FIDE Candidates Tournament 2016 - Round 9 and Round 8
The 9th round of the FIDE World Candidates Tournament 2016 was held today at the DI Telegraph in Moscow, Russia.
The spectators enjoyed the most fighting day since the beginning of the event as no games were finished before the first time control.
There has been a change on the top as Viswanathan Anand defeated the overnight co-leader Levon Aronian to take his place in the standings.
In the Italian opening white emerged with a slightly better pawn structure. Aronian somewhat carelessly allowed Anand to establish a strong outpost on d5. The resulting double rook ending looked better for white as the more active side, but black put up a fierce resistance. It appeared that black was close to salvaging a draw, but after white got his king to g7 the game was practically over.
Hikaru Nakamura and Sergey Karjakin had another debate in the Queen's Indian defence. The American apparently liked Topalov's 11.Rb1 as he repeated it today. Nevertheless, black was slightly better after the opening thanks to the better pawn structure. Nakamura put his pieces to work in order to complicate the matters. The activity paid off and after correct play from both sides the draw was agreed on move 44.
Veselin Topalov got a slightly better position in the Anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez against Peter Svidler. Black defended well but at some point he had to concede the pair of bishops and transpose to an ending. Immediately afterwards white made a couple of inaccurate moves which allowed black to quickly stabilize. From then on Svidler had no major difficulties in holding a draw.
In the longest game of the tournament Anish Giri and Fabiano Caruana fought for more than seven hours before settling for a draw on move 96.
Round 9 results:
Topalov - Svidler 1/2
Anand - Aronian 1-0
Giri - Caruana 1/2
Nakamura - Karjakin 1/2
After nine rounds of play Karjakin and Anand are joint leaders with 5,5 points each. Aronian and Caruana share third place with 5 points. There follow Giri (4,5), Svidler (4), Nakamura (3,5) and Topalov with 3 points.
Tuesday is rest day. Round 10 games are on schedule for 23rd March at 15:00 Moscow time:
Svidler - Nakamura
Karjakin - Giri
Caruana - Anand
Aronian - Topalov
Photos courtesy of Andreas Kontokanis
The 8th round of the FIDE World Candidates Tournament 2016 was held today at the DI Telegraph in Moscow, Russia.
The game between the two American players saw the Anti-Berlin Ruy Lopez where white gave up the light-squared bishop and castled long. Both sides started marching the pawns towards enemy kings. As Hikaru Nakamura said after the game, it was either win or lose in brilliant fashion. As it happened, white king used the opponent's pawns as shelter and black's attack stalled. With free hands to develop his own attack, Fabiano Caruana swiftly brought the victory home.
Levon Aronian and Anish Giri revisited the slightly forgotten Anti-Moscow Semi-Slav opening. White showed aggressive intentions in the opening, however black was able to exchange the queens and calmly complete the development. Aronian tried in all ways to unbalance the position but Giri was up to task to hold the draw.
Viswanathan Anand easily equalised in the opening from the black side of Ragozin Queen's Gambit. Veselin Topalov opted for the slow build-up to push e3-e4, but after realising that it won't come that easy, he went for massive exchanges. In the resulting ending black was relying on several small factors - weak d4-pawn and better coordination of the queen and knight. White was extremely solid and after making no progress black agreed to a draw on move 51.
The game between the two Russian players saw an ultra-sharp line of the English opening. At some point Sergey Karjakin pushed the opponent's pieces back and assumed the initiative. Peter Svidler grabbed a pawn and braced for defence. However, instead of keeping the pressure on, black rushed to regain the material, allowing his opponent to gain a new momentum. From then on Svidler played for a win, coming very close to scoring, but a couple of inaccurate moves let his opponent of the hook.
Round 8 results:
Svidler - Karjakin 1/2
Caruana - Nakamura 1-0
Aronian - Giri 1/2
Topalov - Anand 1/2
After eight rounds of play Karjakin and Aronian are joint leaders with 5 points each. Anand and Caruana share third place with 4,5 points. There follow Giri (4), Svidler (3,5), Nakamura (3) and Topalov with 2 points.
Round 9 games are on schedule for 21st March at 15:00 Moscow time:
Topalov - Svidler
Anand - Aronian
Giri - Caruana
Nakamura - Karjakin