"It Couldn't Be Any Better"

Время публикации: 24.04.2015 19:43 | Последнее обновление: 24.04.2015 20:26

Shamkir: Carlsen close to winning the event, Kramnik thanked for his fighting play

Magnus Carlsen scored another victory in the Gashimov Memorial and is now close to securing first place. With three rounds to go, he leads his closest rival Vishy Anand by a full point. 

Today, as Kramnik jokingly predicted in his press conference at the start of the event, his personal score against the world champion deteriorated. For the first time, the Norwegian took a plus score against the man his fellow GMs call "Vlad": +5 -4 =3.   

In a rare case, Magnus not only beat Kramnik, but even came out on top in the opening.


The game started with a 4.d3 Berlin Spanish. With the move 9.Bd3 the world champion left well-known paths and soon a completely new road was taken.
17.a5!? Magnus had played all his moves quickly, including this, and this pawn sacrifice further increased the disparity on the clocks. 
17...Bxa5 Kramnik accepts the challenge, although as he noted after the game, 17...Bc7 was also fine.
18.Nf3 b5 19.Nd4 Bc7?
Carlsen: "After 19...Bb7 20.Bxd5 cxd5 21.Nxb5 the position is absolutely equal".
Kramnik: "That is what I planned. Why I changed my mind I cannot explain. I started calculating the consequences of 19...Bc7 but I seem to be in such poor form that I missed a great deal." 
20.Nxc6 Qd6 21.g3 Bb7 22.Bf4 Qxc6? The decisive mistake. After 22...Qd7 the game could continue 23.c4 bxc4 24.Bxd5 Bxf4 25.Qxc4 Bc7 26.Bxf7+ Qxf7 27.Qxf7+ Kxf7 28.Rd7+ Kf8 29.Rxc7 Bxc6 30.Rxc6, and Kramnik would have been perfectly happy with this pawn-down rook endgame.
23.Bxd5 Re1+ 24.Kh2 (Now it is all over) Qxd5 25.Rxd5 Rxa1 26.Rd1 Rxd1 27.Qxd1 Rd8 28.Qe2 Bb6 29.Be3 Bxe3 30.Qxe3

The endgame is practically hopeless and Kramnik resigned at move 49. 1-0

Awaiting the press conference

Has Kramnik ever lost three games in a row in a tournament? "Maybe, I don't remember", he replied calmly (The database says no - Ed). But such statistics are of not significance to me". 

One of the organisers thanked Kramnik on behalf of Azeri chess fans for his fighting play in every game, noting that "we all make mistakes". 

Carlsen was quiet and only said that his current tournament position "could not be better". 

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.24"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2863"] [BlackElo "2783"] [ECO "C65"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Berlin defence"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. h3 Ne7 8. d4 Bb6 9. Bd3 d5 10. Nbd2 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe4 exd4 13. Qc2 h6 14. a4 c6 15. Rd1 Nd5 16. Nxd4 Re8 17. a5 Bxa5 18. Nf3 b5 19. Nd4 Bc7 20. Nxc6 Qd6 21. g3 Bb7 22. Bf4 Qxc6 23. Bxd5 Re1+ 24. Kh2 Qxd5 25. Rxd5 Rxa1 26. Rd1 Rxd1 27. Qxd1 Rd8 28. Qe2 Bb6 29. Be3 Bxe3 30. Qxe3 Rd1 31. g4 Bc6 32. Qc5 Bd7 33. Qxa7 Rd2 34. Kg3 Rd3+ 35. Kf4 Kh7 36. Qb7 Rd2 37. Ke3 Rd6 38. f4 g6 39. Qb8 Rd5 40. Ke4 Be6 41. Qb7 Rc5 42. Kd4 Rc4+ 43. Ke5 b4 44. cxb4 Rc2 45. Kf6 Rxb2 46. Qb8 Rf2 47. f5 gxf5 48. Qg3 Rf1 49. g5 1-0

We will report separately on the other decisive games.
Tables, reports, results, game and other material about the event


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