Former World Champion Viswanathan Anand maintained a full point lead in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament after playing a draw with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in round 10.
Anand’s nearest rival Levon Aronian also made a draw, with white against Veselin Topalov.
In the all-Russian matches Peter Svidler defeated Vladimir Kramnik, while Sergey Karjakin and Dmitry Andreikin drew.
Anand is clear first with 6,5 points, one point ahead of the second-placed Aronian. Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Svidler are on 5 points each, while Kramnik and Andreikin share the 6th place with 4,5 points. Topalov remains last with 4 points.
Viswanathan Anand – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 1/2-1/2
The 6.h3 Naidorf Sicilian is all rage now in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament. In round 10 Viswanathan Anand again used the system, this time in the game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
The game was similar to Anand’s match against Topalov, but this time black was more vigorous to trade the pieces, counter in the center and achieve good play.
Anand made a good psychological decision to go for relatively simple position in which Mamedyarov, a gifted tactician, could not create threats with taking excessive risk.
At some point white offered moves repetition but black decided to play on. However, on move 30 black changed his mind and offered a draw.
Sergey Karjakin – Dmitry Andreikin 1/2-1/2
Dmitry Andreikin defended with the Taimanov Sicilian and Sergey Karjakin used Nepomniachtchi’s favorite 7.Qd3. Incidentally, Ian Nepomniachtchi was commenting the games live for Russian audience.
Karjakin followed his earlier clash with Mamedyarov (2009), but then he chose a different pawn structure with 13.e5, very similar to the Classical French.
Black didn’t meet many obstacles in solving the typical problems – exchange of the light-squared bishops and counterplay on the b-file.
Having achieved no advantage, white conceded a draw by repeating the moves.
Vladimir Kramnik – Peter Svidler 0-1
Peter Svidler had another go at the Dutch defence and Vladimir Kramnik responded with the customary expansion in the center.
With the slightly better pawn structure white claimed a small advantage, but black always remained solid and was close to trading off the entire queenside.
At one point Kramnik blundered horribly by allowing 32…Bxh2+ which lost him an exchange and a pawn.
Further, the white king was exposed to a relentless attack and he gave up shortly before the time control.
Levon Aronian – Veselin Topalov 1/2-1/2
Levon Aronian chose a quiet setup against Veselin Topalov’s Chebanenko Slav, allowing black to extinguish much of the opening pressure.
Around move 14 white was uncertain how to place the pieces. At the press conference Topalov proposed 15.a4 Qb6 16.Bc3, but Aronian replied that he didn’t like the bishop there.
After black installed the knight on the strong d4-outpost, white understood that he should be careful not to end up worse.
Topalov thought that he had small advantage throughout the middlegame, but he decided not to be rash and make mistakes in pursuit of a victory at all costs, as it happened to him earlier in the tournament.
Despite the doubled f-pawns and opponent’s passer on d-file, white was able to hold the endgame. Draw signed on move 45.
Heading into the 2014 Candidates Tournament, few observers gave Viswanathan Anand much of a chance to win. Sure, he wasn’t discounted entirely, but most figured that it would be Levon Aronian or Vladimir Kramnik (or maybe Topalov, perhaps Karjakin…) who would ultimately emerge as the next challenger to Magnus Carlsen. But with just five rounds left to play, Anand now has an imposing lead on the field, meaning we could be headed for a rematch of last year’s title clash.
Sunday was a pretty good day for Vishy Anand. In a shocking 9th round of the 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk, the ex-World Champion defeated Veselin Topalov, while his closest rivals Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik both lost, to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Karjakin respectively. With five rounds to go, Anand effectively has a 1.5 point lead over Aronian because he will win a possible tiebreak on mutual result.
Levon Aronian moved to shared first place in a fascinating seventh round of the 2014 FIDE Candidates’ Tournament on Friday. The Armenian top grandmaster defeated Sergey Karjakin to reach a score of 4.5/7 – the same as Vishy Anand, who drew his black game with Peter Svidler. Against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Vladimir Kramnik was doing well, then got into big trouble and eventually won anyway. At half-time, the Russian GM is only half a point behind the leaders.
