Sergey Karjakin is the new Challenger!

by Sagar Shah
3/28/2016 – Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana went into the final round of the Candidates tied for first, with Caruana needing to win with black to qualify. That was not to be – Sergey defeated his opponent in a Sicilian Rauzer in 42 moves. With this win he became the Challenger for the World Championship in November against Magnus Carlsen. We have a detailed report from Moscow including pictures, analysis and lots of video interviews.

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.

Daniel King on Round 14: Karjakin vs Caruana

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Sergey Karjakin is the new Challenger!

Round fourteen report from Moscow by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal

Everyone was looking forward to that one duel – the battle which would decide who the Challenger of Magnus Carlsen would be. Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana were tied on the same points with 7.5/13. And the best part about the last round was that they were paired against each other. Amruta and I made our way to the Central Telegraph Building, and reached half an hour before the start of the game. Of course, we did not want to miss even a single moment. Around 2.45 p.m. players started to enter the tournament hall. Here's a video that shows the environment of the playing venue ten minutes before the start of the game.

Watch the players enter the playing venue,
and also find out who the volunteers thought would become the next Challenger

It was clear that between Karjakin and Caruana, the one who would win the game would become the champion. However, what exactly would happen in case of a draw? If Anand didn't win his game then Karjakin would be champion based on his greater number of wins (second tiebreak). However, if Vishy won his battle against Svidler and reached 8.0/14, then there would be a three-way tie for first, and in that case Caruana would be the champion, based on a superior head to head result (first tiebreak) against the other two. So you can see that Sergey and Fabiano not only had to focus on their own game but also on Anand vs Svidler. Amidst all the pressure and tension the games finally began at 3 p.m.

Handshake signalling the start of the most important game of the final round. The next handshake between them will decide who the challenger to Magnus Carlsen would be. Note the smile on the faces of both the players. The stakes are high, but camaraderie still exists!

 

The number of reporters and media coverage is just amazing!

And you can see some amazing equipments!

Sergey Karjakin could have begun the game with the safe 1.Nf3 but he decided to play the opening that he has the most experience in: 1.e4. Fabiano Caruana replied with the Sicilian Defence, a natural choice. If Fabiano had gone for a safer opening and reached an equal position, and realized that Vishy was drawing his game, there would be no way to win the title. By playing the Sicilian he sent out a clear message: he didn't really care what's going on on other boards, he wanted to win this game.

The imbalanced opening position was just what Caruana needed. White's superior development against Black's central pawn mass and the bishop pair. Black's main problem in this position is his king safety. But at this level if you want to play for a win, risk is inevitable.

Karjakin's 20.b3 was quite a double edged decision. On one hand he is securing the c4 square for his bishop, on the other he is weakening his dark squares. An idea like Qe5 followed by Bg7 and f5 would be extremely dangerous. But it takes time and is not so easy to execute. At the same time opening the a-file with a5-a4 is not advisable, as then the b4 pawn becomes weak and the queen is stuck to the c5 square. As you can see this position was extremely unbalanced and difficult to play for both sides. The computer evaluation also doesn't mean much because engines often suggest moves which humans could never think of. In such a situation you need to get the opinion of a strong chess player or trainer. I went outside the press room and found the perfect person to explain the position to me. He was none other than the famous trainer Mark Dvoretsky.

World famous trainer Mark Dvoretsky's opinion on Karjakin-Caruana after 21 moves

By the third hour of play all the other three games had ended – it looked like even the other players wanted to get over with it and focus on this all important game. Anand's game against Svidler had ended in a draw. This meant that Sergey could become the champion with just a draw. However, instead of letting such external factors affect him, Karjakin played the moves that were demanded by his position.

The pawn sacrifice with e4-e5 is not something that a person who requires just a draw would play. All that Karjakin wanted was to open the lines towards the black king. Objectively speaking this position is completely fine for Black. He is not even worse. However, with the impending time pressure, it is much more difficult to play Black's position than White's.

Fabiano's 36...Re5-e4 turned out to be the crucial blunder of the game. Karjakin spotted the tactical opportunity and immediately sacrificed his rook with Rxd5! As Sergey said after the game, "This was not such a difficult move to spot." The black king was just too exposed and on the 42nd move Caruana stretched out his hand in resignation. The entire playing hall erupted: Sergey Karjakin had done it, he had become the World Championship Challenger!

