FIDE World Chess Candidates 2014 Ends: Karjakin Second (You know who's First!)
Viswanathan Anand concluded the FIDE Candidates Tournament with a draw against Peter Svidler for a total of 8,5/14 points. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made the honorary move for the World Championship qualifier.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Vladimir Kramnik also had a relatively quick draw, while Veselin Topalov and Dmitry Andreikin split the point only after 69 moves of play.
In the longest game of the day Sergey Karjakin defeated Levon Aronian with black after seven hours of play.
With this victory Karjakin emerged clear second with 7,5 points. On shared third place are Kramnik, Mamedyarov and Andreikin with 7 points each. Svidler and Aronian and on 6,5 points each, while Topalov is last with 6 points.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was involved in some of the sharpest games of the previous rounds, but today he decided to go for the positional Qc2 line in the Nimzo-Indian Defence. As he admitted at the post-game press conference, he was already feeling tired.
Vladimir Kramnik happily entered his pet line 7…dxc4. Instead of the common retreat 11.Qc2, white accepted to trade the queens on move 11. The players commented afterwards that this exchange meant that the game will be drawn.
The play continued until most of the pieces were removed from the board and draw was signed on move 30.
Having already qualified for the World Championship Match, Viswanathan Anand felt no pressure ahead of the game with Peter Svidler, but he still “didn’t want to finish a good tournament with a defeat”.
Anand allowed the Ruy Lopez Marshall Gambit, stating that he wanted to test the new ideas by Fabiano Caruana. Svidler in his turn followed the plan of Rustam Kasimdzhanov – 14…Qf6.
Many pieces were exchanged and white was hoping to further trade the rooks and play a B vs N endgame with pawns on both sides of the board. However, before he could do that, black succeeded in clearing all pawns from the queenside.
Draw agreed on move 34.
Dmitry Andreikin’s treatment of the Berlin Ruy Lopez was rather original as he quickly expanded with the pawns on kingside and in the center.
It was a strategy with considerable risk and Veselin Topalov rushed to open up the play to exploit black’s weaknesses.
White managed to snatch a pawn but his own structure was slightly compromised. He proceeded to force the exchange of the rooks hoping that he could get something in the endgame with minor pieces.
Topalov pressed for a long time but couldn’t do harm to Andreikin’s fortress.
It is rare occurrence that Levon Aronian opens the game with 1.e4. Another surprise was his relatively modest approach against Serey Karjakin’s Sicilian defence.
Black played all the logical moves, even succeeded in locking the white bishop on b1, but then a small inaccuracy handed a pawn to white.
In order to shift the trend, black gave up the exchange to destroy white’s structure and win the pawn back.
White’s reaction was not the best, he handed the material back and even fell under attack.
The material was already reduced and it was not easy to exploit the weaknesses around the white king.
Only in the 7th hour of play white cracked under pressure and dropped a piece for pawn. He tried to compensate with the advanced passer, but black was quick to force the exchange of the queens and finally clinch a victory. (Official website)
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