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Candidates Tournament Round 8

  • SonofPearl
  • on 24/03/13 11:55.

Annotations by GM Sam Shankland
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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

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Lev Aronian achieved an easy draw with the black pieces

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Carlsen and Aronian stay as co-leaders after 8 rounds

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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!

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Teimour Radjabov had a bad day at the office

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Boris Gelfand scored his first win

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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.

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Time trouble addict Alexander Grischuk beat...

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...Vassily Ivanchuk, an even worse time trouble addict

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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!

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Vladimir Kramnik: still in the hunt!

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Peter Svidler: a bad day for the Gruenfeld expert

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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.

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The standings after eight rounds

Name Fed Elo Pts
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2872
Levon Aronian ARM 2809
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2810
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2764 4
Peter Svidler RUS 2747
Boris Gelfand ISR 2740
Teimour Radjabov AZE 2793 3
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2757

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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  0 - 1 Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik ½ - ½ Vassily Ivanchuk 
Alexander Grischuk  ½ - ½ Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov  0 - 1 Levon Aronian
Round 7  23/03/13   
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Teimour Radjabov 
Levon Aronian ½ - ½ Alexander Grischuk 
Boris Gelfand ½ - ½ Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk  ½ - ½ Peter Svidler 
Round 8  24/03/13  
Magnus Carlsen ½ - ½ Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov  0 - 1 Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk  1 - 0 Vassily Ivanchuk 
Vladimir Kramnik 1 - 0 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 

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Look out for details of Chess.com TV coverage of the event at this page.

Pictures by Ray Morris-Hill.

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Commenti


  • 13 mesi fa

    Kingssac

    1) Shirov crushed Kramnik? YOu mean...just like Kramnik crushed Kasparov :D? Even Kasparov is a weak player, tactically? Or maybe you want to tell me a weak player tactically can beat Kasparov, arguably the strongest player in history? (I am not referring only to their match. Take a look at ALL the games they played, before and after)

    2) Kramnik, like Petrosjan for instance (another player vituperated without any reason, if not lack of understanding), is an AMAZING tactician. The fact he is an even better strategist doesnt mean he is weak with tactics. NO ONE can EVER become a WC without being immensely strong in every aspect of the game. There is no need to defend him or his games, because they defend themselves to the eyes of anyone who understands anything about chess. As for the mistake vs the computer: Topalov against him in Elista missed a mate in 3 just as simple...so what, even Topalov now is a patzer in tactics? Alekhine left a bishop en prise vs Blackbourne (he managed to draw with a perpetual, in the end...) in an otherwise winning position...so what, he cant calculate as well? Lasker, my favourite player in history, lost a game vs Capablanca in their match because of a knight fork in a basically drawn ending...maybe even Lasker cant calculate? I am sure even you get the point, by now...

    3) Kramnik, as every world champion before (and after...) him, added something to the game. Denying it is preposterous. Nobody is defending his games or giving reasons for it, because to EVERY 2000 Elo+ player, the reasons are evident. Apparently, they arent to you. You can be biased or not competent enough, your choice.

    Chess has reached a level of refinement for which hard fought games often result in draws. You would have noticed, if you werent too busy watching the results at the end of games...

  • 13 mesi fa

    LeeCooper78

    @Jaglavak

    What a bunch of nonsense! You're talking about Kramnik's career AFTER becoming the world champion, proving that you don't know the first thing about his career in general!!

    He was one of two most aggresive players in the last decade of 20th century, his games are examples of fireworks all over the board, Lasker Sicilian with black was his trademark... Have you even looked his games against Kasparov during and before their championship match? In many occasions he simply crushed The Great Gary (in the best tradition of the greatest chess tacticians)...

    It's the most simple thing in the world - when he needed to win, he won. When he needed not to lose, he didn't lose. One can understand it or not, like it or not, but it is very simple.

    Compare Carlsen's games of today and Kramnik's in his age - MC's games will bore you to death!!

  • 13 mesi fa

    Marcokim

    @jaglavak... you argument is cyclical... a good drawing defensive player only thrives because the opposition is not effective offensively. Petrosian played those games until he met Spassky and Smyslov and other balanced  players who could destroy his praying-mantis style.

    Kramnik thrives because no player is offensively creative enough in the tactical sense. They all want to out-position him strategically and maybe all he needs is a lunatic that can create crazy dynamic play and force errors... a Kasparov on steroids who can mix it up. Magnus is a very positional player and Kramnik seems to read his games well.

    Blaming Kramnik is thus misplaced... he is defensive, then break his defences and kick his a$$, thats how you do it!

  • 13 mesi fa

    Kingssac

    @Jaglavak: Kramnik IS feared. And that is why he draws so much: people keep it simple against him, with both white and (when they can...) black. In this particular tournament, Carlsen (which is phenomenal, and I praise him) isnt playing better than Kramnik. Not at all. Again: instead of looking at the number of draws, why dont we look at the games, the positions?

  • 13 mesi fa

    Marcokim

    "A draw is where white couldn't turn the initiative of the first move into a decisive advantage" - Steinitz

    A draw means therefore that black played marginally better than white, just enough to nullify the initial move advantage.

    I am assuming Steinitz was refering to master level players because a GM wouldn't have a problem crushing a sub-2200 with either black or white.

  • 13 mesi fa

    Kingssac

    SO, basically: if you're so strong that your strength allows you to draw against the top GMs consistently, you'd be a top GM. Insightful.

    "Who is arguing about his chess skills? These days, if I could draw every game I played, I could quickly become the second strongest player in the world."

