Candidates Rd3: Anand grabs early lead with 2.5/3

3/15/2014 – Any pundits and fans still with questions on Anand's chances in the event, saw them answered with his round three win as he beat Mamedyarov handily to take sole lead with 2.5/3. Though other games drew, they were all thrilling battles, with a very special note to Kramnik's incredible defense against Svidler as he produced a timeless masterpiece. Analysis of today's round.

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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 three

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

Anoter fabulous day at the 2014 Candidates Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk! Anand moves to 2.5/3, a spectacular score that was not expected by many experts. But that was not the only exciting game of the day:

Karjakin had no difficulty defending his Spanish position

Andreikin, Dmitry ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey
This Russian duel was not as interesting as the other one. Andreikin side-stepped the Berlin variation of the Spanish by playing an early 4.d3 but he was unable to obtain anything at all from the opening. Some pieces came off and the opposite colored bishop endgame with queens was an obvious draw that the players did not play out.

Svidler, Peter ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
What a game! It started with an old school Symmetrical English, nowadays not seen that often at the top level. White scores very well in this system but Black's position remains solid. Svidler obtained some pressure down the d-file specifically against the d-pawn, but Kramnik's position looked hard to break. The pressure really started piling on as Svidler put every single one of his pieces targeting the d6 pawn. White missed an excellent tactical shot with 27.Be3! followed by 28.Nc5! This would have netted him an exchange and maybe even the game. However his continuation still gave him a slight edge.

Kramnik's escape today was true magic

Svidler's d-pawn kept the initiative, but Kramnik came up with a surprising and masterful save:

[Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A39"] [WhiteElo "2758"] [BlackElo "2787"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "5bk1/3r1p2/3P3p/4p1pP/1pQ3P1/1P1R1P2/q4BK1/8 w - - 0 41"] [PlyCount "21"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] 41. Qc6 $6 {Seemingly decisive, but Kramnik has an ace up his sleeve.} (41. Qxb4 $1 Qa6 42. Rd5 Rxd6 $1 43. Rxe5 {And White will have enormous problems trying to convert his extra pawn, but he is the only one pushing for a win, clearly.}) 41... e4 $1 {Beautiful counterplay!} 42. fxe4 (42. Qxe4 Rxd6 $11) ( 42. Qxd7 $2 exd3 {and Black's passed pawn is more dangerous than White's.}) 42... Qe2 43. Rf3 Rxd6 44. Qe8 f6 45. e5 $1 {It seems as if Kramnik is going down anyways. There is no way to defend f6, and the e5 pawn is poisoned.} f5 $1 (45... Qxe5 $2 46. Qxe5 fxe5 47. Rxf8+ Kxf8 48. Bc5 Ke7 49. Bxb4 {and White will trade off into a winning pawn endgame on the next move.}) 46. gxf5 Rf6 $3 {The only move, but sufficient. White has, surprisingly, no way to make progress as all of his pieces are tied up.} 47. Kg3 (47. e6 Qe4 $11) (47. Qc8 Qxe5 $11) (47. Re3 Qg4+ 48. Bg3 Ra6 $11) 47... Qe4 48. Bc5 Qe1+ {White doesn't have enough resources to protect himself from the checks. Amazing!} 49. Bf2 Qe4 50. Bc5 Qe1+ 51. Bf2 1/2-1/2

Svidler was close to a win today, but he wasn't able to finish his compatriot off

Topalov, Veselin ½-½ Aronian, Levon

Aronian is also at 50% after losing his first game and winning his second

Topalov held the slightest of advantages against Aronian after he sacrificed a piece to obtain play against Black's king. Aronian was forced to sacrifice an exchange and a couple of pawns back, but it seems that had Topalov gone the greedy route and taken on a5 and b4 instead of h7 on move 28 he might have been giving the Armenian too much compensation and Black's position would have been easier to play. Things ended in a perpetual in what was a strange game.

Topalov is a favorite of many people because of his aggressive and exciting style,
but he is currently on three draws in this event

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 0-1 Anand, Viswanathan

Anand and Mamedyarov in the post-mortem. This is the Azeri's second loss in a row.

[Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D23"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2770"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qc2 {This sideline of the Slav is not considered to be the most dangerous idea, but Black has to know what to do. There are several popular ideas to fight this variation.} dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bg4 ( 5... Bf5 {is more solid and is considered to be the main line. White gets a slight space advantage while Black retains a solid position in these lines.}) 6. Nbd2 Nbd7 7. g3 e6 8. Bg2 Be7 9. Ne5 (9. O-O O-O 10. Ne5 Bh5 {is a more common way of reaching the same position.}) 9... Bh5 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. O-O O-O 12. Nb3 a5 13. a4 Bb4 14. e4 e5 {A novelty, but far from an earth shattering one. It certainly is the move that makes the most sense in the position.} ( 14... Qe7 15. Be3 Rfd8 16. f4 Kh8 17. Rf2 f6 {and although Black's last moves have not been the most natural and he has not been able to break on e5 just yet, his position is probably ok. This happened in Ivanchuk-Vallejo Pons 2012, a game which the Ukrainian ended up winning.}) 15. Be3 exd4 16. Bxd4 Kh8 $5 { Possibly preparing f5, or more likely f6 and Bf7.} 17. e5 {This move doesn't seem to be good to me. The pawn on e5 will become a target and it will be easy for Black to trade it off for his own f-pawn, a Strategical gain as he is able to exchange a side pawn for an advanced central pawn.} (17. f4 f6 (17... f5 $6 18. e5 $14) 18. Qc2 Re8 $11) 17... Re8 $1 {Forcing f4 before trading the pawns will seriously expose weaknesses on White's camp.} 18. f4 f6 19. exf6 Nxf6 $15 {White's pair of bishops are not particularly coordinated against anything, and it is very uncomfortable to develop his rooks as Black's bishops are controlling both e1 and d1. Black already stands slightly better.} 20. Bf3 Bxf3 21. Rxf3 Re4 $1 (21... c5 $6 22. Bc3 Bxc3 23. bxc3 Rc8 {is some strange computer suggestion that I don't understand. The move in the game seems better. }) 22. Re3 (22. Qd3 $1 {Was the most precise as to bring the queen closer to the kingside.} Re6 $5 (22... Qe7 23. Re3 Rxe3 24. Qxe3 Qd7 25. Bxf6 {and White is only a little bit worse.})) 22... Rxe3 23. Bxe3 Qe8 24. Bb6 Qh5 $1 {The weakness on the kingside is now starting to tell. It is not so trivial to defend against the threat of Ng4 and Re8.} 25. Bd4 Re8 26. Rf1 $2 {A miscalculation in an already ugly position.} (26. Qd3 {was mandatory.} Ng4 27. h4 Qd5 28. Rd1 $17 {and White is still holding somehow.}) 26... Ng4 27. Qc2 ( 27. h4 Ne3 28. Bxe3 Rxe3 {and now e3 cannot be defended and the game is over.}) 27... c5 $1 {Excellent. The bishop on d4 cannot move, so c5 must be captured.} 28. Nxc5 (28. Bc3 Ne3 $19 {Suddenly that rook doesn't look so comfortable on f1.}) 28... Rc8 29. Rd1 Bxc5 (29... b6 {was slightly simpler but there is nothing wrong with the move in the game.}) 30. Bxc5 h6 {threatening to take on c5 with check, and there is no more back rank checkmate.} 31. Kh1 (31. Kh1 Nf2+ {was lights out, so Mamedyarov resigned in what was truly a one sided game.}) 0-1

Anand is putting a strong statement with his 2.5/3.
Will he gain the rematch for later this year?

