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Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014 (10)

Magnus Carlsen wins the Vugar Gashimov Memorial 2014

Magnus Carlsen receives the trophy. Photo ©

Magnus Carlsen receives the trophy. Photo © |

Magnus Carlsen beat Fabiano Caruana in the final round of the Vugar Gashimov in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. Carlsen won the event by a point in spite of losing two games in a row and his performance ended up only being 1.2 points below expectations more than made up for by his single win in the Norwegian League last month.

The players all commented afterwards that they wanted for nothing at the event and were greatly encouraged by the knowledgeable spectators. I would say from the outside the only thing I could think to improve the event might be an additional rest day as five rounds in a row seemed slightly too much.

Carlsen actually got a reasonable edge from the opening against Caruana using a quiet Anti-Gruenfeld system. However Carlsen didn't really like his 16.h3 and thought that Caruana might have held with 20...d4 or even 20...Nxd6 as it was 20...f5 was a mistake and after 24...Bf5 his position was close to collapse. After 28. e4 and 29.Rd3! Carlsen was clearly winning and soon brought home the full point.

Carlsen was reasonably happy with the final result but said he lacked energy even after he recovered from the losses. He said he would consider playing the event next year. Caruana was clearly a bit disappointed with the final round loss but second place was a great result for him.

Mamedyarov and Karjakin drew an extremely sharp final round game although at least one of them should have seen the tactics in their preparation (Mamedyarov's 18.g5 novelty was followed by a huge think only a couple of moves later). Perhaps both suffered a bit from their recent Candidates exertions. For Mamedyarov the event was a complete disaster. For Karjakin this is his third tough event in a row and the 10 draws here can be seen in that context but for me a player of his talent and ambition hasn't been winning enough for some time.

Teimour Radjabov was happy with his tournament saying he wasn't worse in any of his games and only over-ambition led to defeat against Fabiano Caruana. For Hikaru Nakamura it was almost the opposite, he was struggling all event long with bad positions and in that context a 50% score is pretty good.

Final Standings: Carlsen 6.5pts/10, Caruana 5.5pts, Rajdabov, Karjakin and Nakamura 5pts and Mamedyarov 3pts.

Magnus Carlsen next appears in the Norway Chess tournament 2nd – 13th June 2014.

Stage in round 10

Stage in round 10. Photo ©

Radjabov and Nakamura

Radjabov and Nakamura. Photo ©

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen. Photo ©

Caruana, Radjabov and Carlsen

Caruana, Radjabov and Carlsen. Photo ©

Vugar Gashimov Mem 2014 Shamkir AZE Sat 19th Apr 2014 - Wed 30th Apr 2014
Leading Final Round 10 Standings:
1Carlsen MagnusNOR2881*0111½½116.5
2Caruana FabianoITA278310*½½½1½½015.5
3Nakamura HikaruUSA277200½½*½½½½1152
4Radjabov TeimourAZE2713½0½½*½½½½51
5Karjakin SergeyRUS2772½½½½½½½½*½½50
6Mamedyarov ShakhriyarAZE2760001000½½½½*3
Round 10 (April 30, 2014)
Carlsen, Magnus - Caruana, Fabiano 1-0 49 A49 King's Indian Defence /c2-c4
Nakamura, Hikaru - Radjabov, Teimour ½-½ 77 C67 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 37 A15 English counter King's Fianchetto

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