Candidates’ R14: Karjakin Second After Beating Aronian, Anand Undefeated

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 3/30/14, 9:22 AM.

Viswanathan Anand, who had already clinched tournament victory on Saturday, finished undefeated at the FIDE Candidates' Tournament. In the last round the Indian drew with Peter Svidler to reach a final score of 8.5/14. He didn't lose a single game, like Tigran Petrosian at the 1962 Candidates’ in Curacao. Sergey Karjakin, who defeated Levon Aronian in the longest last game of the tournament, finished in second place.

Photos © Vadim Lavrenko, Kirill Merkuryev & Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of the official website

As was kind of expected, Vishy Anand finished his successful tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk with a relatively quick draw with Peter Svidler. He said he picked a line that would involve zero risk: “I thought in the Marshall I should be able to get some fairly dry position which wouldn't pose too many challenges because clearly I wasn't in the best state of mind, I mean you're still euphoric and so on.”

Inspired by some recent games by Fabiano Caruana, Anand chose the 12.d3 variation and managed to get a very slight edge in an ending: that of bishop vs. knight. It could have been something tangible, if Svidler hadn't found a concrete way to force the draw.

It was a game that didn't matter much anymore, but Anand did prepare for it. He said: “It has its challenges. You need to decide what you're aiming for, what you're going to play for. It's very easy to drift in these situations. I mean, despite the fact that I would have won anyway, you don't want to... A loss always leaves a sour taste in the mouth.”

“Today morning was very easy. I woke up at six o'clock... It was quite turbulent. (...) Last night was easily the one with the least sleep.”

Looking back at his tournament, Svidler said: “The most prevalent feeling right now is the feeling of huge wasted opportunity. I think at least in the first half I played very interesting chess and I had chances in almost every game. I think a lot of what went wrong in this tournament were what you call unforced errors on my part.”

At the press conference Anand was asked which of his games he liked the most and whether it could be included in his best games collection. In his reply he first mentioned the game against Andreikin:

“I actually saw this rook sac line, 41.Rc4.

and now I saw that every move attacking his queen allows Nb4+, Nxd5 and takes e7. And of course as soon as I go home, the computer instantly shows Rb5. It's a pity to miss it by one move. If I had found that move, and I played that line, even if I would have won in some other way let's say, I would have put that one in.”

Anand, who moved back up to #3 in the live ratings, was also very happy with his win against Topalov, and with his first win ever against Levon, with White. “Besides being a nightmare for me, he is a nightmare with the black pieces!” He added: “It's not really that I'm choosing something; I liked all my wins.”

It was clear that Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Vladimir Kramnik also had had enough chess. The two played a rather insignificant draw in a 4.Qc2 Nimzo-Indian:

At the press conference Kramnik was asked to compare his tournament with that of last year's. He said: “Last year I played more games than in any other year in my chess career, actually. It was a very tough year and I probably simply didn't recover fully from this year, although I physically feel pretty well, even now. I don't have a problem with physical shape. 

But there is a certain thing like mental energy, nervous energy, which I feel I was lacking a bit. With me I know very well when it happens, I start to make blunders. This is very typical for me. I start to have this problem with nervous energy. So that was the case, that was the big difference. The second difference is a matter of... You know, you need a little bit of luck, a little bit of wind in your back, and I think in London at some point I had it.”

Veselin Topalov and Dmitry Andreikin followed suit: another draw - but only after 69 moves. In a rather interesting 4.d3 Berlin Topalov got an extra pawn in an ending with RBN for both sides, but it was a doubled pawn and not worth much. The Bulgarian did try it for a long time, even though the position after the time control was already a “positional draw”, according to Andreikin.

The longest game of the tournament was the one that finished the last: Aronian vs. Karjakin. It started with a bit of a bang: Aronian played 1.e4! Best by test according Bobby Fischer, but the Armenian GM rarely plays it.

Avoiding further theory, Aronian played 2.Nc3, 3.Bc4 and 4.a3 in a Sicilian, and it worked out pretty well. White was slightly better after the opening, and clearly better when Karjakin erred on move 18. “I was quite happy that I managed not to lose immediately and I got some play.”

However, Aronian got into timetrouble and spoiled everything. He “started to blunder things”, in his own words, and although material was equal after the time control, White's weak king was a permanent worry. After the second time control Karjakin found the right plan, and it became clear that White's position was beyond repair. Karjakin finished it off with accurate play.

It was a very good second half for Karjakin, who went from minus two to plus one. “I'm happy. I showed good chess, I like it,” was his simple summary. Aronian, who even went to a minus score in the final round, said: “I didn't really play well. I can't really explain why I was making some of the decisions during the games. I hope I have been giving away all my losses and I won't lose more this year.”

