Candidates Tournament Round 9
Vladimir Kramnik had the white pieces against Magnus Carlsen in round nine of the Candidates Tournament and needed a win to allow him to catch up with the world #1 in the standings.
He chose the familiar Catalan hunting ground for his campaign, slowly turning the thumbscrews on Carlsen and winning a pawn for his efforts. It was a major test for Carlsen's defensive abilities and the he pulled it out of the bag, calmly finding a way to simplify the position into an ending where the extra pawn wasn't enough to give Kramnik any real chances of victory.
A disappointed Kramnik said "I was sure there must be some way to win", and Carlsen admitted, "I thought it was dangerous (for me)...most of the time I have to make 'only' moves".
Vladimir Kramnik really needed a win today...
...but Magnus Carlsen passed a stern test of his defensive skills
Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk played an incredibly wild game, with both players sacrificing material in a very complicated encounter. Approaching the time control, Svidler had the better winning chances, but Grischuk took advantage of the exposed position of the white king for effective counterplay. The players somewhat surprisingly agreed a draw once the time control was reached.
Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler played a wild tactical game
Svidler and Grischuk talked through their amazing game at the press conference
Boris Gelfand won his first game of the tournament in yesterday's round, and today he faced the tournament co-leader Lev Aronian with the white pieces. The game swung on a key moment when Aronian played 25...Rxd4, putting his faith in the discovered attack 27...Bc4. However, an alert Gelfand spotted the flaw in this idea by finding 28. e6! which gave him a winning position. Time trouble for both players came and went, but Gelfand managed to retain an advantage and brought home the full point.
Boris Gelfand won for the second day in a row
It was Lev Aronian's first loss of the tournament
The last game to finish was a marathon encounter between the players at the bottom of the standings, Vassily Ivanchuk and Teimour Radjabov. Radjabov played very passively from the outset and Ivanchuk was able to put pressure on the Azerbaijani for the whole game. Eventually, Ivanchuk's persistence bore fruit as he wore down his opponent's resistance over 6½ long hours.
Vassily Ivanchuk scored his first win of the event against Teimour Radjabov
So Magnus Carlsen is the sole leader after 9 completed rounds, with 5 rounds left to play. Tomorrow is the third rest day of the event - round 10 is played on Wednesday.
The standings after nine 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||½ - ½||Magnus Carlsen|
|Peter Svidler||½ - ½||Alexander Grischuk|
|Vassily Ivanchuk||1 - 0||Teimour Radjabov|
|Boris Gelfand||1 - 0||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.