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Caruana Clear Second in Shamkir, Two Rounds To Go

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 4/28/14, 8:37 AM.

With a quick draw against Sergey Karjakin it's still Magnus Carlsen who is the sole leader at the Shamkir Chess tournament in Azerbaijan. Fabiano Caruana moved to clear second place with a win against Teimour Radjabov. On a bad day for Azeri chess, Hikaru Nakamura recovered with a win as Black against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Pavel Eljanov will most probably win the B group; he is a point clear after beating Gadir Guseinov in a model game, while Etienne Bacrot lost his second game in a row, to Alexander Motylev

All photos © Ahmed Mukhtar

Before discussing round 8, first here's a video interview with Fakhriyar Jabbarov of Synergy Group, the main sponsor of the tournament. Mr Jabbarov is the Director of the Organizing Committee. He explains what his company is doing, where the tournament “suddenly” came from and more:

The eighth round started with a rather tame encounter between the two top players born in 1990. It was the eighth consecutive draw for Sergey Karjakin, who admitted at the press conference that by now he can be called the “king of draws”!


Carlsen did not manage to get anything out of the opening - a Queen's Indian with the not so popular 5.Nbd2 - and then miscalculated something. He intended 16.Nd4, but then spotted 16...Rxd4! and 17...Nd2 which leads to an equal position.

After the game Carlsen felt that he should have gone for it anyway, because he was a bit uncomfortable about his position. “It's me who has to work to coordinate my pieces.”

More generally, Carlsen said about the game: “Obviously I am not 100% satisfied but it was a normal game. I was trying to play for a win with no risk, but it turns out there was no risk for him! After all the adventures that happened in my other games, I think it's OK to play one normal game.”

Just like in the first half of the tournament Hikaru Nakamura bounced back from his loss against Carlsen with a win against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. “I played what I suspect is a dubious opening, but it's interesting,” he said.

It was a Slav with a fianchetto on g2 for White, where Black's set-up was a bit provocative. White got a chance to grab the center, develop his queen's bishop with tempo and castle queenside, and it was clear he had the better chances. But then he allowed ...b7-b6, and Black was getting counter play.

Nakamura saw the exchange sac 24.Rxe6 coming. “I think Black should be better but I am not sure.” When Mamedyarov committed two inaccuracies, Black was definitely better and won deservedly. “Probably a good game overall,” said Nakamura.

If Fabiano Caruana and Teimour Radjabov had drawn their game, all results in rounds 6, 7 and 8 would have been completely mirrored from the first half. Instead, Caruana won as Radjabov overestimated his chances, and played a bit too aggressively.

The Azeri GM is still doing well with his King's Indian, and the position was rather unclear when Caruana went for a forced line that involved an Exchange sacrifice. Later Radjabov gave back the material and it was still more or less balanced, until he allowed the white c-pawn move to c7. If he hadn't been in time trouble he would certainly have noticed that that was decisive.

The B group has been more or less decided already. Etienne Bacrot, who has had problems in the past with final rounds, lost two his second game in a row while co-leader Pavel Eljanov easily won against Gadir Guseinov. It was another very instructive game by the Ukrainian GM, who is a point clear with one round to go:

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Pairings & results

Round 1 20.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 6 26.04.14 15:00 AZST
Carlsen 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov 0-1 Carlsen
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Caruana ½-½ Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov ½-½ Karjakin
Round 2 21.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 AZST
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov ½-½ Mamedyarov
Caruana ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Caruana
Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura   Nakamura 0-1 Carlsen
Round 3 22.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 8 28.04.14 15:00 AZST
Nakamura 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov 0-1 Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen   Carlsen ½-½ Karjakin
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Caruana 1-0 Radjabov
Round 4 23.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST
Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov   Caruana - Mamedyarov
Radjabov ½-½ Nakamura   Radjabov - Carlsen
Caruana 1-0 Carlsen   Karjakin - Nakamura
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 10 30.04.14 13:00 AZST
Mamedyarov 1-0 Caruana   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Carlsen 0-1 Radjabov   Nakamura - Radjabov
Nakamura ½-½ Karjakin   Carlsen - Caruana

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2852 phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½½ 0 11 11 5.0/8
2 Caruana,Fabiano 2783 2813 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½1 ½½ 0 4.5/8
3 Karjakin,Sergey 2772 2785 ½½ ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½ ½ 4.0/8 16.75
4 Radjabov,Teimour 2713 2785 1 ½0 ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½½ 4.0/8 15.75
5 Nakamura,Hikaru 2772 2791 00 ½½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 11 4.0/8 13.50
6 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2760 2646 00 1 ½ ½½ 00 phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/8

