Carlsen Goes Down Against Caruana in Shamkir | Update: VIDEO

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 4/23/14, 9:03 AM.

The Shamkir Chess 2014 tournament is all open again as Fabiano Caruana defeated tournament leader Magnus Carlsen from the white side of a Berlin Ending. The Italian grandmaster was pressing from the start and was then helped by his opponent, who blundered a pawn. The position remained complicated but Caruana managed to win with his passed pawns without getting checkmated. Both Karjakin-Mamedyarov and Radjabov-Nakamura were drawn. In group B Guseinov beat Durarbaily as Black, Mamedov won against Wang Hao and Wojtaszek beat Safarli.

The fourth round of the Shamkir Chess tournament in memory of Vugar Gashimov started with a draw between Sergey Karjakin and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov which took slightly less than two hours. That was a bit of a pity, since the players certainly reached the most interesting position out of the opening from the three A group games.

Update: video report on Caruana-Carlsen

Despite his loss in that opening the other day, Mamedyarov played the Caro-Kann again. Karjakin: “I didn't expect him to go for this line again after his game with Hikaru. I didn't really prepare for this as I had a very long game yesterday but I just remembered that I had an old idea to play this g4,f4, f5, then Be3 and then I remembered it's not easy for Black to find all the correct moves. So I wasn't 'empty' for this game but my idea wasn't enough to get any advantage so a draw was a reasonable result.”

Karjakin also had some nice words for his opponent at the press conference: “I think Shakh started in the Candidates with two losses in the first three games. I was and I am still completely sure that Shakh will show his best in this tournament so that's why he is very dangerous!” he smiled.


But again most chess fans were looking at one game in particular: that of Magnus Carlsen. As the tournament leader and fresh world champion he simply plays the “key game” of the round almost every day. And today, for the first time, things didn't go so well, right from the start.

Thanks to good preparation in the Berlin Ending (which Caruana rarely answers with 4.d3) White had a small edge, and it was clear that he was going to keep it for a while. And then suddenly Carlsen missed a not that difficult tactic that dropped a pawn, and Caruana managed to convert it.


Carlsen described his mood as “indifferent all day”.

“Today I felt from the morning that it's a bad day, I'm not feeling well. Then it's tough against such a good opponent. Maybe I should have played something different in the opening because it's not such a good idea to play like this when you're not in such an inspired mood,“ said Carlsen.

To the typical sports question “how do you feel”, Caruana replied: “In general I like to win and it's also nice to win against Magnus. I don't mind it, you know!”


Caruana also revealed that both he and Hikaru Nakamura are going to play for Padova at the European Club Cup. Quite an interesting bit of news, but unfortunately the journalists were then summoned to "only ask questions about the tournament".

Caruana's new team member played a long and tough draw with Teimour Radjabov. It was all pretty balanced until around move 35, but soon after he traded one pair of rooks Nakamura realized that the rook ending was actually rather difficult for Black. He eventually managed to reach the famous Vancura position… without knowing it or at least all the details.

The writer of this report learnt about this ending thanks to the wonderful little book Secrets of Practical Chess by John Nunn, but obviously it's also treated in standard works such as Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual and even Wikipedia has a decent entry on it! But knowledge of one famous game and excellent calculating qualities can be good enough as well, as Nakamura played the ending flawlessly.


Etienne Bacrot still leads the B group after drawing his black game with Nijat Abasov. Wojtaszek won his second game in row in a 3.f3 Grünfeld (did he use some world Championship preparation there?).


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 - Carlsen
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Caruana - Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov - Karjakin
Round 2 21.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 AZST
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov - Mamedyarov
Caruana ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin - Caruana
Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura   Nakamura - 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 - Caruana   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Carlsen - Radjabov   Nakamura - Radjabov
Nakamura - Karjakin   Carlsen - Caruana

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Round 4 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Caruana,Fabiano 2783 2873 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ 2.5/4 5.50
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2861 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 2.5/4 4.00
3 Karjakin,Sergey 2772 2784 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.00
4 Radjabov,Teimour 2713 2771 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 2.0/4 3.75
5 Nakamura,Hikaru 2772 2784 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.0/4 3.25
6 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2760 2594 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/4

