. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 28. Qxb1 {With material equality in the endgame it is time to take stock once agian. White is clearly better: his bishop dominates the open board and coordinates much better than the queen and knight.} c5 29. Qb3+ c4 (29... Kh8 30. Qc3 $18) 30. Qb5 {With little effort White has already blockaded the pawns. Now they are ripe for the taking.} Ne7 31. Qg5 $5 (31. Bc5 Nd5 32. Qxc4 Qc6 33. Qd4 $16) 31... Qf8 32. Bc5 Kf7 33. Qe5 Qe8 34. Kf2 {Black is paralyzed.} Nc6 {losing a pawn, but what else to do?} 35. Qh5+ g6 36. Qxh7+ Ke6 37. Qg7 Qf7 38. Qxf7+ Kxf7 39. Ke3 {White has too many pawns on the kingside.} Ke6 40. g4 d6 41. Ba3 d5 42. Bb2 Nb4 43. a4 Nc2+ 44. Kd2 Nb4 45. h4 Nd3 46. Bd4 a6 (46... Nxf4 47. Bxa7 {leaves Black with too many passed pawns to deal with.}) 47. h5 gxh5 48. f5+ Kd6 49. gxh5 $18 Ne5 50. Ke3 Nf7 51. Bg7 1-0

Anand, Viswanathan

Vishy, Vishy, Vishy! Every time people start discarding him as a tournament favorite, he comes back and shows us what he is made of. He had a magnificent performance, with strong chess, good ideas and fun chess. After this tournament he will regain his #2 spot in the World Rankings, behind Carlsen. What more can be said? Anand is still in it, big time.

Vishy at work, dispelling doubts

[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

Carlsen, Magnus

The king, the best player, it is unquestionable. The way that he played in this tournament was clean and dominant. He was never in any real danger, and he was always pushing. His five (!) wins in this tournament were very clean. He crushed Mamedyarov, outplayed MVL and pushed the tiniest of advantages against Kramnik. Unstoppable.

King Magnus

[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

Photos from the Closing

The closing ceremony was a short event. It started moments after the last game of the tournament (Giri-Kramnik) finished. Here are some impressions.

Team Carlsen can be pleased

A dance performance for the closing ceremony

It wasn't long, but it was very graceful

And Shamkir 2015 comes to an end

Replay All Games

Select from the dropdown menu to replay the games

Photos taken from the official website

 

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

Round 7

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

Round 8

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

Round 9

Name Rtg Res. Name Rtg
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2754
½-½
Adams Michael 2746
Caruana Fabiano 2802
½-½
Anand Viswanathan 2791
Carlsen Magnus 2863
1-0
Mamedov Rauf 2651
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2762
½-½
So Wesley 2788
Giri Anish 2790
½-½
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.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

pat-adv pat-adv 4/30/2015 09:25
@paulpena Not with that attitude! Seriously though, these are not my words, they come from the high achievers themselves. The father of the Polgar sisters 'Laszlo' has said as much. The man roundly regarded as the best chess tutor in the world 'Dvoretsky' has stated that he can turn any master into a grandmaster via his teaching methods. The list goes on, 'Bounce' is much more convincing than my rantings. That said, I will concede that this only applies in the perfect circumstances e.g. where a young mind with complete focus is given the very best tuition for many hours each day etc etc...
PaulPena PaulPena 4/30/2015 01:05
No one becomes master without natural talent I don't care how hard you work. I was an expert while still in grade school and it took tremendous effort to become master. To be one of the world's elites you have to have PHENOMENAL talent and yes, lots of hard work. But the myth that any average player can become master with hard work is idiocy, I've trained many juniors and only the ones displaying a lot of talent become masters.
VVI VVI 4/30/2015 02:21
Well, Anand is still a force to reckon with. He had an excellent chance to beat Carlsen in Roind1 and win Shamkir.
Bertman Bertman 4/29/2015 08:12
@ashperov My suggestion is to set yourself goals step-by step. For example: 1500 Elo would be a good start. The ChessBase Shop has plenty of excellent DVDs to help you achieve your goals.
X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 4/29/2015 04:29
I'll take'im on - no worries! Just gimme 8 years and a parallel universe...
snooper snooper 4/29/2015 04:24
Unbelievable that in a 10 player tournament, a player with RP of 2708 finished last!
KevinC KevinC 4/29/2015 03:42
@ashperov, nothing personal, but I have a strong feeling that your bravado comes from not really having a clue as to how much you don't know, and how much someone like Carlsen knows. It is not as simple as simply working hard, and giving it "a few years", or many other GMs might be where he is.
pat-adv pat-adv 4/29/2015 03:15
@ff2017 I believe that you are right that natural talent makes the difference at the very highest level, but I also believe that hard work is very under-rated. There a good book on this at Amazon called 'Bounce' (no, I'm not the author). I think that the grandmaster title is within the grasp of most enthusiasts if the put the right work into it.
ff2017 ff2017 4/29/2015 02:32
@ashperov I don't know how strong you are naturally, but you're going to need a whole lot more than hard work to have a CHANCE to take down Carlsen. You'll need that once in a generation chess talent. Hard work paired with no natural talent gets you to the master level, you'll need natural talent to go higher.
ashperov ashperov 4/29/2015 12:05
What about me. Give me a few years without work commitments, dedicated physical mental and chess training, and I would give it a go with good chances. I believe it could be the case for many a non-chess-professional. However I don't see anyone jumping out to fund this scheme, so we are left with whats on offer. Whats on offer lacks the beastly vuma that Carlsen has, and Kasparov before him. Big Vlad was just brilliant along with Anand for a long period. But beastly... not quite.
pat-adv pat-adv 4/29/2015 11:48
Wei Yi, in about 5 years...
robotichand robotichand 4/29/2015 11:05
Kasparov
karavamudan karavamudan 4/29/2015 10:23
Who will defeat Carlsen?
1