Candidates Rd4: Aronian, Mamedyarov win

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/17/2014 – With three out of four games being exciting and unusual battles, the Candidates tournament is certainly living up to expectation. Armenia's number one Aronian tricked Svidler, who was better prepared in the opening. After a series of mistakes in an endgame Aronian won. Mamedyarov took advantage of a time trouble blunder for his first victory. Report and analysis.

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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 four

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

Andreikin played a very strange game today,
but his demise was due to a blunder in time pressure

Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 1-0 Andrekin, Dmitry
A pretty strange game. Mamedyarov used the unusual quick a3 system against the increasingly popular a6 Semi-Slav. Andreikin obtained a good position from the opening but quickly allowed complications that were probably not entirely necessary. The players got into severe time pressure, and then the following happened:

[Event "FIDE Candidates 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"] [Date "2014.03.17"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Black "Andreikin, Dmitry"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D45"] [WhiteElo "2757"] [BlackElo "2709"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez, Alejandro"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2q3k1/2P3b1/1p2b2p/5p2/r3BQ2/6P1/2N2P1P/3R2K1 b - - 0 36"] [PlyCount "12"] [EventDate "2014.03.13"] [SourceDate "2014.01.04"] 36... Rxe4 37. Rd8+ {A complex position. Mamedyarov has a minute and a few seconds left, and Andreikin's clock is no better.} Kf7 $4 {A horrible blunder in what should have been a drawish position. It is inexplicable to put your king on such an exposed square when you have no time left to calculate and when there are so many major pieces in its proximity.} (37... Kh7 38. Qd6 Qa6 39. Qxe6 Rxe6 40. c8=Q Qxc8 41. Rxc8 $11 {was nothing more than a draw.}) 38. Qd6 {Black's king weakness is telling now.} Qa6 39. Rd7+ (39. Qc6 {was also winning, also exploting the weak black king position.}) 39... Kg6 $2 {Making White's life easier.} (39... Kg8 40. c8=Q+ Qxc8 41. Rd8+ Qxd8 42. Qxd8+ Kh7 { goves Black very slim chances to hold the endgame, but it surely should be winning for White somehow.}) 40. Qc6 {Mamedyarov played this instantly. Now it is all over; there is no good way of stopping the promotion of the pawn. Notice how beautifully White's knight on c2 avoids any counterplay.} Qc8 41. Rd8 Rc4 42. Qxc4 {A tragic loss for Andreikin and an important moral victory for Mamedyarov who is no longer in last place.} 1-0

A confused Mamedyarov takes his first win in the event

Karjakin, Sergey ½-½ Topalov, Veselin
Surely the least interesting game of the round. Karjakin didn't obtain much in the opening, all the pieces got traded off and then a slight tactic from Topalov turned the game from very balanced to balanced but with a different material ratio: White had two rooks and Black had a queen and a pawn. The endgame was a dead draw regardless.

"Hmmm, maybe this pen is the cause of all my draws..."

Karjakin was thought to possibly contend for first place and give some people a surprise,
but so far his game has been a little insipid