The electric atmosphere in the tournament hall after Karjakin's victory

Sergey Karjakin – Fabiano Caruana 1-0

[Event "Candidates 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.03.28"]
[Round "14"]
[White "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Black "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B67"]
[WhiteElo "2760"]
[BlackElo "2794"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "83"]

1. e4 {No Nf3 for today! It would be silly to say that 1.e4 is more solid than
1.Nf3, which had been Karjakin's choice in the first half of the event. But
sometimes you want to fall back on the lines which you are most comfortable
with, and for Karjakin that is 1.e4.} c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5.
Nc3 d6 {This is not the first time that Caruana has played the Classical
Sicilian, however the last time he played it was six years ago in 2009.} 6. Bg5
e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Bd7 9. f4 h6 10. Bh4 {Main moves here for Black are g5
and Nxe4. But Caruana goes for the relative sideline with 10...b5.} b5 11. Bxf6
gxf6 12. f5 {A top level game that reached this position was Ivanchuk-Piket
which continued h5. But Caruana is still in his preparation and goes for Qb6.} Qb6
13. fxe6 fxe6 14. Nxc6 {Karjakin tries to play as solidly as possible.} Qxc6 (
14... Bxc6 {was also possible.}) 15. Bd3 h5 16. Kb1 b4 17. Ne2 Qc5 18. Rhf1 Bh6
19. Qe1 a5 $5 {A very interesting pawn sacrifice on f6. Of course White should
be careful in taking it, because after Qe5 and Bg7 his position might just
collapse.} (19... Ke7 20. Qg3 Rag8 (20... h4 21. Qxh4 Bg5 22. Qg3 e5 23. Nf4
exf4) 21. Qf3 Rf8 22. Bxa6) 20. b3 $5 {A very double-edged move. On one hand
it weakens the dark squares and on the other it prepares Bc4. Who benefits the
most from it? The one who plays the best chess from here onwards.} (20. Rxf6 Bg7
21. Rf3 Qe5 22. c3 a4 $13) 20... Rg8 (20... a4 $6 {No matter how natural this
move looks it is a mistake because it weakens the b4 pawn. As the famous
trainer Mark Dvoretsky explains, Black wants his queen on e5, not on c5
defending the b4 pawn. That is the task of the a5 pawn!} 21. Bc4 $1 axb3 22.
Bxb3 $16) 21. g3 Ke7 (21... Qe5 {was a natural move and is met with} 22. Bc4 $1
Qxe4 23. Nd4 $1 Qxe1 24. Rfxe1 $18 {White is just better.}) 22. Bc4 Be3 23. Rf3
(23. Nf4 $5 {was a natural move and maybe better.} Bd4 24. Qd2 Bc3 25. Qd3 $16)
23... Rg4 {Caruana's position looks quite attractive on the surface. His
pieces are actively placed and he has good chances. However, his king is on e7
and that should always be kept in mind.} 24. Qf1 Rf8 25. Nf4 Bxf4 26. Rxf4 a4 (
26... Bc6 {keeping the status quo was also possible.}) 27. bxa4 $5 {A bold
decision by Sergey who is ready to ruin his structure but at the same time
realises that the bishop will sit well on b3.} Bxa4 28. Qd3 Bc6 29. Bb3 Rg5 30.
e5 $5 {The most critical moment of the game. Karjakin finds the right moment
to break through in the center. Although the position is roughly equal
the responsibility on Black's shoulders to make accurate moves has increased
sharply as his king is in the centre.} Rxe5 $1 (30... Qxe5 31. Rxb4 $14) 31.
Rc4 $5 Rd5 32. Qe2 $5 {White has sacrificed a pawn but hopes to get to the
black king in some way or the other.} (32. Qxd5 Qxd5 33. Rxd5 Bxd5 34. Rxb4 {
would result in a drawish endgame.}) 32... Qb6 33. Rh4 Re5 $6 (33... Rxd1+ 34.
Qxd1 Rh8 {Exchanging one rook would have reduced White's attacking chances.
Here Black has lesser dangers.} 35. Rxh5 Rxh5 36. Qxh5 Qg1+ 37. Kb2 Qd4+ 38.
Kb1 Be8 $15) 34. Qd3 Bg2 {Caruana want to play d5 but would like to keep his
bishop actively placed on e4. In some ways this is a highly ambitious move.} 35.
Rd4 d5 36. Qd2 Re4 $2 {Caruana was in terrible time pressure and missed
White's next move. As Karjakin described it, this sacrifice was not
particularly difficult to calculate.} (36... Be4 37. Rxb4 Qc7 {and position is
complicated but Black is not worse.}) 37. Rxd5 exd5 38. Qxd5 Qc7 (38... Rd4 39.
Qxd4 Qxd4 40. Rxd4 $16 {was the best defence, but this pawn down endgame looks
lost.}) 39. Qf5 $1 {Qh7 is an extremely difficult threat to meet.} (39. Qxh5 {
was also very strong.} Re6 40. Bxe6 Kxe6 41. Qe2+ Kf7 42. Qxg2 $18 {White
shouldn't have too many difficulties converting this.}) 39... Rf7 40. Bxf7 Qe5
(40... Kxf7 41. Rd7+ $18) 41. Rd7+ Kf8 42. Rd8+ {What a stunning finale. The
moment Caruana extended his hand, the playing hall erupted in a thunderous
applause for the new Challenger - Sergey Karjakin!} (42. Rd8+ Kxf7 43. Qh7+ Ke6
44. Qd7#) 1-0

