Topalov Wins A Brilliancy In Shamkir

Topalov Wins A Brilliancy In Shamkir

Pavel Eljanov won his second game in a row to start The Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir in clear first place after two rounds, but the main story of the day was Veselin Topalov's beautiful win as Black against Radek Wojtaszek in which a rook sacrifice lead to an attack against White's centralized king.

Photo courtesy of the official site.

Topalov's 2016 was remarkably up and down as he nearly won the Sinquefield Cup with Wesley So before finishing with a dismal 2/9 in the London Chess Classic. Some internet commenters even stunningly mused that Topalov's career might be nearly over after that. Today Topalov presented excellent chess with an opening novelty, enterprising play as Black, and a beautiful sacrifice.

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As the commentator, GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic said, somebody always has to help to make a brilliancy. Wojtaszek was a good sport about his role in the partnership today. Photo courtesy of the official site.

The tournament leader in Shamkir, Pavel Eljanov, has earned both of his points with fine endgame play: his specialty. Today his opponent, Pentala Harikrishna, selected an aggressive opening setup, sending "Harry the h-pawn" forward, and castling queenside. It looked quite interesting, but when Eljanov offered to trade queens, he surprisingly acquiesced. The position remained sharp, but from then on, it was Eljanov who was the aggressor and the eventual victor in an opposite-color bishop endgame.

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Eljanov achieved two convincing victories to start the tournament. Photo courtesy of the official site.

Sergey Karjakin unleashed a nice novelty as Black against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. It was sufficient for a nice perpetual check, a fine sporting achievement for Karjakin.

Both Michael Adams vs So and Vladimir Kramnik vs Radjabov saw the white players achieving some chances but unable to win against sturdy defense.

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Kramnik had a promising position today. Photo courtesy of the official site.

Standings After Round Two

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Eljanov,Pavel 2751 3532 1 1 2.0/2
2 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2772 2993 ½ 1 1.5/2 1.00
3 Topalov,Veselin 2741 2943 ½ 1 1.5/2 1.00
4 Karjakin,Sergey 2783 2764 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
5 Adams,Michael 2761 2781 ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
6 Kramnik,Vladimir 2811 2728 ½ ½ 1.0/2 0.50
7 So,Wesley 2822 2576 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.50
8 Harikrishna,Pentala 2755 2577 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.50
9 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2745 2586 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.50
10 Radjabov,Teimour 2710 2591 0 ½ 0.5/2 0.50

Games from TWIC.

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