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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.

21804 reads 96 comments
12 votes

Comments


  • 21 months ago

    kosiu_drumev

    This "vodkarov" once again remind us how megalomaniac the overall russian  can be. And remembering us all the stupid things the russians said once upon a time for Fisher. Sad, but some things never changed.

  • 21 months ago

    restinpeace

    nice game between peter and alexander, they should've just play that one out and see if it's truly a draw.

  • 21 months ago

    UkrChess

    LOL, Aaronsky, that was harsh!

  • 21 months ago

    kiloNewton

    @ wiki8: http://london2013.fide.com/analysis/index.html

    the engine evaluation of last 6ply moves was exactly 0.00, which is dead draw; although its difficult to understand.

  • 21 months ago

    Aaronsky72

    Still drinking the Vodka Vodkarov?

    Amazing that you have such an insight in to his upbringing and how 'pampered and spoiled he is" he is, his family must have wondered over the years, "who's that weird drunk Russian with the notepad always hanging around our house".

    Here's a wild idea, perhaps he's the best chess player in the world. Here's a clue: ELO doesn't stand for Erotic Lenin Ogles.

  • 21 months ago

    ChristianSoldier007

    Next time someone tells me draws in chess are boring, I'm going to show them that game between Grischuck and Svidler!

  • 21 months ago

    UkrChess

    Just went over the last Gelfand / Carlsen game. Gelfand will sure put up a fight but Carlsen's superb handling of the end game, squeezing the smallest of advantages will most likely bring him down.

    @vodkarov: Not that I'm a fan but Magnus is a superb player that's the reason he is so "lucky." :-)

  • 21 months ago

    Aknaim

    Unless Lev bounces back within the next two or so rounds and Carlsen doesn't win he still has a chance. However another lose or a couple more draws could mean he's out of the running. It's very unlikely Carlsen is going to drop a game.

  • 21 months ago

    vodkarov

    And the norwegian pampered boy escaped again against Big Vlad. He also escaped against Chucky and Radja. What's happening??? He's the most lucky spoiled kid I've ever seen.

  • 21 months ago

    wik8

    what an amazing day of chess...four brilliant games.  the tournament is wearing some players down, but the mentally strong soldier on! 

    only question is... why on earh did grischuk and svidler draw?  if any game looked decisive, it was that one for sure

  • 21 months ago

    TheMagicianPaul

    I still believe that Lev will win the Candidates...

  • 21 months ago

    ChessKingBen

    Awesome! thanks so much!

  • 21 months ago

    Champeknight

    Carlsen will crush Gelfand. Just my prediction

  • 21 months ago

    kosiu_drumev

    Too much hopes for Gelfand here, I think.

  • 21 months ago

    davidmelbourne

    When was the last time Magnus lost a classical game? 

  • 21 months ago

    Krangmx

    Go Boris!!!!!

  • 21 months ago

    geographybuff

    @kingcrash - no, it has been 6 months and one day since he lost against Fabiano Caruana.

  • 21 months ago

    Vorax

    Amazing comeback from Gelfand, I feared it will be downhill for him after two losses, but he does not give up. I'm rooting for him and I hope he will win against Carlsen in round 10.

  • 21 months ago

    KiwiJuise

    Wouldn't that be hilarious if Gelfand beat Magnus next round? beating both of the leaders in a row!

  • 21 months ago

    UkrChess

    What an amazing day! Carlsen is just out there, playing extremely precise moves. Lev just missed that e6 move after which it was downhill for him; and Gelfand slowly but surely brought it home. Unbelievable. Very interesting comments from him during the press conference, discussing the understanding of the game.

    And what fireworks in the Svidler game! He probably should have tried to play for a win. Nigel Short aptly said he couldn't have lost and there was a chance he might win so why not try. But in any case, what a game!

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