Candidates Tournament - The Result!

  • SonofPearl
  • on 4/1/13, 11:12 AM.

Annotations by GM Sam Shankland

The 2013 Candidates Tournament will live long in the memory, and its conclusion was as unexpected as it was amazing! The two remaining contenders, Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik both had to keep one eye on each other's games, with Vladimir Kramnik needing to score a better result than his Norwegian rival to win the tournament.

Today is April Fool's day, but this is no joke: Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik both lost their final round games!  Incredibly, Vassily Ivanchuk gradually outplayed Vladimir Kramnik, and Magnus Carlsen went astray in rare (for him) time trouble to turn an equal position into a loss.

Carlsen was first to resign, but relatively safe in the knowledge that Kramnik was probably losing as well. What a finale!

Two rounds ago, it seemed that Vassily Ivanchuk had cost Magnus Carlsen victory in the tournament, but by beating Vladimir Kramnik in the final round, he ended up saving his skin!  Try to fit a conspiracy story around that...Wink

Magnus Carlsen at the start of his final round game



Peter Svidler's win gave him 3rd place in the tournament




Vladimir Kramnik came so close to winning the tournament



Vassily Ivanchuk is the toast of Norway after beating Kramnik!




2013 Candidates Tournament Final Standings

Name Fed Elo Pts
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2872
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2810
Peter Svidler RUS 2747 8
Levon Aronian ARM 2809 8
Boris Gelfand ISR 2740
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2764
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2757 6
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2793 4


Lev Aronian completed Teimour Radjabov's miserable tournament by beating him after the Azerbaijani blundered in the endgame.

Lev Aronian ended the tournament with another win



Boris Gelfand and Alexander Grischuk finished their campaigns with a draw



The complete results of the 2013 Candidates

Round 1  15/03/13   
Levon Aronian ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Teimour Radjabov 
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Peter Svidler  ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Round 2  16/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Teimour Radjabov  1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Levon Aronian 1 - 0 Boris Gelfand
Round 3  17/03/13   
Boris Gelfand 0 - 1 Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk  0 - 1 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler  1 - 0 Teimour Radjabov 
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Round 4  19/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen 1 - 0 Alexander Grischuk 
Teimour Radjabov  ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Vassily Ivanchuk 
Round 5  20/03/13   
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  ½ - ½ Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Teimour Radjabov 
Round 6  21/03/13   
Peter Svidler  0 - 1 Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Vassily Ivanchuk 
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov  0 - 1 Levon Aronian
Round 7  23/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Teimour Radjabov 
Levon Aronian ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Round 8  24/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov  0 - 1 Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk  1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Vladimir Kramnik 1 - 0 Peter Svidler 
Round 9  25/03/13  
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Vassily Ivanchuk  1 - 0 Teimour Radjabov 
Boris Gelfand 1 - 0 Levon Aronian
Round 10  27/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen 1 - 0 Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian 1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Teimour Radjabov  ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Alexander Grischuk  0 - 1 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 11  28/03/13  
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik 1 - 0 Teimour Radjabov 
Peter Svidler  1 - 0 Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Boris Gelfand
Round 12  29/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen 0 - 1 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Levon Aronian 0 - 1 Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov  ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Round 13  31/03/13  
Teimour Radjabov  0 - 1 Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Levon Aronian
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Boris Gelfand
Peter Svidler  1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Round 14  01/04/13
Magnus Carlsen 0 - 1 Peter Svidler 
Vassily Ivanchuk  1 - 0 Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Levon Aronian 1 - 0 Teimour Radjabov 


See you for the world championship in October/November: Magnus Carlsen versus Vishy Anand!


The winner, and world championship challenger, Magnus Carlsen


Photos by Ray Morris-Hill.

42640 reads 255 comments
19 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Amazing tournament! This is exactly what we needed - excitement, fight until the last move, heroes (Carlsen  and Kramnik) and villains (Ivanchuk Smile), it was all there.

    I'm a faithful Kramnik, have bben following him since the early days back in the 90's and can't be extremely happy for the outcome, but I would be lying badly if I said I wasn't enjoying this competition from the start to the end.

    Psychology played a big role - Magnus lost beacuse of it and Kramnik didn't learn the leason cheaply.

    Magnus is a deserving winner, but - if he wabts to stand any chance against Vishy he needs to learn lessons fast. When you play the best folks in the world, there are no straightforward solutions! This tournament proved it.

