He leads the Gashimov Memorial after three rounds after he beat Pavel Eljanov, the leader through Round 2.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is the new leader of the Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, after he took advantage of mistakes by Pavel Eljanov to win their Round 3 encounter.
Mamedyarov, of Azerbaijan, now has 2.5 points, trailed by Eljanov of Ukraine, the leader after Round 2, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, and Michael Adams of Britain, who each have 2 points.
As in the first two rounds, there were two decisive results in Round 3. (Adams was the other winner, beating Sergey Karjakin of Russia.) It’s very rare to see a high level tournament in which Black wins more games than White, but so far Black has accounted for five of the six wins!
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov displaced Pavel Eljanov as the tournament leader with a win in Round 3.
Eljanov came close to beating Mamedyarov, but failed to capitalize on his chances and eventually succumbed because of his mistakes:
1. Nf3Nf62. g3g63. Bg2Bg74. O-OO-O5. d4d66. c4Nbd77. Nc3e58. e4exd49. Nxd4Re810. b3a611. Be3Rb812. a4a513. Ndb5b614. Qc2Nc515. Rad1Bb716. f3Qe717. Rfe1Rbd818. Bf2c619. Nd4Qc720. g4Nfd721. Bh4Bf622. Bg3Na623. Na2Ndc524. f4Qe725. g5Bg726. h4f627. gxf6Bxf628. h5Qg729. Bf2Nc730. hxg6hxg631. Nc3N7e632. Nce2Nxd433. Nxd4Rd734. Nf3Bc835. e5dxe536. fxe5Rxd137. Qxd1Be738. Nd4Bg539. Bxc6Rf840. Nf3Qh641. Bxc5bxc542. Qd5+Kg743. e6Rf5White had played a great game up to this point and has a big advantage. He is up a pawn and, more importantly, the Black bishop on c8 is a piece of dead wood. Still, with his king exposed, White needs to play precisely, which he did not manage to do. 44. Re5?This is a big mistake.
( 44. e7!This was the simplest path to victory, and not wildly difficult to calculate. The point is that after: 44... Rxd545. e8=QBoth the rook on d5 and the bishop on c8 are attacked, while Black has no checks. The game is effectively decided. )
( 44. Qd6This also wins )
44... Qh3!Well spotted. Now Black is fine as the pawn on e6 cannot be saved. 45. Qxc5
( 45. e7Qg3+46. Kh1Qh3+ )
( 45. Rxf5?This position looks crushing for White, but... 45... Be3#! )
( 45. Nxg5Rf1# )
45... Qg3+46. Kf1Rxf3+47. Bxf3Qxf3+White now has to defend very precisely to hold on. His king is exposed and the Black bishops are springing to life. 48. Qf2Qd1+49. Qe1Qd3+!Of course Black does not want a draw.
( 49... Qf3+50. Qf2With a repetition. )
50. Qe2Qg3!White is under enormous pressure. He cannot exchange queens and Black's pieces are ready to invade. 51. Qe4?
( 51. Rxa5!This was the only move to maintain the balance but it's basically impossible for a human to find. )
51... Qh3+Black repeats the position once before finding the right way forward.
( 51... Bh4 )
52. Qg2Qd3+53. Qe2Qg354. Qe4Bh4!Again, Black avoids a draw. 55. Qe3Qh2!Another excellent move. 56. Rd5
( 56. e7This is not good because of: 56... Bh3+ )
( 56. Rb5This move offered more resistance, but it is very hard for a human to find. Black might still win after: 56... Qh1+57. Ke2Bxe6 )
56... Qh1+!Mamedyarov has always been good at finding forcing continuations, and here he shows his strength. 57. Ke2Qe1+58. Kf3Qg3+
( 58... Bxe6This was a faster win but the move in the game is sufficient. )
59. Ke2Qe1+60. Kd3
( 60. Kf3I doubt Mamedyarov would have repeated the position again. 60... Bxe6 )
60... Qd1+!61. Ke4
( 61. Kc3Bf6+62. Rd4Bxe6 )
61... Bb7!Simple and deadly. Black wins material. 62. Ke5Bxd563. cxd5Be7!A final accurate move to finish off the game. The king cannot be allowed to get to d6. 64. Qa7Qe2+65. Kf4g5+66. Kg3Kf6A somewhat lucky win for Mamedyarov, but ultimately the score is all that matters.
( 39. Ra1!White's position is not much fun, but he should be okay for the time being. 39... Rxa140. Qxa1Qc241. Qe1Black is a bit better, but the game is far from decided. )
39... Rxf1+Karjakin, presumably disgusted with himself, resigned at this point. If he had played one more move and gotten more time to think, he would have realized he could continue: 40. Kxf1Qc4+White loses his rook, but the game is far from decided. 41. Re2!Nd2+
( 41... Nc342. Qe8+Kg743. Qe5+Kh744. Qe7 )
( 42. Ke1Qc1# )
( 42. Kg1Nf3+ )
42... Qxe243. Qe8+Kg744. Qe5+And Black has a hard time escaping the checks. The point is that: 44... Kh7Can be met by 45. Qf4!When the threat of Qxf7 is very hard to deal with because the king has no safe hiding spot. According to the computer, Black's only way to win is: 45... Qf1+!46. Kh2Qc4!47. Qxf7+Kh6But even in this position, white can continue. Black's king is so exposed that White could still hope for a perpetual check, or to exchange enough pawns to force a draw. 48. Kh3
Veselin Topalov was trying to figure out what was going on in the game between Radoslaw Wojtaszek, foreground, and Wesley So.