Aronian, Levon 1-0 Svidler, Peter

2/2 with white and putting pressure on Anand: Levon Aronian

[Event "FIDE Candidates Tournament 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk"] [Date "2014.03.17"] [Round "4"] [White "Aronian, Levon"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "*"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2830"] [BlackElo "2758"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "113"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [EventCountry "RUS"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. Rb1 O-O 9. Be2 cxd4 10. cxd4 Qa5+ 11. Bd2 (11. Qd2 Qxd2+ 12. Bxd2 b6 13. O-O Bb7 14. d5 Rc8) 11... Qxa2 12. O-O b6 13. Qc1 Bb7 14. Bc4 Qa4 15. Bb5 Qa2 16. Re1 Rc8 17. Qd1 Qc2 18. Qe2 Nc6 19. Bd3 (19. e5 Nd8 20. Bd7 Rcb8 21. h4 Bd5 { was fine for Black in Aronian-Grischuk from the Beijing Rapids in December, 2013 - a game that Svidler surely looked at.}) 19... Qa2 20. Bc4 Qa4 21. Bb3 Qa3 (21... Qa6 {maybe a safer choice?} 22. Bc4 {is just a repetition.} (22. Qe3 {is probably the only way of creating play.} Na5 $5)) 22. Bxf7+ $1 {Aronian spent a lot of time in this move. Clearly he had not prepared thist in advance, but the sacrifice is intuitively correct. White cannot lose; at worse he will be able to find some sort of perpetual against Black's weak king.} Kxf7 23. Qc4+ e6 24. Ng5+ Ke8 25. Nxe6 Qe7 {Svidler basically played all of these moves instantly. His preparation knows no limits, but Aronian steered him off his course.} 26. Nxg7+ (26. d5 Nd4 $1 {Surely this was Svidler's idea.} 27. Qa4+ b5 28. Rxb5 Nxb5 29. Qxb5+ Kf7 30. Ng5+ Kg8 31. d6 Qxd6 32. Qxb7 {a silly computer line which is not so silly because Svidler had probably memorized it. The Silicon beast says this is simply equal after} Rab8 $1 33. Qf7+ $1 Kh8 34. Ne6 Rg8 {and White has apparently compensation for the material, but nothing more.}) 26... Qxg7 27. Bc3 {Throwing Svidler off course. Now he is at a crucial practical crossroad} Nd8 $6 {In which I think he took the incorrect path.} (27... Nxd4 $1 28. Qa4+ Qd7 29. Qxd4 Qxd4 30. Bxd4 Rc4 {is an equal endgame, and if anything it favor Black with his outside passed pawn. The king on e8 is suddenly in a good position. It is strange that Svidler did not go for this.}) 28. Qb3 Rc7 {Black has plenty of ways to try to defend, some successful some not so much, but it is pointless to look at them. It is sufficient to know that Svidler had too many choices to look at.} 29. Ba1 $1 { Meanwhile Aronian's plan is obvious. Push the d and e pawns.} Rac8 (29... Qf7 30. d5 $16) 30. d5 Qd7 {keeping an eye on d5 so the e4 pawn cannot advance.} 31. Qb2 Qe7 32. Rbd1 Nf7 $6 (32... Rc2 $1 {This was probably the best defense at this point.} 33. Qh8+ Qf8 34. Qe5+ Kd7 (34... Qe7 $2 35. d6 Qxe5 36. d7+ Ke7 37. dxc8=Q Bxc8 38. Bxe5 $18) 35. Qg3 R8c4 {And it is not so clear how White is going to continue since e5 is just bad now.} 36. e5 $2 Qf4 37. e6+ Ke8 38. d6 Qxg3 39. hxg3 Re4 40. Rxe4 Bxe4 41. Bf6 Nxe6 42. d7+ Kf7 43. Rd6 Rc7 44. Bg5 Bf5 45. d8=Q Nxd8 46. Rxd8 {and only Black can win this endgame.}) 33. e5 Rc2 34. Qb5+ Qd7 $6 (34... Kf8 35. e6 Nd6 36. Qa4 $1 {and White hold still a strong initiative, though Black is not without resources yet.}) 35. Qxd7+ Kxd7 36. e6+ Kd6 (36... Ke8 {loses instantly.} 37. exf7+ Kxf7 38. d6 Re8 39. Rxe8 Kxe8 40. d7+ $18) 37. exf7 $2 (37. Bf6 {was a very difficult move to find but it seems decisive.} Nd8 (37... R2c7 38. Bh4 Rc4 39. Bg3+ Ke7 40. exf7+ Kxf7 41. d6) 38. e7 $16 (38. Be5+ $1 Ke7 39. Bf4 $1 {and e6 is going to be very hard to stop.} Nxe6 40. Bg5+ $1 Kf8 41. dxe6 {and with a pawn on e7 that is protected by a bishop it is ahrd to hold the position. Even worse, White's rook is coming to d7.})) 37... Rf8 38. Re6+ Kd7 39. Rf6 Re2 {Black is surviving thanks to White's slightly awkward pieces.} 40. f4 $1 {Sacrificing the f7 pawn to put pressure on Black's king and to bind Black's rooks.} (40. d6 $2 Bd5 $1 $11) ( 40. Rf3 Re7 41. Ra3 a6 42. Bd4 $14) 40... Re7 41. Be5 Rexf7 42. Rd6+ Ke8 43. Re1 Re7 44. Rc1 {Black's rooks are not comfortable.} (44. Ra1) 44... Rff7 45. Bf6 Rd7 46. Re6+ Kf8 47. d6 Kg8 48. h4 (48. Kf2 {to bring the king in, was another way to try to exploit the bind.}) 48... Rf8 49. Bg5 $5 (49. Rc7 $1 Rxc7 50. dxc7 Kf7 51. Rd6 Rc8 52. Bd8 $16 {seemed decisive to me. Black's rook is locked out of the game and Black cannot really push his pawns without losing them.}) 49... Kf7 (49... Bd5 50. Re7 Rxd6 51. Bh6 $18) (49... b5 50. f5 $1 (50. Rc5 b4 51. Rb5 Rf5 $1 $132) 50... Rxf5 (50... gxf5 51. Rc5) 51. Bh6 Kf7 52. Rce1 $18 {with Re7 coming.}) (49... Ba6 50. Kf2 Bd3 51. Rc7 $16) 50. Rce1 Bc6 $2 {Losing on the spot.} 51. h5 $2 {Not winning on the spot.} (51. Re7+ $1 Kg8 (51... Rxe7 52. Rxe7+ Kg8 53. Rxa7 Rf7 54. Be7 $18) 52. Rc1 Rxd6 53. Rc7 {and White is threatening both Be7 and Rxc6, and Black can only parry one of the threats. The endgame up the exchange should be easily winning.}) 51... a5 $2 { Losing on the spot.} 52. Re7+ $2 {Not winning on the spot} (52. hxg6+ hxg6 53. Re7+ Kg8 54. R1e6 {is a better way of getting to the continuation.}) 52... Kg8 53. hxg6 hxg6 $2 {Losing on the spot.} (53... Rxd6 54. gxh7+ Kh8 {surprisingly doesn't seem to lose instantly.} 55. f5 Rxf5 56. Bc1 Rb5 57. Bf4 Rg6 {and Black is still fighting, even thoug he might still be in a losing situation.}) 54. R1e6 $1 Rf7 55. Rxg6+ Kh7 56. Rh6+ Kg7 57. Ree6 {A very inaccurate but also a very difficult to play game. Svidler resigned in what is surely a hopeless position with all of White's pawns rolling in and with an exposed and weak king. A fascinating struggle; Svidler will be kicking himself for not playing Nxd4 when it was appropiate.} *

