Candidates’ R10: Kramnik Blunders, Loses to Svidler
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Vladimir Kramnik blundered terribly and lost his white game to Svidler in round 10 round of the 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk. With the other three games ending in draws, Viswanathan Anand kept his one-point lead over Levon Aronian while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler are one and a half points behind.
Photos © Vadim Lavrenko, Kirill Merkuryev & Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of the official website
As long as things stay more or less the same, Viswanathan Anand can be happy, and that's basically what happened on Tuesday in Khanty-Mansiysk. Kramnik vs. Svider, decided by a blunder, was the only decisive game of the round and as a result these two Russian top GMs switched places in the standings. Svidler joined Mamedyarov and Karjakin in shared third place (they have a 50% score), while Kramnik dropped to “minus one” and sixth place, shared with Dmitry Andreikin. Veselin Topalov is still last, with “minus two”.
Meanwhile, a certain fashion model will be one curious chess fan following this event. He could even check out a website from a national newspaper today.
@ChessVibes) March 25, 2014
@TarjeiJS) March 25, 2014
In what wasn't the most exciting round of the tournament, the tournament leader was the first to finish his game. Anand drew with Mamedyarov in a game that started as a 6.h3 Najdorf. It is truly the rage these days, but also logical in this situation as White is more solid than in other lines.
After Black had castled queenside (not your every-day Najdorf!) he was at least fine. White had to find the accurate Bg2-f1-e2 maneuver to avoid getting worse. At first Mamedyarov avoided a move repetition, but soon it became clear that Black wasn't better either.
“It was a normal game and a normal draw. It is clear that today I had to win today and this opening gave some play, but of course at such level of play, if your opponent doesn't want to win and doesn't want to lose, then with White it is very difficult to win and with Black especially. When I realized Vishy was not against a draw, I realized it was impossible for me to win today,” said Mamedyarov.
“It's not very difficult - all moves make my position worse, except repeating!” smiled Anand. Whatever I could have tried, it's too late here. I misplayed something, I mean Black had easy equality, which is something. It was too easy for me as well to make this choice.”
Soon afterward Karjakin and Andreikin also drew their game. In a Sicilian Taimanov, the queens left the board rather quickly and White had a doubled g- pawn. Pushing it to g5 gained some space and with the open h-file it seemed that White had a slight edge but Andreikin's prepared move 11...f6! put an end to that thought.
“I wanted to get a playable position and play chess but I didn't manage because my opponent was very well prepared. There are four more rounds ahead so everything is possible,” Karjakin said.
For his game against Kramnik, Svidler repeated his new opening, the Dutch, which he had played before against Mamedyarov. Both players had to think from the very start when Kramnik's rare move 3.e3!? was answered by 3...b6!?.
White's space-grabbing 4.d5 push was a principled reply, as Svidler pointed out: “If [this] is good it might even end the game but I think I'm surviving.”
After 5...c6! is Svidler slightly better with the Black pieces as early as move 5? #candidates2014— Erwin l'Ami ( @erwinlami) March 25, 2014
A few moves later Black was close to equality, until he played the inaccurate 9...Bc5. It was intended to make a quick e3-e4 for White unattractive, but later Svidler realized that e3-e4 never really worked anyway. The other problem was that the move allowed 10.Bd2!, and from that moment White was getting the advantage. “White got everything he wanted out of the position,” said Svidler.
Kramnik continued well, but just when he thought he was winning, he was losing. His move 32.Rd4 was a terrible blunder that allowed a simple tactic: Black won an Exchange and a pawn, and it was basically over immediately.
Ufffff....Shhh....B:h2! is comingggg ?? Volodiaaaa! What happened with you??— ARTHUR KOGAN ( @KoganArt) March 25, 2014
OMG!!!! What has Kramnik just done? #Candidates2014— Patricia Llaneza ( @PattyLlaneza) March 25, 2014
@anishgiri) March 25, 2014
Kramnik totally collapsed,everybody play nervously,only Anand with sober and strong all-round play closer and closer... #Candidates2014— Pavel Eljanov ( @Eljanov) March 25, 2014
Just saw what happened to Kramnik. Ouch! Blunders are so profane, but they decide most games, even at the very top. #Candiates2014— Jonathan Rowson ( @Jonathan_Rowson) March 25, 2014
“A very, very big gift obviously,” said Svidler. Kramnik couldn't really explain what had happened. “As you see, I'm blundering horribly. Perhaps it's tiredness. I can't say I played a bad game today, I played normally and still I blundered in just one move. Perhaps it's tiredness, although I feel fine. I don't know.”
Aronian-Topalov then ended in a draw, but not without some excitement. In a Chebanenko Slav, Topalov equalized rather easily and even got some slight chances when Aronian played the careless 22.Rd6. Allowing a knight to d4 was “really, really stupid” (Aronian) and now it was White who had to start thinking about equalizing.
With the accurate 28.a4! Aronian kept things under control and he was happy to see Topalov almost overplaying his hand with 30...g5. The Bulgarian quickly realized what he had done, and now it was his turn to be careful. “When I missed 31.Re2!, which is quite a simple move in fact, I thought I should calm down and play solid moves.” The queens went off the board and White had a tiny edge, but it was nothing special.
Asked about his chances, Aronian said: “It's an exciting tournament... Let's see if it stays exciting for me and not for the others.”
The next round will be absolutely crucial for Anand, who plays Kramnik with the black pieces. For Aronian, who is black against Svidler, it's about time to start winning again. The other games are Andreikin-Mamedyarov and Topalov-Karjakin.
More tweets on the 10th round at Chess in Tweets!
FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Pairings & Results
|Round 1||13.03.14||15:00 MSK||Round 8||22.03.14||15:00 MSK|
|Round 2||14.03.14||15:00 MSK||Round 9||23.03.14||15:00 MSK|
|Round 3||15.03.14||15:00 MSK||Round 10||25.03.14||15:00 MSK|
|Round 4||17.03.14||15:00 MSK||Round 11||26.03.14||15:00 MSK|
|Round 5||18.03.14||15:00 MSK||Round 12||27.03.14||15:00 MSK|
|Round 6||19.03.14||15:00 MSK||Round 13||29.03.14||15:00 MSK|
|Round 7||21.03.14||15:00 MSK||Round 14||30.03.14||15:00 MSK|
FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Round 10 Standings
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. | Games thanks to TWIC