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Shocking 9th Round Candidates’: Anand Wins, Aronian & Kramnik Go Down

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 3/23/14, 7:15 AM.

Sunday was a pretty good day for Vishy Anand. In a shocking 9th round of the 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk, the ex-World Champion defeated Veselin Topalov, while his closest rivals Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik both lost, to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Karjakin respectively. With five rounds to go, Anand effectively has a 1.5 point lead over Aronian because he will win a possible tiebreak on mutual result.

Photos © Vadim Lavrenko & Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of the official website

Last year's Candidates’ Tournament was definitely one to remember, and especially the last couple of rounds. This year the tournament is no less exciting, while the players (well, except for one!) seem to be losing their nerves even earlier. Teimour Radjabov, who participated last year, summarized it as follows:

It all started quietly, with a draw between two Russian participants who are not playing a major role at this point. From a 6.h3 Najdorf, Dmitry Andreikin and Peter Svidler quickly reached an equal ending and when the last rooks were traded, and the necessary thirty moves were played, they called it a day.

But so much was happening on the other three boards, it was just crazy! The first sensation was Vladimir Kramnik getting into serious trouble against Sergey Karjakin. OK, it can happen, but right from the opening? Which was... a London System??

By then Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Levon Aronian were involved in a terribly sharp 4.f3 Nimzo-Indian, while Vishy Anand and Veselin Topalov were also playing 6.h3 Najdorf, where White had a slight edge.

Mamedyarov-Aronian was the first to finish, and it was the top seed in this tournament who went down. He knew more about the opening than his opponent, but as we've seen in this tournament, this does not guarantee success. 

Mamedyarov found the important maneuver Ra1-b1-b4, and then Aronian missed the critical move 16...c5! which is probably good for Black. An excellent positional exchange sac followed, and with three pawns plus an increasingly dangerous attack, Mamedyarov was well on top. The players didn't mention from which position Black was losing, but it's clear that it was very difficult after 28.d5.

A big blow for Aronian, who said: “I was blundering things the whole game. These positions are generally my style but today I think I underestimated the complexity of the position.”

Mamedyarov played a really good game. He said: “I had nothing to lose. I just play chess. I played risky but it's good chess. I don't know if it's right or not, but this is how I play.”

Anand took full advantage with another clean win, against Topalov. In a reasonably normal Sicilian, the Bulgarian's 13...f5 wasn't good. According to Anand, it didn't work in this type of position because White's pawn block f4-g5-h4 was restricting the e7 bishop too much.

It was also the type of position where, as an exception, Black winning the e3 bishop for a knight didn't bring him much. And then Topalov somehow missed 18.Nxe4, when White ended up with a “dream French position” (Anand).

It seems that Anand missed a quicker win (30.Qa7!) but after Topalov's inaccurate 31st move he could reach a technically winning ending by pushing both his h- and a- pawn to the fifth rank.

By then Kramnik was still fighting for his life, but after the opening disaster he never really got back into the game, despite getting a temporary bind on the light squares. Karjakin reached a double rook ending with two extra pawns, which needed some precise move to win, but he managed.

“It wasn't really a game,” said Kramnik, referring to his blunder on move seven (which turned out to be a novelty).

And so Kramnik is 1.5 points behind Anand, but he will face the Indian with the white pieces on Wednesday in round 11, so anything is possible. About the tournament situation Kramnik said: “So far Vishy is playing by far better than the others and that is why is leading. It's that simple. And also he is not blundering.”

“It was a good day, certainly. I think it's nice I get a rest day tomorrow and I'm looking forward to that,” said Anand. Two of his compatriots are already looking forward to Anand-Carlsen, Part 2:

It seems like we're dealing with an Anand who is playing close to his level of Mexico 2007 and Bonn 2008. Strong chess, no big mistakes. He hasn't been in a single really bad position so far. It's been a long time since he's played at this level for nine games in a row. The big question is: can he keep it up for five more rounds?

FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Pairings & Results

Round 1 13.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 8 22.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik ½-½ Andreikin
Karjakin ½-½ Svidler   Svidler 0-1 Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Mamedyarov
Anand 1-0 Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Anand
Round 2 14.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 9 23.03.14 15:00 MSK
Kramnik 1-0 Karjakin   Karjakin 1-0 Kramnik
Svidler 1-0 Andreikin   Andreikin ½-½ Svidler
Topalov ½-½ Anand   Anand 1-0 Topalov
Aronian 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov 1-0 Aronian
Round 3 15.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 10 25.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin - Andreikin
Svidler ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik - Svidler
Topalov ½-½ Aronian   Aronian - Topalov
Mamedyarov 0-1 Anand   Anand - Mamedyarov
Round 4 17.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 11 26.03.14 15:00 MSK
Mamedyarov 1-0 Andreikin   Andreikin - Mamedyarov
Karjakin ½-½ Topalov   Topalov - Karjakin
Aronian 1-0 Svidler   Svidler - Aronian
Anand ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik - Anand
Round 5 18.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 12 27.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Anand   Anand - Andreikin
Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov - Karjakin
Svidler 1-0 Topalov   Topalov - Svidler
Kramnik ½-½ Aronian   Aronian - Kramnik
Round 6 19.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 13 29.03.14 15:00 MSK
Aronian ½-½ Andreikin   Andreikin - Aronian
Anand ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin - Anand
Mamedyarov 1-0 Svidler   Svidler - Mamedyarov
Topalov 1-0 Kramnik   Kramnik - Topalov
Round 7 21.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 14 30.03.14 15:00 MSK
Karjakin 0-1 Aronian   Aronian - Karjakin
Svidler ½-½ Anand   Anand - Svidler
Kramnik 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov - Kramnik
Andreikin 1-0 Topalov   Topalov - Andreikin 

FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Round 9 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Anand,V 2770 2898 ½ ½ 1 ½ ½ ½1 6.0/9
2 Aronian,L 2830 2801 ½ 1 10 ½ 1 ½ 5.0/9
3 Kramnik,V 2787 2762 ½ ½ 10 1 ½½ ½ 0 4.5/9 20.50
4 Karjakin,S 2766 2771 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ ½1 ½ 4.5/9 19.50
5 Mamedyarov,S 2757 2780 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½½ 4.5/9 18.75
6 Andreikin,D 2709 2738 ½ ½ ½½ ½ 0 1 4.0/9 17.75
7 Svidler,P 2758 2726 ½ 0 ½ ½0 0 1 4.0/9 17.00
8 Topalov,V 2785 2689 ½0 ½ 1 ½ ½½ 0 0 3.5/9

The 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament is an 8-player double round robin with 4 rest days. The dates are March 13th-31st, 2014. Each day the rounds start at 15:00 local time which is 10:00 CET, 04:00 EST and 01:00 PST. The winner will have the right to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in a world title match which is scheduled to take place in November 2014. 

32336 reads 188 comments
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Comments


  • 3 months ago

    gaurav_knight

    For all stupid Pro-Anannds;

     

    No one matches his skills probably in the chess history. During his golden days, he was kept away from the World tiltle for sooooo long time because of Kasparov-Fide clash. Otherwise he would be by far 10 times world champion or so. When he was already on his age & game decline, (aged 36 !!!) still made it when given chance in 2008 & sustained it continuously. 

     

    Now being 43 years old, being world champion 5 times in all possible formats (unique achievement in the chess history), having so many mesmerizing almost superceding era of tournament wins, what is left to achieve & subsequently for remaining motivated?

     

    Here comes Carlsen a fresh, hungry player. So it was not Carlsen who won....it was Anand who loose! Now its the time for the world to see in 2014, how Anand teaches Carlsen some unlearned lessons.

     

    There was Anand so many Achievements but hugely modest, polite & humble. And there is Carlsen...just one world championship & so much of proud & arrogance.

  • 6 months ago

    alokshrivastava

    You must have over observed things, I still could not forget the way articles went all praise on anand when he defeated aronian with all time masterpiece in TATA steel chess 2013.

    Though I agree and have been saying "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion"

    Peace :)

  • 6 months ago

    Frendu

    @aloksrivastava

    I appreciate your broad mindedness..but I have stated what I have observed for past few years in various news articles and discussions..I m entitled to my own opinion   and you are entitled to your own.

