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Candidates’ R14: Karjakin Second After Beating Aronian, Anand Undefeated

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 3/30/14, 9:22 AM.

Viswanathan Anand, who had already clinched tournament victory on Saturday, finished undefeated at the FIDE Candidates' Tournament. In the last round the Indian drew with Peter Svidler to reach a final score of 8.5/14. He didn't lose a single game, like Tigran Petrosian at the 1962 Candidates’ in Curacao. Sergey Karjakin, who defeated Levon Aronian in the longest last game of the tournament, finished in second place.

Photos © Vadim Lavrenko, Kirill Merkuryev & Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of the official website

As was kind of expected, Vishy Anand finished his successful tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk with a relatively quick draw with Peter Svidler. He said he picked a line that would involve zero risk: “I thought in the Marshall I should be able to get some fairly dry position which wouldn't pose too many challenges because clearly I wasn't in the best state of mind, I mean you're still euphoric and so on.”

Inspired by some recent games by Fabiano Caruana, Anand chose the 12.d3 variation and managed to get a very slight edge in an ending: that of bishop vs. knight. It could have been something tangible, if Svidler hadn't found a concrete way to force the draw.

It was a game that didn't matter much anymore, but Anand did prepare for it. He said: “It has its challenges. You need to decide what you're aiming for, what you're going to play for. It's very easy to drift in these situations. I mean, despite the fact that I would have won anyway, you don't want to... A loss always leaves a sour taste in the mouth.”

“Today morning was very easy. I woke up at six o'clock... It was quite turbulent. (...) Last night was easily the one with the least sleep.”

Looking back at his tournament, Svidler said: “The most prevalent feeling right now is the feeling of huge wasted opportunity. I think at least in the first half I played very interesting chess and I had chances in almost every game. I think a lot of what went wrong in this tournament were what you call unforced errors on my part.”

At the press conference Anand was asked which of his games he liked the most and whether it could be included in his best games collection. In his reply he first mentioned the game against Andreikin:

“I actually saw this rook sac line, 41.Rc4.

and now I saw that every move attacking his queen allows Nb4+, Nxd5 and takes e7. And of course as soon as I go home, the computer instantly shows Rb5. It's a pity to miss it by one move. If I had found that move, and I played that line, even if I would have won in some other way let's say, I would have put that one in.”

Anand, who moved back up to #3 in the live ratings, was also very happy with his win against Topalov, and with his first win ever against Levon, with White. “Besides being a nightmare for me, he is a nightmare with the black pieces!” He added: “It's not really that I'm choosing something; I liked all my wins.”

It was clear that Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Vladimir Kramnik also had had enough chess. The two played a rather insignificant draw in a 4.Qc2 Nimzo-Indian:

At the press conference Kramnik was asked to compare his tournament with that of last year's. He said: “Last year I played more games than in any other year in my chess career, actually. It was a very tough year and I probably simply didn't recover fully from this year, although I physically feel pretty well, even now. I don't have a problem with physical shape. 

But there is a certain thing like mental energy, nervous energy, which I feel I was lacking a bit. With me I know very well when it happens, I start to make blunders. This is very typical for me. I start to have this problem with nervous energy. So that was the case, that was the big difference. The second difference is a matter of... You know, you need a little bit of luck, a little bit of wind in your back, and I think in London at some point I had it.”

Veselin Topalov and Dmitry Andreikin followed suit: another draw - but only after 69 moves. In a rather interesting 4.d3 Berlin Topalov got an extra pawn in an ending with RBN for both sides, but it was a doubled pawn and not worth much. The Bulgarian did try it for a long time, even though the position after the time control was already a “positional draw”, according to Andreikin.

The longest game of the tournament was the one that finished the last: Aronian vs. Karjakin. It started with a bit of a bang: Aronian played 1.e4! Best by test according Bobby Fischer, but the Armenian GM rarely plays it.

