Baku GP R4: Caruana Beats Mamedyarov, Joins Gelfand in the Lead

Baku GP R4: Caruana Beats Mamedyarov, Joins Gelfand in the Lead

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Oct 5, 2014, 6:11 PM |
25 | Chess Event Coverage

Fabiano Caruana joined Boris Gelfand in the lead in round 4 of the Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan. The Italian grandmaster was attacked by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov but calculated well and refuted his opponent's sacrifices. The other five games ended in draws.

Let's start by explaining the reason for this delayed report: the whole Chess.com team has been traveling to get together for a company meetup, including yours truly. After spending lots of hours in airplanes, I can finally post the article with all games annotated. (I'm sort of lucky that today is a rest day in Baku so that I didn't get caught up by round 5!)

You know that Caruana joined Gelfand in the lead, and from the game it can only be concluded that he was much helped by his opponent. In a relatively quiet Slav, Mamedyarov chose the wild plan of ...Be7 and ...g4 before castling which might have scared a lesser opponent. 

Caruana found the strong knight maneuver Ne2-f4 and forced Black to continue with a number of sacrifices which weren't going to be successful. With accurate calculation he could wear repell the attack and cash the point.

Caruana showing some fun lines at the press conference. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Gelfand's draw with Dominguez was highly theoretical, but it didn't add much to existing theory. In a Sicilian Sveshnikov (the old main line with 9.Nd5 and 11.c3) no less than 25 moves had been played before! By then the position with only heavy pieces was completely equal, and it ended in a repetition of moves.

Dominguez and Gelfand looking at their Sveshnikov. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

Very different was Grischuk-Nakamura, a King's Indian, Gligoric variation where something went wrong completely for White in the opening. The move 15.Rc1 was new, and “recommended by a friend”, as Grischuk said, but he wasn't happy with it. The position became seriously bad after a few more inaccuracies, and right after the time control Nakamura was in fact very close to winning.


Kasimdzhanov-Svidler was another draw where one player came very close to a win — in this case the Uzbek GM. His Exchange Ruy Lopez, which he also used while winning the 2004 FIDE World Championship, again served him well. After the opening “Kasim” was a pawn up and better, but Svidler defended stubbornly and managed to hold it.

At the press confence Karjakin said that he surprised his opponent twice, with a check on b4 in the opening and with Qc8 later on. Tomashevsky still managed to keep an advantage which could have become serious if he had chosen 21.Bd6. He said he had seen it, and spent a lot of time calculating, but eventually he want for the safe option that was just equal.

Tomashevsky did well against Karjakin. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

The last game in the report was also the most “balanced” as both Andreikin and Radjabov avoided any mistakes and played a “correct GM draw”. A 5.h3 King's Indian turned into an Accelerated Dragon (or so it seemed) where White's c4-c5 and e5-e6 pawn pushes were thematic. Radjabov equalized in an instructive way by trading the right pieces at the right moment.

Andreikin vs Radjabov: a correct draw. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE

On Tuesday Gelfand will be defending his lead as White against Tomashevsky while Caruana is Black against Radjabov.



2014 Grand Prix, Baku | Round 4 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Caruana,F 2844 2951 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 3.0/4 5.75
2 Gelfand,B 2748 2969 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 3.0/4 4.75
3 Nakamura,H 2764 2862 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 4.50
4 Svidler,P 2732 2828 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 2.5/4 4.25
5 Kasimdzhanov,R 2706 2727 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 4.00
6 Tomashevsky,E 2701 2755 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 2.0/4 3.50
7 Karjakin,S 2767 2773 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ 2.0/4 3.25
8 Radjabov,T 2726 2731 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 2.0/4 3.25
9 Dominguez,L 2751 2642 ½ ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 3.50
10 Grischuk,A 2797 2657 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/4 3.25
11 Mamedyarov,S 2764 2566 0 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/4 1.50
12 Andreikin,D 2722 2560 0 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1.0/4 1.50

2014 Grand Prix, Baku | Schedule & Pairings

Round 1 15:00 AZST 02.10.14   Round 2 15:00 AZST 03.10.14
Dominguez ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Radjabov
Tomashevsky ½-½ Grischuk   Svidler 1-0 Mamedyarov
Karjakin 0-1 Caruana   Andreikin 0-1 Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Andreikin   Caruana ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura ½-½ Svidler   Grischuk ½-½ Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Dominguez ½-½ Tomashevsky
Round 3 15:00 AZST 04.10.14   Round 4 15:00 AZST 05.10.14
Tomashevsky ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Svidler
Karjakin 1-0 Dominguez   Andreikin ½-½ Radjabov
Gelfand 1-0 Grischuk   Caruana 1-0 Mamedyarov
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Grischuk ½-½ Nakamura
Mamedyarov  ½-½ Andreikin   Dominguez ½-½ Gelfand
Radjabov ½-½ Svidler   Tomashevsky ½-½ Karjakin
Round 5 15:00 AZST 07.10.14   Round 6 15:00 AZST 08.10.14
Karjakin - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Andreikin
Gelfand - Tomashevsky   Caruana - Svidler
Nakamura - Dominguez   Grischuk - Radjabov
Mamedyarov - Grischuk   Dominguez - Mamedyarov
Radjabov - Caruana   Tomashevsky - Nakamura
Svidler - Andreikin   Karjakin - Gelfand
Round 7 15:00 AZST 09.10.14   Round 8 15:00 AZST 10.10.14
Gelfand - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Caruana
Nakamura - Karjakin   Grischuk - Andreikin
Mamedyarov - Tomashevsky   Dominguez - Svidler
Radjabov - Dominguez   Tomashevsky - Radjabov
Svidler - Grischuk   Karjakin - Mamedyarov
Andreikin - Caruana   Gelfand - Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 AZST 12.10.14   Round 10 15:00 AZST 13.10.14
Nakamura - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk
Mamedyarov - Gelfand   Dominguez - Caruana
Radjabov - Karjakin   Tomashevsky - Andreikin
Svidler - Tomashevsky   Karjakin - Svidler
Andreikin - Dominguez   Gelfand - Radjabov
Caruana - Grischuk   Nakamura - Mamedyarov
Round 11 13:00 AZST 14.10.14        
Mamedyarov - Kasimdzhanov        
Radjabov - Nakamura        
Svidler - Gelfand        
Andreikin - Karjakin        
Caruana - Tomashevsky        
Grischuk - Dominguez        

The total prize fund is €120,000. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 12:00 in Amsterdam, 11:00 in London, 06:00 in New York, 03:00 in Los Angeles and 20:00 in Sydney. The last round starts two hours earlier. The tournament website provides prodive live commentary by GMs Emil Sutovsky and GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko which can also be followed on Chess.com/TVThe winner and second placed player in the overall final standings of the Grand Prix will qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016. | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png



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