Candidates R10: Caruana wins, joins lead

by Sagar Shah
3/23/2016 – Specifically Fabiano Caruana ripped open his kingside with a piece sacrifice to beat Viswanathan Anand and catch Sergey Karjakin, who drew against Anish Giri, in the overall lead. Peter Svidler and Hikaru Nakamura drew in a strategic battle. Levon Aronian vs Veselin Topalov was a long manouvering draw. Here are pictures and analysis, and revealing video interviews conducted immediately after the games.

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The 2016 FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament is a 14-round event, which determines the next Challenger to Magnus Carlsen's title, is taking place in Moscow from March 10–30. Eight players, including six of the World’s top-ten rated grandmasters. The time control is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move one. The guaranteed prize fund is US $420,000.

Candidates round ten – Caruana wins, joins the leader

Report from Moscow by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

Round 10, Wed. 23 March 2016
Svidler Peter
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Giri Anish
Caruana Fabiano
1-0
Anand Viswanathan
Aronian Levon
½-½
Topalov Veselin

Note that ChessBase is doing daily one-hour roundup shows after each round

It was quite a sight when three of the four games in the Candidates 2016 reached the same position after six moves! It is almost unbelievable because not only did the players reach exactly the same position, but they also played the same move order to get there! The line chosen by them was a the Classical Four Knights Variation in the English. Let us try to delve into its history a little bit.

The first game played in this line was in 1938 between Hanaeur and Rehevsky in the 1938 US Championships. Since then a lot of top players have used this variation. Its real popularity increased in the 70s. Name a World Champion and he has either tried this system with white or with black, some with both colours – Smyslov, Petrosian, Karpov, Kasparov, were the main exponents. Wolfgang Uhlmann was one of the players who played it exclusive with white and brought in a lot of new ideas. The line reached its pinnacle of popularity in the year 1987 when Kasparov played it thrice with the white pieces against Karpov in their World Championship Match and this produced three decisive results (one win for Kasparov and two for Karpov). Garry used this same preparation to blow Vassily Ivanchuk off the board in 1988, in a game that is considered as one of the great classics.

The reason why this line was so popular at the top level is because of the rich and varied possibilities that arise for both sides. Such variations always attract top players, and is one of the reason why we are seeing it being played in a high level event as the Candidates. While Nakamura and Topalov continued with the more position line with 6…d6, Anand chose the more complex approach with 6…e4 followed by Bxc3. White got a comfortable position in all the three games, but only Caruana was able to squeeze out a win. Let’s begin with this, the only decisive game of the day.

Fabiano Caruana – Viswanathan Anand 1-0

With two victories in last three rounds, Fabiano is making a dash towards the finish line!

I might not be completely wrong to say that 12.Qc2, which was a novelty, was the winning move of the game. The reason is very simple – Rustam Kasimdzhanov found this idea on the night before the game, discussed it with Caruana. Together they must have seen quite a few variations and also understood how things flow in this line. In short Caruana had a feel for the position. When Anand got it on the board he couldn’t really unravel the details in just 10-15 minutes. The position was just too complicated. As you can see in the analysis below, Fabiano showed a few variations which, according to him, even the computers do not understand. This shows that the move 12.Qc2 was an excellent practical choice and something that we can expect from a top level second like Kasimdzhanov, who incidentally used to be Anand's second.

The duo of Fabiano and Rustam have had their ups and downs at the event
but when it was is needed the most things have started to fall in place for them

Peter Svidler analyzes the game of Caruana and Anand in the playing hall after his own game ended in a draw