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Pairings & results

Round 1 20.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 2 21.04.14 15:00 AZST
Wojtaszek ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli 0-1 Bacrot
Eljanov ½-½ Mamedov   Guseinov ½-½ Wang Hao
Motylev ½-½ Abasov   Abasov ½-½ Safarli
Safarli ½-½ Guseinov   Mamedov 0-1 Motylev
Wang Hao ½-½ Bacrot   Wojtaszek 0-1 Eljanov
Round 3 22.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 4 23.04.14 15:00 AZST
Eljanov ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli 0-1 Guseinov
Motylev 0-1 Wojtaszek   Abasov ½-½ Bacrot
Safarli ½-½ Mamedov   Mamedov 1-0 Wang Hao
Wang Hao ½-½ Abasov   Wojtaszek 1-0 Safarli
Bacrot 1-0 Guseinov   Eljanov ½-½ Motylev
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 6 26.04.14 15:00 AZST
Motylev ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli ½-½ Abasov
Safarli 0-1 Eljanov   Mamedov ½-½ Guseinov
Wang Hao ½-½ Wojtaszek   Wojtaszek ½-½ Bacrot
Bacrot 1-0 Mamedov   Eljanov 0-1 Wang Hao
Guseinov 0-1 Abasov   Motylev 1-0 Safarli
Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 8 28.04.14 15:00 AZST
Safarli ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli 1-0 Mamedov
Wang Hao 1-0 Motylev   Wojtaszek ½-½ Abasov
Bacrot 0-1 Eljanov   Eljanov 1-0 Guseinov
Guseinov ½-½ Wojtaszek   Motylev 1-0 Bacrot
Abasov ½-½ Mamedov   Safarli ½-½ Wang Hao
Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST        
Wang Hao - Durarbayli        
Bacrot - Safarli        
Guseinov - Motylev        
Abasov - Eljanov        
Mamedov - Wojtaszek        

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Round 8 Standings

Name Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Eljanov,Pavel 2732 2809 phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5.5/8
2 Wang Hao 2734 2708 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 4.5/8 19.50
3 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2716 2700 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/8 17.00
4 Bacrot,Etienne 2722 2700 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 ½ 1 1 4.5/8 16.75
5 Motylev,Alexander 2685 2708 ½ 0 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 4.5/8 16.25
6 Guseinov,Gadir 2621 2665 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ ½ 4.0/8
7 Abasov,Nijat 2516 2628 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 3.5/8 13.50
8 Durarbayli,Vasif 2584 2618 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 3.5/8 13.25
9 Mamedov,Rauf 2660 2568 ½ 1 0 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 3.0/8
10 Safarli,Eltaj 2656 2520 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/8

The rounds start at 12:00 Amsterdam, 6am New York and 3am Los Angeles time. The official website is www.shamkirchess.az. Chess.com offers daily live commentary at www.chess.com/tv. Games via TWICphpfCo1l0.png


9312 reads 37 comments
4 votes

Comments


  • 5 months ago

    thought_control

    Ha Ha Ha!!! (at GM Nakamura)  I hope he NEVER beats WC GM Carlson. 

  • 5 months ago

    ViktorHNielsen

    First title which doesn't have Magnus in it

  • 5 months ago

    yogiOK

    Carlsen and Caruana in the last round will be a great game, and that is where the tournament will be decided.

  • 5 months ago

    rajnikant001

    no matter what happens tommorrow, i believe that final round will be the most exciting and hopefully we would be able to see some exciting game by player

  • 5 months ago

    DJOKER27

    Likely it won't. Caruana has to win tomorrow vs Mamedyarov to even have a chance to due to Tiebreaks. I'd give Radjabov a bigger chance to win it all than Carauana because he has white vs Carlsen who is in my opinion in shaky form despite his results. Caruana will be able to do nothing with black vs Carlsen in the final round.

  • 5 months ago

    Basrohs

    This is one of the most exciting tournaments I've seen in a long time all thanks to Magnus' wild scores. This will likely end in a battle for first between Carlsen and Caruana in an exciting final round game. Magnus has likely learned his lesson and taken the time to quickly draw draw master Karjakin so that he might conserve energy for the next two days.

  • 5 months ago

    -waller-

    Karjakin is the new Leko ...

  • 5 months ago

    CP6033

    Bacrot, two rounds ago was sole leader, now he is in fourth place! with a win next round he could maybe place second....

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