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Shamkir: Caruana Catches Carlsen Before Tomorrow's Clash

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 4/29/14, 9:28 AM.

Fabiano Caruana caught Magnus Carlsen in first place in the penultimate round of the Shamkir Chess tournament in Azerbaijan. Both scored 5.5/9 and will face each other in tomorrow's final round. Caruana defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov today while Carlsen tried for long to beat Teimour Radjabov, but had to settle for a draw. Pavel Eljanov finished half a point ahead of Alexander Motylev in the B group and dedicated his victory to Vugar Gashimov.

The Shamkir Chess tournament will see an exciting last round where the two tournament leaders, Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, face each other behind the board. Caruana defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who lost the thread in a terribly complicated middlegame.

It was quite a fascinating game which started as a Slav. It looked quite similar to Mamedyarov-Nakamura played on Monday. The difficult queenless middlegame mostly required calculation, and so both players got low on time. In the end it was Mamedyarov who started to make mistakes.

Karjakin and Nakamura played some kind of hybrid of the h3 variation and the Petrosian variation of the King's Indian. Black could trade the dark-squared bishops early in the game, and the white king lost the possibility to castle. But there was never any real crisis; both players played accurately and many pieces and pawns were traded until Karjakin's ninth draw was a fact.

Radjabov and Carlsen played a Closed Ruy Lopez and it's not exactly clear which variation it was: the Zaitsev, the Smyslov or the Breyer. In any case, the position was rather closed, and after the queens were traded the game seemed to be heading towards a draw but Carlsen kept on trying. Eventually the draw was agreed on the 101st move!

In case Carlsen and Caruana draw their game tomorrow, tournament victory will go to the world champion. The tournament regulations might have been formulated somewhat ambiguously, but Chief Arbiter Faik Gasanov confirmed to Chess.com that number of wins will decide in this case. 

Caruana said about his and Carlsen's play, and tomorrow's clash: “It's hard to say who's played the best chess. I think every chess has had some good moments and some bad moments. It was a tough tournament. I don't know when Magnus lost two games in any tournament, especially two games in a row. It's quite a rare occasion. Still wide open tomorrow, anything can happen. I'll just try to play a normal game and I don't want to worry about the result. I'll just see what happens.”

There was no doubt that Pavel Eljanov, who was a point clear, would win the B group. With a quick and boring draw with Nijat Abasov (an Exchange Slav where, except for two knights, everything got exchanged, not just the c-pawns) the Ukrainian GM secured the first prize. In the end it was European Champion Alexander Motylev who finished second. In the last round he defeated Gadir Guseinov.

Pavel Eljanov, the winner in “B”

At night, many players of the B group, who are now done in Shamkir, could be found in the hotel bar to watch the Bayern-Real match. However, since this match was decided at such an early stage, they quickly started playing blitz. Sarkhan Gashimov, who won the San Sebastian blitz tournament a few years ago, also joined. The king of the evening was Guseinov, a remarkably strong blitz player!

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 1-0 Mamedyarov
Radjabov ½-½ Nakamura   Radjabov ½-½ Carlsen
Caruana 1-0 Carlsen   Karjakin ½-½ 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 9 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Caruana,Fabiano 2783 2846 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½½ ½1 ½½ 01 5.5/9 23.75
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2836 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½½ 11 11 5.5/9 20.75
3 Karjakin,Sergey 2772 2784 ½½ ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½½ ½ 4.5/9 21.25
4 Radjabov,Teimour 2713 2796 ½0 ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½½ 4.5/9 20.25
5 Nakamura,Hikaru 2772 2789 ½½ 00 ½½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 11 4.5/9 17.25
6 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2760 2620 10 00 ½ ½½ 00 phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/9

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 ½-½ Durarbayli        
Bacrot ½-½ Safarli        
Guseinov 0-1 Motylev        
Abasov ½-½ Eljanov        
Mamedov 1-0 Wojtaszek        