[Event "Candidates 2016"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.23"] [Round "10"] [White "Caruana, Fabiano"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2794"] [BlackElo "2762"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "65"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O e4 7. Ng5 Bxc3 8. bxc3 Re8 9. f3 {We saw this same opening in the game between Peter Svidler and Sergey Karjakin in the eighth round of the tournament. In that encounter, Sergey had played e3. Vishy goes for the more normal approach by taking the pawn on f3.} exf3 10. Nxf3 d5 11. d4 $5 {This move came into popularity when Garry Kasparov used it to beat Vassily Ivanchuk in 1988. It was revelation at that moment in time, and even now the line has not been thoroughy investigated, as Caruana shows in this game.} (11. cxd5 Qxd5 $13 {How can Black play such a position where his opponent has a bishop pair and also the huge central mass of pawns? The answer is that the central pawns cannot really advance easily and Black has activity. Chess cannot be so generic that in an open position the bishop pair have to be better!}) 11... dxc4 ({The famous game between Kasparov and Ivanchuk continued in this manner.} 11... Ne4 12. Qc2 dxc4 13. Rb1 f5 14. g4 $1 Qe7 15. gxf5 Nd6 16. Ng5 Qxe2 17. Bd5+ Kh8 18. Qxe2 Rxe2 19. Bf4 Nd8 20. Bxd6 cxd6 21. Rbe1 Rxe1 22. Rxe1 Bd7 23. Re7 Bc6 24. f6 $1 {What a game! 1-0 (24) Kasparov,G (2760)-Ivanchuk,V (2625) Moscow 1988}) 12. Qc2 $146 { The novelty. Afterwards Caruana said that he had prepared this novelty just the previous night with Rustam Kasimdzhanov. He hadn't spent much time on it but had realized that this was interesting and well worth giving a try.} ({ The only move that had been played before was Bg5. What would have convinced Caruana that Anand would choose this line? First of all Anand had played it against Aronian in the Sinquefield Cup 2015, and then Vishy's second Gajewski had also tried it against Tomashevsky in the World Blitz. This is a good enough proof that Anand had worked out the opening with his second.} 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bxf6 Qxf6 14. e4 Qd6 (14... Bg4 {was the Aronian-Anand game.} 15. Qa4 Qd6 16. Rae1 Rab8 17. Qxc4 b5 $11 {1/2-1/2 (31) Aronian,L (2765)-Anand,V (2816) Saint Louis 2015}) 15. Nd2 Bd7 16. Nxc4 Qe7 17. Qf3 $16 {1-0 (66) Tomashevsky, E (2758)-Gajewski,G (2654) Berlin 2015}) 12... h6 {Anand replies in the most human way as possible. The move is absolutely correct and stops ideas like Bg5 and Ng5.} (12... Rb8 13. Ng5 h6 14. Rxf6 hxg5 15. Rf2 $16 {with e4 coming up is completely better for White.}) (12... Ne4 13. Ne5 $1 Nxe5 14. Qxe4 Ng4 15. Qf4 $14) 13. Bf4 {Caruana played these moves pretty quickly while Anand was thinking quite a bit. This is just a normal developing move with the idea of bringing the rook to the centre.} Ne4 {This knight move is natural, but it forces Black to be accurate.} (13... Rb8 14. Rae1 b5 15. e4 {Looks quite scary to face over the board.}) (13... Nd5 {According to Caruana the computer prefers this move but after} 14. e4 Nxf4 15. gxf4 {it looks completely better for White (according to Fabiano). The computer doesn't agree with this evaluation but when a player like Fabiano says that this looks horrible for Black, we must definitely pay attention to that.} Bg4 16. Rae1 {Maybe future games on this line will prove whether Black really has a huge advantage or not. }) 14. Rad1 Bf5 {The reason this move is dangerous is because it forces Black to be extremely accurate. When your opponent has checked the lines at home and you haven't, this is not a good position to be in. Now Black has threats like Nxg3, but White's next move simply ignores it!} (14... Qe7 {was the other approach here and this looked much safer.}) 15. Ne5 $1 Nd6 (15... Nxg3 { This is once again the computer's suggestion.} 16. e4 Nxf1 (16... Nxe4 17. Bxe4 Bxe4 18. Qxe4 f6 19. Nxc6 $16) 17. exf5 Nxh2 18. Bxh2 {[%csl Gg2,Gh2] The computer assesses this position as even, but Caruana felt that this should be definitely better for White, especially with those two bishops aiming at the queenside. It is not so easy to say who is right, but I really like White's position.}) 16. e4 Bh7 {Black is a pawn up but these guys on e4 and d4 are just too strong. Caruana's next move is also accurate.} 17. Qe2 $1 {Already it is very difficult for Black to find a move. He cannot take on e5 and White's threat is to simply take on c6, follow it up with e5 and then take the pawn on c4.} Ne7 {I do not give it a dubious or a question mark because it was already very difficult to suggest a move for Black.} 18. Bxh6 $1 {There are many other options in the position, but if Bxh6 is good then we do not need to indulge in other lines.} gxh6 19. Qh5 {There are all sorts of threats in the position. The f7 pawn is hanging, and so is the one on h6. Ng4 is in the air and also Rf4 is threatened. The defensive task for Black is not at all easy.} Nef5 { Black rushes to give back a piece, but now it is just suffering without even having material gains.} (19... Nd5 $5 20. Nxf7 $5 (20. exd5 Qg5 21. Qf3 { doesn't look so great, but is maybe better than the game.}) 20... Nf6 21. Nxh6+ Kh8 22. Qh3 $40 {is also not so easy for Black to play as Rf4-h4 is a huge threat.}) (19... Rf8 20. Qxh6 Nxe4 21. Bxe4 Bxe4 22. Rf4 Qd6 23. Rg4+ Ng6 ( 23... Bg6 24. Rh4) 24. Rxe4 $16) 20. exf5 (20. Rf4 Ng7 21. Qxh6 Re6 22. Qh3 Qg5 {Even here White has the advantage, but what Caruana played was better.}) 20... Qg5 21. Qxg5+ hxg5 22. f6 $16 {It goes without saying that White is better, but Anand's next move takes him out of the fire into the frying pan!} Ne4 $6 ( 22... Rad8 {White's advantage is beyond any doubt here, but Anand can definitely fight on.}) 23. Rfe1 $1 (23. Bxe4 Bxe4 24. Nxc4 {was also better for White.}) 23... Nxc3 (23... Nd6 24. Bd5 $1 c6 25. Bxc4 (25. Nxc4 $1) 25... Rxe5 26. Bxf7+ Kxf7 27. dxe5 $18) 24. Rc1 $1 Nb5 25. Bxb7 Rad8 (25... Rab8 26. Bc6 Re6 (26... Red8 27. Bxb5 Rxb5 28. Nc6 Ra8 29. Rxc4 $18) 27. d5 $18) 26. Bc6 Nxd4 27. Bxe8 Rxe8 28. Kf2 Nc2 29. Red1 (29. Re2 Nd4 30. Rb2 {was also possible.}) 29... Be4 30. Nxc4 Re6 31. Rd8+ Kh7 32. Kg1 $1 {Caruana plays this phase of the game with extreme accuracy.} Rxf6 33. Rf1 $1 {The final move exchanging the rooks. Anand resigned the game, seeing that further resistance would be futile. A great victory for Caruana and a pretty disastrous game for Anand.} 1-0