    And finally, Chucky! World of chess would be so less more interesting without him - he was always there to amuse us. Either with his brilliant play, either with his, at least to say, weird behaviour at od off the board. You can like him or not - but with Chucky, amusement is 100% guaranteed.

  • 3 years ago


    In the Carlsen-Svidler game, why not 39 Ne4? It threatens Nxc5 and also Nf6+, forking king and bishop.

  • 3 years ago


    so kramnik has one less loss than carlsen and carlsen has one more win than kramnik and all they look at is the fact that he has one more win? what about the fact that he has one less loss? tie breaker was needed here end of story.

  • 3 years ago


    I take it all back Chucky! where do i send my apologies?!

    all this time i was slowly being pulled in by the conspiracy theories;

    turns out Chucky was just eccentric! but I am so proud of him! isnt it funny? after his erratic play the two main players to speak out against him was guess who? Carlsen and Kramnik!

    talk about waking the sleeping lion lol. I feel like Chucky decided to give his all against these two. they both grossly underestimated

    Kramnik especially, it was so very obvious that his 'winning' strategy against Chucky was to complicate the position and win on time- I feel this is highly unprofessional and the loss was deserved.

    To conclude really, I believe Carlsen deserves this victory, he has played his best chess not just for this tournament (as some may have) but throughout all his games.

    I must say Svilder has impressed more than i thought he would! stellar play throughout the tournament, i hope to see more amazing things from him soon.

  • 3 years ago


    crazy! especially ivanchuk is crazy....

    but this tournament was so exciting i watched everyday either on computer or phone...

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen might have tied if not for the 6 moves in 10 seconds.

  • 3 years ago


    Some facts about the Candidates Tournament 2013 which sixtyfoursquares should acknowledge:

    a. Carlsen WINS Tournament because of the result after 14 games.

  • 3 years ago


    31/03/2013 - This time for the chess world, a match needed to develop historical, cultural and technical chess game, it would be between Anand and Carlsen. Other challengers would not contribute to these ends.

    01/04/2013 - Anand x Carlsen: Spetacular, spetacular!


  • 3 years ago


    the real hero of the tourney was GM Ivanchuk. he stepped up his game on his last few matches that resulted to impressive wins on the worlds top 2 best player.

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago


    What a drama! Congrats Carlsen...! Hat off to you, Ivanchuk...! Thanks for a great coverage on Chess.comSonofPearl.

    Looking forward to another Super Tournament in Norway (in May) and -of course- to the 2013 WCC (in November).


  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    Awesome games! Seriously folks, if tourney-weathered GMs cracked under the immense pressure of this tournament - and heck, 14 rounds is one long exhausting gig - the performance of this 22-year-old is amazing! It is really great for chess that he is the WC contender. I sure hope he beats Anand :-)

  • 3 years ago


    Congrats, Carlsen fanboys.

    This is depressing.

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen is the lucky winner. He has to keep his nerves better under control in decisive moments when playing against Anand. Otherwise he will lose!

  • 3 years ago


    Kramnik on this photo looks similarly to Petrosjan ;)

  • 3 years ago


    one win is better than two draws im my opinion this is what were comparing. this tie break system to me is good not quiyte as harsh as three ponits for win and one for draw but encorages players to win and head to head counts first i dont see the problem  

  • 3 years ago


    I wonder, whether the same people complaining about the tie-breaking rules are the same, who would like to see a 3-1-0 scoring system (which is even more radical than just making more wins better in case of a tie).

    Changes for next candidates tournament I'd like to see: increment from move 1.

    The tournament format produces way more spectacular games than the matches format than the last time.

  • 3 years ago


    Chucky is tournament MVP for sure.

  • 3 years ago


    In reading some of the posts, i think the people should remember that sometimes draws mean you are not taking a chance to win, so Magmus you could say had more wins shows he played more times for wins then Kraminak going for more. Other sports have same kind of things sometimes teams will play more defensive, they don't want to lose and would rather keep it even then win. 

       I do agree though the outcome would be better if they played it out,  but do they play one game or two. My suggestion is 3 each gets white and black with the tiebreakers deciding who gets 2nd white with draws not counting, then we will get a real winner. 

      Peter seemed to be best during press conferences and did more for chess then the others, I think.

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