Carlsen, Ding To Play For Shamkir Chess Title

Just two players can still win the Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir: Ding Liren and Magnus Carlsen. Both won in the penultimate round, and will face each other in Saturday's final round with Carlsen behind the white pieces.

The most bloody round of the tournament so far produced no fewer than four decisive games. As a result, only two contenders are left. The tournament organizers are getting a dream finale with Carlsen and Ding playing for the trophy tomorrow. A tie for first won't be possible anymore, and obviously Ding needs to win this one.

The first to go down today was Veselin Topalov, who lost two games in a row after he topped the standings for many days. He wasn't a shade of his former self against Radek Wojtaszek, whose choice to play the Ruy Lopez instead of another Sicilian hit the bullseye.

At the start of the press conference, Wojtaszek was basically giving a lecture to his opponent on the Møller defense of the Ruy Lopez (5...Bc5), named after the Danish player Jørgen Møller (1873–1944). Topalov: “Of course I didn’t remember anything. The way I played, obviously it’s good for Black.” Read more...