Fabiano revealed a secret after the game: “Today I got a forecast from a fortune cookie which said – with every day my probability for a big financial success is increasing, which seems to be pretty accurate!”

Fabiano Caruana discusses his game with Ian Nepomniachtchi
as German reporters Ulrich Stock and Steffan Loeffler look on

Peter Svidler – Hikaru Nakamura 0.5-0.5

White seemed to have a slight edge that remained right until the end of the game. Maybe with 25.Bc3 Peter could have kept his extra pawn and made Black to suffer. Instead he allowed Rh4 and the game ended in a draw. In the post-game interview Nakamura did say something interesting which would be interesting for chess analysts to go over.

Hikaru said that in the above position Black’s move 11…Qe7 is the best. That is also the move he played. Why did he not play 11…Qd7 which looks more logical? Hikaru said that 11…Qd7 is a mistake. Working for a few minutes with the engine I wasn’t able to find anything particularly wrong with Qd7. But maybe there is a deep point which I am missing and I invite the readers to have a crack at this position to know whether Nakamura was correct or not.

Unbelievable! All the games have the same position!

[Event "Candidates 2016"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.23"] [Round "10"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2790"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "60"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O d6 (6... e4 { is the much sharper line.}) 7. d3 h6 8. Na4 $5 {Of course, the idea of this move is to catch the bishop on b4.} a5 9. b3 Re8 10. Bb2 Bf5 11. e3 Qe7 { The main reason why the queen is not so well placed on e7 is because from d7 it can prepare the bishop going to h3, and also the e7 square can be kept free for the knight on c6.} ({After the game Hikaru said that he knew Qd7 wasn't a good move. It seems like he confused this position with some other position, or he saw something really deep, because on the surface Qd7 looks perfectly alright. The thing to worry about is surely d4 trying to trap the bishop. So let's have a look at that move.} 11... Qd7 12. d4 e4 13. Nh4 Bg4 14. Qc2 d5 $5 (14... g5 {now doesn't work due to} 15. f3 $1 {and now Black would have hoped that his queen was on e7.}) 15. a3 Bf8 16. Nc3 {and this might be the position which has to be delved into.}) 12. a3 (12. d4 e4 13. Nh4 Bg4 14. Qc2 g5 $15) 12... Bc5 13. Nc3 (13. h3 $5 $14 {I like this move because it takes advantage of the fact that the queen and the bishop have not taken control of the c8-h3 diagonal.}) 13... Qd7 {Now that d4 is no longer a threat, Black puts his queen on the right spot and prepares Bh3.} 14. Nd5 (14. Re1 $5 {should have been given a serious thought, as the g2 bishop is the soul of the position, and keeping it on the board is in White's favour.} Bh3 15. Bh1 $14) 14... Nxd5 15. cxd5 Ne7 16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd4 {White would have had a pretty big edge here if his rook was on e1. As it turns out the rook is still on f1 and the bishops can be exchanged with Bh3.} Bh3 $1 $11 18. e4 c6 19. dxc6 Nxc6 20. Bxh3 Qxh3 21. Nxc6 bxc6 22. b4 Bb6 (22... axb4 23. axb4 Rxa1 (23... Bxb4 24. Qd4 $18) 24. Bxa1 (24. Qxa1 Bxb4 25. Bxg7 Rxe4 $11 26. Bh8 {is nicely refuted by} Qxf1+ $1 27. Kxf1 Re1+ 28. Qxe1 Bxe1 $17) 24... Ba7 25. Qxd6 Rxe4 26. Bc3 (26. Qxc6 $2 Bxf2+ $1 $19) 26... Qe6 $11) 23. Qxd6 Rxe4 24. Qxc6 Rae8 25. Qxb6 $6 (25. Bc3 { was an oppotunity to play for a win with the extra pawn.} axb4 26. axb4 Qe6 27. Qxe6 R8xe6 $14 {White has decent chances to press in this position.}) 25... Rh4 $1 {This leads to an immediate draw.} 26. gxh4 Qg4+ 27. Kh1 Qf3+ 28. Kg1 Qg4+ 29. Kh1 Qf3+ 30. Kg1 Qg4+ 1/2-1/2

