Carlsen loses twice in a row in Gashimov memorial
Certainly, this is not something you can say everyday. But it´s a fact, Magnus Carlsen has lost his last two classical games, in the 4th and 5th rounds of the Shamkir Chess Tournament. Can anybody remember which was the last time he lost 2 classical games? It seems as if it was the Grand Slam in Bilbao, 2010 where he started the tournament losing to Kramnik and Anand back to back. So let us see what happened.
He started the tournament extremely well, beating Mamedyarov and Nakamura in the first two games. After this, people were talking about how well did he have to perform to reach 2900 rating, how strong he was playing, etc. And with some good, reason; Carlsen was showing his genuine style, strangling his opponents slowly but steadily.
In the 3rd round he faced Karjakin with the black pieces. An (yet another) interesting 4.f3 Nimzo indian went out really well for the norwegian and he was fighting for the victory for a long time. But eventually Karjakin was able to draw.
In the 4th round, as he admitted in the press conference, Magnus played without much interest and was slowly outplayed by Fabiano Caruana in a Berlin endgame. Carlsen had some counterplay for being two pawns down but Caruana didnt lose control of the position and the World Champion had finally to resign. A very instructive game in my opinion.
And finally we reach the 5th round, when Carlsen had white pieces against Radjabov. The Hungarian system of the KID appeared on the board and Teimour showed why he is considered one of the biggest leaders of the KID in the world, handling the opening with class. White´s somehow erratic and timid game in the opening gave black a solid and comfortable position, and when Magnus tried to be creative in the kingside it wasn´t enough. A materially imbalanced endgame was very favourable for black and eventaully Carlsen had to resign a game for the second day in a row.
And suddenly, Carlsen finds himself sharing the 5/6 in the standings and losing some ELO points. Teimour Radjabov is the leader with 3/5 points before the rest day. On friday, the players will play the same opponents as in the 1st round but with different colours, so we still have 5 rounds of elite chess coming.
See you there and thanks for passing by!