April 24, 2014 20:35

Radjabov Also Beats Carlsen, Grabs Sole Lead in Shamkir | Update: VIDEO

After an excellent day for the local fans Teimour Radjabov is suddenly topping the standings of the Shamkir Chess 2014 tournament's A group. The 27-year-old grandmaster from Baku inflicted the second consecutive loss upon Magnus Carlsen, while co-leader Fabiano Caruana lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Etienne Bacrot maintained his lead in group B with a quick win against Rauf Mamedov.

In a bizarre turn of events, both tournament leaders Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana lost their games in round 5 of the Shamkir Chess tournament. This means the leaderboard has shaken up considerably: at half-time it's one of the Azeri players, Teimour Radjabov, who is in sole lead!

Update: video!

Everyone was wondering how Carlsen would fare after his first loss in nine months, and the answer was: not great. His game with Radjabov became his first series of two losses in a row in three and a half years.

Radjabov returned to his beloved King's Indian against the World Champion, who chose the interesting 5.Nge2 variation. “I wasn't exactly sure what's the main line at the moment, but I tried to play in a classical way,” he said.


As early as move 12 Carlsen committed an inaccuracy which allowed Black to equalize. Then the Norwegian took too much risk with taking on f5, misjudging the subsequent complications. His Exchange sacrifice was more or less correct, but certainly not better for White. “To be honest I thought I was doing well here at first. but then I realized I was probably not,” said Carlsen. “I thought there was no way for improve his position. But then this …b5 stuff came and I couldn't keep things under control.”


In his opponent's time trouble Carlsen realized that his position was beyond repair. Despite having little time on the clock, Radjabov found the strongest moves and reached a winning ending on move 40.

PGN string

They were. Radjabov had to wait a minute or two downstairs in the hall for his opponent to come down for the press conference. One security guard, who wouldn't be miscast as the bad guy's assistant in the next James Bond movie, asked him how he had played, and then congratulated the grandmaster.

The World Champion said about his bad form: “Right now I just don't have any energy. My opponents are playing well; they're fighting better than I am. I really need a rest day now to somehow try and regroup because right now it's not working.”

Spotted in the audience: Teimour Radjabov's father next to Vladimir Chuchelov,
and behind them Henrik Carlsen and Peter Heine Nielsen

Radjabov was obviously happy with his first win against Carlsen in six years. “We played many interesting games. This one is certainly the most memorable in terms of recent results.”

By the way, strictly speaking Carlsen could have lost the game much earlier. He appeared about two minutes late for the round, and since there is no mention of special rules for appearing late (such as 30 minutes, or the traditional 60 minutes) in the regulations (in PDF here), the standard FIDE zero-tolerance rule should apply. But common sense prevailed, and Chief Arbiter Faik Gasanov decided to let it be.

Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin drew an interesting game that started with a topical line from the Symmetrical English where Black fianchettoes both his bishops. “I think I walked into some preparation,” said Nakamura at the press conference and Karjakin, sitting right next to him, was smiling expressively. And indeed, while the American grandmaster started pondering at move 14, his opponent only had his first big think at move 22!

But Nakamura didn't get into trouble - on the contrary. Karjakin's nifty way of reaching an ending wasn't actually that good as White was the only one who could play for a win there. Nakamura tried that for a while, but the advantage wasn't big enough.

PGN string


Nakamura easily reached the top 3 of best quotes thus far with the following: “I've played good chess, I've played bad chess and I've played ugly chess. Frankly I actually wish I could play tomorrow because it would give me a chance to play better chess.”

Nakamura would have liked to play tomorrow

The other day Sergey Karjakin warned about a likely comeback for Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who also started the Candidates badly but then started winning. And indeed, the tail-ender scored his first point today against Fabiano Caruana, who was very close to a draw.

