Candidates Tournament Round 1

Candidates Tournament Round 1

| 48 | Chess Event Coverage

Game Annotations by GM Sam Shankland
The 2013 Candidates Tournament got underway in London today, not exactly with a bang, but at least a certain spark - although that might have been the server for the official website going up in smoke!  Such an occurance is depressingly predictable in the opening round of major chess events, but at least the website got back on-line eventually. Hopefully, there will be no more problems during the rest of the competition!
The pairings for the opening round gave Lev Aronian white against Magnus Carlsen, so fireworks were expected immediately. In the event, Aronian could make no impression on Carlsen's choice of the Bogo-Indian and the game was drawn after 31 moves in a perfectly symmetrical position. A good start for Carlsen, holding one of his nearest rivals to a draw with ease.
Carlsen waits before his game starts...
...and attracts a gaggle of photographers.
The early moves...but the game is destined for a draw.
Next to finish was the game between Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik. The players avoided heavy theory - Kramnik started by playing the relatively unusual 4...Nxd5, and Svidler answered with the prophylactic sideline 7.a3. Svidler felt very happy with his position out of the opening, and was disappointed to draw, "You get a position as good as this against Vladimir out of the opening and you feel, wow - how good is this? - and yet I can't point out a mistake (that I made) as such".  The game ended in a repetition after 23 moves.
Peter Svidler focuses his mind before the game...
...but Vladimir Kramnik was able to hold for a draw.
Boris Gelfand and Teimour Radjabov had an interesting and balanced encounter, but once again the points were shared.
The ceremonial opening move was made by FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov
The last game to finish provided some excitement as the time control approached: take two inveterate zeitnot addicts and a time control without increments until move 60 and you have a recipe for a blitz finish! True to form, the players got into a time scramble, but when the dust cleared a drawn king and pawn endgame resulted.
A smile for the camera from Vassily Ivanchuk?
Alexander Grischuk
Round two tomorrow sees Magnus Carlsen with the white pieces against Vladimir Kramnik. The full pairings are below. Will there be blood spilt in round two?
A view of the playing arena


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 Magnus Carlsen
Boris Gelfand Teimour Radjabov 
Vassily Ivanchuk  Alexander Grischuk 
Peter Svidler  Vladimir Kramnik
Round 2  16/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Grischuk  Peter Svidler 
Teimour Radjabov  Vassily Ivanchuk 
Levon Aronian Boris Gelfand
Round 3  17/03/13   
Boris Gelfand Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk  Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler  Teimour Radjabov 
Vladimir Kramnik Alexander Grischuk 
Round 4  19/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen Alexander Grischuk 
Teimour Radjabov  Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian Peter Svidler 
Boris Gelfand Vassily Ivanchuk 
Round 5  20/03/13   
Vassily Ivanchuk  Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk  Teimour Radjabov 
Round 6  21/03/13   
Peter Svidler  Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik Vassily Ivanchuk 
Alexander Grischuk  Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov  Levon Aronian
Round 7  23/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen Teimour Radjabov 
Levon Aronian Alexander Grischuk 
Boris Gelfand Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk  Peter Svidler 
Round 8  24/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov  Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk  Vassily Ivanchuk 
Vladimir Kramnik Peter Svidler 
Round 9  25/03/13  
Vladimir Kramnik Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler  Alexander Grischuk 
Vassily Ivanchuk  Teimour Radjabov 
Boris Gelfand Levon Aronian
Round 10  27/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian Vassily Ivanchuk 
Teimour Radjabov  Peter Svidler 
Alexander Grischuk  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 Anastasiya Karlovich at the official website, and Ray Morris-Hill (where indicated).

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