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FIDE World Chess Championship Candidates London 2013 (3)

Aronian leads, Svidler and Carlsen chase, after London Candidates Round 3

Levon Aronian was happy to have started with 2.5/3. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

Levon Aronian was happy to have started with 2.5/3. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. |

Levon Aronian won a second game in a row to lead the FIDE World Chess Championship Candidates tournament in London after 3 of the 14 rounds. Aronian took full advantage of a combination of Ivanchuk's optimism over the board and complete mishandling of the clock. Ivanchuk said that "Today I tried to play something creative - bad strategy!" but in fact his Trompovsky Attack was a fairly crude attempt to mate Aronian which didn't scare the Armenian at all. Ivanchuk's position became a complete mess and 20...Qc7 would have revealed this. 20...Qb5?! 21.Ne5 allowed Ivanchuk back in the game but soon it became very hard for Aronian to concentrate as his opponent had about 20 seconds for 15 moves and then later 5 seconds for 9 moves at which point it became impossible for Ivanchuk to make time control. People will target Ivanchuk for full points if he continues to play like this. Peter Svidler scored his first win to move into joint second with great preparation find to a hole in Teimour Radjabov's preparation in the Saemisch King's Indian. Radjabov said he forgot important details and ended up with a much worse position and an hour behind on the clock. Svidler thought this combination added up to a winning position and he was generally smooth in exploiting it although Svidler suggested 38...Rc1 would have ended things much quicker. Svidler seems in good form and well prepared and looks in the mix for the whole thing. Magnus Carlsen won his first game, and as he stressed a win with black is a particular achievement in an event of this sort. He won in his normal style. A slight surprise was his use of the Cambridge Springs and then the use of a sideline caused Boris Gelfand to have to use a lot of time. This proved important and Carlsen kept the pressure up without really being much better. Gelfand missed a clear draw with 40.Qh5 and then as things became very much harder for him he traded queens into a lost ending after a miscalculation. Vladimir Kramnik also worked up a huge time advantage over his opponent Alexander Grischuk and even though he won a pawn Grischuk found a way to get active enough to force a draw by repetition. R3 Standings: Aronian 2.5pts/3, Svidler, Carlsen 2pts, Kramnik, Grischuk, Radjabov 1.5pts, Ivanchuk, Gelfand 0.5pts Rest day Mon 18th March. R4 Tues 19th Mar 2013: Carlsen-Grischuk, Radjabov-Kramnik, Aronian-Svidler, Gelfand-Ivanchuk.

Ivanchuk 0-1 Aronian

Levon Aronian exploited some poor play and very poor clock handling by Vassily Ivanchuk to score a second win of the event.

Ivanchuk vs Aronian

Ivanchuk vs Aronian. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Ivanchuk,Vassily - Aronian,Levon [A45]
FIDE Candidates London ENG (3.4), 17.03.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.Nd2 c5 4.e3 b6 5.Ngf3 Bb7 6.c3 Be7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.h4

[9.Qe2 Nc6 10.g4 d5 11.0-0-0 c4 12.Bc2 b5 13.g5 Be7 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.dxe5 d4 16.Be4 d3 17.Qf3 Bd5 18.Rhg1 g6 19.Rg4 Qa5 20.Bxd5 exd5 21.Qxd5 Qa4 0-1 Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy (2500)-Megaranto,S (2534)/Ho Chi Minh City VIE 2009/The Week in Chess 769]


Levon Aronian


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 9...Nc6!


Aronian didn't fear this move.

[10.Qc2 g6 11.h5 Bg7 (11...Ne7 "Just a bit shy." - Aronian.) 12.hxg6 hxg6 13.Bxg6 fxg6 14.Qxg6 "I had this feeling that the pieces were coming." - Aronian.; 10.Bxh7+ Kxh7 11.Ng5+ Kh6!]]

10...g6 11.f4 Ne7 12.Qg4 h5 13.Qh3 cxd4 14.exd4 b5! 15.a3 Qb6 16.Rg1 Nd5 17.Nge4 Bg7 18.Qf3 b4 19.axb4 Nxb4 20.Nc4

Levon Aronian


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 20.Nc4


Aronian was quite annoyed with himself in allowing Ivanchuk's next.

