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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
Number of games in database: 1,487
Years covered: 1999 to 2015
Last FIDE rating: 2756 (2766 rapid, 2808 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2775
Overall record: +336 -129 =472 (61.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      550 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Slav (97) 
    D10 D11 D15 D17 D12
 Queen's Gambit Declined (79) 
    D37 D31 D38 D39 D30
 Grunfeld (67) 
    D94 D90 D85 D70 D79
 Nimzo Indian (63) 
    E32 E20 E25 E34 E21
 King's Indian (62) 
    E60 E61 E62 E63 E73
 Queen's Indian (58) 
    E15 E12 E17 E16 E14
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (104) 
    C95 C80 C70 C76 C69
 Sicilian (69) 
    B46 B90 B48 B66 B30
 Grunfeld (60) 
    D85 D86 D78 D90 D80
 King's Indian (41) 
    E60 E62 E67 E91 E70
 English (40) 
    A15 A16 A17 A10 A11
 Petrov (38) 
    C42 C43
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Mamedyarov vs A Timofeev, 2004 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs Ivanchuk, 2007 1-0
   Kramnik vs Mamedyarov, 2008 0-1
   Mamedyarov vs Kharlov, 2006 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs Aronian, 2014 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs A Giri, 2013 1-0
   V Erdos vs Mamedyarov, 2012 0-1
   Mamedyarov vs B Galstian, 2002 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs S Shoker, 2013 1-0
   Mamedyarov vs Carlsen, 2008 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   6th Dubai Open (2004)
   World Junior Championships (2003)
   XXII Reykjavik Open (2006)
   Ordix Open (2009)
   World Team Championship (2010)
   World Junior Championship (Boys) (2005)
   Geneva Chess Masters (2013)
   Russian Club Cup (2006)
   4th Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament (2009)
   Villa de Canada de Calatrava (2007)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2012)
   Chess Olympiad (2012)
   Reykjavik Open (2015)
   World Cup (2009)
   Chess Olympiad (2014)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Match Mamedyarov! by amadeus
   Shakhriyar Mamedyarov`s Selected Games by Jafar219
   Azeri players' masterpieces by ahmadov
   2001 WYCC (open) U-16 by gauer
   mamedyarov by clubhouse

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
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FIDE player card for Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

(born Apr-12-1985, 29 years old) Azerbaijan

[what is this?]
Grandmaster (2002). U16 Champion of Azerbaijan (2000); U18 Champion of Azerbaijan (2000); European U18 Champion (2002); Champion of Azerbaijan (2001 & 2002); World U18 Champion (2003); World Junior Champion (2003 & 2005); Candidate (2011 & 2014).


Shakhriyar Hamid oglu Mamedyarov was born in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan and is one of Azerbaijan's all time great players following in the wake of Baku-born former World Champion Garry Kasparov.


<Age> In 1997, Mamedyarov came second in Azerbaijan's U12 championship and continued his success in the junior nationals by coming first in 2000 in Azerbaijan's U16 and U18 championships. In 2001 he was runner up in the European U16 Championship with 7/9, half a point behind the winner Ernesto Inarkiev and in 2002, he came 2nd in the European Junior Championship with 7.5/11, a point behind the winner Zviad Izoria. Also in 2002 he set a record by winning the European under-18 Championship with 10 points out of 11. In 2003 he won both the under-18 World Championship (with 10/11 – 2 points clear of the field) and the World Junior Championships (2003). In 2005 he reclaimed his junior world title by winning the World Junior Championship (Boys) (2005) with 10.5/13 and raised his rating past the coveted 2700-mark in the process. This was the first time ever – and still the only time - that a contestant has reclaimed the World U-20 Championship title & the 3rd time (the previous being GM Roman Slobodjan of Germany & GM Pablo Zarnicki of Argentina) that a player has claimed this title in his home country (GM Pentala Harikrishna of India was the 4th of 5 players to win the World U-20 Championship title at home).