In an interesting sideline of the Grünfeld, Mamedyarov managed to drag his opponent into unknown territory. Caruana decided to sacrifice a pawn for activity on the queenside, but in the long run his compensation evaporated. With queens and opposite-colored bishops the position was still drawn, but Caruana missed an important idea and then a nice king march by Mamedyarov decided the game.

PGN string


Etienne Bacrot maintained his lead most comfortably by beating Rauf Mamedov in a mere 26 moves. He described the position after the opening as “an Accelerated Dragon where the move …f5 does't belong“, and so White had a pleasant edge. And then, after a careless 21st move from Black, he could already deliver the decisive blow.

PGN string

Bacrot, still in the lead in B

Tomorrow is a rest day for the players. An excursion through Shamkir is scheduled, in the afternoon football will be played and in the evening there is a concert at the players' hotel. The tournament resumes on Saturday for the second half.

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 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov - Nakamura
Karjakin ½-½ Carlsen   Carlsen - Karjakin
Radjabov ½-½ Caruana   Caruana - Radjabov
Round 4 23.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST
Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov   Caruana - Mamedyarov
Radjabov ½-½ Nakamura   Radjabov - Carlsen
Caruana 1-0 Carlsen   Karjakin - Nakamura
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 AZST   Round 10 30.04.14 13:00 AZST
Mamedyarov 1-0 Caruana   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Carlsen 0-1 Radjabov   Nakamura - Radjabov
Nakamura ½-½ Karjakin   Carlsen - Caruana

Shamkir Chess 2014 | A | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Radjabov,Teimour 2713 2864 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 3.0/5  
2 Caruana,Fabiano 2783 2780 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 0 2.5/5 6.50
3 Karjakin,Sergey 2772 2781 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ ½ 2.5/5 6.25
4 Nakamura,Hikaru 2772 2781 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 1 2.5/5 6.00
5 Carlsen,Magnus 2881 2760 0 0 ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 1 2.5/5 5.75
6 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2760 2714 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/5  

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   Guseinov ½-½ Wang Hao
Motylev ½-½ Abasov   Abasov ½-½ Safarli
Safarli ½-½ Guseinov   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 ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli 0-1 Guseinov
Motylev 0-1 Wojtaszek   Abasov ½-½ Bacrot
Safarli ½-½ Mamedov   Mamedov 1-0 Wang Hao
Wang Hao ½-½ Abasov   Wojtaszek 1-0 Safarli
Bacrot 1-0 Guseinov   Eljanov ½-½ Motylev
Round 5 24.04.14 15:00 CET   Round 6 26.04.14 15:00 AZST
Motylev ½-½ Durarbayli   Durarbayli - Abasov
Safarli 0-1 Eljanov   Mamedov - Guseinov
Wang Hao ½-½ Wojtaszek   Wojtaszek - Bacrot
Bacrot 1-0 Mamedov   Eljanov - Wang Hao
Guseinov 0-1 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 - Guseinov
Guseinov - Wojtaszek   Motylev - Bacrot
Abasov - Mamedov   Safarli - Wang Hao
Round 9 29.04.14 15:00 AZST        
Wang Hao - Durarbayli        
Bacrot - Safarli        
Guseinov - Motylev        
Abasov - Eljanov        
Mamedov - Wojtaszek        

Shamkir Chess 2014 | B | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Bacrot,Etienne 2722 2863 phpfCo1l0.png     1   ½ ½ 1 1   4.0/5  
2 Eljanov,Pavel 2732 2807   phpfCo1l0.png 1   ½     ½ ½ 1 3.5/5  
3 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2716 2748   0 phpfCo1l0.png   1 ½     ½ 1 3.0/5 5.75
4 Guseinov,Gadir 2621 2712 0     phpfCo1l0.png   ½ 1   1 ½ 3.0/5 5.25
5 Motylev,Alexander 2685 2642   ½ 0   phpfCo1l0.png   ½ 1 ½   2.5/5  
6 Wang Hao 2734 2577 ½   ½ ½   phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0     2.0/5 6.00
7 Abasov,Nijat 2516 2613 ½     0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png     ½ 2.0/5 5.00
8 Mamedov,Rauf 2660 2636 0 ½     0 1   phpfCo1l0.png   ½ 2.0/5 4.50
9 Durarbayli,Vasif 2584 2549 0 ½ ½ 0 ½       phpfCo1l0.png   1.5/5 4.50
10 Safarli,Eltaj 2656 2502   0 0 ½     ½ ½   phpfCo1l0.png 1.5/5 3.50

