Candidates Tournament Round 10

  • SonofPearl
  • on 3/27/13, 12:15 PM.


The race for the finish line is underway at the London Candidates Tournament!  In round 10, Vladimir Kramnik scored his second win of the tournament by beating his compatriot Alexander Grischuk with the black pieces in a Berlin endgame. Kramnik popularised the Berlin when he used it successfully against Kasparov in their 2000 world championship match, and he used it to good effect again today.  Grischuk is known for his ability to play good moves quickly in time-trouble, but even he can make mistakes and 30.Bxd4 was a miscalculation which cost the game.

Vladimir Kramnik won his second game of the tournament to stay in contention




Lev Aronian faced Vassily Ivanchuk and today's random opening from Chucky was the Budapest Gambit. "I just wanted to play it, so I played it" he answered, less than helpfully to an enquiry in the press conference after the game.

It wasn't the unusual choice of opening that did for Ivanchuk though, it was his familiar foe: the clock. Yet again, he ran very short of time and blundered in an otherwise reasonable position.  A shocking tournament for the Ukrainian, and Aronian was the latest beneficiary of his largesse.

Lev Aronian ponders his next move while Magnus Carlsen looks on



Aronian's win put him temporarily back at the top of the standings, but meanwhile Magnus Carlsen was nursing a long-term advantage against Boris Gelfand deep into a tricky endgame.  Eventually, Carlsen established connected passed pawns that Gelfand was unable to stop, and it was another vital win for the Norwegian, keeping him in the tournament lead.

Magnus Carlsen kept ahead of the pack with another win




The other game of the day was a short draw between Teimour Radjabov and Peter Svidler.  After a disastrous few rounds Radjabov was clearly content to settle for damage limitation, his only ambition being to stop the rot.

Teimour Radjabov has had a disappointing tournament




The standings after 10 rounds

Name Fed Elo Pts
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2872 7
Levon Aronian ARM 2809
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2810 6
Peter Svidler RUS 2747
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2764
Boris Gelfand ISR 2740
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2757
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2793



The 2013 Candidates Tournament runs from 14 March - 2 April in London, with the winner earning the right to challenge current world champion Vishy Anand for the title.

The tournament is an 8-player double round-robin event and the venue is The IET at 2 Savoy Place on the banks of the river Thames. The total prize fund is €510,000 (approx 665,000 USD). 

All rounds start at 14:00 GMT, and the time control is 2 hours for 40 moves, then an extra hour added for the next 20 moves, then 15 minutes more with a 30 second increment to finish.

The official FIDE website coverage is at

Round-by-Round Pairings

Round 1  15/03/13   
Levon Aronian ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Teimour Radjabov 
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Peter Svidler  ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Round 2  16/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Teimour Radjabov  1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Levon Aronian 1 - 0 Boris Gelfand
Round 3  17/03/13   
Boris Gelfand 0 - 1 Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk  0 - 1 Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler  1 - 0 Teimour Radjabov 
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Round 4  19/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen 1 - 0 Alexander Grischuk 
Teimour Radjabov  ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Vassily Ivanchuk 
Round 5  20/03/13   
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  ½ - ½ Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Teimour Radjabov 
Round 6  21/03/13   
Peter Svidler  0 - 1 Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Vassily Ivanchuk 
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov  0 - 1 Levon Aronian
Round 7  23/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Teimour Radjabov 
Levon Aronian ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Round 8  24/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov  0 - 1 Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk  1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Vladimir Kramnik 1 - 0 Peter Svidler 
Round 9  25/03/13  
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Vassily Ivanchuk  1 - 0 Teimour Radjabov 
Boris Gelfand 1 - 0 Levon Aronian
Round 10  27/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen 1 - 0 Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian 1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Teimour Radjabov  ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Alexander Grischuk  0 - 1 Vladimir Kramnik
Round 11  28/03/13  
Alexander Grischuk  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik Teimour Radjabov 
Peter Svidler  Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk  Boris Gelfand
Round 12  29/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen Vassily Ivanchuk 
Boris Gelfand Peter Svidler 
Levon Aronian Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov  Alexander Grischuk 
Round 13  31/03/13  
Teimour Radjabov  Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk  Levon Aronian
Vladimir Kramnik Boris Gelfand
Peter Svidler  Vassily Ivanchuk 
Round 14  01/04/13
Magnus Carlsen Peter Svidler 
Vassily Ivanchuk  Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand Alexander Grischuk 
Levon Aronian Teimour Radjabov 


Look out for details of TV coverage of the event at this page.