<National> He won the Azerbaijan Championships of 2001 and 2002.

<Continental> Following on from his solid debut at Aeroflot (see below), the untitled Mamedyarov scored 6.5/11 at the 3rd European Individual Championships (in 2002) in an immensely large field of grandmasters and international masters.

<World> In the FIDE World Cup (2005), which served as the qualifying tournament for ten of the participants in the 2007 Candidates tournament, he defeated Nurlan Ibraev in the tiebreaker of the first round before bowing out in round 2 to Evgeny Najer in the blitz playoff, after ties in the classical games and in the rapid game tiebreakers. In the World Chess Cup (2007) , the winner of which would play Veselin Topalov to determine the challenger for the 2010 World Championship, and the top four of whom would qualify for the 2008-2010 Grand Prix series that would produce some of the participants in the 2011 Candidates, Mamedyarov advanced to the third round after dispatching Khaled Abdel Razik in round one, and Zdenko Kozul in round 2, before bowing out to Ivan Cheparinov in the 3rd round. In the World Cup (2009) , the winner of which would qualify for the World Championship Candidates (2011), Mamedyarov defeated Alexandra Kosteniuk , Vadim Milov , Wang Hao and Viktor Laznicka in the preliminary 4 rounds, before losing to Sergey Karjakin in the quarter finals. Mamedyarov participated in the World Championship Candidates (2011) by strength of his being nominated by the organisers of the original venue (Baku) for the tournament. His participation remained intact although the venue was subsequently changed to Kazan in Russia. His lost to his first round opponent Boris Gelfand by 1.5-2.5 (+0 =3 -1), and was thereby eliminated from the 2012 World Championship cycle. He participated in the World Cup (2011), qualifying via his rating and entered the tournament as the number 3 seed. He defeated Egyptian player Hatim Ibrahim and German GM Daniel Fridman, before unexpectedly losing in the third round to young Ukrainian GM Yaroslav Zherebukh in the 25+10 rapid game tiebreaker, thereby exiting the Cup. He qualified to play in the World Cup (2013) via his rating, and beat Egyptian IM Samy Shoker in the first round, Russian GM Maxim Matlakov in the second round, and 14-year old Chinese wunderkind GM Wei Yi in the rapid game tiebreaker in the third round. However, he was eliminated by US GM Gata Kamsky in the Round of 16 (fourth round).

Mamedyarov gave the other leg of his 2014 World Championship campaign an excellent start in October 2012 by placing =1st at the 1st FIDE Grand Prix London (2012) of the 2012-2013 series alongside Veselin Topalov and Boris Gelfand, scoring 7/11 (+4 -1 =6; TPR 2836) and accumulating 140 GP points. His =4th, a half point behind the three co-leaders at the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2012), earned him another 80 points to take him into the lead for the 2012-2013 Grand Prix series with 220 points. A poor result in the FIDE Grand Prix Zug (2013), where he placed equal last with 4.5/11 was overtaken by the best result possible in the FIDE Grand Prix Beijing (2013), which he won outright to win the full 170 Grand Prix points for an outright win, which eventually secured 2nd place in the best-of-3 overall standings in the Grand Prix series behind Veselin Topalov who remained in first place in the wake of a solid =3rd at the same event. He therefore qualified for the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014), where he placed =3rd (4th on tiebreak behind Vladimir Kramnik) behind Viswanathan Anand and Karjakin.

Mamedyarov qualified by rating for the 2014-15 Grand Prix Series portion of 2016 World Championship cycle. He experienced a meagre result at the FIDE Grand Prix Baku (2014) with =9th, scoring only 35 Grand Prix points. However, he placed himself back in contention for the coveted top two positions that qualify for the Candidates tournament of 2015 when he scored 6.5/11 to place =2nd at the FIDE Grand Prix Tashkent (2014), adding 125 GP points to his tally, for a progressive total of 160 points, and 5th on the Series table.