The other games were draws, but not without some fireworks. The game between Wesley So of the United States and Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland was very exciting for a while, but a series of exchanges led to a quiet ending.
1. Nf3d52. d4Nf63. Bf4Bf54. e3e65. c4Bxb16. Qxb1Bb4+7. Kd1Bd68. Bg5h69. Bxf6Qxf610. c5Bf811. Qc2c612. b4a613. Bd3Nd714. Ke2g515. h3Bg716. a4Qe717. Rad1O-O18. g4e519. Bh7+Kh820. Bf5exd421. h4!?White does not bother taking back on d4 and allows his center to fall apart; his kingside play will be faster. 21... Ne5
( 21... dxe3This was possible, and would have been my choice. After 22. hxg5Ne5!23. gxh6Bf6Black should not be worse in this messy position )
22. Nxd4gxh4!This is Black's best attempt to keep the h-file closed. 23. Bd3!The threat is Nf5. 23... Qg524. Rdg1Nxd325. Qxd3Bxd4!This was not the only move, but it's definitely the safest. A White knight arriving on f5 could be very dangerous for Black.
( 25... a526. f4Qg627. Nf5axb428. Rxh4This position looks very dangerous for Black. )
26. Qxd4+Qg7White has a nominal advantage with his better pawn structure but it should not be enough to win. 27. Qd2Keeping queens on the board is the more ambitious way to play, but White is definitely not better.
( 27. Rxh4Qxd428. exd4Rae8+29. Kd3Kg7I have a hard time seeing a player as strong as Wojtaszek losing in this position. )
27... Qf628. g5!?More fuel on the fire! 28... hxg529. f4Rg8!The only move to hold everything together, but not a hard one to find. There was no other way to prevent Rxg5. 30. fxg5Qe5!A very tough move and Wojtaszek deserves full credit for finding it.
( 30... Rxg5!31. Rxh4+Kg832. Rxg5+Qxg533. Qd4And Black would be mated. 33... Qg2+34. Ke1Qg3+35. Kd2Qf2+36. Kc1Qe1+37. Kb2Qe2+38. Ka3 )
31. Rxh4+Kg732. g6Rh833. gxf7+Kxf7Black's king is surprisingly safe. Indeed, White is the one who should be worried about his king safety. So made the mature decision to exchange the queens and force a draw. 34. Qd4Qxd435. Rxd4Rag836. Rf1+Ke737. Rdf4Rf838. Rxf8Rxf839. Rxf8Kxf840. e4dxe4
Since their bitter 2006 World Championship, games between Veselin Topalov, left, and Vladimir Kramnik are always tense.
In Round 4, Mamedyarov will face Teimour Radjabov, his compatriot. Usually these two draw their games, but with Mamedyarov leading, I have a feeling we might see them fight this time.
Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He was also a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter, has his own site, and is also on Facebook.
FIDE and World Chess announces today that the 2018 World Chess Championship Match will take place in London in November 2018. The world’s most prestigious chess tournament is to be the climax of a season of high-profile activity to extend the sport’s appeal among global audiences – and make 2018 the Year of Chess in the UK.
After 9 days of intense chess battles at the last leg of the World Chess Grand Prix series 2017 in Palma de Mallorca, the two winners of the series were finally determined: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, overall 340 points in the series) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia, 336,4 points). They qualified for the Candidates Tournament – the next part of the World Chess Championship cycle, which leads up to the Championship match.
The sole leader of the Palma de Mallorca Grand Prix Levon Aronian made a quick draw with Evgeny Tomashevsky today, inviting the group of rivals to join him at the top. But same as in the previous rounds all games on the top boards finished peacefully and not a single player came close to catching up with him.
After seven rounds Aronian is in the lead with 4,5 points. A group of 8 players is half a point behind, including Vachier-Lagrave. In order to qualify for the Candidates, the Frenchman needs to win at least one more game. Boris Gelfand defeated Alexander Riazantsev, Pavel Eljanov won against Jon Ludvig Hammer, while Teimour Rajabov outplayed Li Chao. After the victory the Azerbaijani Grandmaster still hopes to qualify, but in that case has to win both games.
Javier Ochoa, Honorary FIDE Vice President and President of the Spanish Chess Federation, made the first symbolic move to start the fourth round, which turned out to be the most exciting round of the tournament so far, with six decisive games out of nine.
In the Third Round of the FIDE Grand Prix in Palma de Mallorca games between the four leaders, Vachier-Lagrave-Aronian and Rajabov-Giri, finished in a draw. Peter Svidler joined the group of leaders by beating Jon-Ludvig Hammer in the third round.
The world’s best chess players and chess establishment came together in Bellver Castle to celebrate the opening of the final leg of the FIDE 2017 World Chess Grand Prix Palma de Mallorca – a prestigious qualifier for the World Chess Candidates Tournament.
Katerina Lagno, one of the strongest Russian women-grandmasters won the historic Moscow Blitz Tournament, beating her fellow Russian Olympic team members Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina and Olga Girya.
After a draw against Ian Nepomniachtchi, Teimur Rajabov won the tournament. One of the strongest players, Rajabov had not won a major tournament lately, but has shown phenomenal form in Geneva and managed to overpower some of top world’s players