Anand, Viswanathan ½-½ Kramnik, Vladimir
A fabulous and exciting game, which was unfortunately rather short. Kramnik busted out his Vienna which is a sharp and interesting line, accepting a pawn sacrifice for which White obtains a strong initiative. Anand's opening was not the best and it allowed Kramnik a creative and powerful counterplay that resulted in a perpetual check.

Anand and Kramnik were the first to finish and the first in the press room

Games of the round:

Click on drop-down menu for all games

Daniel King shows the highlights of round 4

Standings after three 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
-
Anand Viswanathan
Karjakin Sergey
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Svidler Peter
-
Topalov Veselin
Kramnik Vladimir
-
Aronian Levon
Round six – 19.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Aronian Levon
-
Andreikin Dmitry
Anand Viswanathan
-
Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
-
Svidler Peter
Topalov Veselin
-
Kramnik Vladimir
Round seven – 21.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
-
Aronian Levon
Svidler Peter
-
Anand Viswanathan
Kramnik Vladimir
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Andreikin Dmitry
-
Topalov Veselin
Round eight – 22.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Kramnik Vladimir
-
Andreikin Dmitry
Svidler Peter
-
Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Veselin
-
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Aronian Levon
-
Anand Viswanathan
Round nine – 23.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
-
Kramnik Vladimir
Andreikin Dmitry
-
Svidler Peter
Anand Viswanathan
-
Topalov Veselin
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
-
Aronian Levon
Round ten – 25.03.2014, 15:00h (GMT+6)
Karjakin Sergey
-
Andreikin Dmitry
Kramnik Vladimir
-
Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon
-
Topalov Veselin
Anand Viswanathan
-
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 18 Round 5 Daniel King/Chris Ward Klaus Bischoff
March 19 Round 6 Alej. Ramirez/Parimarjan Negi Oliver Reeh/Merijn van Delft
March 21 Round 7 Simon Williams/Daniel King Oliver Reeh/Merijn van Delft
March 22 Round 8 Daniel King/Yasser Seirawan Oliver Reeh/Karsten Müller
March 23 Round 9 Simon Williams/Alejandro Ramirez Oliver Reeh/Merijn van Delft
March 25 Round 10 Daniel King/Simon Williams Klaus Bischoff
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.



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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