Carlsen Beats Kramnik, Increases Lead In Shamkir

Carlsen Beats Kramnik, Increases Lead In Shamkir

| 72 | Chess Event Coverage

In round seven of the Shamkir Chess tournament GM Magnus Carlsen beat GM Vladimir Kramnik and extended his lead to a full point.

GM Viswanathan Anand defeated GM Michael Adams and is now in second place as GM Wesley So lost to GM Fabiano Caruana.

A clash between Carlsen and Kramnik is always interesting, and especially when one (C) calls the other (K) his most difficult opponent before the tournament. As it turned out, Kramnik was one of Carlsen's easier opponents in Shamkir 2015.

Against the 14th world champion, the reigning world champion opened 1.e4 for the first time in a classical game. Not surprisingly, Kramnik went for a Berlin but what happened next was remarkable. Carlsen had prepared a line in the 4.d3 system and before move 20 Kramnik had used more than an hour on the clock.

The worst thing was that, by then, Kramnik was more or less lost already. He had seen that 19...Bb7 would leady to equality, but “all of a sudden” he calculated the game continuation, which looked “very interesting but I don't think it works out for Black,” as Carlsen put it.

“I'm probably in bad form, I cannot calculate anything. I was missing lots of things,” lamented Kramnik, who for the first time in his career lost three classical games in a row in one event.

Carlsen out-prepares Kramnik in a Berlin!? checked it in the database, and couldn't find any event so the answer must be...never!

Carlsen, who now finally has a plus score against Kramnik, said: “I think I have very good chances to win the tournament. Obviously there's a key game tomorrow [against Wesley So -- PD.] but the tournament couldn't have gone much better point-wise so far. It's the best situation I can be.”

Kramnik and Carlsen at the press conference.

Kramnik: “When you are on minus-two you're not incredibly motivated to play great chess but of course I'm going to play. It's clear that I'm in very bad form, cannot calculate for some reason, I don't know.

“Still, I'm a professional, of course I will play again. There is nothing to fight for any more but still I want to show decent chess in the last two games.”

Kramnik: “I'm a professional.”

GM Viswanathan Anand is the new number-two in the standings. The ex-world champion won another excellent game as White against GM Michael Adams, playing 1.c4 in a classical game only for the fourth time in his career!

“I'm trying to experiment a little bit,” said Anand. “I had some ideas. Interestingly, the problem with 1.c4 I felt today was that Mickey himself has just started playing it, so maybe in a year or two it's in his own repertoire, which is a pity. But I thought I'll give it a shot.”

Anand then also went for a long-term exchange sacrifice, which the players evaluated slightly differently. Adams thought his position was still perfectly OK after 15.Rxf5!? whereas Anand preferred White.

As always, Anand didn't want to reflect too much on the tournament situation. “Obviously it's a very important win, but beyond that I have no idea what's happening.”

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

GM Wesley So dropped back to shared third place with GM Fabiano Caruana, who beat him in a direct encounter today.

“I think Wesley probably wasn't very familiar with this line,” Caruana started explaining, “because 11...Rf6 is not considered a very good move because of 11.Ne1 and if 11...Rh6, 12.g3. I think it's some game of Leko, he won.”

Caruana had clearly done his homework, was better out of the opening but then wasn't sure how to continue. On almost each move he had alternatives, but it was important to keep the pressure because, after all, he was a pawn down.

From the moment So misplaced his knight on g3, Caruana got the upper hand. He won his pawn back, then another and the B vs N ending was winning.

After a strong start, So suffered his second loss.

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and GM Anish Giri drew an interesting game that started as a Ragozin. The French player deviated from Giri-Carlsen from earlier in the tournament, and kept some play in the position. But it wasn't that he exactly knew what he was doing.

“To be honest from my side it was more ridiculous than anything. I was checking this line this morning and I couldn't remember any move order,” MVL said. 

Spotted in the audience (just before the start of the round): Anish Giri, with his fiancee and second.

GM Rauf Mamedov escaped with a draw against his good friend GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The lowest-rated player has now more or less reached his expected score, with two rounds to go.

In an Anti-Moscow Gambit, Mamedov played 10...Nbd7 instead of 10...Bb7 which allows 10.d5. It is playable, but now the way he did it! Mamedyarov played the most principled moves and was probably winning, but miscalculated.

At the press conference both Carlsen and Anand were asked about GM Yuri Razuvaev, the famous Russian player and trainer who would have turned 70 this year. Amongst others he coached GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and GM Evgeny Tomashevsky.

Razuvaev in 1975. | Photo Rob Bogaerts, Wikipedia.

Carlsen, who worked with him: “I was in Moscow in 2005. I worked with Razuvaev and also Nikitin, for different purposes. Razuvaev taught me about positional play and his task was the easier one [smiles] because I felt that my instincts were good. I learned some endgames from him and some of Rubinstein's games he showed me. I know he was very fond of those. It's very sad that he's passed away.”

Anand: “I played him in one of my first attempts to become a grandmaster, so a tournament in Calcutta. Afterwards we met each other in a couple of tournaments. In Moscow.... I was playing in the B tournament. I just remember him always for his sense of humor. He always had a mischievous look on his face, and he was always saying something very witty. He entertained us a lot, let's put it that way. I was very sad to hear that he passed away.”

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 - Giri
Mamedyarov ½-½ Mamedov   Kramnik - Vachier-Lagrave
Caruana 1-0 So   So - Carlsen
Carlsen 1-0 Kramnik   Mamedov - Caruana
Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Giri   Anand - Mamedyarov
Round 9 25.04.15 15:00 AZST        
Mamedyarov - Adams        
Caruana - Anand        
Carlsen - Mamedov        
Vachier-Lagrave - So        
Giri - Kramnik        


Shamkir Chess 2015 | Round 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Carlsen 2863 3001 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 5.5/7
2 Anand 2791 2872 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/7
3 Caruana 2802 2834 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.0/7 12.25
4 So 2788 2810 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4.0/7 11.00
5 Mamedyarov 2756 2778 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 3.5/7
6 Giri 2790 2725 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 11.75
7 Vachier Lagrave 2765 2723 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 10.00
8 Mamedov 2658 2724 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 9.25
9 Kramnik 2783 2670 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.5/7
10 Adams 2745 2620 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/7


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