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 

22676 reads 128 comments
7 votes


  • 3 years ago


    This has got to be one of the most unexpected final standings ever.

  • 3 years ago


    Man, what an incredible & determined performance by the former WC and 2014 Candidates' Tournament winner, our amazing Vishy Anand! Heartfelt congratulation to Vishy and best of luck & fortune on the challenging road ahead. The world needs Champions they can believe in, ...with a character above reproach, ...a "way" about him so likable & admirable, authentic & natural, indomitable spirited (having taken irresistible charge of this match, as a proud warrior with a keen awareness of his legacy and place in history and the fighting will & constitution to so quickly restore himself to dominance on his path back to the pinnacle of chess). Whatever occurred in Chennai, I see shades of the young Anand reasserting himself and manifesting this reality, ...creating his own proud tradition & legacy to be remembered, amazing comeback for the ages. This is a man of renewed vigor & sharp preparation to match a brilliant mind. I truly wish him luck, having watched him emerge (from afar), from a young, peerless & meteoritic child of chess destiny, to a great World Chess Champion, capably defending his title again & again. I've developed an affinity for this fine gentleman & Champion. Vishy, you are loved! May the FIDE WCC be one forever remembered!

  • 3 years ago


    As much as it is not surprising to see Topalov finishing the last, it is surprising to see Aronian next to him...

  • 3 years ago


    Title of the news when Anand (after being beaten by the gang Carlsen-Media) recovers and acomplishes great feat: "Candidates’ R14: Karjakin Second After Beating Aronian, Anand Undefeated".

    Title of the news if Carlsen had won the candidates without loosing a single game: "Historic, the great Magnus wins candidates undefeated".

    Title of the news if Nakamura had won the candidates without loosing a sngle game: "The american genius does not loose a single game, amazing feat that has only happened once before, the world looks amazed as the japanes... sorry american player whipes everybody in his path!!! The computer-like precision of the player doomed every possible response by his adversaries, showing again why he is the greatest japanes... sorry american chess player!!. Kneel rest of the world in front of our japanes... sorry american KING OF CHESS!!!."


  • 3 years ago


    Ilyumzhinov must go...

  • 3 years ago


    With the exception of Anand, this tourney is not reflective of the player's rankings.  It is long (double round robin) and tiring.  Preparation and strategy are imperative.

    Anand was clearly the best prepared and smartest in handling the double round robin.  Karjakin and Andreikin need more seasoning in recognizing and handling positions.  The rest will have some successes from time to time. 

    Kramnik and Svidler are falling stars.  Topalov will retire. Mamedyarov's tactics (and quick impulsive play) disappoint.  Aronian's drive and confidence are questionable.

  • 3 years ago


    Anand is going to get raped in the championship round. He just doesn't have that killer instinct.

  • 3 years ago


    Lesson learned:  Never write off a great chess master.  Chess is a very exciting and unpredictable game.  Game of skill but equally important, game of character.

  • 3 years ago



    Thats good point. Anand should stop disclosing his secrets.

  • 3 years ago


    in_prasad: anand doesn't have to prove anything and he has nothing to lose against carlsen which is probably going to be his last shot at wcc and then maybe retire. But if he really tells carlsen his seconds again in the press conference like he did last year then it's a big mistake, just look at carlsen smirk at 7:40 here

    he already knew he had nothing to worry about and maybe it's the same case now because he knows what to expect from anand

  • 3 years ago


    Anand in 3rd! Just like the old days!

  • 3 years ago


    Karjakin was very impressive in the 2nd Half. It looks like, he also like Carlsen, enjoys playing very long games. If he continues like this, soon it could be he vs Carlsen in the near future. As for Aronian it is very unfortunate for a player like him to finish 2nd last.At least Kramnik was able to finish 3rd despite an unfornuate blunder against Swidler. In the two games in which Aronian  lost, he was clearly in a better position and then he blundered somewhere.Probably he was trying too hard to win.

  • 3 years ago


    Peter that attitude showing you dont like Anand is fine with the forums trolls but you are suppose to be a journalist , therefore  you should be more objective , your last 2 tittles show that-

  • 3 years ago


    Some facts:

    (WB/W stands for wins and means two wins, one with white and one with black in the first round amb one victory again with white in the second one and so on)

    Anand +3-0  (+2-0/+1-0) (WB/W)

    Karjakin +3-2 (+0-2/+3-0) (-/BWB)

    Kramnik +3-3 (+2-1/+1-2) (WW/W)

    Andreikin +2-2 (+1-2/+1-0) (W/W)

    Mameryadov +3-3 (+2-3/+1-0) (WW/W)

    Svidler +3-4 (+2-2/+1-2) (WW/B)

    Aronian +3-4 (+3-1/+0-3) (WWB/-)

    Topalov +2-4 (+1-2/+1-2) (W/W)


    As many as five more players (Karjakin, Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Svidler, Aronian) won three games like Anand.

    Only four managed to win with black (Anand, Karjakin, Svidler, Aronian).

    Karjakin the only one to win two games in a row (rounds 8 and 9). Also ten rounds (5 to 14) without losing a game. (Anand of course all 14).

    Second round was decisive for Karjakin (+3-0) and Aronian (+0-3).

    As many as four players (Anand, Karjakin, Andreikin, Mamedyarov) didn't lose a game in the second round.

    Aronian, the only one not to win a single game in the second round.

    Only loses with black: Andreikin and Topalov.

    Loses in a row: Mamedyarov (rounds 2-3), Kramnik (9-10) and Aronian (13-14).

    Standings for Anand from round 4 to 14: +1-0=10.

    Recoveries (a defeat followed by a victory): Aronian (1-2), Mamedyarov (3-4), Svidler (4-5), Topalov (5-6), Kramnik (6-7) and Karjakin (7-8).

    22 decisive games: 13 in the first round and 9 in the second one.

  • 3 years ago


    I was greatly amused by all the fan "experts" who predicted Kramnik or Aronian as if there were no chance of anything else. Funny, funny, funny, funny.

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    Congratulations to Anand, well deserved victory.

  • 3 years ago


    Did Aronian just lose, playing the Bowlder Attack???

  • 3 years ago


    if anand had lost to karjakin yesterday then it would have been carlsen -kerjakin

  • 3 years ago


    These are their elos after the tournament:

    Anand: 2785 (+15)

    Karjaking: 2772 (+6)

    Kramnik: 2783 (-4)

    Andreikin: 2722 (+13)

    Mamedyarov: 2760 (+3)

    Svidler: 2756 (-2)

    Aronian: 2812 (-18)

    Topalov: 2772 (-13)

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