Shamkir: Nakamura Beats Mamedyarov, Carlsen Maintains Lead | Update: VIDEO
In the third round of the Shamkir Chess 2014 tournament's A group Hikaru Nakamura defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. In a Caro-Kann Advance variation, the U.S. grandmaster profited from a risky pawn move on the kingside by his opponent, and won with an attack on the king. Magnus Carlsen came close to winning his third consecutive game, but he dropped his first half point as Black against Sergey Karjakin. Teimour Radjabov and Fabiano Caruana drew quickly in the theoretical 8.Rb1 line of the Grünfeld. In the B group Etienne Bacrot tops the standings after another win.
While a thunderstorm raged outside, the quiet auditorium of the Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir saw another exciting round of chess today. Tournament leader Magnus Carlsen had chances to win his third game, but after almost six hours he had to settle for a draw against Sergey Karjakin. The Norwegian maintained his one-point lead as Teimour Radjabov and Fabiano Caruana also drew their game. The fight between tail-enders Hikaru Nakamura and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was decided in favor of the American, who developed a winning attack when his opponent weakened the kingside too much.
Update: video report round 3
For both Caruana and Radjabov, whose game didn't add much new to the theory of the 8.Rb1 Grünfeld, it was the third draw in the tournament. At the press conference they were asked if they're satisfied with this.
Radjabov: “I'm just playing game after game, I'm not really considering the result. Today I wanted to press but Black played very precise. It's too early to draw conclusions.”
Caruana: “Three rounds is still early to say since game yesterday had very little content and today it was very forced.”
There were also some questions about Carlsen. Caruana said he is not treating the Norwegian differently: “There's not much of a mystery to Carlsen. He simply plays good moves and that's why he wins games. Some people think it's about hypnosis. I don't really believe in that.”
Radjabov: “In the end he is a human. He also makes mistakes. A bit less recently, but he does.”
Caruana: “I think that it's possible to compete with him. All the players can play perfect computer games on any day. He manages to do it a bit more but I still think that you just have to approach it like any other player, like any other game. You should just play the best moves, and if you play well you shouldn't lose.”
The term “bouncing back” might be used a bit too often in chess reports, but it was certainly an apt description for Hikaru Nakamura today, after his loss against Carlsen the other day. He was helped by his opponent though, as the opening wasn't that successful for the American.
“I felt like being creative and it probably wasn't a good idea,” said Nakamura about taking on c5 on move 8. This probably won't be repeated on the highest level any time soon, because Black is just fine there.
But then it was Shakhriyar Mamedyarov's turn to be “creative” with moves like 13…Qb4 and 17…h6, which were OK, but 18…g5 was way too dangerous. Soon after, a long and forcing line came on the board where the tactics clearly worked in White's favor.
During the press conference Nakamura said about his tournament thus far: “I feel like I've played two bad games and one good game with the exception of a few moves. Somehow [there are] different results than I've played in the games. But I haven't played well, that's for sure. Maybe I've had too much time off from chess, but I'm still on an even score. To win after yesterday is of course very nice. OK, I just have to play better though, in general.”
After about an hour into the round it seemed likely that Magnus Carlsen was going to score his third point. Against Sergey Karjakin's 4.f3 Nimzo-Indian he fared much better than the last two times he faced this opening, thanks to the move 6…Nh5.
Carlsen got “a pretty nice position out of the opening,” as he said himself, but this time he didn't manage to exploit it. “I started to worry very quickly,” smiled Karjakin. “Of course I didn't expect 6…Nh5 but this is probably a very big line which I didn't know. I prepared for five hours but still I didn't manage to guess this move.”
The Russian GM said that he played “a few very bad moves” in the opening and after that he feared for his life. “I felt I was much worse and I was very much down on time. Somehow I managed to reach the time control in a more or less good position - it could have been much worse. And then… I didn't lose.”
The B group saw another very exciting round with three interesting draws and two decisive games. Alexander Motylev had a “total collapse of preparation” and went down against Radek Wojtaszek, whose 7…Ne5 could be quite significant for theory. Perhaps White should indeed try 10.b4 next time.
Etienne Bacrot is the sole leader in the group after a second win, against Gadir Guseinov. This King's Indian variation with 7…exd4 is popular among Azeri players, but the Frenchman is a bit of an expert too.
Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Pairings & results
|Round 1||20.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 6||26.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 2||21.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 7||27.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 3||22.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 8||28.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 4||23.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 9||29.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 5||24.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 10||30.04.14||13:00 AZST|
Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Round 3 Standings
Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Pairings & results
|Round 1||20.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 2||21.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 3||22.04.14||15:00 AZST||Round 4||23.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 5||24.04.14||15:00 CET||Round 6||26.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 7||27.04.14||15:00 CET||Round 8||28.04.14||15:00 AZST|
|Round 9||29.04.14||15:00 AZST|
Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Round 3 Standings