Three Indians J Deepan Chakkravarthy of Tamil Nadu, Abhijit Kunte of PSPB and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of Maharashtra and one Bangladesh grandmaster Abdulla Al-Rakib share the lead with three points each at the end of third round of the 19th International Open Grandmasters Chess tournament, organised by Alekhine Chess Club at Kolkata, today.
In a Benoni defence on the top board, Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia had to forego his rook, getting only a bishop in compensation from Abdulla. In the resultant queen and rook vs queen and knight ending, Abdulla used his extra pawn to register a win in 62 moves.
Bangladesh had a field day today, as its another grandmaster Ziaur Rahman caused the biggest upset of the tournament so far, by beating the top seed Nigel Short of England. Ziaur deviated from the regular Nimzo Indian defence to exchange the queens as early as on 8th move. He capitalised on some weak moves by Short to position his rooks strongly. Fearing the loss of further materials, Short resigned after 28 moves.
Adopting Nimzo Indian defence against Debashis Das, former under 14 world champion Vidit Santosh Gujrathi of Maharashtra launched a heavy attack on the king side, with his queen, rooks and bishop. When Vidit sacrificed his bishop by playing B x h3, Debashis realised the danger and gave up the fight immediately after 22 moves.
In a Slav defence, former Asian Junior champion Deepan Chakkaravarthy of Tamil Nadu sacrificed his bishop on the 13th move against 2012 Commonwealth champion MR Lalith Babu of PSPB. To escape from his queen being cornered, Lalith Babu had to return the piece after seven moves, bringing parity to the game. Deepan gained a pawn in the end game and his connected pawns at the centre were vital to force a win in 60 moves.
Overnight leaders from West Bengal suffered a setback, when youngster Diptayan Ghosh had to be content with a draw against Oliver Barbosa of Philippines in a Slav defence game. Former national champion Abhijit Kunte of PSPB, commencing with Sicilain defence, continued his good run by beating Deep Sengupta, Kolkata’s highest ranked player in the tournament.
Report by IA Rathinam Anantharam
Round 3 top results:
GM Abdulla Al-Rakib BAN 2518 – GM Pantsulaia Levan GEO 2606 1 – 0
GM Debashis Das IND 2508 – GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2602 0 – 1
GM Lalith Babu M.R. IND 2585 – GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IND 2496 0 – 1
GM Barbosa Oliver PHI 2564 – IM Ghosh Diptayan IND 2481 ½ – ½
GM Sengupta Deep IND 2529 – GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2439 0 – 1
GM Short Nigel D ENG 2674 – GM Rahman Ziaur BAN 2486 0 – 1
GM Haznedaroglu Kivanc TUR 2462 – GM Fedorchuk Sergey A. UKR 2647 1 – 0
GM Landa Konstantin RUS 2645 – IM Ly Moulthun AUS 2429 ½ – ½
IM Shyam Nikil P. IND 2431 – GM Grigoryan Avetik ARM 2583 ½ – ½
IM Palit Somak IND 2421 – GM Gopal G.N. IND 2558 ½ – ½
Krishna C.R.G. IND 2317 – GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 2639 ½ – ½
GM Adhiban B. IND 2608 – Ravi Teja S. IND 2367 1 – 0
GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2578 – IM Karthikeyan P. IND 2355 ½ – ½
Sagar Shah IND 2304 – GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2507 0 – 1
GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 2501 – IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy IND 2347 ½ – ½
GM Arun Prasad S. IND 2477 – Akash Pc Iyer IND 2263 1 – 0
In last year’s Candidates Tournament, the leaders (Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik) pulled away from the field relatively early, turning the tournament into an apparent two-man race. It seems unlikely that this will be the case in 2014, as after five rounds, the competition is about as close as it can be between four competitors. Following a draw with Dmitry Andreikin, Viswanathan Anand still stands alone in first place with a 3.5/5 score. But right behind him are three players with 3/5 scores. They include favorites Levon Aronian and Kramink, along with Peter Svidler, who scored a neat win over Veselin Topalov in the 5th round to join the chase group. Topalov had an early advantage from his preparation, but Svidler was able to turn the tables later and score an important victory. As in previous years, it seems as though Svidler — overlooked in recent years as a part of the world elite — will be right in the hunt and remain a factor in determining who becomes the challenger to Carlsen later this year.