Heartbroken. Spare a thought for Fabiano Caruana, who was so near to getting the match in his home country.

The nice thing to see was that Caruana could still maintain his smile at the press conference

"I pass the baton to you" – Vishy Anand congratulates Sergey Karjakin

Russians, Spanish, Indian, Dutch, German, you name it! Media from all over the world was present.

 Karjakin spoke about his mental approach to this tourament, what will be his first words
to his wife and son, and who his secret second was (spoiler: he is a strong Azerbaijani grandmaster).

World Cup 2015 and now the Candidates! Can anyone stop him?!!

Reactions of other grandmasters and colleagues on Karjakin's victory

Vladimir Potkin, Karjakin's second, speaks about his favourite game
and why playing in the Aeroflot Open was the right decision

It is always nice to get the views of the ACP President and strong grandmaster Emil Sutovsky

Daniil Dubov on why Karjakin has good chances in his match against Magnus Carlsen-
"He has lost to Magnus in the past but he doesn't fear him."

Olga Girya - "Sergey's move e5 was just wonderful!"

Other three games from round fourteen

It is obvious that Karjakin-Caruana was the most important game of the day. For the remaining three games we have notation, pictures, videos and summaries.

Peter Svidler – Viswanathan Anand 0.5-0.5

This was the second most important game of the day as its result could have had a big impact on Karjakin and Caruana's decisions in their game. Svidler, as usual, began with the English Opening. This time Anand opted for the more solid 6...Re8 rather than 6...e4. Svidler's manoeuvre with Ne1-c2-e3 looked a tad time consuming, and already after the opening Black had equalized. Anand had no real problems to hold the game and thus Vishy fiished third.

[Event "Moscow Candidates"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.28"] [Round "14"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [PlyCount "69"] 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. g3 Bb4 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O Re8 7. Ne1 d6 8. Nc2 Bc5 9. Rb1 a5 10. a3 Be6 11. d3 d5 12. cxd5 Nxd5 13. Ne3 Nce7 14. Ncxd5 Nxd5 15. Nc4 Bd6 16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd6 Qxd6 18. Qxd4 Qe7 19. e4 c5 20. Qd1 Nc7 21. Be3 b6 22. f4 Rad8 23. Qc2 Bd5 24. Rbe1 Bxe4 25. Bxc5 Bxc2 26. Bxe7 Rd7 27. Bh4 Rxe1 28. Rxe1 f6 29. g4 Nd5 30. Bg3 f5 31. gxf5 Nf6 32. Bf2 Rd6 33. Re6 Rd1+ 34. Re1 Rd6 35. Re6 1/2-1/2

Vishy Anand on his experience of playing in the Candidates 2016

"Grunfeld is still my main opening, but the Slav worked very well!"

Anish Giri – Veselin Topalov 0.5-0.5

A typical Catalan where White had a tiny pull but Black slowly and steadily equalized. This was perhaps the dullest game of the day. It was the 14th draw in a row for Anish, while Topalov finishes at minus 5.

