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Candidates Tournament Round 6

  • SonofPearl
  • on 3/21/13, 1:41 PM.

Annotations by GM Sam Shankland

It was another day of high excitement and fighting chess at the 2013 Candidates Tournament in London, with Magnus Carlsen winning his third game of the event against Peter Svidler.

As soon as Carlsen achieved the freeing central pawn break with 17...d5 his pieces were more active and the pressure gradually increased on Svidler until he blundered with 33.Qh5, losing his bishop and the game.

Magnus Carlsen scored his third win



Carlsen's result was his second win with the black pieces




The next game to finish was the clash between Vladimir Kramnik and Vassily Ivanchuk.  Kramnik was still looking for his first win after Lev Aronian miraculously slipped through his fingers yesterday, and with Ivanchuk once again burning a lot of time on the clock early in the game it looked good for the Russian.

Kramnik took advantage of Ivanchuk's time trouble by launching a direct sacrificial attack on his king.  But a rook down, Kramnik couldn't find a knockout blow for his attack and decided to repeat moves, despite Ivanchuk having just 1 minute left and 10 moves still to play before the first time control! 

Kramnik explained in the post match press conference, "If Vassily had 5 seconds left, then I would continue, but with one minute...", and joked,"Players are not blundering pieces to me!"

Win-less Vladimir Kramnik - unlucky so far?




Carlsen may have had hopes of being the sole leader of the tournament, but Lev Aronian's perseverance in a long game with Teimour Radjabov was rewarded with a blunder from his opponent when 53. Nxe5 lost on the spot.

Lev Aronian, "I was very frustrated, but I got lucky"



Teimour Radjabov's blunder proved costly



It was also Lev Aronian's second win with black




The last game to finish looked like being another win for the black pieces, but Boris Gelfand somehow managed to squander a winning position against Alexander Grischuk in a game where both players struggled to manage their clock time.


Time-trouble addict Alexander Grischuk 



Boris Gelfand missed a good chance for a win



Alexander Grischuk and Boris Gelfand have both yet to win a game




The standings after six rounds

Name Fed Elo Pts
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2872
Levon Aronian ARM 2809
Peter Svidler RUS 2747 3
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2810 3
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2793
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2764
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2757 2
Boris Gelfand ISR 2740 2

Tomorrow (Friday) is the second rest day and two questions suggest themselves as we approach the halfway point of the tournament. Firstly, is the winner already between Lev Aronian and Magnus Carlsen who are 1½ points clear of the rest of the field? And secondly, is the time control (with no increments until move 60) having a significant effect on the results of the games?



The 2013 Candidates Tournament runs from 14 March - 2 April in London, with the winner earning the right to challenge current world champion Vishy Anand for the title.

The tournament is an 8-player double round-robin event and the venue is The IET at 2 Savoy Place on the banks of the river Thames. The total prize fund is €510,000 (approx 665,000 USD). 

All rounds start at 14:00 GMT, and the time control is 2 hours for 40 moves, then an extra hour added for the next 20 moves, then 15 minutes more with a 30 second increment to finish.

The official FIDE website coverage is at london2013.fide.com.

Round-by-Round Pairings

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 Teimour Radjabov 
Levon Aronian Alexander Grischuk 
Boris Gelfand Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk  Peter Svidler 
Round 8  24/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov  Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk  Vassily Ivanchuk 
Vladimir Kramnik Peter Svidler 
Round 9  25/03/13  
Vladimir Kramnik Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  Alexander Grischuk 
Vassily Ivanchuk  Teimour Radjabov 
Boris Gelfand Levon Aronian
Round 10  27/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian Vassily Ivanchuk 
Teimour Radjabov  Peter Svidler 
Alexander Grischuk  Vladimir Kramnik
Round 11  28/03/13  
Alexander Grischuk  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik Teimour Radjabov 
Peter Svidler  Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk  Boris Gelfand
Round 12  29/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen Vassily Ivanchuk 
Boris Gelfand Peter Svidler 
Levon Aronian Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov  Alexander Grischuk 
Round 13  31/03/13  
Teimour Radjabov  Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk  Levon Aronian
Vladimir Kramnik Boris Gelfand
Peter Svidler  Vassily Ivanchuk 
Round 14  01/04/13
Magnus Carlsen Peter Svidler 
Vassily Ivanchuk  Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand Alexander Grischuk 
Levon Aronian Teimour Radjabov 


Look out for details of Chess.com TV coverage of the event at this page.

Pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich at the official website, and Ray Morris-Hill (where indicated).

21261 reads 122 comments
6 votes


  • 2 years ago


     forrie   agree, but what would you prefer, the Kazan format which led Gelfand to play Anand?    

    Yes, the attitude which the basement players face the final rounds could be decisive. And the sportmanship, all of us know that in chess they are many prearrengments. I remember suggesting in few months ago in one of these forums that adding a 2nd. round robin with the top4 would be better.