In 1999, 2000 and 2001, Mamedyarov won 1st place in the BP Amoco Cup Tournaments in Baku. In his first foray into the Aeroflot A tournament in 2002, the then untitled Mamedyarov scored an extremely creditable 5.5/9, a point off the lead, in a veritable sea of Grandmasters. Still untitled, he came =2nd in the Saraybahce Euro Grand Prix in Turkey in 2002 , a half point behind Mikhail Gurevich and alongside Vasil Spasov, Baadur Jobava , Antoaneta Stefanova, Valeriane Gaprindashvili and Mihai-Lucian Grunberg . In 2003, he came 3rd in the 4th Young Masters (2003); in 2004, he came 2nd to Luke McShane in the 5th Lausanne Young Masters (2004), losing to him in the final; and placed 3rd in the 2005 edition of the Lausanne Young Masters. In 2004, he was the outright winner of the 6th Dubai Open (2004) with 7/9 and also the President's Cup in Baku. In 2005, he came =2nd at Corus Tournament: Group B (2005) behind Karjakin. Mamedyarov’s second win of the World Junior attracted an invitation to the Essent Tournament (2006) , which he won on tiebreak ahead of Judit Polgar , and then followed up this success by winning 11th Essent Chess Tournament (2007) . He won joint first place in Aeroflot Open (2006) in Moscow in February 2006, with a score of 6½/9, although Jobava won on count back. He came =1st with Gabriel Sargissian , Ahmed Adly , Pentala Harikrishna , and Igor Alexandre Nataf at the XXII Reykjavik Open (2006) with 7/9, with Sargissian winning on count back. In 2007, he came =2rd in the Mtel Masters (2007) with 5/10, half a point behind Veselin Topalov and won the 11th Essent Chess Tournament (2007) Crown Group with 4.5/6. In 2008, Mamedyarov placed 3rd place in the Sparkassen Chess Meeting (2008) at Dortmund. His results in the 2008-2010 Grand Prix were modest. His best was 7.5/13 in the Baku Grand Prix (2008) , half point behind 3 joint leaders. Then came the Elista Grand Prix (2008) with 6.5/13 followed by 6/13 at the 4th FIDE Grand Prix (2009) in Nalchik. He was 2nd with 7/13 at the FIDE Grand Prix (2010) .

In 2009, he was =2nd alongside Valerij Filippov with 7.5/10 at the 4th Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament (2009) , half a point behind Le Quang Liem . In 2010, he tied for first place with Vladimir Kramnik and Gata Kamsky in the President's Cup in Baku, and followed up with a joint win in the Tal Memorial (2010) alongside Karjakin and Aronian. In 2011, he scored 6/9 to come =4th in the Baku Open (2011) and in 2012 he scored 7.5/11 (+6 -1 =3) to come =3rd at the Tradewise Gibraltar (2012). He withdrew after eight rounds from the 13th European Individual Championship (2012) after forfeiting two games, one for arriving late under the controversial FIDE rule, and one for agreeing to a draw without asking the arbiters. In June 2013, he remained undefeated and placed =3rd (4th on tiebreak) at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2013). In April 2014, he participated in the inaugural Gashimov Memorial (2014), a category XXII DRR event that commemorates the late Azeri grandmaster, placing 6th.


He played first reserve for Azerbaijan in the 34th Olympiad in Istanbul in 2000, and board 2 in the 35th Bled Olympiad (2002), the 36th Olympiad (2004) in 2004, and the 38th Olympiad (2008) in Dresden. He played top board in the 39th Chess Olympiad (2010) in Khanty-Mansiysk, coming 6th on board 1 with 6.5/10 and a 2778 TPR. At the Chess Olympiad (2012), he won the gold medal for board 3 with the stunning score of 8.5/10 for a TPR of 2880. He also played top board for his country in the Chess Olympiad (2014).