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Eljanov,Pavel 2732 2775 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 6.0/9
2 Motylev,Alexander 2685 2738 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 5.5/9
3 Wang Hao 2734 2694 1 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 5.0/9 23.75
4 Bacrot,Etienne 2722 2695 0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½ 5.0/9 20.25
5 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2716 2657 0 1 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 4.5/9
6 Abasov,Nijat 2516 2640 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 0 ½ 4.0/9 18.50
7 Mamedov,Rauf 2660 2625 ½ 0 1 0 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ ½ 4.0/9 18.00
8 Durarbayli,Vasif 2584 2632 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ 4.0/9 18.00
9 Guseinov,Gadir 2621 2628 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 4.0/9 16.25
10 Safarli,Eltaj 2656 2543 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 3.0/9

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


11624 reads 55 comments
2 votes

Comments


  • 6 months ago

    Bjarkoff

    I'm rooting for Karjakin here

  • 6 months ago

    albatrosses

    It is very clear from the tourney rules that the greater number of wins is the first tiebreak criterion. Why do people keep on interpreting otherwise? Carlsen wins tourney with a draw or win.

  • 6 months ago

    CP6033

    I hope that Carlsen will play for a win tommorow, just playing for a draw is boring!

  • 6 months ago

    gordonbaker

    according to the rules, if Magnus draws tomorrow against Caruana, he will be the winner of the tournament

  • 6 months ago

    NM alwaysgoingtowin2

    Carlsen will just draw caruana and win the tournament since he has more wins

  • 6 months ago

    CP6033

    InternetHacker it will be posted later...

  • 6 months ago

    InternetHacker

    No pictures ? extremely unpleasant !

  • 6 months ago

    b2b2

    Given Mamedyarov's tactical issues, preparation is key.  If the position is unknown to him his results suffer.  As the youngest participant (20 yrs) Caruana has the highest potential; a factor of which Carlsen is well aware.  Unlike other players, Caruana's endgame is just as good as the rest of his game.  Carlsen's natural talent will be put to the test in the last round.

  • 6 months ago

    pundai_aandi

    lol Karjak all draws

  • 6 months ago

    chikenalong

    I think the way it is set is perfect to avoid boring games. the rule is 1st. #wins  2nd. wins vs opp 3rd. tie-breaker match

  • 6 months ago

    fabelhaft

    There will be no tiebreak match since the rules are copied from the MTel and Bazna tournaments, and in the latter Carlsen won on tiebreak ahead of Karjakin in 2011. It's only tiebreak match if all the criteria are equal.

  • 6 months ago

    CP6033

    Melchizedek10  I totally agree with you, even just 4  five minute blitz game's wouldn't be hard to put in....they should add this into lower tournaments as well.....in my opinion 

  • 6 months ago

    Practicality

    @Bryan It's a scoring/tiebreak system. In this tournament it's the third tie-break after number of wins and direct matches. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonneborn-Berger_score

  • 6 months ago

    Farewell314

    What does SB mean in the standings?

  • 6 months ago

    chikenalong

    @PrinceAAwe @Nozoziom you 2 guys either do not understand english very well or have a very low reading comprehension ability

  • 6 months ago

    Zinsch

    @chikenalong: It would be more exciting, if the player with the white pieces would be forced to win, instead of the player with the black pieces. It's just so tough to win with black, when all that white needs is a draw.

  • 6 months ago

    Nozoziom

    I think according to those rules, if they draw they will play tie-breaks ( a greater number of wins doesn't apply because exactly 2 players tie for a first place ). At least that's how I understand rules pasted here by PrinceAAwe.

  • 6 months ago

    Roeczak

    Karjakin needs one more draw to be the absolute drawmaster, since abasov also has 9 draws.

  • 6 months ago

    viscountvictor

    A dismal showing from Karjakin imo, he could at least try to win some games...

  • 6 months ago

    TheMagicianPaul

    Only 1 draw left Karjakin! You can do it!

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