    An interesting attempt at correcting yourself. However, your logic is faulty: every game you play is with casual players. Drawing with casual players would never make you N2 of the world. You would never have an occasion to play top GMs, because you need to consistently crush "normal" GMs in order to get a chance to do so. "Normal" international-level players (IMs, GMs) are extremely hard to beat. It's an event when casuals win even a single time with one of them in a "career".

    "Drawnik or Erronian" played everything in their career, better than basically anybody else. When they want a small edge, they go for it. When they want complications, they create them. What's next? Petrosian and Smyslov werent worthy WCs, or something?

    At least, I am glad you are trying to somewhat back away from your former stance...it's a start

  • 13 mesi fa

    Marcokim

    @jaglavak drawing a grandmaster game takes plenty of skill... I challenge you to play in a mid level Swiss style tournament near your home town (take your fake CO rating with you too for intimidation purposes)... you will probably play an IM and a few FMs if you are lucky... if you draw any game with above 2300+ players I will be happy to bow down to you.

    Ask your mother to pay early to ensure a place.

  • 13 mesi fa

    Kingssac

    I see you are oblivious to sarcasm, and have problems in reading comprehension even in your own language. Yeah, you're right: this conversation is over. No point appealing to qualities that you do not possess.

  • 13 mesi fa

    viche83

    @kingssac

    he is just trying desperately to provoke people.

    I think we should leave him with that desperation alone. Wink

  • 13 mesi fa

    Kingssac

    Sure. Cause calling an ex World Champ (7 years, 0 defeats in his match with Kasparov) and current N2 of the world, and the current N3 of the world two patzers that can only draw and play uninteresting chess, or say that you could draw your way to N2 of FIDE List is smart. Not trolling at all.

    I once again formally invite you to contribute productively to the forum. Also, insulting chess players whose games you dont even begin to understand is most unbecoming, even more so considering your rating (which legitimate value, by now, I seriously doubt).

    Regards

  • 13 mesi fa

    Kingssac

    @Jaglavak: congrats. Either you dont understand anything of chess and you cheat to keep that rating, or you are a troll. Either way, bring something constructive to the discussion or at least show a modicum of the competence you should have, pls. Commenting on final numbers at the end of a chess game (1...1/2...0) is NOT understanding chess.

  • 13 mesi fa

    LeeCooper78

    @Jaglavak

    Well, Kramnik already had the title. History will remember him forever as a world champion. And he will also be remembered as the one who took down Kasparov... His results speak for themselves and they simply crush all the arguments against his chess skill.

  • 13 mesi fa

    MindWalk

    Einstein's work on the photoelectric effect came in his annus mirabilis of 1905, when he published groundbreaking papers on the photoelectric effect, on Brownian motion, and on special relativity. He was 26. General relativity was something he worked on for several years before finally publishing it in 1915 or 1916 (I've seen both quoted). He won his Nobel Prize in 1922.

    It's usually said that mathematicians, theoretical physicists, and chess players tend to be at their prime, in the sense of doing their most creative work, in the 25-35 age range. There are exceptions. Viktor Korchnoi didn't play for the world championship until he was in his forties. But Kasparov said that once he was 35 he was just trying to maintain his skill level.

    It's sometimes said that philosophers often get better with age. I do not know whether or not that is true.

    I suspect there's a fair amount of variability in these things. Different abilities might tend to peak at different ages, too.

  • 13 mesi fa

    rapidrook

    Carlsen has so many years to win it; I hope Kramnik or Aronian wins it.

  • 13 mesi fa

    LeeCooper78

    @ ksideras

    Albert Einstein established a well khown Law of photoelectric effect in the age of 41 and received Nobel prize for it next year. Even if we assume he was working on it for some years it is still way beyond that upper limit of 25...

    Gary Kasparov peaked after the matches with Karpov, that is, after his 25th birthday. (of course, there might be opinions that his peak was in matches with Karpov, but his extraordinary results in the following years prove different).

    And still, as was pointed earlier, we can not linearly tie brain peak with actual science/chess/life strength...

    Last, but not least, let's just take a look at the strongest chess players that are playing in London. 18-25 years on average? One can't argue with maths...

  • 13 mesi fa

    ksideras

    Nice arguments. It is however true that "peak" mental performance is somewhere between 20 and 35 years of age. Maybe that also goes for "hunger" to prove yourself and succeed. These great men mentioned bellow are all know as wise old men from pictures and drawings but they did most of their achievements (I am not saying recognition) at a much younger age than depicted. Einstein for example publish his paper on relatively at a very young age in 1904 (I think or around that time). The Einstein we all know with the long white hair and the beard was mostly an ambassador of science rather than an active contributor, certainly past his "peak" and made several ridiculous comments at scientific conferences at times. Kramnik is clearly still extremely strong but I bet he uses more experience that calculative power compare to the Kramnik 10 years ago, and that is even more true for Gelfand.

  • 13 mesi fa

    ferdinandplebie

    kramnik go and beat carlsen 

  • 13 mesi fa

    RHoudini

    Great game by Kramnik!

  • 13 mesi fa

    Ecurbetneilav628

    Viktor Korchnoi at his old age at 40 is still very sharp over the chess board!!!

  • 13 mesi fa

    viche83

    @ LaskerFan

    no offence, but that is worse than giving no information.

    It is obviously derived from the body. It is a probability probably after the Gauss algorithm.

    But as I said, it has only a little influence on someones actual ability to play a better game of chess.

    If you get what I say.

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