Carlsen Beats Nakamura in Shamkir, Clear First Again

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 4/27/14, 8:53 AM.

Magnus Carsen is the sole leader again at the Shamkir Chess tournament in Azerbaijan. The World Champion was worse against Hikaru Nakamura but won anyway to set his personal score with the American to 10 wins and 0 losses in classical games. The games Radjabov-Mamedyaro and Karjakin-Caruana ended in draws. In the B group Pavel Eljanov caught Etienne Bacrot in first place by winning their individual encounter.

The seventh round of the Shamkir Chess tournament started with two rather quick draws. The game between Teimour Radjabov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was a rather friendly affair, like so many encounters between the two Azeri top players have been. In fact, of their eight previous classical games that can be found in the database, only one did not end in a draw - the one at the 2010 Astrakhan Grand Prix, when Mamedyarov mysteriously lost on time.

Today the two played an English/Catalan hybrid where White enjoys a tiny edge. Radjabov played it safe with 15.Qe2, and soon after almost all the pieces were traded.

Mamedyarov & Radjabov after their game | Photo: Ahmed Mukhtar

Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana reached move 51, but the game really lasted only 23 moves. From a 8.Rb1 Gruenfeld, in no time an ending was reached that looked familiar to experts: it was from Giri-Caruana, Zug 2013.

“I went for this ending Anish Giri also played. I thought it was a pleasant endgame, winning chances. If Black knows what he's doing it's probably objectively a draw,” said Karjakin. “Chess is a draw. I thought the line was not simple, but perhaps I was wrong.”

“After the game I realized it's a very tricky ending and I analyzed it very deeply, but I couldn't remember everything. It's a little bit worse for Black but objectively it should be defendable,” said Caruana.

Karjakin, who has drawn all of his games, said about the final three rounds: “Anything can happen. Maybe I will be first, maybe I will be last. I'm in a philosophical mood today.”

Karjakin & Caruana discussing the ending | Photo: Ahmed Mukhtar

Every round in the A group there has been at least one decisive game, and it wasn't different on Sunday. Magnus Carlsen also won his second game in Shamkir against Hikaru Nakamura, and so it's the World Champion again who tops the standings alone, with three rounds to go.

Yet again Nakamura managed to get a promising position (during their press conference Caruana and Karjakin agreed that it was dangerous for Carlsen), only to spoil the advantage and even lose. It reminded of course of the dramatic game he played against the same opponent in February in Zurich, but there it was different: Nakamura was clearly winning.

Nakamura wearing a New York Red Bulls shirt...
...with his own name printed on it

Today the American GM had a big advantage and felt he was winning, but he couldn't point out after the game where exactly. It's probably move 26.

After missing his chance, Nakamura was still better. “To lose this position is pathetic basically. Can't find any other words to describe,” Nakamura said himself. “To lose this position takes a lot of talent.”

Carlsen: back in the lead

The B group is suddenly all open as tournament leader Etienne Bacrot lost his first game, to Pavel Eljanov. The two are now in shared first place with two rounds to go. Eljanov has White against Guseinov and Black against Abasov, while Bacrot has Black against Motylev and White against Safarli.

Bacrot-Eljanov, the key game in group B today

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 - Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen   Carlsen - Karjakin
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Caruana - 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 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,M 2881 2864 phpfCo1l0.png 0 0 ½ 11 11 4.5/7
2 Radjabov,T 2713 2835 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½½ ½ ½½ 4.0/7
3 Caruana,F 2783 2778 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½½ 0 3.5/7 13.00
4 Karjakin,Sergey 2772 2772 ½ ½½ ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.5/7 12.50
5 Nakamura,Hi 2772 2747 00 ½ ½½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 3.0/7
6 Mamedyarov,S 2760 2686 00 ½½ 1 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/7

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 - Mamedov
Wang Hao 1-0 Motylev   Wojtaszek - Abasov
Bacrot 0-1 Eljanov   Eljanov - Guseinov
Guseinov ½-½ Wojtaszek   Motylev - Bacrot
Abasov ½-½ Mamedov   Safarli - 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 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Eljanov,Pavel 2732 2781 phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/7 15.00
2 Bacrot,Etienne 2722 2753 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4.5/7 15.00
3 Wang Hao 2734 2715 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 4.0/7 15.75
4 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2716 2726 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1 4.0/7 13.00
5 Guseinov,Gadir 2621 2705 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 ½ 4.0/7 12.00
6 Motylev,Alexander 2685 2657 ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 3.5/7
7 Mamedov,Rauf 2660 2617 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 10.75
8 Abasov,Nijat 2516 2616 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 9.75
9 Durarbayli,Vasif 2584 2562 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.5/7
10 Safarli,Eltaj 2656 2486 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/7

The rounds start at 12:00 Amsterdam, 6am New York and 3am Los Angeles time. The official website is offers daily live commentary at Games via TWICphpfCo1l0.png

21577 reads 71 comments
5 votes


  • 3 years ago


    worst writing ever...headline is carlsen beats nakamura...what game do i see first? a game that doesn't even matter compared to the headline.