Mamedyarov has long been an excellent and prolific team player. He has played in the European Team Championships, the European Club Cup, the German Bundesliga, and in team championships in Turkey, Spain, Russia, Macedonia and Spain. He has also played in the World Team Championship (2010), where he scored 8/9 on board 4 (TPR 2950), winning an individual gold and helping his team to 4th place. In the World Chess Team Championship (2011), he played board 4, scoring 5/9.

Distinctions include winning 2nd place on Board 2 in the European Team Championship in 2003 and winning 1st place on Board 1 at the 21st European Club Cup (2005). In 2006, he scored 7.5/9 in the Russian Teams Championship and was the best player of the French Club Championship, scoring 9 points out of 11. He won a bronze medal on Board 1 in the European Club Cup (2007) in Turkey, a bronze on Board 1 in the Euro Club Cup (2008) in Kallithea, Greece, and was the best individual player with 8/9 at the World Team Chess Championships 2009. Shakhriyar won bronze with the Azerbaijani Chess team in the European Team Chess Championships (2007), individual and team gold in 17th European Team Championship (2009), individual gold (for board 3), team silver at the European Team Championship (2011), team gold at the European Team Championship (2013), team gold for his team SOCAR Baku in the 28th European Club Cup (2012), individual gold (for board 5) and team bronze with his team SOCAR at the European Club Cup (2013), and individual bronze (board 3) and team gold again with SOCAR, at the European Club Cup (2014).


In 2003, he drew a match that was held in Azerbaijan, dubbed the “Match of Champions”, with Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami with a score of 3-3.


Mamedyarov won the 2007 Rapid Tournament in the Czech Republic, the 2008 Rapid Tournament, Corsica, and the Ordix Open (2009), a rapid tournament, with a record-breaking score of 10/11. He won the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2013) with 11.5/15. At the end of 2013, he scored a reasonable 4/7 for =5th at the SportAccord World Mind Games (Men, Rapid) (2013) and an excellent 18/30 for =3rd at the SportAccord World Mind Games (Men, Blitz) (2013) to add 100 rating points to his blitz rating. His =5th with 13.5/21 at the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014) took him to #6 in the world blitz rankings. Sole first place in the Tal Memorial Blitz (2014) with 16/22 took him to #3 on the world blitz ladder. A strong =2nd in the rapid section of the Mind Games event staged in Beijing in December 2014 provided a solid rating boost in this modality of the game, although his results in the blitz event, 17/30, proved to be a negative balance in the blitz section, dropping him to #7 blitz player in the world.


Mamedyarov's best standard FIDE rating was 2775 in August 2013 when he was rated #6 in the world. His ranking peaked at #4 in January 2007 when he was rated 2754.

His FIDE ratings as of 1 February 2015 are:

<Standard> 2759 (Azerbaijani #1 and world #13);

<Rapid> 2766 (world #13); and

<Blitz> 2808 (World #7).


Mamedyarov’s father taught him how to play chess in the summer of 1993 and in that year he commenced attendance at chess school in Sumgayit where his first chess trainer was Valide Bayramova. Shakhriyar has two sisters, Zeinab Mamedjarova and Turkan Mamedjarova, who are both WGMs. Hobbies include football, bowling, music, ping-pong, horse-riding.

Website:; Live rating list:

