Mamedyarov strikes in the final rounds
There was little doubt in our last report (currently only in Portuguese) on the Memorial Gashimov that Fabiano Caruana would take the cup. There were only two rounds to the end and the Italian-American GM led with a half point advantage ahead of Giri and a full point ahead of Karjakin and Mamedyarov – the latter playing at home, important to stress, but very seldomly mentioned in our past reports about the event.
In the last two rounds the late GM Vulgar Gashimov must have smiled happy up there. His countrymen “decided” to win games. In particular him, the legend, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
[Mamedyarov carved this King with his ax.]
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2748), – known in Brazil as “Lumberjack” -, owner of a crude and devastating style from where the nickname was extracted (nothing against the woodcutters, it never hurts to point out) won the eighth round against the leader of the tournament, Caruana, and in the last he ran over the second placed Anish Giri (actually, he won a game in which exchanged queens quickly and subsequent positional maneuvers and led to a winning rook endgame. But to say “ran over” is more exciting and matches best with the figure of the woodcutter).
[ So boring to win without queens…]
But the point is that, even after two straight wins, Mamedyarov finished tied in first place with Caruana. And, by the regulation of the tournament, the first place would be decided by a thrilling match of four games – two rapid and two blitz.
And as we saw in the legendary Kasparov comeback in St. Louis this year blitz is not quite the Caruana’s cup of tea … On the other hand, Mamedyarov is at home – or rather, was again at home. Three draws and a win for the Lumberjack. The home crowd was delirious. A thrilling and deserved win forthis true fighter of the chess world.
Written by Rafael Leitão Chess Academy Team in 07.06.2016