Pictures by Ray Morris-Hill.

23806 reads 129 comments
10 votes


  • 4 years ago


    So basically he won 15 tournaments in a row. Maybe he had a lot of time to prepare since he decided to play no more than 15 tournaments in 9 years :-)

    Also a third of them (5/15) were tie for 1st.

  • 4 years ago

    NM AdamCormier

    @Joel_Hernendez My apologies I misremembered the number it was 9 years.
     Kasparov holds the record for most consecutive professional tournament victories, placing first or equal first in 15 individual tournaments from 1981 to 1990.[citation needed] The streak was broken by Vasily Ivanchuk at Linares 1991, where Kasparov placed 2nd, half a point behind him. The details of this record winning streak follow:[18]

    • Frunze 1981, USSR Championship, 12½/17, tie for 1st;
    • Bugojno 1982, 9½/13, 1st;
    • Moscow 1982, Interzonal, 10/13, 1st;
    • Nikšić 1983, 11/14, 1st;
    • Brussels OHRA 1986, 7½/10, 1st;
    • Brussels 1987, 8½/11, tie for 1st;
    • Amsterdam Optiebeurs 1988, 9/12, 1st;
    • Belfort (World Cup) 1988, 11½/15, 1st;
    • Moscow 1988, USSR Championship, 11½/17, tie for 1st;
    • Reykjavík (World Cup) 1988, 11/17, 1st;
    • Barcelona (World Cup) 1989, 11/16, tie for 1st;
    • Skelleftea (World Cup) 1989, 9½/15, tie for 1st;
    • Tilburg 1989, 12/14, 1st;
    • Belgrade (Investbank) 1989, 9½/11, 1st;
    • Linares 1990, 8/11, 1st.
  • 4 years ago


    Kramnik is coming!

  • 4 years ago


    "Fischer ,even at his peak, would have no chance today against Carlsen."

    Well, has Carlsen ever won 19 games in a row?

  • 4 years ago


    Levon Aronian Vladimir Kramnik
  • 4 years ago


    To check on whether a fix was in on the Grischuck match yesterday or any of the other matches for that matter, you'll have to check the betting lines to verify it.  This is done regularly in the UK; there were a couple of in tennis a couple of years ago when Davydenko allegedly threw a match (he retired to illness during the match) after some large amounts of $$ we placed on his opponent (to win). In that case, Davydenko was heavily favored to win.  Now this is what needs to be done; anytime money is on the line you can rest assured that a fix could be in. 

  • 4 years ago


    Fischer ,even at his peak, would have no chance today against Carlsen.  He ran away from Karpov and Kasparov. His profound psychiatric problems effectively ended his career.  He visciously turned on all those who had altruistically  helped him growing up in Brooklyn.  He was a truly sad , pathetic, disturbed man.

  • 4 years ago

    NM AdamCormier

    Fischer's match performance was very impressive, however Garry Kasparov had a streak of winning every major tournament he entered for 9 years! Fischer might have been better at matches for the limitied data pool we have on him, but Kasparov is still clearly the best until Carlsen has a 9+ year streak of tournament victories.

  • 4 years ago


    Another truly spectacular end game by Carlsen!

  • 4 years ago


    let's just wait and see who will emerge the winner....the debate after...

  • 4 years ago


    @champeknight. But he didn't have them for him either (Fischer).

  • 4 years ago


    I don't know if there is a game fixing. I want to believe there is not. But it was Magnus Garlsen who selected this type of canditate's event. After all Bobby Fischer was right (as near always in chess). The challenger for the WC  must be decided from matches detween the canditates. The same happens in all sports,  team or individual, speaking for the WC title.  

  • 4 years ago


    Magnus did not need to risk anything against kramnik and Aronian. That is part of his plan to secure the challenger post. He can just draw them but will beat most of the rest, enough to win this tourney. I would not have changed this plan, if I were in his shoes. Why even mention Fischer? He didn't have the booked up and tech and theory savvy opponents that Magnus has been dominating in the last few years.