[Event "Moscow Candidates"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.28"] [Round "13"] [White "Giri, Anish"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E06"] [PlyCount "58"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Nc3 dxc4 7. Ne5 c5 8. dxc5 Qxd1+ 9. Nxd1 Bxc5 10. Nc3 Nc6 11. Nxc4 Rd8 12. Be3 Bxe3 13. Nxe3 Rb8 14. f4 e5 15. f5 Nd4 16. g4 b6 17. Rc1 Bb7 18. Bxb7 Rxb7 19. Kf2 h6 20. h4 g5 21. fxg6 fxg6 22. Rhg1 Ne6 23. g5 hxg5 24. hxg5 Nh7 25. Ne4 Kg7 26. Rc6 Nd4 27. Rc3 Ne6 28. Rc6 Nd4 29. Rc3 Ne6 1/2-1/2

Anish explains the reason why he ended up with fourteen draws rather than fighting for the top spot

Topalov speaks about why he lacks motivaton and how he feels like Anatoly Karpov right now!

Hikaru Nakamura – Levon Aronian 0.5-0.5

Hikaru Nakamura went for the solid Qa4+ Variation in the Ragozin. The players followed a few of the old games until move 13, although it seemed as if the moves they were making were not prepared at home. Hikaru won a pawn but Levon had sufficient compensation. In the end al the pieces were exchanged and the players agreed to a draw.

[Event "Candidates Moscow"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.28"] [Round "14"] [White "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [PlyCount "65"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. e3 O-O 7. Qc2 Re8 8. Bd2 a6 9. a3 Bd6 10. h3 h6 11. Rd1 dxc4 12. Bxc4 e5 13. O-O Bd7 14. dxe5 Nxe5 15. Nxe5 Rxe5 16. f4 Bf5 17. Qb3 Re7 18. Qxb7 Bc2 19. Rc1 Rb8 20. Qxa6 Rxb2 21. Nd1 Rb6 22. Qa5 Bb3 23. Nf2 Qb8 24. Bxb3 Rxb3 25. a4 Qb7 26. Qf5 Bb4 27. Bxb4 Qxb4 28. e4 Nxe4 29. Nxe4 Qxe4 30. Qxe4 Rxe4 31. Rxc7 Rxa4 32. Kh2 Rb2 33. Rf3 1/2-1/2

Hikaru Nakamura on what he learnt from this Candidates

Final standings

The above cross table is automatically generated on the ChessBase software using the 56 games and their results. However, due to different tiebreak criteria used in the tournament, these are the official standings:

1. Sergey Karjakin
2. Fabiano Caruana
3. Viswanathan Anand
4. Anish Giri
5. Hikaru Nakamura
6. Levon Aronian
7. Peter Svidler
8. Veselin Topalov

Photos by Amruta Mokal of ChessBase India

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
0-1
Svidler Peter
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Caruana Fabiano
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Giri Anish
½-½
Nakamura Hikaru
Round 12, Friday 25 March 2016
Svidler Peter
½-½
Giri Anish
Nakamura Hikaru
1-0
Anand Viswanathan
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Caruana Fabiano
½-½
Aronian Levon
Rest day, Saturday 26 March 2016
Round 13, Sunday 27 March 2016
Caruana Fabiano
½-½
Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Veselin
0-1
Nakamura Hikaru
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Giri Anish
Round 14, Monday 28 March 2016
Svidler Peter ½-½ Anand Viswanathan
Giri Anish ½-½ Topalov Veselin
Nakamura Hikaru ½-½ Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey 1-0 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
28.03.2016 Monday Round 14 Yannick Pelletier Klaus Bischoff

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.

