Berlin Candidates 2018 - Round 9

Berlin Candidates 2018 - Round 9

GM alexcolovic
Mar 20, 2018, 2:51 PM |

Two tame draws, Kramnik meltdown continues and a missed golden opportunity for Caruana are the highlights of the 9th round in Berlin.

Karjakin is one of the rare players who enjoys playing against Kramnik and today he only proved the point. A perfect game for him, as first he managed to get his preparation in by surprising Kramnik in the Semi-Tarrasch and then was precise in the realisation. 

Kramnik is no longer capable of playing calm chess so he leashed out early on. Further precision on his part was required to justify the risky 11...f5, but he failed and was mercilessly ground down in spite of his heroics a rook down.

Caruana applied long and continuous pressure on Ding Liren and it paid off, as the Chinese cracked. In the press conference Caruana admitted to missing h7 in the winning line after 66 Nf8. A win would have brought Caruana on +4 and that would have been quite a cushion for the last 5 rounds. As things are now, he has the rest day to prepare for the crunch game with Black against Mamedyarov.

The other two games were relatively tame draws. So and Grischuk repeated a lot of Berlin theory and drew. Aronian tried a little bit of something against Mamedyarov, but it never got too exciting.

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