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Candidates’ R8: Quick Draw Aronian-Anand, Karjakin Beats Svidler

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 3/22/14, 9:36 AM.

In the 8th round of the 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk tournament leaders Levon Aronian and Vishy Anand drew quickly. In the only decisive game of the round, Sergey Karjakin won his first, against Peter Svidler.

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

The second half of the 2014 Candidates’ Tournament immediately started a day after the first half had ended, and the big game between Aronian and Anand grabbed all the attention. Unfortunately it didn't really live up to the expectations: the opening phase was hardly over when the players started repeating moves, and at move 19 the draw was there.

Silvio Danailov's reaction on Twitter was not surprising:

But was it really about a lack of fighting spirit? It doesn't seem so. It was basically about one player being happy with a draw, and one player getting really confused after committing a fingerfehler and, still shaking a bit, taking a draw when it was possible.

After the opening moves 1.c4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 Aronian played the remarkable 3.Qb3!? - a move that had come to him while he was “taking a nap”! After the game he wasn't sure whether it was a good move, while Kramnik, later in the day, commented: “I also had this idea, but it's such nonsense that I wouldn't even play it in rapid!”

Anand had never seen it before (in a way this is another example of how incredibly rich our game is!) but rather quickly the ex-World Champion went for a line that involved a pawn sacrifice. And then, still playing his moves fast, Aronian put his queen back to b3 on move 8, while he had prepared 8.Qa4. A silly mistake, and for a moment the Armenian thought it would cost him dearly. “I thought I was going to create another miniature.”

Anand, on his turn, didn't play the critical move 8...Nf6 after which White was doing OK. After 17 moves a reversed Czech Benoni was reached, where Black was missing his c-pawn which created the rather useful square c5. Neither player saw a way to improve his position.

Anand: “I didn't see a specific plan for me. I can react to whatever he does, but...” Aronian: “I think the stress of the start was a bit too much for me.”

For Anand the draw was a fine result. It means that if he finishes shared first with Aronian, he will win the tournament because he scored 1.5-0.5 in their mutual games. Despite the criticism after last year's dramatic finish, this controversial tiebreak rule wasn't changed by FIDE. When Kramnik was asked about this today, he lamemented the “passivity” of the top players.

Topalov-Mamedyarov also ended in a draw, but that was quite an exciting game!

In a Najdorf with 6.h3 g6 the players castled on opposite wings, and with the subtle rook move 16...Re8 Mamedyarov prepared a nice piece sacrifice on c4 two moves later. Topalov said that 20.Qb4 was critical, but in the game he didn't dare to try it - instead the Bulgarian found a solid way to give the piece back and soon the players reached a drawn rook ending.

In this second half we're back to seeing some games between the Russian participants, and yet again it became clear that nobody is thinking of quick draws to save energy. In a Chebanenko Slav, Kramnik got total control of the c-file and then decided to sacrifice a pawn. Andreikin took it and just played logical moves, and then Kramnik duly gave another pawn!

That second sacrifice was a bit strange, as Kramnik admitted afterward, because he could have reached the same position with the pawn still on the board. In any case, the position remained drawish and that was also the result.

Svidler-Karjakin was “a fun game” according to Svidler, even thought he lost! In a King's Indian Attack White postponed the development of his b1 knight and went for a setup with Qe2, c4 and Bf4. 

The pawn sacrifice 14.g6 was quite interesting and clearly an attempt to play for a win. Karjakin reacted very well and got a slight advantage which became much bigger when Svidler allowed the black bishop to f3 and g4.

After both players committed some more inaccuracies, Karjakin eventually won an ending with rooks and opposite-colored bishops. At the end, the 24-year-old Muscovite impressed with a long, forced variation. 

And so Aronian and Anand are still tied for first place, with Kramnik half a point behind. The rest of the field is now one big group of five players with 3.5 points. On Sunday we'll have the games Karjakin-Kramnik, Andreikin-Svidler, Anand-Topalov and Mamedyarov-Aronian.

Of course all this is done to produce a challenger for Magnus Carlsen in the next title match. Interestingly, today the World Champion played a game himself. Carlsen (2881) played for the Stavanger club in the Norwegian league, and faced GM Vladimir Georgiev of Bulgaria (2553). for his team Stavanger. Carlsen won the game, and 1.3 rating points with it. Here it is (thanks to Tarjei Svensen & Mark Crowther):

Again, don't miss Eric van Reem's Chess in Tweets!

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

FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Round 8 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Anand,V 2770 2866 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 5 20.25
2 Aronian,L 2830 2851 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 5 18.75
3 Kramnik,V 2787 2804 ½ ½ 0 ½½ ½ 1 1 4.5 17.25
4 Topalov, Veselin 2785 2723 ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ ½½ 3.5 14.75
5 Andreikin,D 2709 2736 ½ ½ ½½ 1 0 ½ 0 3.5 14.75
6 Svidler,P 2758 2728 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½0 0 3.5 13.5
7 Karjakin,S 2766 2726 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ ½1 ½ 3.5 13
8 Mamedyarov,M 2757 2730 0 0 0 ½½ 1 1 ½ 3.5 12.25

The 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament is an 8-player double round robin with 4 rest days. The dates are March 13th-31st, 2014. Each day the rounds start at 15:00 local time which is 10:00 CET, 04:00 EST and 01:00 PST. The winner will have the right to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in a world title match which is scheduled to take place in November 2014. 

9711 reads 43 comments
7 votes

Comments


  • 5 months ago

    oldpal

    Anand won, Aronian lost, Kramnik lost!!!!