Order "Chess Prodigies Uncovered: Sergey Karjakin" in the ChessBase Shop

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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Phillidor Phillidor 3/28/2016 12:36
What a gift to spectators and the players themselves, to see the decisive match Karjakin - Caruana in the last round. I expect nothing less than a repetition of yesterday's spectacle.
Snajdan Snajdan 3/28/2016 12:42
Caruana missed his winning chances quite many times in this tournament. He might be very upset if Karjakin becomes the winner and challenger for Carlsen.
vladivaclav vladivaclav 3/28/2016 01:07
Let's hope Giri will make another spectacular draw and make history
Rational Rational 3/28/2016 01:39
Come on Topalov, Equalize and hold on for the draw.
Brigardo Brigardo 3/28/2016 01:42
Caruana has himself to blame if he loses cos he should have been ahead by now.
Rational Rational 3/28/2016 02:08
Amazing Caruana missed his chance in the rook and bishop vs rook ending. English GM Keith Arkell has supposedly won this ending about 16 plus times in games ( he grinds out lots of ending wins in opens - I have been one of his victims). Interesting that Caruana missed it as he is so well trained can clearly remember line after line of openings There is a video on you tube of Svidler losing this ending before in a blitz/rapid vs Carlsen
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 3/28/2016 03:01
To Rational:

Maybe GM Keth Arkell did not win these R and B against R endgames against players rated 2700 and more who knew the second rank defense against it.

A 2700+ player could still lose it in a rapid or blitz, especially agains another 2700+ player, but less likely in a classical, even though it is hard to play and that there was time pressure for Peter (and for Fabi also - not that easy in these circumstances for both players). Peter held the fort in a difficult position.

I would say that Serguey, especially if he wins the tournament, will owe Peter at least a meal in a good restaurant!
firestorm firestorm 3/28/2016 03:02
Hard game to win for Caruana- black side of a Richter Rauzer at move 14- Karpov was very good, for example, at making life a misery for his opponents in this line as white- see for example is win against Liberzon. I don't think this looks promising for black, sadly. Anand could well do him a favour and beat Svidler, though, so Karjakin can't settle for control and trying to half out.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 3/28/2016 03:03
The second rank defense (when you have a R. against R. and B.) is explained in the video of Daniel King on Round 13, integrated in the article of Chessbase of that round.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 3/28/2016 03:05
Publicity stunt:

This promotion is valid until Anish wins a classical game against a 2700+ player.
firestorm firestorm 3/28/2016 03:06
Worth also remembering: Keres-Botvinnik from the last round of The Hague-Moscow tournament, 1948, in which Keres, after posting -4 against Botvinnik in the earlier rounds, with Botvinnik having won the title, finally showed what he was capable of against Botvinnik.
brabo_hf brabo_hf 3/28/2016 03:09
I found 16 games in my databases (13 correspondence + 3 engine) after the 12th move of the game Karjakin - Caruana. However 13.. Qxc6 seems a real novelty as all previous games continued with the more logical 13...Bxc6.
Rational Rational 3/28/2016 04:46
@Raymond thanks for info about 2nd rank defence, still once Caruana reached the Philidor Position after Svidler's slip the win is automatic if you know the correct moves ,it does not matter what level the opposition is. I learned it once from Essential Chess endings by Howell which I recommend. Though I had forgotten it, but I would have thought some one of the strength of Caruana and Svidler would just learn it and from then on know it automatically, maybe the orientation of the board makes it more difficult.
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 3/28/2016 04:53
I just don't think Karjakin nor Caruana has what it takes to beat Magnus. This is a somewhat disappointing finals, IMO. I do hope that one of them can dethrone Magnus -- but I just simply don't have faith in either.
Chessspawnvt Chessspawnvt 3/28/2016 05:00
Wonderful to be following this live on sites other than Agon's. Agon is suing in.............drum roll..........a Russian court. LOL! Good luck with enforcing any judgment obtained from Putin's Legal Kangaroos. Significantly, Agon did not sue in in Federal Court in NY, within
the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals after having issued a whitepaper completely mis-representing and mis-interpreting Second Circuit case law. I'll go out on a limb here and say that there will be no World Championship match in NYC this Fall. I don't think Agon is going to want to subject itself to a real court system with counterclaims, potential enforceable damages and possible US Treasury examination of Agon's relationship with Kirsan. This may also explain why Agon has not sued Pittsburg based ICC. The sites sued are in Germany and Bulgaria respectively.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-28/there-s-a-new-king-of-the-chess-internet-and-fans-are-outraged
firestorm firestorm 3/28/2016 06:01
Congratulation to Karjakin on beating Caruana to win the candidates touurnament- and sad for Caruana, to have got a playable and unbalanced position with chances to give Karjakin a tactic to blow him off the board.

