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Candidates Tournament Round 9

  • SonofPearl
  • on 3/25/13, 1:51 PM.

Annotations by GM Sam Shankland
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Vladimir Kramnik had the white pieces against Magnus Carlsen in round nine of the Candidates Tournament and needed a win to allow him to catch up with the world #1 in the standings.

He chose the familiar Catalan hunting ground for his campaign, slowly turning the thumbscrews on Carlsen and winning a pawn for his efforts. It was a major test for Carlsen's defensive abilities and the he pulled it out of the bag, calmly finding a way to simplify the position into an ending where the extra pawn wasn't enough to give Kramnik any real chances of victory.  

A disappointed Kramnik said "I was sure there must be some way to win", and Carlsen admitted, "I thought it was dangerous (for me)...most of the time I have to make 'only' moves".

Vladimir Kramnik really needed a win today...

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...but Magnus Carlsen passed a stern test of his defensive skills

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Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk played an incredibly wild game, with both players sacrificing material in a very complicated encounter. Approaching the time control, Svidler had the better winning chances, but Grischuk took advantage of the exposed position of the white king for effective counterplay.  The players somewhat surprisingly agreed a draw once the time control was reached.

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Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler played a wild tactical game

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Svidler and Grischuk talked through their amazing game at the press conference

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Boris Gelfand won his first game of the tournament in yesterday's round, and today he faced the tournament co-leader Lev Aronian with the white pieces.  The game swung on a key moment when Aronian played 25...Rxd4, putting his faith in the discovered attack 27...Bc4.  However, an alert Gelfand spotted the flaw in this idea by finding 28. e6! which gave him a winning position. Time trouble for both players came and went, but Gelfand managed to retain an advantage and brought home the full point.

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Boris Gelfand won for the second day in a row

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It was Lev Aronian's first loss of the tournament

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The last game to finish was a marathon encounter between the players at the bottom of the standings, Vassily Ivanchuk and Teimour Radjabov.  Radjabov played very passively from the outset and Ivanchuk was able to put pressure on the Azerbaijani for the whole game. Eventually, Ivanchuk's persistence bore fruit as he wore down his opponent's resistance over 6½ long hours.

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Vassily Ivanchuk scored his first win of the event against Teimour Radjabov

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So Magnus Carlsen is the sole leader after 9 completed rounds, with 5 rounds left to play.  Tomorrow is the third rest day of the event - round 10 is played on Wednesday.

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The standings after nine rounds

Name Fed Elo Pts
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2872 6
Levon Aronian ARM 2809
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2810 5
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2764
Boris Gelfand ISR 2740
Peter Svidler RUS 2747 4
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2757
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2793 3

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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 ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Vassily Ivanchuk  1 - 0 Teimour Radjabov 
Boris Gelfand 1 - 0 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.

21154 reads 96 comments
12 votes

Comments


  • 19 months ago

    Marcokim

    My fellow chess fans, it is clear that we are all passionate, opinionated, intelligent, eloquent chess commentators. But i think we are wholely unqualified to give the kind of subjective comments I see here.

    A sub-1400 player commenting on 2700+ quality games is like a 12yr old science kid commenting about the Higgs Boson. I mean surely, we love Aronian (he is a nice affable guy), we hate Kramnik (he is a quiet Russian), and we love Magnus (he is a quiet shy guy) but beyond that our understanding of chess is too low for us to give relevant subjective opinions on rather complex GM games. We need a strong resident GM to help with analysis. Even Judith would serve the purpose well.

    However, some of you would surely build a career in journalism if nothing else.

  • 19 months ago

    chess25836

    If carlsen plays openings like this i doubt he will get any advantage against anand out of the opening. But i admit he is a better endgame player

  • 19 months ago

    Aknaim

    It'll be an interesting thing about chess if Aronian doesnt win the candidates, because it'll come down to that one bad move against gelfand that stopped him in his tracks Frown. Just goes to show how important even one move can be at this level.

  • 19 months ago

    chess25836

    Wow!! world#1 can only draw against kramnik and aronian. However consistently beats most other players

  • 19 months ago

    Ecurbetneilav628

    A heart breaking loss for Lev!!!...despite of the loss, he's still my favourite player and I believe he has still a chance to win the tournament......

  • 19 months ago

    MrMars

    magnus is going to win this tournament

  • 19 months ago

    lilAj

    my thoughts

    1. Kramnik is an incredible player, much underrated I believe. listen to his post mortem analysis; his ability to calculate baffles me and amazes even his peers!

