Candidates Rd8: A solid round

by Alejandro Ramirez
3/22/2014 – After the multiple exciting games we have had over the board in Khanty-Mansiysk, the players have finally played a slightly dull round. Aronian-Anand was the key match of the day but it was drawn in less than 20 moves. Kramnik couldn't break through Andreikin's position and Topalov-Mamedyarov fizzled to equality. Karjakin did bring down Svidler and now five people have 3.5/8.

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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 Eight

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

Daniel King shows the game Svidler vs Karjakin

Andreikin is one of the five players at -1 (3.5/8)

Kramnik, Vladimir ½-½ Andreikin, Dmitry
Andreikin's treatment of the opening was ultra-solid. His a6 Slav locked up the position quickly, but it made him very passive. White's control of the c-file and his two bishops was simply not enough for him to break through as Black lacked weaknesses while White had to contend with his weak f3 and d4 pawns. Eventually Kramnik sacrificed one of these for some activity, but it was only enough for a draw.


Andreikin was super solid, and even Kramnik couldn't bring down his fortress

Svidler, Peter 0-1 Karjakin, Sergey
Grandmaster Elshan Moriadiabadi brings us a full report of this game.

[Event "Candidates 2014"] [Site "Khanty-Mansiysk, RUS"] [Date "2014.03.22"] [Round "8.4"] [White "Peter Svidler"] [Black "Sergey Karjakin"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A05"] [Annotator "Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "164"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] [TimeControl "7200+995"] [WhiteClock "0:12:23"] [BlackClock "0:14:56"] {In an uneventful round, this game kept the fire alive for the chess fans.} 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. d3 $5 {Surprisingly Svidler opts for the King's Indian attack. As we know, Fischer was a avid fan of this set up in early stage of his career. It seems that Svidler was not in the mood to check Karjakin's deep preparation in Catalan.} c5 6. e4 Nc6 (6... dxe4 7. dxe4 Qxd1 8. Rxd1 Nxe4 9. Ne5 Nd6 10. Na3 $1 {Is simply in white's favor. Black cannot capitalize any play based on his material advantage while in the mean time white would enjoy his advantage in development. Sooner or later white would level the material and seize the initiative}) 7. Qe2 O-O 8. e5 Nd7 9. c4 d4 ( 9... dxc4 $6 {Would run into a famous trap of this openign very soon.} 10. dxc4 b6 11. Rd1 Qc7 12. Nc3 a6 13. Bf4 Bb7 14. Nd5 $1 exd5 15. e6 $1 Bd6 16. Bxd6 Qxd6 17. Rxd5 Nd4 18. Nxd4 Bxd5 19. Bxd5 cxd4 20. exf7+ Kh8 21. Bxa8 $18 {1-0 Morozevich,A (2575)-Sermek,D (2515)/Moscow 1994/CBM 045 (34)}) 10. h4 Kh8 $5 { An interesting idea! Karjakin does have deep preparation even in such a statistically unpopular opening!} 11. Bf4 f5 {This is the idea behind Kh8. White cannot take on f6.} 12. Ng5 (12. exf6 gxf6 $1 {Now white cannot grab the pawn on e6 with check and Qe6 would run into:} 13. Qxe6 Nde5 {Which yields huge advantage for black}) 12... Bxg5 13. hxg5 Qc7 14. g6 {The most principled continuation.} hxg6 15. Nd2 Kg8 16. Nf3 Re8 17. Ng5 Nf8 18. g4 {A bit hasty in my opinion. White could augment a bit on the queen side by employing a3-b4 plan.} Nd8 19. Kh2 (19. b4 $5 cxb4 20. a3 {does still look very promising.}) 19... Bd7 20. gxf5 $2 {I find this move a serious error. White now hands over black a clear plan. Black will put a knight on outstanding post on e6 square.} exf5 21. Bd5+ Nde6 22. Rg1 Bc6 23. Qf3 Rad8 24. Rae1 Qd7 25. Bxe6+ $2 {This is too much.} (25. Nxe6 Nxe6 26. Rxg6 Bxd5 27. cxd5 Qxd5 28. Qh5 {Should let white to keep the balance.}) 25... Nxe6 26. Qg3 Rc8 27. Nh3 Qf7 28. Qh4 Bf3 29. Bd2 Bg4 30. Rg3 Qe7 31. Qxe7 Rxe7 {White's attach is vanished on the king side. Now he is simply a pawn down. Although it is not easy for black to capitalize on his material advantage.} 32. Ng5 Nxg5 33. Bxg5 Re6 34. f3 Bh5 35. b3 Kf7 36. Rh3 Rce8 37. Bf4 Ra6 38. Re2 Ke6 39. Kg3 Rb8 40. Bg5 f4+ $5 {Black returns the extra material in order to activate his pieces.} 41. Bxf4 Rf8 42. Rf2 Rf5 43. Bc1 (43. Rh1 Rc6 44. Bc1 Rxe5 {Would not have made any significant difference.} ) 43... Rxe5 44. Rh1 Kf7 45. Bf4 Rf5 46. Bb8 $6 {The position is very unpleasant or it may be even lost for white, nevertheless Svidler does not resist tenaciously. Bishop had to stay on c1-h6 diagonal.} Re6 $1 {Karjakin seize the momen. Now the pawn on d3 will fall.} 47. Rh4 (47. Bxa7 {loses to} Re3) 47... Re3 48. Rf4 a6 49. Bd6 Rxf4 50. Kxf4 Kf6 51. Bxc5 g5+ 52. Kg3 Rxd3 53. Kg2 Be8 $6 {I do not see why black should refrain from Ke5} (53... Ke5 54. Bb6 Kf5 55. Bc5 a5 56. Bb6 a4 57. bxa4 Be8 {Looks much more appealing}) 54. Kf1 Bh5 55. Ke2 Re3+ 56. Kd2 Ke5 {Compared to the above analysis. White has managed to improve his King's position, however the position is still much better for black.} 57. Rg2 Kf4 58. Bxd4 Re7 59. Re2 {If you have any doubt regarding Re2 being a dead drawn endgame, read Dr.Muller's endgame books!} Rd7 60. Kc3 Bxf3 61. Re8 $2 {Final decisive mistake} (61. Be5+ Kf5 62. Re3 g4 63. Bg3 Be4 64. b4 {Was white's last chance.}) 61... Be4 $1 {This move cuts white rook from the back rank} 62. Rf8+ Bf5 63. Rg8 g6 64. Rg7 {Diagram #} Rxd4 $3 { Cold Shower} (64... Rxg7 65. Bxg7 g4 66. Kd2 Bb1 67. a3 Ba2 68. Ke1 Bxb3 69. c5 g3 70. Kf1 Bd5 71. Kg1 Ke3 72. Be5 g2 73. a4 Bc6 74. a5 {is drawn and what probably Svidler was hoping for. But Svidler must have missed the next move .}) 65. Kxd4 b6 {Accurate play by Karjakin! From now till the end of the game, Karjakin plays a perfect game.} 66. Kc3 Ke3 67. Rb7 g4 68. Rxb6 g3 69. Rd6 g2 70. Rd1 g5 71. b4 Kf2 72. a4 g1=Q 73. Rxg1 Kxg1 74. b5 axb5 75. axb5 g4 76. c5 g3 77. c6 g2 78. b6 Kf2 79. b7 g1=Q 80. b8=Q {Draw?} Qc1+ 81. Kd4 Qe3+ 82. Kc4 Be6+ {No! the queen on b8 would be lost after a check on the next move. A very much needed vicotry for Karjakin and a painful defeat for Svidler, who in my opinion could score more than he has done so far.} 0-1

