Shamkir: Wins for Carlsen, Karjakin and Ding Liren

by Antonio Pereira

4/2/2019 – Four out of five games featured big fights in round two of the 2019 Shamkir Chess Tournament. Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin and Ding Liren were the first ones to score in this year’s edition, while David Navara was on the bad side of a draw for a second day in a row, as Veselin Topalov could not make the most of his position. ARYAN TARI provided expert analysis of Carlsen's win over Vishy Anand. 

No drawing streak this year

Are draws going to kill classical chess? This question is almost a hundred years old…and we are still waiting for the answer. After a first round that featured fighting chess that nonetheless led to five draws, the first three decisive games were seen already the next day. Both 2800+ participants won with White, while a topsy-turvy game eventually favoured Sergey Karjakin.

The first game to finish — like so many times in the past — was the one that faced compatriots Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov. None of the players took more than six minutes in any individual move before signing the draw in a completely symmetrical position. No surprises here...

The ever-solid Teimour Radjabov | Photo: Official site

The most anticipated match-up of the day, however, made us quickly forget the ‘Azeri draw’, as Magnus Carlsen defeated his former World Championship challenger Vishy Anand with the white pieces. This was Carlsen's 48th straight game without a loss and his second straight win with White against Vishy — Anand also lost at this year's Tata Steel Masters.

The players followed the line played in the second game of the 2018 World Championship match, until Magnus deviated on move 12. By move 28, they had reached a materially balanced endgame in which White had a slight pull. That is when Anand started faltering, though — the 'Tiger of Madras' was upset with his play in the post-game press conference, so much so that he asked for permission to leave the interview after showing some lines.

Norwegian GM Aryan Tari sent us meticulous analysis of the game: Read more...