    2. Carlsen deserves to be where he is, his style has seen such an evolution and maturity over the past couple of years- his prowess in  tactical schemishes, endgame wizardry and his "thou-shalt-not-pass" defensive valour makes him a force to be respected (and feared)

    3. Aronian is perhaps, in personality, the most likeable individual of the tourney (IMO) I really do hope he doesnt allow this loss to hold him down!

  • 19 months ago

    Vingore

    Phenomenol defensive play by Carlsen!  Again, his science fiction ability in the end game pulled him through.  It seems almost impossible to actually beat him at this game.  He is truly the Mozart of chess.  

  • 19 months ago

    Ethe91

    The only guy could stop magnus is  Levon Aronian i guess

  • 19 months ago

    Wappinschaw

    Carlsen all the way now!,he is unstoppable.

  • 19 months ago

    doug9732

    Because of the tie-breaking rules today's loss didn't much hurt Aronian's chances of winning the tournament.  If he wins one more game than Carlsen from here to the end of the tournament, and they draw the rest, Aronian is the winner.  And that was also the situation before he lost today!

    Gelfand played brilliantly today.

  • 19 months ago

    Czechman

    Aronian wins this Candidates

    Aronian defeats Anand in WCC

    Carlsen wins next Candidates

    Carsen and Aronian play for WCC... now THAT is my dream chess match. The two best players in the world playing for all the marbles.

  • 19 months ago

    otilrac

    Let's just accept the fact that Magnus has the edge of them all considering his ELO rating. He deserved to be there.

    His style of course brings excitement of the game compared to bookish lines of his opponents. Everytime he plays the game, it is a "concierto" to the max to the extent of nearly losing them. However, he is i guess the "Houdini" of the modern chess game...

    I am always satisfied the way he plays the game win or lose....Cool

  • 19 months ago

    EternalChess

    I hope the chess.com moderators aren't as dumb as the chessbomb moderators and ban Vodkarov soon.

    His childish behaviour is beyond funny I must admit, but his constant crying everyday about his hatred for Carlsen in the last 2 years on chessbomb is too much, even if I get a chuckle out of it. I hope the moderators take action if this crying continues, I don't want chess.com to become trolled like chessbomb has.

    On other notes.. Ever since break was over 2 days ago, Carlsen has STRUGGLED. Against Radjabov, Aronian (not really a struggle) and Kramnik. This will be a needed break for Carlsen, and with 3 coming whites and weaker opponents than Aronian, he should take the most of it.

  • 19 months ago

    tesasembiring

    Bullet chess are : Anand and Carlsten but Kramnik a little bit defend same like Aronian. If Anand face his compatriot Carlsten, the game will not long enough. I just wondering Anand face Kramnik or Svidler because they are playing different chess or Topalov but Topalov is not on the list. I can see also Aronian plays kind of long chess, i think, he is good enough to challenge AnandFrown

  • 19 months ago

    LetsReason

    I get the feeling from this tournament alone that Radjabov is over-rated and Gelfand is under-rated.  I was hoping to see some real hammers being thrown by Radjabov since he was secretly (it seemed) approaching the 2800 level without going head-to-head with the others very much.  But I'm a little disappointed and am coming to the feeling I opened with.

    I'm torn about wanting to see Carlsen go down at least one game.  Part of me wants to see that to keep things "balanced"—can someone really dominate the rest of the field like this?  But another part says, "Hey.  If he earns them...he deserves them (points)."

    I've never been a fan of Kramnik's tendency to play the squeeze game and take the draw if nothing comes out of it.  But you cannot complain too much that he does not lose that often.  I think Carlsen is simply a more lively version of Kramnik in that way.  And I think it nets him a few more wins.

    There's something about Aronian I like.  So I was a little disappointed to see the loss today.  That single loss may have been enough to give the tournament to Carlsen or Kramnik.  Who knows, maybe Gelfand will find through the Carslen maze and sneak a win Wednesday.  THAT would be cool.

  • 19 months ago

    Tyozao

    Carlsen will beat gelfand. i can feel it. u.u

  • 19 months ago

    edpratomo

    Gelfy proved his class! 

  • 19 months ago

    jocelasi

    Quality games from Hydra GMs.  Keep it up!

  • 19 months ago

    IM DanielRensch

    Really disappointed by that Grischuk and Svilder draw... I gotta saw Cry

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