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FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014 (10)

Anand edges closer to qualifcation after shock Kramnik collapse in Candidates Round 10

Anand and Mamedyarov at their press conference. Photo ©

Anand and Mamedyarov at their press conference. Photo © |

Viswanathan Anand edged closer to qualification after he drew with the dangerous Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the 10th round of the FIDE Candidates tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk. Anand maintains a 1 point lead over Levon Aronian who has a worse tie-break too. Vladimir Kramnik's slim chances finally disappeared with a one move blunder against Peter Svidler. None of the other players on 50% could edge closer either.

Anand played a variation of the Sicilian Najdorf against Mamedyarov but was quickly forced to start repeating. Mamedyarov avoided this first repetition but soon offered a draw which was accepted on move 30. Anand seemed pretty happy with the draw and Mamedyarov didn't seem that upset but knew he had to at least try and press.

Sergey Karjakin and Dmitry Andreikin drew a Taimanov Sicilian where black had no problems at any stage.

The most dramatic game of the day was between Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler. Svidler repeated his Dutch defence and equalised extremely quickly but it seems he isn't quite on top of all the details, he became pessimistic about his chances and eventually Kramnik did have quite a serious advantage. Kramnik felt he was moving in for the kill but missed a very nasty one move tactic and was lost. Kramnik has made far too many tactical errors in this event but denied there was anything wrong but possible fatigue. Perhaps the old adage about one of the best ways to win a game is to give your opponent winning chances himself applies.

Levon Aronian got nothing out of the opening against Veselin Topalov and then was a little worse but held on to draw comfortably. Not really much sign of a final Aronian charge yet.

Comments to all the games from the players press conferences in the PGN section and pictures and official report in the body of the article.

Round 10 Standings: Anand 6.5/10, Aronian 5.5, Mamedyarov, Karjakin, Svidler 5pts, Kramnik, Andreikin 4.5pts, Topalov 4pts

I will be commentating on ICC with GM Gata Kamsky for Round 11 on Wednesday 9am GMT: Andreikin-Mamedyarov, Topalov-Karjakin, Svidler-Aronian, Kramnik-Anand it can be seen here

Anand maintains one point lead after round 10

Official Round 10 Press Release by the Media Centre of the FIDE World Candidates Tournament

Former World Champion Viswanathan Anand maintained a full point lead in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament after playing a draw with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in round 10.

Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik. Photo ©

Anand's nearest rival Levon Aronian also made a draw, with white against Veselin Topalov.In the all-Russian matches Peter Svidler defeated Vladimir Kramnik, while Sergey Karjakin and Dmitry Andreikin drew.

Anand is clear first with 6,5 points, one point ahead of the second-placed Aronian. Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Svidler are on 5 points each, while Kramnik and Andreikin share the 6th place with 4,5 points. Topalov remains last with 4 points.

Anand vs Mamedyarov

Anand vs Mamedyarov. Photo ©

The 6.h3 Naidorf Sicilian is all rage now in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament. In round 10 Viswanathan Anand again used the system, this time in the game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

The game was similar to Anand's match against Topalov, but this time black was more vigorous to trade the pieces, counter in the center and achieve good play.

Anand made a good psychological decision to go for relatively simple position in which Mamedyarov, a gifted tactician, could not create threats with taking excessive risk.

At some point white offered moves repetition but black decided to play on. However, on move 30 black changed his mind and offered a draw.

Sergey Karjakin

Sergey Karjakin. Photo ©

Dmitry Andreikin defended with the Taimanov Sicilian and Sergey Karjakin used Rustam Kasimdzhanov`s favorite 7.Qd3, although Karjakin admitted he didn't analyzed this variation with his second.

Karjakin followed his earlier clash with Mamedyarov (2009), but then he chose a different pawn structure with 13.e5, very similar to the Classical French.Black didn't meet many obstacles in solving the typical problems – exchange of the light-squared bishops and counterplay on the b-file.

Having achieved no advantage, white conceded a draw by repeating the moves.

Svidler vs Kramnik

Svidler vs Kramnik. Photo ©

Peter Svidler had another go at the Dutch defence and Vladimir Kramnik responded with the customary expansion in the center.

With the slightly better pawn structure white claimed a small advantage, but black always remained solid and was close to trading off the entire queenside.

At one point Kramnik blundered horribly by allowing 32…Bxh2+ which lost him an exchange and a pawn.

Further, the white king was exposed to a relentless attack and he gave up shortly before the time control.

Topalov vs Aronian

Topalov vs Aronian. Photo ©

Levon Aronian chose a quiet setup against Veselin Topalov's Chebanenko Slav, allowing black to extinguish much of the opening pressure.

Around move 14 white was uncertain how to place the pieces. At the press conference Topalov proposed 15.a4 Qb6 16.Bc3, but Aronian replied that he didn't like the bishop there.

After black installed the knight on the strong d4-outpost, white understood that he should be careful not to end up worse.

Topalov thought that he had small advantage throughout the middlegame, but he decided not to be rash and make mistakes in pursuit of a victory at all costs, as it happened to him earlier in the tournament.

Despite the doubled f-pawns and opponent's passer on d-file, white was able to hold the endgame. Draw signed on move 45

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 1 2886
2. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2830 0 ½ * * 1 0 1 . 1 . ½ . ½ . ½ ½ 2800
3. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2757 0 ½ 0 1 * * ½ . 1 . 0 . 1 . ½ ½ 5 2779
4. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2766 ½ . 0 . ½ . * * ½ 1 0 1 ½ ½ ½ . 5 2765
5. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2758 ½ . 0 . 0 . ½ 0 * * ½ 1 1 ½ 1 . 5 2766
6. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2787 ½ . ½ . 1 . 1 0 ½ 0 * * ½ ½ 0 . 2724
7. Andreikin, Dmitry g RUS 2709 ½ . ½ . 0 . ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ * * 1 . 2740
8. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2785 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ . 0 . 1 . 0 . * * 4 2701
Round 10 (March 25, 2014)
Anand, Viswanathan - Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ 30 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation
Aronian, Levon - Topalov, Veselin ½-½ 45 D15 Slav Defence
Karjakin, Sergey - Andreikin, Dmitry ½-½ 29 B46 Sicilian Paulsen
Kramnik, Vladimir - Svidler, Peter 0-1 39 A80 Dutch

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