Sergey Karjakin – Anish Giri 0.5-0.5

Maybe I too should have tried the English? Karjakin looking at the big screen to check other games

Another game which will end up in the Meran books showing how Black can equalize without any problems out of the opening! Anish Giri has made ten draws on a trot in this tournament. But against Karjakin it wasn’t his fault that Sergey was not in an ambitious mood. Anish made the most solid moves out of the opening, got in …c5 after due preparation and made a relatively easy draw.

Black must make sure that his bishop on b7 doesn’t become passive forever. The thing about these top players is that you will never see them making a committal decision like a5-a4 if they aren’t sure that they cannot get in c5. One can bank on Anish to find the best way to engineer the c5 break in the position. He began with 20…Qe7 and then after 21.Qc2 came the important move 21…Rfe8! 22.Bf3 c5! You can have a look at the analysis below for more information.

[Event "Candidates 2016"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.23"] [Round "10"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Giri, Anish"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D46"] [WhiteElo "2760"] [BlackElo "2793"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "62"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e3 {If you are playing the Meran against Anish you should have a really good idea up your sleeve or else it will just be a draw!} Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 b5 10. Bd3 Bb7 11. a3 Rc8 12. b4 (12. Ng5 c5 $5 {was the famous Aronian-Anand Wijk Aan Zee 2013 game.}) 12... a5 (12... c5 {is also a possible move, but we won't delve into the details right now.}) 13. Qb3 $146 {The first new move of the game, but it doesn't change the nature of the position.} (13. Rb1 {is the more common move.}) 13... e5 $1 {Good reaction by Anish, who knows the details of this opening quite well.} 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 g6 (15... exd4 {was also possible.} 16. exd4 Nf6 17. Bf5 Ra8 $11) 16. dxe5 Nxe5 17. Nxe5 Bxe5 18. Bb2 a4 (18... Bxh2+ {wins a pawn but is positionally flawed.} 19. Kxh2 Qh4+ 20. Kg1 Qxe4 21. Qc3 $1 f6 22. bxa5 $14 {White is better, not only because he won back the pawn on a5 but because his bishop is clearly superior to the one on b7, and in opposite coloured bishop positions that is what matters.}) 19. Qc2 Bxb2 20. Qxb2 Qe7 $1 {Look how accurately Anish solves the problem of his b7 bishop. } 21. Qc2 (21. Bd3 c5 22. Bxb5 Bxg2 $1 $15 {[%cal Ge7b7]}) 21... Rfe8 $1 { Forcing the bishop to move and then going c5 so that the rook on e8 will be ready to swing to e5.} 22. Bf3 c5 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. bxc5 Re5 25. Rfc1 Qc6 ( 25... Rexc5 26. Qxc5 Rxc5 27. Rxc5 $14) 26. Rab1 Rxc5 27. Qxc5 Qxc5 28. Rxc5 Rxc5 $11 29. Kf1 h5 30. Ke2 Rc2+ 31. Kf3 Rc5 {A technically clean game by Anish and nothing special shown by Karjakin. Maybe he was just happy with a draw.} 1/2-1/2

How do I get this draw monkey off my back?!!

How does he do it? Sergey Karjakin has looked extremely solid in this event.

Incidentally one of the leaders, Sergey Karjakin, is the subject of an interesting new ChessBase DVD:

Chess Prodigies Uncovered:
Sergey Karjakin

By IM Lorin D'Costa

Languages: English
ISBN: 978-3-86681-379-3
Delivery: Download, Post
Level: Beginner, advanced, tournament player
Price: €27.90 or €23.45 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU) $25.33 (without VAT)

Sergey Karjakin hit the headlines in 2002 when he became the world’s youngest ever grandmaster aged just 12 years and 7 months, a record which shocked the chess world and still stands today.