Games of the round:

[Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D23"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2770"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qc2 dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bg4 6. Nbd2 Nbd7 7. g3 e6 8. Bg2 Be7 9. Ne5 Bh5 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. O-O O-O 12. Nb3 a5 13. a4 Bb4 14. e4 e5 15. Be3 exd4 16. Bxd4 Kh8 17. e5 Re8 18. f4 f6 19. exf6 Nxf6 20. Bf3 Bxf3 21. Rxf3 Re4 22. Re3 Rxe3 23. Bxe3 Qe8 24. Bb6 Qh5 25. Bd4 Re8 26. Rf1 Ng4 27. Qc2 c5 28. Nxc5 Rc8 29. Rd1 Bxc5 30. Bxc5 h6 31. Kh1 0-1 [Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Andreikin, Dmitry"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "2709"] [BlackElo "2766"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. Nbd2 Ne7 8. d4 exd4 9. cxd4 Bb6 10. h3 d5 11. e5 Ne4 12. Bd3 Bf5 13. Qe2 Nc6 14. Rd1 Bxd4 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Bxe4 Bxe4 17. Nxd4 Qd5 18. Nxc6 Qxc6 19. f3 Bd5 20. b3 a5 21. Ba3 Rfd8 22. Rac1 Qb6+ 23. Kh1 Be6 24. Rxd8+ Rxd8 25. Rd1 Rxd1+ 26. Qxd1 h6 27. Qd8+ Kh7 28. Qd3+ Kg8 29. Qd8+ Kh7 30. Qd3+ Kg8 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2785"] [BlackElo "2830"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nbd2 Bc5 12. h3 Bb7 13. Qe2 Nd4 14. Nxd4 Bxd4 15. Bc4 a5 16. Bd3 Nd7 17. Nf3 Nc5 18. Nxd4 exd4 19. Bf4 Re8 20. Qh5 Qe7 21. Bb5 c6 22. Bc4 Ba6 23. Bd6 Qxd6 24. Bxf7+ Kf8 25. e5 Qd7 26. e6 Nxe6 27. Bxe8 Rxe8 28. Qxh7 Qd5 29. f4 d3 30. f5 d2 31. Qh8+ Kf7 32. Qh5+ Kf8 33. Qh8+ Kf7 34. Qh5+ Kf8 35. Qh8+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.15"] [Round "3"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A39"] [WhiteElo "2758"] [BlackElo "2787"] [PlyCount "101"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 g6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bg7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6 10. Qd3 Be6 11. Bd2 Qc8 12. b3 Bh3 13. Rac1 Bxg2 14. Kxg2 Qc6+ 15. f3 e6 16. Rfd1 Rad8 17. Bf4 Rd7 18. Qe3 b6 19. Rd3 Rc8 20. Qd2 Ne8 21. e4 a6 22. e5 h6 23. h4 Rcd8 24. Rd1 b5 25. c5 Qxc5 26. Ne4 Qb6 27. Nxd6 Bf8 28. h5 Nxd6 29. exd6 g5 30. Be5 Rc8 31. Rc1 Rxc1 32. Qxc1 Qb7 33. g4 b4 34. Qc4 Bg7 35. Bg3 Qb5 36. Be1 Qe5 37. Bg3 Qe2+ 38. Bf2 Bf8 39. Qxa6 e5 40. Qc4 Qxa2 41. Qc6 e4 42. fxe4 Qe2 43. Rf3 Rxd6 44. Qe8 f6 45. e5 f5 46. gxf5 Rf6 47. Kg3 Qe4 48. Bc5 Qe1+ 49. Bf2 Qe4 50. Bc5 Qe1+ 51. Bf2 1/2-1/2

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Daniel King shows the highlights of round 3

Standings after three rounds

Photos by Anatasiya Karlovich

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

Playchess commentary

Date Round English commentary German commentary
March 17 Round 4 Alejandro Ramirez/Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
March 18 Round 5 Daniel King/Chris Ward Klaus Bischoff
March 19 Round 6 Alej. Ramirez/Parimarjan Negi Oliver Reeh/Merijn van Delft
March 21 Round 7 Simon Williams/Daniel King Oliver Reeh/Merijn van Delft
March 22 Round 8 Daniel King/Yasser Seirawan Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
March 23 Round 9 Simon Williams/Alejandro Ramirez Oliver Reeh/Merijn van Delft
March 25 Round 10 Daniel King/Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
March 26 Round 11 Alejandro Ramirez/Irina Krush Klaus Bischoff
March 27 Round 12 Daniel King/Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
March 29 Round 13 Daniel King/Irina Krush Klaus Bischoff
March 30 Round 14 Daniel King/Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff

Links

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