Candidates R6 – Carlsen, Aronian win, lead

3/21/2013 – Joseph "the Black Death" Blackburne – famous for his prowess with the Black pieces - must be smiling as he sees today’s games in the Candidates! As the second player, Carlsen and Aronian dismantled Svidler’s and Radjabov’s early d3 Spanish. Gelfand couldn’t punish Grischuk’s blunder, and Kramnik and Ivanchuk drew in a wild game. Analysis to follow. Express report.

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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 six report

By GM Alejandro Ramirez

Round 6 March 21 at 14:00
Peter Svidler
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov
0-1
Levon Aronian
Playchess commentary: GM Chris Ward

Svidler-Carlsen 0-1

Svidler vs. Carlsen​ in round six

A quiet Spanish allowed Carlsen to show the world again and again that he can outplay anybody from any type of position. Every single move improved the Norwegian's position very slightly, until he held a strong advantage. Svidler blundered under pressure and was swiftly punished. A completely one-sided game, and a must see for Black exponents of the Spanish Defense.

Grischuk-Gelfand ½-½

A passive Rossolimo allowed Gelfand to equalize easily out of the opening, and soon afterwards Grischuk made an inexplicable blunder with 23. Nd6? which simply gave away an important central pawn. Just when Gelfand seemed to have complete control of the game, he started to play passively and allow his opponent back in the game. Eventually it was Gelfand that was forced to give a perpetual as his king was becoming dangerously weak.

Radjabov-Aronian 0-1

Yet another early d3 Spanish gave Black absolutely nothing to complain about. Radjabov’s quick aggression on the kingside yielded him an open g-file… and allowed black to counterplay on the h-file! A very unusual rooklift on the 6th rank brought Aronian’s rook barging to h6 and pressuring that weak h3 pawn, which tied down White’s pieces and created an interesting deadlock on the kingside. Aronian was incredibly persistent and continued looking for chances on the queenside. The pressure got to Radjabov who blundered in an uncomfortable, but very far from losing, position.

Kramnik-Ivanchuk ½-½

Whenever a game opens as a Catalan, and Kramnik is White, you can usually expect Black to be suffering positionally for a long time. This game was nothing like that, as Ivanchuk quickly surprised Kramnik with his odd placement of his bishop on d6. Quickly afterwards Kramnik was sacrificing an exchange, and then another piece, to open up Ivanchuk’s king! However the attack was not quite sufficient to break through, and in the final position Black had an extremely risky to choice to decline the perpetual check by the knight on h4 and f5, or to simply accept the draw. Ivanchuk chose the latter, and from a practical perspective it’s very hard to disagree with this decision.

Commented games coming soon...

GM Daniel King analyses the game Kramnik vs Ivanchuk

Current standings

Pictures by Ray Morris-Hill

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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
0-1
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
½-½
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexander Grischuk
½-½
Boris Gelfand
Teimour Radjabov
0-1
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.

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Topics Candidates
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