April 21, 2014 18:36

Carlsen Also Beats Nakamura in Shamkir | Update: VIDEO

Magnus Carlsen also won his second game in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. On Monday the Norwegian defeated Hikaru Nakamura and increased his lead in the Shamkir Chess 2014 tournament's A group to a full point. Sergey Karjakin quickly equalized against Fabiano Caruana in a Berlin Ending while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov split the point in a Semi-Slav, Meran. In group B Pavel Eljanov, Alexander Motylev and Etienne Bacrot won their black games against Radek Wojtaszek, Rauf Mamedov and Vasif Durarbayli respectively.

It was the World Champion who again dominated the headlines on Monday as once more he was the only player to win in the A group of the Shamkir Chess 2014 tournament. Magnus Carlsen got a minimal edge out of the opening (a Chebanenko Slav) against Hikaru Nakamura and maintained that small advantage until move 33, when the American GM committed a big mistake. He lost a pawn, and then another one.

Update: video report of round 2

“I think I was a little bit better from the opening and then he started to go wrong a bit before the time control for him. After that I was basically two pawns up but he kept on fighting after the time control,” said Carlsen, who was then interrupted by his opponent at the press conference.

“I think Black should be completely fine but somehow I got it all wrong,” said Nakamura about the position after move 30. “White is probably a bit better but I find it hard to believe that this should be anything, any big advantage,” he added, and Carlsen agreed.

Black lost two pawns, and although there was little hope, Nakamura fought on. “I tried to find some lines but Magnus found the best moves and then there's not much you can do.”

PGN string

In the final phase of the game Carlsen had remarkable pose behind the board, having his left leg hanging over his armrest. Instantly it became a topic of discussion in the Twittersphere.

Carlsen about appearing very relaxed and comfortable: “It wasn't that comfortable, I had to work hard today. I've been lucky enough to start with two white games. I guess now I'll have a couple of black games in a row and it's probably gonna be tougher. It's a very good start. I'm happy about that, I'm happy about my play, but my mindset going into the next games is not different from before the tournament, I have to keep playing well.”

After this game Carlsen reached another all-time high in the live ratings: 2889.2. Chess fans and journalists already started discussing what it takes for him to reach the next milestone, 2900. The answer is 8.5/10, which will put him on 2900,7. But the tournament is far from over yet!

Carlsen now on 2889.2

Carlsen's lead in the tournament increased to a point as both the other two games ended in draws. Fabiano Caruana vs. Sergey Karjakin was a short affair as White got nothing in a Berlin Ending. By now that's a separate opening, as Karjakin suggested: “It wasn't really Spanish, it was a Berlin. There's a big difference!”

PGN string

The draw between the two Azeri grandmasters was more interesting. After playing the French on Sunday, Teimour Radjabov again surprised with his opening choice: the Semi-Slav. It's clear that Radjabov has worked hard for this tournament. 

Caught off guard, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov decided to go for healthy moves. “After yesterday's loss I didn't want to fall in some home preparation, so I tried to do my best and play  a very solid opening.”

His 15th move turned out to be the novelty, but it wasn't very dangerous, as Radjabov showed in the game. His ...c6-c5 push was an excellent pawn sacrifice that solved Black's problems almost instantly.

PGN string

The B group saw two draws and three wins, all scored by Black. Alexander Motylev played an excellent game against Rauf Mamedov, whose 6.a4 against the Najdorf wasn't very successful.

PGN string

Strong play by the European Champion

Pavel Eljanov defeated Radek Wojtaszek in a rook ending where is rook was very passive, but his king very active. 

PGN string

Vasif Durarbayli again made a good impression in his game with Etienne Bacrot. He played well in the opening and then tried the interesting push e5-e6 on move 20. With other moves he might have kept his advantage, but the move is hard to resist!

Bacrot started to play well from that point, and chances were about equal until both players were low on time. “We try to avoid time trouble but when the game is so complicated, what to do?” said Bacrot, who found a nice refutation of White's second e5-e6 move!

