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FIDE Candidates 2016 (8)

Caruana wins his first game in Candidates Round 8

The second half of the Candidates tournament started with Round 8 on Sunday. Caruana won his first game of the event and moved within half a point of the leaders Sergey Karjakin and Levon Aronian and level with Viswanathan Anand.

Caruana was faced by a new move (10...b5) in a double edged variation of the Berlin Defence by Hikaru Nakamura with opposite side castling and an attacking race. Nakamura quickly lost faith in his position, it's hard to tell if his idea was just wrong or if he just didn't make the best of his chances, but he was beaten in 33 moves.

Sergey Karjakin drew an odd game against Peter Svidler. Karjakin was more deeply prepared as black in a sharp English Opening. Svidler hoped 11.Qa4 would be a surprise but Karjakin continued to play quickly until the new move 16.c4 which probably isn't very good and after 16.Nde7 Svidler evaluated his position as being close to lost. This was certainly too pessimistic but had his 19.g5 been met with 19...hxg5 he probably would have been defeated. This weird position continued to trouble both opponents but Svidler got on top and was winning by first time control although it remained difficult to work out. 46.Rxf4 or 48.Re5 would probably have led to Svidler wins but 49.Nfh4 ruined almost everything, Svidler missed the 49...g6 reply and agreed a draw. Yet another huge miss for Svidler who has had more winning chances than any other player yet hasn't won a game. Karjakin seems bullet proof in this tournament nomatter what he does.

Viswanathan Anand repeated the line he played against Giri in round 7 against Veselin Topalov and again his opponent was surprised. Topalov thought himself in trouble and certainly Anand was better but there was never anything clear and the game was drawn. Levon Aronian repeated a line he played against Anish Giri in Zurich. Aronian got a small edge but it was never more than that and the game was drawn.

Round 8 Standings: Karjakin, Aronian 5pts, Caruana, Anand 4.5pts, Giri 4pts, Svidler 3.5pts, Nakamura 3pts, Topalov 2.5pts.

Round 9 Pairings: Topalov-Svidler, Anand-Aronian, Giri-Caruana, Nakamura-Karjakin

FIDE Candidates 2016 Moscow (RUS), 10-30 iii 2016 cat. XXII (2778)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2760 * * ½ . ½ . 1 . ½ . ½ ½ 1 . ½ . 5 2872
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2786 ½ . * * ½ . ½ . ½ ½ ½ . 1 . 1 . 5 2873
3. Caruana, Fabiano g USA 2794 ½ . ½ . * * ½ . ½ . ½ . ½ 1 ½ . 2820
4. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2762 0 . ½ . ½ . * * ½ . 1 . ½ . 1 ½ 2823
5. Giri, Anish g NED 2793 ½ . ½ ½ ½ . ½ . * * ½ . ½ . ½ . 4 2776
6. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2757 ½ ½ ½ . ½ . 0 . ½ . * * ½ . ½ . 2735
7. Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2790 0 . 0 . ½ 0 ½ . ½ . ½ . * * 1 . 3 2691
8. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2780 ½ . 0 . ½ . 0 ½ ½ . ½ . 0 . * * 2634
Round 8 (March 20, 2016)
Aronian, Levon - Giri, Anish ½-½ 42 D30 Queen's Gambit (without Nc3)
Caruana, Fabiano - Nakamura, Hikaru 1-0 33 C65 Ruy Lopez Berlin
Svidler, Peter - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 50 A29 English Four Knights
Topalov, Veselin - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 51 D37 QGD 5.Bf4

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