After starting the tournament with 50% – 2.5/5 – two of them being losses in a row, it was a question in everyone’s mind whether Carlsen would recover successfully. He did, and in what way. With a brilliant second half scoring 4.0/5 Carlsen takes Shamkir and crowns himself with a full point lead over Caruana, who kept his second place despite today’s loss. Does Magnus do it on purpose?
a very determined magnus at work
The last round’s results:
Mamedyarov drew his last game against Karjakin;
Karjakin kept being very faithful to his double fianchetto variation against the English played by shakhriyar. This seemed to give him no problems today as Mamedyarov’s initiative was easily neutralized. A few fireworks were seen on the board, but they simply ended in a perpetual check.
Nakamura drew his last game against Radjabov;
Of course nowadays it is impossible to escape having a few Berlins in the tournament. The last one of the event was between Nakamura and Radjabov, a little disappointing because they are such creative and fighting players. Neither side did anything productive for 50 moves, and according to the 50-move rule the game is a draw if neither side has captured any piece or pushed a pawn in 50 moves. Not the most exciting game, Black literally shuffle his h-rook back and forth for the majority of that time.
the big clash of the last round was of course the revenge game between Carlsen, Magnus and Caruana, Fabiano
Of course everyone’s eyes were on this game today. Carlsen came in with an unorthodox opening, Caruana sacrificed a pawn and magnus started his engine like play to convert a passive position a pawn up to a full point.
This is not the first time Magnus has started badly a tournament (see e.g. London 2010, Wijk aan Zee 2011), but come from behind to win it in the end. Some chess specialists are starting to stipulate with a new theory that says: “Magnus is so strong that he is simply bored. So he has come up with a new strategy to make things more interesting for himself: play like an idiot in the first few games, move to the bottom of the table, and then try to win the tournament anyway.
this theory seems to be almost true regarding some tournaments played by the mozart where his majesty Magnus was making things unnecessarily hard for himself out of pure boredom, but this makes things even more exciting for us chess fans because when he starts his come back he plays a quasi perfect and delightful chess to all of us…
Whatever the case was Carlsen proved that he can play some very weak chess, as he did against Caruana and Radjabov, and then play some unbelievably precise chess as he did today. He is not untouchable, by any means, Carlsen losing isn’t a spectacular surprise, but his ability to win games is out of this world. Carlsen won more games in this tournament alone than Nakamura, Karjakin, Radjabov and Mamedyarov combined!
The final standings of the Gashimov memorial tournament