In this new series with ChessBase, IM Lorin D’Costa investigates the famous prodigy focusing mainly on Sergey’s early career from aspiring nine-year-old up to grandmaster at twelve, culminating in his current world top ten status, and on who his rivals are for the title of world champion.

Not many chess players can say they defeated a grandmaster at age 11, but Sergey did when he defeated Pavel Eljanov in the Ukrainian Team Championships in 2001, and from a level endgame at that! How did Sergey defeat one of the world’s best players, Alexei Shirov, with masterful precision at the age of just 12? How did Sergey grind down the reigning world champion Vladimir Kramnik in 2004 in an opposite coloured bishop ending in the Dortmund playoff aged just 14? Enjoy these and many other scintillating games, along with the new ChessBase interactive format of Question & Answer, to enjoy an interesting documentary about one of the strongest players in modern day chess and his road from young prodigy to grandmaster and beyond!

Video running time: 5 hours.

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Levon Aronian – Veselin Topalov 0.5-0.5

Aronian began the game with a slight advantage. His edge grew substantially when instead of going Bh3 Topalov decided to play Ne4. After that it seemed as if Levon would grind down his opponent, or at least put some pressure on him. But it turned out that he wasn’t in the best possible shape and let the advantage slip in a matter of four moves. The pressure is surely getting to the Armenian, who in some ways is unable to showcase his best chess here as the tournament is coming close to an end. Yet, he is just half a point behind the leaders and definitely still has chances to win the tournament.

In this final position Topalov played 58…Bd8.
But there was a more interesting way to draw the game

[Event "Candidates 2016"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.23"] [Round "10"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A29"] [WhiteElo "2786"] [BlackElo "2780"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "116"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. d3 h6 8. Na4 a5 9. b3 Qe7 {Topalov also put his queen on e7. His move order is different from Nakamura based on the fact that the rook is still on f8 and not e8.} 10. Bb2 Bc5 11. e3 Ba7 12. Nc3 Re8 13. Nh4 Qd8 14. Qd2 Ne7 15. Rad1 c6 16. Ne2 (16. d4 {Looked like an obvious try especially because e4 is not possible.} exd4 17. exd4 d5 18. Rfe1 $14) 16... Nf5 17. Nxf5 Bxf5 {Black has developed all his pieces and should be equal.} 18. d4 Qc8 19. Nc3 exd4 20. exd4 Ne4 $6 {Why the sudden change of plans?} (20... Bh3 {was surely the normal way to continue and would have given Black no real problems.}) 21. Nxe4 Bxe4 22. Bxe4 Rxe4 23. Rfe1 $1 {All of a sudden the rook on a8 is far away from the battlefield and White can look forward to at least a small edge.} Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 Qf5 25. Re7 Rb8 26. Kg2 $16 {White is clearly better. He has an active rook, the pawn on a5 is a tad weak, while his bishop on b2 is perfect. All in all this should be a typical Levon advantage which he can slowly and steadily convert with his good technique. But look how quickly he messes things up.} Bb6 27. Qe2 d5 28. c5 ( 28. Qf3 $5 {was worth thinking about.} Qxf3+ 29. Kxf3 dxc4 (29... Kf8 30. Ba3 $18) 30. bxc4 Rd8 (30... c5 31. d5 $16) 31. c5 $18) 28... Bd8 29. Re8+ Kh7 30. Bc3 $6 (30. Qf3 $5 $16) 30... Rc8 $1 31. Rf8 Bc7 $1 {With the exchange of rooks White's advantage withers away and the game ended in a draw.} 32. Rxc8 Qxc8 33. Qe7 Kg8 34. h4 h5 35. Bd2 Qd8 36. Qe2 g6 37. Qe1 Kg7 38. a3 Qf6 39. b4 axb4 40. axb4 Qf5 41. Qd1 f6 42. Be1 Kf7 43. f3 g5 {Black has already taken over the initiative, but it is not sufficient for a big advantage.} 44. Bf2 Qg6 45. Kf1 Qf5 46. Kg2 g4 47. f4 Qe4+ 48. Kg1 Ke6 49. Qb3 Qe2 50. Qb1 f5 51. Qa1 Qa6 52. Qe1+ Kf7 53. Qb1 Kf6 54. Qe1 Qa8 55. Qe2 Qc8 56. b5 Qe6 57. Qxe6+ Kxe6 58. b6 {[%cal Gc7f4]} Bd8 (58... Bxf4 59. gxf4 {Even this position is drawn!}) 1/2-1/2

Although Veselin has absolutely no chances to fight for the first place, he can really
make a difference in the tournament standings, as he faces Fabiano Caruana today

It doesn’t matter whether Levon wins, draws or losses,
he always has affectionate fans waiting for him outside the playing hall

Levon Aronian cannot believe that he was so much better in the game!

