Candidates Rd11: All Null

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/26/2014 – Karjakin was the only player that had realistic winning chances in today's games, as Topalov overpressed against him and got very uncomfortable position. Anand is of course the clear winner of the round as he finishes tournament with two whites in the last three games. The tournament is not yet over, but things are looking good for the Indian. Report of today's round.

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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 Eleven

Round eleven – 26.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Andreikin Dmitry
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
½-½
Aronian Levon
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
Anand Viswanathan

Daniel King shows the games Kramnik vs Anand and Topalov vs Karjakin

Andreikin, Dmitry ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar

Despite the lack of complexity in the position Andreikin
consumed more than an hour to reach move 17

Andreikin employed the Catalan to which Mamedyarov seemed very well prepared against. Andreikin's time consumption was hefty but he was unable to come up with a convincing way of putting pressure on Mamedyarov's position. With some accurate defense the game fizzled into a drawn endgame that the players played on for a while without any real hope of winning for either side.

The Catalan was neutralized yet again here

Svidler, Peter ½-½ Aronian, Levon
Svidler's Reti set-up was anything but dangerous to Aronian. Using a well known plan to gift the pair of bishops in return for a symmetrical position with no weaknesses Aronian was able to hold equality with almost no problems. Only one open file meant that all the major pieces were traded off on the c1 square and the ensuing endgame with two bishops against a knight and a bishop gave just a symbolic advantage to the Russian player who decided not to press the issue too much.

Svidler was probably not too happy with Aronian's ultra solid choice

He pushed all his queenside pawns, but even that
expansion didn't amount to any advantage

Svidler's 50% puts him as close as anyone else to Anand

Topalov, Veselin ½-½ Karjakin, Sergey

Trying to finish the tournament in a high note today almost backfired on Topalov

The Candidates tournament is not only just a tournament where the next challenger is selected. It's a competition where the real you is under test. Kramnik was my big hope before the tournament and he did show good chess. I think his best performance was the game against Aronian. I was expecting the same kind of actitude today as well. However, after losing two games in a row it simply was too much to ask. The opening line was too mild in the current situation. I know I would rather lose one more game and opt for lines like 1.e4 c5 2.b3 instead of relying on a Novelty like 11.Na3. Ofcourse it was too late. Mistakes were made earlier and Anand knows his opponent very well and the battle was over very early. Anand shows that he is fully recovered after his disastrous match against Carlsen.

I believe that his performance might be a big surprise for his colleagues. Most likely they underestimated him. It looks like they did not follow the match at all. Magnus did show how to handle Anand. Keep the position closed and boring. Topalov's choise of Najdorf against Anand was like self-destruction and it was. Mamedyarov did the same, but with white pieces. Anand did not show the most entertaining chess, but he controlled his trumps and struck when opportunity came. The tournament is not over yet, but nobody doubts who is going to be the winner. Everybody was curious about Karjakin. When Kramnik just blundered the Q:b7! he got a free point. Still it seems for me that Karjakin is too practical. Looks like he is counting the ELO points in every game instead of taking risks. Most disappointing was his game against Svidler. Today however, he had the most interesting game of the round. - Jaan Ehlvest

