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Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014 (1)

Carlsen starts Gashimov Memorial with a routine win against Mamedyarov

Carlsen started with a comfortable win against Mamedyarov where he seemed to have many roads to victory. Photo ©

Carlsen started with a comfortable win against Mamedyarov where he seemed to have many roads to victory. Photo © | http://www.shamkirchess.az

Magnus Carlsen started the Gashimov Memorial with a fine positional win against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Carlsen has the white pieces in the first two rounds so it was important that he at least secured one win with these, he did this in a way that made it look easy. Carlsen meets Hikaru Nakamura in round 2 who had a lucky escape against Fabiano Caruana after first time control. Sergey Karjakin was surprised by Teimour Radjabov in a French Defence (an old favourite) and both players seemed somewhat at sea. It is hard to believe Karjakin's choice to go into the endgame rather than keep the queens on was correct. All the games in the very strong B-Group were drawn.

Round 1 Standings: Carlsen 1pt, Caruana, Nakamura, Karjakin and Radjabov 0.5pts and Mamedyarov 0 pts.

Round 2 Monday 21st April: Mamedyarov-Radjabov, Caruana-Karjakin, Carlsen-Nakamura.

Gashimov Memorial Round 1

Carlsen vs Mamedyarov

Carlsen vs Mamedyarov. Photo © http://www.shamkirchess.az.

Mamaedyarov chose the same defence that Carlsen chose against Gelfand in the London 2012 Candidates and with a small modification Carlsen chose the same plan of e4-e5. After 17...c5 18.d5 black's bishop was in danger of being cut off, it's not clear that Mamedyarov was yet in trouble 21...Rcd8 reducing the pressure seemed better than 21...Ng6 and after 22...Re6? (it's not clear that black has a satisfactory continuation). 24.Rd8+ (Houdini) wins a piece although play does get messy. The way Carlsen played it gave him what appeared to be a big strategic advantage, at least in his hands, and after 29.Rd1 it already looked like he would win and after the understandably desperate 35...Qxa4 black finished things with a direct attack on the king. Sadly there was no sound for the press conference.

Fabiano Caruana

Fabiano Caruana. Photo © http://www.shamkirchess.az.

Nakamura played a Maroczy bind against Fabiano Caruana but couldn't really make his space advantage count. Nakamura's advantage mostly disappeared before first time control and afterwards he admitted he wasn't sure what to do and he started making mistakes. It was clear black had at least equalised when he played 41...a5. Nakamura's 42.b5 was a bad mistake that put him on the back foot and his position started to fall apart. 54...Bh5+ would have led to a decisive advantage for Caruana but in time trouble he played 54.Bxe4+ and eventually Nakamura escaped.

Stage

Stage at the Gashimov Memorial during round 1. Photo © http://www.shamkirchess.az.

Teimour Radjabov could hardly have had a worse 2013 and hasn't played for many months. He surprised Sergey Karjakin with the French Defence but in turn was surprised by his choice of the Tarrasch. White got a nice advantage with many attacking ideas on black's broken kingside but he wasn't in tune with the position and was seduced into trying to win an ending by burying black's light squared bishop, this didn't turn out to be anything more than a small edge which led to a draw. Either 20.d5 or 20.Qe2 when black always has to worry about being mated were certainly better.

Vugar Gashimov Mem 2014 Shamkir AZE (AZE), 19-30 iv 2014 cat. XXII (2780)
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2881 * * . . . . . . . . 1 . 1
2. Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2783 . . * * ½ . . . . . . . ½ 2772
3. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2772 . . ½ . * * . . . . . . ½ 2783
4. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2772 . . . . . . * * ½ . . . ½ 2713
5. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2713 . . . . . . ½ . * * . . ½ 2772
6. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2760 0 . . . . . . . . . * * 0
Round 1 (April 20, 2014)
Carlsen, Magnus - Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 1-0 47 D52 Queens Gambit Cambridge Springs
Nakamura, Hikaru - Caruana, Fabiano ½-½ 61 A33 English Symmetrical
Karjakin, Sergey - Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ 54 C07 French Tarrasch
Vugar Gashimov Mem B 2014 Shamkir AZE (AZE), 19-30 iv 2014 cat. XVII (2663)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
1. Wang, Hao g CHN 2734 * . ½ . . . . . . . ½ 2722
2. Eljanov, Pavel g UKR 2732 . * . . . ½ . . . . ½ 2660
3. Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2722 ½ . * . . . . . . . ½ 2734
4. Wojtaszek, Radoslaw g POL 2716 . . . * . . . . ½ . ½ 2584
5. Motylev, Alexander g RUS 2685 . . . . * . . . . ½ ½ 2516
6. Mamedov, Rauf g AZE 2660 . ½ . . . * . . . . ½ 2732
7. Safarli, Eltaj g AZE 2656 . . . . . . * ½ . . ½ 2621
8. Guseinov, Gadir g AZE 2621 . . . . . . ½ * . . ½ 2656
9. Durarbayli, Vasif g AZE 2584 . . . ½ . . . . * . ½ 2716
10. Abasov, Nijat g AZE 2516 . . . . ½ . . . . * ½ 2685
Round 1 (April 20, 2014)
Wang, Hao - Bacrot, Etienne ½-½ 34 E90 King's Indian Classical
Eljanov, Pavel - Mamedov, Rauf ½-½ 37 A52 Budapest Defence Main Line
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw - Durarbayli, Vasif ½-½ 43 D97 Gruenfeld Russian
Motylev, Alexander - Abasov, Nijat ½-½ 75 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Safarli, Eltaj - Guseinov, Gadir ½-½ 41 B36 Sicilian Maroczy Bind

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