Candidates Final: Karjakin grabs second

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/30/2014 – Two very hard fought games were played today to wrap the games up in Khanty-Mansiysk. Topalov tried as hard as he could to avoid finishing at the bottom of the scoreboard, but Andreikin proved to be too resourceful and the game ended in a draw. Aronian's opening backfired and Karjakin comfortably pressured him through the game, in a marathon that lasted nearly seven hours.

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The FIDE Candidates Tournament is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia). The first round will start on Thursday, March 13 at 3 p.m. local time, the final round is on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The event is a double round robin (14 rounds). The time control is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 and 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61.

The tournament will determine the challenger who will face the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a title match later this year. The prize fund is 600,000 Euros (= US $832,000), the first place 135,000 and last (8th) place 25,000 Euros.

Round Fourteen

Round fourteen – 30.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Aronian Levon
0-1
Karjakin Sergey
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry

Daniel King shows the game Aronian vs Karjakin

The exciting 2014 Candidates Tournament has come to an end. Overall the tournament was incredibly hard fought, with battles, blunders, deep preparations, complete opening surprises and basically everything that fuels a fantastic event. Anand is without a doubt the deserved winner, but that was not was what at stake today.

FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov came in to see the last round of the event

Aronian, Levon 0-1 Karjakin, Sergey
The longest game by time by far in the tournament, clocking in at almost seven hours. Aronian decided to completely side-step the Sicilian by playing a strange 2.Nc3 3.Bc4 kind of set-up. Karjakin had no problems from the opening, but the position did become interesting.

Karjakin handled Aronian's strange opening without problems

Aronian won a pawn, but in exchange Karjakin received fabulous compensation in the form of active rooks and pressure across the board. Karjakin followed up with another strong sacrifice, this time the exchange on f3, and White's king position became unstable while Black had very strong pieces. Aronian almost immediately gave his material back but Black's pressure endured. This portion of the tournament was certainly far from accurate, but Black emerged with the advantage.

White obtained a passed pawn but his passive pieces and exposed king kept giving him headaches. Eventually Karjakin's pressure took a toll on Aronian who made a series of mistakes, losing him a piece. The ensuing Queen vs. Queen and Bishop endgame was certainly lost, but not trivially so. Karjakin's technique was spot on and he claims second place.

The difference between a draw and a win was about 40,000 Euros.
Not a bad reason to fight on.

Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ Svidler, Peter
With the tournament already in the bag it didn't make any sense for Anand to play for blood or to show anything new in his preparation. Svidler's Marshall was more than sufficient to jump into an easily drawn endgame.

Hard to press with Black against someone
that has no interest in allowing complications

Making a ceremonial first move in the now Challenger's board

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
Kramnik easily diffused Mamedyarov's Nimzo-Indian and it quickly fizzled out to a draw.

Money is split, so tiebreaks are not an issue if not fighting for first

Topalov, Veselin ½-½ Andreikin, Dmitry
The other hard-fought game of the round. White always had some lingering positional advantages in the position, especially targeting Black's weak pawns on the kingside. However Andreikin always had some nagging counterplay with his active pieces. Topalov managed to win a pawn but his own structure was compromised, eventually leading to an easily drawn bishop endgame.

Topalov played for a win but Andreikin held his own

Topalov finished in last, but he still gets 17,000 Euros

Games of the round:

Click on drop-down menu for all games

Standings after thirteen rounds

Photos from the official website

Schedule and results

Note: the games are played at 3 PM local time, which is 10 a.m. CET (Paris) and 5 a.m. EST (New York). Click here if you are uncertain what that means for your local time.

Round one – 13.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Aronian Levon
Round two – 14.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Kramnik Vladimir
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
1-0
Andreikin Dmitry
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Aronian Levon
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Round three – 15.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Aronian Levon
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
0-1
Anand Viswanathan
Round four – 17.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
Andreikin Dmitry
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Aronian Levon
1-0
Svidler Peter
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Round five – 18.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Svidler Peter
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
Aronian Levon
Round six – 19.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Aronian Levon
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
Svidler Peter
Topalov Veselin
1-0
Kramnik Vladimir
Round seven – 21.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
0-1
Aronian Levon
Svidler Peter
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Kramnik Vladimir
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Andreikin Dmitry
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Round eight – 22.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Svidler Peter
0-1
Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Aronian Levon
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Round nine – 23.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Kramnik Vladimir
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Svidler Peter
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
Aronian Levon
Round ten – 25.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Kramnik Vladimir
0-1
Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Round eleven – 26.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
½-½
Aronian Levon
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Round twelve – 27.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Veselin
1-0
Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Round thirteen – 29.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
1-0
Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Svidler Peter
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Kramnik Vladimir
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Round fourteen – 30.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Aronian Levon
0-1
Karjakin Sergey
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry

Links

The games are being 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.


Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Omoplata Omoplata 4/1/2014 10:21
Hi marco, no problem. Yes, it was pretty disastrous for Aronian as the tournament favourite. The biggest surprise to me is how Anand has proven everyone wrong, (some even unwisely saying before the tournament he was the least likely to win, which I thought was ridiculous), and he's cemented his reputation as one of the great chess legends.
marcok marcok 4/1/2014 08:29
Thanks!! So Aronian is going to lose 19 ELO points! It's quite shocking.
Omoplata Omoplata 3/31/2014 07:11
Hi marco; the +/- refers to the rating points the player will gain or lose due to the tournament. For example Anand's rating is 2770 and he got +15 from the tournament, so his new rating will be 2785, (assuming he doesn't play any more rated games before the next rating list).
michael ayton michael ayton 3/31/2014 02:22
'Kramnik easily diffused [yes, that's what he wrote] Mamedyarov's Nimzo-Indian ...'

One day chess commentators will learn the meaning of words!
marcok marcok 3/31/2014 11:10
Please somebody explain to me the scoring system in the standings table. I assume "Perf." is the ELO performance, but what is the "+/-"?
thank you
marco
Freeman Carter Freeman Carter 3/31/2014 08:41
@Jorge I think Aronian's tournament placing is a bit deceiving. If he won the last game against Karjakin, he would've taken 2nd place and Karjakin would've taken 2nd to last. -1 isn't a terrible score, but relative to his rating, it leaves something to be desired.
Jorge Shinozaki Jorge Shinozaki 3/30/2014 06:33
I hope Aronian does better next time because it would be very interesting to see him challenging the world champion for the crown.
In my opinion, Levon is the most creative and talented player of today. I'm following the Candidates since 2012 and I wonder why he haven't performed so well as he usually does in other tournaments.
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