Magnus has his challenger :-)
firestorm firestorm 3/28/2016 06:19
Yep, you're absolutely right :-) well played Karjakin!
firestorm firestorm 3/28/2016 06:41
Gee, no need to be unpleasant because someone on Chessbase got the result wrong. Its been corrected quickly enough and anyway- who wasn't watching on the world chess website? Thanks to chessbase for continuing to provide superb coverage and reports of events around the world. Round by round reports on the candidates were excellent.
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 3/28/2016 06:43
To Rational. Thanks for the info - I did not know about the Philidor position.
gmwdim gmwdim 3/28/2016 06:44
Karjakin: "This was a great tournament, not only because I won, but because everybody was fighting. Except one guy."

Gee, I wonder who he could be referring to? LOL
Michael Lisowsky Michael Lisowsky 3/28/2016 07:19
Great match,,decided at the chessboard and not in the Rules Committee. Somehow leaving out the No 2 ranked player in the world,Mr Kramnik, without one more semifinal before going up against No 1..should be considered for the future.
Ingo Zachos Ingo Zachos 3/28/2016 07:21
Caruana has no good endgame technique. You could see that in his game against Svidler. An elementary win that a grandmaster should know.
Also his nerves are not the best. He fails to calculate ddeply when he is under pressure. That way he missed a few wins here.

In both, Karjakin is better. I think he will not loose that easy in the endgames as Adand did.
He is the best possible challenger at the moment.

Caruana needs to work on his technique. Simply being well-prepared and then calculate like hell is not enough.
And Giri is best-prepared, but he is simply not good enough in both calculating and endgame technique, so he only draws the games in which he outprepares his opponent or in which his opponent blunders.
Mindhunterr Mindhunterr 3/28/2016 07:25
Anyone know what the head to head result between Carlsen and Karjakin is to date? Apart from Giri, who would have drawn a match with Carlsen ;-) I think Karjakin will probably present the best challenge for Magnus from this lot! Roll on November, but my money is still on Magnus!!
fusoya fusoya 3/28/2016 07:33
Caruana never had winning chances against Svidler, please stop saying otherwise
jarreth22 jarreth22 3/28/2016 07:33
Agree with Mindhunterr: no challenger can compete with Magnus at this point, but at least age will not be an issue. Kramnik and Anand (and Ivanchuk, Shirov, etc.) are a phenomenal generation (I don't event name the greatest), but now the young guys have to compete amongst themselves!
Truthbe Truthbe 3/28/2016 07:50
Congratulations to Sergey!
gmwdim gmwdim 3/28/2016 07:55
@Mindhunterr The record in classical games is 3 wins by Carlsen (1 with white, 2 with black), 1 win by Karjakin (with black), and many draws. Interesting that most of the decisive games between them have been won by the black pieces.
RaoulBertorello RaoulBertorello 3/28/2016 07:57
Honestly I hoped for Caruana to get the ticket to NY, but I after seeing some games in this Candidates when he escaped losses, and others when he missed the way to take the full point, I must say that he really needs some more years to reach the level of a true challenger to the world champion, independently of this being Carlsen or somebody else. Furthermore, with Carlsen being the world champion and Caruana showing so many weaknesses as I couldn't think of him, it's even better it was Karyakin to go forward, because otherwise Carlsen would have ripped Caruana apart next September, and that would have meant Caruana ruining himself too early. So, yeah, let Karyakin be the sacrificial lamb - of course he has also no chances against Carlsen - and Caruana mature for two, and even more likely four years before he gets the required strength to assert himself in a Candidates without too much trouble, and to play on equal terms against Carlsen, because Carlsen will still be the regning world champion in four years time.
Nostalgiac1972 Nostalgiac1972 3/28/2016 07:58
Congrats to Karjakin. He played great chess especially against Caruana in the last round. But Sadly enough he will have little chances against the way Carlsen Plays and wins in dead drawn positions. Anand-Karjakin bears testimony to this where the former kept playing and maneuvering for a long time with utmost precision and Karjakin cracked.
vladivaclav vladivaclav 3/28/2016 07:58
Congrats to Karjakin! He is a worthy challenger. But we must also congratulate to Giri: 14 draws in row, in this field, is really an unique achievement. It will stand in history books side by side with Fischer 11-0 result at 1963 US Championship :)
etohdan etohdan 3/28/2016 08:16
Wow... 37. Rxd5, who saw that one coming, especially with so little time left against another world class GM.
LetsReason LetsReason 3/28/2016 08:39
@vladivaclav They are in no way comparable other than being a consistent result. It is much, much easier to draw every game at their level than to try and win. I agree with Magnus...Giri is boring on the board compared to most others at their level. He has little sense of adventure on the board.