As soon as a game is over, people representing different newspapers and media houses have to proceed towards the commentary room from the press centre. While doing that they have to pass a corridor manned by security guards. Whenever a player goes to the restroom this corridor is locked making the reporters wait on either side. Sometimes there is quite a bit of traffic jam, as you can see above!

Look who made it to the playing venue (1): Anatoly Karpov! The 12th World Champion is extremely busy these days with his political engagements and finds very little time to stay in touch with chess.

Yet, his eyes light up when an interesting chess position flashes in front of him!

Look who made it to the playing venue (2): Joel Lautier. This top French grandmaster has stopped playing active chess for quite some time now. He is based in Moscow where he has started his own enterprise and is the CEO of RCG Capital, a firm that deals in Mergers and Acquisitions.
 

Paul Hoffmann is the president and CEO of Liberty Science Centre in Jersey City

Paul was the last man standing when world champion Magnus Carlsen played blindfold blitz chess against three challengers. He is currently assisting LSC visiting grandmaster Fabiano Caruana in his quest to become the first American to win the world chess championship since Bobby Fischer in 1972.

When we asked this lady who her favourite player was, she replied, “Viswanathan Anand,because like me he is a vegetarian!” But does she know that he eats chicken and seafoods?

Susanna Gaboyan, rated 2175, has come all the way from Armenian to support Levon Aronian

Russian Higher League 2014 winner and twice silver medalist at the World Juniors, Olga Girya (left),
comes to the tournament hall almost every day and plays as many blitz games as she can.
Is it a good way to improve your chess? Ask Mikhail Tal!

WGM Karina Ambartsumova supports Levon Aronian in this event

A visitor, captivated by the 64 squares!

On the rest day, Amruta and I made our way to the home of one of the most famous trainers in the world, Mark Dvorestsky. In the picture above Mark is seen with his wife Inna. The readers of ChessBase will be treated to a huge interview with Dvoretsky, one that deals with how to become better at the game and also how to become a better trainer, after the Candidates tournament is over. I have read almost all of his books, and he is one reason I became an IM.

On a parting note we leave you with a short video of the Red Square. This prime tourist location in Moscow is spacious and beautiful. This video will give you a feel, and we will promise you special pictures of the place in our next report.

The games to look forward in the eleventh round are Anand taking on Karjakin with the white pieces and Topalov as White against Fabiano Caruana! The tournament is still wide open, although one gets the feeling that it now going to be a battle between four players: Karjakin, Caruana, Anand and Aronian. Let’s see if Anish can get back into the tournament with his first win today!

All photos by Amruta Mokal of ChessBase India

Standings after ten rounds

 

Pairings and results

Round 1, Friday 11 March 2016
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Svidler Peter
Nakamura Hikaru
½-½
Caruana Fabiano
Giri Anish
½-½
Aronian Levon
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Round 2, Saturday 12 March 2016
Svidler Peter ½-½ Topalov Veselin
Aronian Levon ½-½ Anand Viswanathan
Caruana Fabiano ½-½ Giri Anish
Karjakin Sergey 1-0 Nakamura Hikaru
Round 3, Sunday 13 March 2016
Nakamura Hikaru
½-½
Svidler Peter
Giri Anish
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Caruana Fabiano
Topalov Veselin
0-1
Aronian Levon
Rest day, Monday 14 March 2016
Round 4, Tuesday 15 March 2016
Svidler Peter
½-½
Aronian Levon
Caruana Fabiano
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Anand Viswanathan
Nakamura Hikaru
½-½
Giri Anish
Round 5, Wed. 16 March 2016
Giri Anish ½-½ Svidler Peter
Anand Viswanathan ½-½ Nakamura Hikaru
Topalov Veselin ½-½ Karjakin Sergey
Aronian Levon ½-½ Caruana Fabiano
Round 6, Thursday 17 March 2016
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Svidler Peter
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Giri Anish
Aronian Levon
1-0
Nakamura Hikaru
Caruana Fabiano
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Rest day, Friday 18 March 2016
Round 7, Saturday 19 March 2016
Svidler Peter
½-½
Caruana Fabiano
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Aronian Levon
Nakamura Hikaru
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Giri Anish
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
 
