Candidates – postmortem of round five

3/21/2013 – One of the fascinating innovations of top-level chess tournaments is that players have now agreed to give live interviews immediately after each round, and actually analyse the games they have just completed. Take a look at round five, where all eight players appeared to discuss their games  with press officer Anastasiya Karlovich.

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From March 14 to April 1, 2013, FIDE and AGON – the World Chess Federation’s commercial partner – are staging the 2013 Candidates Tournament for the World Chess Championship 2013. It will be the strongest tournament of its kind in history. The venue is The IET, 2 Savoy Place, London. The Prize Fund to be shared by the players totals €510,000. The winner of the Candidates will become the Challenger to Viswanathan Anand who has reigned as World Champion since 2007. The main sponsor for the Candidates is State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic SOCAR, which has sponsored elite events chess in the past.

Round five postgame analyses

Round 5 March 20 at 14:00
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler
½-½
Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan

Svidler-Gelfand

Facing his own favourite Grünfeld, Peter Svidler (Russia) got a winning position against Boris Gelfand (Israel) but after wild complications the game ended in a draw. After the move 3…d5, which defines this opening, both Svidler and Ivanchuk started to think! It seemed that the Ukrainian was waiting for Svidler to move, while Svidler needed to think of a good way to play against his own favourite defence…



Well, in fact the grandmaster from St. Petersburg, pictured above during the game, had found an interesting idea (7.f4) together with his seconds Nikita Vitiugov and Maxim Matlakov shortly before the game. “It looks incredibly ugly and that was one of the main reasons for playing it because I thought Boris might decide he has to play for an advantage now,” said Svidler. Gelfand didn't react well, on the contrary. Afterwards the Israeli said that he hadn’t played the opening so badly in his entire career. “This move 8…Bg4 is a disaster and 10…c6 may be even worse.”

However, after reaching an overwhelming position ("In a tournament like this I'm very unlikely to get such a position again"), Svidler wanted to force matters and “started sacrificing pawns left and right”, as Grischuk put it. Boris Gelfand (picture above) reacted very well and even got the upper hand, but after some more complications he decided to offer a draw just before the time control. He explained it as follows: “Draw offers are a psychological game. If White would decline then the pressure would be on his side and maybe he would take too much risk. People underestimate this; they are crazy about the number of moves and statistics but here it’s real psychology!”

Video of press conference with Peter Svidler, Anastasiya Karlovich and Boris Gelfand

[Event "FIDE Candidates"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.03.20"] [Round "5"] [White "Svidler, P."] [Black "Gelfand, B."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2747"] [BlackElo "2740"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2013.03.15"] 1. d4 (1. e3 b6 2. Bc4) 1... Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bd2 Nb6 6. e3 Bg7 7. f4 $146 O-O 8. Nf3 Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 c6 11. h4 N8d7 12. h5 e6 13. hxg6 hxg6 14. e4 f5 15. g4 ({Svidler missed a great opportunity with} 15. e5 Kf7 16. O-O-O Rh8 17. Rg1 Nd5) 15... Nf6 16. gxf5 exf5 17. e5 Ng4 $2 18. d5 ({Svidler thought that} 18. Be3 Kf7 19. O-O-O {was too slow, but according to the hundreds of Let's Check engines it offered excellent prospects for White.} Rh8 20. Rxh8 Qxh8 21. d5 Nxe3 22. Qxe3 cxd5 23. Nxd5 Nxd5 24. Qb3 Qc8+ 25. Kb1 Kf8 26. Rxd5 $16) 18... cxd5 19. O-O-O d4 20. Nb5 Qd5 $1 (20... Rc8+ 21. Kb1 Qd5 22. Qxd5+ Nxd5 23. Nxa7 {is the line Svidler had anticipated.}) 21. Qh3 Rfc8+ ({Svidler and Gelfand look at} 21... Nf2 22. Qh7+ Kf7 23. Nd6+ (23. Rg1 Qc6+ 24. Bc4+ {This is engine analysis} (24. Kb1 $2 Rh8 $19) 24... Nxc4 25. Nxd4 Rh8 26. e6+ Qxe6 27. Qxg7+ Kxg7 28. Nxe6+ $16) 23... Qxd6 24. exd6 Rh8 25. Qxh8 Bxh8) 22. Kb1 Rc6 23. e6 $2 (23. Nd6 Rxd6 24. exd6 Nf2 25. Bg2 Nxh3 26. Bxd5+ Nxd5 27. Rxh3 Rd8 $14) 23... Qxe6 24. Bg2 Nf2 25. Qh7+ Kf7 26. Rde1 Qf6 27. Bxc6 bxc6 28. Nc7 Rh8 (28... Ne4 29. Rxe4 (29. Nxa8 $2 Nxd2+ 30. Kc1 d3 31. Kxd2 Nc4+ {with mate to follow.}) 29... fxe4 30. Nxa8 Nxa8 31. f5 e3 32. fxg6+ Qxg6+ 33. Qxg6+ Kxg6) 29. Qxh8 Bxh8 30. Ne8 Nxh1 (30... Qd8 31. Rxh8 Nd5 32. Rh7+ Kg8 33. Rg7+ Kf8 34. Rb7 Qh4 {is better for Black.}) 31. Nxf6 Ng3 1/2-1/2

Kramnik-Aronian

Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) got his excellent winning chances in a Réti against Levon Aronian (Armenia), who held an opposite-coloured bishop ending two pawns down.

Aronian’s problems started after his risky pawn push 13…b5. Kramnik then found the strong idea of pushing his f-pawn and sacrificing his a-pawn along the way. He managed to break open the centre, but then missed a strong continuation which was pointed out by computer engines. Nonetheless, after the time control the Russian reached a very promising ending. “I don’t know what the computer says but I have a feeling I missed a win,” said Kramnik, and Aronian agreed with him.

During their press conference the two top grandmaster showed numerous amazing variations to the (online) spectators, and after about half an hour they still didn’t find a win for White, despite being two pawns up in an opposite-coloured bishop ending.

[Event "FIDE Candidates"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.03.20"] [Round "5"] [White "Kramnik, V."] [Black "Aronian, L."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A07"] [WhiteElo "2810"] [BlackElo "2809"] [PlyCount "144"] [EventDate "2013.03.15"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 e6 4. c4 c6 5. O-O Nf6 6. cxd5 Bxf3 7. Bxf3 cxd5 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. d4 Be7 10. e3 O-O 11. Bd2 Qb8 $146 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Bg2 b5 $6 { Aronian: "This was probably asking for too much."} 14. e4 b4 15. Bf4 Qb6 16. Na4 Qa5 17. e5 Nd7 18. Be3 Nb6 19. Nxb6 axb6 20. f4 Qxa2 21. f5 exf5 22. b3 Qa5 23. Qf3 Nd8 24. Qxd5 $6 (24. Qxf5 Rxc1 25. Rxc1 Ne6 {is fine for Black,}) ({ but after} 24. Rxc8 $1 Rxc8 25. Qxf5 Rc7 26. e6 fxe6 27. Qh5 $1 {and Black is in trouble, the threat being of course Qe8 and mate.} Bf8 (27... h6 28. Qg6 Qb5 29. Bxh6 Bf8 30. Bg5 $18) (27... g6 28. Qe5 {with Bh6 +- to follow.}) 28. Qe8 Nf7 29. Qxe6 {is winning for White.}) 24... Rxc1 25. Rxc1 Qxd5 26. Bxd5 Ra5 27. Bf3 Ra3 28. Rc8 Rxb3 29. Kf2 Rc3 30. Rb8 b3 31. Rxb6 g5 32. Rb8 Rc4 33. d5 Rb4 34. Rxb4 Bxb4 35. Bd1 b2 36. Bc2 Nb7 37. Bxg5 Nc5 38. Bxf5 Na4 $2 (38... Nd7 39. Bf4 Bc3 40. e6 fxe6 41. dxe6 Ne5 {is probably enough to hold.}) 39. d6 Nc3 40. d7 Ba5 41. Ke3 (41. d8=Q+ Bxd8 42. Bxd8 b1=Q 43. Bxb1 Nxb1 44. Ke3 {is good for White.}) 41... f6 42. Bxf6 Nd5+ 43. Kd4 Nxf6 44. exf6 Kf7 45. Bxh7 Kxf6 46. Kd5 Ke7 47. Kc6 Kd8 48. g4 Be1 49. h3 Bh4 50. Kd6 Be7+ 51. Ke6 Bh4 52. Bb1 Kc7 53. Be4 Kd8 54. Bc2 Kc7 55. Bb1 Kd8 56. Be4 Kc7 57. Bd3 Kd8 58. Kd6 Be7+ 59. Ke6 Bh4 60. Bf5 Kc7 61. Kf7 b1=Q 62. Bxb1 Kxd7 {and computer tablebases tell us that this is a theoretical draw. But of course White will press on.} 63. Ba2 Kd6 64. Kg6 Ke5 $1 (64... Ke7 65. Kh5 Bf6 66. g5 Bd4 67. g6 {wins.}) 65. Kh5 Be7 66. g5 Kf4 67. h4 Kg3 68. Bc4 Bf8 $1 {Another only move found by Aronian.} (68... Bd8 $2 69. g6 Bf6 70. Bf1 Bc3 71. Kg5 Bd2+ 72. Kf5 Bh6 73. h5 Kh4 74. Be2 Bg7 75. Bd1 {and White has won, according to Aronian.}) 69. Be2 Bg7 70. Bc4 Bf8 71. g6 Kf4 72. Ba2 Bg7 1/2-1/2

