For the first time during the Gashimov Memorial, all the games were drawn. Mamedyarov still leads by a point.
There were no decisive games in Round 7 of the Gashimov Memorial in Shamki, Azerbiajan, so the standings remained the same. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, one of the two local players in the tournament, continues to lead, now with five points, followed by Wesley So of the United States, Michael Adams of England, and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, who each have four points.
There were some fireworks in the game between Teimour Radjabov, above, and Veselin Topalov, but they quickly fizzled out.
Though there were no decisive games, there were some interesting moments. For example, in the game between Teimour Radjabov, the other player from Azerbaijan in the field, and Topalov, there was a very tense tactical sequence, though it ultimately led to equality.
1. e4c52. Nf3d63. d4cxd44. Nxd4Nf65. Nc3a66. Bc4e67. Bb3b58. Bg5Be79. Qf3Qc710. e5Bb711. exd6Bxd612. Qe3Bc513. O-O-ONc6The position is very sharp and unclear, but now some exchanges make things simpler and clearer. 14. Bxf6
( 14. Qxe6+Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine tried this ridiculous move once, but it's more flashy than good. 14... fxe615. Nxe6Qe716. Rhe1Qxe617. Rxe6+Ne7And Black is fine. )
14... gxf615. Nd5Qe5!Giving up an exchange. Black will be fine in the ending.
( 15... Qd816. Qf4This position looks very dangerous for Black. )
16. Qxe5Nxe517. Nc7+Ke718. Nxa8Bxg2!The point. Black grabs a pawn before capturing the knight.
( 18... Bxa819. Rhe1 )
( 19. Nc7Bxh1And Black restores the material balance. 20. Rxh1Bxd4 )
19... Bxd4!The most direct route to equality.
( 19... Bxa8It was possible to keep the position more unbalanced, but Topalov's choice is simpler. )
20. Rxd4Nf3It looks like Black will win a pawn, except: 21. Rxe6+!fxe622. Rg4!Rxa823. Rxg2Kf7After all the fireworks, a very sterile, equal position has arisen. The logical result is a draw. 24. Rg3Nd425. Rh3Kg626. Rg3+Kf727. Rh3Kg628. Rg3+Kf7
1. e4e52. Nf3Nc63. Bc4Bc54. O-ONf65. d3O-O6. a4h67. c3a58. h3d69. Re1Ba710. Nbd2Ne711. Nf1Ng612. Ng3c613. d4This is a strategically desirable break to achieve, but it also allows Black to solve all of his problems. 13... exd4!14. Nxd4
( 14. cxd4d5Is also fine for Black. )
14... Re815. Bd2
( 15. Be3Nxe416. Nxe4d5And chances would also be equal. )
15... d5!Black liquidates the entire center and no longer has any problems. 16. exd5Rxe1+17. Bxe1Nxd518. Nb5Bb619. Bxd5Qxd5More exchanges. 20. Qxd5cxd521. Ne2Bd722. Nbd4The Black bishop pair balances out his isolated queen pawn. Chances remained equal the rest of the way. 22... Re823. Kf1Ne524. Bd2Nc425. Bc1g526. b3Nd627. Ba3Ne428. Rd1f529. f3Nf630. Ng3Bxd431. Rxd4f432. Ne2b533. axb5Bxb534. c4Ba635. Nc3a436. Kf2axb337. cxd5Rc838. Bb2Nd739. d6Rc640. g3fxg3+41. Kxg3Kf742. f4Kg643. fxg5hxg544. h4gxh4+45. Kxh4Rc446. Rxc4Bxc447. Ne4Kf548. Nd2Bd5
Pentala Harikrishna seemed to have his opponent, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, in a little trouble, but that was an illusion.
The game that looked like it would might produce a decisive result was the one involving Pentala Harikrishan of India and Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland. Wojtaszek lost a pawn, but he gained enough active counterplay to hold a draw without much trouble.
1. d4Nf62. c4e63. Nc3Bb44. e3O-O5. Bd3c56. Nf3d57. cxd5exd58. dxc5Nbd79. O-ONxc510. Ne2Bg411. Nfd4Nxd312. Qxd3Bxe213. Nxe2Bd614. Bd2Be515. Bc3Qd616. Bxe5Qxe517. Qd4Qxd418. Nxd4Rfc819. Rac1Kf820. f3h521. Rfd1a622. Kf2g623. Ne2Ke724. Nc3b525. Rd4Rc526. Rcd1Rac827. Ke1Ke628. a4bxa429. Rxa4a530. Ne2Ke731. Nd4Nd7!A good decision. Black cannot save the pawn on a5, so he looks for
active counterplay. 32. Rda1Ne5!
( 32... Ra8?Passive and poor. 33. b4And White has a sizeable edge. )
33. Rxa5Nd3+34. Ke2Nxb2Black managed to trade off a pair of pawns and now only has one weakness on d5. Even if the pawn had been captured I think his position would still be defensible, but White never got that far, or even close. 35. Ra7+R8c736. R1a5Rxa737. Rxc5Rd738. f4Na439. Ra5Nb640. Nc6+Kd641. Ne5
( 41. Nb4This would have been a better try for an advantage, but I still cannot imagine Black losing. 41... Ke642. Rb5Nc443. Kd3Nd644. Rxd5f5 )
41... Rc7!42. Ra6Kc543. Kd3Nc4Black has nothing
left to worry about. 44. Ra8Kd645. Rd8+Ke646. Nf3Nb2+47. Kd2Nc4+48. Ke2Re749. Nd4+Kf650. Nc2Rb751. Kd3Rb3+52. Kd4Rb253. Kc3Rxc2+54. Kxc2Nxe3+55. Kd2Nxg256. Rxd5
With only two rounds to go, Mamedyarov is in very good position. Saturday, in Round 8, he will face Wojtaszek with the Black pieces.
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