Round 8, Sunday 20 March 2016
Svidler Peter
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Caruana Fabiano
1-0
Nakamura Hikaru
Aronian Levon
½-½
Giri Anish
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Round 9, Monday 21 March 2016
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Svidler Peter
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Aronian Levon
Giri Anish
½-½
Caruana Fabiano
Nakamura Hikaru
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Rest day, Tuesday 22 March 2016
Round 10, Wed. 23 March 2016
Svidler Peter
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Giri Anish
Caruana Fabiano
1-0
Anand Viswanathan
Aronian Levon
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Round 11, Thursday 24 March 2016
Aronian Levon   Svidler Peter
Topalov Veselin   Caruana Fabiano
Anand Viswanathan   Karjakin Sergey
Giri Anish   Nakamura Hikaru
Round 12, Friday 25 March 2016
Svidler Peter   Giri Anish
Nakamura Hikaru   Anand Viswanathan
Karjakin Sergey   Topalov Veselin
Caruana Fabiano   Aronian Levon
Rest day, Saturday 26 March 2016
Round 13, Sunday 27 March 2016
Caruana Fabiano   Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon   Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Veselin   Nakamura Hikaru
Anand Viswanathan   Giri Anish
Round 14, Monday 28 March 2016
Svidler Peter   Anand Viswanathan
Giri Anish   Topalov Veselin
Nakamura Hikaru   Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey   Caruana Fabiano

Roundup broadcasts

ChessBase is doing roundup shows at the end of each round of the Candidates.

Here is the full schedule of future broadcasts – you need to be a premium member to watch

Roundup Commentary Schedule

Date Day Round English German
23.03.2016 Wednesday Round 10 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
24.03.2016 Thursday Round 11 Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
25.03.2016 Friday Round 12 Daniel King Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
26.03.2016 Saturday Free day Summary Yannick Pelletier  
27.03.2016 Sunday Round 13 Daniel King Klaus Bischoff
28.03.2016 Monday Round 14 Yannick Pelletier Klaus Bischoff

Links



Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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X iLeon aka DMG X iLeon aka DMG 3/24/2016 03:20
Wow, some of the commentors (e.g. @truthbe) are like flies! Every time a bright light flashes they forget everything else! Suddenly it's all about Caruana playing the final and Vishy having squandered his chance to be the "Mohammed Ali of" chess??? Oh, come on! Please! This is a chess site, not News of the World. A little more substance and thought would be fitting! Personally, with 4 more rounds to go, I think this competition is wide open. Karjakin, Caruana, Anand and Aronian are all pretty much still in it. And we have a crucial Karjakin Caruana match coming up! If either wins this it would be quite telling - I expect a draw of course.
karavamudan karavamudan 3/24/2016 01:36
this match seems to revolve around whether Anand makes it or not - a tribute to the aged star. Where will Carlsen be at 45?
sicilian_D sicilian_D 3/24/2016 08:57
thanks chessdrummer.
ashperov ashperov 3/24/2016 06:50
Giri is the player with the best chance against Carlsen. But his strength is also his weakness. Fabio and Sergey both will be decent candidates anyway. But Giri would actually be a favorite in a match
chessdrummer chessdrummer 3/24/2016 06:49
Comments about Anand are ill-conceived. He lost a tough game. How is it when you say nothing that you show no class? That is a first. Anand is a class act and we can thank him for rescuing the chess cycle from chaos when we were have so many conflicts... with divided crown, toilet controversies and such. A bunch of classless GMs who won't shake hands. You will never find that with Anand. He agreed to every single format and even played Topalov in Bulgaria when he was the reigning champion. If you say Anand has no class because he lost, then you haven't followed his entire career. Your sample may be a single game... yesterday's.
karavamudan karavamudan 3/24/2016 06:27
Anand lost, so what? He will rebound.

Caruana-Carlsen will only be interesting for the olden-goldies who like positional maneuvering and long dry games. In such games Fabi will get into time trouble, blunder and lose.

Anand-Carlsen games will then seem much better as Anand plays dynamic chess.
Userw Userw 3/24/2016 05:41
I think it is a reflection of the times that everyone is excited about a couple of players who have drawn every single game and snuck in a couple of victories. The creative players who are fighting for wins and who may lose don't matter.
akhilcr666 akhilcr666 3/24/2016 05:32
Anand !!! will emerge as the candidate winner :)
lighttpd lighttpd 3/24/2016 05:10
my two cents :)) cheers guys


http://poll.pollcode.com/22674577_result_duplicate
vinniethepooh vinniethepooh 3/24/2016 03:14
Fabiano!World no.2!
sicilian_D sicilian_D 3/24/2016 02:13
of course I am Anand fan, and yes, yesterday was quite disappointing, but I'd like to know what the refutation is... if someone has an idea before the actual report comes out, please let me know :) Thank you
thlai80 thlai80 3/24/2016 02:12
Giri play has been super(!) ... disappointing. He is becoming a non-factor, and giving free 1/2 point to anyone who plays him. Remove him from the cross table and the standings are still the same to everyone else.