Avoiding further theory, Aronian played 2.Nc3, 3.Bc4 and 4.a3 in a Sicilian, and it worked out pretty well. White was slightly better after the opening, and clearly better when Karjakin erred on move 18. “I was quite happy that I managed not to lose immediately and I got some play.”

However, Aronian got into timetrouble and spoiled everything. He “started to blunder things”, in his own words, and although material was equal after the time control, White's weak king was a permanent worry. After the second time control Karjakin found the right plan, and it became clear that White's position was beyond repair. Karjakin finished it off with accurate play.

It was a very good second half for Karjakin, who went from minus two to plus one. “I'm happy. I showed good chess, I like it,” was his simple summary. Aronian, who even went to a minus score in the final round, said: “I didn't really play well. I can't really explain why I was making some of the decisions during the games. I hope I have been giving away all my losses and I won't lose more this year.”

The actual prize fund doesn't seem to be mentioned on the tournament website. The official regulations say: “The total minimum prize fund of the Candidates Tournament amounts to 420,000 euros. The amount is net and cleared of any local taxes. The money prizes shall be allocated as follows (minimum in euros): 1. € 95,000, 2. € 88,000, 3. € 75,000, 4. € 55,000, 5. € 40,000, 6. € 28,000, 7. € 22,000, 8. € 17,000.”

Since all prize money would be divided equally where players had the same score, if these are the actual prizes, the distribution would be:

1. Anand € 95,000
2. Karjakin € 88,000
3-5. Kramnik, Andreikin and Mamedyarov all € 56,667
6-7. Aronian & Svidler € 25,000
8. Topalov € 17,000

The difference between a win and a loss for Aronian and Karjakin in the last round was € 63,000 - a pretty expensive game!

A former FIDE World Champion, who worked with Karjakin in Khanty-Mansiysk and used to be a second of Anand, tweeted:

Don't forget to check out Chess in Tweets one more time!

FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Pairings & Results

Round 1 13.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 8 22.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik ½-½ Andreikin
Karjakin ½-½ Svidler   Svidler 0-1 Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Mamedyarov
Anand 1-0 Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Anand
Round 2 14.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 9 23.03.14 15:00 MSK
Kramnik 1-0 Karjakin   Karjakin 1-0 Kramnik
Svidler 1-0 Andreikin   Andreikin ½-½ Svidler
Topalov ½-½ Anand   Anand 1-0 Topalov
Aronian 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov 1-0 Aronian
Round 3 15.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 10 25.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Andreikin
Svidler ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik 0-1 Svidler
Topalov ½-½ Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Topalov
Mamedyarov 0-1 Anand   Anand ½-½ Mamedyarov
Round 4 17.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 11 26.03.14 15:00 MSK
Mamedyarov 1-0 Andreikin   Andreikin ½-½ Mamedyarov
Karjakin ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Karjakin
Aronian 1-0 Svidler   Svidler ½-½ Aronian
Anand ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik ½-½ Anand
Round 5 18.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 12 27.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Andreikin
Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov ½-½ Karjakin
Svidler 1-0 Topalov   Topalov 1-0 Svidler
Kramnik ½-½ Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Kramnik
Round 6 19.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 13 29.03.14 15:00 MSK
Aronian ½-½ Andreikin   Andreikin 1-0 Aronian
Anand ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Anand
Mamedyarov 1-0 Svidler   Svidler ½-½ Mamedyarov
Topalov 1-0 Kramnik   Kramnik 1-0 Topalov
Round 7 21.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 14 30.03.14 15:00 MSK
Karjakin 0-1 Aronian   Aronian 0-1 Karjakin
Svidler ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Svidler
Kramnik 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov ½-½ Kramnik
Andreikin 1-0 Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Andreikin

FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Round 14 (Final) Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Anand,Viswanathan 2770 2845 ½½ ½½ ½½ ½½ ½1 8.5/14
2 Karjakin,Sergey 2766 2795 ½½ 01 ½½ ½½ ½1 01 ½½ 7.5/14
3 Kramnik,Vladimir 2787 2768 ½½ 10 ½½ ½0 ½½ 01 7.0/14 49.25
4 Andreikin,Dmitry 2709 2779 ½½ ½½ ½½ ½1 7.0/14 48.50
5 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2757 2772 ½½ 01 ½½ 7.0/14 48.00
6 Svidler,Peter 2758 2748 ½½ ½0 ½1 10 6.5/14 46.00
7 Aronian,Levon 2830 2737 10 ½½ ½0 10 ½½ 6.5/14 45.00
8 Topalov,Veselin 2785 2719 ½0 ½½ 10 ½½ 01 ½½ 6.0/14

The 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament was an 8-player double round robin with 4 rest days. The dates were March 13th-31st, 2014. The winner (Anand) has the right to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in a world title match which is scheduled to take place in November 2014. | Games thanks to TWIC 

20512 reads 128 comments
7 votes


  • 18 months ago



    And what I m saying that anand is one of the most humble and gentleman person in chess history and Kasparov is one of the most arrogant and outspoken who always like to be in limelight by making nonsense comments

  • 18 months ago


    @Frendu I am talking about last WC. Anand didn't compose himself there at all. Ask him some direct question and he is like a kid. If he was playing like Kasparov there, I wouldn't say a word. He was apparently looking like some hot-shot cm with behaviour of 5 yo kid :)))

  • 18 months ago



    You are suggesting that Kasparov is better than anand in behaviour......

    Have you  lost your mind??

    You are comparing a gentleman (anand) with a rude , outspoken person.

  • 18 months ago


    Hello Peter Doggers! Thank you for all the hard work and reporting. I appreciate it man & you!

  • 18 months ago


    chessismindblowingI don’t mean to be disrespectful Matt, but looks like you’ve never ever played a single game of chess in your entire life, and you’ve never ever heard of a man named Garry Kasparov.

    A/ First part of sentence is just pure laziness. You should check my profile, you would know better what my experience is. First two seasons under ECF I have had record +20 =3 -0. Last season was rather bad, but I didn't even want to play. 1.5/4. Before you type something like this, check your facts. Simply coolers under Czech Fed. I had peak progress rating of 2450. (I am not sure how far you have made it in chess, but up there you show just pure ignorance)

    B/ talking about Kasparov and comparing all his career to Anand's post match interviews last year in India. Now that is another mistake of yours.

    Kasparov, even though he had his extravagant moments, was always and I have to remind you: ALWAYS shown pure class on and of the board. Yeah occassional tantrums after losing a game, sure. But it never lasted, because his arrogance was well deserved and played for. 

    Anand was purely arrogant and defensive about his results, despite showing no form, like one-legged racing horse. 

    So please before you comment next time, try to check your facts, before you make so many blunders in just few sentences. 

    Or do you want me to correct you in everything you have ever said?

  • 18 months ago


    Ivanchuk and Anand are both extremely strong players, irrespective of any dips in form they might have had the last few years.

  • 18 months ago



    Magnus Carlsen is a great player; everyone agrees!

    But the players you want to play him and give Magnus Carlsen a tough fight; in the next WCC have all lost their chances to win the Candidates 2014; which was the deciding tournament to select his Challenger.

    Anand has won this tournament in his own style; disproved his naysayers and now it gives him one more chance to challenge Magnus Carlsen!!

    I hope you will agree with me with the above facts; and look forward to the next WCC Match.

    Oh; if you want some one else to win the Candidates Tournament; then you will have to wait for 2015!!

  • 18 months ago


    Albart, that's why I asked you to check the history of Anand before you comment on him.

  • 18 months ago



    "Carlsen would have had a harder time against Aronian or Kramnik in a match. "

    Now that's what i call nonsense ,Anand EARNED his rematch ,right now he has better chances than anyone else.You are still in the past, where in the last few years Anand wasn't in form, the way Aronian and kramnik blundered in this tournament was as bad as what Anand did last year against Carlsen.Now this is the real reality check.