Latest update: 4 Feb 2015

 page 1 of 60; games 1-25 of 1,487  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A Volokitin vs Mamedyarov  1-030 1999 WCh U14 BoysC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
2. Mamedyarov vs Radjabov  ½-½53 1999 Baku-C U18D30 Queen's Gambit Declined
3. Mamedyarov vs Navara 1-052 1999 WCh U14 BoysA48 King's Indian
4. A Riazantsev vs Mamedyarov 0-166 2000 Dubai OpenB50 Sicilian
5. A Guseinov vs Mamedyarov 1-083 2000 Dubai OpenE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
6. A Riazantsev vs Mamedyarov  ½-½41 2000 Dubai OpenE82 King's Indian, Samisch, double Fianchetto Variation
7. Mamedyarov vs Dolmatov  1-036 2000 Dubai OpenA48 King's Indian
8. Mamedyarov vs Sadegi Adel 1-047 2000 Dubai OpenD02 Queen's Pawn Game
9. K Asrian vs Mamedyarov 1-044 2000 Dubai OpenC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
10. Mamedyarov vs C S Gokhale  ½-½28 2000 Dubai OpenD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
11. B Abdulla vs Mamedyarov  ½-½31 2000 Dubai OpenC81 Ruy Lopez, Open, Howell Attack
12. Mamedyarov vs M Al Sayed ½-½55 2000 Dubai OpenE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
13. Mamedyarov vs Shumiakina  ½-½41 2000 Dubai OpenD02 Queen's Pawn Game
14. J Smeets vs Mamedyarov  ½-½17 2001 WYB16C42 Petrov Defense
15. M Lomineishvili vs Mamedyarov  ½-½39 2001 openE63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
16. Mamedyarov vs A Holmsten  ½-½38 2001 EuTChD79 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, Main line
17. M Cornette vs Mamedyarov  ½-½41 2001 EYCC B16C27 Vienna Game
18. N Mamedov vs Mamedyarov  ½-½13 2001 WYB16C70 Ruy Lopez
19. Mamedyarov vs Hector  ½-½27 2001 EuTChD49 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
20. Mamedyarov vs K Supatashvili  ½-½31 2001 openA46 Queen's Pawn Game
21. R Babaev vs Mamedyarov  0-136 2001 AZE-ch U20C42 Petrov Defense
22. E Inarkiev vs Mamedyarov  ½-½49 2001 EYCC B16D85 Grunfeld
23. Mamedyarov vs Zhao Jun  ½-½35 2001 WYB16A43 Old Benoni
24. Mamedyarov vs R Mamedov 1-041 2001 openC11 French
25. R Zelcic vs Mamedyarov  ½-½64 2001 EuTChC54 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 60; games 1-25 of 1,487  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Mamedyarov wins | Mamedyarov loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 73 OF 73 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-12-14  MamedyarovFan: Happy birthday to Shak! I hope this is the year when he wins the Candidates next month, gets his rating well over 2800, and -- just like Fischer at 29 years of age -- wins the world title, and finally casues <parisattack>, <FairyPromotion>, <ahmadov> and many other fans of Shak to break open krug rose or otherwise have major celebrations!
Mar-21-14  Poisonpawns: Thank you for showing up to the press conference;despite a terrible loss.The same cannot be said of Kramnik.
Mar-21-14  Mr. Bojangles: But Kramnik didn't lie and falsely accuse a fellow professional of cheating.
Mar-21-14  Poisonpawns: <Bojangles>That was wrong also.
Apr-03-14  Everett: Mar-21-14 < Mr. Bojangles: But Kramnik didn't lie and falsely accuse a fellow professional of cheating.>

I'm sure he thinks he is telling the truth. He may just be wrong.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <MamedyarovFan> We're still hanging in with Shak! But I continue to think his openings as Black aren't a good fit for his style...and perhaps he needs to be a bit more patient in his attack at times. Have him play some Go for a few weeks. It helps develop a 'whole board' approach and aids in timing, feeling the tempo of a game.

Not to worry, the Krug Rose will only get better the next two years - just like Shak!

Jun-21-14  MamedyarovFan: Hi <parisattack> and other fans of Shak. I access chess sites very rarely now. That's great that <paris attack>'s Krug Rose will get better like Shak! According to , Shak came fifth on tie-break in the 2014 World Blitz. I noticed your remark "Cute trap. A rude 'shak' for Judit" (who is herself a brilliant tactical player) at Mamedyarov vs Judit Polgar, 2014.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Hello <MamedyarovFan> Thanks for checking in! CG.coms 'friends-of-Shak' were getting a little worried about you.

