Vishy Still Not Letting Go of Magnus

Время публикации: 25.04.2015 20:13 | Последнее обновление: 27.04.2015 05:33

Shamkir: ex-world champion wins third game in a row

Going into the final round of the Shamkir tournament, it is finally clear that Vishy Anand is the only player who can catch Magnus Carlsen. They are also the only two unbeaten players, but the champion has won one more game. If Carlsen does not beat Mamedov tomorrow (and doesn't lose), and Anand beats Caruana with Black, then the two will share first place, both on game points and under the first two tie-break coefficients. In this case, Berger will be used to determine the winner, and if that is still a tie, there will be a playoff.

Today Anand had White again. Against Mamedyarov, he played the Four Knights with 7.Ne2. It is interesting that in his choice of opening, Vishy looked at a game played just three days ago. "My second [Grzegorz Gajewski - Ed] showed me this line and I thought why not give it a try? It is nice, quite an unusual system. And just a few days ago, Wei Yi played it in Armenia." [His opponent was Melkumian, and Black was crushed - Ed].

The rival watches over the shoulder

The first critical moment arose after 17.c4, when Black doesn't have to cede the centre - he could play 17...c5 (Anand). After his choice 17...exd4 the Azeri assessed his position as normal, but admitted he had missed both 23.Nh4!, and the exchange sacrifice on d5, which is the logical follow-up. Evidently Black's 20th move was too slow (stronger is the immediate 20...Nfd7).


Because of the threats of f2-f4 and Nf5 Black has problems and Shakhriyar decided to provoke a crisis:
23...Bxd4 24.Rxd4 c5 (trying to sacrifice a pawn to gain the dark squares) 25.Rxd6!? The simple 25.R4d2 Nc6 25.Nhf5 (Anand) retains the advantage, but the world champion was attracted by a textbook counter-sacrifice.
25...Nc6 26.Nhf5 Nd4! 27.Qd2 Ne5. Practically forcing White to play a lovely idea. The players thought 27...Nf6 was more solid, and then nothing comes from 28.e5? Bxf5 29.Nxf5 Ne4, but after the simple 28.Rxd8+ Rxd8 29.Nxd4 Rxd4 (or 29...cxd4 30.Qc2) 30.Qc2 the black knight is not ideally posted and the compensation for the pawn is insufficient.

28.Rd5! Bxd5 29.cxd5. After the unavoidable loss of Black's main trump, the knight on d4, the pawn phalanx advances, with the support of the f5-knight.
29...Qb6 30.f4!? Possible was 30.Nxd4 cxd4 31.Qxd4 Qxd4 32.Rxd4 with a large advantage on the endgame, but Anand banks on the attack. 
30...Ng6 31.Bc4 Qa5 32.Qf2 b5! Black's only chance is to organise quick counterplay on the queenside.
33.Nxd4 cxd4 34.Ba2!? Again the most ambitious continuation. The alternative was 34.Bd3, but Anand thought this was too slow.
34...b4 35.Nf5 bxa3 36.bxa3 Qc3 37.e5 Rab8 38.Rd2. The Indian admitted that he had planned 38.Qxd4?, but had not seen 38...Qc2! As a result, Black gets good counterchances, but in serious time-trouble, Mamedyarov fails to exploit them.  

38...Qxa3? He had to push the d-pawn with 38...d3!, and if 39.d6, then 39...Rb3!, closing off the dangerous bishop and getting another far advanced passed pawn. Black seems then to have enough counterplay for equality.
39.Nxd4 Qc1+ 40.Kh2 Rbc8?! Again not best, but Mamedyarov had just seconds left on the clock. Anand: "This kills all chance of counterplay with things like Rb2. My reply took me some time, but eventually I realised that after 41.d6 Black can do absolutely nothing - I just play Nf5 and Qd4".
40...Nxf4, with the idea of 41.Qxf4 Rb2!, doesn't help either due to 41.e6! fxe6 42.dxe6 Nxe6 (42...Kh8 43.Qxf4) 43.Rc2! and 44.Nxe6. The most tenacious was 40...Rb7.
41.d6 a3 41.Nf5 Rf8 42.d7. Realising the same thing, Mamedyarov resigned. A great effort by the ex-world champion. (Notes by GM Andrey Deviatkin).

All of today's play was fighting stuff. See games below.

