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 

22631 reads 128 comments
7 votes


  • 3 years ago


    People get too touchy about this stuff. I like to follow chess, but in the end I know that none of it has much to do with me or with the price of rice. I was initially bored with the idea of an Anand-Carlsen re-run, but what the heck. Anand earned it (at least more than any of the other folks), and although Carlsen seems like a strong favorite, he will have to be careful as in any match against a top player. Certainly it's not impossible for Anand to win. So there's some interesting tension there. I hope they keep doing this once a year, because I appreciate the entertainment.

    Oh, and on that note, thanks to PeterDoggers and for covering the tournament. The paragraphs about each game and the annotated PGN files are really great.

  • 3 years ago


    What is most amazing to me is that the oldest player in the field exhibited the greatest endurance and consistency in play, especially after so many found that to be the "biggest strike" against him. Viswanathan Anand is a worthy player, showing no signs of a need for retirement or diminished ability. And what a great gentleman for the game itself. He has proven a superb World Champion and he will also have a great contingency of support in yet another seemingly daunting task to come.

  • 3 years ago


    congrats vishy,,,come on people let's move on,,,respect for the challenger...Laughing

  • 3 years ago


    To all the Anand fans who are whining about him not receiving top billing in this headline: If you are such great fans, you would have realized that he already clinched his victory in the previous round. His performance today couldn't impact his standing. Karjakin's game is significant because it shows how he can fight tenaciously even at the end of a mentally exhausting tournament, not to mention a mentally exhausting game. That is the mark of a player who has the potential to rise even higher. This may be the start to a new and exciting chapter in the super GM's already impressive career.

    Also, everyone has already acknowledged how great Anand is. There is no getting around it. He's brilliant. He's formidable. He excels against all competition (except Carlsen) at all time controls. To all the Anand fans who aren't ranting about the headlines, thank you.

  • 3 years ago



    i am indian and let me tell you, being indian is actually a great thing. we have beautiful people and we have ugly people. just like any race. I for 1 am a great person, have great friends, and i take care of every one that is in my life and i am glad to do it, and for that i have people that love me around me. also, indian parents are one of the best parents you can have. sometimes they can be really strict, but they will take care of you no matter what, and they will buy you what ever it is that you need. as long as your not a selfish ****head. Also, we all have great jobs, lots of money and a family that we all love and take care off.

  • 3 years ago


    Hesper, that's a great list. Let it be so! 

  • 3 years ago


    The title is fine. Anand won the tourney in the round before, when he was praised and singled out as worthy challenger. In the last round, Karjakin deserves attention after beating world number 2 and closing out as number two behind Anand. Moreover, Anand's undefeated accomplishment is highlighted. Doggers is a good journalist.

  • 3 years ago


    many people wrote that anand would not win the tournament. some master gave anand 5% chance of winning this tournament. now, it is interesting to see that anand answered them strongly with his performance, as they say:

    "actions speak louder than words"

    many people are again writing that anand would not be able to win the WC match. let's wait till the match starts and see what happens :)

  • 3 years ago


    time for aronian to change his seconds.

  • 3 years ago


    Awfull news title!

  • 3 years ago


    Anand saw Rc1?...amazing...that line does not look human at all...

  • 3 years ago


    So who do you believe (or wish) will be at the next Candidates tournament? Here's my list:

    1) Either Anand or Carlsen (of course)

    2) Sergey Karjakin (he deserves another shot)

    3) Fabiano Caruana (it's about time)

    4) Nakamura (with my fingers crossed, it will be nice to see him make it)

    5) Aronian (he will qualify no matter what)

    6) Kramnik (maybe, hope Anand's victory inspires or challenges him)

    7) Vachier-Lagrave (it will be nice to see new names and faces)

    8) Either Giri, So, or Wang Hao (very long shot, with my fingers double-crossed, but if Andreikin earned it this time, what's to stop them?)

    share your list....

  • 3 years ago


    The title should be "Anand wins a candidates tournemwnt"...This result is expected....before start the tournements...

  • 3 years ago


    I still think Anands chances against Carlsen are not too good, but I guess other players like Aronian and Kramnik would struggle, too. And they all couldn't defeat Anand in this tournament. So it's a well deserved rematch. And I think Anand will show some more interesting games against Carlsen than in the match last year. He has nothing to lose and Carlsen has the burden on his shoulder this time. 

  • 3 years ago


    Congratulations to Anand. His critics are irritated by the fact that he hadn't won much in recent years; yet he sat on the world championship by defeating the finalists.Let me remind them: In the 1998 FIDE cycle, Karpov was granted direct seeding into the final, The challenger had to win seven-rounds of single elimination Anand won seven knockouts and 'was brought in a coffin' in his own words to challenge a fresh Karpov, with whom he TIED in regular games and only lost in tie breaks. He was deprived during his peak years of 2000-2002 due to FIDE dispute; and yet after that he held WCC five times; in three different formats and is a qulified challenger AGAIN. Aronians and Kramniks haven't come close to this, neither Carlsen, brilliant as he is. So people shoudln't feel too bad that Anand retained his WCC title for so long- he has paid enough dues for that. No one is commenting enough on bad diplay by Levon and Vladimir despite much ado.

    That said, I really don't think there is racism against Anand, on this site. People have strong likes and dislikes and they tend to use strong language. But Anand fans should efrain from reading racism into it- it shows a inferiority complex where there is really no reason to have one. 

  • 3 years ago


    Congratulations to Viswanathan Anand! The rematch with Carlsen was earned -- the way it should be.

  • 3 years ago


    My favourite was Karjakin. But he really had bad start so the old "cow" will get one more run. I am sure Karjakin will get there one day.. Unfortunately we will see another boring match :(

  • 3 years ago


    Great comment Caronte 1. Anand deserve every respect befitting a great "Champion chess player" that he is, I really wonder why some supposed to be chess journalists are like that. I also agree with zenomorphy's obsevation! 

  • 3 years ago


    Man I'd love to see Anand above 2800 again! From October 2007 (at 2801), he then peaked in May 2011 (at 2817). Notice the disparity if his lossless performance, 8.5/14, his TPR was 2845! Whereas Karjakin, at 7.5/14, with 2 losses, finished with a TPR OF 2795.

    However, a sincere congrats to Karjakin in the epic 94 move win with black against Aronian, when it counted, securing him a clear second place in the end!

  • 3 years ago


    You guys really have some serious inferiority complexes. 

Back to Top

Post your reply: