World Cup Final 3: Easy draw

9/1/2013 – Andreikin decided to not go for any sort of complications in the third round of the final match  in Tromso. Kramnik saw no reason to force the issue either as he is point ahead of his rival, who is in a must win situation in tomorrow's game. It all boils down to whether Dmitri Andreikin can take down his formidable opponent with his last breath. Game three report with GM analysis.

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The FIDE World Cup is a knockout, starting with 128 players, with two games (90 min for 40 moves + 30 min for the rest, with 30 seconds increment) between pairs of players. The tiebreaks consist of two rapid games (25 min + 10 sec), then two accelerated games (10 min + 10 sec), and finally an Armageddon. The winner and the runner-up of the World Cup 2013 will qualify for the Candidates Tournament of the next World Championship cycle. The venue is the city of Tromsø, which lies in the northern-most region of Norway, almost 400 km inside the Arctic Circle. You can find all details and links to many ChessBase articles on Tromsø here. The World Cup starts on Sunday, August 11th and lasts until September 3rd (tiebreaks, closing ceremony). Each round lasts three days, while the final will consist of four classical games. Thursday August 29 is a free day. A detailed schedule can be found here.

Finals game three

Dmitri Andreikin uncorked yet another idea in the vogue a6 variation of the Semi-Slav. However this was hardly a winning attempt and with the symmetrical pawn structures neither side had much to worry about in the whole game. It is clear that Andreikin's strategy hinges on taking out Kramnik tomorrow with the white piece and not trying to make a mess of things with black.

Dmitri Andreikin arrives in the playing hall...

... and the other guy follows soon afterwards

What to play? Do we want to win and finish the tournament today?

1.c4?? No, just adjusting the pieces...

1.d4 and Andreikin goes for the a6 variation of the Semi-Slav

Game three in progress – one move before the players ...

... agree to a draw, leaving Andreikin with a must-win situration in the final round

Photos by Paul Trong

GM analysis of game three

[Event "WorldCup 2013"] [Site "?"] [Date "2013.09.01"] [Round "57.1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2784"] [BlackElo "2727"] [Annotator "Negi,Parimarjan"] [PlyCount "53"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] {After narrowly surviving the previous game, Kramnik had wondered about the wisdom of taking such risks when he is a point ahead. Consequently, today he decided not to be too pretentious, hoping for the slightest of edges. But as often happens with such a conservative attitude, he played a couple of sloppy moves which put him almost on the brink of being worse. Clearly annoyed, he pulled himself together just in time to secure the equality with some nice tactical ideas.} 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 {A brave change by Andreikin! In their previous game he had tried to replicate Kramnik's solid QGD - but Vladimir proved to be technically flawless with white as well. This time he decides to surprise Kramnik by going for a popular mainline that he had rarely played before.} 4. Nc3 a6 5. e3 e6 6. b3 c5 {Once again, stepping out of the well trodden paths of theory.} (6... Bb4 {leads to typical closed Slav positions.}) 7. Bb2 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bb4 $5 {An interesting novelty. The subtle idea seems to be to provoke a3 - which then might turn out to be a weakeness.} 9. Nc2 {Slightly passive, and in line with Kramnik's strategy of playing solidly. It's from this point that a series of innocous and solid looking moves from White suddenly almost brought him in danger of being worse.} (9. a3 Bd6 {seems a bit counter intuitive, but after the normal} 10. cxd5 exd5 {we get a typical isolated pawn's position where a3 seems extremely weakening. For instance, after Rc1 Black can always play the annoying Qe7, attacking the newly created weakenesses.}) 9... Ba5 10. Be2 O-O 11. O-O dxc4 12. Qxd8 (12. bxc4 $5 {might be objectively better, leading to an interesting and complicated structure. The open b-file, and activity of pieces trade off the weakened structure.}) 12... Rxd8 {Around this point Kramnik looked rather annoyed with himself, and for good reason. From an extremely solid, possibily slightly better position, he has allowed himself to suddenly face actual dangers - the rook jump to d2 needs to be urgently dealt with!} 13. Bxc4 { After a long think Andreikin decides that the very tempting b5, followed by Rd2 doesn't actually promise him anything. Instead he continues to develop, hoping to utilise the awkward placement of White's pieces along the c-file in the future.} (13. bxc4 Rd2 $1 {Suddenly White is forced to play Bd1, and his position doesn't look impregnable anymore.}) 13... Nc6 (13... b5 14. Be2 Rd2 { looks extremely worrying. Bd1 appears to be the only move, when Black has clearly taken the initiative. But} 15. Rac1 $1 {is the nice little tactic that White found. He utilises Black's unprotected Bc8 to save his piece.} Bxc3 16. Bxc3 Rxe2 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Nd4 $1 {A nice touch!}) 14. Rfd1 Bd7 15. Na4 $5 { Clearly somewhat annoyed with his sluggish play so far, Kramnik decides to force matters rather than go for a long and slow paced endgame. With a few concrete moves he simplifies the game to a draw.} b5 {If not, then the knight lands on c5, and the initiative shifts to White.} 16. Nc5 bxc4 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Nxd7 {The next moves are not forced, but it's hard to suggest any improvements. The game quickly reaches a drawn endgame.} Bc3 19. Rab1 Ra7 20. Nc5 Rxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Nb4 22. Nxb4 Bxb4 23. Rd8+ Kg7 24. Rc8 Bxc5 25. Rxc5 cxb3 26. axb3 Rb7 27. Rc3 {So Andreikin manages to stay in the race, while Kramnik seems set to take the title. Still, don't be too sure! Nerves are sure to play an important role tomorrow - and Kramnik certainly can't feel happy today. Also his near collapse against Korobov might be playing at the back of his mind as he fights to fend off the young Russian challenge.} 1/2-1/2

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Results of the final match

Player Rtg G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 G7 G8 G9 Pts
Kramnik,Vl 2706
Andreikin,Dm 2741



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Topics Tromso, World Cup
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