PGN string

Etienne Bacrot was the first to reach 1.5/2

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Pairings & results

Round 1 20.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 6 26.04.14 15:00 AZST
Carlsen 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov - Carlsen
Nakamura ½-½ Caruana   Caruana - Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov - Karjakin
Round 2 21.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 AZST
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Radjabov - Mamedyarov
Caruana ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin - Caruana
Carlsen 1-0 Nakamura   Nakamura - Carlsen
Round 3 22.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 8 28.04.14 15:00 AZST
Nakamura - Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov - Nakamura
Karjakin - Carlsen   Carlsen - Karjakin
Radjabov - Caruana   Caruana - Radjabov
Round 4 23.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST
Karjakin - Mamedyarov   Caruana - Mamedyarov
Radjabov - Nakamura   Radjabov - Carlsen
Caruana - Carlsen   Karjakin - Nakamura
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 10 30.04.14 13:00 AZST
Mamedyarov - Caruana   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Carlsen - Radjabov   Nakamura - Radjabov
Nakamura - Karjakin   Carlsen - Caruana

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Round 2 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 3566       1 1 2.0/2  
2 Karjakin,Sergey 2772 2748   ½ ½     1.0/2 1.00
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2783 2772   ½   ½   1.0/2 0.75
4 Radjabov,Teimour 2713 2766   ½     ½ 1.0/2 0.75
5 Nakamura,Hikaru 2772 2642 0   ½     0.5/2 0.50
6 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2760 2607 0     ½   0.5/2 0.50

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Pairings & results

Round 1 20.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 2 21.04.14 15:00 AZST
Wojtaszek ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli 0-1 Bacrot
Eljanov ½-½ Mamedov   Huseinov ½-½ Wang Hao
Motylev ½-½ Abasov   Abasov ½-½ Safarli
Safarli ½-½ Huseinov   Mamedov 0-1 Motylev
Wang Hao ½-½ Bacrot   Wojtaszek 0-1 Eljanov
Round 3 22.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 4 23.04.14 15:00 AZST
Eljanov - Durarbayli   Durarbayli - Huseinov
Motylev - Wojtaszek   Abasov - Bacrot
Safarli - Mamedov   Mamedov - Wang Hao
Wang Hao - Abasov   Wojtaszek - Safarli
Bacrot - Huseinov   Eljanov - Motylev
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 6 26.04.14 15:00 AZST
Motylev - Durarbayli   Durarbayli - Abasov
Safarli - Eljanov   Mamedov - Huseinov
Wang Hao - Wojtaszek   Wojtaszek - Bacrot
Bacrot - Mamedov   Eljanov - Wang Hao
Huseinov   Abasov   Motylev - Safarli
Round 7 27.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 8 28.04.14 15:00 AZST
Safarli - Durarbayli   Durarbayli - Mamedov
Wang Hao - Motylev   Wojtaszek - Abasov
Bacrot - Eljanov   Eljanov - Huseinov
Huseinov - Wojtaszek   Motylev - Bacrot
Abasov - Mamedov   Safarli - Wang Hao
Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST        
Wang Hao - Durarbayli        
Bacrot - Safarli        
Huseinov - Motylev        
Abasov - Eljanov        
Mamedov - Wojtaszek        

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Pairings & results

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Bacrot,Etienne 2722 2849     ½           1 1.5/2 1.00
2 Motylev,Alexander 2685 2778       ½     1     1.5/2 1.00
3 Eljanov,Pavel 2732 2878             ½ 1   1.5/2 0.75
4 Wang,Hao 2734 2672 ½         ½       1.0/2 1.25
5 Abasov,Nijat 2516 2670   ½     ½         1.0/2 1.25
6 Safarli,Eltaj 2656 2569         ½ ½       1.0/2 1.00
7 Guseinov,Gadir 2621 2695       ½   ½       1.0/2 1.00
8 Mamedov,Rauf 2660 2518   0 ½             0.5/2 0.75
9 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2716 2468     0           ½ 0.5/2 0.25
10 Durarbayli,Vasif 2584 2529 0               ½ 0.5/2 0.25


The rounds start at 12:00 Amsterdam, 6am New York and 3am Los Angeles time. The official website is www.shamkirchess.az. Chess.com offers daily live commentary at www.chess.com/tv. Games via TWIC

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


I worship Carlsen's picture

Carlsen is Sauron!!!!!!

Anonymous's picture

9 - 0 Domination of absolutely epic proportions.

