Candidates Rd10: Kramnik's downfall

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/25/2014 – Anand inches round by round closer to his rematch with Carlsen. Psychologically he must be pleased about today's results, his opponent tomorrow, Kramnik, blundered badly in a slightly better position against Svidler after playing a great game and he suffered his second loss in a row. Mamedyarov and Topalov went for a fight with Black, but neither achieved a full point.

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The FIDE Candidates Tournament is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia). The first round will start on Thursday, March 13 at 3 p.m. local time, the final round is on Sunday, March 30, 2014. The event is a double round robin (14 rounds). The time control is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 and 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61.

The tournament will determine the challenger who will face the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a title match later this year. The prize fund is 600,000 Euros (= US $832,000), the first place 135,000 and last (8th) place 25,000 Euros.

Round Ten

Round ten – 25.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Kramnik Vladimir
0-1
Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar

Daniel King shows the games Anand vs Mamedyarov and Kramnik vs Svidler

Photographers Nastya Karlovich and Eteri Kublashvili

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Andreikin, Dmitry
Karjakin's approach to the Paulsen, which was basically trade all the pieces, didn't promise him any advantage and the game quickly reached an equal endgame. It wasn't a dead draw yet, ideas still existed for both sides, but neither tried particularly hard.

Andreikin is practically out of contention and expressed he is just
playing to enjoy himself in the last rounds in Khanty-Mansiysk

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Topalov, Veselin
Topalov used an ultra-solid line in the ...a6 Slav that is quickly catching on as it was employed successfully in the Tromso World Cup of last year quite a number of times. Aronian obtained a minimal edge in the position but he was slowly pushed back, and at some point it was even Topalov the only one that could claim an advantage. However Aronian defended well enough and it is hard to say that either side was in any real danger of losing at any given point.

A fighting draw

Topalov expressed his disappointment with his play in this tournament, claiming to have spoiled many good positions. He added that he wasn't planning on playing the Najdorf originally against Anand, but he didn't see a good choice considering the tournament situation.

Kramnik, Vladimir 0-1 Svidler, Peter

Kramnik played a great game only to spoil it with an elementary blunder

[Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.25"] [Round "10"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A80"] [WhiteElo "2787"] [BlackElo "2758"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [TimeControl "40/7200:20/3600:900+30"] 1. d4 f5 {Svidler being on -1 makes it almost impossible for him to catch Anand. However, that doesn't mean he can't have a little bit of fun. The Dutch it is, for the second time in the tournament for Svidler.} 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 { An ultra solid approach, maybe even passive. Kramnik has an interesting idea in mind.} b6 {A logical response, but both e6 and g6 are much more common.} 4. d5 $5 {Already this is getting crazy. This move, well, it makes sense and at the same time it is very anti-positional. The pawn on d5 is an obvious weakness, White's hoping to be able to put enough defense on it so that it blocks out Black's light-squared bishop on b7, or at least to exchange the d5 pawn for a superior pawn structure in case of e6.} Bb7 5. Bc4 c6 {Anything that is not this move justifies White's play.} 6. Nc3 cxd5 7. Nxd5 e6 8. Nxf6+ Qxf6 9. O-O {It's hard to say who has benefitted more from the changes in the position. Black's pieces are active and his bishops are good but now he has a weakness on the d-file that is not so easily patched up (he does not want to play d5, blocking his bishop in again).} Bc5 10. Bd2 Nc6 (10... Qxb2 11. Nd4 Qa3 $8 (11... Bxd4 12. Rb1 $1 Qa3 13. Bb4 Qa4 14. Qxd4 $16) 12. Qh5+ g6 13. Qe2 {is something only suicidal people should be thinking about.}) 11. Bc3 Qe7 12. a3 a5 13. Qe2 O-O 14. Rad1 d5 {At last d5 was forced and e5 will remain weak. It's possible that Kramnik's opening experiment wasn't a failure, unlike his idea against Karjakin last round.} 15. Bb5 Na7 {Trying to force White into a decision.} 16. a4 $5 {The pawn on b5 will control a nice amount of squares, so it is an interesting trade. White hopes to maintain dark square control to fight againt the opponent's pair of bishops.} (16. Ba6 Bxa6 17. Qxa6 {is similar to the game.}) 16... Bd6 17. Ba6 {saying that a4 was more useful than Bd6. It's not so clear that is true, but there's nothing wrong with Kramnik changing his mind.} Nc6 18. Bxb7 Qxb7 19. b3 Qa6 20. Qd2 Rac8 21. Ng5 Rce8 22. Bb2 h6 23. Nf3 {White retains a little bit of pressure. The bishop on b2 is strong and c4 is up in the air.} Bb4 24. c3 Be7 25. c4 $1 dxc4 26. Rc1 b5 27. axb5 Qxb5 28. Rxc4 {Excellent play by Kramnik. He is now slightly better without a doubt. The structure on the queenside has simplified while the one on the kingside clearly favors White. Black's position is simply unpleasant to play with.} Nb4 29. Ne5 Nd5 30. Qc2 Bd6 31. Nc6 Nb6 32. Rd4 $4 {A very strange blunder. Kramnik must have completely missed his opponent's reply.} (32. Nd4 Qe5 33. Nf3 Qb5 34. Rc3 $14 {was the only way to continue but was still a little more pleasant for White.}) 32... Bxh2+ 33. Kxh2 Qxf1 {Suddenly White is simply down the exchange.} 34. Qc3 (34. Nxa5 Nd5 $17 {gives White some hope to survive - he has a good bishop and he might be able to stick a knight on e5 permanently. However an exchange is still an exchange.}) 34... Rf6 35. Ne5 $2 { Desperation.} Qxf2 36. Rf4 Qe2 37. Qd4 Nd5 38. Rf3 {Now Black has muich more material and a looming attack. White's threats are nothing.} Rc8 39. Rg3 f4 { The finishing touch.} 0-1

