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FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014 (12)

Anand close to new win and still in charge after Candidates Round 12

Anand in action in round 12. Photo ©

Anand in action in round 12. Photo © | http://candidates2014.fide.com

Visanathan Anand came very close to his fourth win of the FIDE Candidates against Dmitry Andreikin but his opponent Dmitry Andreikin just escaped into a position complicated enough to persuade Anand to take a draw. This results still leaves Anand a point clear of Levon Aronian (with better tie-break) and a point and a half clear of Sergey Karjakin who he plays next and provided he draws or better that result will almost certainly be enough to win the event. Levon Aronian was very fortunate that Vladimir Kramnik has pretty much mentally "packed" otherwise he would almost certainly have lost. Sergey Karjakin had a major time scramble against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and eventually drew. Peter Svidler by his own admission missed a lot against Veselin Topalov and lost horribly.

Anand's game against Andreikin was a Caro-Kann where he eventually achieved a lovely bind across the board. Things were already going wrong for Andreikin when 24...Qc8 led to a loss virtually by force but it did require some precision. 26.Nh5 seemed best but 28...d7 (28.Ng4 was a winner but also had complexity) wasn't so good although the position remained winning the position suddently became out of control and given that avoiding a loss was far more important than winning Anand eventually "decided not to temp fate" and drew.

Peter Svidler has had a roller-coaster ride of the event and today he missed an awful lot against Veselin Topalov and just lost without a fight.

Levon Aronian one should be reminded lies in clear second place but has still been a shadow of his normal self. Today he took rather unjustified risks and his 27.e4 should have lost but Kramnik just repeated for a draw.

The final game was a sharp Nimzo-Indian 4.f3 where Karjakin's preparation gave him a nice advantage but Mamedyarov complicated things and soon had a dangerous attack. Karjakin got into terrible time trouble with a minute and a half for 10 moves against just over 5 minutes. Actually both played OK although 31.Bxf6 would have given Mamedyarov winning chances anything could have happened. Karjakin attacked the ACP afterwards saying they should have forced a change to an increment for this event. Leaving aside who is responsible in my opinion the time format without increment is the adult time control that should be used at this level and the increment shouldn't be there just to save the players from themselves.

If Anand at least draws with black against Karjakin and Aronian doesn't win against Andreikin in Saturday's round 13 then Anand will qualify. Even if Anand loses he will lead going into the final round game with white against Svidler.

Round 12 Standings: Anand 7.5pts, Aronian 6.5pts, Mamedyarov, Karjakin 6pts, Kramnik, Andreikin, Topalov, Svidler 5.5pts

Rest day Friday

Round 13 pairings Saturday 27th 9am GMT: Andreikin-Aronian, Karjakin-Anand, Svidler-Mamedyarov, Kramnik-Topalov.

Round 12: Anand takes a practical decision, draws Andreikin

Official Round 12 Press Release by the Media Centre of the FIDE World Candidates Tournament

Viswanathan Anand took a practical decision to accept draw against Dmitry Andreikin in a better, but extremely complicated position. Considering the other results, Anand is coming closer to challenging World Champion Magnus Carlsen to another match.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Photo © http://candidates2014.fide.com/.

Levon Aronian – Vladimir Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Sergey Karjakin were drawn, while Veselin Topalov won a nice game against Peter Svidler.

After 12 rounds of play in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament, Anand is first with 7,5 points, still a full point ahead of Aronian. Mamedyarov and Karjakin share the third place with 6 points each. On 5-8th place and with 5,5 points each are Kramnik, Svidler, Topalov and Andreikin.

Peter Svidler against Veselin Topalov

Peter Svidler against Veselin Topalov. Photo © http://candidates2014.fide.com/.

Peter Svidler's Taimanov Sicilian was not a great surprise for Veselin Topalov, but the recapture on 8th move, dxc6 instead of Qxc6, is a rare continuation.

Topalov pre-game conversation

Topalov pre-game conversation. Photo © http://candidates2014.fide.com/.

