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The Good, The Bad, & the Chucky: The Ten Most Dramatic Positions From London

  • #1

    The just concluded Candidates Tournament in London was rife with drama, particularly in the final rounds.  These ten positions (eight of which are puzzles to solve) showcase some the highlights/lowlights of this topsy-turvy event.

    #10 - Aronian makes his move

    This first position marks the beginning of Aronian's early breakaway from the pack; Gelfand, in a very slightly worse but quite drawable position, made a careless mistake with his last move 25...Rc8.  Can you find Aronian's clever reply, and afterwards, his ultra-accurate winning plan ?


    #9 - Radja in Blunderland, Part One (A Three-Part Trilogy)

    Radjabov, for whatever reason, had a rather wretched tournament.  Here, against Aronian, he needs to play 53.Qe2 in order to hold this somewhat unpleasant position as White.  Instead he finds a way to lose in two(!) moves...

    #8 - Radja in Blunderland, part D'oh, er, D'eux

    Here, in a critical game against Carlsen, Radjabov is completely winning after simply 23...Rxe1 24.Qxe1, but instead did some strange things and eventually drew.  Can you see his simplest path to a win (after 24.Qxe1)?

    #7 - Kramnik Makes His Move

    Kramnik was having trouble early in the tournament converting better positions, but in this game Grischuk helps him out a bit.  The question in this position is if White should take Black's Knight.


    #6 - Aronian Stumbles, Part One

    Aronian was leading the tournament when he pressed a bit too hard against Gelfand and paid the price.  Try and find a crushing blow for Boris(White) in this position.

    #5 - Aronian Stumbles Harder, Part Two, Electric Boogaloo

    This game was of massive importance and in fact catapulted Kramnik into sole possession of first place at the time.  Given the monumental pressure both players were under, it's perhaps unsurprising that it also featured one of the worst blunders in high level chess in quite some time:

    #4 -  Chucky's Revenge, Part One

    Like Aronian against Gelfand, Carlsen here overpressed against Ivanchuk and is fortunate to have a way to rescue this position.  Alas, he was unable to find it in time and instead suffered his first loss of the tournament.  Can you discover what he missed?

    #3 - Radja in Blunderland, The Final Chapter

    Radja has yet again blundered in a crucial game, this time with 80. N(a3)-c4. Can you finish him off as elegantly as Magnus?

    #2 - Svidler the Spoiler

    Peter Svidler had an excellent tournament and only narrowly missed tying for first place.  See if you can win this position as efficiently as the five-time Russian Champion.


    #1 - Chucky's Revenge, Part Two

    In the end, it was the ever unpredictable Ivanchuk who punched Magnus's World Championship ticket with this win over Kramnik (who, in retrospect, only needed a draw to win the tournament).  There are many wins in this position, but see if you can find Chucky's brutally effective solution.

  • #2

    Argh, this article's title got cut off.  Is there a way to edit it?

  • #3

    A nice mate:

  • #4

    I was going to include that position, but I didn't want to add yet another Radjabov loss. :)

  • #5

    Nice thread (probably the best ever), got most of the moves, but then I've seen them!

  • #6

    Very nice article!

  • #7

    Thank you - I've put these in my blog as well, as per the suggestions of some members.  Also, if an admin could change the title of this article to "The Good, The Bad, and the Chucky: The Ten Most Dramatic Positions From the 2013 Candidates Tourney", that would be appreciated - I didn't realize I couldn't edit the title of forum posts. D'oh.

  • #8

    Btw, I also would have included the epic Svidler-Grischuk game, but a single diagram there would hardly suffice

  • #9

    I think you just ran out of characters for the title, even the mods can't make that longer.

    Another good article, though, thanks!

  • #10

    Bah.  Ah well, thanks for reading this anyhow, and if you guys want to make any other puzzles based on important moments in this tournament, feel free to share them here.  I may add in a little while some "White to play and lose on time" studies based on Ivanchuk's games.

  • #11

    Nice recap of some of the Candidates highlights. Thank you.

  • #12

    Will walk them through, very nice!

  • #13

    yeah thank you for the thread. You can edit forum topics in your profile where it says edit under your recent activity too. 

  • #14

    Thanks for the suggestions about how to edit the title.  Also, if you guys like this sort of content please read my blog, it has rather a lot of stuff like this and yet never seems to make the "top blogger" list which, in turn, means that readers can ever find it except in a very random way.


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