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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


11832 reads 55 comments
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Comments


  • 7 months ago

    albatrosses

    The Shamkir tourney rules say that the first tiebreak criterion is the greater number of wins.  Thus, Carlsen only needs a draw to win the tournament.  It is his tournament to lose.  I believe Magnus will play for a win with the White pieces.  

  • 7 months ago

    PrinceAAwe

    very nice tournament so far!

  • 7 months ago

    chikenalong

    If they draw tomorrow carlsen will win because he has won more games than caruana, so Caruana has to play for the win. Can we ask for a better finish? impossible!!!!! Caruana is, in fact, the real threat to Magnus' kingdom and not big mouth/head of Nakamuloser 

  • 7 months ago

    noel448

    Does anyone know what the tiebreaker is? Please someone report this, thanks.

  • 7 months ago

    Melchizedek10

    I don't like some of the tie break system.  I think most fair would be a rapid or blitz playoff.

  • 7 months ago

    polimorpho

    being the number of wins means that Carlsen won srategicaly and with white he can just make it draw for sure. 

  • 7 months ago

    polimorpho

    in double round robin first tie break must be direct score, wich would put caruana playing for a draw !

  • 7 months ago

    theKingSwings

    I didnot expect Mamedyarov to finish last in this tournament.

  • 7 months ago

    DrCheckevertim

    It seems like everyone beats Mamedyarov.

  • 7 months ago

    gabriel112000

    Why is Karjakin drawing all his games?

  • 7 months ago

    Zinsch

    I believe that the first tie-breaker is number of victories. Carlsen has the edge there.

  • 7 months ago

    JSayers

    So what is the tiebreak format in case of a draw tomorrow?

  • 7 months ago

    bongcloudftw

    Go karjakin! one more draw to go!

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