The last game day of the 2014 edition of the Candidates’ Tournament in Chanty Mansijsk ended yesterday and presented a winner who was certainly not amongst the top-favorite candidates: Visvanathan Anand!
Chessimo tells you today how this fell into place and gives detailled overviews on the scores and all the highlights:
Round 1. 13.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Topalov Vesselin
Anand Visvanathan 1 – 0 Aronian Levon
The three tie games were more or less unspectacular and the players all seemed satisfied with the results. Anand, however, prevailed over Aronian, as he returned a lost pawn and kept the pair of bishops – a wise decision.
Round 2. 14.03.2014, 10.00h CET
Kramnik Vladimir 1 – 0 Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan
Aronian Levon 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Kramnik managed to outperform Karjakin with a rather unusual move: Karjakin expected 9.exf6 in the variation of the Queen’s Gambit, but Kramnik surprised with a 9.a3. With this move, Kramnik had prepared for the Candidates’ Tournament 2013 in London and must have thought ‘better late than never’. This variation took Karjakin by such big surprise that Kramnik was able to obtain the victory with this positioning that only he was familiar with. The duel Svidler – Andreikin caused the next surprise: An opening with the Sicilian Kalashnikov-Variation. Svidler decided the tournament game with two pawns ahead and was more than satisfied with his performance. Anand rested on the laurels of the previous game day and thus played a draw with Black against Topalov. Aronian was able to make up for the setback of the previous round by beating Mamedyarov.
Round 3. 15.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir
Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Aronian Levon
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 0 – 1 Anand Visvanathan
Andreikin – Karjakin played a relatively calm duel which ended in a draw. The match Svidler – Kramnik caused excitement, as Kramnik managed to turn around the game after Svidler had been in clear advantage temporarily (this elicited an impressed “unbelievable” from Caruana). Topalov – Aronian had a tough time playing perpetual check. Mamedyarov obviously played an aggressive tactic and was put in his place by Anand.
Round 4. 17.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Topalov Vesselin
Aronian Levon 1 – 0 Svidler Peter
Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir
Andreikin was under pressure of time and had no other chance than to concede the victory to Mamedyarov after the time control in 40th round. The match Karjakin – Topalov was balanced and ended in a foreseeable draw. Svidler began with Grunfeld-Indian against Aronian. The 27th move caused him trouble after almost 40 minutes thinking time and he lost in the admittedly difficult ending stage of the game. Anand – Kramnik played perpetual check with a rather rough draw.
Round 5. 18.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Visvanathan Anand
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Svidler Peter 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin
Kramnik Vladimir ½ – ½ Aronian Levon
The duels Andreikin – Anand and Karjakin – Mamedyarov ended in draws without noteworthy dramatic incidences. Topalov began well-prepared and was in advantage after a solid opening stage, got stuck then and failed to find his way back into the game, so that Svidler was able decide this battle to his favor. Kramnik put Aronian under severe pressure after a calm opening, but Aronian proved his creativity and defended himself persistently. Kramnik missed the chance that Aronian offered with his mistaken 33rd move and had to comply with a rook-ending and draw after 60 moves.
Round 6. 19.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Svidler Peter
Topalov Vesselin 1 – 0 Kramnik Vladimir
Aronian clearly won the end game against Andreikin but didn’t win the duel. Anand against Karjakin ended also in a draw. Svidler gave away his potential victory to Mamedyarov after a successful and surprising opening (Dutch), as he played three bad moves in a row. Kramnik already messed up in the opening and build Topalov a path to winning the game.
Round 7. 21.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Karjakin Sergey 0 – 1 Aronian Levon
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan
Kramnik Vladimir 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin
Shortly before the end of the duel, Aronian played the only winning move that is hard to find and undoubtedly deserved the victory over Karjakin. After 38 moves the duel of Svidler and Anand ended in a draw. Kramnik was certain of his victory after a successful opening performance, but the match developed into a chaotic mess and Kramnik fell prey to doubts whether to end the game in a victory or draw. In the end, he was able to proudly prevail over Mamedyarov. Topalov was in high spirits after his victory over Kramnik, risked too much and lost against the great opponent Andreikin.
Round 8. 22.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Kramnik Vladimir ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Svidler Peter 0 – 1 Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan
Kramnik – Andreikin preferred to forego the end game and agreed on a draw. Svidler switched to defense after the King’s Indian attack and foolishly offered Karjakin the opportunity to activate his figures through the loss of a pawn. After a further sacrifice, Karjakin won in 82 moves. Mamedyarov sacrificed a knight that Topalov returned immediately. Both played towards a rook ending which resulted in a tie. Aronian – Anand finished the exciting duel after only 19 moves and many surprises.
