Candidates Tournament Round 7
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The first half of the 2013 Candidates Tournament is over, and Magnus Carlsen and Lev Aronian have maintained their joint lead of 1½ points from the rest of the field. They meet again on Sunday in a crucial clash in round eight.
Today's seventh round was full of the usual hard-fought games we have become pleasantly accustomed to watching, yet none of them produced a decisive result. The nearest we came was in the game between Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov, but for once it was the world #1 who can count himself lucky to have survived.
Carlsen avoided a Radjabov opening speciality - the Sveshnikov - by choosing the 3.Bb5 line against the Sicilian. He then crippled Radjabov's queen-side pawn structure, but at the cost of allowing a dangerous initiative to develop for black on the kingside. After 21.Qe4? Radjabov crashed through into Carlsen's position with 21...f3 and 22...Ng2 and looked like he would defeat the Norwegian. However, Carlsen's defensive exchange sacrifice blunted Radjabov's attack and he failed to find a clean finish in time trouble, allowing a repetition just before the time control.
The photographers can't get enough of Magnus...
The top seed and co-leader got into trouble today...
...but he survived to stay as co-leader at the half-way point of the event
Vassily Ivanchuk's opening of the day was the Scotch against Peter Svidler, which followed established theory for most of the game. Despite this, time trouble beckoned before a repetition ended the game at move 30.
Peter Svidler relaxes before the game...
...which finished in a draw
Lev Aronian had the white pieces against Alexander Grischuk and found himself facing the Queen's Indian defence. Grischuk's backward pawn on d6 gave the Armenian some pressure, but piece exchanges left the position level and a draw was agreed after the first time control.
Lev Aronian, watched closely by arbiter Adam Raoof
Aronian's shirt deserves a colour photo!
The result of the game was a draw
The game between Boris Gelfand and Vladimir Kramnik was also a draw, but a careless slip from Kramnik with 18...Ne8? should have been punished by Gelfand with 19.Neg5. The moment passed, and Kramnik kept his unbeaten record.
Vladimir Kramnik: Seven draws from seven games
Boris Gelfand missed a fleeting opportunity
The standings after seven 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||-||Levon Aronian|
|Teimour Radjabov||-||Boris Gelfand|
|Alexander Grischuk||-||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Vladimir Kramnik||-||Peter Svidler|
|Vladimir Kramnik||-||Magnus Carlsen|
|Peter Svidler||-||Alexander Grischuk|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||-||Teimour Radjabov|
|Boris Gelfand||-||Levon Aronian|
|Magnus Carlsen||-||Boris Gelfand|
|Levon Aronian||-||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Teimour Radjabov||-||Peter Svidler|
|Alexander Grischuk||-||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Alexander Grischuk||-||Magnus Carlsen|
|Vladimir Kramnik||-||Teimour Radjabov|
|Peter Svidler||-||Levon Aronian|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||-||Boris Gelfand|
|Magnus Carlsen||-||Vassily Ivanchuk|
|Boris Gelfand||-||Peter Svidler|
|Levon Aronian||-||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Teimour Radjabov||-||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.