[20...Qc7 looks just winning]

21.Ne5!! Nxd3+ 22.Nxd3 Qf5 23.Ndc5 Bc6 24.b4 Rfb8 25.Ra5 a6

Levon Aronian


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 25...a6

Ivanchuk had about 20 seconds to get to move 40 from here according to Aronian.


26.Qe3 Qg4 27.g3 Rb5 28.Rxa6 Rxa6 29.Nxa6 e5 30.dxe5 Bxe4 31.c4!

Levon Aronian


Vassily Ivanchuk

Position after 31.c4

Ivanchuk had about 5 seconds left here and was never making time control.

31...Rb6 32.Qxb6 Qf3 33.Qf2 Qa3 34.Nc5

Black is still on top.


Svidler 1-0 Radjabov

Peter Svidler proves he's done some work for the Candidates. Noone doubts his talent and in spite of his self-deprecating humour I don't think he does either. For Teimour Radjabov it was just a real disaster in the opening that also put him in terrible trouble on the clock, a bad day at the office.

Peter Svidler

Peter Svidler. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Svidler,Peter (2747) - Radjabov,Teimour (2793) [E81]
FIDE Candidates London ENG (3.1), 17.03.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Na5 9.Ng3

"Clearly you can't play this line without having some work done first." - Svidler. "Some work had been done, yes."

[9.Nc1 e6 10.Be2 exd5 11.cxd5 Nd7 12.Nb3 f5 13.Qd2 Ne5 1/2-1/2 Vitiugov,N (2705)-Grischuk,A (2763)/Moscow RUS 2012/The Week in Chess 926 (54)]

9...a6 10.Be2 Nd7 11.Rc1 b5 12.cxb5 axb5 13.Bxb5 Ne5 14.0-0 Nac4 15.Bg5

Teimour Radjabov


Peter Svidler

Position after 15.Bg5

"Up to this position with 15.Bg5 I obviously had this position at home." - Svidler.

15...Bd7 16.Bxd7 Qxd7

Svidler was about an hour up on the clock here and combined with a better position. "It's a rare occurence for me that I'm so far ahead in preparation in a game. Frankly the game was pretty much decided in the opening." Svidler who then went on to discuss I believe this position. "Not only is white a pawn up, has a very clear plan of playing b3, f4, e5 and sort of rolling black completely over, I was also more than an hour ahead on the clock. And these two things combined make it almost impossible for Teimour to mount any kind of defence." - Svidler. Radjabov admitted that whilst he had studied the position he then started to forget his preparation and this caused his problems in the opening. A pretty disasterous turn of affairs for him.


[17.Rc2 Rfb8 18.Bc1 Qa7 19.f4 Nd7 and white is still better but black is stil in the game due to his knight on c5 which can't be driven away at least for the moment.]


"I was actually hoping he will not take on b2 even though I should be objectively winning after that because I do have two pieces for the rook and no weaknesses but from a practical viewpoint I thought this was a very decent decision."

18.Qxb2 Nd3 19.Qd2 Nxc1 20.Rxc1 Bxc3?!

Teimour Radjabov


Peter Svidler

Position after 20....Bxc3

"I'm not so sure about Bxc3, I understand the idea behind the move but if you play Rfb8 and you never trade the bishop and you just harrass me on the Queenside." - Svidler.

[20...Rfb8 21.Nge2 "I go Nge2 and there will never be any threats but how to I make headway?" - Svidler.]

21.Rxc3 Rfb8

[21...f6 22.Bh6 Rfb8 was a slight improvement for black according to Svidler. 23.h4 Qa4 24.Kh2 which may or may not be mate.]

22.Qc2 f6 23.Bc1 Qa4 24.a3 Kf7 25.Nf1 Qxc2 26.Rxc2 f5 27.Nd2 Ra4 28.Nc4 fxe4 29.fxe4 Rb3 30.Kf2 Ke8 31.e5 Ra6 32.exd6 exd6 33.Ke2 Kd7 34.Bf4 h5 35.h4 Ra4 36.Kd2 Rb1 37.Kc3 Ra6

Teimour Radjabov


Peter Svidler

Position after 37...Ra6


Svidler didn't really understand why he did this which made the technical process harder.

