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Candidates Tournament Round 8

  • SonofPearl
  • on 3/24/13, 11:55 AM.

Annotations by GM Sam Shankland
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The most anticipated game of round eight of the Candidates Tournament was the clash between co-leaders Magnus Carlsen and Lev Aronian. A win for either player would be a massive step towards overall victory in the competition.

With so much at stake, there was always a danger that a 'safety first' mindset would prevail, and so it came to pass. Carlsen opted for a solid Catalan set-up and Aronian solved his opening problems with little difficulty.  The Armenian offered a draw just after move 30, but Carlsen opted to play on in a sterile position for another 10 moves or so.

Aronian described 12...Ra7 as "a precise move", allowing his queen access to the a8 square from where it proved very effective on the long diagonal. Carlsen admitted that he wasn't previously aware of the move 15...c6 after which he felt he had no advantage. Asked why he had initially refused Aronian's draw offer, Carlsen simply replied "there was no harm in playing a few more moves".

Orange juice is Carlsen's beverage of choice

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Lev Aronian achieved an easy draw with the black pieces

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Carlsen and Aronian stay as co-leaders after 8 rounds

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Boris Gelfand and Teimour Radjabov both had opportunities to win yesterday, but both had to settle for a draw. Today, Radjabov got into real trouble with the white pieces and behind on the clock as he struggled to find a way back into the game.  His knight on b3 had no future, and his light squared bishop was also a poor piece. Eventually, Radjabov stumbled with 28.a4? and after 28...Qd7 there was no way back.  A terrific game by Gelfand to score his first win of the event!

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Teimour Radjabov had a bad day at the office

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Boris Gelfand scored his first win

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Vassily Ivanchuk continued his self-destruction caused by terrible mishandling of the clock. The rot set in after Alexander Grischuk's interesting idea 10.Nd5 which caused Ivanchuk's first long think. Both players got into time-trouble, as is their habit, but Ivanchuk narrowly failed to make the time control at move 40 and threw away yet another game cheaply.

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Time trouble addict Alexander Grischuk beat...

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...Vassily Ivanchuk, an even worse time trouble addict

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Vladimir Kramnik finally got off the mark, scoring his first win of the tournament against Peter Svidler. Kramnik was well prepared for Svidler's Gruenfeld defence, with the novel idea of 14.Kc2 allowing his king to find a surprisingly safe home on b3. Svidler could find no way to hold back the tide of pawns charging up the board towards him, and resigned before making his final move of the first time control. At last, a vital win from Kramnik to keep in touch with the leaders!

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Vladimir Kramnik: still in the hunt!

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Peter Svidler: a bad day for the Gruenfeld expert

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Tomorrow (Monday) Kramnik will have the white pieces in a vital game against Magnus Carlsen. It's not quite a must-win game for the Russian, but time is running out. A positive result for Kramnik would certainly blow the tournament wide open.

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The standings after eight rounds

Name Fed Elo Pts
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2872
Levon Aronian ARM 2809
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2810
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2764 4
Peter Svidler RUS 2747
Boris Gelfand ISR 2740
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2793 3
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2757

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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 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 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 

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

Pictures by Ray Morris-Hill.

13273 reads 85 comments
9 votes

Comments


  • 16 months ago

    MindWalk

    Do the same people who complain about quick agreed draws to guarantee prize money also complain about other strategic abuses of rules, like basketball teams' deliberately fouling to stop the clock (or, even worse, to take three-point shots and then foul so that their opponents only get the opportunity to shoot two free throws) or football teams' deliberately throwing incomplete passes in order to stop the clock? And would these same people, faced with the opportunity to take guaranteed money or instead risk it and possibly get much less, really go for broke? Do these same people condemn Who Wants to Be a Millionaire contestants who settle for what they have and go home instead of risking their loss of the prize money on a question they might get wrong?

  • 16 months ago

    mysticete

    KingsEye: According to the Rules and Regs for this tournment (Rules & regulations for the Candidates Tournament of the FIDE World Championship cycle 2011-2013) a tie will be determined... pretty much the opposite of what you remember.. unfortunately for those hoping for maybe a blitz-off or something. A set of 25 minute games will be played, but only if the players are still tied for points after the first three criteria. See below.


    3. 7 Tie-breaks

    If the top two or more players score the same points, the tie will be decided by the following criteria, in order of priority: a) The results of the games between the players involved in the tie.

    If they are still tied: b) The total number of wins in the tournament of every player involved in the tie.

    If they are still tied: c) Sonneborn - Berger System.

