Candidates R8 – Kramnik, Gelfand, Grischuk win

3/24/2013 – One of the wonderful things about chess is its unpredictability, and after two rounds of all draws where wins had been expected, today saw three wins where at most one was expected. While Carlsen and Aronian drew, Radjabov fell prey to a battling Gelfand, Kramnik squeezed Svidler until he choked, and Grischuk beat Ivanchuk in his first Candidates win in six years. Round eight 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 eight report

Round 8 March 24 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov
0-1
Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Vassily Ivanchuk
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
Peter Svidler
Playchess commentary: GM Alejandro Ramirez

One of the wonderful things about chess is its unpredictability, which might seem an ironic comment in light of its supposed scientific linearity as opposed to other strategic games that factor in an element of chance. The previous two rounds have been marked by four draws, four draws that were in complete contrast to the games themselves. Great fighting had taken place, large swings with decisive advantages had taken place, yet somehow both players had remained standing after the smoke had cleared. Although a disappointment for the spectators, there had never been a dull moment.

Round eight saw the beginning of the return games in this double round-robin event, with Magnus Carlsen facing Levon Aronian with white. The Armenian quickly equalized with a small initiative, and though hardly decisive, it had to be annoying to the world number one who had had to rise from the ashes against Radjabov the day before. The draw seemed a reasonable result, though Carlsen expressed clear dissatisfaction with his play and in the press conference stated he would be making adjustments for the next rounds.

That was the only draw, though by the way the games had proceeded, one would have expected several others. Teimour Radjabov was met by a belligerent Boris Gelfand, and if he had played the provocateur in their first game, here the Israeli did not hesitate to grab the bull by the horns. Boris managed to get every positional advantage possible, whether the good bishop versus bad, an active knight versus a dominated one, or pawn targets galore, and he finished the game with a forced capitulation of the opponent by move 32.

Vladimir Kramnik played a strong game against his compatriot Peter Svidler, and though he achieved a very small advantage, none of the experts expected Svidler to lose, as he countered his opponents winning attempts with appropriately aggressive counter play. Still, it was Kramnik who was pressing, and a slip by the six-time Russian champion on move 29 swung the game from slightly annoying for Black to big trouble. It was the moment the former world champion had been waiting for and he converted with mastery.

The game that seemed to have the greatest chances for a decisive result did not disappoint. Alexander Grischuk and Vassily Ivanchuk played a Sicilian Dragon and it was clear neither sought a peaceful result. Somehow the Ukrainian never quite managed any active play for his black pieces, and his knight hopping seemed more a necessity to avoid trouble, than a threatening maneuver in its own right. It was not enough though, and the game was quite equal until the dreaded time control approached and Ivanchuk’s chronic time-trouble. A series of mistakes and a final blunder in the last moves ended the game in Grischuk’s favor. Alexander noted that it was his first win in classical chess at world championships or candidates in six years and seventeen games. Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

GM Daniel King analyses the game Kramnik vs Svidler

Portraits of the players

The following close-up of the participants were all shot during round eight by Ray Morris-Hill, in his usual extraordinary quality. We are sure you know all the players by now, and so will present them to you uncaptioned.

Alright, if you could not identify them, they're Lev Aronian, Magnus Carlsen,
Boris Gelfand, Sacha Grischuk, Vassily Ivanchuk, Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik.

Current standings

Drawing statistics in the event so far: White has won six games (18.8%), Black five games (15.6%), while 21 games were drawn (65.6%). Vladimir Kramnik is now in third place, within striking distance of the leaders. Interestingly he plays against both of them in the next two rounds – he has white against Carlsen tomorrow, then comes a rest day, and then Kramnik has the black pieces against Aronian. It is clear which games we will be following...

Pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich

Live commentary on Playchess

As usual spectators on the Playchess chess server could watch the games live and also enjoy live commentary byGM experts. In addition they were able to switch on chess engines, see the results of the most powerful computers in the world (with the "Let's Check" function) and even participate in the Guess-a-Move competition.

GM Alejandro Ramirez did an exceptionally entertaining job of commenting the games.
This is what the screen looked like, with a chess engine and Let's Check switched on.

For those who speak German GM Karsten Müller and IM Oliver Reeh were commenting

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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
½-½
Teimour Radjabov
Levon Aronian
½-½
Alexander Grischuk
Boris Gelfand
½-½
Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk
½-½
Peter Svidler
Playchess commentary: GM Alejandro Ramirez
Round 8 March 24 at 14:00
Magnus Carlsen
½-½
Levon Aronian
Teimour Radjabov
0-1
Boris Gelfand
Alexander Grischuk
1-0
Vassily Ivanchuk
Vladimir Kramnik
1-0
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.


Topics Candidates
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