  • 5 months ago

    Bryan_Urizar

    Anand beat Topolov and Aronian lost!

  • 5 months ago

    BigChessEnthusiast

    Aronian vs Anand was promising but them...it´s a shame.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOb5iwcHxY4

  • 5 months ago

    Estragon

    Anand by luck of the draw now has White in four of the last six rounds, having Black against Kramnik and Karjakin only.

  • 5 months ago

    shashanganramesh

    anand will win 

  • 5 months ago

    varelse1

    So Anand and Aronian are still tied at +2

    Kramnik is +1

    And everydoby else is -1

    And everyone has won at least one game.

  • 5 months ago

    Dnyan-TheWarrior

    Really happy to See Russian beats Russian...

    Its shame that some people feel Russian players and Aronian have coup to win this tourney...There are 4 Russians in the tourney and if they decide to make Kramnik winner, nobody on the earth can change that...

    Same bullsheet was spoken in last candidates also...Really feel happy that Players respect game and morals above all...Hats off to all these players and Russia...

  • 5 months ago

    MrMars

    theres a mistake....this article is calling anand the world champion, when in fact he is on. please change it to correctly address him as FORMER world champion.

  • 5 months ago

    chessdoggblack

    Read my lips: I told you so! Even Aronian stated: "I think the stress in the beginning was a bit to much for me." The man is telling my truth. My post on round (#8) was correct...a (draw), yet I stated a win for Anand - 50% on target. So far, I have been sound in my notes on the five-time WCC. (When I mention...people pay attention!) No one gives it to you better than the "chess reporter." 90% of incoming views are off the mark, by giving lip service to games of no real importance. Shame on you, we should be giving Anand his just due. Anand will take his credit one way or the other in this tournament. The man is totally possessed by an "unearthly" chess force. Peace out! Cool 

  • 5 months ago

    Adrian_Kinnersley

    Well, I had been rooting for Aronian so far in this tournament, but after this game it's hard to be really wholehearted about it. Nor can I really root for Anand. The tournament as a whole seems lowered by this.

  • 5 months ago

    bigbikefan

    Danailov's remark is not surprising, indeed, but is it reasonable?

  • 5 months ago

    AtomicJoshh

    Slight inaccuracy in this article. Anand isn't World Champion!

  • 5 months ago

    G-Jax

    hopefully anand loses the next 6 of his games

  • 5 months ago

    LeeCooper78

    "Aronian needed to play for a win.." That would be the case if this was the match Aronian - Anand. So, Anand won the first game and then Aronian needs a win to level the score.

    But this is not a match, this the tournament (with six more superGMs) - a huge difference. Anand being better in mutual games is just a nuance if they finish with equal number of points.

    For instance, Aronian is playing white against Kramnik while Anand is playing black. Thus, naturally, Aronian's chances to score more against Kramnik than Anand are better.

    Above argument can be used in Anand's favore against some other guy. That's what's the tournament all about - you don't depend exclusively on the result against your main rival, like in the match.

    If you remember Candidates2013 the results against others gave us the winner - Magnus and Volodia were tied and they depended on their score against other guys (and not the total score, which was equal, but against each of the other participants in particular). That is exactly how we got the chanllenger and later the actual champion.

    So, that "Aronian needed to push for a win" just doesn't stand in tournament practice.

  • 5 months ago

    El-Ajedrecista

    These guys are wasting our time.  The only one seriously trying to win with white is Kramnik.  Since this is what it will take to win in match play, I say just declare him the winner and get on the match with Carlsen.

    If you are "saving your energy" or "not willing to engage in a theoretical dispute" I suggest you retire from World Championship chess and stick to the open tournament circuit.  Honest, we'd love it if Karjakin or Svidler showed up to the US or World open.  That's where to you can beat up on the 2500s with your lackluster King's Indian Attacks, 3.Qb3 Englishes, and 4.d3? Berlin Defences.  Leave the top flight chess to those who actually care about trying their best to win games.  

     

    BTW, what the hell was 6.h3? in Topalov Svidler, 6...g6! of course, and its a great Dragon for black.  Too bad Topalov was able to scrape a draw.  Again, this is who we have fighting to win the world championship?  What a joke. 

  • 5 months ago

    george11373

    yes, Aronian needed to play for a win with white. This "saving energy" stuff is nonsense. Makes sense for Anand to play for a draw - up in tie breaker plus playing black. Anand wins unless somebody takes it away from him, and Aronian didnt try hard enough.

  • 5 months ago

    LeeCooper78

    It was expected outcome between Levon and Vishy. Tough battles are ahead and it was wise to save the firepower for those.

    Kramnik missed a fair chance today - he got what he wanted from the opening but again done his "clown move" - yesterday it was e4, today it was g5 (perhaps, he should restrain himself from pushing the pawns in critical moments). Qe3 kept the edge and search for the full point, g5 was a pleasure cruise for Dmitriy.

    Karyakin is a real hero of the day - well constructed victory, Svidler just wandered with his plans, he is so unpredictable.

    Vishy is clear favorite in tommorow's game, Lev and Volodia will have to look for full point with black, which is always dangerous.

  • 5 months ago

    P-e-t-e-r-P-a-w-n

    I agree, this is a very interessing tournament with a lot of good fighting chess. And I really don't know for which guy I should be because I like them all (Kramnik now a little less, since he seems to have a problem with Topalov). And I really don't want any of those 8 guys playing in the Candidates being humilated by Carlsen in the WCM which he will do - no matter who is winning here!!

  • 5 months ago

    JagsQueen

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 5 months ago

    JagsQueen

    win anand win..get back crown...

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