Anand Wins Again In Shamkir, Now Half-Point Behind Carlsen

Anand Wins Again In Shamkir, Now Half-Point Behind Carlsen

| 80 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Viswanathan Anand won again in round eight of the Shamkir Chess tournament: he beat GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The Indian grandmaster is now half a point behind GM Magnus Carlsen, who drew with GM Wesley So.

GM Vladimir Kramnik recovered somewhat as he beat GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who wasn't in great shape today. The same can be said about GM Anish Giri, who was lost against GM Michael Adams almost right out of the opening.

Our video of the eighth round in Shamkir:

A double déjà vu, that is how Vishy Anand's victory against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov can be descrided today. As our commentator GM Dejan Bojkov points out, the game was quite similar to his win against Mickey Adams the other day: an exchange sac, a bishop on the a2-g8 diagonal, and 1-0.

That's where the comparison should end, except for one more perhaps: Anand simply played another excellent game. He finished shared first in Zurich (but lost a tiebreak) and now he still has chances to win this tournament.

Another fine win for Anand vs Mamedyarov (with Carlsen being more than interested!)

To's question how Anand got to play the Four Knights with 7.Ne2!?, the Indian replied: “Well, to be honest my second [GM Grzegorz Gajewski - PD] just showed my this line and said, why don't you try it, it's rather unusual. This Chinese player Wei Yi had just played it a few days back. (...) 

“With Shakhriyar I have the same problem that it's very difficult to be sure what he will do. I had to prepare other things as well. This seemed like a nice system to keep in hand. And then I did some work in the other stuff that I expected from him as well.

Anand explained how he got to playing the Four Knights.

“I would obviously prefer to have stuff ready without this last-minute pressure but on the other hand I have to admit that this last-minute is when I get some of my most productive ideas. That's just the way it is. The morning before the game somehow I find myself asking the right questions. Generally I get good work done, even if it's a bit in panic.

“At home you try to think up some concepts which you can use but I always end up preparing at the last minute anyway.”

GM Magnus Carlsen saw his lead shrink to half a point as he drew his black game with GM Wesley So. The Norwegian got some initiative on the queenside and the computers liked his chances but as soon as all the minor pieces left the board it was very drawish.

Carlsen “drops” half a point vs So.

After his unique series of three losses in a row, GM Vladimir Kramnik doesn't have much to play for, but that doesn't mean he won't try. This is what he said yesterday, and today the ex-world champion kept his promise.

Against GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave he played the King's Indian Attack and it's interesting to see how Kramnik handled the opening: postponing the development of the queen's knight, and eventually developing it to a3.

MVL immediately made an inaccuracy, then couldn't find the right plan and before he knew it he was looking at a hopeless position.

A concentrated Kramnik scored a good win today.

Kramnik: “Fortunately the position was for me so nice, [there] was not so much to calculate really. Otherwise of course I would have blundered something.

“I was even thinking yesterday: usually if you miss some little detail in some little line, nothing bad happens but with me, I'm simply lost immediately, from an equal position. So it was also a little bit unlucky.

“Everybody miscalculates something, I mean Magnus in the first round blundered a pawn more or less, but still it was fightable. Somehow I manage to blunder in such a way that I cannot save the game anymore.

“I should work of course definitely on my physical shape and on my calculation skills.”

After a long week, GM Michael Adams finally scored his first victory. Against GM Anish Giri's Najdorf he played 6.g3, and Giri chose a Scheveningen setup with 6...e6.

The game turned into a Classical Scheveningen, except that white had his bishop already on g2 instead of f3. That is why Giri didn't play “classical” moves such as ...Rf8-e8 and ...Bd7-c8. “I had seen some games where Black goes ...d6-d5,” he said.

That never came about, though. Black's action in the center didn't work out well, and then he made things worse by taking a pawn on c2 that was full of poison. Not Giri's best day.

Adams scores his first win in Shamkir, against Giri.

GM Rauf Mamedov keeps on playing the solid chess he has been showing from the start. Today he drew his game with GM Fabiano Caruana in another 9.d4 Ruy Lopez (just like against Adams in round 5) where he showed excellent calculation skills:

Another perfectly fine game for the lowest player on rating! 

Shamkir Chess 2015 | Schedule & Results

Round 1 17.04.15 15:00 AZST   Round 2 18.04.15 15:00 AZST
Kramnik 1-0 Adams   Adams ½-½ Caruana
So 1-0 Giri   Carlsen 1-0 Mamedyarov
Mamedov ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave   Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Anand
Anand ½-½ Carlsen   Giri ½-½ Mamedov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Caruana   Kramnik ½-½ So
Round 3 19.04.15 15:00 AZST   Round 4 20.04.15 15:00 AZST
So 1-0 Adams   Adams ½-½ Carlsen
Mamedov ½-½ Kramnik   Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Caruana
Anand ½-½ Giri   Giri ½-½ Mamedyarov
Mamedyarov ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave   Kramnik ½-½ Anand
Caruana 0-1 Carlsen   So 1-0 Mamedov
Round 5 21.04.15 15:00 CET   Round 6 23.04.15 15:00 AZST
Mamedov ½-½ Adams   Adams ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave
Anand 1-0 So   Giri ½-½ Carlsen
Mamedyarov 1-0 Kramnik   Kramnik 0-1 Caruana
Caruana ½-½ Giri   So ½-½ Mamedyarov
Carlsen 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave   Mamedov ½-½ Anand
Round 7 24.04.15 15:00 CET   Round 8 24.04.15 15:00 AZST
Anand 1-0 Adams   Adams 1-0 Giri
Mamedyarov ½-½ Mamedov   Kramnik 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave
Caruana 1-0 So   So ½-½ Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Kramnik   Mamedov ½-½ Caruana
Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Giri   Anand 1-0 Mamedyarov
Round 9 25.04.15 15:00 AZST        
Mamedyarov - Adams        
Caruana - Anand        
Carlsen - Mamedov        
Vachier-Lagrave - So        
Giri - Kramnik        


Shamkir Chess 2015 | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen 2863 2968 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 6.0/8
2 Anand 2791 2905 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 5.5/8
3 Caruana 2802 2812 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 4.5/8 16.00
4 So 2788 2817 ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 1 4.5/8 16.00
5 Mamedov 2658 2733 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3.5/8 13.00
6 Kramnik 2783 2728 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 1 3.5/8 12.75
7 Mamedyarov 2756 2737 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.5/8 12.75
8 Giri 2790 2683 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 3.0/8 13.00
9 Vachier Lagrave 2765 2685 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 3.0/8 11.50
10 Adams 2745 2692 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 3.0/8 11.50


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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