  • 4 years ago


    There is nothing really suspicious about the games.

    Just because you want MC to win its not okay to say the matches are fixed. Those guys are playing accordingly to their skills (only Radjabov is really far from his expected performance).

    By the way, the Soviet Union is over, its not like California conspiring together with New York ¬¬

    I want some actual evidence, don't make it another "toilet gate".

    "What if" Kramnik is actually a really honest guy? Can you see how its unfair to sully his name twice with no evidence?

  • 4 years ago


    This issue of selling games is being taken too far.

    Aronian = Armenian Jew... Armenian are probably closer ethnically to Iranian Kurds than they are to Eastern Europeans. Russians don't love Armenians and treat them even worse.

    Ivanchuk/Grichuk = Ukrainian... these arent the Soviet days and unless Levon promised them his wife, they have a national reputation to salvage.

    Svidler/Gelfand = Russian Jews... no love lost between Russians and their Jewish population. I wonder who got the coin toss for free games on this duo.

    Kramnik = Russian... the only trully ethnic Russian. Maybe his Jewish friends will forget the anti-semitic taunts they received all their lives.

    To suggest that a bunch societ KGB GMs went to a strip bar in London and decided to throw matches to an Armenian Jew between vodka blow jobs from a greek stripper is ludicrous.

    If Carlsen was a little more daring against Kramnik and Aronian he may have already secured the championship, but he is scared of them and played safe... this ain't no Bobby Fischer phenom... is he the best in the world, yes, is he a dominant champion, not yet.

  • 4 years ago


    how can Carlsen 'run away with it' when 5 other contastants came to sell their games to Kramnik and Aronian?

  • 4 years ago


    MC does not run as his rating would suggest? His performance rating is 2927 so far, so that he is playing way above his rating :)

  • 4 years ago


    I don't think 'Chucky' is taking this competition too seriously, and that's his prerogative. It's fun seeing the unusual lines he chooses, though. Anyway, Carlsen isn't exactly "running away" with the tournament, as his rating seemed to suggest he might. He's doing well, though, and will probably face Anand. As for Gelfand, this is likely his last try for the WCC. He'll probably be glad to get out of the 'chess rat-race'. When asked what his plans were for after the tournament, Boris told a reporter " I reckon I'll settle down in some quiet place. Get me a little business...a hardware or grocery store, and spend the better part of my time readin' comic strips and adventure stories."

  • 4 years ago



    "Regarding fixing, this tournament format seems to favor Carlsen, not the "Russians". The "genius" Carlsen could only beat the outsiders, but got nothing with white against Aronian and Kramnik and suffered with black against Kramnik, so in a match with either of them I'm not sure if he would be as successful as in an indirect race like this."

    And how about the genius Aronian or the genius Kramnik? Apparently we all seem to forget Kramnik had a winning line against Aronian (1.4 computer eval) but didn't see it. Once you are ironical towards one, maybe you should try not to be biased and see the same situation for your favourite as well. 

    The format does in theory favour Carlsen because he is by far the strongest player, but apparently some others will try to do anything they can to stop that, even give up games on time and play unsound openings. The Budapest Gambit was last played at 2700+ level 5 years ago and Ivanchuk plays it against Aronian, Against whom he had previously played the Trompowsky in this tournament, yet another "superGM opening". And against it Aronian was worse, but he at least managed to win on time! A true stroke of genius, being worse in the middlegame against an unsound black opening. 

  • 4 years ago



    Obviously the competition is very, very far from "weak".  However, the only guy who came even close to the 6-0 (twice!) decimation of Fischer's opponents in the Candidates was Kasparov and he was a step DOWN!!  My point is simple:  Ratings are only a very rough guide.  Capa didn't lose for ten YEARS.  Everybody avoided Morphy.  Fischer won the Candidates 18.5 to 2.5.  Freaking 2.5!!  Kasparov is only a giant of that scale RELATIVE to his era but not in absolute terms.  Magnus' 2872 ratings has not been demonstrated by the total devastation of those greats I mention.

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