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.03.26"] [Round "?"] [White "Topalov"] [Black "Karjakin"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A30"] [Annotator "Jaan Ehlvest"] [PlyCount "114"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 b6 3. g3 c5 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. O-O g6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Qxd4 Bg7 8. Nc3 d6 9. Rd1 Nbd7 10. Be3 Rc8 11. Rac1 a6 12. b3 O-O 13. Qh4 Rc7 {This is very well know theoretical position and my late friend Alex Wojtkiewicz was one of the expert recommending 14.Bh3!? This position ocurred in Kramnik practise as well, so I am sure both players new it very deeply.} 14. g4 $5 {Unfortunately the Berlin system is killing the 1.e4 move and dynamic players like Topalov are forced to create something in openings which are more suited for Karpov style of play.} (14. Bh3 Nc5 $5 (14... Qa8 $2 15. Bxd7 $1)) 14... Rc8 { flexible move} 15. g5 Nh5 16. Ne4 Rc7 {flexible again, because there is not Nd5 any more} 17. Ng3 Nxg3 18. hxg3 Qa8 19. Ne1 {Too quite, more interesting was 19.Kh2 with the idea Rh1. This however is not kind of chess what we are used to see in this level.} Nc5 20. Qh1 Rfc8 21. Bxb7 Qxb7 22. Qxb7 Rxb7 { Endgame - not Topalov's cup of tea.} 23. Nd3 Nxd3 $6 {I think Karjakin is too practical sometimes. White could avoid this playing instead of Nd3, Nc2-Nb4. My point is that after this only White can play for a win. Better was any other move.} 24. exd3 f6 25. gxf6 Bxf6 26. a4 $1 {White has now some target the b6!} h5 27. b4 Kf7 28. Kg2 Ke6 29. Kf3 Rf8 30. Ke2 Kf5 31. f3 {I do not like this move, but probably it was against Bg5. I think that White missed his chances when he playd Kf3, it was too slow, Black has now counterplay with his h pawn.} g5 $1 32. Rh1 Kg6 33. Rc2 e5 34. b5 Ra8 35. a5 {Interesting, but not enough.} bxa5 36. b6 Bd8 37. Rb1 Rab8 38. Ra2 Bxb6 $1 39. Rab2 Bxe3 { Interesting was} (39... a4 $5 40. Rxb6 Rxb6 41. Rxb6 Rxb6 42. Bxb6 a3 43. Ba5 a2 44. Bc3 Kf5 45. Ke3 a5 46. Kf2 Ke6 47. d4 {it should be draw.}) 40. Rxb7 Rxb7 41. Rxb7 Bc5 {Black is now very safe, he can not lose. Black had some winning ideas with e5-e4! in certain moment, but Karjakin played it too safe.} 42. Rb8 a4 43. Kd1 h4 44. Rg8+ Kf6 45. g4 Bf2 46. Rh8 Kg7 47. Rh5 Kg6 48. Kc2 Bd4 49. Kb1 a3 50. Ka2 Bb2 51. Kb3 Bc1 52. Ka2 Bb2 53. Kb3 a5 54. Ka2 a4 55. Kb1 Bd4 56. Ka2 Bb2 57. Kb1 Bd4 {and draw was agreed. Most likely Black is still winning, but Karjakin spend all his time to figure out when to play e4 and he had enough.} 1/2-1/2

 

Jaan Ehlvest

Jaan has been a grandmaster since 1987 and was part of the World Elite of chess, reaching rank #5 in 1991 with a FIDE Rating of 2650. He was also part of the Olympic gold-winning USSR team in Thessaloniki, 1988.

Nowadays Jaan plays for the United States of America and he resides between the USA and his native country of Estonia. He was named Estonia's sportsman of the year in 1987 and 1989. His tournament victories are countless.

He has Master's degree in psychology and is an active coach and author today. His children's manual may be found at www.chessgymnasium.com. Interesting comments of some old Anand-Kasparov encounters you may found at www.chess-secrets.net

Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan
Kramnik attempted a new idea in the Catalan with his 11.Na3!? However the Indian thought for 15 minutes and seemed to refute the attempt over the board. Black's precise queen maneuvers and pawn sacrifice left White's position in disarray. White managed to untangle a little, but not without allowing Black strong activity and allowing him to provoke some weaknesses around White's king.

Like in last year's Candidates against Carlsen, Kramnik uncorks
something new in the Catalan in a decisive game

It's possible that at some point Anand even started thinking about winning, as he was playing completely risk-free and White's position had a couple of holes in it. However his advantage was infinitesimal and he decided to play it safe, capture the last remaining pawn of white on the queenside and transpose into a dead drawn endgame, thus securing his lead.

Unfortunately for him this time around it didn't go his way

Anand cooly sacrificed a pawn, put his pieces where
they belonged and more than equalized

Only three rounds to go, this man has reasons to smile

Date Round English commentary German commentary
March 27 Round 12 Daniel King/Yasser Seirawan Klaus Bischoff

Time is running out for the challengers. Anand finishes with two whites out of three, and tomorrow's will be against Andreikin. Will he try to seal the deal with a victory, or will a draw allow a contender to put pressure on the Indian player near the finish round?

Games of the round:

Click on drop-down menu for all games

Standings after eleven 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
½-½
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Topalov Veselin
½-½
Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter
½-½
Aronian Levon
Kramnik Vladimir
½-½
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 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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