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Candidates Tournament Round 5

Candidates Tournament Round 5

Annotations by GM Sam Shankland

Round five was another day of great fighting chess at the 2013 Candidates Tournament in London, but for the first time since the opening round there were no decisive games.  It certainly wasn't for the lack of trying!

Peter Svidler continues to impress with his opening preparation for this competition. This time he had white against Boris Gelfand and revealed a remarkable novelty with 7.f4!? to the amazement of fans, commentators and his opponent!  Svidler gained the upper hand and it looked like Gelfand might be wiped off the board in short order.  However, the position was still very complicated and after 23.e6? the advantage slipped away leaving Svidler scrambling for a draw.  A missed opportunity for Peter Svidler!

Peter Svidler gets an A+ for his homework so far...



...catching another opponent by surprise!



The next game to finish was the game between Vassily Ivanchuk and Magnus Carlsen.  Tournament co-leader Carlsen was clearly determined to provoke a complicated game, but Ivanchuk kept his cool and the advantage, despite time pressure.  It was Carlsen who found himself under pressure in the endgame this time, but he was up to the task and secured a draw.


Ivanchuk's body language is almost as entertaining as his play



Magnus Carlsen gets down to business


The game between Alexander Grischuk and Teimour Radjabov was probably the least interesting of the day. The position became blocked by pawn chains and neither player could make progress until a late flurry of action when Radjabov sacrificed his bishop for connected passed pawns.

Trench warfare from Grischuk and Radjabov




The longest game of the day was the eagerly anticipated clash between Vladimir Kramnik and co-leader Lev Aronian.  A quiet opening sprung to life when Aronian grabbed a juicy pawn with 20...Qxa2, but Kramnik achieved good compensation following 21.f5.  Kramnik's bishop pair proved highly effective and after he regained his pawn with interest it looked like he would be rewarded with a first win of the tournament.  However, Lev Aronian had other ideas and his stubborn defence and Kramnik's time trouble was enough to earn a hard-fought draw.


Kramnik blew winning chances against Aronian




The standings after five rounds

Name Fed Elo Pts
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2872
Levon Aronian ARM 2809
Peter Svidler RUS 2747 3
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2793
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2810
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2764 2
Boris Gelfand ISR 2740
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2757



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.

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  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 Chess.com 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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