ThomasRichter's picture

The problem with playing Carlson is that "fear of Carlson" does half the psychological damage to the opponents, and all the real Carlson has to do is continue to play the best moves. If you are afraid of making mistakes, you definitely will make them. In other words, Carlson just sucks the confidence out of the opponent's psyche and fills it with carefulness, caution and loads of defensive thoughts. These are attributes that can't allow a player to win a game. When playing with Carlson, unless the opponent overcomes this cautious approach to the game, they will overestimate and complicate things in their mind and will execute poorly. Most of Carlson's win come from self-destruction of the opponents.

jgjerstad's picture

Why do you insist on calling him Carlson? You surely know that his name is Carlsen. Is it to get a rise out of people or is it to slight him in some way? It just makes you come across as a petulant child.

Thomas Richter's picture

One difference between me (using a protected handle) and this imposter is that I do write Carlsen.

Thomas Richter's picture

One difference between me (using a protected handle) and this imposter is that I do write Carlsen (hard to type Carlson by accident, at least on my keyboard).

That being said, his comment isn't all wrong IMO.

Anonymous's picture

some people are delusional and some are obsessive, but it is rare to find someone who is obsessive about his delusions.

Anonymous's picture

dude, you're the obsessive one here, try saying something else, at least be original, it's getting annoying.

Saji's picture

Anonymous, You are a carlsen fan boy that does not mean that other people should lose thier sense and logic.

cak's picture

Ironically, `impostor` is the preferred spelling although `imposter` is also correct.

Rollich's picture

That's very unfair, Jgjerstad. The "son" /"sen" mistake is very common, especially in countries where most such names are "son."

Huy's picture

Indeed, and how much work would it take for illiterates to check how his name is spelled before posting? Hm?

Pioneer's picture

"Most of Carlson's win come from self-destruction of the opponents."

Trolling at its finest.

CarlsEn wins because no one in the world can handle the constant pressure he puts on them without cracking. Its not a coincidence. Of course, being the undisputed king of the chess world brings an intimidation factor, but Carlsen hasn't had a bad tournament since late 2010...that's not just intimidation.

Flaava's picture


Big Alex's picture

So did he became WC because of fear? I wouldn´t bet on this! If not a Chess champion maybe Magnus could be a very precise neurosurgeon!

KjS's picture

A limping analogy and contradiction in terms. Neurosurgery may be the grossest handiwork this side of the universe. Beyond the point of no return any No. Uno tends to emerge as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

kcmclvr's picture

Here, you have switched gear and moved in to Psychological warfare of the game. Again, it is not a concession conceded to Carlsen by other players, though what you have observed is more or less true. The point is why it is so? There must be something extra in the armory of a player who can manage to instill confusion and take away confidence of opponents. Those who face him literally experience that. It was the same with Tal, Fischer and Kasparov. That's what separates the greatest from the grates during their period.
Nakumara, like Shirov, has plenty of killer instinct. He wields his sword well and cuts through 2700 level opposition. The same killer approach against the best results in more losses than wins. Just feeling cocky and confident may bring in some victories. It's the true strength of a player that ultimately dictates the overall progress of a player.

Hernán Ruiz's picture

It is Carlsen, moron

Anonymous's picture

Wasn't this also true of Capa, Tal, Fischer and Gary K?

tasak's picture

Carlson, Carlson!

Frits Fritschy's picture

Next Tal Memorial line up:
Carlsen (FIDE Human Wildcard)

Frits Fritschy's picture

I guess you don't count for much if you have never been impersonated here.

Pioneer's picture

Anand: "I failed to get a grip of Carlsen"
Nakamura: "I thought I trapped his rook, but I was clearly hallucinating"
Kramnik: "Carlsen's strength is only physical"

These are chess elites and who's who of chess, who are repeatedly failing to understand Carlsen. What the hell is going on. They prepare for months studying Carlsen, to an extent that they come out saying "I can now be a threat to Carlsen". But when the day arrives, in a new game, they discover a new Carlsen or what? I mean what does this guy do, which even the elite is unable to figure. I don't think anything. He is a light year far in the rating that the opponents are frustrated internally and implode, they don't believe investing their mountain to win just one game with Carlsen make anymore sense to them. The current elite have implicitly given up on bringing down Carlsen. It is a psychological win, Carlsen has accumulated enough cushion, now for the peers it feels like running in a race against a low horsepower moped. No matter how hard you try, the moped will still win, though it is not the toughest of the machines, it is still better than human in all ways. Carlsen worked hard to somehow get into a margin which lies somewhere between man and computer. He has a secret calculation recipe, without unlocking which, all efforts would be futile.