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 TWICphpfCo1l0.png



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Fireblade's picture

Great day for the Azeri players !
Must have boosted Radjabov's confidence too !
Great lies the weight of the crown....

Bauerndiplom's picture

Good day for the Azeri`s , Radja beating Carlsen ( dont mess with the KID ) after a 6 month break and on top of the tournament ( who have thought about this ? ),stunning win by Mame vs Frodo, Carlsen and Caruana Fanboys should cry ;)

Vladimir Topalov's picture


ThomasRichter's picture

There's no better fun than kicking Carlson's fanboys' rears. One - coz it used to be rare opportunity. Two - there is going to be lot more of this in the future. The world is a fun place again. The silence from the fanboys is music to the world.

Hernán Ruiz's picture

Another poor guy taking a defeat of Carlsen as a personal achievement.Was Radjabov who beats Magnus, not yo, Thomas "nobody"Richter.

Thomas Richter's picture

Stating what should be obvious: the above comment wasn't mine. It might be a namesake, but I doubt it.

Anonymous's picture
AAR's picture

Chinks in the armour are beginning to get exploited.
Maybe 2880 was indeed a inflation.

Pal G. 's picture

I think Carlsen said he is not feeling well. I think we all perform under normal when I'll.

Anonymous's picture

Usual excuse of sore losers.
When he won two games, he had good health to seat with his legs above the chair.
Now that he lost, starts complaining about ill health.
Serena Williams, Rafal Nadal use the ill health excuse for losing.

Kramnik, Anand are much better sportsmen. They accept they played badly on losing.

Alcoholics anonymous's picture

"Now that he lost, starts complaining about ill health."

"Kramnik, Anand are much better sportsmen. They accept they played badly on losing."

Especially Kramnik, who complained about not getting enough sleep during this year's Candidates.

Fritz's picture

Sure, no problem. We don't want him to feel good. We just don't want him to win, its ok for us if it is due to his bad toe or head or hair or member. We just don't want him to win anymore. We could be as rough as carlsen or even lot more than that.

MartSmeets's picture

No, he just lost his objectivity for now. Je'll find it again.

Anonymous's picture

Calsen achieved 2880 by sustained accurate play game after game. He lost two games in a row by not living up to his previous standards. There is nothing to "exploit" in this per se. It seems fairly clear to me, having looked at the games, that he's a little bit off. Whether this is the result of random chance or whether something is going on with him, we don't know.

Anonymous's picture


Anonymous's picture

Yes. Anand,Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Kramnik, Nakamura, Aronian and Karjakin are enjoying some Norwegian cod tonight with a side of Carlsen tears.

TikTakTokTekTuk's picture

Lowest rated and 3 out of 5 games black. And still sole leader. Viva Radjabov!

TikTakTokTekTuk's picture

Funny how most comments are about Carlsen losing instead of Radjabov finally playing toplevel again.

Anonymous's picture

Thats because Radjabov or Caruana didn't win two games continuously but Carlsen lost two games continuously.

RG13's picture

You mean 'consecutively'.

Anonymous's picture

following each other continuously.

Rob's picture

Q as a fan for experts: Carlsen in double edged positions just 2790? His weakness!?

Chris's picture

better now then while playing WC match :)

boxi's picture

I thunk it's closer to 2793

Roberto's picture

So, Carlsen haters have another day of happiness.