Round 9. 23.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Karjakin Sergey 1 – 0 Kramnik Vladimir
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Anand Visvanathan 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Aronian Levon
Karjakin and Kramnik fought a total of 64 moves. Kramnik persistently fought in double rook ending which didn’t help him at all; he had to comply with defeat. Karjakin had finally fought his way up and was now equal in points with Kramnik and Mamedyarov. Andreikin and Svidler unsurprisingly agreed on a draw after an unruffled duel. Anand finished Topalov with a queen’s ending and additional pawn unexpectedly quick. Topalov had to accept the fact that he was now bottom of
the list. Despite winning the opening, Aronian lost to Mamedyarov who pushed him towards an ending with two additional pawns and bishops unequal in color. Aronian admitted defeat shortly after time control.
Round 10. 25.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Kramnik Vladimir 0 – 1 Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Topalov Vesselin
Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
For a better endgame, Karjakin played an exchange of queens against Andreikin, which resulted in a draw nevertheless. In the duel against Svidler, Kramnik repeated his mistake of round 9 against Karjakin. Therefore, the match ended in a draw. Aronian – Topalov also ended in a draw. Of particular meaning was the duel of Anand and Mamedyarov who needed a victory to have a realistic chance in the tournament. He still refused Anand’s repetition of move and they agreed on draw after the 30th move.
Round 11. 26.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Aronian Levon
Kramnik Vladimir ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan
The duel Andreikin – Mamedyarov was unspectacular and resulted in a draw. Topalov once again played by the motto ‘no risk, no fun’. Karjakin was aiming for a draw with this quality sacrifice and was caught by surprise as his positioning was so good that it almost rewarded him with the victory. Svidler played the next draw of this round which is barely worth mentioning. According to himself, Kramnik had given up his hopes on winning the tournament before the game against Anand. Without motivation and obviously tired, he was of no danger to Anand so that this game also ended in a tie.
Round 12. 27.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Topalov Vesselin 1 – 0 Svidler Peter
Aronian Levon ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir
Andreikin relied on Carlsen’s Caro-Kann of the World Championship match and tried to use it to prevail over Anand. Anand, on the other hand, had learned from his mistakes and was well-prepared. After the opportunities had been confusing and hard to overlook, Anand decided for draw after the 41st move and a large amount of thinking time. Mamedyarov – Karjakin was a suspenseful match. Karjakin contributed to the excitement by being under severe pressure of time: He managed to play 6 moves in only 13 seconds, but the end game still resulted in a draw. Svidler was lacking practice on of the variations he played and thus struggled to carry through the entire attack; he had to admit defeat. Aronian – Kramnik also ended in draw; however, without any noteworthy highlights.
Round 13. 29.03.2014, 10:00h CET
Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Aronian Levon
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Anand Visvanathan
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Kramnik Vladimir 1 – 0 Topalov Vesselin
Aronian responded to Andreikin’s favorite opening Trompovsky with an unconventional 2.-g6. Nevertheless, he did not gain any chances on victory and, according to expectations, Andreikin won the duel in a double rook ending. Therefore Aronian was out of the race. Karjakin did not give up until the 91st move. Still, the game against Anand ended in a tie. Therefore, Anand held an overall score of 8 points and was the definite victor of the tournament. Svidler and Mamedyarov decided for a quick and predictable rook ending and separated after a draw. Despite mistakes on both sides, Kramnik won against Topalov.
Round 14. 30.03.2014, 11:00h CEST
Aronian Levon 0 – 1 Karjakin Sergey
Anand Visvanathan ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Kramnik Vladimir
Topalov Vesselin ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Aronian was performing well against Karjakin, until Karjakin took over the lead after a quality sacrifice. He took the opportunity of aiming for victory without any risk and Aronian resigned after 94 moves. In the duel Anand – Svidler it became clear after the Marshall Attack that this duel would end in a draw. Mamedyarov and Kramnik played their match until the 30th move and ended in a tie.Topalov, being the bottom of the ranking, performed at his best against Andreikin, as this one full point would have been important to him. After 69 moves, finally, he admitted that he had given up all chances on winning with his confusing pawn positioning and the official result of the game was a draw.
Kramnik, Andreikin, Mamedyarov 7
Svidler, Aronian 6.5
Therefore, ‘Vishy’ Anand reaches the same score as Magnus Carlsen at the Candidates’ Tournament 2013 in London and, furthermore, remaines the only undefeated player of the tournament.
How are the odds that he will beat Magnus Carlsen in the upcoming World Championship duel in November?
A report will follow soon..
Picture by: Spiegel.de
written by Sarah, translated by Birthe