Svidler looking surprised at White's 4.d5!?

Basically out of contention now: Kramnik at -1

Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
Anand repeats the h3 Najdorf that brought him a victory against Topalov. Mamedyarov was in the mood for a fight, declining a repetition shortly after the opening ended. However Anand's position was solid and if anything it was White that held a very small edge. The Azeri player accepted a draw offer in a position where White was a smidgeon better and one in which Anand saw no reason to risk.

Mamedyarov tried, but it's never easy with Black

Anand could try to draw the rest of his games and
realistically win the tournament without issues

Date Round English commentary German commentary
March 26 Round 11 Alejandro Ramirez/Irina Krush Klaus Bischoff

Anand is four rounds away from challenging Carlsen for the World Championship rematch. However, nothing is set in stone - blunders are still quite possible and his lead might dissipate. Join American grandmasters Alejandro Ramirez and Irina Krush in tomorrow's playchess.com live commentary of the 11th round in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Games of the round:

Click on drop-down menu for all games

Standings after ten rounds

Photos from the official website

Schedule and results

Note: the games are played at 3 PM local time, which is 10 a.m. CET (Paris) and 5 a.m. EST (New York). Click here if you are uncertain what that means for your local time.

Round one – 13.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Aronian Levon
Round two – 14.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Kramnik Vladimir
1-0
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
1-0
Andreikin Dmitry
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Aronian Levon
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Round three – 15.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Aronian Levon
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
0-1
Anand Viswanathan
Round four – 17.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
Andreikin Dmitry
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Aronian Levon
1-0
Svidler Peter
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Kramnik Vladimir
Round five – 18.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Svidler Peter
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
Aronian Levon
Round six – 19.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Aronian Levon
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
Svidler Peter
Topalov Veselin
1-0
Kramnik Vladimir
Round seven – 21.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
0-1
Aronian Levon
Svidler Peter
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Kramnik Vladimir
1-0
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Andreikin Dmitry
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Round eight – 22.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Svidler Peter
0-1
Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Aronian Levon
½-½
Anand Viswanathan
Round nine – 23.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
1-0
Kramnik Vladimir
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Svidler Peter
Anand Viswanathan
1-0
Topalov Veselin
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
1-0
Aronian Levon
Round ten – 25.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
½-½
Andreikin Dmitry
Kramnik Vladimir
0-1
Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon
½-½
Topalov Veselin
Anand Viswanathan
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Round eleven – 26.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Topalov Veselin
-
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
-
Aronian Levon
Kramnik Vladimir
-
Anand Viswanathan
Round twelve – 27.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Anand Viswanathan
-
Andreikin Dmitry
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
-
Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Veselin
-
Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon
-
Kramnik Vladimir
Round thirteen – 29.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
-
Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey
-
Anand Viswanathan
Svidler Peter
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Kramnik Vladimir
-
Topalov Veselin
Round fourteen – 30.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Aronian Levon
-
Karjakin Sergey
Anand Viswanathan
-
Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
-
Kramnik Vladimir
Topalov Veselin
-
Andreikin Dmitry

Playchess commentary

Date Round English commentary German commentary
March 26 Round 11 Alejandro Ramirez/Irina Krush Klaus Bischoff
March 27 Round 12 Daniel King/Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff
March 29 Round 13 Daniel King/Irina Krush Klaus Bischoff
March 30 Round 14 Daniel King/Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff

Links

The games are being 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 2014

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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George Cataluna George Cataluna 3/26/2014 01:09
I think Anand is happy and yet I guess he still hope to win this tournament cautiously and having no problems in realizing in most situations in his ordeal with his rivals, but still he have to prove in the following games against all Russians.
Tsasaa Tsasaa 3/25/2014 10:31
Anand again? It's going to be boring. Unless Anand win lol
Freeman Carter Freeman Carter 3/25/2014 06:28
Who knew Anand was a contender? His form as of late has suggested that he was no longer interested. I guess losing the world championship has inspired him. It's his tournament to lose. We'll see if he can hold on for the last few rounds.
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