Anonymous's picture

I think Nakamura is going to officially start having to call Carlsen daddy now.

Anonymous's picture

Another unimpressive game by Carlsen.

Hernán Ruiz's picture

Another stupid comment for a pathologic envious poor guy.

Anonymous's picture

Thomas is right, of course. Nakamura self-destructed with 23... a5 and Carlsen just had to play a few dull moves to harvest the generous gift.

Anonymous's picture

And Naka is right too ! He is the only real threat to Carlsen.

Anonymous's picture

Nakamura = Rosie Cotton

Thomas Richter's picture

I wouldn't blame 23.-a5, but 33.-Nb6 and 34.-Nd8 (when the worst seemed over for Nakamura) were hard to understand. Much earlier, why did he go for a slow manoevring game against Carlsen?

Nakamura is an inconsistent player who is consistent in two ways: having a big mouth ("I am the only threat to Carlsen), and he keeps finding new ways to lose against Carlsen.

Anonymous's picture

I doesnt matter much against who Carlsen is playing. He wins more games then the others all the time. No matter wich opening or player he faces. Does it mean maybe he is just the best?

Pioneer's picture

You forgot a third way Naka is consistent:

Regularly beating Kramnik

Thomas Richter's picture

True, Nakamura won his last two classical games against Kramnik, but their overall score (+5=7-3 in favor of Nakamura) suggests it could again be Kramnik's turn next time they meet. In any case, it isn't quite comparable to Nakamura's score, or lack thereof, against Carlsen (=15-9).

Mountebank's picture

How on earth does Nakamura's score against Kramnik 'suggest' that Kramnik might win their next encounter?

I fear you have been either swigging the bottle, puffing the bong, or snorting the talcum powder.

Anonymous's picture

"How on earth does Nakamura's score against Kramnik 'suggest' that Kramnik might win their next encounter?"

I fear Carlsen's wins have unscrewed some of the not already loose screws...

Thomas Richter's picture

Quite simple: Nakamura and Kramnik exchanged classical wins in 2010, 2011 and 2012, then Nakamura won two games in 2013. So for the time being, 2013 is an anomaly in a longer-term context, and 5-3 for Nakamura isn't domination. But this might be logic, while fans go for hype.

Anonymous's picture

"2013 is an anomaly in a longer-term context, and 5-3 for Nakamura isn't domination. But this might be logic, while fans go for hype"

Just like with Carlsen vs Anand. Logic states it's 6-6 and totally equal, fans go for the anomaly hype concerned with 5-0 the last years. And since Carlsen won the latest match logic states that Anand should win the next one.

observer's picture

Another great refutation of Thomas' BS "logic".
Good stuff.

blade's picture

normal game by carlsen. but still a good one. congrats to B group winners of this round

saturnz's picture

Carlsen clearly will win this tournament, the question though is will anyone be able to prevent him reaching 2900

Witkacy's picture

Carlsen is eh steamrolling them other players...

awfulhangover's picture

As long as they continue to invite players much lower rated than Magnus, he will continue to get a bunch a cheap wins.

Anonymous's picture

Everybody is much lower rated than Magnus. Whom should they invite?

acrys's picture

They should invite Rybka, Houdini and me. But Carlsen is lucky, he is not a match for me, probably because I play in a lower league:)))

jhoravi's picture

Ivanov is that you? Welcome to chessvibes!

awfulhangover's picture

They could invite GM Irony and his soul mates.

Anonymous's picture

I'm a Thomas Oliver too, and I'm unhappy. This game should have ended as 0-0, a loss for both players.

Anonymous's picture

I puked in anger and hatred when I saw that Carlsen had won, but then I realised that it actually just was Nakamura who keeps finding new ways to lose against Carlsen and not Carlsen who won, and then it immediately felt a little better.

Anonymous's picture

just continue to puke in anger, that's your life after all

Casey Abell's picture

Things you shouldn't do...

1) Jump off a cliff
2) Eat rat poison
3) Get bit by a rattlesnake
4) Play an endgame against Carlsen two pawns down


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