    3.7.1.a If there is no clear winner with the above 3 criteria, there will be a special competition between the players who still remain tied after using the 3rd criteria (Sonneborn - Berger): after a new drawing of colors, each tied player will play two (2) tie-break games with the other tied opponent(s). The games shall be played using the electronic clock starting with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move. 

  • 16 months ago

    fiac

    Come on Kramnik! Oh yea!

  • 16 months ago

    Champeknight

    Carlsen can play on because he is an endgame beast. Why question someone trying to win instead of just accepting draw? Remember the shameful 3 move draw in rejkavik?

  • 16 months ago

    APawnCanDream

    Limpspider,

    The texts says that both Gelfand and Radjabov had chances to win yesterday but both had to settle for draws. It wasn't talking about the game they played today (which Gelfand won).

    ProteinShake74,

    If I remember right, 1st is head to head result among those tied, if still tied, 2nd consideration is who won the most games. If still tied, the 3rd is the Sonneborn-Berger tiebreak system. Now if none of those have produced a winner then those tied will play a two game rapid match, each with white and black, to decide the winner (I think it is 25 minutes each side with an increment beginning from move one. I don't remember what increment, maybe 30 seconds, maybe 10).

    PhoenixTTD,

    I don't like that idea at all. Draws are a natural result of chess and we don't need decisive results every game. There is such a thing as an equally well played game and among such high calibur players who have been preparing extensively for this tournament draws are bound to occur. I'm excited that there have been as many decisive games as is so far! Remember the Candidate's last year? Hardly any decisive games (classical time control) happened. This is good!

  • 16 months ago

    dzindzifan

    Trent, nice work once again with GM Fontaine ... you two work nicely together!  Vive La France! Well it give us that international flair!  Ok! so about the draws in this tournament ... well the Super GM's are proving especially in the early rounds that not only are draws really draws but they also can cleverly end up in exactly symmetrical positions; proving once again that chess is an art even in a drawn position! 

  • 16 months ago

    checkersgosu

    " I think the text is wrong. I quote, "Boris Gelfand and Teimour Radjabov both had opportunities to win yesterday, but both had to settle for a draw." I get the impression though, that Gelfand won the game. Am I seeing things correctly? "


    Yesterday, as in Round 7.

  • 16 months ago

    PhoenixTTD

    I think maybe the draw should be eliminated in rated play.  When a drawn position is reached, you stop the clocks for a minute to reset the board and start again with whatever time you had left without increments.  You win or you win on time.

    There is a rapid playoff for tournament ties.

  • 16 months ago

    ProteinShake74

    What happens if two or more players tie? Do they decide the winner by number of wins with black?

  • 16 months ago

    LimpSpider

    I think the text is wrong. I quote, "Boris Gelfand and Teimour Radjabov both had opportunities to win yesterday, but both had to settle for a draw." I get the impression though, that Gelfand won the game. Am I seeing things correctly? 

  • 16 months ago

    MKCIMICMAN2

    I think what everyone is forgeting but Magnus has said in the past that players should play move moves in gamers then settling for Grandmaster draws. That is why these games have to go longer before they are allowed to offer a draw.

  • 16 months ago

    MindWalk

    Did Ivanchuk avoid 15...Nxb2 because of 16 Bd4?

  • 16 months ago

    foxychessgirl

    Could there be a super grandmaster thoughtful enough of us lesser players that thinks, "you know what? I'm gonna play out these drawn games just a little bit longer, so that fans of the game can see just a few more quality moves." Today was an obvious draw, but sometimes the "drawn" positions are very complex and unclear, while I'm always wondering how it would have played out.

  • 16 months ago

    Lawdoginator

    Magnus has a habit of coming on strong at the end of tournaments. 

  • 16 months ago

    PhoenixTTD

    No one is mathematically out of it yet.

  • 16 months ago

    Tyozao

    why carlsen choose a quiet opening. he could do better than that.Cool

  • 16 months ago

    ClavierCavalier

    Everyone has time troubles in this tournament.

    Can Ivanchuk actually make first place now?

  • 16 months ago

    Sahasrara

    I don't think Carlsen's continuation after a draw offer was arrogant, he really wants this win badly and that shows, maybe he really thought he could outplay Aronian. If he doesn't think he can beat everyone here, he shouldn't become the champ, simple as that. 

  • 16 months ago

    chessdoggblack

    Sorry to see my man "Ivanchuk" lose in the 8th round; but as they say "through every difficulty there is relief." Still his fan: "Da ChessDogg!"WinkCool

  • 16 months ago

    LazyChessPlayer3201

    3 leaders each with a rating over 2800

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