Anand-Carlsen In 1st Round Shamkir Chess

Anand-Carlsen In 1st Round Shamkir Chess

| 29 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Magnus Carlsen has Black against GM Viswanathan Anand in Friday's first round of the Shamkir Chess tournament.

The second memorial for Vugar Gashimov was officially opened on Thursday night in the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Shamkir. Among the people who gave speeches were the father of Vugar, and also Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

The FIDE president was looking forward to two big events that will be held in Azerbaijan's capital in the near future: the World Cup, later this year, and the Olympiad next year. For the latter, a “chess castle” will be built, according to Ilyumzhinov.

A brief press conference with all players was held after the opening ceremony.

After the speeches the drawing of lots followed, performed by Chief Arbiter Faik Gasanov. It resulted in the following pairings for the first round (lot numbers between parentheses):

Kramnik (1) - Adams (10)
So (2) - Giri (9)
Mamedov (3) - Vachier-Lagrave (8)
Anand (4) - Carlsen (7)
Mamedyarov (5) - Caruana (6)

(See below for the full pairings.)

Here's a video with comments by Carlsen and Kramnik:

“I think the pairing objectively for me is...terrible,” said the Carlsen, with a smile, during the press conference that was held right after. “Five Black games and a very difficult Black game with Anand in the first round. But we'll see how it goes.”

Carlsen on his pairing: “terrible.” asked Wesley So how he looks back at the U.S. Championship, and how he looks forward to this tournament. At first he seemed to be avoiding anything that happened last week:

“I'm just very glad to be here in Shamkir, my first time in Azerbaijan. I'm very happy to be here; everything seems to be going well. It's a big honor for me to be in this tournament, to be with the top players, especially with World Champion Magnus Carlsen.”

But then So added: “And I'm just glad to be in different city, other than St. Louis, which turned out to be the worst tournament of my life.”

Wesley So: Happy to leave St. Louis behind him.

Kramnik was confronted with a remark by Carlsen the other day, who had called him his most difficult opponent in Shamkir.

Kramnik: “I think it's just connected with the fact that so far I'm the only one who can manage not to have a disastrous score against Magnus. But it will be probably changed pretty soon!”

Kramnik faces Carlsen as Black in round seven.

Maybe Kramnik forgot a few people there — especially Giri had reason to frown!

Shamkir Chess 2015 | Schedule & Pairings

Round 1 17.04.15 15:00 AZST   Round 2 18.04.15 15:00 AZST
Kramnik - Adams   Adams - Caruana
So - Giri   Carlsen - Mamedyarov
Mamedov - Vachier-Lagrave   Vachier-Lagrave - Anand
Anand - Carlsen   Giri - Mamedov
Mamedyarov - Caruana   Kramnik - So
Round 3 19.04.15 15:00 AZST   Round 4 20.04.15 15:00 AZST
So - Adams   Adams - Carlsen
Mamedov - Kramnik   Vachier-Lagrave - Caruana
Anand - Giri   Giri - Mamedyarov
Mamedyarov - Vachier-Lagrave   Kramnik - Anand
Caruana - Carlsen   So - Mamedov
Round 5 21.04.15 15:00 CET   Round 6 23.04.15 15:00 AZST
Mamedov - Adams   Adams - Vachier-Lagrave
Anand - So   Giri - Carlsen
Mamedyarov - Kramnik   Kramnik - Caruana
Caruana - Giri   So - Mamedyarov
Carlsen   Vachier-Lagrave   Mamedov - Anand
Round 7 24.04.15 15:00 CET   Round 8 24.04.15 15:00 AZST
Anand - Adams   Adams - Giri
Mamedyarov - Mamedov   Kramnik - Vachier-Lagrave
Caruana - So   So - Carlsen
Carlsen - Kramnik   Mamedov - Caruana
Vachier-Lagrave - Giri   Anand - Mamedyarov
Round 9 25.04.15 15:00 AZST        
Mamedyarov - Adams        
Caruana - Anand        
Carlsen - Mamedov        
Vachier-Lagrave - So        
Giri - Kramnik        


The tournament runs April 17-26 with a rest day on April 22. The location is the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Shamkir. The total prize fund is 100,000 Euros.

The rate of play will be 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 61 onwards.

Not only you are looking forward to the tournament, so are the players. Here are some tweets they sent:


Een foto die is geplaatst door Fabiano Caruana (@fabianocaruana) op16 Apr 2015 om 3:38 PDT

Like last year, Shamkir Chess 2015 games will have live coverage in three languages. The English-language commentary, by GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko, will be available every round on starting at 3 pm local time (12 pm Amsterdam, 11 am London, 6 am New York, 3 am Los Angeles, 8 pm Sydney).

Previous reports:

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