Candidates Tournament Round 12
The drama reached fever-pitch in round 12 of the London Candidates Tournament today, as the event neared its final stages. It was a fantastic round where the result of the two crucial games was unclear until the very end.
After yesterday's 11th round Vladimir Kramnik claimed he would be happy to draw his vital game with Lev Aronian today with the black pieces. Yet when he played the bold anti-positional 10...f5 it was clear that he was targeting more than half a point!
Aronian found himself under great pressure and Kramnik grabbed a winning advantage with the beautiful 25...Be4. It seemed to be all over, but somehow Kramnik allowed Aronian back into the game and at the first time control computer analysis had it dead level. However, the position wasn't so easy for tired carbon based life-forms near the end of a tournament after hours of hard-fought play. Aronian was unable to distract Kramnik's bishop with his extra pawns and Kramnik won the game!
Vladimir Kramnik won an amazing game against Aronian
Lev Aronian was outplayed by Kramnik and missed his drawing chance
The other crucial game was Magnus Carlsen's encounter with the unpredictable Vassily Ivanchuk. This time Chucky played a mainline defense, the Sicilian Taimanov, and when Carlsen spent fully 20 minutes thinking about his 13th move Bd4, it was clear something had already gone badly wrong for the tournament leader.
Carlsen has a great record against Ivanchuk and had already managed to save some difficult positions in the tournament, but this time it was too much to ask. Ivanchuk brought home the full point after 7 gruelling hours for a shock win which gives the tournament lead to Kramnik. "I think I played absolutely disgracefully from move one" said an obviously gutted Carlsen at the press conference.
Magnus Carlsen...where did it all go wrong?
The game between Boris Gelfand and Peter Svidler was the first to finish, and after a balanced struggle a draw was agreed once the first time control was reached.
Boris Gelfand and Peter Svidler drew their game
The game between Teimour Radjabov and Alexander Grischuk was another long struggle. Radjabov held an endgame advantage but was unable to convert a rook plus f and h pawn against rook ending, and the game ended in a draw.
Teimour Radjabov and Alexander Grischuk
Tomorrow is a rest day, so the penultimate round is on Sunday, and the final round Monday. The UK also moves onto BST (British Summer Time), so games will start at 13:00 GMT (14:00 BST).
The standings after 12 rounds
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 london2013.fide.com.
|Levon Aronian||½ - ½||Magnus Carlsen|
|Boris Gelfand||½ - ½||Teimour Radjabov|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||½ - ½||Alexander Grischuk|
|Peter Svidler||½ - ½||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Magnus Carlsen||½ - ½||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Alexander Grischuk||½ - ½||Peter Svidler|
|Teimour Radjabov||1 - 0||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Levon Aronian||1 - 0||Boris Gelfand|
|Boris Gelfand||0 - 1||Magnus Carlsen|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||0 - 1||Levon Aronian|
|Peter Svidler||1 - 0||Teimour Radjabov|
|Vladimir Kramnik||½ - ½||Alexander Grischuk|
|Magnus Carlsen||1 - 0||Alexander Grischuk|
|Teimour Radjabov||½ - ½||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Levon Aronian||½ - ½||Peter Svidler|
|Boris Gelfand||½ - ½||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||½ - ½||Magnus Carlsen|
|Peter Svidler||½ - ½||Boris Gelfand|
|Vladimir Kramnik||½ - ½||Levon Aronian|
|Alexander Grischuk||½ - ½||Teimour Radjabov|
|Peter Svidler||0 - 1||Magnus Carlsen|
|Vladimir Kramnik||½ - ½||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Alexander Grischuk||½ - ½||Boris Gelfand|
|Teimour Radjabov||0 - 1||Levon Aronian|
|Magnus Carlsen||½ - ½||Teimour Radjabov|
|Levon Aronian||½ - ½||Alexander Grischuk|
|Boris Gelfand||½ - ½||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||½ - ½||Peter Svidler|
|Magnus Carlsen||½ - ½||Levon Aronian|
|Teimour Radjabov||0 - 1||Boris Gelfand|
|Alexander Grischuk||1 - 0||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Vladimir Kramnik||1 - 0||Peter Svidler|
|Vladimir Kramnik||½ - ½||Magnus Carlsen|
|Peter Svidler||½ - ½||Alexander Grischuk|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||1 - 0||Teimour Radjabov|
|Boris Gelfand||1 - 0||Levon Aronian|
|Magnus Carlsen||1 - 0||Boris Gelfand|
|Levon Aronian||1 - 0||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Teimour Radjabov||½ - ½||Peter Svidler|
|Alexander Grischuk||0 - 1||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Alexander Grischuk||½ - ½||Magnus Carlsen|
|Vladimir Kramnik||1 - 0||Teimour Radjabov|
|Peter Svidler||1 - 0||Levon Aronian|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||½ - ½||Boris Gelfand|
|Magnus Carlsen||0 - 1||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Boris Gelfand||½ - ½||Peter Svidler|
|Levon Aronian||0 - 1||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Teimour Radjabov||½ - ½||Alexander Grischuk|
|Teimour Radjabov||-||Magnus Carlsen|
|Alexander Grischuk||-||Levon Aronian|
|Vladimir Kramnik||-||Boris Gelfand|
|Peter Svidler||-||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Magnus Carlsen||-||Peter Svidler|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||-||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Boris Gelfand||-||Alexander Grischuk|
|Levon Aronian||-||Teimour Radjabov|
Look out for details of Chess.com TV coverage of the event at this page.