  • 6 months ago

    prashj

    Lol. Personal attacks clearly show the level  some commenters have stoop down to. Leaving the topic at hand, everybody is going on judging others :). Although I am not obliged to clear, the American flag on my profile appears by virtue of putting my location as America which is true. Please take my humble advice and really show some sensitivity guys. This level of commenting makes it look very ugly. 

  • 6 months ago

    Faizan_khan

    ppl were thinking that anand is now gone with his age.. so many ppl said he dont remain the passions to sit and play long classy games .. he blunder in every game... but Anand given them his answer with his game ... now it is clear .. He was just in bad form .. now he come back strongly .. hope he will continue his good form..

  • 6 months ago

    novzki41

    It appears we will have a PRIME ANAND VS PRIME MAGNUS in November.

  • 6 months ago

    ananthhh

    No one hates Anand. 

    Fact is no one rooting for Anand which is obvious because of his poor performance last 2 years.

    Now he is back and rocking the stage. Lets enjoy the games which were truly amazing and exciting.

    I love this tournament. Still 5 rounds to go but no one is too far from 1st place. Am eagerly waiting for next rounds.

    As always i will root for Anand. Go Anand :)

  • 6 months ago

    alokshrivastava

    [COMMENT DELETED]
  • 6 months ago

    Frendu

    @prashj

    Man if you can't show respect to India then at least show some respect to american flag and proudly show yourself as an american..your credibility is as hollow as an athlete running in Olympic with american flag and at the same time identifying himself as an Indian.first solve your identity crisis then lecture others.

  • 6 months ago

    Frendu

    @imvihari

     

    +1

  • 6 months ago

    Frendu

    @alwayswinner

    Well said bro.......

  • 6 months ago

    Frendu

    @indianharyy

     

    Chess.com is shocked because they had placed anand at bottom along with players like andreiken and mamyedrov in the list of probable winners of candid....so it is obvious they are shocked to see anand win..I have seen many timmes how biased reporting goes here on chess.com.....when anand wins,his opponents are criticised for making mistakes.it is shown that anand won only because his opponent made mistake , made blunders otherwise he couldn't have won..when Carlson or other white guys win then I don't see the same kind of reporting.if anand continues to play like this,I think biased reporters are going to get even more shocks in future.

  • 6 months ago

    All_ways_winner

    Hello hello @prashj

    Kid now stop trying to be humble. You are not that great.

    Dont you understand simple English. Are you ashamed of your country flag. I would have asked you this question even if you were Pakistani.

    Yes or No ??

  • 6 months ago

    prashj

    @All_ways_winner

    See man, I try to think objectively and I really believe there was no racism etc  going on here. The title of the headline "shocked" is because both Aronian and Kramnik lost. I am not a guy who will sell all the objectivity just because I identify myself as Indian or western. You people are really undoing what Anand has done for two decades. There is nothing like Anand "hater", people like some players more, thats all. Grow up and stop drawing conclusions as harsh as "white skin approval".

  • 6 months ago

    All_ways_winner

    @prashj

    I do not think you understood sarcastic remark. You are one of those guys who needs white skin people approval or attention to show off in India.

    This is disgusting that people here are not ashamed of putting other country flag on profile and as per their convinience using home country name.

    @in_prasad

    ++. I guess you hit the nerve of Anand haters.

  • 6 months ago

    All_ways_winner

    @prashj

    I do not think you understood sarcastic remark. You are one of those guys who needs white skin people approval or attention to show off in India.

    This is disgusting that people here are not ashamed of putting other country flag on profile and as per their convinience using home country name.

    @in_prasad

    ++. I guess you hit the nerve of Anand haters.

  • 6 months ago

    Malphax

    Let's just enjoy the chess of Anand and be grateful that he is still motivated to be playing at the highest levels. Is he in his absolute best form? Perhaps not because everyone ages even Carlsen will one day grow old and will lose the title to some young chess superstar. That's the fact of life.

  • 6 months ago

    prashj

    @Chess_Prophylaxis 

    Don't worry mate. Some guys new on internet do not understand how to be humble on internet. Even I am from India and did not like some of the comments of his supporters. If only they take the main virtue of Anand i.e. humility.

  • 6 months ago

    CHESSQOSQO

    chess is art.

  • 6 months ago

    opla

    @Mkhitar Yes, you're right

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