Candidates – expert commentary on round three

3/18/2013 – It was easily the most exciting day of the Candidates Tournament so far: three decisive games, two of which saw Black taking home the full point. In our report yesterday we brought you express analysis of one game, Ivanchuk vs Aronian, and today we have GM/IM commentary of the other two (and more on Ivanchuk-Aronian) in our illustrated round 3+ report.

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From March 14 to April 1, 2013, FIDE and AGON – the World Chess Federation’s commercial partner – are staging the 2013 Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2013. It will be the strongest tournament of its kind in history. The venue is The IET, 2 Savoy Place, London. The Prize Fund to be shared by the players totals €510,000. The winner of the Candidates will become the Challenger to Viswanathan Anand who has reigned as World Champion since 2007. The main sponsor for the Candidates is State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic SOCAR, which has sponsored elite events chess in the past.

Round three report

Round 3 March 17 at 14:00
Boris Gelfand
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
0-1
Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan

Svidler-Radjabov

The Azeri GM Teimour Radjabov (above) went back to the King's Indian Defense in this game, and used a Benko style gambit with a6 and b5!? At some point he got his pawn back, but at the cost of a rook for two minor pieces.

Peter Svidler consolidated excellently and converted a full point. We bring you analysis by IM Zura Javakhadze, with additions by GM Alejandro Ramirez, who is an expert in the Benko Gambit.

[Event "Candidates"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.03.17"] [Round "3"] [White "Svidler, P."] [Black "Radjabov, T."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E83"] [WhiteElo "2747"] [BlackElo "2793"] [Annotator "Zura Javakhadze/Alejandro Ramirez"] [PlyCount "109"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] [SourceDate "2013.01.13"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 c5 7. Nge2 Nc6 8. d5 Na5 (8... Ne5 {is well known theory.}) 9. Ng3 a6 10. Be2 Nd7 $5 11. Rc1 b5 { The game transferred to the Benko Gambit but with one big difference. You don't usually meet the knight on a5 there. Another major difference is that Black doesn't have a strong lead in development, as he usually has. On the other hand White's knight on g3 might be misplaced.} 12. cxb5 axb5 13. Bxb5 Ne5 14. O-O Nac4 15. Bg5 Bd7 16. Bxd7 Qxd7 17. Qe2 Nxb2 $6 {A strange decision by Radjabov. He obviously underestimated the power of two pieces.} (17... h6 18. Bf4 Rfb8 {leads to the typical Benko type of positions.} 19. b3 Na3 $1 {And the blockade is hard to break through, while White has no active prospects anywhere else on the board.}) 18. Qxb2 Nd3 19. Qd2 Nxc1 20. Rxc1 Bxc3 21. Rxc3 Rfb8 22. Qc2 f6 23. Bc1 Qa4 24. a3 {Svidler has protected all his weakneses and now he will gradually improve the coordination of his pieces. The rest is just a matter of technique.} 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 {White has achieved a nearly perfect setup: his king controls c4, which cements the knight that beautifully attacks d6 and defends a3. The rest is really easy for Svidler. Most accurate now was Rc1 since the trade of rooks is impossible, but anything really wins.} 38. Re2 (38. Rc1 $1 Rxc1+ 39. Bxc1 Ra7 40. Bf4 {and White will give back the two pieces for a rook on d6, and be up a pawn in a winning king and pawn endgame.}) 38... Rd1 39. Re6 Rxd5 40. Rxg6 Rd4 41. Bxd6 Rxh4 42. Ne5+ Kc8 43. Rg8+ Kb7 44. Bxc5 Re6 45. Rg7+ Kc8 46. Nc4 Rg4 47. Nd6+ 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

At the press conference it was clear that Peter Svidler (above talking to Malcolm Pein) was happy with the opening he had got. “It is very nice to get a position like this, also with an hour and a big advantage on the clock. The game was mainly decided in the opening because I got such a huge advantage. The combination of the position and the clock pressure that was on Teimour here, that together made his situation quite difficult.”

Gelfand-Carlsen

This game saw the Cambridge Springs making a comeback to top level chess, but the opening results were nothing out of the ordinary. Boris Gelfand (above) got a slight edge that kept slipping away from him slowly.

Magnus Carlsen eventually got two strong passed pawns in the queenside, but his king was too weak to win and a Gelfand should have used this to force a draw. Instead he relied on his passed h-pawn and kept allowing Black to push his pawns until eventually they could not be stopped.

