Candidates – Postmortems of round eleven

3/29/2013 – Alexander Grischuk drew against tournament leader Magnus Carlsen with a coffeehouse move; Vladimir Kramnik beat Teimour Radjabov, who fell for a nice trick on move 28; Peter Svidler played a potentially tournament-deciding game by beating Carlsen's main rival Levon Aronian; Vassily Ivanchum and Boris Gelfand ended an theoretical duel with a draw on move 17. Press conferences.

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 eleven report

Round 11 March 28 at 14:00
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Peter Svidler
1-0
Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Boris Gelfand
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward

In Thursday's 11th round of the FIDE World Chess Candidates' Tournament Vladimir Kramnik moved to second place. Russia's number one beat Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), while Levon Aronian (Armenia) lost to Peter Svidler (Russia). Drawing his black game with Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Magnus Carlsen (Norway) kept his half point lead in London with three rounds to go. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) and Boris Gelfand (Israel) played a very quick draw.

The encounter between Vassily Ivanchuk (above in the press conference with Anastasiya Karlovich) and Boris Gelfand was in fact the shortest game of the tournament so far. In a Grünfeld, the two started repeating moves right after the opening, and agreed to a draw at move 17. It was a bit of a theoretical duel, as Ivanchuk repeated his Bf4 system which he adopted against Carlsen in the fifth round. Gelfand deviated on move seven and then the players followed the game Fridman-Kramnik, Dortmund 2012 until move 11. “It’s not easy to play if you don’t know it because it’s a very sharp position and both pawns are hanging. I think Vassily found a good solution to be safe,” said Gelfand. Ivanchuk: “I remember that Fridman played 12.Qb3 but I didn’t analyse it.”

Gelfand (above, in the same press conference) showed a few variations on the laptop in the press room, and said about the final position: “White can never be worse here. I think as a player who played Catalan all my career, I like generally White’s possibilities with this bishop on the big diagonal.” Asked about the historical importance of this Candidates’ Tournament, Gelfand said: “Tournaments like these are a milestone. Unfortunately recently I feel that the respect to the players is dropping, maybe because of computers. People think ‘OK, he didn’t see this move, the computer shows 0.65’, and they tend to respect players less. But of course such a tournament is fantastic. It’s wonderful to play here.”

After an original start in another Grünfeld, Alexander Grischuk (above) and tournament leader Magnus Carlsen also agreed to a draw relatively quickly. In this game Grischuk went for the amazing 5.h4!?, a coffeehouse move that was recently put to the test by his ever-creative compatriot Alexander Morozevich. Carlsen’s thoughts at this point: “I just thought that in general 5…c6 shouldn’t lose. I also looked a little bit at some sharper alternatives but I couldn’t remember them so it made no sense for me to do that.”

Indeed Black’s position was OK until he went for the active but dubious 12…e5. Carlsen (above): “This was completely unnecessary. After 12…a6 or 12…Qe7 Black is absolutely fine.” Then White definitely had something, but Grischuk just couldn't find a way to profit. With only thirteen minutes left on the clock, the Russian started repeating moves. Carlsen didn’t see a reason to continue playing either: “At the end I simply have no way of saving the d-pawn and playing on. If there was I would because in general, in the long run I have more useful moves. But the d-pawn is falling so there’s nothing I can do.”

Vladimir Kramnik (above) beat Teimour Radjabov, who was under pressure right from the start and then fell for a nice trick on move 28. The opening was a rare variation of the Symmetrical English. “It was not really a case of preparation, more a case of memory,” said Kramnik. The Russian was happy about the first phase of the game: “The outcome of the opening was great. One hour on the clock, nice pressure… It couldn’t be better. It’s not much but Black has to play very accurately.” Radjabov: “I forgot the theory somehow. [At move 15] I couldn’t really find out what was the move.”

He hasn’t been too satisfied about his luck thus far in the tournament, but by now Kramnik really seems to have Caissa on his side. At move 28 he set a trap, and Radjabov fell for it. Kramnik: “I saw it, it’s a very nice trap, easy to fall for in time trouble. It was quite a nice combination.” The former World Champion, who spotted his trick as early as move 26, explained his good form as follows: “As I said at the start of the tournament, I just need to keep a good level of play and then the points will come. I will have to do the same for the rest of the tournament: I have to play well and not blunder anything.”

Having a very up and down tournament himself, Peter Svidler (above) played an important role for the tournament standings on Thursday. The grandmaster from St Petersburg won against Levon Aronian, who more or less blew up his position as he missed some crucial tactics – it was quite a similar scenario as his round 9 loss against Gelfand.

“Finally my refutation of the Nimzo, which people have been dodging so far, was revealed!” joked Svidler, who explained the game in length at the press conference. Visibly upset, Aronian remained quiet for most of the time. “After 22.c5 we come to the one big position in the game,” said Svidler. “After I saw 22…g5 I thought this was kind of uncalled for. After this Black’s position just collapses. The game was really decided in this one moment. I can definitely say I was a bit lucky today.”

“I just blundered 23.c6. Otherwise there’s nothing wrong with 22…g5. Like in the game with Gelfand I made a tactical blunder,” explained Aronian, who didn’t want to draw any conclusions yet. Replying to a journalist who wondered whether Carlsen and Kramnik were adopting a better strategy, the Armenian replied: “I think it would be better if I answered this after the end of the tournament. Perhaps we’ll see some strategy winning over another, but I don’t think the tournament has finished already.”

After eleven rounds, with 7.5 points Carlsen is still leading but now it’s Kramnik who is trailing by half a point. Aronian is clear third with 6.5 and Svidler clear fourth with 6 points. Grischuk and Gelfand are tied for fifth place with 5, Ivanchuk is 7th with 4 and Radjabov is last with 3.5 points. On Friday, March 29th at 14:00 GMT the twelfth round will be played: Carlsen-Ivanchuk, Gelfand-Svidler, Aronian-Kramnik and Radjabov-Grischuk.

Report by Peter Doggers, pictures by Pascal Simone for ChessBase

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