Something is going really wrong with him. Will he recover from this?

I´m not liking very much of this tournaments. Missing Kramink a lot. He has a nice fighting chess.

Anil Philip's picture

Not carlsen haters. Most of the people in this site is irritated about carlsen fan boys like you. You all are talking in big mouth about this guy. So people are against this guy. Carlsen fanboys uncultured comments provoke a chess player who is not in any side of the players forced to hate carlsen.

shall's picture

carlsen loses 2 and somehow he isn't the best

logic of chessvibes people..

SoundWave's picture

Caruana is the new Carlsen

Talekhine's picture

He was yesterday. Now Radjabov is the new Carlsen.

Rusty's picture

Specifically after his miserable game today Caruana is the new Carlsen

Paulie's picture

So Radjabov is the new Caruana...

Anonymous's picture

And Sirgay Carjacking the new Leko

shall's picture
Lennart Meier's picture

While it is certainly surprising that Carlsen lost two games in a row (which has not happend since 2010), we should remember that he started the tournament very strongly with two wins and has still all the chances.

Today's Carlsen-Radjabov game should also be a clear answer to those who asked, why Radjabov is even playing in the A group.

VishyFan's picture
SBU's picture

Radjabov played well throughout while Carlsen misjudged/misunderstood the positions repeatedly ( as he honestly admitted at the press conf) until it was too late.

Pioneer's picture

Everyone loses...even Carlsen. Even with these losses, he is still 60 points (!) ahead of the world #2.

Radjabov was very impressive today -- moreso than Caruana was yesterday.

Niima's picture

A day with several good games. I was impressed by Mamedyarov's patience defense after grabbing the pawn, gradually reducing Caruana's initiative before finally converting - impressive.

Thomas Richter's picture

Did Caruana really have the initiative, in terms of threatening anything or having a clearcut plan? It seems that he had adequate compensation for the pawn, nothing less and nothing more - the white king _looked_ a bit vulnerable but actually wasn't!?

As to 'converting', I already commented in the previous thread: Caruana went wrong with 67.-Qxc4? possibly playing for a win - 67.-Qf3 would have led to perpetual check, an altogether 'logical' result of the game.

Niima's picture

@ Thomas

I think differentiating between "initiative" and "compensation" is splitting hairs. I do not know what Caruana had in mind, only that Mamedyarov was under pressure and handled it well.

As far as conversion goes, you are right - the ending was not a forced win, but this is chess with a thousand and one complications played by fallible humans; it is within this context that I made the comment.

Gregorov  Lubiesky's picture

Radja Greatya ! Kudos to u for making us feel good today !

Tyke's picture

Tiger of Madras will take MC back to school in Nov.

Anonymous's picture

Tyke ... that's the last thing that will happen, if anything this will give Carlsen a kick up the butt and will only serve to make him work harder. He'll beat Anand even easier next time. Sometimes a couple of defeats are needed to keep you on your toes.

shall's picture

logic on this forum is a shame

Huy's picture

Not to mention all the resentment and ill-founded instincts.

observer's picture

Today I observed and saw Carlsen misuse his chair again. In my opinion it's about time someone takes action against his disrespectful and disrupting behavior. Or soon he will play with his feet on the table.

Anil Philip's picture

Observer, nice joke. Seriously I thought after 2 rounds he may play with his legs. Any way God is there. See when vishy lost to him he gracefully agreed the defeat.But when carlsen lost he says I am not feeling well. Look at the difference between vishy & carlsen. Vishy is a class character. Let the readers evaluate Carlsen

Chris's picture

but if Carlsen is ill, really?

BB's picture

Carlsen already put his feet on the table, see the picture in the middle of this article about round 5.


The chairs do look rather uncomfortable... As long as the opponent does not complain it should be fine. Remember him spilling out of his chair in the world championship match?

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen is hiding his preparation.


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