Congrats to Sergey. Well deserved and I hope he is in good form for WCC.
Aighearach Aighearach 3/28/2016 08:49
This is a great result for Carlsen, because of all the past speculation about where they each might peak. ;)

This is the matchup the fans wanted years ago. Though, their ratings were closer at the time. Carlsen is a strong favorite, of course.

Judging from Caruana's rating peak, he'd have the best chance to beat Carlsen... on his best days, which were not in this event.
vladivaclav vladivaclav 3/28/2016 08:51
I think they can be compared. Fischer was much stronger than his US oponents back in 1963, while Giri played in extremely strong field where everyone wants a "piece of you". It is extremly difficult to achieve what he did!
depsipeptide@gmail.com depsipeptide@gmail.com 3/28/2016 08:54
Giri-Topalov: Veselin injected some excitement into a Catalan ending by playing g7-g5. Nevertheless, few bookmakers would have offered odds on any other result than Anish's 14th draw of the tournament. To be fair, he was never in trouble in any games and had his fair of winning chances but was let down by poor finishing.
Nakamura-Aronian: Neither had anything to play for but wounded pride. Hikaru was the comeback kid of the second half but will rue his disastrous start while Levon will regret another Candidates passing him by.
Svidler-Anand: Anand could not win the tournament by winning but it would affect the tiebreaks between Karjakin and Caruana. Once again, Petr was well prepared in the opening and once again the slight plus was not enough to win. Petr, the lowest rated, finished with a decent 50% while Anand's +1 was a welcome return to form after the disastrous Gibraltar open.
Karjakin-Caruana: Game of the round. Fate decreed that the two leaders would meet in the last round and what a game! Fabiano tried hard in a sharp Rauzer Sicilian but once again Sergey unleashed his secret weapon of unbalancing the position whenever it seemed to be going awry. His creative e5! sacrifice led to messy complications in time trouble and Fabiano then overlooked the beautiful Rxd5! which won quickly for Sergey. Tough for Fabiano but he's only himself to blame for missing winning opportunities in earlier games. As for Sergey, a well deserved victory- he was the most consistent in conversion but perhaps more important in holding weaker positions.
Sergey's stubborn resourcefulness will be a good match for Magnus and we can look forward to an exciting match. Long live the Russian (or in this case Ukranian) school of chess!
IRISHDUBLINER IRISHDUBLINER 3/28/2016 09:16
I would have loved to see Fabio come through as he so nearly did.

Still Sergey is a very worthy winner and it is great to see either of these two guys face Carlsen. I thought Fabio was really gracious and classy in his after the match press conference (as was Sergey in victory) they must have been filled with contrary emotions and yet they were so well spoken and genuine. Great ambassadors for the game.


All that said and I hope to be proven mistaken. but I would bet money that Carlsen will beat Sergey by a very comfortable and big margin. Just because of the dynamics and history plus experience of the players it seems to me that Carlsen will be far too difficult for Sergey to cope with. Fabio would have been a much closer contest and far better for chess, but Sergey fully deserves his chance and there are many positives too about a Russian player playing for the title again. Great tournament and the next event in Norway should be fascinating
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 3/28/2016 09:36
To November seems like a long wait after such excitement. But patience is also a chess virtue. So, let us be patient.
A7fecd1676b88 A7fecd1676b88 3/28/2016 09:38

"27.bxa4!? A bold decision by Sergey who is ready to ruin his structure but at the same time he realises that the bishop will sit well on b3"

Nothing bold at all. Allowing the pawn to a3 is not what white wants.
Francis Pogi Francis Pogi 3/28/2016 09:47
Did I just prohesied Karjakin will be the next WCC (bit.ly/22Va5hc)!? ...well, we still have to see in the future but we're getting there...
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 3/28/2016 09:49
SK. kept his nerves in difficult positions and was very resourceful in these unfavourable circumstances, was quite able to convert when he had an avantage and was generally consistent with stong stamina. Fully deserved victory.