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FIDE World Chess Championship Candidates London 2013 (14)

Carlsen qualifies for World Championship match as Ivanchuk has final say

Magnus Carlsen is just one step away from the chess summit. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill.

Magnus Carlsen is just one step away from the chess summit. Photo © Ray Morris-Hill. |

Magnus Carlsen has qualified at the age of 22 for a World Chess Championship match against current holder Viswanathan Anand. Going into the final round Carlsen was tied on 8.5/13 with Vladimir Kramnik but the tie-break of more wins being decisively in his favour so he only needed to match Kramnik's result. As it turned out both players lost in yet another dramatic twist in the final rounds of this event.

Carlsen played 1.e4 and this was met by the Ruy Lopez from Svidler. The position became very complicated and Carlsen gradually got into terrible time trouble seeking an advantage which if it was there (30.Bh8!!) was impossible to find for a human. Carlsen was highly critical of this impractical approach. Svidler hit Carlsen with a number of body blows which Carlsen had 10 seconds to make 5 moves after which his position was a wreck. Svidler won rather quickly after that.

Fortunately for Carlsen his rival Vladimir Kramnik was already in a lost position too. Kramnik played the Pirc defence as black against Vassily Ivanchuk and achieved a satisfactory position, he too didn't really know whether a draw or a win was enough. About move 29 the game was equal, 35...Rc8 was terrible and with 41.Qd5 Ivanchuk had an overwhelming position which he thought about for about 25 minutes and found a clean finish.

Carlsen was obviously pleased to qualify. When asked he said the there was probably a perfect storm of physical and mental tiredness at the end of the tournament which explained his 1/3 finish. Kramnik I feel was somewhat unlucky in this event and played at least as well as Carlsen. Carlsen himself didn't feel this and felt he played clearly the best chess until the last three rounds. It might have been nice to have a rapid/blitz playoff to really settle this.

So Carlsen qualifies to play Viswanthan Anand, the youngest at 22 to do so since Garry Kasparov in 1984. Carlsen's qualification has presented the best chance for promotion of the game for a very, very long time. Anand, Kramnik, Aronian etc join Carlsen in Norway for an event 7th to 18th May which could be the first real test of that. The World Championship match should be in November, the venue has yet to be bid for, New York has been mentioned although after losing out to Moscow last time India was more or less promised this match which may not even take place this year if past precident of delays is anything to go by. These should be exciting times.

I may return to the decisive games in the final rounds later in the week.

Final Standings: 1st Carlsen 8.5pts (5 wins), 2nd Kramnik 8.5pts (4 wins) 3rd Svidler 8pts (beat Aronian 1.5-0.5), 4th Aronian 8pts, 5th Gelfand 6.5pts, 6th Grischuk 6.5pts, 7th Ivanchuk 6pts, 8th Radjabov 4pts.

Carlsen lost 4 rating points, Radjabov 31. Kramnik gained 10 and Svidler 16.

Round 14 (April 1, 2013)
Carlsen, Magnus - Svidler, Peter 0-1 48 C84 Ruy Lopez Centre Attack
Aronian, Levon - Radjabov, Teimour 1-0 35 E71 King's Indian 5.h3
Gelfand, Boris - Grischuk, Alexander ½-½ 27 D85 Gruenfeld Defence
Ivanchuk, Vassily - Kramnik, Vladimir 1-0 47 B08 Pirc Defence
Candidates 2013 London ENG Fri 15th Mar 2013 - Mon 1st Apr 2013
Leading Final Round 14 Standings:
1Carlsen MagnusGMNOR2872***½ ½1 0½ ½1 11 ½½ 0½ 18.51.0556.25
2Kramnik VladimirGMRUS2810½ ½***½ 1½ 1½ ½½ 1½ 0½ 18.51.0457.75
3Svidler PeterGMRUS27470 1½ 0***½ 1½ ½½ ½½ 11 ½8.01.5452.75
4Aronian LevonGMARM2809½ ½½ 0½ 0***1 0½ ½1 11 18.00.5549.75
5Gelfand BorisGMISR27400 0½ ½½ ½0 1***½ ½½ ½½ 16.51.0243.00
6Grischuk AlexanderGMRUS27640 ½½ 0½ ½½ ½½ ½***½ 1½ ½6.51.0144.00
7Ivanchuk VassilyGMUKR2757½ 1½ 1½ 00 0½ ½½ 0***0 16.00.0343.25
8Radjabov TeimourGMAZE2793½ 0½ 00 ½0 0½ 0½ ½1 0***4.00.0128.25
8 players

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