Topalov continued in the straightforward manner by transferring the knight to c4 and playing a key move, according to Svidler in the post-game press conference, 12.f3 to effectively stop the counterplay.

The rigid pawn structure and gapping hole on d5 were preventing black from activating the pieces. He was reluctant to part with the bishop pair to eliminate the dominant c4-knight. White eventually broke through the d-file to win the black a5-pawn. Being unable to find a perpetual check, Svidler gave up.

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian. Photo © http://candidates2014.fide.com/.

The game between Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik started as a Queen's Gambit Exchange variation, but white deviated from the theory quite early, by playing the literally unknown 8.h3. Black immediately used the opportunity to trade the dark-squared bishops and ease up his development.

Both players castled long and tucked their kings into safety. The pieces were shuffled around until white decided to go for a central break with e3-e4.

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian. Photo © http://candidates2014.fide.com/.

Aronian admitted that he wouldn't risk that much if he would be closer to the first place. The players repeated the moves for a draw in 31 moves.

Actually, instead of Ba6 in the end, black had an interesting maneuver in 28…Nb5 29.exd5 Na5! which might have given him something. Aronian was stunned when FIDE Press Officer showed him this line.

Anand vs Andreikin

Anand vs Andreikin. Photo © http://candidates2014.fide.com/.

Dmitry Andreikin wanted to try a Caro-Kann against Viswanathan Anand, exactly the line that Carlsen played in game 2 of Chennai WCC match.

Anand definitely had an improvement ready, as he deviated on move 15 with Qd3-f3. In this development he kept more pieces on the board.

Black was trying for a usual queenside counterplay, while white centralised his pieces waiting to answer black's c6-c5 break with d4-d5.

Black immediately went astray by allowing the pawn to advance further, all the way to d7. In addition, white launched an attack against the enemy king.

However, Andreikin didn't roll over, and he sacrificed a bishop to lead the white king out in the open field.

His efforts paid off when Anand conceded a draw by "taking a practical decision" to repeat the moves.

Anand commented later – "I looked at Kd2, but there are two rooks, queen, knight jumping around, and I couldn't see it through." He added that 36.Bd2 might have been a better try. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Karjakin played the longest game of the day. Karjakin took note of Mamedyarov's handling of the sharp f3 Nimzo-Indian in the earlier clash with Aronian.

The Russian team prepared a Benko-like counterblow 5...b5. As it was expected from the tactically gifted Azeri, he quickly expanded to grab space in the center.

Sergey Karjakin

Sergey Karjakin. Photo © http://candidates2014.fide.com/.

Karjakin was pleased with his opening, but at the pres conference he criticized 20...Ndc5, which took the knight far away from the defence of the king.

Black did win three pawns, but he was running low on time and white was constantly endangering the king. At one moment black had only 14 seconds to complete six moves (there is no increment before first time control).

Karjakin beat the zeitnot, but by then white simplified the position and in the next hour held a draw in a double rook endgame despite being one pawn down.

FIDE Candidates 2014 Khanty-Mansiysk RUS (RUS), 13-31 iii 2014 cat. XXI (2770)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2770 * * 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ . ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ . 2866
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2830 0 ½ * * 1 0 1 . ½ ½ ½ . ½ ½ 1 ½ 2794
3. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2757 0 ½ 0 1 * * ½ ½ 0 . 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 . 6 2772
4. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2766 ½ . 0 . ½ ½ * * 0 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 6 2766
5. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2787 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 . 1 0 * * ½ ½ 0 . ½ 0 2738
6. Andreikin, Dmitry g RUS 2709 ½ ½ ½ . 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ * * 1 . 0 ½ 2745
7. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2785 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 . 0 . * * 0 1 2742
8. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2758 ½ . 0 ½ 0 . ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 0 * * 2744
Round 12 (March 27, 2014)
Anand, Viswanathan - Andreikin, Dmitry ½-½ 41 B18 Caro Kann
Aronian, Levon - Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ 31 D36 QGD Exchange
Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar - Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ 60 E20 Nimzo Indian
Topalov, Veselin - Svidler, Peter 1-0 35 B49 Sicilian Paulsen

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