Ivanchuk-Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen (Norway) also played the Grünfeld and for the first time he was under pressure, against Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), but eventually he held a knight ending a pawn down.

Vassily Ivanchuk (above) played strongly and created problems for his opponent, which meant that for the first time in this tournament, top seed Magnus Carlsen (below) was under serious pressure.

“It was a very difficult game. I tried to be creative in the opening. He responded well and I was worse, so I decided to sacrifice a pawn in order to get into an endgame which I thought I could hold,” said Carlsen.

GM Daniel King analyses the game Ivanchuk vs Carlsen

[Event "FIDE Candidates"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.03.20"] [Round "5"] [White "Ivanchuk, V."] [Black "Carlsen, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D93"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2872"] [PlyCount "113"] [EventDate "2013.03.15"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bf4 Bg7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Qa5 8. Rc1 Rd8 9. Qa4 Qxc5 10. b4 Qc6 11. Qa3 $146 dxc4 12. b5 Qb6 13. Bxc4 Be6 14. Bxe6 Qxe6 15. O-O Nbd7 16. Ng5 Qf5 17. Qxe7 Nh5 18. Rfd1 Nxf4 19. exf4 Bf8 20. Qe4 Qxe4 21. Ncxe4 Nb6 {Carlsen felt that the endgame with the double f-pawns could be held by Black.} 22. g3 Rxd1+ 23. Rxd1 Be7 24. Nf3 Rc8 25. Ne5 Rc7 26. Kg2 f6 27. Nf3 Kf7 28. h4 Rc2 29. a4 Ra2 30. Nc3 Ra3 31. Rc1 Nxa4 {Here Carlsen even played for a win. Ivanchuk, who was again short of time, offered a draw, which the Norwegian declined: "I got optimistic, which was completely unfounded and I had to fight to save the game. I just underestimated his possibilities. It was an unprofessional and bad decision to play on."} 32. Ne4 Rd3 33. Rc7 Ke6 34. Rxb7 ({On Playchess, armed with powerful engines and with Let's Check switched on, some visitors believed that Carlsen would be "eating crow" if Ivanchuk saw} 34. g4 $1 {But a GM consultant said this was "only +=".} ) 34... Rd7 35. Rb8 Rd8 36. Rb7 Rd7 37. Rxd7 Kxd7 38. Nd4 f5 39. Ng5 Bxg5 40. fxg5 Nc3 41. h5 gxh5 42. Kh3 Kd6 43. Kh4 Kd5 44. Nxf5 Nxb5 45. Kxh5 Ke4 46. Ne3 ({Ivanchuk proposes} 46. Ne7 {but Carlsen refutes it with} a5 47. Kh6 a4 48. Nc6 a3 49. Nb4 Kf5 50. f4 Nd6 51. Kxh7 Ne4 $11) 46... Nd6 47. Kh6 Nf7+ 48. Kxh7 Nxg5+ 49. Kg6 Nh3 50. Nd1 Kf3 51. Kf5 Nxf2 52. Nxf2 Kxg3 53. Nd1 a5 54. Ke4 a4 55. Kd4 a3 56. Nc3 a2 57. Nxa2 1/2-1/2

Grischuk-Radjabov

The last game to finish was Alexander Grischuk (above) versus Teimour Radjabov. In a 5.Bf4 Queen's Gambit Declined White also got very close to a win but with a bishop sacrifice the Azerbaijani held his own. Grischuk got close to a win, but failed to convert the full point. “I think I got a completely winning position but I should not have let Black sacrifice on c5. I underestimated that."

With his 34th move Radjabov (above) managed to change the nature of the position completely and at the same time he got his opponent rather confused. Eventually a complicated ending was reached where Radjabov had three passed pawns against a knight for Grischuk, but there the Russian decided to force the draw by liquidating to an equal rook ending.

[Event "FIDE Candidates"] [Site "London ENG"] [Date "2013.03.20"] [Round "5"] [White "Grischuk, A."] [Black "Radjabov, T."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2764"] [BlackElo "2793"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2013.03.15"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 Nh5 8. Be2 Nxf4 9. exf4 b6 10. b4 a5 11. a3 c6 12. O-O Qc7 13. g3 g6 $146 14. Re1 Ba6 15. Qc2 Bxe2 16. Nxe2 Ra7 17. Rab1 axb4 18. axb4 Rfa8 19. Nc1 Ra3 20. Nd3 Bf6 21. Kg2 Qb7 22. Rec1 Kg7 23. Qd1 b5 24. Nde5 R8a4 25. Rc2 Bd8 26. Qe2 h6 27. Nd3 Nf6 28. Nfe5 Nd7 29. Rcb2 Nxe5 30. dxe5 Qd7 31. Rb3 Be7 32. Ne1 Qa7 33. Nc2 Rxb3 34. Rxb3 Bxc5 35. bxc5 Qxc5 36. Ne3 h5 $1 {"I thought I was checkmating, but this was cold a shower," says Grischuk in the press conference.} 37. Qc2 Qb6 38. Rb2 Re4 39. Rb1 c5 40. Nd1 Qc6 41. Nc3 Rc4 42. Qd3 b4 43. Ne2 Qa4 44. f5 Qc2 45. Qxc2 Rxc2 46. Nf4 gxf5 47. Nxh5+ Kh6 48. Nf6 Ra2 49. Nd7 Ra5 50. Nxc5 Rxc5 51. Rxb4 d4 1/2-1/2

Current standings

Report by Peter Doggers, pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich

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Schedule and results

Round 1 March 15 at 14:00
Levon Aronian
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Boris Gelfand
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Peter Svidler
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 2 March 16 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Peter Svidler
Teimour Radjabov
1-0
Vassily Ivanchuk
Levon Aronian
1-0
Boris Gelfand
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward
Round 3 March 17 at 14:00
Boris Gelfand
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
0-1
Levon Aronian
Peter Svidler
1-0
Teimour Radjabov
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan
Round 4 March 19 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
1-0
Alexander Grischuk
Teimour Radjabov
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Levon Aronian 
½-½
Peter Svidler
Boris Gelfand
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 5 March 20 at 14:00
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler
½-½
Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Levon Aronian
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan
Round 6 March 21 at 14:00
Peter Svidler
-
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexander Grischuk
-
Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov
-
Levon Aronian
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward
Round 7 March 23 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Teimour Radjabov
Levon Aronian
-
Alexander Grischuk
Boris Gelfand
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Peter Svidler
Playchess commentary: GM Alejandro Ramirez
Round 8 March 24 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov
-
Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Peter Svidler
Playchess commentary: GM Alejandro Ramirez
Round 9 March 25 at 14:00
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Magnus Carlsen
Peter Svidler
-
Alexander Grischuk
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Teimour Radjabov
Boris Gelfand
-
Levon Aronian
Playchess commentary: GM Maurice Ashley
Round 10 March 27 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Boris Gelfand
Levon Aronian
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Teimour Radjabov
-
Peter Svidler
Alexander Grischuk
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Playchess commentary: GM Yasser Seirawan
Round 11 March 28 at 14:00
Alexander Grischuk
-
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Teimour Radjabov
Peter Svidler
-
Levon Aronian
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Boris Gelfand
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward
Round 12 March 29 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Boris Gelfand
-
Peter Svidler
Levon Aronian
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Teimour Radjabov
-
Alexander Grischuk
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 13 March 31 at 14:00
Teimour Radjabov
-
Magnus Carlsen
Alexander Grischuk
-
Levon Aronian
Vladimir Kramnik
-
Boris Gelfand
Peter Svidler
-
Vassily Ivanchuk
Playchess commentary: GM Daniel King
Round 14 April 1 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
-
Peter Svidler
Vassily Ivanchuk
-
Vladimir Kramnik
Boris Gelfand
-
Alexander Grischuk
Levon Aronian
-
Teimour Radjabov
Playchess commentary: GM Maurice Ashley

The games start at 14:00h = 2 p.m. London time = 15:00h European time, 17:00h Moscow, 8 a.m. New York. You can find your regional starting time here. Note that Britain and Europe switch to Summer time on March 31, so that the last two rounds will start an hour earlier for places that do not swich or have already done so (e.g. USA). The commentary on Playchess begins one hour after the start of the games and is free for premium members.

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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