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Carlsen Beats Nakamura in Shamkir, Clear First Again

Carlsen Beats Nakamura in Shamkir, Clear First Again

PeterDoggers
| 58 | Chess Event Coverage

Magnus Carsen is the sole leader again at the Shamkir Chess tournament in Azerbaijan. The World Champion was worse against Hikaru Nakamura but won anyway to set his personal score with the American to 10 wins and 0 losses in classical games. The games Radjabov-Mamedyaro and Karjakin-Caruana ended in draws. In the B group Pavel Eljanov caught Etienne Bacrot in first place by winning their individual encounter.

The seventh round of the Shamkir Chess tournament started with two rather quick draws. The game between Teimour Radjabov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was a rather friendly affair, like so many encounters between the two Azeri top players have been. In fact, of their eight previous classical games that can be found in the database, only one did not end in a draw - the one at the 2010 Astrakhan Grand Prix, when Mamedyarov mysteriously lost on time.

Today the two played an English/Catalan hybrid where White enjoys a tiny edge. Radjabov played it safe with 15.Qe2, and soon after almost all the pieces were traded.

Mamedyarov & Radjabov after their game | Photo: Ahmed Mukhtar

Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana reached move 51, but the game really lasted only 23 moves. From a 8.Rb1 Gruenfeld, in no time an ending was reached that looked familiar to experts: it was from Giri-Caruana, Zug 2013.

“I went for this ending Anish Giri also played. I thought it was a pleasant endgame, winning chances. If Black knows what he's doing it's probably objectively a draw,” said Karjakin. “Chess is a draw. I thought the line was not simple, but perhaps I was wrong.”

“After the game I realized it's a very tricky ending and I analyzed it very deeply, but I couldn't remember everything. It's a little bit worse for Black but objectively it should be defendable,” said Caruana.

Karjakin, who has drawn all of his games, said about the final three rounds: “Anything can happen. Maybe I will be first, maybe I will be last. I'm in a philosophical mood today.”

Karjakin & Caruana discussing the ending | Photo: Ahmed Mukhtar

Every round in the A group there has been at least one decisive game, and it wasn't different on Sunday. Magnus Carlsen also won his second game in Shamkir against Hikaru Nakamura, and so it's the World Champion again who tops the standings alone, with three rounds to go.

Yet again Nakamura managed to get a promising position (during their press conference Caruana and Karjakin agreed that it was dangerous for Carlsen), only to spoil the advantage and even lose. It reminded of course of the dramatic game he played against the same opponent in February in Zurich, but there it was different: Nakamura was clearly winning.

Nakamura wearing a New York Red Bulls shirt...
...with his own name printed on it

Today the American GM had a big advantage and felt he was winning, but he couldn't point out after the game where exactly. It's probably move 26.

After missing his chance, Nakamura was still better. “To lose this position is pathetic basically. Can't find any other words to describe,” Nakamura said himself. “To lose this position takes a lot of talent.”

Carlsen: back in the lead

The B group is suddenly all open as tournament leader Etienne Bacrot lost his first game, to Pavel Eljanov. The two are now in shared first place with two rounds to go. Eljanov has White against Guseinov and Black against Abasov, while Bacrot has Black against Motylev and White against Safarli.

Bacrot-Eljanov, the key game in group B today

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Pairings & results

Round 1 20.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 6 26.04.14 15:00 AZST
Carlsen 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov 0-1 Carlsen
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Caruana ½-½ Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov ½-½ Karjakin
Round 2 21.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 AZST
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov ½-½ Mamedyarov
Caruana ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Caruana
Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura   Nakamura 0-1 Carlsen
Round 3 22.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 8 28.04.14 15:00 AZST
Nakamura 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov - Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen   Carlsen - Karjakin
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Caruana - Radjabov
Round 4 23.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST
Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov   Caruana - Mamedyarov
Radjabov ½-½ Nakamura   Radjabov - Carlsen
Caruana 1-0 Carlsen   Karjakin - Nakamura
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 10 30.04.14 13:00 AZST
Mamedyarov 1-0 Caruana   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Carlsen 0-1 Radjabov   Nakamura - Radjabov
Nakamura ½-½ Karjakin   Carlsen - Caruana

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Round 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,M 2881 2864 phpfCo1l0.png 0 0 ½ 11 11 4.5/7
2 Radjabov,T 2713 2835 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½½ ½ ½½ 4.0/7
3 Caruana,F 2783 2778 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½½ 0 3.5/7 13.00
4 Karjakin,Sergey 2772 2772 ½ ½½ ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.5/7 12.50
5 Nakamura,Hi 2772 2747 00 ½ ½½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 3.0/7
6 Mamedyarov,S 2760 2686 00 ½½ 1 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png 2.5/7

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Pairings & results

Round 1 20.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 2 21.04.14 15:00 AZST
Wojtaszek ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli 0-1 Bacrot
Eljanov ½-½ Mamedov   Guseinov ½-½ Wang Hao
Motylev ½-½ Abasov   Abasov ½-½ Safarli
Safarli ½-½ Guseinov   Mamedov 0-1 Motylev
Wang Hao ½-½ Bacrot   Wojtaszek 0-1 Eljanov
Round 3 22.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 4 23.04.14 15:00 AZST
Eljanov ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli 0-1 Guseinov
Motylev 0-1 Wojtaszek   Abasov ½-½ Bacrot
Safarli ½-½ Mamedov   Mamedov 1-0 Wang Hao
Wang Hao ½-½ Abasov   Wojtaszek 1-0 Safarli
Bacrot 1-0 Guseinov   Eljanov ½-½ Motylev
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 6 26.04.14 15:00 AZST
Motylev ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli ½-½ Abasov
Safarli 0-1 Eljanov   Mamedov ½-½ Guseinov
Wang Hao ½-½ Wojtaszek   Wojtaszek ½-½ Bacrot
Bacrot 1-0 Mamedov   Eljanov 0-1 Wang Hao
Guseinov 0-1 Abasov   Motylev 1-0 Safarli
Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 8 28.04.14 15:00 AZST
Safarli ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli - Mamedov
Wang Hao 1-0 Motylev   Wojtaszek - Abasov
Bacrot 0-1 Eljanov   Eljanov - Guseinov
Guseinov ½-½ Wojtaszek   Motylev - Bacrot
Abasov ½-½ Mamedov   Safarli - Wang Hao
Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST        
Wang Hao - Durarbayli        
Bacrot - Safarli        
Guseinov - Motylev        
Abasov - Eljanov        
Mamedov - Wojtaszek        

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Round 7 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Eljanov,Pavel 2732 2781 phpfCo1l0.png 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5/7 15.00
2 Bacrot,Etienne 2722 2753 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 4.5/7 15.00
3 Wang Hao 2734 2715 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 4.0/7 15.75
4 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2716 2726 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ 1 4.0/7 13.00
5 Guseinov,Gadir 2621 2705 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1 ½ 4.0/7 12.00
6 Motylev,Alexander 2685 2657 ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 1 ½ ½ 1 3.5/7
7 Mamedov,Rauf 2660 2617 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 10.75
8 Abasov,Nijat 2516 2616 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 3.0/7 9.75
9 Durarbayli,Vasif 2584 2562 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.5/7
10 Safarli,Eltaj 2656 2486 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/7

The rounds start at 12:00 Amsterdam, 6am New York and 3am Los Angeles time. The official website is www.shamkirchess.az. Chess.com offers daily live commentary at www.chess.com/tv. Games via TWICphpfCo1l0.png


PeterDoggers
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.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


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