Aronian Crashes Out In Kazan
There was high drama in Kazan today as the favourite for the event tumbled out, and another was quite possibly saved by a malfunctioning clock.
Aronian started badly against Grischuk, losing the first rapid game with the white pieces but he hit back immediately to level the scores in game two.
After a draw in the third game, Grischuk upset the odds in game four and broke Armenian hearts as the knocked the world's #3 rated player out of the Candidates.
Grischuk won the last tie-break game to knock out Aronian
Where did it all go wrong? Aronian crashes out of the Candidates
Even greater drama was to come in the other tie-break match, where Kramnik and Radjabov were still inseparable after drawing all four rapid tie-break games. Radjabov finally broke the deadlock to win the first blitz game, meaning that Kramnik had to win the next game or be eliminated. After 60 moves of the second blitz game a draw seemed on the cards, but then something incredible happened - the electronic clock malfunctioned!
What happens now? Kramnik and Radjabov look to the arbiter for a decision
After a break of several minutes, during which time the problem was resolved, the players sat down again to resume the game and incredibly Kramnik found a way to win and stay in the match!
After this remarkable stroke of serendipity, Kramnik held his nerve to take the next two blitz games to qualify for the semi-finals.
A determined Radjabov on his way to winning the first blitz game
Radjabov resigns and Kramnik saves the match
[UPDATE: A translation of the post-game press conference by Kramnik and Radjabov is available at the excellent Chess In Translation website. It includes discussion of the malfunctioning clock incident. Thanks to mishanp in the comments!]
The players now have two days rest before the semi-final matches start on Thursday 12 May. Kamsky faces Gelfand, and Grischuk faces Kramnik. Games start at the usual time of 3pm in Kazan (11:00 UTC, 07:00 Eastern).
So we now know that the next challenger for Vishy Anand's world title will either be:
- a Brooklynite...
- older than Anand...!
- a semi-professional poker player
- or Kramnik again!
How are your own predictions going so far? Is your favourite still in the contest? Who do you want to win, and will any of them have a chance in a world championship match with Anand?
All pictures are screenshots from the official website's excellent live video coverage