Candidates: Draw at the top

by Klaus Besenthal
3/23/2018 – Fabiano Caruana had to face his most persistent pursuer in Berlin, Shakriyar Mamedyarov, in the tenth round with the black pieces. Both players wanted to win the game and thus take a huge advantage into the remaining games, but ultimately played to bare kings. The tournament is still completely open at the top. On the other end of the standings table, Vladimir Kramnik staged a small comeback after several bruising defeats, by winning against Levon Aronian. Both the remaining games, Ding Liren vs So and Grischuk vs Karjakin were drawn. | Photo: Niki Riga

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Kramnik still kicking

Three draws, including between the top two leaders Caruana and Mamedyarov meant no change at the top of the standings. Caruana clings to a half point advantage with four rounds to play. But one of the other big stories of the tournament has been the rollercoaster ride of "Big Vlad", who has been involved in the most decisive games of the tournament — four losses but now after beating Levon Aronian for the second time this tournament — also three wins. The Armenian is on the verge of becoming the first player to be mathematically eliminated.

German football legend Felix Magath scored the winning goal in the 1983 European Team Championship, and is also a chess fan | Photo: World Chess

Mamedyarov ½-½ Caruana

ChessBase contributor IM Marco Baldauf explains in detail in his game commentary how the two top players today tried to secure an advantage, but in the end were unsuccessful: 

 

GM Daniel King also takes a crack at it for his Power Play Chess channel

Kramnik 1-0 Aronian

Vladimir Kramnik had a lot of plans for this tournament — you could see that easily from his furious start. As the fortunate beneficiary of the wild card, he received a fresh chance to vie for the highest title once more. But his enterprising play has ended in catastrophe one too many times, and Kramnik's win today is but cold comfort. Barring a miracle, he's out of the running to face Carlsen.

 


The Popular Italian

In the actual DVD Bologan covered all answers by Black against 3.Bc4, especially 3...Bc5, presenting all relevant possibilities for White.

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Grischuk ½-½ Karjakin

The game today between the two Russians was somehow lacking on both sides, that absolute will to win, to grab the very last (Karakin) or perhaps penultimate (Grischuk) chance of winning the tournament:

 

Ding Liren ½-½ So

A tenth draw in the tenth game for the Chinese Ding Liren, who is thus all but out of the race for the Carlsen challenge. Wesley So had already cratered at the beginning of the tournament, and in light of this the game between the two was not the most exciting, although there was a certain imbalance after the opening:

 

Day by day, draw by draw, Ding's chances of winning the tournament quickly wane | Photo: World Chess

Standings after ten rounds

 

All games of round ten

 

Round-up show with GM Simon Williams

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson

Links



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.
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oldsalt7 oldsalt7 3/23/2018 05:49
If Ding continues with his ‘Berlin Wall’ tactics, we should honour him by allowing players to offer a draw by just saying ‘ Ding!’.
bbrodinsky bbrodinsky 3/23/2018 12:13
Kramnik is the hero of this tourney , and at his age! Ding is giriing this tournament.
keithbc6472 keithbc6472 3/23/2018 11:33
I remain confused as people say 'Ding' but I thought his first name was Ding unless his whole name is Ding Liren with no distinction between first and second names??
Illingworth Illingworth 3/23/2018 11:05
Thanks for the analysis guys :) Really high quality play by both Caruana and Mamedyarov in their game!
ARK_ANGEL ARK_ANGEL 3/23/2018 05:50
It should be noted that Giri is not the second of Kramnik but for Ding. And Kramnik is assisted by the spirit of Tal. I should give my full credit to Kramnik for his sprit. He is known as Drawnik for his lazy approach in Black and his positional play. Had he tried this kind of approach while he is in top(2005-2010). He would have been the best. After 3 loses and still fight for a win is an achievement.
geraldsky geraldsky 3/23/2018 05:41
Kramnik plays consistent brilliant games with two wins against Aronian. Ding become a disciple of Giri .
Rama Rama 3/23/2018 02:06
More than anything else this tournament proves that the 'draw problem' does not have to be solved by trashing the historic rules of chess. The right incentives inspire fighting chess!
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