The Gashimov Memorial tournament which is being held in Shakmir, Azerbaijan, from April 20 to 30, has attracted some elite players, including world champion Magnus Carlsen. Vugar Gashimov passed away in January, and was of the of the brightest talents in Azerbaijan.
The Gashimov tournament is divided into two groups. In addition to Carlsen 2881, the A group consists of Caruana 2783, Sergey Karjakin 2772, Hikaru Nakamura 2772, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2760 and Teimour Radjabov 2713. The B group consists of five top players from various countries, and the rest from the home country of Azerbaijan.
After four rounds, Carlsen and Caruana are leading the tournament. The two played a Berlin defence in the Ruy Lopez with Carlsen managing the black pieces. Readers would recall that the Berlin was popular in the Anand-Carlsen world championship match in November. Caruana outplayed the world champion which doesn’t happen often for him or other players.
Carlsen made an error giving Caruana a pawn which he proceeded to convert with immaculate precision. The world champion previously stopped both Mamedyarov and Nakamura, the US champion, making him equal first with Caruana on 2.5 points.
The following games were played at the 2014 Gashimov Memorial Tournament in Azerbaijan. The ‘A’ group features six of the strongest chess players in the world, with an average FIDE rating of 2780. The participants are all below the age of 30. The tournament is in progress.
Carlsen v Mamedyarov
Date: April 20
White: Magnus Carlsen
Black: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 Qa5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Rc1 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Ba3 10.Rc2 b6 11.Be2 Ba6 12.O-O Bxe2 13.Qxe2 O-O 14.e4 Rac8 15.e5 Qa4 16.c4 Rfe8 17.Rd1 c5 18.d5 exd5 19.Rxd5 Nf8 20.h4 h6 21.Be3 Ng6 22.Qd3 Re6 23.h5 Ne7 24.Rd6 Bb4 25.Rc1 Re8 26.Rxe6 fxe6 27.Nh4 Qc6 28.a3 Ba5 29.Rd1 Qc7 30.Ng6 Nxg6 31.Qxg6 Qf7 32.Rd3 a6 33.a4 Rf8 34.g4 Qe8 35.Rd6 Qxa4 36.Qxe6+ Kh8 37.Bxh6 Qa1+ 38.Kg2 Rxf2+ 39.Kxf2 Qe1+ 40.Kg2 Qe4+ 41.Kh3 Qh1+ 42.Kg3 Qe1+ 43.Kf4 Bd2+ 44.Rxd2 Qxd2+ 45.Kf5 gxh6 46.Qe8+ Kg7 47.Qe7+ 1-0.
Carlsen v Nakamura
Date: April 21
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 h6 7.Bd3 Bxd3 8.Qxd3 e6 9.O-O Bb4 10.Bd2 O-O 11.Rfd1 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Nbd7 13.b3 Qe7 14.Rac1 Rac8 15.Qe2 Ne4 16.Bb2 Rfd8 17.Ne1 Nd6 18.Ba3 f5 19.Nd3 Nf6 20.Bb4 Qc7 21.Qf3 dxc4 22.bxc4 Nf7 23.a4 a5 24.Be1 b6 25.Qg3 Qxg3 26.hxg3 Ra8 27.f3 Rdb8 28.Rc2 b5 29.Nc5 bxc4 30.Rxc4 Nd5 31.Bd2 e5 32.e4 fxe4 33.Nxe4 Nb6 34.Rxc6 Nd8 35.Rg6 Nc4 36.dxe5 Kh7 37.Rg4 Nxe5 38.Rh4 Ndf7 39.Bc3 Rb3 40.Rd5 Re8 41.Rf4 Re7 42.Bxa5 Ng6 43.Rff5 Nfe5 44.Rd1 Nc4 45.Rc1 Nxa5 46.Rxa5 Ra3 47.Rcc5 Ra2 48.Kh2 Rd7 49.Ra6 Ne7 50.g4 Rb7 51.Rb5 Rc7 52.Nc5 Rc6 53.Rxc6 Nxc6 54.Rb7 Nd4 55.Kh3 Kg8 56.Rb4 Ne2 57.g5 Ng1+ 58.Kg3 Ne2+ 59.Kg4 hxg5 60.Kxg5 Ng1 61.Rg4 1-0.
Karjakin v Radjabov
Date: April 20
White: Sergey Karjakin
Black: Teimour Radjabov
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Nb3 Nc6 9. Nbxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 a6 11. Re1 Qc7 12. Qe2 Bc5 13. c3 b5 14. Bb3 O-O 15. Bg5 Bb7 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Qh5 Bxd4 18. cxd4 Qf4 19. Re3 Be4 20. g3 Qf5 21. Qxf5 Bxf5 22. g4 Bg6 23. f4 f5 24. g5 Kg7 25. Rd1 h6 26. gxh6+ Kxh6 27. Kf2 Kg7 28. d5 exd5 29. Rxd5 Rae8 30. Rxe8 Rxe8 31. Bc2 Rh8 32. Kg3 Re8 33. Rd2 Re3+ 34. Kf2 Rh3 35. Kg2 Re3 36. Kf2 Rh3 37. Ke1 Bh5 38. Bxf5 Re3+ 39. Kf1 b4 40. Bd3 Rf3+ 41. Kg2 Rxf4 42. Bxa6 f5 43. Rf2 Rg4+ 44. Kf1 Rh4 45. Be2 Bf7 46. Bd3 f4 47. a4 bxa3 48. bxa3 Rh3 49. Rd2 Be8 50. Ke1 Kf6 51. Kd1 Ke5 52. Re2+ Kd4 53. Bf5 Ba4+ 54. Kd2 1/2-1/2.
Caruana v Carlsen
White: Fabiano Caruana
Black: Magnus Carlsen
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.O-O Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.h3 h6 10.Rd1+ Ke8 11.Nc3 Bd7 12.Bf4 Rd8 13.Ne4 Be7 14.g4 Nh4 15.Nxh4 Bxh4 16.Kg2 Be6 17.f3 b6 18.b3 c5 19.c4 Rd7 20.Bg3 Be7 21.Rxd7 Bxd7 22.Nc3 Kd8 23.Nd5 Re8 24.Rd1 Kc8 25.Nxc7 Rd8 26.Nd5 Re8 27.Be1 Bd8 28.Bc3 g6 29.Kg3 b5 30.cxb5 Bxb5 31.Ne3 Re6 32.f4 Ra6 33.Rd2 h5 34.gxh5 gxh5 35.Nf5 Rg6+ 36.Kh2 Bc6 37.Nd6+ Kb8 38.f5 Rg8 39.f6 Bb6 40.Nc4 Re8 41.Nd6 Rg8 42.Nxf7 c4 43.h4 Rg4 44.e6 Be3 45.Be5+ Ka8 46.Rd8+ Kb7 47.Bg3 c3 48.Rb8+ Ka6 49.Rc8 Bd5 50.Rxc3 Bd4 51.Rd3 Re4 52.Rd2 Rxe6 53.Ng5 1-0.
Solution to last week’s chess puzzle
White (Kosteniuk) played – Nd6 if Rd8 b5 w/Rxa4 or if Rc7 Rdc1 b5 Nxb5.
Lazaro Bruzon Batista v Lenier Dominguez, Matanzas, 1998
White to play and win