  • 3 years ago


    A wealth of endgame knowledge is a mandatory ingredient for the successful player.  Hikaru is strong enough to figure out for himself how to play most endgames; however, it is very difficult and time consuming to calculate endgames.  Future success will hinge on Nakamura's improvement in this area.

  • 3 years ago


    Very impressive that Carlsen comes back from two straight losses with two straight wins. Carlsen's !0-0 record against Nakamura its not unprecedented at this level. Kasparov had a 15-0 record in classical games against Shirov.

  • 3 years ago


    well, @I_Am_Second...

    my rating is too low, but I am not suppossed to be a threat to Carlsen


    A record of 10 losses and 0 victories is a bit weird way to stop Sauron

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen probably got a 80 points+ rating thanks to Naka, 10 victories 0 losses over a top 10 chess player, that's amazing

  • 3 years ago


    "Сhess is a draw," - said Karjakin. With such attitude he will never become the world champion because he is basically wrong about it. As a rule, a match between two Houdini clones results in about 30% of draws. And now in this tournament Carlsen has only 1 draw out of 7 games, which is quite remarkable and is an example for all the other top GMs worth to follow.

    "If Black knows what he's doing it's probably objectively a draw," - Karjakin also said. But this can only be true against another such naive opponent like him, but not against Carlsen. And if it were Houdini that Karjakin had to play with, he would never pronounce this rubbish.

  • 3 years ago


    chessdoggblack whoa cool off, i can't even understand what you mean! the only this that has happened to chess is Magnus Carlsen, i wonder if they were saying the same thing about Kasparov....

  • 3 years ago


    I wonder how many of these posters could play competitively against any of these guys?  But they are good enough to critique Nakaura?

    I would take his rating any day of the week.

  • 3 years ago


    Yet another interesting Nakamura vs Carlsen:

  • 3 years ago


    I KNEW Carson would win.

    He's the greatest chess player all time after micheal tal and bobby fisher (Both of them are about the same strenth, bobby and tal, I mean).

  • 3 years ago


    Did anybody saw that logo on Naka's hand ?

  • 3 years ago


    10-0 ?? Why does Harikiri even bother showing up at the press conference?

  • 3 years ago


    Ok, so Nakamura did play badly but you guys who are bashing him are forgetting something. one none of you could win that position against Carlsen, and also that most of you are under 2000, and are saying that a 2770 is a moron.....this is very disrespecful. Even though i do think Nakamura is a bit arrogent, and i don't really like him, there is no need to be bashing him. londonsystem22 I was thinking the same thing, if there was more rest day's maybe Carlsen would be able to win more?! or maybe it was the opponents.....I"m not sure. 

  • 3 years ago


    @Roeczak, hahaha, well spotted! That is a sad scoresheet indeed.

  • 3 years ago


    I love how Carlsen's games have had decisive results in 7/8 of the rounds. This is why I have so much respect for him as a player, he never plays for the draw; it's all or nothing.

  • 3 years ago


    Some of the comments are really just lol, no?  At best I'm a 2000 USCF wannabe.  I don't have the right to comment on anybody (in relation to chess), in the top 6 round robin.  So why is that, my rating is 2000, the guys in the round robin avg about 2750.  I happen to like Magnus,I would probably like Magnus, even if he wasn't the best.  I think Naka is a little cocky, but pretty sure he would kick my butt. I can hardly deride Naka for having a losing streak against the best chess player ever (by rating).  My level of chess knowledge is insufficient to make intelligent chess related comments (as regards the round robin players), and for all the guys who think they know how the top players in the world should play, and then you click the name and see their rating is 1500, well it's illogical.  (and roflmao)

  • 3 years ago


    Every lock has its key. Sooner, or later, Nakamura will find it. After all, he just has to beat more of the other players in any tournament - and, life at the top will still be good! Further, his ability to improve seem's to come in spurts. Who knows what the future will bring. And, in the mean time, place money in his league ain't bad.....

  • 3 years ago


    hey guys : )


    round 8 begins at april 28th at 3pm azst.. i live in germany for me its UTC+1 so for me the game begins at 7 pm ?


    HELP : P im bit confused :  D

  • 3 years ago


    Nakamura is a loser and still manages to be cocky during the interview. In contrast, Magnus was a modest winner today. I would hate to be a Nakamura fan. Magnus owns him for life.

  • 3 years ago


    Nakamura is too hard on himself. Describing his own play as pathetic in public... I am curious how he will play agaisnt Mamedyarov.    

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