Candidates Tournament Round 8
The most anticipated game of round eight of the Candidates Tournament was the clash between co-leaders Magnus Carlsen and Lev Aronian. A win for either player would be a massive step towards overall victory in the competition.
With so much at stake, there was always a danger that a 'safety first' mindset would prevail, and so it came to pass. Carlsen opted for a solid Catalan set-up and Aronian solved his opening problems with little difficulty. The Armenian offered a draw just after move 30, but Carlsen opted to play on in a sterile position for another 10 moves or so.
Aronian described 12...Ra7 as "a precise move", allowing his queen access to the a8 square from where it proved very effective on the long diagonal. Carlsen admitted that he wasn't previously aware of the move 15...c6 after which he felt he had no advantage. Asked why he had initially refused Aronian's draw offer, Carlsen simply replied "there was no harm in playing a few more moves".
Orange juice is Carlsen's beverage of choice
Lev Aronian achieved an easy draw with the black pieces
Carlsen and Aronian stay as co-leaders after 8 rounds
Boris Gelfand and Teimour Radjabov both had opportunities to win yesterday, but both had to settle for a draw. Today, Radjabov got into real trouble with the white pieces and behind on the clock as he struggled to find a way back into the game. His knight on b3 had no future, and his light squared bishop was also a poor piece. Eventually, Radjabov stumbled with 28.a4? and after 28...Qd7 there was no way back. A terrific game by Gelfand to score his first win of the event!
Teimour Radjabov had a bad day at the office
Boris Gelfand scored his first win
Vassily Ivanchuk continued his self-destruction caused by terrible mishandling of the clock. The rot set in after Alexander Grischuk's interesting idea 10.Nd5 which caused Ivanchuk's first long think. Both players got into time-trouble, as is their habit, but Ivanchuk narrowly failed to make the time control at move 40 and threw away yet another game cheaply.
Time trouble addict Alexander Grischuk beat...
...Vassily Ivanchuk, an even worse time trouble addict
Vladimir Kramnik finally got off the mark, scoring his first win of the tournament against Peter Svidler. Kramnik was well prepared for Svidler's Gruenfeld defence, with the novel idea of 14.Kc2 allowing his king to find a surprisingly safe home on b3. Svidler could find no way to hold back the tide of pawns charging up the board towards him, and resigned before making his final move of the first time control. At last, a vital win from Kramnik to keep in touch with the leaders!
Vladimir Kramnik: still in the hunt!
Peter Svidler: a bad day for the Gruenfeld expert
Tomorrow (Monday) Kramnik will have the white pieces in a vital game against Magnus Carlsen. It's not quite a must-win game for the Russian, but time is running out. A positive result for Kramnik would certainly blow the tournament wide open.
The standings after eight 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||-||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.