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FIDE World Chess Championship Candidates 2014 (13)

Anand qualifies for Carlsen rematch with a round to spare

Anand in thought after first time control Photo ©

Anand in thought after first time control Photo © |

The thirteenth round of the FIDE Candidates saw Viswanthan Anand eventually manage to hold Sergey Karjakin to a draw in 91 moves and win the event with a round to spare. This followed a drastic loss by Levon Aronian in the other important game of the day. One should not overlook Anand's achievement in winning a classical Candidates tournament, one of the very few things he had left in chess to do and again placing him in extremely select company.

The top game of the day was between Sergey Karjakin and Viswanathan Anand. Karjakin grabbed a pawn with the risky 13...Qa5. It seemed like Anand would equalise but he later he felt forced to give up rook for two minor pieces with 22..Rxa2. This left an ending which ought to be draw but Anand definitely was still in danger. Only analysis will show if this danger was real. "I was shaky in this game, but I'm not going to whinge about it" - Anand. With Aronian's loss this meant that Anand was guaranteed to win the event with a round to spare.

Levon Aronian's challenge seems to have ended completely with a loss to Dmitry Andreikin. Aronian was on top until Aronian refused to take an exchange offered by Andreikin and took a pawn instead (Aronian thought it not good enough for a win) after which he had a terrible position (missing Kb2) and eventually Andreikin forced home a pawn. Terrible game from Aronian from an event where he has struggled from round 1 but nevertheless was in contention until this loss.

Peter Svidler and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov drew a theoretical Sicilian which saw an interesting but drawish ending.

Kramnik vs Topalov was not meaningful for the tournament but the players obviously want to win this grudge match and was one of the most interesting of the day. Kramnik managed to avenge his loss in the first half.

I had to go and play chess myself so missed the final action. Now official report and photos. I may get chance to add notes to the games in PGN later and maybe get some quotes from the press conferences.

Round 13 Standings: Anand 8.0pts/13, Kramnik, Andreikin, Karjakin, Mamedyarov, Aronian 6.5, Svidler 6, Topalov 5.5

Final Round 14 pairings: Aronian-Karjakin, Anand-Svidler, Mamedyarov-Kramnik, Topalov-Andreikin

Most players came to win the event but apart from Anand they're now playing for a potentially huge difference in prize money and status in the final round. Who can motivate themselves for one last push? It's possible there may be tame draws but I expect a couple of the games to be competitive.

Round 13: Viswanathan Anand qualifies for 2014 FIDE World Championship Match

Official Round 13 Press Release by the Media Centre of the FIDE World Candidates Tournament

A tense wait for the end of Karjakin-Anand

A tense wait for the end of Karjakin-Anand. Photo ©

Viswanathan Anand will have another shot at the World Chess Championship title after winning the Candidates Tournament 2014 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

In round 13 Anand held a draw against Sergey Karjakin to take his score to 8 points and secure clear first place with one round to go.

Anand is set to play a match with World Champion Magnus Carlsen in November. The hosting city should be announced soon.

In the other games Dmitry Andreikin defeated Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik won against Veselin Topalov. Peter Svidler and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov split the point.

Anand relieved at the end of his game against Karjakin

Anand relieved at the end of his game against Karjakin. Photo ©

Anand is first with 8 points, point and a half ahead of the large group of players on shared second place – Andreikin, Kramnik, Aronian, Mamedyarov and Karjakin. Svidler is 7th with 6 points, while Topalov is last with 5,5 points.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov remained consistent and chose once again the Sicilian Naidorf. Peter Svidler answered with 6.Be3, the line in which he has huge practical experience.

The first critical junction was on move 16 when black played Nd4 instead of Grischuk’s Nce5. Next he offered exchange of the queens.

More pieces were traded soon and a rook endgame was reached around move 25. Black had the doubled f-pawns.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen tuned into live commentary with GM Peter Heine Nielsen and said that white can keep pressing for a long time without any risk.

Svidler tried for something more until the time control, but then he agreed to a draw.

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian never really recovered from losing to Anand in the first round. Photo ©

Levon Aronian played another very original opening, defending against the Trompowski employed by Dmitry Andreikin.

After only ten moves of play black’s pawn structure looked awful, but he still tried to stir trouble on white’s long castle and advanced pawns.

White decided to trade the queens and go into a roughly equal endgame. He offered an exchange for advanced passed pawn, but black snubbed the offer because the eventual result was likely to be a draw. Aronian needed a win to stay in contention for the first place.

Andreikin skillfully took advantage of the poor placement of black bishop to win a pawn and proceed to the double rook ending. He converted into full point on move 44.

Veselin Topalov

Veselin Topalov. Photo ©

Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov tested the Semi-Slav Moscow variation. Again Topalov was first to insert a new move, by playing the speculative 10…c5.

Kramnik cemented the development advantage with an excellent 14.Bb5, which prevents black knight from coming into play.  Magnus Carlsen also praised this move in his live commentary. Black somehow untangled his pieces but white already had the action going on the kingside.

However, after a couple of inaccurate moves, white lost all of his advantage and even started looking suspicious because black had the pair of bishops.

The resulting endgame was sharp and unclear. It was extremely difficult to find the most precise moves – only deeper analysis can tell.

Topalov was the last to make a mistake, when he allowed white rook to reach the back rank and claim a bishop. Kramnik quickly wrapped up the game.

Sergey Karjakin was fully charged to fight in the game versus Viswanathan Anand, having in mind that only a victory would have given him the chance to win the first place and match against the World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

White played a modest yet flexible setup with fianchetto on b2. Black replied with the principled strike in the center c5, but was soon left with a backward c6-pawn.

Karjakin won this pawn but the queens got exchanged and it looked like black had a good compensation for the material. Anand’s idea to trade the light-squared bishops with 17…Bd7 was criticized by Magnus Carlsen.

The reigning World Champion had a good hunch, as black soon came under pressure on the queenside.

Anand and Karjakin continue to discuss their game.

Anand and Karjakin continue to discuss their game. Photo ©

Anand made a huge decision to give two pieces for a rook and pawn. The material favored white, but all pawns were on one side of the board and white pieces were poorly coordinated.

The Grandmasters who commented the game on Twitter believed that black had better chance to draw than white to win.

Anand succeeded in setting a fortress, and despite the huge effort Karjakin simply couldn’t find a way through.

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 * * ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ . ½ 1 8 2858
2. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2787 ½ ½ * * ½ ½ 1 0 1 . ½ ½ ½ 0 0 1 2768
3. Andreikin, Dmitry g RUS 2709 ½ ½ ½ ½ * * ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 . 2778
4. Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2766 ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ * * ½ ½ 0 . ½ 1 ½ ½ 2766
5. Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2757 0 ½ 0 . 1 ½ ½ ½ * * 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 2771
6. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2830 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 . 1 0 * * 1 ½ ½ ½ 2761
7. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2758 ½ . ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 ½ * * 1 0 6 2743
8. Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2785 ½ 0 1 0 0 . ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 * * 2715
Round 13 (March 29, 2014)
Kramnik, Vladimir - Topalov, Veselin 1-0 55 D43 Anti-Meran Gambit
Andreikin, Dmitry - Aronian, Levon 1-0 44 A45 Trompowsky
Karjakin, Sergey - Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ 91 D30 Queen's Gambit (without Nc3)
Svidler, Peter - Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ 42 B90 Sicilian Najdorf Variation

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