[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.25"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2791"] [BlackElo "2754"] [ECO "C49"] [Opening "Four knights"] [Variation "symmetrical, Maroczy system"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bb4 5. O-O O-O 6. d3 d6 7. Ne2 Ne7 8. c3 Ba5 9. Ng3 turn Ng6 10. d4 Bb6 11. Re1 c6 12. Bd3 Re8 13. h3 h6 14. Be3 Be6 15. Qc2 Qc7 16. a3 a5 17. c4 a4 18. Red1 exd4 19. Bxd4 Ne5 20. Be2 Bc5 21. Rd2 Nfd7 22. Rad1 Red8 23. Nh4 Bxd4 24. Rxd4 c5 25. Rxd6 Nc6 26. Nhf5 Nd4 27. Qd2 Ne5 28. Rd5 Bxd5 29. cxd5 Qb6 30. f4 Ng6 31. Bc4 Qa5 32. Qf2 b5 33. Nxd4 cxd4 34. Ba2 b4 35. Nf5 bxa3 36. bxa3 Qc3 37. e5 Rab8 38. Rd2 Qxa3 39. Nxd4 Qc1+ 40. Kh2 Rbc8 41. d6 a3 42. Nf5 Rf8 43. d7 1-0[Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.25"] [Round "8.1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2783"] [BlackElo "2762"] [ECO "A07"] [Opening "Reti"] [Variation "King's Indian attack, Yugoslav variation"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Bg4 5. d3 Nbd7 6. h3 Bh5 7. Qe1 e5 8. e4 dxe4 9. dxe4 Bc5 10. a4 O-O 11. Nh4 Re8 12. Na3 Nf8 13. b4 Be7 14. Nf5 Ne6 15. Nxe7+ Qxe7 16. Be3 Bg6 17. f3 Nd7 18. Nc4 f5 19. Rd1 f4 20. Rxd7 Qxd7 21. Nxe5 Qc7 22. gxf4 Nxf4 23. Bxf4 Rxe5 24. Qe3 Rd8 25. Qxa7 Qe7 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Qe3 Qb2 28. Qc5 h6 29. b5 cxb5 30. Qb6 Rd2 31. Qxg6 bxa4 32. h4 Qd4+ 33. Kh1 Qd8 34. Bh3 Qxh4 35. Qe6+ Kh8 36. Rg1 g5 37. Qc8+ Kg7 38. Rb1 1-0 [Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.25"] [Round "8.2"] [White "Mamedov, Rauf"] [Black "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2651"] [BlackElo "2802"] [ECO "C91"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "closed, Bogolyubov variation"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. d4 Bg4 10. Be3 exd4 11. cxd4 d5 12. e5 Ne4 13. h3 Bh5 14. Nbd2 Qd7 15. Rc1 Nxd2 16. Qxd2 Bxf3 17. gxf3 Bb4 18. Qc2 Ne7 19. Bd2 Bxd2 20. Qxd2 Qxh3 21. Rxc7 Nf5 22. Qg5 Rad8 23. e6 Nxd4 24. Bxd5 Rxd5 25. exf7+ Kh8 26. Qxd5 Nxf3+ 27. Qxf3 Qxf3 28. Re8 Qd1+ 29. Kg2 Qd5+ 30. Kg1 Qd6 31. Rce7 Qd1+ 32. Kg2 Qg4+ 33. Kf1 Qc4+ 34. Kg1 Qg4+ 35. Kf1 Qc4+ 36. Kg1 Qg4+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.25"] [Round "8.3"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2788"] [BlackElo "2863"] [ECO "A29"] [Opening "English"] [Variation "four knights, kingside fianchetto"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O Re8 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. cxd5 Nd4 9. Nxd4 exd4 10. Qa4 a5 11. e3 b5 12. Qc2 Bb7 13. b3 Qg5 14. a3 Bf8 15. Bb2 Bxd5 16. e4 Bb7 17. Bxd4 c5 18. Be3 Qg6 19. d3 a4 20. Rab1 axb3 21. Rxb3 b4 22. axb4 cxb4 23. Bd2 Bc6 24. Rb2 Ba4 25. Qc4 Rec8 26. Qd4 Bc5 27. Qd5 b3 28. d4 Bb6 29. Be3 h6 30. e5 Bc6 31. Qxb3 Bxg2 32. Kxg2 Bxd4 33. Bxd4 Qe4+ 34. Qf3 Qxd4 35. Rb5 Qc3 36. Rd1 Qxf3+ 37. Kxf3 Rc7 38. Rbd5 Raa7 39. Kg4 Ra2 40. R1d2 Rxd2 41. Rxd2 1/2-1/2 [Event "Vugar Gashimov Mem 2015"] [Site "Shamkir AZE"] [Date "2015.04.25"] [Round "8.5"] [White "Adams, Michael"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2746"] [BlackElo "2790"] [ECO "B91"] [Opening "Sicilian"] [Variation "Najdorf, Zagreb (fianchetto) variation"] [EventDate "2015.04.17"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. g3 e6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. a4 Nc6 10. Be3 Rb8 11. f4 Qc7 12. Kh1 Bd7 13. Nb3 b6 14. g4 h6 15. Qe2 Nb4 16. Nd4 Rbc8 17. Rad1 Qc4 18. Qf3 e5 19. Nf5 Bxf5 20. exf5 exf4 21. Rd4 Qc7 22. Bxf4 Nxc2 23. Rd2 Nb4 24. h4 Nh7 25. g5 Qc4 26. f6 gxf6 27. gxf6 Bxf6 28. Ne4 Be5 29. Rxd6 Bg7 30. Bxh6 Bxh6 31. Rxh6 Rc6 32. Qg4+ Kh8 33. Rxh7+ 1-0 

The decisive round starts tomorrow, one hour earlier than usual, at 12.00 Moscow time.
Tables, results, games and reports on the tournament


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