FIDE Candidates Tournament 2016 - Round 6
The 6th round of the FIDE World Candidates Tournament 2016 was held today at the DI Telegraph in Moscow, Russia.
Viswanathan Anand, former world champion and winner of the previous Candidates Tournament, returned into contention for the top after a fine victory against Peter Svidler. The Russian surprised his opponent with 8...Bb7, nevertheless white obtained good position by making natural developing moves. At some point black decided to go all in with 18...Nb3, but at the end of the ultra-sharp line white had the decisive 24.h4, after which Svidler promptly resigned.
Sergey Karjakin played another Queen's Indian defence, fourth time in only six rounds. Fabiano Caruana deviated from Topalov's mysterious 11.Rb1 and made his own 11.a3. Karjakin responded in the usual manner, creating the hanging pawns in the center. When white tried to break this structure, black suddenly sacrificed a queen for some material. Black's compensation relied on the fact that there were no pawns left on the queenside. Still, white could have posed certain problems had he advanced the g and h-pawns in proper manner. Karjakin took the opportunity to sacrifice another piece in order to free the passed pawn. At that point Caruana had to concede the draw.
Veselin Topalov used a clever move order with an early 3.h4 to disturb Anish Giri's intention of playing the Gruenfeld Indian defence. Giri promptly sacrificed the b-pawn to transpose into the Benko Gambit. Black obtained good play and reached a typical Benko-ending where white tries to hold onto the extra pawn but is suffering from inactivity. After the time control black turned the situation and emerged pawn up, however the position was already simplified and draw was most likely inevitable.
In the longest match of the day which lasted nearly seven hours Levon Aronian defeated Hikaru Nakamura. White opened with the popular gambit in the Queen's Indian defence. Black tried to free his game by returning the pawn and trading the queens, however white retained some pressure by occupying the 7th rank. After some maneuvering, Nakamura forced further exchanges to reach a rook ending. His position remained unpleasant though. The critical moment occurred on move 74 - Nakamura touched the king and was forced to move this piece - immediately spoiling his position beyond repair and white duly converted into full point. Aronian was convinced that the ending was winning even with black's best play.
After six rounds of play Karjakin and Aronian are joint leaders with 4 points each. Anand is sole third with 3,5, followed by Caruana and Giri on 3 points. Svidler is sixth with 2,5 points, while Nakamura and Topalov share seventh place with 2 points each.
Friday is a rest day. Round 7 games are on schedule for 19th March at 15:00 Moscow time: Svidler-Caruana, Karjakin-Aronian, Nakamura-Topalov, Giri-Anand