["Still I managed to make us sit at the board for another hour and a half instead of playing Rc1 here." - Svidler. 38.Rc1 "Some calculation was required after Rfb8 to choose between 22.h4 and 22.Qc2... generally speaking had I played 38.Rc1 that would have been a very rare beast a win over a very strong opponent during which I did not have to calculate a single variation." - Svidler. 38...Rxc1+ (38...Rb8 39.Re1 Rf8 40.g3 Rf5 41.Re6 Rxd5 42.Rxg6 and compared to the position in the game the pawn is on g3 and I will just have everything under control and collect d6, c5, h5 at my leisure. Re2 was frankly an unbelievable move I don't know") 39.Bxc1 Kc7 40.Bf4 and take on d6 with a completely winning ending.]

38...Rd1 39.Re6 Rxd5 40.Rxg6 Rd4 41.Bxd6

[41.g3? was Svidler's initial intention "a bit of a mistake." which would lead to a draw. 41...Rxc4+ 42.Kxc4 d5+ 43.Kxd5 Rxg6 44.Kxc5 Ra6]


"If you don't win these positions then you really shouldn't be here." - Svidler.

42.Ne5+ Kc8 43.Rg8+ Kb7 44.Bxc5 Re6

[44...Ra5 45.Rg7+ Ka6 46.Bd4 Rxa3+ 47.Kb4]]

45.Rg7+ Kc8 46.Nc4


Teimour Radjabov


Peter Svidler

Position after 46...Rg4


[47.Rxg4 hxg4 48.g3 is completely winning but Svidler couldn't bring himself to do it as the game continuation is so much stronger.]

47...Kb8 48.Rb7+ Ka8 49.Rd7 Rg8 50.Nc4 Rxg2 51.Bd6 Rxd6 52.Nxd6 h4 53.Rh7 Rh2 54.Kb4 h3 55.Ka5 1-0

Boris Gelfand 0-1 Magnus Carlsen

Once again Magnus Carlsen showed ambition and the will to continue to try and put his opponent under pressure in an objectively almost equal position. In the end Carlsen was rewarded with a fairly typical win. Now he needs to get some conventional edges with opening play with white.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Gelfand,Boris (2740) - Carlsen,Magnus (2872) [D52]
FIDE Candidates London ENG (3.3), 17.03.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Qa5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Rc1 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Ba3 10.Rc2 b6 11.Bd3 Ba6 12.0-0 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 0-0

[13...h6 14.Bh4 0-0 15.c4 Rfe8 16.Nd2 Be7 17.Bxe7 Rxe7 18.c5 bxc5 19.Nb3 Qa4 1/2-1/2 Cmilyte,V (2525)-Gurevich,M (2596)/Konya TUR 2012/The Week in Ches 923]

14.e4 Rfe8 15.e5 h6 16.Bh4 c5 17.Nd2 cxd4 18.cxd4 Rac8 19.Nc4 Qb5

Magnus keeps some tension in the game.

20.f4 Rc7 21.Qxa3 Rxc4 22.Rxc4 Qxc4 23.Bf2 Qc7 24.Rc1 Qb7

Most probably the game is equal but Carlsen keeps posing problems to Gelfand who was starting to get into time pressure.

25.Qd6 Nf8 26.g3 Rc8 27.Rxc8 Qxc8 28.d5 exd5 29.Qxd5 g6 30.Kg2 Ne6 31.Qf3 Kg7 32.a3 h5 33.h4 Qc2 34.Qb7 Qa4 35.Qf3 b5!?

Magnus Carlsen


Boris Gelfand

Position after 35...b5!?

Carlsen realises the only way to continue is to allow his king to be opened up but his knight is a fanstastic defensive piece.

36.f5 gxf5 37.Qxf5 Qxa3 38.Qxh5 a5

[38...b4 39.Qg4+ with a draw was what Gelfand expected.]

39.Qg4+ Kf8

Magnus Carlsen


Boris Gelfand

Position after 39...Kf8


"After h5 black's king is relatively safe" - Gelfand.

[40.Qh5 was Gelfand's suggestion "with an easy draw"]

40...Qc1 41.Qe4 b4 42.Be3 Qc7 43.Qa8+ Kg7 44.h6+ Kh7 45.Qe4+ Kg8 46.Qa8+ Qd8

The only way to play on.