Take care, check in when you can. (I am not as active anymore either but do follow Shak's games.)

Jun-23-14  MamedyarovFan: Will do <parisattack>, thanks!
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: My three chess heroes all accounted themselves well at the olymics. My 'main man' Shak gained six place and will be back in Top-10 with one more good performance.He's beginning to show real patience and understanding to the pace of a game. I'l still like to see him play more 'whole board' defenses, however.

Topa I had almost written off, but he is having a fine second wind and seems to less let nice positions out of the opening deteriorate. Space is the most difficult advantage to convert.

Ding Liren is learning with each game whilst still keeping his wonderful originality an new ideas for pieces and pawns in action.

Aug-15-14  Everett: The last queens pawn player I would like to be Black against is Mamedyarov. So dangerous and solid with it.
Aug-20-14  FairyPromotion: Just wanted to say hi to all the Shak fans here! Last Olympiad was the first tournament I was introduced to Mamedyarov's chess, and Mamed had a great performance in this Olympiad, as well. Too bad he missed a board prize by the skin of his teeth. Still a 2800+ should make all of us happy.

BTW <parisattack> I like you list. Those 3 players would probably be in my top5, along with Anand & Chucky. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Hi <FairyPromotion> Nice to hear from you, again!

Chucky was the top-of-my-list 10 or so years ago, but alas I believe time has passed him by tho of course always a brilliant stroke possible from him at any time.

I'm not on much these days, either. Dreaming of making 1d in Go and spending what little free 'game' time on it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congratz to Mamedyarov for winning the Tal Memorial Blitz (2014) with a score of 16/22 (+14,-4,=4). He kinda stumbled in the 2nd half, scoring only 6/11, which allowed Grischuk to finish just half a point behind. Mamedyarov still finished with the most wins, and also most "whiteouts" (2-0 victories) with 5.

This tournament was rated (blitz of course), and he is now World #3 after gaining 41.6 points (behind only Carlsen and Nakamura).

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: A nice win for Shak and some very pretty wins along the way.
Nov-15-14  FairyPromotion: Wonderful result indeed! Especially his 10/11 in day one was insane! He also played great in Tashkent GP, but sadly the first round loss against Andreikin (from a winning position, no less) has made qualifying to Candidates via GP series a lot more difficult.

Congratulations to Shak anyway, and good luck to him in the upcoming tournaments.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Fans of Shak> hope <MamedyarovFan> is doing well as 2014 becomes 2015.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Interesting tournament for Mamedyarov at FIDE Grand Prix Tbilisi (2015), as he recorded 3 black wins, but was on the wrong side of 2; he lost 2.8 rating points overall.

The 5 0-1s are probably the most out of all players in the tournament.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Interesting tournament for Mamedyarov at FIDE Grand Prix Tbilisi (2015), as he recorded 3 black wins, but was on the wrong side of 2; he lost 2.8 rating points overall.

The 5 0-1s are probably the most out of all players in the tournament.

Believe it or not, he's actually 2nd overall in FIDE Grand Prix points with 235, but he's unlikely to qualify (through the top 2 spots), as he has already played all 3 of his tournaments.

Mar-07-15  MamedyarovFan: Hello <Fans of Shak>. Sorry <parisattack> that I continue to be out of touch... and my visits here will become even rarer :-) The following might interest you, <FairyPromotion>, <Penguincw>, <ahmadov>, <notyetagm>, < Jafar219> and many others who are <Fans of Shak> or merely interested in his game comments. Concerning the recent GP in Tbilisi 4-28th Feb 2014, here are some comments by Shak. They are slightly paraphrased without changing the import. [Bracketed notes are by me, a total amateur!]