[Event "FIDE Candidates 2013"] [Site "London, England"] [Date "2013.03.17"] [Round "3"] [White "Gelfand, Boris"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D52"] [WhiteElo "2740"] [BlackElo "2872"] [Annotator "Ramirez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "114"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Nbd7 {A relatively strange mavoeuvre, and I'm surprised Gelfand didn't use this opportunity to go into a Karlsbad type structure with} 5. Bg5 (5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 {Maybe the slight subtlety that the knight is already on f3 was uncomfortable to him?}) 5... c6 6. e3 Qa5 { When I think of the Cambridge-Springs, I always think of the match between Alekhine and Capablanca! Those heavyweights employed it repeatedly in their World Championship match, but it hasn't been prevalent since. The theory and ideas of the position have, however, changed dramatically since that titanic duel.} 7. cxd5 (7. Nd2 Bb4 8. Qc2 dxc4 9. Bxf6 Nxf6 10. Nxc4 $14 { Capablanca-Alekhine, Buenos Aires World Championship Match 1927}) 7... Nxd5 8. Rc1 {Unusual, but "trending". The move Qd2 is more common, but Rc1 makes more sense.} Nxc3 9. bxc3 Ba3 10. Rc2 b6 11. Bd3 Ba6 12. O-O Bxd3 13. Qxd3 O-O 14. e4 Rfe8 {It is clear that White has the edge, but he starts becoming too greedy on his space grabbing.} 15. e5 h6 16. Bh4 c5 17. Nd2 cxd4 18. cxd4 Rac8 19. Nc4 Qb5 20. f4 Rc7 21. Qxa3 Rxc4 22. Rxc4 Qxc4 23. Bf2 {Something has gone wrong for White, but he is still ok as he will soon get the c-file for himself. } Qc7 24. Rc1 Qb7 25. Qd6 Nf8 26. g3 Rc8 27. Rxc8 Qxc8 28. d5 exd5 29. Qxd5 g6 30. Kg2 Ne6 {Logically, this game should almost always end peacefully, but that is not the case when you play Carlsen.} 31. Qf3 Kg7 32. a3 h5 33. h4 Qc2 34. Qb7 Qa4 35. Qf3 b5 36. f5 gxf5 37. Qxf5 Qxa3 38. Qxh5 a5 39. Qg4+ Kf8 40. h5 $6 (40. Qh5 $1 b4 41. Qh8+ Ke7 42. Qf6+ Ke8 43. Qh8+ $11 {It's unclear why Gelfand didn't force the draw as soon as possible, as only Black's pawns are dangerous.}) 40... Qc1 41. Qe4 b4 42. Be3 Qc7 43. Qa8+ Kg7 44. h6+ Kh7 45. Qe4+ Kg8 46. Qa8+ Qd8 47. Qxd8+ $2 {Going into a losing endgame, keeping the queens alive still gave plenty of hope.} (47. Qc6 $1 b3 48. Bc1 $1 {Still forces Black to find good moves, since the piece cannot be taken immediately.} b2 $2 49. Bxb2 Qd2+ 50. Kf1 Qxb2 51. Qe8+ Nf8 52. h7+ $1 $16) 47... Nxd8 48. Kf3 a4 49. Ke4 Nc6 {How did Gelfand plan to stop these pawns?} 50. Bc1 Na5 51. Bd2 b3 52. Kd3 Nc4 $1 53. Bc3 a3 54. g4 Kh7 55. g5 Kg6 56. Bd4 b2 57. Kc2 Nd2 { Gelfand's endgame play was very weak, and Carlsen won a point without really doing much himself.} 0-1

Ivanchuk-Aronian

A somewhat passive opening by his opponent simply gave Levon Aronian (above) the pair of bishops.

After trying to be overly creative from Vassily Ivanchuk's position kept getting worse and worse, until it became impossible to stop both of Black's bishops, as White's knights were slowly pushed back. We had express analysis of this game in yesterday's report, but here's a different take by our commentator IM Zura Javakhadze.

