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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.

14302 reads 85 comments
9 votes

Comments


  • 21 months ago

    TheMagicianPaul

    Playing that endgame against Aronian is simply arrogant, it's like he's saying "hey, this is a draw, but who knows? I'm a better player than you so I expect you to lose anyway".. well played by Kramnik by the way.

  • 21 months ago

    A_Sawyer

    Jeez guys. Who's gonna break? I was hoping we would see a victor today with aronian and carlsen.

  • 21 months ago

    Twobit

    Not many players would have the mindset of Carlsen..."There was no harm in playing a few more moves..."

  • 21 months ago

    Sahasrara

    Things are heating up. Aronian and Carlsen with Kramnik chasing them, who will it be? 

  • 21 months ago

    NEWLINE

    Go Kramnik!

  • 21 months ago

    shotdown

    Brave by Kramnik to play Gruenfeld agains Svidler !! Very intresting game with Carlsen tommorow.  

  • 21 months ago

    pyrta

    nice game by kramnik

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