    Anyway, Carlsen or Aronian would both be worthy contenders vs. Anand. I bet for Carlsen because his style is less energy consuming than Aronians although his games usually take longer. 

    About the ladies WCC what to say? Completely crazy and only financial issues like sponsorship could explain that mess. I don't remember who won but I guess most of us believe that HYifan is the no.1 followed by Muznyk and Koneru.

  • 2 years ago


    Scary thing - there is already born someone who will be better than Magnus in future ;)

  • 2 years ago


    People doubting the format:

    It's a solid format. Every player get's the chance to face all of the others twice. If chucky for example started playing really well, he can still catch up, he just has to win against Carlsen and/or Aronian + a few other players.

    If Carlsen and Aronian keep demolishing their adversaries then of course that just means they are playing better chess at this particular moment in time than the others. One could compare this format to leagues in many other sports, such as football ( soccer ) with the only difference being the point system. In such leagues the best teams will almost always be playing for the title.

  • 2 years ago


    zhouwei: "Aronian will be the next world champion. He leads the trend of creation on attack."

    No, MC should be. He created the trend that leads to attack.

  • 2 years ago


    Hey guys, what about 41.Nxf7 in the game Radjabov-Aronian? :)

  • 2 years ago


    @diogens "Opps. blunders can explain a +1 margin but +3? They just play better, increase the pressure, put the partner in difficult situations that lead to exhausting complex calculations until they go astray."

    I agree but as commented below: Let say Lev and MC is equal until the last round then whether their opponents have an "off" or "good" day may have a huge influence.

    if a round robin is the prefered format then Anand should also take part in it. Why is the women's world championship so different?

  • 2 years ago


    Let's count:

    Carlsen +3

    Aronian +3

    Kramnik +0

    Svidler +0


    Opps. blunders can explain a +1 margin but +3?

    They just play better, increase the pressure, put the partner in difficult situations that lead to exhausting complex calculations until they go astray.

  • 2 years ago


    @Adrian: I think, 2014 will be another world championship, so we might see Carlsen-Aronian then.

    @chess25863: But when Anand was in his prime, Carlsen was not. Carlsen is now in his prime. And yes, against Kramnik with black, he will probably be happy with a draw. But what's your point?

  • 2 years ago


    @aaronsky72, if magnus is as great as u say show me if  he can win against kramnik with black pieces in round 9. even with ur limited chess knowledge you will know that the best magnus can hope for is a draw in round 9. everyone knows that anand dominated carlsen in his prime, He has a +6 record against carlsen!!However,now he is past his prime so maybe magnus will win

  • 2 years ago


    even the strongest player are intimidated to carlsen, thats why mr kasparov retired!!

  • 2 years ago


    Alas! At this point it should be clear to everyone that there needs to be a match between Carlsen and Aronian, if we're to give any real meaning to the term 'world champion'. Will this have to wait another two years, or longer, because of this goofy format?

  • 2 years ago


    For those who say that Aronian is "lucky" because his opponents blunder, remember what Capablanca said - "a good player is always lucky"

  • 2 years ago


    Dears it requires a lot of talant to make pressure and force world #4 to make blunds. 

    I agree with vodkarov about Carlsen. He makes chess primitive, no creative during all midgame and good game during endgame. 

    This is my opinion, please be forgiving for me ;) I have only 1700 rating and soo far from professional opinion, only I feel that it is not interesting for me to follow Carlsen's games

  • 2 years ago



  • 2 years ago


    go magnusficent

  • 2 years ago


    Vodkarov, stop drinking vodka.

    MC is an immensely creative, strong player and the best player in the world-fact.

    Vishy the best player on Earth?

    Perhaps you should take a peek at the ratings and share that vodka around.

  • 2 years ago


    how easily carlsen wins games!the only thing he knows is how to win.

  • 2 years ago


    I'm pretty sure the term time-trouble addict was applied to Luke Mcshane in a news article a couple of years back :)

  • 2 years ago


    Zinch: "Actually it's Svidler, who tried a cheap endgame trick on Carlsen. And see, what it got him. He lost a piece and the game."

    yes, svidler had the 33.Rb8, 34.Rh8 and then 35.Qxh6 and 36.Qxg7 mate trick in mind. To get the threat he slightly worsened his position. Carlsen played 33...Qe4 to prevent it. Such tricks isnt going to work against the World No. 1! (even a beginner like me saw the idea in the live game. See what Tactics Trainer can do!)

  • 2 years ago


    b1: "I've got to wonder about the round-robin format. If Carlsen and Aronian pull away to an extent that makes it impossible for the rest of the contestants to win, what is the the motivation for the rest to give 110%."

    I also thought about whether this is the best format. One player can have a off game now (and blunder) and a good game later depending on how he feels - this can have a huge influence on whether the leader is 0 or 0.5 point ahead. Let say Lev and MC is equal until the last round then whether their opponents have an "off" day may have a huge influence.

    Was the candidate matches (of 6 games) that was played in the 60 and 70's not perhaps the best format?

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