Magnus Carlsen


Boris Gelfand

Position after 47.Qxd8

The result of a miscalcuation from Gelfand.

[47.Qc6 Houdini.; 47.Qb7 Qd3 Gelfand. Already things aren't so simple for black.]

47...Nxd8 48.Kf3 a4 49.Ke4 Nc6 50.Bc1

[50.Kd5 was Gelfand's initial intention but it loses. 50...a3 51.Bc1 (51.Kxc6 b3) 51...Na5 52.Kc5 Nb3+ 53.Kxb4 Nxc1 54.Kxa3 Nd3 and the ending is easily winning.]

50...Na5 51.Bd2 b3 52.Kd3 Nc4 53.Bc3 a3 54.g4 Kh7 55.g5 Kg6 56.Bd4 b2 57.Kc2 Nd2 0-1

Magnus Carlsen


Boris Gelfand

Position after 57...Nd2

Vladimir Kramnik draw Alexander Grischuk

Vladimir Kramnik got a big piece of preparation in against Alexander Grischuk but couldn't make it count. Grischuk showed the upside of using a lot of time at the board as his play was very good in order to get a drawn position. I do think that eating up all this energy every round may really cost him later on.

Vladimir Kramnik draw Alexander Grischuk

Vladimir Kramnik draw Alexander Grischuk. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill

Kramnik,Vladimir - Grischuk,Alexander [D71]
FIDE Candidates London ENG (3.2), 17.03.2013

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Nf3 Nb6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.e3 0-0 9.0-0 Re8 10.h3 e5 11.d5 Na5 12.Qc2

[12.e4 0-1 Ippolito,D (2280)-Yermolinsky,A (2560)/Syracuse 1995 (41)]

12...c6 13.b4

A big piece of preparation that puts Grischuk under pressure.

13...Nac4 14.dxc6 bxc6 15.Rd1 Qe7 16.Nd2 Bf5 17.Nce4 Rad8 18.a3 h5 19.Nxc4 Rxd1+ 20.Qxd1 Nxc4 21.Ra2 Rd8 22.Qf1 Nd6 23.Nc5 Nb5 24.Bxc6 Nc3 25.Rd2 Rxd2 26.Bxd2 Qd6 27.Bxc3 Qxc6 28.Qg2

[28.e4 Bxe4 (28...Bc8 is also difficult to win for white.) 29.Nxe4 Qxe4 30.Bd2 Grischuk 30...h4 31.gxh4 Qxh4 32.Be3 e4 33.Bxa7 Qg5+]

28...Qd6 29.e4

[29.Qa8+ Kh7 30.Kh2 Qd1 31.Ne4 Kh6! Kramnik.]


Alexander Grischuk


Vladimir Kramnik

Position after 29...Qd1+

an important zwischenzug.

30.Kh2 Bc8 31.f3

Already black has equalised and that becomes clear very soon.

31...Qc1 32.Qd2 Qf1 33.Qg2 Qc1 34.Qd2 Qf1 35.Qg2 1/2-1/2

FIDE Candidates London (ENG), 15 iii-1 iv 2013 cat. XXII (2787)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Aronian, Levon g ARM 2809 * * . . ½ . . . . . . . 1 . 1 . 3062
2. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2747 . . * * . . ½ . ½ . 1 . . . . . 2 2914
3. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2872 ½ . . . * * ½ . . . . . . . 1 . 2 2911
4. Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2810 . . ½ . ½ . * * ½ . . . . . . . 2794
5. Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2764 . . ½ . . . ½ . * * . . ½ . . . 2771
6. Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2793 . . 0 . . . . . . . * * 1 . ½ . 2748
7. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2757 0 . . . . . . . ½ . 0 . * * . . ½ 2515
8. Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2740 0 . . . 0 . . . . . ½ . . . * * ½ 2551
Round 3 (March 17, 2013)
Svidler, Peter - Radjabov, Teimour 1-0 55 E81 King's Indian Saemisch
Kramnik, Vladimir - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ 35 D71 Gruenfeld 3.g3
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Aronian, Levon 0-1 34 A45 Trompowsky
Gelfand, Boris - Carlsen, Magnus 0-1 57 D52 Queens Gambit Cambridge Springs

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