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 - Durarbayli   Durarbayli - Abasov
Safarli - Eljanov   Mamedov - Guseinov
Wang Hao - Wojtaszek   Wojtaszek - Bacrot
Bacrot - Mamedov   Eljanov - Wang Hao
Guseinov   Abasov   Motylev - Safarli
Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 8 28.04.14 15:00 AZST
Safarli - Durarbayli   Durarbayli - Mamedov
Wang Hao - Motylev   Wojtaszek - Abasov
Bacrot - Eljanov   Eljanov - Guseinov
Guseinov - Wojtaszek   Motylev - Bacrot
Abasov - 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 4 Standings

1 Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Bacrot,Etienne 2722 2804 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1 3.0/4
2 Eljanov,Pavel 2732 2749 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ 2.5/4 5.00
3 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2716 2752 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 1 ½ 2.5/4 4.00
4 Motylev,Alexander 2685 2656 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 2.0/4 4.25
5 Abasov,Nijat 2516 2699 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.00
6 Mamedov,Rauf 2660 2701 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 2.0/4 3.50
7 Guseinov,Gadir 2621 2674 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 2.0/4 2.50
8 Wang,Hao 2734 2542 ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 3.50
9 Safarli,Eltaj 2656 2540 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 3.00
10 Durarbayli,Vasif 2584 2507 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/4

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

25356 reads 64 comments
4 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Fabiano has a gamestyle very close to Magnus. Tough sharp on needs. And he is two years younger than the Norvegian. He is the next World champion. And there are other young strong players in Italy who have 13-14 years. Italy is going to be a power in chess in the next 5 years.

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen is such a baby ,he can't accept defeat as boldly as Anand.

  • 3 years ago


    Caruana must reconsider than other russians who qualifies for candidates match....we need a new and young same caliber of Carlsen....Kramnik Topalov they passed their peak....seems Caruana a nightmare to him (Carlsen)

  • 3 years ago


    According to computer analyses, Caruana played almost flawlessly the entire game, while Carlsen drifted a bit; so the result is corresponding, but the level of play is still very high.  What's interesting is that both of Carlsen's most recent losses in classical chess (both of them to Caruana) were in endgames that initially were slightly better for Caruana: so Caruana beat Magnus twice in his own area of typical strength.

    Also amazed that Nakamura could play this Vancura defense exactly according to books without knowing the books.  It's not trivial, and doesn't look obvious, but that's why he's so strong: being able to find even the non-obvious!

    Overall, very high quality from everyone.

  • 3 years ago


    Well, good to know that he is beatable ....  Caruana played one heck of a match I think, he seemed to always be on the initiative and when Carlsen faltered a bit, Caruana punished him for it (something that one often sees from Carlsen).  Now the tournament has become much more intereesting hmmm?  :)

  • 3 years ago


    The World Champion can also lose; Caruana vs Carlsen:

  • 3 years ago


    Harry Potter Strikes Again :)

  • 3 years ago


    Keep in mind that Magnus's performance rating is 2860... to play like this is to still play like a world number 1 :)

  • 3 years ago


    Albatrosses, perhaps you forgot that the candidates tournament is over..

  • 3 years ago


    lol even i saw the pawn blunder xD but yea good game by Caruana! Hope Carlsen can pull off a win tomorrow :) thanks for the article and information!

  • 3 years ago


    He played in his REAL power Embarassed- Let's go to the school, Magnus.Rating 2881 ?I think this error is for about rating 1800Tongue Out mi scusi.

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen can be beaten after all !!!..... Anand haters, watch out.

  • 3 years ago


    The World has found new replacement for Kasparov - Anand rivalry in Caruana - Carlsen...But who's Kasparov and who's Anand we'll have to wait for that...But, now I think both of the previous Giants can rest and choose their disciple...!!!!!!!

  • 3 years ago


    K why are we headlinging carlsen losing to caruana but then not showing it first? please, article writer if there is a big game, SHOW IT FIRST.

  • 3 years ago


    Caruana will have a hard time winning Candidates tournament. Even if he makes it, Carlsen will crush him in the match.

  • 3 years ago


    urra per Fabianooo!!!

  • 3 years ago


    it's mean that People is People...Caruana is a nightmare for Carlsen in every games.


    Good job " Fabio" you can beat World Champion.

  • 3 years ago


    I can not believe that Carlsen actually lost a game!  Life is so unfair!

  • 3 years ago


    Capablanca and Carlsen, similar talent, similar drive, and maybe similar tenure as world champion.  100 yrs apart, blessed by Caissa, born to play chess.

  • 3 years ago


    It's nice to see Carlsen go down! :D Caruana seems to be the only one who isn't scared of him.

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