Caruana vs Carlsen would be a much more mouth-watering than Karjakin or Anand. Caruana was at one point #2 after blazing the Sinquefield in 2014, and threatening to overtake Carlsen astronomical rating before he slowed down. Is Caruana reserving his real ability to Carlsen?
Depsipeptide Depsipeptide 3/24/2016 01:50
There are no English candidates in Moscow but the players paid homage to them by indulging in a English theme tournament.
Karjakin-Giri: Subtleties for both sides but good preparation led to a quiet draw. Time is running out for Anish.
Aronian-Nakamura: The English led to a balanced middlegame and a draw that dent's Levon's chances for first.
Svidler-Topalov: Same English and same result. In the unlikely event that Peter wins every game he could still win the tournament.
Caruana-Anand: Game of the round. Another English but certainly not insipid. Caruana played sharply and quickly got a big edge. Whether he's winning or losing, you can bet on Anand's speedy play and he went down quickly. A critical game for the two and one wonders if Anand's openings are affected by his ex-seconds becoming guns for hire- Nielsen switched to Carlsen and now Kasimdzhanov to Caruana.
Pionki Pionki 3/24/2016 01:01
Czas, aby starsi udali sie na zasłużoną emeryturę.
diegoami diegoami 3/24/2016 12:27
I hate the new games interface...
Rational Rational 3/23/2016 11:28
@asoni quite correct, all this stuff about what a nice guy Anand is, when he loses he is just as bad if not worse a loser as any of them
Meckerel Meckerel 3/23/2016 11:19
Caruana has been playing really well ... taking risks and trying different openings. I see a more mature player and I think now he is ready for Magnus. But yes ... still 4 rounds to go and still there are a lot of fights ahead.
Queenslander Queenslander 3/23/2016 10:26
Fabiano!! @Truthbe: Yes, he's looking like the Challenger but there's still four rounds to play, especially his final game vs Karjakin!
DJones DJones 3/23/2016 10:18
manners don't sell in NYC. Brash sells in NYC. No one wants to see two emotionless geeks slap fighting for 20 days.
asoni asoni 3/23/2016 10:14
funny how everyone says anand is class but when he lose he dont speak for cameras or at press conf. nice victory for caruana and overall he fights hard when he is in bad positon. it would be good for chess too that we see caruana calrsen. go caruana go
DJones DJones 3/23/2016 10:11
Caruana v. Carlsen will be as interesting as paint drying. All magnus has to do is sit and wait and Caruana who has been dead lost at least 4 times in this event will just blunder and lose. Can someone download a personality into his brain. He is from new York like the blues is from the bight of biafra.
Hhorse Hhorse 3/23/2016 10:00
Fab-iano-ulous! There's hope we might see the much-expected Carlsen-Caruana match!
Mithrull Mithrull 3/23/2016 09:55
YYYEEESSS!!! Go Fabi!
Webbimio Webbimio 3/23/2016 08:56
Anand in the press conference: how to gain (or not lose) 10,000 euros by saying just one word :)
okfine90 okfine90 3/23/2016 08:39
Ok so four more rounds left!. It's nearly clear that it could be any one out of Caruana ,Anand ,Karjakin ,Aronian winning the candidates. Round 11 results will give a very good predication now. It's nearly forced for Anand to win round 11 . Because the probability of Caruana beating Topolov and Aronian beating Svidler is larger than Anand beating Karjakin .
catlin catlin 3/23/2016 08:34
If Caruana wins, it will be nice to have someone from Brooklyn playing in New York.
monty fufu monty fufu 3/23/2016 07:52
Caruana is such a likeable gentleman and a credit to his nation. The final round pairing with Karjakin begins to look like a spectacular climax.
bolter41 bolter41 3/23/2016 07:00
Here comes Fabiano!
Rational Rational 3/23/2016 06:36
Anand with black is much weaker than the White Anand, with White he may still be Second best in World but with he tries to force equality with calculated drying lines which can rebound as here.
Truthbe Truthbe 3/23/2016 05:56
Sadly, Anand's legacy ended today. I thought he could be a Mohammad Ali of boxing if he came back to fight Carlsen. But its now Caruana who will be fighting Carlsen. A new start to the world championship with two youngsters fighting.
VVI VVI 3/23/2016 05:33
Come on Anand; what an embarrassing game! Caruana was getting to be a threat and all you had to do was to play a solid line to hold him off. Now you have to get back and win a few more games. Makes the candidates interesting but your life more difficult.
Stupido Stupido 3/23/2016 05:17
At least Caruana is rewarded for enterprising play.
bobbybishop bobbybishop 3/23/2016 05:15
Good going Fabby!
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