It was not an easy tournament for me. I commenced with a good win against GM Vachier Lagrave -- a nice game at high level. In the second game I lost to GM Kasimdzhanov for the first time in my life. I actually had a better position but I played riskily and did not want a draw. In the third round, I won again a very good game against GM Andreikin -- really it was a good game. But then I lost in Round 4 with White to GM Tomashevsky: the problem was my move 41 Rb1... I don’t understand how I played so badly in missing his reply 41... b2 [<Note:> gives the evaluation as about equal before White’s move 41, and -2.18 after Black’s reply!] Then in Round 5 I had a winning position against GM Jobava. [ <Note:> gives the evaluation as -1.02 before Shak played 18... Rxg7 and after this move the evaluation changed to +1 for GM Jobava.] After missing winning chances I did not even spot his potential mate in 1 when I played 27... Ke7?? In Round 6 I had a bad game against GM Jakovenko, but afterwards in Round 7 I won a really nice endgame against GM Grischuk. After that I had draws in Rounds 8, 9 and 10. Unfortunately, I really did not feel like fighting against GM Svidler in the last Round 11. [<Note:> Shak’s fans will know that is it an understatement to say that it is uncharacteristic for Shak not to want to fight for a win!] I wanted first place in this tournament, not third place. It was an interesting tournament for me but the results are not good. My next tournament is the Petrov Memorial Rapid on 7-8 March in Jurmala, Latvia. [<Note:> At the time of writing this, Shak is in joint first place with 4.5/5... the remaining six rounds will be held tomorrow March 8.] Finally, on 10 March I will play in the Reykjavik Open 2015... I am anxious to play chess. I am afraid there is no chance for a wild card to the Candidates Tournament. [<Note:> Shak cannot now get in via the GP; see also <Penguincw's> most recent comment above.] But I have one last chance: I will qualify for the Candidates if I get first or second place in the World Cup. [<Note:> Thus ends Shak’s comments.]

Personally I found it interesting to look at some of the post-game interviews in the Tbilisi GP. I noticed nice camaraderie among the players (e.g. between Shak and GM Jobava). It strikes me that each and everyone of the GMs is really nice and very bright but highly modest. Even after losing, they behave stoically and focus on making erudite comments on the game more than exhibiting any semblance of disappointment. I gained a new admiration for these super GMs because we all know how devastating a loss can be and how genius is sometimes accompanied by oddness or arrogance. I think that any one of the GMs in Tbilisi could be role models for lesser mortals like me and I wish them all luck in the future. I hope <paris attack> will need to uncork the promised Krug Rose through Shak reaching 2800 in this the year of his 30th birthday, and I hope he will qualify for the Candidates by placing 1 or 2 in the World Cup :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Congrats to top seed Mamedyarov for remaining the only perfect player after 5 rounds at Reykjavik Open (2015). In Round 6, he'll face 2nd seed Navara with white
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Okay, he drew Navara but then lost to L'Ami, who eventually won the tournament. Overall, he finished in a 11 way tie for 4th (behind Fier and Naroditsky on tiebreaks).

Not a bad performance, but he was the top seed, so he loses 1.7 rating points.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: I'm not sure what to think about Shak's performance here. A couple of nice games, but inconsistent. He still seems to lack 'fight' when in defensive mode.

Definitely no idea what the Caro-Kann is about. I think the 'other Kan' - Sicilian - would fit his style, perhaps also the Pirc if the Robatsch is too risky? As <MamedyarovFan> notes above, he's going to be 30 this year. The Wonder Years are behind him...

Mar-18-15  SirRuthless: <A couple of nice games, but inconsistent. He still seems to lack 'fight' when in defensive mode.>

I think you got it. He is not accurate or tenacious in defense. He reminds me of the older Morozevich or a slightly more solid and much better prepared version of Jobava. They are attackers at heart and have no love for defense except to attack even more. Makes for some beautiful combinations and some extreme implosions as well. At some point if you want to move into the top 10 you have to accept that some positions are going to be a struggle and relish thwarting your opponent with impeccable defense.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Good point - seems indeed to be a characteristic of most attacking players. Kasparov didn't like to defend but did it when required.
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