[Event "Candidates"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.03.17"] [Round "3"] [White "Ivanchuk, V."] [Black "Aronian, V."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A47"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2809"] [Annotator "Zura Javakhadze"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2013.01.12"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 {''I tried to play some creative chess today'' commented Ivanchuk after the game. Many grandmasters use the Trompovsky System in their repertoire from time to time.} e6 (2... Ne4 {is another ''chaotic'' line.} 3. Bf4 c5) 3. Nd2 (3. e4 {Directly taking the center under control is the more active continuation.}) 3... c5 4. e3 b6 5. Ngf3 Bb7 6. c3 Be7 7. Bd3 O-O 8. Bxf6 (8. O-O {is usually met in practice.}) 8... Bxf6 9. h4 {The idea of creating mating threats aginst the black king looks a bit immature at first glance. As it happened in the game, Black defended the kingside without special difficulties, and it's hard to say where the white monarch can find shelter.} Nc6 10. Ng5 ({The immediate} 10. Bxh7+ {doesn,t work because of} Kxh7 11. Ng5+ Kh6 $1 {and Black remains with a healthy piece up.}) 10... g6 11. f4 Ne7 12. Qg4 h5 13. Qh3 cxd4 14. exd4 b5 $1 15. a3 (15. Bxb5 {Opening the b-file would have been dangerous for White.} Qb6 16. Bxd7 $2 Rad8 17. Ba4 Bxd4 $19) 15... Qb6 16. Rg1 Nd5 17. Nge4 Bg7 18. Qf3 b4 19. axb4 Nxb4 20. Nc4 ({The black knight is taboo. In case of} 20. cxb4 {Black returnes a piece back and the white pawn structure remains collapsed.} f5 $19) 20... Qb5 $6 {Aronian mentioned in the postgame commentary that he missed the next move of his opponent, which makes things easire for Ivanchuk, compared to} (20... Qc7 { which immediately decides the game} 21. cxb4 (21. Ne5 f5) 21... Bxd4 22. Rh1 d5 $19) 21. Ne5 Nxd3+ 22. Nxd3 Qf5 ({The point is that in case of} 22... f5 $2 { White has a small tactical trick} 23. Nd6 $13 {what wouldn,t be possible on 20. ..Qc7}) 23. Ndc5 Bc6 24. b4 Rfb8 25. Ra5 a6 26. Qe3 Qg4 27. g3 Rb5 28. Rxa6 Rxa6 29. Nxa6 e5 $6 {Ivanchuk had some seconds on his clock, and it looks like Aronian started playing on his opponent's time.} 30. dxe5 Bxe4 31. c4 Rb6 32. Qxb6 Qf3 33. Qf2 Qa3 34. Nc5 {and Ivanchuk's flag fell.} 0-1

Pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich

Clearly this was the most fascinating game of the round. GM Daniel King dealt with it extensively in his video wrap-up in yesterday's report, and now we bring you more video commentary on the game:

Analysis of Gelfand-Carlsen by IM Andrew Martin

Looking back at round two: IM Andrew Martin

More than a hour on Round Three by Tryfon Gavriel, aka Kingscrusher

Standings after three rounds

Official broadcast of the round

Replay all games of the round

Select games from the dropdown menu above the board

Schedule and results

Round 1 March 15 at 14:00
Levon Aronian
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Boris Gelfand
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Peter Svidler
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 2 March 16 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Peter Svidler
Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian
1-0
Boris Gelfand
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward
Round 3 March 17 at 14:00
Boris Gelfand
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
0-1
Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan
Round 4 March 19 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Alexander Grischuk
Teimour Radjabov
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian 
-
Peter Svidler
Boris Gelfand
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 5 March 20 at 14:00
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler
-
Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk
-
Teimour Radjabov
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan
Round 6 March 21 at 14:00
Peter Svidler
-
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexander Grischuk
-
Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov
-
Levon Aronian
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward
Round 7 March 23 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Teimour Radjabov
Levon Aronian
-
Alexander Grischuk
Boris Gelfand
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Peter Svidler
Playchess commentary: GM Alejandro Ramirez
Round 8 March 24 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov
-
Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Peter Svidler
Playchess commentary: GM Alejandro Ramirez
Round 9 March 25 at 14:00
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler
-
Alexander Grischuk
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Teimour Radjabov
Boris Gelfand
-
Levon Aronian
Playchess commentary: GM Maurice Ashley
Round 10 March 27 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Teimour Radjabov
-
Peter Svidler
Alexander Grischuk
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan
Round 11 March 28 at 14:00
Alexander Grischuk
-
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Teimour Radjabov
Peter Svidler
-
Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Boris Gelfand
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward
Round 12 March 29 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Boris Gelfand
-
Peter Svidler
Levon Aronian
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov
-
Alexander Grischuk
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 13 March 31 at 14:00
Teimour Radjabov
-
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk
-
Levon Aronian
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Boris Gelfand
Peter Svidler
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 14 April 1 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Peter Svidler
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand
-
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
-
Teimour Radjabov
Playchess commentary: GM Maurice Ashley

The games start at 14:00h = 2 p.m. London time = 15:00h European time, 17:00h Moscow, 8 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here. Note that Britain and Europe switch to Summer time on March 31, so that the last two rounds will start an hour earlier for places that do not swich or have already done so (e.g. USA). The commentary on Playchess begins one hour after the start of the games and is free for premium members.

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Topics Candidates
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