 

Elshan Moradiabadi - Guest Commentator

Elshan was born in Iran, and he became champion of that country at the age of 16, scoring an impressive 10/11 and finished ahead of Ehsan Ghaem Maghami. He is currently Iran's highest rated player.

He now studies at Rawls College of Business in Texas Tech University, where he is on his way to obtain a PhD in Management Information system.

Svidler cannot be happy with a loss with White,
putting him far from first place contention

Topalov, Veselin ½-½ Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
An interesting but short game. A double-edged Najdorf saw the Azeri player sacrifice a piece for the initiative. Topalov saw nothing better than to return it to force a queen exchange, but he did gain the slightest bit of pressure against Black's pawns in the resulting endgame. However Black was never in any real problems and the game resulted in a draw.

Topalov and Mamedyarov did play an
interesting game, sadly it fizzled into a draw

Aronian, Levon ½-½ Anand, Viswanathan

This game had a lot of anticipation,
but Aronian was unable to create anything at all

Without a doubt this was a letdown for the spectators. Aronian quickly went pawn hunting in a very strange opening but as a result of this his position was completely tied down. Anand didn't have any good break-through plans but he probably wasn't worried about any plans that Aronian might have as the Armenian lacked space. An unusual repetition ensued on move 15 and the game was drawn.

Aronian protects his lead, but he is still sharing it

Date Round English commentary German commentary
March 23 Round 9 Simon Williams/Alejandro Ramirez Oliver Reeh/Merijn van Delft

Join us tomorrow for live commentary on the playchess.com server with the combination of the experienced grandmaster Simon Williams from England and the still somewhat young Alejandro Ramirez from USA. Aronian and Anand are still in the lead, but how hard will they push against their opponents to get away from the pack?

Games of the round:

Click on drop-down menu for all games

Standings after eight 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
-
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 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.


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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