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    « In the Interim (Updated) | Main | Gashimov Memorial, Round 8: Carlsen Crushes Karjakin, Clinches First »
    Tuesday
    Apr092019

    Gashimov Memorial, Final Round: Carlsen Wins Again

    In the end, the 2019 Vugar Gashimov Memorial was a complete triumph for Magnus Carlsen. While everyone else was getting the tournament over with, Carlsen played for keeps against Alexander Grischuk, and won his third consecutive game and fifth overall to finish the tournament with an undefeated 7-2 score. As a result he won the tournament by two points, achieved a ridiculous 2988 TPR, gained 15.8 rating points* and now enjoys a 44.4 point rating lead over Fabiano Caruana. Order in the chess world has been re-established.

    His victory over Grischuk was a masterpiece. It was hard to even figure out where Grischuk lost the game, both for Grischuk and this commentator. Carlsen's play was brilliant, most especially the pawn sacrifice set up by his 29th move. If you've ever wondered why GMs harp on the value of the bishop pair, this game offers a powerful demonstration of that theme. Have a look, learn, and especially enjoy - the game is here, with my comments. (The other games are there too, but without notes.)

    Here are the final standings:

    • 1. Carlsen 7 (of 9)
    • 2-3. Ding, Karjakin 5
    • 4-6. Radjabov, Grischuk, Anand 4.5
    • 7-8. Topalov, Navara 4
    • 9. Mamedyarov 3.5
    • 10. Giri 3

    * I'd say 16 points, but he's playing in the Grenke Chess Classic later this month, so it won't necessarily be rounded up.

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    Reader Comments (7)

    TPR is reported incorrectly. The correct number is 2991.

    Since the tournament started on 3/31/2019 it's the published ratings from March you should use: World Rank Name Rating
    2 Ding, Liren 2812
    4 Giri, Anish 2797
    5 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2790
    6 Anand, Viswanathan 2779
    8 Grischuk, Alexander 2771
    13 Radjabov, Teimour 2756
    14 Karjakin, Sergey 2753
    17 Topalov, Veselin 2740
    18 Navara, David 2739
    Average Rating 2770.8
    https://ratings.fide.com/toparc.phtml?cod=537

    I got 2990.8 when I calculated the performance rating... and as FIDE FA... I do have to do this to submit norms. :)
    I have the average rating as 2770.8 and I have a DP of 220 (because P= .78 Round(7/9,2)). So 2770.8 + 220 is 2990.8.


    the FIDE table of Dp based on score, here calculated to 0.78 or 78% score. The conversion table can be found at https://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html?id=197&view=article
    where it can be confirmed that a score p of .78 gives a dp of 220.

    [DM: Works for me. :)]

    April 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

    Carlsen's last few victories strongly remind me of the alphazero games I've seen celebrated, with relative disdain for material and machine evaluations in favor of long term dynamics; I wonder if he's been influenced by them. He doesn't seem to calculate perfectly or for the most part give long lines, but relative to his (near) peers he seems to be displaying a remarkable sense of when an optically reasonable position is just going to collapse in on itself when defended by a human.

    [DM: It's possible, but human beings have been making positional sacrifices for a very long time.]

    April 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDavid McCarthy

    Topalov should be at 50% but he missed that stupid finale. Anyway, he gained ELO points from tournament..
    Perhaps he plays better in the following events of 2019..

    [DM: I wouldn't give you the "should" - Ding earned that win, and on the flip side a former world champion shouldn't lose such endings. The overall result was about what I expected, something middle-of-the-pack-ish. His rating has been lower than it ought to be, but he doesn't have the energy or motivation to play the kind of chess he exhibited a decade or so ago. (Plus he's married and a father.) That's not just me making conjectures; he has referred to himself as semi-retired. I'm sure we'll see occasional flashes of his brilliance as long as he continues to play, but it's extremely unlikely we'll see him return to his 2004-2005 level again in a sustained way.]

    April 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Tzinieris

    Didn't someone of note once say that the the stronger the player then the stronger the advantage of the bishop pair. Capablanca maybe? I am delighted that Carlsen went for it in the last game rather than settling for a quick draw and what a game!

    April 10, 2019 | Unregistered Commenternimzobob

    I think Grischuk can improve with the retreat 14...Bc7, and now 15 b4 Be6 (15...c5 doesn't seem to work out after just 16 bc5) 16 f3 b6 17 a6 (17 Be3 ba5 18 ba5 [18 b5 Be6] 18... Rab8 19 Bxa7 Rb2) 17...b5 (17...Bd6 and 17...Bc4 also look completely acceptable) 18 Be3 Bb6 19 Kf2 Bxe3+ 20 Kxe3 Rab8 21 Rc1 Rdc8 22 Bd3 Ne8 23 Nd2 c5 and Black has no problems.

    I really like Carlsen's novelty 8 Bc2!, defending e4 and preparing d3-d4. The bishop retreats to c2, skipping over b3, and recovers the "lost tempo" from d2-d3.

    There's few things worse than being tortured and picked apart by the bishop pair. Our generation learned about the bishop pair from Fischer-Taimanov! (Vancouver 1971 Candidates match.)

    April 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Steele

    In your notes, after the "unobvious" 32...Nb8 (instead of the game's 32...f5?) 33 Kf3 Nc6 34 Bf5 "+/-" with "only" a bad position. How exactly is Black worse here? Certainly the bishops are powerful and he has full compensation for the pawn, but how does he continue after 34...Rd5? Black repeats after 35 Be4 Rd6 36 Bf5 Rd5 and White has issues with his loose a5 and h5 pawns. White is at least slightly worse after, for example, 37 Bc8? Nxa5 38 Bxa6 c4 39 Bxa7 Rxa7 40 Re6 Rxh5 41 Rb6 Re7 42 Rb8+ Kf7 43 Rxe7+ Kxe7 44 Bxc5 Rc5=/+.

    A fantastic game, and your explanations in places are great. I appreciate your work.

    [DM: You may be right. I'm finding line after line where White is pressing, but after Black makes a series of (often unobvious) only-moves he survives. Practically speaking, it's still true that White is better, but neither 36.Bxc6 nor 36.Bg6 seems to pan out (after 35.Be4 Rd6) to an objective advantage.]

    April 11, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Steele

    To me, the most AlphaZero-esque move we saw in the tournament was never actually played on the board: 18...Kh7 in Carlsen-Giri, which would have stopped White's attack in its tracks. The move leapt out to me from watching the Sadler-Regan videos, since AlphaZero loves those little king-tucking moves. I assume Giri considered it, given 18. Rf3?? g6!, but something must have put him off.

    April 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterP.

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