    You are not going to get a more compititive match with anyone else against Carlsen(as of now) , that is a FACT. 

  • 18 months ago


    Too bad some people can't give honest opinions without resorting to personal attacks.  Instead of focusing on me, why don't you highlight Anand's accomplishments and put up a strong case for the upcoming world chess championship?!  Just because I think Carlsen is superior to Anand doesn't make me a bad person with all the irrelevant insults you created.  Again, I'm pretty sure you don't reflect admirable Indian values.      

  • 18 months ago



    You are just spreading shit, puking your disgusting opinion all over this thread. Seriously man what kind of upbringing your parents have given you. I did not wanted to blame your parents but looking at your way of talking I think they should have slapped you.

    Anand has made eat own shit to his haters and critics and your name is on top of them. You still don't want to accept reality. In the name of democracy and opinion you are just spreading hatred, jealousy and unprofessionalism.

    What are you ?? You are not even fart of Anand in chess. Forget about talking about his abilities.

    Now just get lost from here and stop making regular vistors time miserable.

  • 18 months ago


    I am definitely pro-Carlsen.  Here's the reality check.  Carlsen has beaten Anand in a match format.  Carlsen would have had a harder time against Aronian or Kramnik in a match.  At least the surprise element for those matches is still existent.  Well, good luck to super GM Anand anyway!  Most people would prefer a competitive match, which is unlikely.

  • 18 months ago


    albatrosses: If it was any other X player than Anand, it will be "Carlsen Demolishes X". That's reality.

  • 18 months ago


    albatrosses ,NOBODY is saying that Anand WILL beat Carlsen and become the world champion for the sixth time!! ,a lot of people here are just happy that an old and out of form player has got back to his former strength (to some extent) and has won a tournament after some gap.
    I know how much you enjoy the phrase "Carlsen will crush Anand",you might be a chess expert but the only people who are "expert" enough to judge Carlsen(No:1) and Anand( No:3 ,effectively No:2 after Aronian's out of form performance) is Kasparov and other players in the superGM league ,in which you are CERTAINLY absent. 

    People are only expecting Anand to perform better than last time and give a tougher fight to Carlsen ,a fight that is worthy of his reputation.
    This time Anand has nothing to lose(he has already lost the crown) ,nothing to prove (he has done it five times) ,now that he has already faced Carlsen before in WCC he will be much less nervous and would have learnt something from his previous defeat and so will probably do better than last time.
    You think you are a chess expert because you are continously blabbing about Anand's defeat? Nearly everyone feels that on the inside even if they don't say it out but we(average people) and even YOU are in no position to judge top level players, you are not even a GM remember that.

    The thing about you that gets on my nerves is that you are not pro-Carlsen or Aronian or Kramnik etc(which i have no problem with)  you are just Anti-Anand ,for some reason which is certainly not logical. 

  • 18 months ago


  • 18 months ago


    Big lol chessdoggblack ;')! Go Vassili, ...confirmed studly at 45! Peace out bro!

  • 18 months ago


    How long has it been since Anand has won a tournament? Two years? Three?

  • 18 months ago


    I can't find the video of closing ceremony. Where can I find it?

  • 18 months ago


    This result can help teach us a lesson for better guessing the next candidate match.  Definitely Kramnick and Topalov playing together will have some affect for both and likely will not perform at their best.  Not suprise Karjakin do well because one could reason that this is the big thing he been waiting for long and now has his chance so he will go out with all his strength.  Andreikein and Mamaderyov also do better than Svidler because this is their first also.  Suprise and disappoinment would be Aronian.  Psychology and the strength of the spirit play a role here.  Maybe most suprising is Anand victory...hmmm..make one wonder...does he meant to draws all those game on purpose over the last couple years?...lol...did he let Carlsen won last WCC?...hard to believe but we can be more assure that this second championship is definitely not a walk on like the first time!

  • 18 months ago


    Terrible. The more you write, the more incoherent you sound. Inflicted rating points? Lol. You questioning my understanding of rookie? How ridiculous!

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