The actual prize fund doesn't seem to be mentioned on the tournament website. The official regulations say: “The total minimum prize fund of the Candidates Tournament amounts to 420,000 euros. The amount is net and cleared of any local taxes. The money prizes shall be allocated as follows (minimum in euros): 1. € 95,000, 2. € 88,000, 3. € 75,000, 4. € 55,000, 5. € 40,000, 6. € 28,000, 7. € 22,000, 8. € 17,000.”

Since all prize money would be divided equally where players had the same score, if these are the actual prizes, the distribution would be:

1. Anand € 95,000
2. Karjakin € 88,000
3-5. Kramnik, Andreikin and Mamedyarov all € 56,667
6-7. Aronian & Svidler € 25,000
8. Topalov € 17,000

The difference between a win and a loss for Aronian and Karjakin in the last round was € 63,000 - a pretty expensive game!

A former FIDE World Champion, who worked with Karjakin in Khanty-Mansiysk and used to be a second of Anand, tweeted:

Don't forget to check out Chess in Tweets one more time!

FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Pairings & Results

Round 1 13.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 8 22.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik ½-½ Andreikin
Karjakin ½-½ Svidler   Svidler 0-1 Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Mamedyarov
Anand 1-0 Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Anand
Round 2 14.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 9 23.03.14 15:00 MSK
Kramnik 1-0 Karjakin   Karjakin 1-0 Kramnik
Svidler 1-0 Andreikin   Andreikin ½-½ Svidler
Topalov ½-½ Anand   Anand 1-0 Topalov
Aronian 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov 1-0 Aronian
Round 3 15.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 10 25.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Andreikin
Svidler ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik 0-1 Svidler
Topalov ½-½ Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Topalov
Mamedyarov 0-1 Anand   Anand ½-½ Mamedyarov
Round 4 17.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 11 26.03.14 15:00 MSK
Mamedyarov 1-0 Andreikin   Andreikin ½-½ Mamedyarov
Karjakin ½-½ Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Karjakin
Aronian 1-0 Svidler   Svidler ½-½ Aronian
Anand ½-½ Kramnik   Kramnik ½-½ Anand
Round 5 18.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 12 27.03.14 15:00 MSK
Andreikin ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Andreikin
Karjakin ½-½ Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov ½-½ Karjakin
Svidler 1-0 Topalov   Topalov 1-0 Svidler
Kramnik ½-½ Aronian   Aronian ½-½ Kramnik
Round 6 19.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 13 29.03.14 15:00 MSK
Aronian ½-½ Andreikin   Andreikin 1-0 Aronian
Anand ½-½ Karjakin   Karjakin ½-½ Anand
Mamedyarov 1-0 Svidler   Svidler ½-½ Mamedyarov
Topalov 1-0 Kramnik   Kramnik 1-0 Topalov
Round 7 21.03.14 15:00 MSK   Round 14 30.03.14 15:00 MSK
Karjakin 0-1 Aronian   Aronian 0-1 Karjakin
Svidler ½-½ Anand   Anand ½-½ Svidler
Kramnik 1-0 Mamedyarov   Mamedyarov ½-½ Kramnik
Andreikin 1-0 Topalov   Topalov ½-½ Andreikin

FIDE Candidates’ 2014 | Round 14 (Final) Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts SB
1 Anand,Viswanathan 2770 2845 ½½ ½½ ½½ ½½ ½1 8.5/14
2 Karjakin,Sergey 2766 2795 ½½ 01 ½½ ½½ ½1 01 ½½ 7.5/14
3 Kramnik,Vladimir 2787 2768 ½½ 10 ½½ ½0 ½½ 01 7.0/14 49.25
4 Andreikin,Dmitry 2709 2779 ½½ ½½ ½½ ½1 7.0/14 48.50
5 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2757 2772 ½½ 01 ½½ 7.0/14 48.00
6 Svidler,Peter 2758 2748 ½½ ½0 ½1 10 6.5/14 46.00
7 Aronian,Levon 2830 2737 10 ½½ ½0 10 ½½ 6.5/14 45.00
8 Topalov,Veselin 2785 2719 ½0 ½½ 10 ½½ 01 ½½ 6.0/14

The 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament was an 8-player double round robin with 4 rest days. The dates were March 13th-31st, 2014. The winner (Anand) has 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 

22627 reads 128 comments
7 votes


  • 3 years ago


    Rookie? What about learning to check your English first? Anyway, one doesn't have to be a chess expert to know how great Carlsen is compared to his contemporaries.

  • 3 years ago


    I dont think theres anything wrong with the headline, nor was there anything lacking in the coverage of this event by 

    And all those who are disappointed seeing Anand back in the WCC match dont have any option but to suck it up....if the idea of a re-match between these chess stalwarts doesnt excite you, then you are following the wrong sport

  • 3 years ago


    Some chess "experts" like you in many facets had also written him off pre-candidates tournament ;-))

  • 3 years ago


    You are expecting too much from Anand. I am a chess expert and by no means ignorant of chess in its many facets. It is probable that Carlsen will beat the former champion again, sending him to retirement. Anand will still be held in high esteem as a former world champ. But this is Carlsen's time.

  • 3 years ago


    Winning and losing is a part of any sports. Carlsen will also have to go thru losing WCC sometimes;  does it make him a less classic player? 

    Nobody is expecting too much from Anand, but you guys have already written him off before the start of WCC.  That shows your ignorance of the game of chess and utter disrespect for a legend like Anand!

  • 3 years ago


    Anand did prove he was the loser after Carlsen snatched his crown. Have mercy on Anand. Too much expectations on him against the world number one.

  • 3 years ago


    @albatrosses said "Carlsen crushes Anand, again. That will be the headline after their 2nd match. "

          The so-called experts had already written off Anand before the start of the Candidates tournament and predicted that they would be very surprised if Anand wins. They were pretty sure either Aronian or Kramnik will win and challenge Carlsen. So your point is exactly what again??

          I can't believe how some users have already predicted the Anand-Carlsen result in Carlsen's favor!! They simply don't know the depth of the game. Anand has proved his detractors time and again, so we will see :-)

  • 3 years ago


    @mattisks says;

    (1)  (1)  “defender (Anand) didn't show anything better than some crazy behavior during interviews..” -------

         I don’t mean to be disrespectful Matt, but looks like you’ve never ever played a single game of chess in your entire life, and you’ve never ever heard of a man named Garry Kasparov. If you had ever played chess, you would’ve known how it feels like going thru a grind for more than 6 hours and then an unintellectual and nagging reporter asking the same question over like a little kid. And you talk about bad behavior? Remember Kasparov slammed his clock hard and also slammed the door hard every time he left the playing room in game 10 of Anand-Kasparov clash, only because he had lost game 9!!!

    (2)   (2)  “I am not saying Karjakin or anyone for that matter would do better. I am just scared of same match, which we have already seen. No matter if you like the player or his mother, would you really like to see same scenario, again?” -----------

         According to experts, chess has more than 10 ^ 120 (The atoms in the entire universe are only 10 ^ 90).  I am sure the Anand and Carlsen will have lots of fireworks this year.  So please relax, and have an open mind.  Cheers :-))

  • 3 years ago


    Carlsen crushes Anand, again. That will be the headline after their 2nd match.

  • 3 years ago


    The 2 best players will play once again for the title. Enjoy the chess and throw away your egos and biased predictions. 7th / 8th place finishers were picked by many here to win. It's a demanding sport of the mind at the elite level. Congratulations to Anand and the other particpants for their lofty achievements.

  • 3 years ago



    FIDE has to pay the players; it's a job. How else do you think they make money?:)

  • 3 years ago


    I am not saying Karjakin or anyone for that matter would do better. I am just scared of same match, that we have already seen. 

    It was totally boring match and defender didn't show anything better than some crazy behaviour during interviews.. 

    No matter if you like the player or his mother, would you really like to see same scenario, again? It just makes me sick they get paid for it.. They should give it to some charity for better chess interviews, let alone play..

  • 3 years ago


    Check out the red black tiger, getting ready to pounce. :)

  • 3 years ago


    I don't think the headlines got anything disrespectful of Anand. Its really difficult to stay undefeated in a candidates. I think somewhere it was mentioned that, we have an undefeated winner after Petrosian.

  • 3 years ago


    Looking forward to the WC match..Should be fun

  • 3 years ago


    I am Anand's fan too and i don't think there is anything wrong with the title ,If Anand was in he would have been really embarrassed by the fuss his fans are making (although not all of them).

  • 3 years ago


    I am a Anand admirer and I don't think headlines were biased. Anand's clinching the tournament was the news of the round before last. Really, Annd fans should not fret over moot points. It looks like a sore attitude which is not called for, especially in a victorious moment.

  • 3 years ago


    Go Anand! :)

  • 3 years ago


    Peter doggers articles and headlines sometime give an impression that he doesn't like anand...but I hope its not deliberate.

  • 3 years ago


    i dont think karjakin would have stood better in front of carlsen. look at the previous candidates tourney, he had a slight advantage in one of the games but blew it away and lost to carlsen.

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